Ever since I saw the capabilities of Dall-E 2, I had this great experiment in mind – use a comic book script and compare it with the real comic book. Great idea, right?! So, the first thing that I did is went to the OpenAI Lab website ready to try it out. There I filled out the form and waited to get access to Dall-E 2. And waited, and waited. What seems like eons passed. During that period, Dall-E generated a cover for Cosmopolitan, Dall-E Mini was published on Hugging Face and I felt like I will never get to do my thing.

When I finally got access, all the projects that I worked on blew up and I couldn’t find the time to play around with Dall-E 2.  Finally, after what seemed like forever, I found some time and used it to try to recreate the comic book Killing Joke using the script written by Alan Moore. And yes, in case you were wondering the cover image for this article is created with Dall-E 2 and the prompt “Alan Moore being angry at his code while programming”. 

Ultimate Guide to Machine Learning with Python

This bundle of e-books is specially crafted for beginners.
Everything from Python basics to the deployment of Machine Learning algorithms to production in one place.
Become a Machine Learning Superhero 
TODAY!

Why do I want to do this experiment, you ask? Well, I grew up reading a bunch of comic books and even tried to write some of my own. Drawing comic books based on some scripts is a hard and long process. So, I wanted to see what kind of impact recent AI developments will have on this industry.

Picking a Comic Book

Now, I consider myself somewhat of a graphic novel/comic book fan. I am not a super fan, and I will not get wrapped up in the lengthy discussion about what is the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel (so I will use them interchangeably in this article), but let’s say that I have a collection of comic books that are very dear to me.

What a lot of people don’t know is that comic books are usually created by two creators – the first one writing a script and the second one drawing based on that script. Nowadays, more people are involved in the process, and there are artists which are just doing the coloring, the lettering, and so on, but these two are the main roles. That is why when people are stating their favorite comic book authors they are usually referring to the writer – the guy who wrote the comic book script.

neil gaiman - sandman

For example, the Sandman Overture that I hold in my hands in the image above is written by Neil Gaiman, but was illustrated by J. H. Williams III. So yes, Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, but also Grant Morission (dare I put his name in the Alan Moore article?), Warren Ellis (even though I guess he is canceled now, Transmetropolitan is still some of my favorites) and self-proclaimed wizard Alan Moore. So, why did I pick Alan Moore? There are a couple of reasons.

Writing Style

Well, when writing a comic book script, authors usually have two styles. The first one is more “free”, meaning the authors generally explain what is happening on each page, or panel without…well, over-obsessing about details. This style is too ambiguous for Dall-E 2 to make a good output. So, I picked another style – excruciatingly deitaled explanation of what is happening in each panel. Alan Moore is having this style. For example, here is description for one of the panels for the Youngblood:

NOW AN OVERHEAD SHOT, LOOKING DOWN AT THE DESK FROM ABOVE. ALL WE CAN SEE OF SENTINEL ARE HIS HANDS RESTING ON THE DESK DIRECTLY BENEATH US, THE REST OF HIS OFF-PANEL BELOW THE BOTTOM FRAME BORDER. HE HAS THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND CARDS OF FOUR APPLICANTS THAT HE LIKES SPREAD OUT IN FRONT OF HIM. ONE IS THE LOUNGE LIZARD, Two ARE  PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN CHARACTERS, A BROTHER AND SISTER VILLAIN/VILLAINESS TEAM CALLED POPPY AND SPEEDWELL, WHO I’LL BE DESCRIBING MORE FULLY LATER. BASICALLY, SPEEDWELL IS A YOUNGISH MALE SUPER SPEEDSTER WHO WEARS A BLUE COSTUNIE, WHILE POPPY IS A YOUNGISH FEMALE ILLUSIONIST WHO WEARS A RED AND BLACK COSTUME. THERE IS ALSO A PICTURE OF SUPREMA’S DEVILISH BETTY PAGE LOOKALIKE ADVERSARY SATANA, ALTHOUGH MAYBE THIS IS MOSTLY OBSCURED BY THE OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS SO IT’LL STILL BE A SUPRISE WHEN SATANA MAKES HER APPEARANCE ON PAGE FOUR. FROM THE TOP OF THE PANEL, MR. HOODS HAND COMES INTO VIEW AS HE PUTS DOWN THE FILE AND PHOTOGRAPH OF ATOMO ON THE DESK TO GO              THE OTHERS.             FIVE PICTURES ARE ARRANGED HIGGLEDY PIGGLEDY, IMMEDIATELY BELOW US. SENTNEL’S BALLOON ISSUES FROM OFF PANEL BELOW, WHERE HIS HANDS ARE COMING FROM. SENTINEL (OFF, BELOW) : Youngblood.
Alan Moore

