So in light of the new movie about the Joker coming out these days (And breaks the box office), here’s a particularly interesting and disturbing fact – see you warned.
LET’S PUT A SMILE ON THAT FACE
Did you know that the Joker is based on a real person?
Well, not exactly.
The Joker concept is based on a book called “The Laughing Man” by Victor Hugo of 1869 (the same famous Victor Hugo who also authored “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”).
The hero of the book, Gwynplaine, was sold as a child to Comprachicos, is a compound Spanish neologism meaning “child-buyers”, people who would buy children and cast various defects, including cuts to their faces so that they could not stop smiling, making them clowns in the various aristocracy.
The book, which was not one of Victor Hugo’s most successful, nevertheless gained a resurgence in 1928 on the movie screen as a German silent film starring actor Conrad Veidt.
The famous actor who did not corrupt his face of course for the film smiled a disturbing smile, some would say on the boundary of the psychotic, throughout every scene in the film.
The film has been criticized for being too dark, except for the bright cast, most notably the smiling and smiling face of Gwynplaine.
In 1940, history’s made.
Comic book writers Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and Jerry Robinson decided to turn classic detective books into something different and special, bringing out the first edition of Batman, in which they added a number of enemies including the most famous, the Joker.
Bonus Fact 1
In an interview with comic bookmakers in 1944, the three comic book writers said that while thinking about the character Jerry (one of the writers) held a Joker card in his hands. Bill came up to him with a signed photo of Conrad Weidt and told him “here’s your joker.”
Bonus Fact 2
The smile that was cut on the Joker’s face was called “Glasgow Smile.”
Glasgow Smile is a wound caused by making small cuts in the corners of the victim’s mouth, and after stabbing or beating, his facial muscles contract – causing the cuts to expand toward the victim’s life, and sometimes to his ears. These cuts leave smile-shaped scars, hence the name (from Wikipedia).
Bonus Fact 3
In 2005, a Batman comic was released called “Batman – The Laughing Man,” which tells the story of Batman and the Joker’s first meeting. The comic name is a tribute to Victor Hugo’s novel.