Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Art From a Mugging

I know Paul Dini a wee bit, but I didn't know this.

... In 1993, [Mr. Dini], the co-creator of Batman villain Harley Quinn (being played by Margot Robbie in next summer’s Suicide Squad) and winner of several Emmys for writing Batman animated shows, was walking down La Peer Drive in Los Angeles one evening when two men approached him and mugged him. It was so bad that parts of his head were shattered – his zygomatic arch, for one — while parts of his skull “powdered on impact,” according to the doctors. He needed surgery.

Now, more than two decades later, Dini is revisiting that traumatic event with a highly personal graphic novel. Coming in June 2016, the book isn’t an indie but rather hails from DC’s imprint Vertigo and features the Caped Crusader and his rogues' gallery as a kind of Greek chorus. Titled Dark Night: A True Batman Story, it is one of the most autobiographical books ever published by the company. ...

Everybody is formed to a greater or lesser degree by their life experiences. (The old phrase, "Beaten children become child beaters," comes to mind.)

But it's admirable that Paul Dini has the strength of character to take something horrific and build. I doubt I could go within a country mile of an experience like that. I would blank it out, but Mr. Dini has built his art on it.


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