Writer, Wizard, Mall Santa, Rasputin Impresonator

As you can, it is a pretty detailed description.

The other reason, of course, is that I love so many of Alan Moore’s novels and you are probably familiar with some of them too. For example, he is the author of V for Vendetta (he hates this movie adaptation), Watchmen (he hates this movie adaptation even more) and From Hell (I will not repeat myself). Finally, I know that there is a real danger of messing with Mr. Moore’s work, so hopefully, he will not summon Astaroth (yes, this is Jimmy’s End reference) or something to mess with me.

For this experiment, I have chosen Killing Joke. It is a cult Batman episode drawn by Brian Bolland, with a script that can be easily found online. Because recreating the whole comic book would be a hell of a work, I decided to recreate only the first page.  Here is the original page, which we want to recreate with Dall-E 2. Ok, let’s dive into it!

Batman - Killing Joke Page 1.

Generating Panel 1. with Dall-E

Alan Moore writes long descriptions. While this is really good if you are an illustrator, this is a problem for my experiment, because Dall-E 2 prompt length is not that big. Even the first panel which is a description of a puddle is lengthy. Here it is:

IN THIS FIRST PANEL, WE HAVE A TIGHT CLOSE-UP
OF THE SURFACE OF A PUDDLE. (SEE? AND THERE WERE YOU ALL WORRIED
THAT I WOULDN鈥橳 GIVE YOU ANYTHING FASCINATING TO DRAW.) WE ARE
SO CLOSE TO THE PUDDLE AS TO SEE IT ONLY AS AN ALMOST ABSTRACT
IMAGE OF WIDENING RIPPLES SPREADING ACROSS A SHADOWY AND
BLACK LIQUID SURFACE. IT IS NIGHT TIME, AND THE RIPPLES THAT WE
SEE IN THE FOREGROUND ARE CAUSED BY LARGE DROPLETS OF RAIN
THAT FALL THROUGH THE FOREGROUND IN DIAGONAL SLASHES. MAYBE
WE CAN SEE ONE DROPLET AS ITS PRECISE MOMENT OF IMPACT WITH THE
PUDDLE, SO CLOSE ARE WE TO IT. ALTHOUGH I DON鈥橳 SUPPOSE THAT THIS
INFORMATION WILL MAKE MUCH DIFFERENCE TO THIS CURRENT PANEL,
FOR YOUR FUTURE REFERENCE IT IS MID NOVEMBER AND BITTERLY
COLD. HERE, ALL WE SEE IS THE RAIN SPLASHING INTO THE PUDDLE AND
THE SILVERY WHITE RIPPLES SPREADING OUT ACROSS THE DARKNESS.
No Dialogue.
Alan Moore

Writer, Wizard, Mall Santa, Rasputin Impresonator

Here is how Mr. Bolland illustrated this first panel:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

Yes, it is a perfect representation of what mighty Alan described. However, as I predicted, the text is too long for Dall-E’s prompt. So, I had to cut it in order to get something that can be consumed by Dall-E. This is the best result that I’ve got:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

Even with this simple test, I immediately got the feeling that this will not go as smoothly as I thought it would. Apart from the problem with the length of the text, I realized that it is very hard to specify details in the image. For example, I failed to fulfill the requirement of “large droplets of rain that fall through the foreground in diagonal slashes”. Also, I failed to get the comic book quality of the image.  So, yeah, I was sure I was in for a bumpy ride.

