For the past few weeks, Ted Naifeh (creator of the Courtney Crumrin series from Oni Press) has been updating his site with a Batman gallery. Mainly sketches out of his sketchbook, but also includes sample pages and redesigns for Catwoman and Mad Hatter (that is a bit risque, but nonetheless creepy).
Blog@ spoke to Naifeh about this particular Joker design. “Oddly, I never really got the Joker until The Dark Knight came along. In the books, he just doesn’t add up. Is he a bank robber, a crazy serial killer, what? Why does he hate Batman? Why do people work for him when he shoots his own men all the time, or pulls idiotic schemes purely to get Batman’s goat? What, when you get right down to it, is his motivation?”
He continues with “I feel like the movie sharpened and streamlined him nicely, and made all the contradictions make sense. He doesn’t just go around robbing jewelry stores and insanely killing people. He wants people to see that he’s not insane, but the only one that IS sane. He wants to reveal justice, fairness, and good and evil as mass delusions. That makes him compelling, because, in a way, he’s right.”
My favorite design out of the collection is probably this take on Ivy. It’s a slight deviation, but still captures the character quite well.
Naifeh didn’t stop with just character designs, he actually has a few Batmobile drawings that bring movies Alien to mind. As well as a few Kate Kane Batwoman and the villain, Alice from Rucka and Williams’ III first arc in Detective Comics.
With Batman & Robin having rotating artists the past year, and these images showcasing what Naifeh is capable of, I think any Bat-book would be stunning in his hands, but do you think readers?