Pen and Ink Caricatured Portrait of Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker.

I had wanted to do this caricature of Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker for the last ten days – ever since I watched the movie.

Caricature portrait of Joaquin Phoenix as Joker of the Batman movies - a Pen and Ink Drawing.

Joaquin Phoenix: The Joker – Pen and Ink of Strathmore 9″x12″ Acid Free Art paper.

As you can see, I’ve added a couple of things here – one is the thoughtful posture (aided by a gloved hand,) and a cartoon jester/joker – the Joker’s alter-ego. The cartoon jester is the one with whom The Joker shares his plans and ideas – he is the one who is forever happy and playful – and while The Joker must plan his crimes, the cartoon jester is only a sounding board for his ideas.

About The Jokers of the Bat Man movies

We’ve seen four Jokers (if we discount the animated one in the Killing Joke,) played by Jack Nicholson (Batman,) Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight,) Jared Leto (Suicide Squad,) and now Joaquin Phoenix (The Joker.)

Note: Never did Heath Ledger’s portrait/caricature but I might do one now. However, here’s a Jack Nicholson caricature i did years ago.

Caricature or cartoon of Jack Nicholson, the Hollywood actor, and two enterprising birds.

The Secret is Out – This is How Jack Nicholson Accomplishes it!

My personal favorite still is Heath Ledger’s rendition of the Joker, but recently I happened to watch Joaquin Phoenix in The Joker – and now I find it difficult to choose.

My Mental Image of the Joker before The Joker

I had always thought of The Joker as a comic book villain, who liked killing people and playing (death) games with Batman. I have imagined Joker as someone who had a grouse against Batman, who was clearly his antithesis in every possible way.

  • Batman grew up rich, the Joker didn’t.
  • Batman is sane, the Joker has mental issues.
  • Batman is handsome, the Joker is not.
  • Batman fights to save the innocent, the Joker lives to kill the innocents.

So, Joker = !Batman

Why I Liked The Joker Movie (Even though it drained me.)

It was interesting (though draining) to watch The Joker (2019.) For one, it breaks the stereotype of forever-right – however-wronged women. I’m fedup of women being painted as saints and fairies who never do wrong, never lie, never cheat, never fool men – and who are always the exploited and never the exploiter. Though presented meekly (under the garb of mental illness,) The Jokers shows us a manipulative woman as Joker’s mother. I think that this itself was an act of courage on the part of the creators.

What I loved about the Joker in The Joker movie

The other thing that I loved about Joker (2019) is just the opposite of what I loved about Heath Ledger’s Joker, which was his supreme, almost ridiculous caricaturization of his character. Heath Ledger’s  joker fascinated me everything – his dress, his slurping and touching his facial deformations with his tongue, his walk, his intense look.

Joaquin Phoenix, on the other hand, mesmerized me by the intensity of his performance. He was real. He felt it all – and then he transferred all those horrific feelings to the viewers.

Ben Affleck as Batman – A Caricature of Ben Affleck vs. A Caricature of Batman.

As a woman I not expected to talk about Batman, but as a caricaturist I couldn’t care less about what I am expected to do, so here are my two cents about the recent controversy about Ben Affleck playing Batman.

I admit that I’ve never caricatured Ben Affleck, but I may put him on my hit-list when he becomes the Batman, because then I’ll just have to draw him as-is – and voila, I’ll have a caricature of Ben Affleck AND Batman – two characters rolled into one 🙂
Let me be honest. I think that the Batman costume is enough to transform even the manliest of men into…ah…well…BATS!

Why Batman’s Costume freaks me out?

The costume creeps me out for three reasons:
  1. It’s black and gold. In my opinion, this combination can look good only on a fair-complexioned woman. I understand the logic – bats are black – Granted.  But then why is the utility belt all golden?  Do bats wear golden belts?
  2. It’s got those two cat-ears jutting up – why? What purpose do they serve, except making Batman look like more like a Catman than a Batman? Check out the ears of a bat here, and those of a cat here. I mean, just because they didn’t want Batman look like a gremlin, they twisted the ears sideways.
  3. The gaping hole in the cap (or head-shroud or whatever else it’s called.) Remember the only hole in the costume where Batman’s mouth fits in. Now if Spiderman can talk through the spandex costume that he wears, why did Batman need this wide hole that exposes his cheeks, chin, nose, and jaw? I think it was designed to make it easier for him to kiss women, when he wasn’t fighting the Joker. (Actually, that makes me wonder whether his costume has a zipper camouflaged with a black fly? What if he has to take a leak at a time when he’s trying save his city from the Joker’s wrath?)
But then these things don’t matter. What matters is that the selection of Batman has historically never gone down well with his fans.

Actors who’ve played Batman in the past – through my Distorted Lenses.

  • Remember Michael Keaton? If he could be Batman with the Koala face that he borrowed from Sheldon and never returned, what’s wrong with Affleck?
  • Remember Val Kilmer as Batman? He could’ve been the coolest Batman – and everyone was cool about his becoming Batman,  but it didn’t work out at all, did it?
  • Then you had George Clooney filling in the shoes? George Clooney?!! Really?  Ten years from now or even five, Ben Affleck would have mutated completely into George Clooney – so if GC has been the Batman – what’s wrong with Ben Affleck?
  • Oh, and then came Christian Bale. There are horror tales of people tearing up the seats in the halls so that they may use the sponge to stopper their ears. They hated his voice. Now look. Who’s swooning, drooling, and dribbling all over Mr. Bale?
(Actually, there were three others who also played Batman, but they belonged to another era. They were:
  • Robert Lowrey (I’ve no idea…honestly.)
  • Adam West (the Batman who batted the longest.)
  • Lewis G Wilson (the first Batman who was short and stocky.)
 (info garnered from where else but the DenofGeek.)

So what’s wrong with Ben Affleck?

  • True, he looks more like a banker than a storehouse of steroids, but then Michael Keaton has that used-car-salesman look about him – yet he did okay.
  • True, he doesn’t look athletic, but then Clooney didn’t either. And honestly, there’s nothing that can’t be handled through CG effects. In fact, I’ve not been spotted yet, or I could be Batman.
  • True, his voice has the Boston Accent (I wish I knew what that sounded like – but I am tone-deaf.) But then Bale’s voice had an alien bass, and now we’re drooling all over him – wondering why he threw the offer of $50M (Gosh!)
 
I think we get used to seeing them – the way they make us see them. I know the Ben Affleck will look like this unreal, batty character when he dons that suit – but then that’s what we expect from Batman, don’t we?