Generating Panel 2. with Dall-E

The second panel confirmed my fears. Here is the description:
SAME SHOT, BUT NOW WE PULL BACK MAYBE A FOOT OR MORE SO THAT
WE CAN AT LEAST SEE A COUPLE OF THE PUDDLES EDGES, DEFINING IT AS
A PUDDLE AND GIVING US SOME SENSE OF ITS LOCATION. THE PUDDLE IS IN FACT SITUATED AT THE BASE OF ONE OF THE STONE PILLARS/GATE-POSTS THAT FRAME THE GATES OF ARKHAM ASYLUM, THESE PILLARS BEING SE INTO A BLACK RAILED FENCE OF WROUGHT IRON BEYOND WHICH ONLY DARK AND SHADOWY CYPRESS TREES, STRIPPED BY AUTUMN, ARE VISIBLE. IN THIS SECOND PANEL, WE CAN鈥橳 SEE VERY MUCH OF THIS..JUST THE ASE OF ONE OF THE STONE GATE POSTS AND A LITTLE OF THE ROAD SURFACE IMMEDIATELY OUTSIDE THE ASYLUM
GATES, WITH THE SIZEABLE PUDDLE RESTING IN AN INDENTATION THEREOF. THE RAIN IS STILL FALLING AND SPLASHING INTO THE PUDDLE, AND PERHAPS WE SEE AN AUTUMN LEAF BOWLING THROUGH THE PANEL SOMEWHERE. THE REAL POINT OF THIS PANEL IS THAT SUDDENLY, REFLECTED IN THE PUDDLE, WE SEE THE HEADLIGHTS OF A CAR THAT IS APPROACHING THE GATES FROM OFF-PANEL ABOVE. IN THE RIPPLED SURFACE OF THE PUDDLE, EVEN THOUGH THE LIGHTS ARE STILL IDENTIFIABLE AS REFLECTED HEADLIGHTS, THERE IS AN INTERESTING OSCILLATING DISPLAY OF LIQUID LIGHT AND SHADOW PATTERNS.
No Dialogue.
Alan Moore

Writer, Wizard, Mall Santa, Rasputin Impresonator

And here is the original illustration:
Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

And here is what I managed to get with Dall-E:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

The leaf, O MY GOD, the leaf. It caused me so much frustration. In general, getting Dall-E to focus on some detail, add detail, or position that detail and its correlation with the main elements of the image is hell. It is nice to do it for experiments and play around with it, but with the concrete description is so hard. Ok, let’s go to the next panel.

Here was the moment where I realized, that if these tools take over the industry, scripts are gonna get much much simpler. In general, I stripped away a lot of descriptions that Alan Moore put in and focused on the basics. Basically, everything that the writer does to pull the illustrator into the world he is creating would be gone. I have mixed feelings about that, to be honest.

Generating Panel 3. with Dall-E

By the third panel, I got my rhythm. I was aware of the problems and got ideas about the main pitfalls. Also, by this panel, I had to buy credits. Just a minor note to plan your budget if you want to make comic books this way. Anyhow, here is the description for the third panel:

WE PULL BACK STILL FURTHER SO THAT WE CAN SEE MOST OF THE STONE GATE PILLAR, THE BOTTOM OF WHICH WE SAW LAST PANEL, AND SO THAT WE CAN ALSO SEE THE OTHER PILLAR COMING INTO VIEW, UP IN THE RIGHT OF THE FOREGROUND, WE CANNOT SEE THE TOP OF THIS FOREGROUND PILLAR YET, OR THE METAL PLATE AFFIXED TO IT, BUT WE CAN NOW SEE THAT THE STONE PILLARS ARE ARRANGED ON EITHER SIDE OF A WROUGHT IRON GATE ONTO WHICH THE RAIN IS FALLING, DRIPPING MOURNFULLY FROM THE BLACK AND SINISTER IRONWORK. LOOKING BEYOND THE GATE AND ITS PILLARS WE CAN SEE THE RAILED IRON FENCE THAT THE GATE IS SET INTO STRETCHING AWAY TO THE END OF THE ROW, LOOKING BEYOND THE ROW OF RAILINGS AND INTO THE DARKNESS BEYOND WE CAN SEE THE APPROACHING HEADLIGHTS OF A LARGE DARK CAR. THE LIGHTS LOOK LIKE THE SMOULDERING AND WHITE HOT EYES OF SOME INSANELY VICIOUS AND POWERFUL NOCTURNAL PREDATOR, HISSING THROUGH THE RAIN TOWARDS THE ASYLUM GATES. IN THE PUDDLE, WHICH WE CAN SEE ALL OF NOW, THE HEADLIGHTS OF THE APPROACHING CAR ARE STILL VISIBLE, GETTING BIGGER AS THE CAR APPROACHES.
No Dialogue.
Alan Moore

