Saturday, June 23, 2007

More Original Art Stories: The Dark Knight Returns

We're off for the weekend, but before we left I wanted to leave people with something to ponder and perhaps talk about. The Former DC Staffer sent this down in response to Steven Bove mentioning Greg Brooks. I'll admit that I wasn't aware of what happened with Brooks, but thanks to Bob Rozakis little piece here, now we all know. The question asked was what did did I know about Brooks' involvement with the seminal mini-series Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. The answer was 'not a thing, but I do know that Janson used background inkers'. Here's what came back.

"Here's what I remember of it. Klaus Janson was working Dark Knight and used Greg Brooks as a background inker*. Well Frank Miller gets wind of this and has a fit, something about the integrity of the project and letting an amateur put his hands on it. The end result was art for Dark Knight #1 and #4 went to Frank Miller and art for Dark Knight #2 and #3 went to Klaus Janson. Now here's an interesting bit, the original art never once came into the production department. It was sent to a printer for black and blue line copies on strathmore paper. Corrections were made by Bob (little fingers of lead) Rozakis on the printed blackplate; hence the famous Lois Lane flub in Dark Knight #1. As a production man Bob was a great accountant!"

* Klaus Janson apparently used a number of inking assistants on the Dark Knight series including a young Todd McFarlane. McFarlane worked on at least one issue, just filling in the blacks, or so Todd said in an interview in the mid 1990s, just after he announced the Spawn/Batman cross-over. I'm pretty sure that the mention was done in an interview with former Marvel editor Jim Salicrup, possibly for the now defunct Comic Interview magazine. Eventually I'll dig it out, but if anyone has the interview on hand then get in touch so I can make the proper reference (the interview is notable for foul language and also for the comments about the phone breaking down mid-interview). I'd be very curious to know if other artists have any recollections about working on that series.


Dav said...

These insights into artists' working processes are really interesting. I'm eager to read more.

Out of curiosity, what's the famous Lois Lane flub in the first Dark Knight issue? This is the first time I've run across it.

Anonymous said...

Actually it happened on page 9 of book #2 in the first printing. It wasn't caught by...