Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


Just had an email from SH saying this has been sent out. I thought it wasn’t even hitting comics shops until this Wednesday? They occasionally get stuff out a day or two after release but this is the first time I’ve had a book sent out ahead of time.

A nice surprise either way.


Just arrived. Straight to the top of my reading pile.


That looks really great. Why have I never heard of this series?


This is the third book in the series. The other two great.

You can read previews here.


Absolute Killing Joke arrived today.

Here’s a post from a year ago:

Well, that’s exactly what we get here, with both versions of the colouring as well as Moore’s full script and loads of extras: behind-the-scenes art stuff, a couple of short stories and loads of Joker-related covers by Bolland, and even a new text piece by original colourist John Higgins, sandwiched between the new and old colourings, that talks about the two versions.

There’s even new art by Bolland for the front and back covers of the book that gives us side views of the famous ‘smile!’ cover.

All the extra material from the old Deluxe is here too (Tim Sale’s intro; Bolland’s afterword; and more).

So far, so good.

But DC have made a bit of an odd decision with this one. As with their Batman: Year One Absolute from a while back, they’ve printed the old colouring on rough, newsprint-like paper stock that emulates the feel of old comics (and will presumably age about as well).

Not only was this not mentioned in the solicitation, but it stands out here against the rest of the book - unlike Year One, it’s bound into the same volume as the glossy paper used for all the other content in the book, bang in the middle.

I have to say, having owned a copy of the first printing of Killing Joke I don’t remember the original paper being this rough. I’m not sure if it was a deliberate decision by Bolland and/or Higgins, or just DC’s attempt to capture an ‘old’ feel for the material, but I’m not convinced it was the right choice. I’m sure the old colours could have got a better presentation than this.

Still, I like having both the new and original colours in one book to compare and contrast.

And Moore’s script is going to take a while to work through.

I’m happy with the book, especially for the price I paid, but I think DC might be risking annoying buyers by not making clear they were going to be using cheap paper for the old colours. I’d be interested to know more about the decision, and whether Bolland and Higgins were involved.


As it turns out, it was a bit of a Batman day today, with two deliveries:

The Loeb/Sale Batman omni is really nice - having all their Batman material together chronologically works well (it always felt a bit ill-fitting the way that the third Absolute collection bundled their early ‘Haunted Knight’ stuff with the final Catwoman mini), and the paper used is better here than the slightly overly-matte stuff in the Absolutes.

It’s the slightly glossy paper similar to what’s in the Seven Soldiers omnibus, and it gives Sale’s art nice deep blacks and makes the colours pop a bit better.

(God, I’ve become one of those comics readers who constantly moans on about paper stock.)

The vast majority of the extras (including intros, text pieces, art process stuff) have carried across, and this book even reprints the Absolute covers in the back.

Plus you get a nice new cover for this collection!

It’s a big beast though. Hope that spine is as strong as it looks.


I’m fairly certain that the original Killing Joke was printed on glossy, or at least nice, paper since was an early “prestige format” release.

And these are really expensive books and DC has no business printing them on substandard paper or newsprint. If they want to capture the feeling of old newsprint, then print the pages on matte paper, recolored to simulate the old books, including making the white areas an off-white color.


Saturday actually is Batman Day. :wink:


This is my feeling too.

I know that with Year One, DC worked with Mazzucchelli on the Absolute and the newsprint-style paper was a deliberate part of the design of the book that contained the old colours. If Bolland and/or Higgins were similarly involved here then I would feel a bit better about it.

But as it stands, it feels like DC have tried to ‘recreate’ something that never existed in the first place - a sort of cheap-and-nasty version of the old colours.

It doesn’t look awful, but it feels rougher than it needs to and the paper won’t age well.


Yeah Batman:Year One was definitely on newsprint as it was in the main Batman book (and I bought them in newsagents). Killing Joke was on glossy paper from the start as a prestige book with a spine.

So a rather strange choice.


Yeah, although even in that case I’ve seen some people online who have pulled out the old issues for comparison, and the paper in the original issues was slightly nicer than the Absolute as it was from a time when DC was just starting to experiment with slightly nicer paper on their monthlies. But much more of a close recreation like you say.

The same was true for the old Jack Kirby Fourth World hardcovers that also used this newsprint style paper (which worked really well for the ultra-bold colours and again simulated the original comics).

But this one I can’t fathom. I know Bolland is not a fan of the old colours, but I can’t believe that he would be actively involved in a choice like this to deliberately undermine them. And it’s odd that the decision wasn’t mentioned in the solicits like with Year One.

Buyer beware, basically. Which is unfortunately a fairly regular theme with DC’s collections these days.


This is an interesting possible explanation from the MarvelMasterworks boards. (‘Drumore’ is a colourist who is currently working on DC collected editions, and recoloured the recent Fourth World omnibus):



I’d like to see a page or two with the moire pattern, just out of curiosity.


Well he’s only speculating, it may not be the case.

But if you want to create the effect, you can go out at night with a copy of the original Killing Joke and wait until the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - that’s a moire.



The years I’ve been waiting for the word ‘moire’ to come up naturally in conversation to make that joke.


For once, I was the straight man!


Well, eleven hours later, guess what song I’ve had stuck in my head all day.


Dancing Queen?


My copy of the Berlin hardback arrived today.

For anyone who likes the series and has read Vols 1-2 - upgrade to this hardback! You need it.

It is one hell of a good quality volume. The paperbacks were excellent but this is even better.