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new bermijo interview from jett (Re: Graphic Novel w/Azzarello)

deathfromabove

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LEE BERMEJO, Part 2
AUTHOR: Bill Ramey
DATE: May 23, 2007

JETT: What have you been up to since we last talked? (click to read BOF's first [COLOR=yellow! important][COLOR=yellow! important]interview[/COLOR][/COLOR] with Lee)
LB: I've been hard at work for some time on this Joker graphic novel with Brian Azzarello. It's pretty big and meaty so it's taking forever but it's a [COLOR=yellow! important][COLOR=yellow! important]dream [COLOR=yellow! important]job[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] and I'm loving every minute of it. I've also been doing monthly covers for HELLBLAZER (another dream job for me) and some other cover [COLOR=yellow! important][COLOR=yellow! important]jobs [COLOR=yellow! important]here[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] and there.


JETT: Tell me about that Joker project -- sounds badass!
LB:
The Joker project is basically an out of continuity story about The Joker and his relationship with the rest of the criminal underworld of Gotham. It's somewhat like the Lex Luthor story we did, but this one is different in the fact that the narrator isn't The Joker.
Brian and I are hoping we can do a fresh take on the character. I gotta say, I've NEVER read a Joker like this before. Brian is really on to something in the way he's characterized the villain. I feel like there has been a bit of a lull lately in the way he's been written. I think what Grant Morrisson did was so influential that it seems like that's The Joker we've been getting for the past few year. You know, the one that calls Batman “darling” and is always very... umm.... how can I say it... “sexually mysterious. “
In our book he's got a really different but really interesting personality. He's a lot of things at the same time Psycho, human, vicious, sensitive, hilarious, pitiable, sick -- all while still having a really clear sense of purpose. Plus, there will be almost all the major [COLOR=yellow! important][COLOR=yellow! important]Batman[/COLOR][/COLOR] villains in the book as well. It's just a blast to be drawing all the bad guys and getting to put my own spin on them visually.


JETT: So, what do think of Chris Nolan’s version of The Joker -- based on that first pic of Heath Ledger in costume?
LB:
I love it!!!!! From what little we've seen, I'm pretty excited. I mean, he took one of the most handsome young [COLOR=yellow! important][COLOR=yellow! important]actors[/COLOR][/COLOR] in Hollywood and just F-ed him up! THAT'S The Joker to me. A contradiction. Can't wait to see how Ledger portrays him in terms of the performance!


JETT: I totally dig it myself! I'm so very glad that they've decided to do something different. So, do you think Nolan and company were influenced by the drawing you did for BOF?

"The Joker" by Lee Bermejo for BATMAN ON FILM
LB:
I think that it's impossible to know these things unless you're Nolan and Co. I DO think that there are some similarities but all in all, someone once told me (and I find this to be VERY true) that ideas tend to “float” around at the same time. It depends on a lot of things... [COLOR=yellow! important][COLOR=yellow! important]pop [COLOR=yellow! important]culture[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] of the moment, social conditions, trends in fashion..... All in all, I think that they probably would have done the same thing even if I hadn't been drawing him this way. And trust me, for those people that hate the Heath Joker, I'm not passing the buck at all here. I'm proud of my interpretation of the character and IF it had any effect I can be nothing but flattered. I was fully aware that some people wouldn't like it at all when I did it. That's the beauty of these characters, though. They're so ripe for interpretation. That's one of the reasons they're still around and still so popular. Anybody who claims to “know” these characters just has an "idea" of what they want that character to be. This is their right, but it's not necessarily what they will always get.


JETT: So, what is “Lee Bermejo’s Joker?”
LB:
To me -- and I stress PERSONALLY -- The Joker is the definition of irony. The funny guy who isn't really funny. The un-happy clown. Like I said before, a living contradiction. I go back to the original appearance and a line in particular of description sticks with me. It's something to the effect of “a smile without joy.“ Then I think about the visual inspiration, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (a tragic character I might add who's face was “deformed” in a way) and it leads to some pretty interesting conclusions which can be interpreted in a few different ways.
Visually speaking, I don't think a cut-smile has anything to do with defining the character or not. The characteristcs I think are the MOST important to portray visually are these:
He has white skin…
He has red lips…
He has green hair…
He tells jokes that are not funny…
And, he kills people.
I think you got these elements and then you can go from there. He's become not only my favorite comics villain but my favorite character in general.


leebermejo_joker3.jpg

"The Joker" by Lee Bermejo


JETT: Well said. So, anything else you’d like to say to all the fans out there?
LB:</B> I think anybody who wants to “punch me in the face” or “kick me in the balls” should seek psychological help.
Really. ;)

JETT: (Laughs) Welcome to the club Lee! Thanks again my friend!


lee directly references a few hypesters. very interesting.
 
p.s. does anyone else think the new batsuit might look a whole lot like bermejo's version? clothlike but armoured?
 
