Anytime you have a character like the Batman, you need to have a perfect foil, a nemesis, a counter-part. In the Gotham City universe, you have the moody creature of the night, and of course, his most dangerous villain is a bright and smiling psychotic clown. Through all the Batman films, comics, and television shows, we've all seen several different interpretations of the infamous Joker. Sometimes he's far-fetched and cartoony, other times he's disfigured and horrifying, or just a goofy guy in clown make-up, or a number of other designs.
Other than Alan Grant's Joker in The Killing Joke, my all-time favourite Joker character animation comes from Tim Sale in The Long Halloween arc and its sequel, The Dark Victory arc. Joker isn't the main villain in these stories, but he does pop up to cause trouble throughout each arc. Sale's design of the insane clown walks the line between cartoony-physics and terrifying realism. His smile, with all those long, sharp, crooked teeth, is the most effective aspect of Sale's version of The Joker, it's all about that smile. Today, I'd like to celebrate and share eight of my favourite panels and pages of Tim Sale's take on The Joker. Have a laugh!
All panels and pages were drawn by Tim Sale.