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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

the killing joke serves as a good source for the dark knight

Now I know each and everyone who reads this blog is going to be sitting in a theater July 18th, anxiously chomping away on their popcorn, grabbing with their greasy fingers at a sweating 32 oz cup full of the most carbonated beverage the establishment offers, awaiting for the lights to dim and for the words The Dark Knight to rush across the screen. I know this because you have good taste. You have good taste because you are an intelligent human being with enough common sense to read what I have to tell you. Or, it's because I literally do know each and everyone who reads this blog. How humbling.

But I digress; the real point of this post is to talk about one of the influences of this summer's biggest and inevitably best movie, The Dark Knight. The influence is a highly revered comic by Alan Moore called The Killing Joke. For those who may not be aware, Alan Moore is basically the Charles Dickens of graphic novels and comics. Or maybe the Janet Evanovich. I'm not sure. Regardless, he's been known for works such as Watchmen (which is being adapted to film currently), and V for Vendetta, among many others. His book The Killing Joke is actually a source of inspiration for how Heath Ledger's Joker is portrayed in The Dark Knight and, upon reading it, I can't think of a more bad ass way to do The Joker.

The book is very dark and touches on some very cool psychological aspects that are somewhat void in comic books aimed at a younger crowd. We get into the mind of The Joker, and its less cliched and more humanistic than one might think. Of course, that inkling of decency gets crushed and we see a Joker that is more complex than many other interpretations. The artwork, done by Brian Bolland, is also very imaginative and resonant, creating an overall mood that I look forward to seeing manifest in The Dark Knight.

The Killing Joke was just rereleased this March as a deluxe edition, and features new coloring by Bolland himself that is meant to capture the real feel that was intended with the original. Check it out, even if you're not a comic geek.

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