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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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Rictus Grins and Glasgow Smiles

Rictus Grins and Glasgow Smiles

The Joker as Satirical Discourse

(p.165) Rictus Grins and Glasgow Smiles
The Joker

Johan Nilsson

University Press of Mississippi

Nilsson brings into conversation Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman, Frank Miller’s (1996) highly influential graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, and the film The Dark Knight (2008) to suggest a transmedia analysis of the Joker as satire. Nilsson relies upon a framework for understanding and analyzing satire suggested by Paul Simpson, where “satire is never inherent in a text; it is constructed as satire in a kind of interactive event where a reader/viewer makes meaning based on the text in context.” In the case of the Joker, it is his fundamentally ironic status – tragic and violent, but wearing the face of comedy – that brings him into the realm of satire. Nilsson suggests that, as a villain, the Joker provides a particularly apt satirical presence.

Keywords:   Theoretical programs, Satire, Tim Burton, Frank Miller, Paul Simpson

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