The Success of ‘The Long Halloween’

The success of the Halloween specials led to the creative duo to make one of the most seminal Batman stories of all time: Batman: The Long Halloween. The runaway success of this maxi-series launched both Loeb and Sale into comic book superstardom. It also spawned two highly-successful follow-ups Dark Victory and Catwoman: When in Rome.

Sale went on to do a number of successful projects-with and without Loeb, including a return to Grendel: Black, White and Red. One of the stories from the anthology series won and Eisner for Best Short Story. With Jeph Loeb once again, he also drew Superman For All Seasons, which garnered him an Eisner Award for Best Penciler/ Inker.

Both Loeb and Sale then hopped over to Marvel, where they created the “color series” of stories that featured various characters: Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray, and Captain America: White. After various other projects, including creating art for the superhero-themed television show Heroes and being the cover artist for Detective Comics, the creative duo returned to The Long Halloween. Most recently they produced The Long Halloween Special to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the seminal series. As it turns out, the Special was Sale’s last published work for DC Comics.

Tim Sale has left an artistic legacy on not just Batman, but the comic book medium in general. In a time when comic art is drifting towards hyper-realism, Sale’s art leans in a more impressionistic style. He elected to draw disproportionate figures or images that served the drama of a story. His Batman is always a huge swath of black and his Joker is grotesquely ugly with the hundred crooked long teeth in his mouth. It asks the readers to “feel” the art and visually connect the dots so to speak, instead of relying on the literal interpretation of what’s on the page.

On behalf of Dark Knight News, Sale’s unique style will be missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

To read DKN’s deep analysis of Sale’s The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, click here and here.

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