Bejermo is spot on with everything he says. And describes what is wrong with fans who can't adapt, or break out of their narrow tunnel vision. His stuff on the mandatory requirments are excellent as well. Anything within those given mandated, you can have fun with, and put your own spin on it. Which Nolan has done.
 
Haha, I'm sorta referenced by Bermejo from that last statement. Cool. :o

In all seriousness, I respect his opinion and he's one hell of an artist, I just don't particularly care for his Joker design.
 
He's right though in what he says, Drexx. In the words of Selina Kyle: "You need therapy."
 
It's all jokes, and I'm sure he's well aware of it. :up:
 
Haha, I'm sorta referenced by Bermejo from that last statement. Cool. :o

In all seriousness, I respect his opinion and he's one hell of an artist, I just don't particularly care for his Joker design.

you are directly referenced. i mean he is quoting you, im sure of it! i love his stuff and i like the joker he did for BOF as an image but i like what nolan is doing alot more. less gore, more theatre.
 
It's all jokes, and I'm sure he's well aware of it. :up:
I think there was alittle bit of serious overtones to the playful joke. Anyway, both Nolan and Bejermo have insanely creepy interps of the Joker. Which is how he should be. You know? Insanely creepy to look at.
 
Great interview.

Sorry if I am out of the loop on this, lol ...

But that Joker pic drawn in b&w with the guy druged out infront of a plate of spaghetti ....
Is that artwork for a graphic novel in the making that hast been released yet ?
 
He wasn't drugged ... look at the hole in his chest, he was shot by the J-man. I'm telling you, that's my favorite pic of the Joker, and it isn't even from a comic book. Bejermo made it specifically, to give his input on what he'd like the new interpretation of the Joker to look like on the silver screen in Nolan's Batman franchise.
 
He wasn't drugged ... look at the hole in his chest, he was shot by the J-man. I'm telling you, that's my favorite pic of the Joker, and it isn't even from a comic book. Bejermo made it specifically, to give his input on what he'd like the new interpretation of the Joker to look like on the silver screen in Nolan's Batman franchise.

I see, I see.
I wasnt sure if that was a pic from the comic he's doing, thats why I asked.
And I know he's been shot ( but with what is the question cus his eyes say drugged up to me, lol ).
But yes, I know what you eman, thank you.

Any idea when this comic is supposed to come out ?
 
I see, I see.
I wasnt sure if that was a pic from the comic he's doing, thats why I asked.
And I know he's been shot ( but with what is the question cus his eyes say drugged up to me, lol ).
But yes, I know what you eman, thank you.

Any idea when this comic is supposed to come out ?

it's NOT from a comic
 
I thought that pic of The Joker and the dead guy with the spaghetti was the cover for the first issue of his new Joker miniseries with Azarello?
 
I still absolutley despise that first drawing. It's not even the cut smile that bugs me the most. It's the look on his face. He looks less sinister and creepy and more... down syndrome? He looks crazy, but the wrong kind of crazy.

Of course I still hate the cut smile, and the clothes, and the hair, and just about everything about that picture.
 
The guy is an okay artist, his design work leaves much to be desired. Not a fan (much like alot of people here).
 
Personally I think Bermejo's brilliant--probably my favorite artist.
 
Bermejo is a great artist, it's just that many people don't like his take on the Joker and I can understand that. To each their own.
 
Nice interview. I wasn't keen on his artwork a first but it's has grown on me.

HIs artwork he did on the mini-series about LEX LUTHER: MAN OF STEEL! was what got me to pick it up.

And I do agree with his assesment on the Joker:

He has white skin…
He has red lips…
He has green hair…
He tells jokes that are not funny…
And, he kills people.

That the Joker in a nutshell.
 
Joker is funny though. He made Batman laugh in The Killing Joke! :)
 
Bermejo is a great artist, it's just that many people don't like his take on the Joker and I can understand that. To each their own.
I really like Bermejo's overall style, but yeah, he tends to go a bit overboard in his images. It can be a good or bad thing, depending on your tastes. His Joker creeps the hell out of me.
 

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