The AudioComics Company is pleased to announce the casting of San Francisco Bay Area stage actor John Strain in the title role ofThe Black Bat, part of the production company’s Pulp Adventures anthology series, and a pivotal character in the forthcoming Moonstone AudioComics offering,Battle for LA. As withThe Domino Lady, The AudioComics Company’s world-premiere productions featuring The Black Bat will mark the first time that the pulp character has graced the airwaves.
The Black Bat first appeared in the July 1939 issue ofBlack Book Detective, in the origin story “Brand of the Black Bat” written by Norman Daniels under the house name G. Wayman Jones. Both the Black Bat and Batman hit the newsstands around the same time, and both Thrilling Publications and National Comics (respective publishers of the characters) claimed the other was a copy. National (now of course known as DC) editor Whitney Ellsworth, who had previously worked for Thrilling’s head Ned Pines, negotiated an arrangement between the two companies, allowing both characters to exist (staving off potential lawsuits).
The world believes that District Attorney Tony Quinn is blind from a gangster’s attack. In truth, he is able to see, the result of a secret operation where the corneas of a murdered small town sheriff were grafted onto Quinn’s eyes. To everyone’s surprise, not only can Quinn see normally, but he can see in complete darkness. While blind, he had developed the necessary skills of the blind, all of which stay with him after he regains his sight. Posing as a blind man to throw both cops and criminals off the trail, “Special District Attorney” Anthony Quinn, armed with a pair of .45’s, becomes The Black Bat, a vigilante determined to bring those who slip through the system to justice…by any means necessary. For this reason he is wanted not only by the underworld but by the authorities as well. Aiding Quinn is his “girl Friday” Carol Baldwin, daughter of the slain sheriff; Butch O’ Leary, the over 6’5” giant with fists of fury; and Quinn’s “valet,” one-time hood-gone-straight Norton “Silk” Kirby.
John M. Strain holds a BA in Literature with an Acting minor from San Francisco State University, an MFA in Acting from UC Irvine, and a Teaching Credential from Chapman University. Some of his Bay Area roles include Bobby from David Mamet’sBobby Gould in Hell,Festefrom Shakespeare’sTwelfth Night, and Mendoza inThePolitics of Decay. Southern California roles include Linder inA Raisin in the Sun, Eddie inFool for Love, and Zarius Michaels in the short film Hold On!(Semi-finalist, Triggerstreet.com). Most recently, John played Robert in the AFI shortMorning Latte, and Adolf Hitler in the premiere stage production ofDisney in Deutschland. John currently teaches English, Study Skills, Journalism and helps run “Read Aloud” public speaking tournaments for young adults in the city of San Francisco.
As mentioned, John will first suit up as The Black Bat in a San Francisco recording studio this spring, when the character appears alongside The Phantom Detective, G-8, Secret Agent X, and The Domino Lady (Karen Stilwell) inBattle for LA, based on the Moonstone one-shot by CJ Henderson and Mark Sparacio.