Morrison’s Batman: Words vs Images vs Words

 I have been reading Grant Morrison’s Batman (Batman & Son, The Black Glove, Batman R.I.P. , Time and The Batman, The Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman Inc.). I still have to read Batman Inc. Vol.1 and 2 and perhaps Final Crisis. Let it be said that I am not reviewing the work here. I do enjoy Grant Morrison’s work but this particular story line was hit and miss for me (mostly miss). So there. (oops, just reviewed it)

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Instead, I wish to bring your attention to the infamous issue 663: The Joker prose issue. That’s right, Grant Morrison wrote an entire issue in prose. I was very excited at the idea but ultimately found myself frustrated by the reading experience. Though it is written in prose, the story is illustrated. It is more similar to a children book in a way. Except that in children books, the illustrations are part of the reading experience, often giving the young readers a clear picture of a key event or location such as the King’s castle or the witch handing the young maid a poisoned apple.

This is not the case in issue 663.

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The writing is incredible and truly makes your imagination churn like every great work of literature should.

Descriptions such as:batman663txt2

and663texts are truly delectable and bring to mind fantastic images that, unfortunately, the illustrations provided on each page simply cannot compete with. This resulted in my imagination constantly competing with the illustrations that were forced down my throat. They prevented me from losing myself into the wonderful language. The images created in my mind’s eye through Morrison’s prose were constantly being disturbed by the illustrations in the book. The dichotomy was unbearable. I wish it would have been only prose, only those beautiful words.

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Even worse, the final images conclude the story just like a comic book would. The images do all the talking…except you have been reading prose the whole time up to that point.

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Like we say in Theatre, if you can show it, why say it???

And if you describe it with words, why show it???

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