Writer, Wizard, Mall Santa, Rasputin Impresonator

This panel was illustrated like this:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

However, I realized there are more problems than I expected. The first one is that style is not easily transferred between panels. What I managed in the first two panels was to get that art-school feel sort of unintentionally. I added the words comic book at the end of each prompt, but now it got kind of appeared useless.

I think here the problem arises from the words that are used and the way that the model is trained. If you turn up Alan Moore and use words like “mournfully” and “sinister”, you will end up with images that look like from the 1800s. On the other hand, if you even mention “Arkham Asylum”, you will end up with a more video game feel. For example, here is the result when you turn up the Moore:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

What is the text underneath? I have no idea. Where is the batmobile? I couldn’t get it in. However, after playing around I got something that resembles illustration in the comic book:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

Taking a break (part 1)

I got so happy that I got something substantial, so I decided to do something fun. Here is the prompt:

Alan Moore summoning Shaquille O’neal for a game of basketball

And here is the result:

Alan moore summoning shaquille o'neal for a game of basketball

Ah yes, that felt good. Back to work!

Generating Panel 4. with Dall-E

Ok, lets go to the panel 4:

NOW WE鈥橰E PROBABLY ON THE SECOND TIER. IN THIS PANEL WE HAVE PULLED BACK STILL FURTHER FROM THE PUDDLE SO THAT WE CAN SEE ALL OF THE STONE GATE POSTS, INCLUDING THE TOP OF THE ONE RIGHT IN THE RIGHT OF THE FOREGROUND, TO WHICH IS AFFIXED A CLEARLY VISIBLE METAL PLATE ENGRAVED WITH THE WORDS 鈥楢RKHAM ASYLUM FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE鈥. THE PLATE LOOKS A LITTLE OLD AND TARNISHED IN PLACES, AND THE RAIN BEATS AGAINST IT MERCILESSLY AS IT FALLS. MOVING CLOSER FROM THE BACKGROUND SINCE LAST PANEL, THE APPROACHING CAR HAS NOW MAYBE COME TO REST JUST OUTSIDE THE ASYLUM GATES, PERHAPS WITH ITS FRONT NEARSIDE TIRE ROLLING INTO THE PUDDLE AS IT COMES TO A HALT. THE HEADLIGHTS ARE GLARING STRAIGHT AT US, SO THAT ALL WE CAN REALLY SEE BEHIND THEM IS A SHADOWY BULK REPRESENTING THE CAR. EVEN SO, THERE IS SOMETHING ODD ABOUT THE CAR鈥橲 DESIGN THAT IS APPARENT EVEN THOUGH WE CAN ONLY SEE THE VAGUEST OUTLINE. THE CAR IS IN FACT THE BATMOBILE, AND IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE SORT OF TIMELESS EFFECT THAT WE鈥橰E AFTER I FIGURE WE SHOULD DESIGN A BATMOBILE THAT CONJURES THE BEST ELEMENTS OF OUR FAVOURITE VERSIONS. FOR MY PART, I ALWAYS LIKED THE FIFTIES VERSION, WITH THE LONG HOOD TERMINATING IN A BAT-FACED BATTERING RAM. MAYBE YOU COULD COMBINE THE BASIC CHUNKYNESS AND PERIOD CHARM OF SOMETHING LIKE THAT WITH SOMETHING A BIT MORE SINISTER AND FUTURISTIC. DRAGGING IN DESIGN ELEMENTS FROM THE 鈥楨IGHTIES AND 鈥楴INETIES, FOR EXAMPLE. AS LONG AS IT鈥橲 LONG AND BLACK AND DANGEROUS-LOOKING WITH A BIG FIN STICKING UP AT THE BACK THEN I鈥橪L BE CONTENT. ANYWAY, AS I SAID EARLIER, WE CAN鈥橳 SEE MUCH MORE OF THE HUGE CAR HERE THAN ITS SHAPE, CROUCHED THREATENINGLY BEHIND ITS HEADLIGHTS AS IT ROLLS TO A STANDSTILL OUTSIDE THE ASYLUM GATES.
No Dialogue
Alan Moore

