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Batman: Arkham Asylum Anniversary Edition Paperback – Special Edition, 23 Dec 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd; Anniversary edition edition (23 Dec. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845760220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845760229
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 1.2 x 25.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Grant Morrison is one of comics' greatest innovators. His long list of credits includes 'Batman:Arkham Asylum', 'JLA', 'Seven Soldiers', 'Animal Man', 'Doom Patrol', 'The Invisibles' and 'The Filth'. He is currently writing 'Batman' and 'All-Star Superman'.

Product Description

About the Author

Grant Morrison is one of comics' most innovative writers. His long list of credits includes JLA, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, New X-Men, The Invisibles and The Fifth. He is currently working on Seven Soldiers and the forthcoming All-Star Superman. Dave McKean is one of the most widely acclaimed and highly regarded artists in the field; his work includes covers for the Sandman series, Violent Cases, Signal to Noise and Mr. Punch. His first major movie, Mirrormask, is due for release in 2005.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Due to the creative liberation that the graphic novel is able to provide as a format, it's no surprise that sometimes a book is produced which feels more like an artistic experience than simply a comic. Grant Morrison provides a story which explores the mental recesses of several well-known Batman regulars, there's a fine line between a sound mind and insanity, 'Batman: Arkham Asylum' questions where that line is drawn.

The front cover and the pages preceding the start of the first chapter hint at something incredibly different, a style of artwork you rarely see in graphic novels and something I wasn't expecting. The Lewis Carroll quote from 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' concerning madness is the perfect way to open the story. Instead of the usual frame structure we get incredibly detailed pictures with long column-like frames overlaying them, many pages are read up-down rather than left-right. The illustrations are remarkable, beautiful - the most exquisite drawings I've seen in a graphic novel. They have a hastily scratched look to them as if they were feverishly etched in a moment of mania. You get the impression that rather than viewing a standard run-through of events, you are instead seeing someone's recollection of events with some memories more clouded than others, and some memories evoking a hyper-emotional state which is captured in the drawings themselves. Conveying mood is often tricky but artist Dave McKean literally makes an art of it, it's difficult to describe the style of the illustrations here, so I'll stop trying - they have to be seen to be experienced.

Arkham Asylum straddles two timelines, as Batman enters the institution at the request of The Joker we are also shown the origins of the asylum.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 100 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
Based solely upon his 2006-2013 run, Grant Morrison might be the greatest Batman writer of all time. But he wasn’t always so brilliant as his first Batman book, the mega-selling Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, shows.

The inmates have overrun the asylum and are holding civilians hostage. With Joker running free with a knife, Batman goes into the asylum to stop him and enters a nightmarish netherworld. Meanwhile, the troubled life of the asylum’s founder, Amadeus Arkham, is explored.

The story is one long rambling mess, which is part of Morrison’s intent. It’s designed to be dream-like and to read like a song and therefore, as a comic, it’s difficult to follow or really understand. I get the impression the symbolism of the tarot is important but the book didn’t make me interested enough to want to pursue a deeper understanding of it. Batman’s characterisation is a bit off too – how was he beaten by a deranged doctor!?

Some readers might scoff that Morrison’s comics are always like this with his drug use, but he actually wrote this before he began using drugs and alcohol – he writes in his afterword that he stayed up for hours on end to achieve the altered state of consciousness he wanted before sitting down to write. So it’s official: with or without drugs, Morrison writes weird comics! Hear that, poseur artists, you don’t need vice to produce art!

Dave McKean’s artwork matches Morrison’s bizarre story well but it still looks a bit too avant-garde for a comic. McKean’s best known for being The Sandman’s cover artist and his art is well suited to that format. But for page after page of interior art? It’s just headache-inducing! And when he does draw distinguishable figures, they look like poor Simon Bisley facsimiles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shortlems on 10 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arkham Asylum is a fantastically drawn and coloured graphic novel. The scenes spring off the page and really bring to life these crazy inhabitants of the asylum.
A personal favourite characterization was the Mad Hatter. I was only just familiar with Jervis and his obsession with Lewis Carroll, but this novel really showed me his insane, yet complex, nature.
The plot line is very interesting - the patients of the asylum rise up and overthrow the staff - but this revolt is not expanded on as much as it should have been. There are hardly any scenes showing how the Joker and the other villains managed to take over Arkham Asylum.
However, this graphic novel is nowhere near as awesome as I anticipated. One thing I really disapprove of was how Batman is, for the majority of the story, just a silhouette. Sure, at the beginning there is a brief glimpse of Batman's cowl (in black and white), but not in the entire book is there a sight of the famous logo, the utility belt, the underwear on the outside, the forearm blades, nothing. And Batman has CURLS on his shoulders. Why? He doesn't look at all like the Batman we all know and love. Although, this image of Batman as a shadow could demonstrate the asylum is a dark, awful place. But this is up to you.
Sometimes, the pictures are so lively it is hard to interpret what is actually happening, and require a second or so of close studying. To add to this, the story is criminally short.
So, in conclusion, Arkham Asylum is a beautiful yet short romp through Batman's infamous Rouge Gallery, minus the iconic Batman outfit, plus shoulder curls and sometimes over-complicated illustrations. Only buy if you are a hardcore Batman/DC/comic book fan, or you are just here for the art and story. Otherwise, steer clear.
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