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Arkhma Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth

Grant Morrison (Author), Dave McKean (Illustrator), DC Comics (Publisher)

> Review by Michael Hoffert Jr.

What is the Dark Knight’s biggest nightmare? This is the central question at Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s groundbreaking graphic novel. Exploring the parallel descent into madness of both Batman and the titular Arkham Asylum’s founder, Amadeus Arkham, this book is more gothic tone poem than traditional narrative, with each page almost being a stand-alone expression of horror and insanity. What brings Morrison’s non-traditional script (presented in the back of the book) to life is the impressionistic painted artwork of McKean, mostly known for his covers on the acclaimed Sandman. His ethereal, shadow-draped Batman could just as well be a specter from an Edgar Allan Poe short, while his depictions of the greatest rogues gallery in pop culture run the gamut of 70s horror films to 80s pop music. These two industry titans blend their unique voices to create a tale of The Bat that will haunt well after the final page has been turned. Whether or not you’re a fan of traditional super hero narratives, this is a tome that deserves to be read, dissected, and discussed.

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