Writer, Wizard, Mall Santa, Rasputin Impresonator

At this point, let me just say that script is fantastic. All my frustrations aside, I can imagine that if I would illustrate this I would be super into it. The atmosphere is built in such a great way. Here is how it looks in the comic book:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

This is the moment when I felt accomplished (well at least happier with what I got than in previous images). The feel was a bit like a comic book, and closer to the illustration. Even though it deviated in style from previous ones and had a huge bat in the sky. Hell, the bat in the sky is the plus from where I am standing. Here it is:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

Generating Panel 5. with Dall-E

Here we go, panel number five:

NOW WE CHANGE ANGLE SO THAT WE ARE STANDING BETWEEN THE BATMOBILE AND THE RAILED FENCE OF THE ASYLUM, WITH THE NOSE OF THE BATMOBILE POINTING AWAY FROM US FROM THE RIGHT OF THE FOREGROUND TOWARDS THE LEFT OF THE BACKGROUND, WHICH IS WHERE WE CAN SEE THE GATES OF THE ASYLUM SITUATED, THE HEADLIGHTS STILL GLITTERING UPON THE LARGE PUDDLE AT THE BASE OF THE NEAREST PILLAR. OVER IN THE RIGHT OF THE EXTREME FOREGROUND WE CAN SEE A LITTLE OF ONE DOOR OF THE BATMOBILE, INCLUDING THE HANDLE. OVER ON THE LEFT OF THE EXTREME FOREGROUND WE CAN SEE THE SCALLOPED BLACKNESS OF THE BATMAN鈥橲 CLOAK HANGING DOWN INTO THE PICTURE AS HE STANDS JUST OFF PANEL TO THE LEFT. WE CAN ALSO SEE ONE OF HIS LONG GREY ARMS, DENSELY MUSCLES, REACHIGN OUT THROUGH THE RAIN TOWARDS THE CAR DOOR, WHERE WE SEE HIS BLACK-FINNED GLOVE JUST PUSHING THE CAR DOOR CLOSED BEHIND HIM AS HE GETS OUT, STANDING BESIDE HIS VEHICLE AND GAZING TOWARDS THE ASYLUM GATES THAT WE HAVE SEEN IN THE BACKGROUND. THE GATES ARE CLOSED, BUT WE CAN NOT SEE ANY PADLOCK, SO PRESUMABLY THE GATES HAVE BEEN LEFT OPEN IN ANTICIPATION OF THE BATMAN鈥橲 ARRIVAL. PERHAPS WE SEE A COUPLE MORE LEAVES, TUMBLING FORLORNLY THROUGH THE WINDSWEPT NOVEMBER BACKGROUND. IN THE FOREGROUND, THE RAIN RUNS DOWN THE SLEEK AND SHINY BLACK METAL SIDES OF THE BATMOBILE, DRIPPING FROM THE ODDLY-SHAPED WING-MIRRORS.
No Dialogue.
Alan Moore

Writer, Wizard, Mall Santa, Rasputin Impresonator

And the illustration:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

This panel came straight from hell (pun intended)! I got so many failed attempts. I mean, what are these:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2
Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2
Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

Here is what I ended up with:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

Not great, not terrible! Considering other options, this was gold. I am not happy with its “realistic” feel but attempts to make it more comic book-y failed miserably. 

