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The JokerA Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime$
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Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628462388

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628462388.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Does the Joker Have Six-Inch Teeth?

Does the Joker Have Six-Inch Teeth?

(p.18) (p.19) Does the Joker Have Six-Inch Teeth?
The Joker

Roy T. Cook

University Press of Mississippi

Cook’s simple question belies a deep and careful exploration – and ultimately a refutation – of the “panel transparency thesis”: the premise that “characters, objects, events, and locations within the fictional world described by a comic appear, to characters within that fiction, as they are depicted within the panels of that comic.” By way of Kendall Watson’s explorations of “fictional truth,” Cook examines the Joker’s various physiognomies in print, suggesting that, “although the Joker cannot both have and not have six-inch teeth, there is nothing contradictory about imagining that he appears to us one way during one story and that he appears to us another way during another story.” Suggesting that, given the Joker’s “multiple choice” approach to outlining his origin story, we might best understand the rendering of the character to be always already a metaphorical act, Cook concludes counter-intuitively that “we in fact know almost nothing about the Joker’s appearance.”

Keywords:   Panel Transparency Thesis, Fictional Truth, Kendall Watson, Six-inch teeth, Joker

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