The Man who Laughs
illustrated by Mark Stafford, original author Victor Hugo, David Hine
Victor Hugo's scathing indictment of the injustice and inequality within Britain's political system tells a story of abduction, mutilation, loss and prejudice. The narrative follows Gwynplaine, the two-year-old heir to a rebel lord, who is abducted upon the orders of a vindictive monarch, who has him mutilated (to produce a permanent, grisly smile), then abandoned. After years of living frugally he is re-introduced to the aristocratic life, and resolves to become the voice of the voiceless, whether he is heard or not.
David Hine has worked in comics since the 1980s, and has written for DC (Batman: Detective Comics, Arkham Unhinged; Deathstroke: Faces of Evil), Marvel (Spider-man Noir, X-Men, Silent War), 2000 AD (Tao De Moto). It was during his work on Batman that he discovered the appearance of the Joker was based upon Gwynplaine's likeness in the 1928 film adaptation of The Man Who Laughs. Mark Stafford is a cartoonist in residence at the Cartoon Museum. He has collaborated with Bryan Talbot on the second Cherubs! graphic novel, painting dead hillbillies and writing about cinema for Electric Sheep magazine. Stafford previously collaborated with Hine on The Colour Out of Space for SelfMadeHero's critically-acclaimed Lovecraft Anthology Vol. I. Victor Hugo was one of the most prominent French writers and political figures of the 19th century. Known for his most famous works Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, he is also considered by some to be the greatest French poet. A staunch republican, Hugo lived much of his life in exile.