Rich Handley Author and Editor

New Essay Anthology Examines the History and Psyche of Batman’s Nemesis, the Joker

The Man Who Laughs: Exploring the Clown Prince of Crime is now available from Crazy 8 Press and editors Lou Tambone and Rich Handley.

October 2, 2023: In the complex, compelling mythos of DC Comics’ Batman, one character stands out among the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery: the Joker. As an icon of chaos and madness, portrayed in films and on television by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, Joaquin Phoenix, and others, the Joker is one of the most enigmatic villains in pop-culture history.

Editors Lou Tambone and Rich Handley have brought this endlessly hilarious and frequently terrifying evildoer to the forefront in their latest essay anthology, The Man Who Laughs: Exploring the Clown Prince of Crime. The long-time collaborators are well known for their insightful analyses and passion for pop culture.

Published by Crazy 8 Press (, The Man Who Laughs draws upon the expertise and knowledge of more than 20 essayists, including industry luminaries, historians, and scholars, and examines the character’s eight-decade evolution on print and onscreen. Each essay delves deeply into the psychology, humor, history, and cultural impact of DC’s Ace of Knaves. With a foreword and afterword by acclaimed Batman writers Bob Rozakis and Steve Englehart, the book is a must-read for fans of the Dark Knight’s world of crime and crimefighting.

Having crafted successful anthologies examining Battlestar Galactica, classic monsters, and DC’s John Constantine: Hellblazer, Handley and Tambone now turn their critical eye toward a character who has long fascinated and terrified audiences. Joining them on this journey are contributors Jim Beard, Joseph F. Berenato, Paul Cornish, Brian Cronin, Keith DeCandido, Jo Duffy, LaMarrison Forte, Michael Jan Friedman, Alex Galer, Bob Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Paul Kupperberg, Tom K. Mason, Bobby Nash, David Pipgras, Alan J. Porter, Aaron Rosenberg, Valentina Rossi, Duy Tano, and John Trumbull. And every insightful essay will put a smile on your face.

Key Highlights:

  1. In-Depth Character Analysis: The Man Who Laughs traces the Joker’s evolution from his earliest years to his modern-day comic, film, and television iterations.
  2. Historical Context: Through a detailed exploration of the Joker’s history and origins, the book offers a comprehensive understanding of the villain’s cultural significance.
  3. Critical Exploration: The anthology examines the Joker’s role as Batman’s arch-nemesis, his motivations as a trickster, comedian, and criminal, and his enduring appeal.
  4. Multiple Perspectives: The Man Who Laughs spotlights varied artistic styles and writing approaches, explaining the Joker’s lasting impact on the industry and on Batman’s history.

Lou Tambone ( has been published in anthologies covering Star Wars, Batman, Planet of the Apes, and The X-Files. His other editing and writing credits include The Cyberpunk Nexus: Exploring the Blade Runner Universe; Somewhere Beyond the Heavens: Exploring Battlestar Galactica; From Bayou to Abyss: Examining John Constantine, Hellblazer;and Musings on Monsters: Observations on the World of Classic Horror.

Rich Handley ( has written or edited dozens of books about Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Watchmen, Swamp Thing, Stargate, Dark Shadows, The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Back to the Future, and more. Rich edited Eaglemoss’s Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection and currently writes articles and short fiction for Titan’s Star Trek Explorer magazine.

Venture into the heart of madness as the dynamic duo of Handley and Tambone, with their team of respected experts, dissect the Joker’s fascinating world to find out what makes him tick—and what makes him laugh. Whether you’re a long-time fan or are just discovering the character, The Man Who Laughs: Exploring the Clown Prince of Crime promises an illuminating and entertaining experience. The anthology is available now from Crazy 8 Press and major book retailers. For ordering information and to view the table of contents, visit:

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Lou Tambone:
Rich Handley:

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