Monday, December 7, 2015

Movement in The Killing Joke

The Killing Joke is an origin story for the famously known Batman villain, the Joker. The story follows the clown in a pre-Joker era, where he is a family man attempting to make ends meet. He then begins to roll with the wrong crowd in a desperate attempt for money and tries to break into the chemical plant he used to work at. A confrontation with police officers ensue, to which the man panics and runs, falling into toxic waste just inches before Batman is able to catch him.
Movement throughout The Killing Joke, according to Wolk, movement of a comic in general is strongly in one direction, panel to panel flow—but not exclusively. When this flow is interrupted, however, the effect it has on the comic as a whole is that it makes readers pause to take in the shift/change of flow. This can be done, as it is in the above two page spread, with placements of character in panel space. It is evident that Batman is interrupting the flow of comics temporarily to prevent the would-be Joker from falling into the toxic waste. The irony of this is that Batman is usually the one trying to prevent Joker from causing mayhem in Gotham, thus creating another layer of meaning in the placement of characters in this space. Furthermore, Moore and Bolland’s choice of doing this creates another added tension in the sequence, and as Hatfield would describe, comics is the art of tensions. 
- Alyssa Litynesky

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