His work with Tim Sale is one of the fountainheads for the Dark Knight, and today is a perfect opportunity to look over
Absolute Batman: The Long Halloween
by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
ABSOLUTE EDITION!(PLUS, I got to use University's industrial-strength scanner!)
It is an absolute joy just to hold this comic book, and DC makes absolute editions of only their finest comics. "The Long Halloween" is a great example.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Really, do I need to do this? Gotham sees a string of murders over the course of thirteen issues, all on one holiday or another. The victims, however, all are in the family of Carmine "The Roman" Falcone -- Gotham's untouchable crime lord, to make the story sweeter. Batman, Commish Gordon and D.A. Harvey Dent make a pact to see justice through for this "Holiday." Will they survive it?
WHAT I LIKED: This thirteen-issue maxi-series is too much to say in a paragraph. It's a story of Harvey Dent's descent into darkness. It's a story about Jim Gordon's struggles between his life as a police officer, and his life as a husband and father. It's a story about the nature of justice, and what it means in a corrupt city like Gotham. It's about the new wave of crime replacing the old in a corrupt city like Gotham. It's the story of the corrupt people there as well. It's a romance between Batman and Catwoman, and Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle.
This book is 400 loaded pages of beautiful art and intelligent writing. Gorgeous splash pages. Insightful dialogue. Noir is a huge influence on Sale this go-around, and it is perfect for the dark tone of "The Long Halloween." He plays around with the fact that we all know what Harvey Dent is going to turn into, and uses light and shadows to point it out to us!
This is the ultimate murder mystery in Gotham City, and basically? You have not read Batman until you've read "The Long Halloween."
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: On a critical level? Nothing, honestly.
Although it does annoy me that Loeb's distinct way of telling a superhero narrative is to A) use a lot of ellipses, and B) never, ever use contractions.
EXTRAS?: There's an intro-interview between Christopher Nolan (Director of Batman Begins) and David S. Goyer (one of the writers for Batman Begins), which took place when the movie was still in production. If you've seen any of the two movies, then you'd definitely spot a lot of parallels between them and "The Long Halloween," because that's how influential this thing is.
A closing interview/dialogue is between Jeph Loeb (writer), Tim Sale (Artist) and Richard Starkings (Letterer), and after that is Loeb's original proposal for the story, and then Tim Sale's gorgeous sketches and covers for the story.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Enough of my blabbering! What're you waiting for? Go read it!