The Allure of the Joker: Exploring the Best Art of the Clown Prince of Crime
The Joker has been Batman’s most enduring foe since his original appearance in the 1940 comic book “Batman” #1. The Clown Prince of Crime has been a key villain in literally thousands of Batman stories over the decades and is only getting more popular.
There’s something about the character’s unhinged personality and melodramatic flair that really connects with fans.
The pasty skin. The green hair. That wicked grin that seems to know something you don’t…
He’s a pretty creepy dude and we just can’t seem to get enough of him.
The Joker has also inspired some seriously impressive art over the years. Comic artists almost seem to have an unspoken contest going on to see who can create the most deranged drawing. That one-upmanship has produced many gripping pieces of art featuring the Joker in all his eerie, nihilistic glory.
In this post we’ll highlight some of the very best art featuring the Joker.
Whenever possible we’ll be sure to credit the talented artist behind each piece and share some thoughts about the art.
Joker Portrait of Villainy by Alex Ross
We expect perfection from the great Alex Ross and this spooky, almost ghostly portrait of the Joker really sticks with you. The vaudeville makeup and stretched skin really pop against the black background. Were those teeth borrowed from the Grinch?
Batman: The Killing Joke cover by Brian Bolland
The artwork in this classic graphic novel is simply stunning. Bolland captures the unhinged lunacy in the Joker’s face while still obscuring it with a camera. What is he taking a picture of? We won’t offer any spoilers, but can say this is definitely one of Joker’s most sinister schemes.
Arthur Fleck by Viktor Miller-Gausa
This vibrant and bold digital painting depicts the Joker as portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix in 2019’s ‘Joker’. The loose brush strokes really add a sense of life and the subtly sad expression captures the performance brilliantly.
The Joker by Bill Sienkiewicz
Sienkiewicz is a veteran comic book artist and a master of creating art that pops off the page – sometimes too far off the page. His truly disturbed painting of the Joker is almost hard to look at. And that’s probably exactly what the artist was going for. The carefully placed areas of high contrast combined with the wild strokes add a feeling of mania to the piece.
Joker Alternative Movie Poster by Aleksander Walijewski
Fan-made movie posters are an interesting niche. Artists assemble inspiring moments and graphics from their favorite film and create their own version of a poster that would appear in theaters. Polish artist Aleksander Walijewski was clearly inspired by the 2019 movie. This surreal print includes ghostly stills of Joaquin Phoenix dancing to form the backdrop for the Joker’s clown makeup.
The Joker Year of the Villain cover art by Ryan Brown
The supremely talented Irish comic artist Ryan Brown leaves us with another piece not for the squeamish. The lighting, texture and details are so realistic it makes the messed up eye even more jarring. Yikes!
So there you have it: spectacular examples of some of the best Joker art and the artists behind them. We’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these pieces or if you have any other favorite artwork featuring the Clown Prince of Crime!