The Friday Five: Aaron Reynolds

The Friday Five: Aaron Reynolds

What do you get when you combine a love of 1960s Batman, a unique sense of humour, and a desire to share your inner world with complete strangers? You get BatLabels, a popular Twitter account that has gained an audience with notable personalities such as Wil Wheaton and Peter Sagal. The man behind BatLabels is Aaron Reynolds. I spoke with Aaron about the success of BatLabels and what he loves about this classic, and often over-the-top, television series starring the charismatic Adam West.

What inspired you to create BatLabels on Twitter?

I was home sick from work for a period of time and I was looking for a distraction. I was watching Batman with Adam West and started picking up on the label gags throughout the show. I began taking screenshots and posting them to my personal Twitter account. Friends complained, so I started a new Twitter account, BatLabels, for my new-found obsession.

The account earned some influential followers such as Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society, Peter Sagal of Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, and actor Wil Wheaton. The account exploded when they re-tweet posts from BatLabels. Wil Wheaton even bought one of the Henchmen t-shirts from the BatLabels line of clothing.

The Friday Five

What makes Batman of 1966 so much better than any other Batman movie or TV show?

It is absolutely the best! I went to see The Dark Knight Rises and really didn’t enjoy myself. It is a dreary take on Batman and that drove me back to the 1966 version.

The Friday Five

You host a podcast called The BatLabels Label­-Cast in which you talk about a variety of Batman topics, including Oprah’s feelings about Batman; Archie comic books; Star Trek; and much more. What was the catalyst to creating the podcast and where do you hope to take it?

It’s an idea that’s been rolling around my brain for a long time. I like the podcast format and it seems like a natural extension of BatLabels on Twitter. It’s been fun to produce and The BatLabels Label-Cast gets positive feedback. People seem to be enjoying it. We’ll wait and see where that takes us.

The Friday Five

You also have a line of shirts inspired by Batman ‘66. Has the popularity of those shirts surprised you? It’s a great way to identify like-­minded people, by the way.

A friend of mind, Xander, created a hand-lettered font and drew up the Henchmen shirts. There’s a couple other ones we are working on. I was absolutely stunned by the popularity of the shirts. We wanted to make it to the 25-shirt level, to make $100. The first run sold 850 shirts.

The Friday Five

Who is your favorite Batman villain and why?

I really like Chandell and his identical twin brother Harry from the Devil’s Fingers episode. Liberace played the twins. It was packed with goofy, delightful jokes. There were so many winking jokes around Liberace’s sexuality.

1960s Batman is at its best when it has colorful villains.

The Friday Five

You can find BatLabels on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to listen to BatLabels Label-Cast each week!

Look into the minds of movers and shakers in the play industry – five questions, one fascinating person.