Headed over to Dustin Sekula Memorial Library yesterday to peruse their "collection" of graphic novels. I came out with a only five that piqued my interest. There's more, but they were either checked out or somewhere else on the floor. It doesn't matter.
I've been in the mood to read a whole bunch of graphic novels because my imagination has been at its most active. I've been wanting to write a script of my own for about half a year - probably more. Another reason can be accredited to my lack of commitment on the whole 100+ Book Challenge that I started at the beginning of the year and haven't really kept up with it. Unlike their prose counterparts, reading a graphic novel only takes me a few hours - mostly because I like to take in the visual aspects - spending at least a few seconds on each panel aside from the reading time. I even go back if a particular piece draws me to it.
Batman R.I.P. is one of those collections that had me flipping backward through the panels, inspecting each panel for something that will lead me to understand its conclusion before I get to it. Much like Watchmen - and at the same time, very much unlike it - Batman R.I.P. allots you a lot of important information in small doses.
The superb writing is greatly complimented by the awesome artwork. The sinister Joker's qualities are intensified within these pages, reminiscent of something diabolical - at times, I swear I could picture Marilyn Manson's face (even though, he's probably the least diabolical singer in the "industry"). The torn identities carried by Bruce Wayne/Batman, the loyalties between family and friends - they all play the part of who we are and who we want to be and what we use in order to stay sane.
Batman R.I.P. won't find it hard to garner a place within the Gotham mythos and the canon of comic book fans everywhere. It should be read by anyone wanting to know how to write a story, be it prose, script or a graphic novel.
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