The POP Cover Of The Week looks like a Ghost in the Machine: "Joker: Killer Smile, Book Two"

Joker: Killer Smile, Book Two, DC Black Label, Cover by Andrea Sorrentino.

Isn’t it funny (heh) how the Joker keeps popping up (heh-heh) as a POP Cover Of The Week? Yes, there are a lot of Joker comics out now, as the character continues to grow to new heights in popularity, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the comics and their covers will be brilliant…but they are!

Joker: Killer Smile is another excellent comic exploring the life and psyche of the Joker; this time the story centers on a world-renowned psychotherapist determined to be the first to properly diagnose the ever-shifting and psychotic mind of the Joker. The covers mirror this metaphor effectively.

The covers of Books One and Two have been meticulously designed by artist Andrea Sorrentino with small colored dots that give the Joker portraits the appearance of being on a monitor screen. It is a technique my college Art History teacher would have called (with an exaggerated French accent) trompe l’oeil—“deceives the eye”—a visual trick or joke. Whether intentional or not, the art technique is heightened when the cover art is viewed on an actual monitor screen; a Moire pattern is formed, another trick of the eye, that makes the art seem to shift and move, and look 3D. The effect has a different appearance when the cover is viewed at various sizes.

The cover design and technique is a brilliant metaphor for the Joker becoming a Ghost in the Machine in the story, in this case, the machine being the mind of the therapist the Joker’s madness is invading. Andrea Sorrentino has been knocking the cover (heh-heh-heh) off the ball lately with her cover concepts for this book and for Gideon Falls.

Even the comic title and creative credits are rendered in a off-kilter, pixelated font, fitting in with the monitor technique.

So far, the two portraits have been different aspects of the Joker’s persona…I think perhaps they may be showing his evolution/descent into madness. The release of Book Three will confirm or deny that theory. Experiment with viewing this POP Cover Of The Week online in different sizes, and experience the visual trick for yourself.

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