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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 69/100: Dark Night - A True Batman Story by Paul Dini

Dark Night: A True Batman Story - Paul Dini, Eduardo Risso

Around the Year Reading Challenge Item #46: A Crime Story


I am only a casual fan of Batman, but the credit for any of the fandom I have for the series goes back to Batman: The Animated Series from the nineties, which I still consider to be the best incarnation of Batman yet. So I was excited to read this graphic novel (memoir) about one of the original writers for the series, and his relationship with the Batman of his imagination.


I enjoyed this book, although it wasn't quite as phenomenal as I hoped it would be. I really liked getting a peek "behind the scenes" on the writing of the animated series, as well as the movie "Mask of the Phantasm," which Dini was working on when the attack depicted in this book takes place. I also liked the reflection on how fictional characters can become real to us, to the extent that they can actually influence our attitude and the outcome of our lives, as well as the look at how the life of the imagination can be disrupted, spoiled, and rebuilt after tragedy.


The art is appropriately gritty, dark, and realistic, although I felt that the female characters were more sexualized than was necessary. I also didn't particularly like the "framing" mechanism of having Dini "tell" the story to some unknown audience -- it seemed like a gimmick without there ever being a reveal on who his "listener" was, besides the reader.


Still, if you like graphic memoirs or comic books, I think this one brings something truly new to both genres.