Who'd have thought that the Chicago Tribune could tell me something about comic books that I didn't know?
A fanboy at a comic con? Yes.
The Chicago Tribune? Who'da thunk it?
In a photo spread on The Joker, I learned that the Clown Prince of Crime was inspired by the lead character Gwynplaine (played by Conrad Veidt) in the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo.
Heath Ledgers's Joker looks frightening as Hell, but as you can see from this pic, Conrad Veidt's Gwynplaine, with his white skin, slicked back hair, angular face and maniacal smile, really IS The Joker.
And I love it!
Incidentally, Mr. Veidt also played Major Heinrich Strasser in Casasblanca, my favorite movie, so he's sort of the connection between my love of old movies and my love of comic books.
What a career. A major role in Casablanca. The inspiration for The Joker...
If he was still alive, I would TOTALLY date him. Seeing as how I'm "easy" - - Easy like Sunday morning - - that's not saying much, but still...