The Joker: A Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime

The Joker: A Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime


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Along with Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman, the Joker stands out as one of the most recognizable comics' characters in popular culture. While there has been a great deal of scholarly attention on superheroes, very little has been done looking at supervillains. This edited collection attempts to fill this void. It is the first academic work to provide a comprehensive study of this villain, illustrating why the Joker appears so relevant to audiences today.
Batman's foe has cropped up in thousands of comics, numerous animated series, and three major blockbuster feature films since 1966. Actually, the Joker first appeared in DC comics Batman 1 (1940) as the typical gangster, but the character evolved steadily into one of the most ominous in the history of sequential art. Batman and the Joker almost seemed to define each other as opposites, hero and nemesis in a kind of psychological duality. Over the years, the Joker's interpretation as a character in print and in motion pictures has changed in specific and often telling ways, which this collection probes.
Scholars from a wide array of disciplines look at the Joker through the lens of feature films, video games, comics, politics, magic and mysticism, psychology, animation, television, performance studies, and philosophy. As the first volume that examines the Joker as complex cultural and cross-media phenomenon, this collection adds to our understanding of the role comic book and cinematic villains play in the world and the ways various media affect their interpretation. Indeed, we do get the monsters we need.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496807816
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Pages: 294
Sales rank: 768,544
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Robert Moses Peaslee, Lubbock, Texas, is associate professor of journalism and electronic media in the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University. His work has been published in several journals, and he is the coeditor, with Robert G. Weiner, of Web-Spinning Heroics: Critical Essays on the History and Meaning of Spider-Man.

Robert G. Weiner, Lubbock, Texas, is humanities librarian at Texas Tech University where he serves as liaison to the College of Visual and Performing Arts and Film Studies. He is the editor and coeditor of a number of books on popular culture topics, and his work has appeared in numerous journals and collections.

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