Monday, October 18, 2010

Is Batman Gay? The Long Halloween

Well, my actual website is now fully operational. I assure you, it is quite deadly. A lot of the content from this blog has been copied over there already, not sure if I'll move the rest or not.

Right now we have a couple of articles, weekly columns, bi weekly webcomic. Soon we'll have some videos up there too. So go there... go there now. Add it to your favorites. Share with your friends.

Please... I beg of you. For the love of all that is good, visit my site. Now back to the old and out of date blog you've somehow found:

So, I recently ordered a small stack of books from amazon, namely because I wanted a particular book that I was unable to track down in any local bookstores. Once I get book shopping though, I usually can't stop myself from buying at least 4 or 5 in one go. Naturally, as is the way things go, the book that initially brought me to the site was backordered, so they sent me the other books that I ordered and the original reason of even going online book shopping has still yet to be delivered.

Such is things.

One of the books I picked up was When in Rome, the (if I recall correctly) awesome Catwoman story that takes place in the same timeline as The Long Halloween. Long Halloween being one of my all time favorite Batman stories ever, I felt that before getting into When in Rome, I would re-read The Long Halloween.

That was at some point around dinner time yesterday, and now, it is about an hour and half before dinner time, and I'm done.

It's that awesome.

370 pages long and a work day to get in the way of reading it and I still raced through it, enjoying it just as much as the first time (this would probably be the fourth or fifth time I've gone through it).

You can find a ton of lists and top tens with this book on it, and I'll just share a few reasons why it comes close to the top of my non-existant list.

First of all, the artwork is absolutely stunning. I had the pleasure a few years back of sitting in on a sketch duel between Tim Sale and Alex Maleev, both doing their renditions of the Batman. While Maleev's was without a doubt awesome, I found that Sale's version and style absolutely illustrates Batman the detective (as opposed to the goddamned Batman).

Coupled with what Jeph Loeb's undeniably noir storyline and it's a perfect mix. The silent black and white kill sequences of Holiday particularly lend themselves to the style, and I found myself spending longer on these sequences than any of the pages with words. The visual storytelling of the kills is top notch.

Hard to believe that Tim Sale is colour blind, although it may explain Daredevil: Yellow.

The storyline is also amazing, without revealing too much, it bridges the gap between how Gotham city went from being a corrupt town in the clutches of the mob to a corrupt town in the clutches of the absolute and criminal insane. What starts off as a mob story ala Year One, ends up with the full gallery of rogues coming into the mix, just about every Batman villain worth anything plays at least some role in the story. Which is something I enjoy, I've always said that Batman's cred as an all time kickass superhero is owing an awful lot to the fact that his cast of villains is second to none. This also explains why Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth is another of my favorite Batman stories.

And finally, the story is about Batman the detective. The thing that seperates Batman from a lot of other heroes is that he figures shit out. Superman sees through walls or listens to conversations in other countries to find bad guys, bad guys just sort of find Spiderman, and Iron Man often relies on a secret multi billion dollar organization to do his digging, but Batman? He figures that shit out on his own. Long Halloween spanned 13 issues, and there's maybe 5 or 6 major action sequences. Somebody gets killed every issue, but it's not about the action. It's about the mystery.

I think Batman is at his best when he's a detective and not just a tough guy who likes to dress up as a bat, and this book has that element in spades.

If you have not read it, sit on a dick.

PS: This has nothing to do (as you may have noticed) with Batman being a homosezual (that was a typo, but I like the sound of it). Say it with me... homosezual. Maybe put an accent on the "a" so that it's pronounced "homo-sez-oo-al"? Homosezuàl. I like it.

I digress. It has to do with Scott and the gay hulk.