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The Man Who Laughs

Words by David Hine

Art by Mark Stafford

Paperback with flaps, 168 pp, $19.95

London, 1705. As a surrogate family of strolling players enact their nightly performance of Chaos Vanquished, a message in a bottle, washed up after years at sea, threatens to bring chaos once again to each of their lives. To the aging quack in charge of the troupe; to its blind and beautiful leading lady; and to Gwynplaine, the virtuous young actor whose inner nobility is masked by the mutilated face by which a grotesque, perverse and corrupt society defines him: "The Man Who Laughs".

In David Hine and Mark Stafford's adaptation, Victor Hugo's impassioned, outrageous and bizarre 19th-century novel – the inspiration behind The Joker in Batman – has found an ideal new form.

Mark Stafford

Mark Stafford writes, paints and draws. He is co-creator of the Cherubs! graphic novel with Bryan Talbot, and previously collaborated with Dave Hine on 'The Colour Out Of Space' for SelfMadeHero's The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume I. He is the longstanding cartoonist-in-residence at The Cartoon Museum, London, and writes about cinema for Electric Sheep magazine.

David Hine

David Hine has been working in comics since the early 1980s. After his graphic novel Strange Embrace was published in the US, he was hired by Marvel to write several series, including District X, Daredevil: Redemption, Silent War and Spider-Man Noir. He also created Poison Candy for Tokyopop and The Bulletproof Coffin (with Shaky Kane) for Image. Recent work includes The FVZA for Radical and numerous books for DC, including Batman: Detective Comics, Azrael and The Spirit. He adapted the story 'The Colour Out of Space' for SelfMadeHero's The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume I.


"Passionate and perversely beautiful."
— Q Magazine
"An absolutely stunning and grotesque new work."
— Boing Boing
"It'll make you smile, but darkly."
— Washington Post