Original Art Stories: Frank Miller vs Klaus Janson
As we also know Brooks wasn't the only background assistant that Klaus used - others, such as Todd McFarlane, were also used. However Klaus remembered it a bit differently, but there is a common thread. Have a look.
"Frank and I had a complete falling out on Dark Knight," said Janson shortly after publication of the series, "We’re not going to work together any more; the falling out was that extensive. Frank was not happy with the inking job that I did on the third book. By my own admission, it’s not the best job I’ve ever done, but it also wasn’t the worst thing I`ve ever done. He wanted me to quit. But I wouldn't quit because I didn’t think that I had any reason to quit. My feeling was that I wouldn’t quit, but if somebody were to fire me I would accept that. In a nutshell, cooler heads prevailed and I inked the fourth book. Don’t get me wrong. I don`t want to sell what Frank was doing short. I think he did a great job on the writing. I think Lynn [Varley] did a tremendous job on the coloring. And Dark Knight was a very good project for me in the sense that it was, obviously, extremely lucrative. I don`t regret any of it. What I regret is that I wasn’t able to show perhaps more of what I'm capable of doing, that it was artistically restricted because it was a writer’s book rather than an artist’s work. Artistically, it wasn’t my most flashy work.”
The common thread is the contentious third issue. I can't help but wonder if the truth lies in both stories - Miller wasn't happy with Janson's inking in the third issue, because he knew that Klaus was using assistants and not inking the whole book himself, and thus not giving the book the attention that Miller would have liked. Like the book or not, it was, and still is, Frank Miller's masterpiece, a book that sits beside Watchmen as a genuine DC classic and a book that helped define a generation of comic books, and a character. No wonder Frank was pissed off - he'd put a lot into the project, and if Klaus wasn't prepared to put the same care and attention into it, well.
On the other side of the coin, Janson had deadlines to meet and wasn't backwards in coming forwards with his use of assistants. You get what you pay for. Personally I think the inking on the third issue is that bad, but then I'm not that close to the project.
You know, the Comics Code were idiots at times...but thems the breaks. Now I can't help but wonder why Marvel have never used this cover, after all they've used virtually everything else Frank Miller has left lying around the place. All things considered, I much prefer this cover to almost any other of Miller's Daredevil covers. I'm not sure why, possibly because I haven't seen it a million times since.