Generating Panel 6. with Dall-E

Ok, lets go to the panel 6:

WE ARE NOW ACTUALLY INSIDE THE GROUNDS OF THE ASYLUM, LOOKING DOWN ITS GENTLY CURVING FRONT DRIVEWAY TOWARD THE INSIDE OF THE GATES THAT WE SAW LAST PANEL. THE WET DRIVEWAY CLOSEST TO US IN THE EXTREME FOREGROUND REFLECTS A BLUISH LIGHT CAST BY SOME SOURCE OFF PANEL. LOOKING BEYOND THAT TOWARDS THE GATES, WE SEE THE WEIRD AND UNEARTHLY FIGURE OF THE BATMAN, SILHOUETTED AGAINST THE RAILS OF THE IRON GATE AS HE OPENS IT BY THE LIGHT OF THE STATIONARY BATMOBILE PARKED OFF-PANEL BEHIND HIM. ALL WE SEE OF THE BATMAN HERE AS HE SLIPS SILENTLY THROUGH THE GATE IS HIS SHAPE, WITH NO DETAIL VISIBLE AT ALL. BASICALLY, I DON鈥橳 WANT TO GIVE A GOOD CLEAR SHOT OF THE BATMAN鈥橲 FACE UNTIL PANEL 4 OF PAGE 5, SO UNTIL THEN WE鈥橪L HAVE TO RUN THROUGH A REPERTOIRE OF TRICK SHOTS AND SHADOWY SCENES WHICH I THINK I HAVE PRETTY WELL WORKED OUT. IN THIS CURRENT PANEL, ALL WE SEE IS HIS UNMISTAKABLE SHAPE AGAINST THE WROUGHT IRON METAL WORK AS HE ENTERS THE GROUNDS OF THE ASYLUM, THE LONG CAPE FLAPPING DISMALLY IN THE NOVEMBER WIND. RAIN STILL FALLS IN SLASHES THROUGH THE FOREGROUND, BOUNCING UP FROM THE SMOOTH ASPHALT OF THE DRIVEWAY.
No Dialogue.
Alan Moore

Writer, Wizard, Mall Santa, Rasputin Impresonator

And the illustration is here:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

This one was not too hard to get, but I was not very happy about it. It goes well with the previous image, but I was still not able to reproduce the success from panel 4. when it comes to style.

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

Taking a break (part 2)

Alright, I finished two-thirds of the page, so I decided to spend some of the credits on pure fun. So here is the image of Alan Moore anchoring news with Glycon: 

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

Generating Panels 7, 8 and 9. with Dall-E

Let’s bring this home! I am putting panels 7 , 8 and 9 together because they were more of the same. Picking up the text from the script, removing long descriptions so they can fit the prompt and that Dall-E can “focus” properly. I wanted to leave 9 out of this chapter because…well because it…Let’s put it like this if you want to see some really weird photos of Commissioner Gordon giving coffee to something that looks like the weirdest Batman ever, shoot me a mail. Here are the descriptions of panels 7, 8 and, respectively:

