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Batman: Arkham Asylum Anniversary Edition [Special Edition] [Paperback]

Grant Morrison , Dave McKean
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Dec 2005
15 years ago, this enigmatic graphic novel performed its mental autopsy on Batman and his enemies, and in doing so set both its creators on the road to greatness. In Gotham City's home for the criminally insane, Batman confronts his arch-nemeses, including the Joker, Two-Face and more. Before the battle is over, Batman's mental straight-jacket will have been torn apart, exposing his every weakness and bringing him far closer to his foes than he could ever possibly have wanted! To celebrate this illustrious anniversary, "Arkham Asylum" has been re-launched in this sumptuous paperback that includes Morrison's complete script, original thumbnail breakdowns, samples of how the story and art came together, and much more!

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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: 17.2 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,892 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


" an undeniable classic it's wonderful to find it hasn't dated a jot." -- Dreamwatch Magazine Issue 127

".The extras give a rare insight into th collborative process...a re-issue that definitely benefits from a second look." -- The List 3-17 March 2005

"It's worth every penny of the asking price, if you don't own this book go and order it now..." -- Februay 23 2005

"Mckean's fractured yet detailed artwork, painted in colour, gives live to Morrison's tale of pain..." -- Lincolnshire Echo, June 21 2005 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's a new guy at the mad house. 3 Nov 2011
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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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reality Check 16 Sep 2006
I feel there's a need to respond to the review that calls Arkham Asylum "UTTER RUBBISH". Frankly, that statement is ridiculous. Books like Arkham need to be taken in context. They exist to show something different. For the publishers to show off a little, to display a bit of extravagance. To showcase talent they may have in the stables and give a character the treatment they deserve. Personally I think the script for Arkham gives it a greater dignity than many of the so called "landmark" titles achieve (Digital Justice anyone?).

I first bought Arkham on its release when I was an impressionable teenager but have returned to it on numerous occasions as an adult and even bought it again when my original copy went awol. Whilst I would concede that it might not be the strongest plotline in a Batman story, in my opinion that's just missing the point.

Arkham is a prime example of the type of literary indulgence that has been used to flesh out the world of Batman or explore a different vein on numerous occasions. That is, there's no new characters, no major turn of events that will register on the Batman richter-scale (eg Death in the Family, Killing Joke) but it does go someway into presenting aspects of the character that help some readers see him in a different light. In Arkham's case that is to really emphasise the dark, psychological element of Batman and the space he occupies. The fact that, like his nemesis, he exists in a form of complete psychosis so utterly defined by the death of his parents, the resulting feelings of solitude and his almost scizophrenic dual identity ("Mommy's Dead. Daddy's Dead. Brucie's Dead").
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Art school Batman 21 Feb 2014
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Daughter loves it
Published 13 days ago by m j ashmore
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This is a very artitstic graphic novel! I love Dave Mckean's work, even the illustrations tell you of the story, very well
Published 8 months ago by Lia
5.0 out of 5 stars my fav graphic novel
The story is creepy and very compelling, art is beautiful. It is my favorite graphic novel along with Watchmen. A must have for every Batman fan
Published 17 months ago by orzel
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother.
Utterly awful, the art work pretentious, the story dumb. Just think of how pretentious and stupid attempts at making things seem 'cooler' by making it avant gard and dark were in... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Christian
2.0 out of 5 stars Arkham Asylum - Artistic Indulgence
I bought this book because I am a great fan of the 'Dark Knight' persona of Batman. I have to admit to being very disappointed with it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Peter Whitaker
3.0 out of 5 stars Messed Up... in a good way
The artwork for this is nothing like I've seen before in comic books. It's more of an odd art project than your traditional graphic novel. Read more
Published 19 months ago by P. M. Dean
3.0 out of 5 stars Gift
Got this as a nostalgic gift for my older brother, went down great, anyone who liked batman/comics will like this.
Published 20 months ago by S. Mooney
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm
I don't really know what to say about this....
If you're a die hard Batman fan then I guess you should get this, if you're not then avoid it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by David Jenkins
3.0 out of 5 stars A must-buy for Batman fans!
If you are a collector of Batman graphic novels, this is a necessary purchase. I now own 'Year One', 'The Killing Joke', 'Joker', 'Dark Knight Returns', 'The Long Halloween' and... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not For Everyone
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. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Shortlems
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