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.