(PANEL) 7.
REVERSE OUR ANGLE AGAIN, SO THAT THE OPEN ASYLUM GATE IS NOW IN THE EXTREME FOREGROUND WITH RAIN DRIPPING FROM THE PEELING IRONWORK. LOOKING THROUGH THE OPEN GATE AND AWAY UP THE DRIVE TOWARDS THE ASYLUM鈥橲 MAIN BUILDING, WE SEE A REAR VIEW OF THE BATMAN AS HE WALKS SOLEMNLY UP THE DRIVE AWAY FROM US, THROUGH THE RAIN. HIS CAPE FLAPS ABOUT HIM, IT鈥橲 SHARP BLACK TIPS TRAILING THROUGH THE PUDDLES AT HIS FEET AS HE WALKS. HIS BACK IS TURNED TO US, SO THAT WE CANNOT SEE HIS FACE, BUT WE GET A SENSE OF HIS BUILD. HE IS BROAD SHOULDERED, WITH A MASSIVE CHEST AND ENOUGH SLAB-LIKE MUSCLE ON THE REST OF HIS PHYSIQUE TO SUPPORT IT. AS I SEE BATMAN HE ISN鈥橳 LITHE AND ATHLETIC- LOOKING. HE鈥橲 A VERY BIG MAN, AND THE FACT THAT HE IS CAPABLE OF SUCH STUNNING ATHLETICS DESPITE HIS SIZE IS WHAT IS REMARKABLE ABOUT HIM. HE IS FAST, AGILE, INTELLIGENT AND HIDEOUSLY POWERFUL IN TERMS OF PHYSICAL STRENGTH, AND I WANT HIS PHYSIQUE TO ECHO THIS IRON HARDNESS. I THINK THAT BATMAN HAS SUFFERED A LITTLE FROM HIS PROXIMITY WITH SUPERMAN IN THAT ARTISTS AND WRITERS HAVE PERHAPS FELT COMPELLED TO PLAY UP HIS INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY, KNOWING THAT HE CAN鈥橳 COMPETE MUSCLE-FOR-MUSCLE WITH SUPERMAN. HERE, I鈥橠 LIKE TO RESTORE SOME OF THE BUILT-LIKE-A-BRICK-SHITHOUSE BATMAN THAT I FONDLY REMEMBER FROM MY BOYHOOD. LOOKING BEYOND HIM HERE AS HE WALKS AWAY UP THE DRIVE AWAY FROM US THROUGH THE RAIN WE CAN SEE THAT THERE IS A POLICE CAR PARKED UP AT THE END OF THE DRIVE, RIGHT OUTSIDE THE STEPS THAT LEAD UP TO THE DOUBLE DOORS OF THE ASYLUM鈥橲 MAIN ENTRANCE. IT鈥橲 BLUE LIGHT IS ONE (HENCE THE SOURCE OF THE BLUE LIGHT OFF PANEL IN THE FOREGROUND LAST PANEL) AND WE CAN SEE THERE ARE TWO DARK FIGURES LEANING UP AGAINST ITS SIDE AND FACING US, EVEN THOUGH WE CAN鈥橳 SEE WHO THEY ARE HERE. I FIGURE THAT THE BLUE LIGHT ATOP THE POLICE CAR MIGHT PLAY INTERESTINGLY AROUND THE EDGES OF THE BATMAN鈥橲 BIZARRE SILHOUETTE AS HE WALKS TOWARDS THE PARKED CAR AND THE ASYLUM DOORS BEYOND. THE TWO FIGURES, WHO PROBABLY WON鈥橳 BE VERY VISIBLE HERE, ARE COMMISSIONER GORDON AND A UNIFORMED PATROLMAN. GORDON LEANS AGAINST THE SIDE OF THE PARKED CAR AND SIPS A PLASTIC CUP FULL OF STEAMING COFFEE WHILE THE PATROLMAN STAND MORE UPRIGHT AND ALERT, PROBABLY IN AN AT-EASE POSITION. ALL OF THIS DETAIL, INCLUDING THE IDENTITIES OF THE TWO MEN, WILL NOT BE APPARENT HERE, BUT I鈥橫 GIVING IT TO YOU FOR FUTURE REFERENCE. BEHIND THE PARKED CAR THE ILLUMINATED AND WEIRD FA脟ADE OF ARKHAM ASYLUM RISES US, ITS WINDOWS OMINOUSLY BARRED.
No Dialogue.
(PANEL) 8.
NOW WE ARE EVEN CLOSER TO THE POLICE CAR, LOOKING AT IT SIDE-ON SO THAT WE SEE THE UNIFORMED OFFICER STANDING FACE ON TO US OVER ON THE LEFT AS HE STANDS WITH HIS BACK TO THE CAR AND COMMISSIONER GORDON FACE-ON OVER TO THE RIGHT, LEANING AGAINST THE CAR AND DRNKING HIS STEAMING COFFEE, MAYBE LOOKING UP WITH A QUIZZICAL AND CONCERNED LOOK OVER THE RIM OF HIS CUP TOWARDS THE EXTREME LEFT OF THE FOREGROUND, WHERE WE CAN SEE THE BATMAN ENTERING THE PICTURE FROM THE LEFT, IN PROFILE. SINCE BATMAN IS (a) CLOSER TO US AND (b) TALLER THAN EITHER THE COMMISSIONER OR THE PATROLMAN IN THE BACKGROUND WE CANNOT SEE THE TOP OF HIS HEAD HERE ABOVE THE BOTTOM OF THE NOSE AS THE FRONT OF HIM ENTERS THE PANEL ON THE LEFT. HIS EYES AND UPPER HEAD ARE INVISIBLE BEYOND THE TOP PANEL BORDER AND ALL WE CAN REALLY SEE IS HIS MOUTH, WITH THE BIG AND DETERMINED SQUARE JAW AND THE GRIM AND DISAPPROVING SCOWL OF THE LIPS. THE BATMAN DOES NOT APPEAR FROM HIS POSTURE TO SO MUCH AS GLANCE AT EITHER GORDON OR THE PARTOLMAN AS HE WALKS PAST THEM EVEN THROUGH BOTH OF THEM STEAL GLANCES AT HIM WITH DIFFERING LOOKS OF UNEASE. THE PARTOLMAN LOOKS UNEASY JUST TO BE IN THE BATMAN鈥橲 PRESENCE, WHILE GORDON LOOKS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE BATMAN鈥橲 POSSIBLE STATE OF MIND. RAIN DRIPS FROM EVERYTHING, INCLUDING THE BATMAN鈥橲 JUTTING AND GRIZZLED CHIN. GORDON GIVES THE LARGELY-OFF-PANEL VIGILANTE A PENETRATING LOOK OVER HIS COFFEE CUP, AND THE BLUE LIGHT ATOP THE CAR WASHES OVER ALL OF THEM AS IT CIRCLES.
No Dialogue.
 
