Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: The Long Halloween - Comic of the DayI just realized I never posted my comic of the day post for Batman: The Long Halloween. I wrote this post a while back and forgot to post it for a day. I think I was saving it for Halloween and ended up doing a different Halloween themed post. Anyway, here it is...

Batman: The Long Halloween is a series of 13 issues (1996-1997) written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale. It basically picks up in the Batman universe after Batman: Year One (Miller and Mazzucchelli), the origins of Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jim Gordon. The Long Halloween tells the story of Batman, Gordon, and Harvey Dent's relationship towards each other and their attempts to save the rotting city of Gotham.

The story is at it's core a murder mystery or a "who done it?" It examines the bond between men with the same wants, but different ideas on how to achieve goals. The characters are fleshed out very well. From the examination of Bruce Wayne's connection to his deceased parents, to the Gotham city mobsters' connection to family and power; Loeb and Sale craft a tale that keeps you in suspense and keeps you guessing.

Going into this graphic novel I had only read one Loeb and Sale collaboration: Daredevil: Yellow (also really good). I liked Sale's art in Yellow, but it was still new to me...it was growing on me. By the time I got through The Long Halloween I became a full on fan. Not a crisp style like a Steve McNiven (amazing artist), but rather a slightly exaggerated form of quick-hand drawings that give the characters personality through their visuals: a large Batman, shadowy Harvey Dent, and sleek Joker are some examples.

I am planning on picking up more of Loeb and Sale's work including their other Marvel "color" books such as: Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray, and Captain America: White. Along with The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory won the duo an Eisner Award for best Graphic Album reprint.

Being 13 issues long, The Long Halloween is quite the read. Affordable at no more than $20, it feels like you are reading an actual novel (non-graphic) which you must set down from time to time to catch your breath. I recommend this read for a rainy Sunday when you have no plans. It will make your weekend.


Budd said...

agreed, this is an excellent run. It was also used somewhat as the inspiration for the Dark Knight movie. For street level stuff I would also suggest City of Crime.

Dom said...

I really enjoyed the follow-up to The Long Halloween, Dark Victory. The stories transitioned seamlessly.

I recently was at a convention where I got Loeb, Sale and Starkings (the letterer) to sign my Long Halloween copy.

Budd said...

That is awesome. Just watched the Red Hood cartoon, it was pretty good. Dean from Supernatural plays Jason Todd.