The New Middle-Grade Book Begs the Question: “Is The Joker’s Dog Jester a Good Boy?”


Don’t make these pets paw for your attention! The mischievous pets of Gotham’s Super-Villains are uniting for an escape adventure in the new DC middle-grade graphic novel Barkham Asylum, created by writer and artist Yehudi Mercado (Shazam! Thundercrack), available wherever books are sold on February 6, 2024.

Barkham Asylum

Barkham Asylum lineup art by Yehudi Mercado

When the Super-Villains of Gotham get thrown into Arkham Asylum, their henchpets go to the maximum-security pound known as Barkham Asylum. Fur flies when Jester, The Joker’s dog, gets a tough-talking stray cat named Penny tossed into lockup with him. But they’ll have to work together to figure out what the evil Dr. Hugo Mange is up to. And the only way to stop this terrifying team-up is to win the talent show and get visitation with their masters at Arkham on the hill. Because the Joker is sure to help! What could go wrong with that plan?

Barkham Asylum
Barkham Asylum

Preview pages from Barkham Asylum; art by Yehudi Mercado


“When crafting this graphic novel, I pulled some inspiration from my own experience growing up,” said creator Yehudi Mercado. “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.

“All Jester wants is to make people laugh, so in his mind, his master isn’t such a bad guy. Locked up with him is an innocent stray cat named Penny, a loner who rejects Jester’s request to join his pack. But if they’re going to get out of this mess, they will have to team up. And if a stray cat and The Joker’s dog can get along, then maybe there’s hope for all of us!”

DC’s Barkham Asylum, a middle grade book for readers ages 8-12 by writer and artist Yehudi Mercado, will be released on February 6, 2024 wherever books are sold.

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