9.
SAME SHOT EXACTLY, ONLY NOW THE BATMAN HAS WALKED ACROSS THE PANEL AND IS ABOUT TO DISAPPEAR OFF THE RIGHT HAND SIDE, WITH ONLY THE BACK OF HIS COSTUME VISIBLE HERE AS HE DOES SO, HIS FACE ALREADY VANISHED OFF THE RIGHT OF THE PANEL. IMMEDIATELY BEYOND HIM, POLICE COMMISSIONER GORDON STARTS TO STRAIGHTEN UP AWAY FROM THE SIDE OF THE PARKED POLICE VEHICLE, HANDING THE HALF-FULL COFFEE CUP TO THE SURPRISED-LOOKING PATROLMAN WITHOUT LOOKING AT HIM AS HE PREPARES TO FOLLOW THE BATMAN OFF-PANEL. THE SILVER HAIRED AND TRENCHCOATED FIGURE OF THE COMMISSIONER DOESN鈥橳 TAKE HIS YES OFF THE BATMAN FOR AN INSTANT AS HE PREPARES TO FOLLOW HIM UP THE STEPS AND INTO THE INTERIOR OF THE ASYLUM. THE PATROLMAN LOOKS BEMUSED AS HE TAKES THE STEAMING CUP UNQUESTIONINGLY FROM THE POLICE COMMISSIONER鈥橲 HAND. BATMAN WALKS SILENTLY ON WITHOUT SAYING A WORD.
Alan Moore

Writer, Wizard, Mall Santa, Rasputin Impresonator

And here are their illustrations:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

Aaaaaand my results:

Alan Moore - Killing Joke Generated with OpenAI Dall-E 2

What I couldn’t do no matter how hard I tried is to get Batman or his cape in the final two panels.

Final Result and Conclusion

So, here is the comparison. 

You can see that the one I really liked (panel 4) really messes up the style here. So, I will probably work some more on it.

In general, I really liked the experiment. There are two major thoughts I have here. The first one is – there will definitely be a niche of AI-generated comic books, both scripts and illustrations. My feeling is that their style will be similar, at least in the beginning. Transferring a specific style from one panel to another is going to be tricky, but that might be solved sooner than later. Maybe there will be a way to “lock” the style, something like with StyleGAN. For now, I can see this as a tool that might assist authors to visualize their scripts better, and for illustrators to shorten their work by generating some details for each panel.

The second one is – I don’t want to be gloomy about this, but all the things we love about scripts might be put aside for short descriptions that can be generated with AI. I can see a future where comic book author uses tools to generate script based on a few keywords (take any GPT-3, T5 or whatnot) and then use another tool to generate illustrations, like Dall-E for example. Looking even more into the future, the author itself might be made obsolete and an infinite amount of content might be created in this automatic loop.

Thanks for reading!

Ultimate Guide to Machine Learning with Python

This bundle of e-books is specially crafted for beginners.
Everything from Python basics to the deployment of Machine Learning algorithms to production in one place.
Become a Machine Learning Superhero 
TODAY!

Ultimate Guide to Machine Learning with Python

Everything from Python basics to the deployment of Machine Learning algorithms to production in one place.

Become a Machine Learning Superhero聽TODAY!