DC’s newest original middle-grade graphic novel will be a pet caper starring Jester, the Joker’s dog. Barkham Asylum, by Yehudi Mercado, is set in the pound where supervillains’ henchpets are sent when their masters are in Arkham Asylum. Jester winds up in the pound along with a stray cat, Penny. Despite a rocky start, the pair teams up to enter the Barkham talent show, because that’s the only way to get a visit with the Joker, and only the Joker can help them foil the plans of the evil Dr. Hugo Mange.

“When crafting this graphic novel, I pulled some inspiration from my own experience growing up,” Mercado said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “I was a class clown in school and as a result of that, I spent a lot of time in detention. So I can kind of relate to the lead dog, Jester, in my own way.

Mercado is also the creator of Shazam! Thundercrack (see “DC Lines Up Middle-Grade and YA Graphic Novels for 2022 (and Beyond)”).

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