Spotlight: Polishing Silver

November 19, 2012

One is pleased to usher in Alfred Pennyworth week.  All week long, I’ll be spotlighting elements from Polishing Silver: The Journal of Alfred Pennyworth


Adopting Alfred’s addictively understated voice to tell an entire story from his unique, deeply personal point of view was probably the most challenging fun I’ve had writing the Tales.  He has such amazing insights into all of the Bat Family, and he can offer up details of their lives and his own that we can credibly learn in no other way.  He is simply a wonderful mind to get inside.


A short while ago, the master’s partnership with Superman obliged him to travel to a nether dimension called Apokolips.  They were victorious in so far as defeating that realm’s overlord, Darkseid—due in large part to the master’s own strategy and resolve.  One could not help but feel proud of the accomplishment.  Neither could one help noticing that the aura of that vile place had permeated the master’s costume.  In the end, it had to be burned.

One naturally did one’s best to launder the garment before taking so drastic a step.  In those few days before we determined the entire costume did, in fact, have to be replaced, the revolting stench, best likened to rotting eggs and gasoline, congealed in the close air of the costume vault.  I have been battling it ever since.

Unlike the master’s decisive routing of Darkseid, my own fight against the lingering stink of his realm has been a prolonged war of attrition.  Tonight’s careful sniff did reveal a faint hint of the foul smell returning where the cape had hung.  I went at once to the chemistry lab and poured a few tablespoons of a particular clear liquid into a small flat petri dish.  I returned this to the costume vault to evaporate.  By morning, no trace of the odor will remain…

Polishing Silver goes ‘downstairs’ at Wayne Manor to first establish the routine of the man running Batman’s house, and then to follow the story of Stephanie Brown’s death and its aftermath.  It’s in nearly everyone’s top 3 favorite Cat-Tales, and I heard a good few complaints when the 10th Anniversary “Look Back” featured Identity Element instead.

You can read Cat-Tales – Polishing Silver: The Journal of Alfred Pennyworth online on the Cat-Tales website or download it to go as an ebook or in high-quality pdf for printing.

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