In this art-infused memoir by the late Jerry Robinson, learn how a seventeen-year-old became the artist on Detective Comics and Batman and created one of the most famous villains of all time: the Joker. This volume includes never-before-published full-page artwork from Detective Comics and Batman, covers featuring Batman, Robin, and the Joker, and much more.
Never-before-published artwork featuring Batman, Robin, the Joker, and more!
- Dark Horse, August 2017
- ISBN 978-1-50670-225-4
- 9” x 12”, 192 pages, hardcover
- $34.99 USD
- Order online: Amazon
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
This is a collection of original art with various random essays from Robinson. Along with extensive original comic art, this volume also features sketches from Robinson’s travels and art from his days at Playbill. But you’re probably here for the original comic art, and it’s a great collection of golden age material, including the cover and ten consecutive pages from Detective Comics 76.
The book is broken into seven chapters, each dealing with a different period in Robinson’s career. Chapter 1 covers Robinson’s early career and his work on Batman, with a lot of original art on the left and published art on the right. It’s a nice comparison and the 9” x 12” dimensions allow for the art to shine. Chapter 2 is all about the Joker, with more Batman art. Chapter 7 is written by Robinson’s daughter Jens and includes a lot of non-superhero art, and has pencil roughs along with inked pages.
The scans are clear and clean. I’m not a fan of glossy paper for original comic art reproduction, but it’s not a hindrance here. The pages are mostly tan to brown, but these are quite old. Correction fluid throughout, along with some paste-ups and the occasional margin note.
The design works well with the material, full-page original art for most. The text pages pop with the purple from the cover working throughout on pull quotes, captions and page numbers. I’m not sure why the covers’ colours are muted, other than to give it a faded appearance.
Production is quite good: a sewn binding of very thick glossy paper. The book lays flat when the center is smoothed.
Golden age Batman original art is hard to come by, and this is an excellent display of some very rare art.