“Furillen City Is …”

exhibition 2

Furillen City has been open since the beginning of April, and as ever, the Flickr stream has been busy, with some excellent pictures taken by some very talented visitors. We decided to mark the first month with an exhibition of our favourites, which will open in the massive Trident Intercontinental Shipping Hangar – quite radically modified as an exhibition space – next Tuesday, 2nd May.

We will be holding similar shows for pictures of the ground part of the sim  – and will be re-opening the gallery on that level specifically for the purpose when the time comes – in the near future. Look out for notices about this, and if you are a photographer yourself, an invitation to participate.

For geeks, the title of this particular show is a reference to the very first page of the very first volume of one of the most successful recent ‘resets’ of the Batman series, and one of my own personal favourites, The New 52. Here it is …

gotham is

Joker’s Funland

funland 01_001

I rather like the fact that every Batman villain has his or her own origin story – sometimes several – which explains (but rarely completely justifies) how they turned villainous. The Joker is a case in point. His backstory is brilliantly told by Alan Moore in The Killing Joke.

killing joke

Originally a lab assistant and then a failing (and therefore poor) stand-up comic, he agrees to help out in a heist to steal a million dollars. On the day of the robbery his wife dies in a freak accident along with his unborn child, but a distraught Joker is forced by the mobsters to continue. The job goes wrong, with our fledgling villain tumbling into a vat full of chemicals, which disfigure him forever. At the end of the story, The Joker says to Batman …

There is no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy.

The Joker’s point is that Batman, too, had a bad day himself once – well, we all know that he did, when Joe Chill killed his parents –

… and it drove you as crazy as everyone else – only you won’t admit it.

Predctably, Batman does not agree –

… maybe ordinary people don’t always crack – maybe there isn’t any need to crawl under a rock with all the other slimey things when trouble hits.

This is one of several origin stories for The Joker. As he himself says of his past:

Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another … if I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!

The Killing Joke ends – appropriately – with a joke, told to Batman, who listens in ominous silence …

killing joke last

The Joker’s main base throughout the Batman series tends to be Funland, which is a massive amusement park surrounded by flashing lights and full of weird, scary rides – such as the ghost train, on which his victims are tortured or executed.

ghost train

Our scaled-down version of Funland – which I have just finished tweaking a bit – is a chaotic, ramshackle affair, stuffed full with broken rides (although the ferris wheel, bungee jump and drop tower work just fine), dry weeds and an irritating clown who tells terrible jokes. You’ll find it on the ‘Hipsterville’ corner of the sim, just behind the boxing hall.

funland 01_002

Incidentally, for visitors who don’t enjoy walking, we installed 28 teleport points around the city. So, if you prefer, you can take the weight off your pixel legs on your next visit.