This series began in March and Smith announced his series in May (and it was first published in August). It could be a coincidence*- a synchronicity, rather. I've not read the Batman series, so I don't know if there's any more Secret Sun-type material in it. Additional sync: the cover there is by the great Bill Sienkiewicz, whom I know from the old Kubert School days. Bill redefined the psychedelic approach to mainstream comics in the 80s (Bill's bravura collaboration with Frank Miller- Elektra:Assassin - gets my, uhh, highest recommendation).
An interview with Smith appeared on Harry Knowles' site last week where he talks about his disappointment with Zack & Miri Make a Porno, and his subsequent collapse into Mary Jane's warm, tingly embrace to soothe his wounded ego - and kick-start his creativity:
I started smoking weed like f**kin’ crazy after ZACK AND MIRI collapsed, and that really, kind of like, became a great filter. It didn’t filter out life; it just filtered out bullsh*t. It kind of opened up the third eye. I didn’t have that period in high school. I skipped it, I didn’t get stoned in high school, or I didn’t really have a college experience and sh*t like that. I was off making movies and whatnot."Opened the third eye"- interesting. Smith again:
But, honestly, I found I’ve been more…I mean, this is not news to anybody, I’m not telling you anything new…I’m far more creative now, you know. I’ve been writing this “Batman: The Widening Gyre” miniseries, and I’m stoned all the time when I’m writing it. And, I swear, I’ll write it, and then, it’s not so much blackout, but forget, so much so that the next morning, I go to read what I wrote, and it’s, like, I’m that f**kin’ little cobbler and elves came and f**kin' wrote it in the night, because I’m, like, "This is better than anything I’ve ever written before." I mean, like, I’ve done comics, but this is way better.Hmm, elves or leprechauns? Again, I can't speak for the comic but I must say his podcast has gotten a lot funnier. I wonder if it will open his first and second eyes as well; his visual style has always been his primary weakness as a director. I just hope Smith's whip-cracking wife will keep him from going too overboard. There is such a thing as a weed casualty...
*I myself lifted the "widening gyre" line from Robert B. Parker, who lifted it from Yeats' The Second Coming. Bonus factoid: that poem is a pivotal plot point in the first episode of Millennium.