"Beneath my grin, though, is just more grin! HA HA!"
To tell you the truth, I don't read much comic books, I was always more of a fan of the cartoon series based on those iconic comic book characters, especially my absolute favorite, "Batman: The Animated Series." However, there is one on-going series that I do read from time-to-time, and that's "Batman", written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Greg Capullo. I think these two have done a phenomenal job when this was rebooted (again) with introducing new villains, such as The Court of Owls, and revamping classic ones. The prime example of their amazing creativity is when they reintroduced the Joker after purposefully getting his face removed for motives unclear by Batman and his allies. Even with the slight make-over, he is the same Joker we know and love as he sought to bring chaos, misfortune, and laughs (in his own twisted sense of way of course) into Batman's life. There is still a lot of mystery behind the Joker in his featured story arcs, "Death of the Family" and "Endgame", but that's just one of the many things on why the Joker is such a fascinating villain. With Scott Snyder giving Joker the increasing complexity in his character and Greg Capullo providing the gruesomely beautifully artwork in his design, it's no wonder that the Joker continues to maintain his position as one of the most popular villains in history.
Needless to say, I felt inspired to draw this version of the Joker, especially that opening seen where the grinning, shadowy trickster stands in a pitch-black background, and from its completion, I learned several things about my own art style. Overall, I always tend to have clean lines in my artwork. I don't think I can ever measure up to the naturally gruesome details found in other people's art style, say Greg Capullo when he drew the hideous flesh off of Joker's flesh-carved mask. Still, this did give me a chance to explore some of the coloring and brushes I used in my Manga Studio program like that splattering effects around his face or the streaks in his hair thanks to the watercolor brush tool. Plus, it was a nice break from something else I was working on.