Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Batman Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by David McKean

Since reading Paul Pope's Year 100 I have decided to read more Batman. So I thought I'd go for the most popular items. I picked up the 15th Anniversary Edition of Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. The book was originally published in 1989. This book gives you the original script at the back so it's all deluxe like. Ya know. Sorry, I feel like speaking all yokle-like on account of watching this terrible video this morning... anyway...

This particular story goes back to the original owner of the asylum. We get a little history but unfortunately so does one of the current doctors and he goes a little mad. You see he released all the inmates. They have taken over the asylum and it's up to Batman to put it all right. He must face all of his most deadly foes, and of course that includes The Joker. Do you write The Joker with a capital T?? I think I will because he's the most important Batman villain. Well the most notable... most famous.

This Arkham Asylum book was ranked number 4 as one of the top 25 Batman stories of all time. Which is actually saying something since you know, there's a whole lot of Batman. One aspect that have been praised, beside the amazing art work and awesome story, is the unique lettering. Gaspar Saladino's lettering style has been praised by critics everywhere for about 40 some odd years. He's the one who gave the joking this wild maniacal red lettering as well as lending specific fonts and type face to specific characters. I might be the only person who loves The Joker's red lettering for how it fits in with the panels and becomes a part of the artwork itself. However, I HATE reading it. It's sooo hard on my eyes. It takes effort to read and that makes me cranky. Saladino however is credited with giving this typeface to The Joker. His extensive career had him working for both DC and Marvel through the 60's, 70's and onward. The reason I know him is mostly due to his work on Hellblazer in the 90's.
If you are not a big Batman fan, this is still a must read for comic book enthusiasts as it has influenced much of the comics that happened in the 90's. The artwork is completely timeless. I still to this day feel that it was ahead of it's time when comparing it to other DC works published in the 80's. I'll just say it one more time.. soooo beautiful.