Bound Together | Batman:The Dark Knight

Few people need an introduction to Frank Miller’s seminal take on Batman in his 1986 series Batman: The Dark Knight.  It’s heralded as the birth of the modern comic, along with The Watchmen, and exposed a lot of people to comics through its massive sales in a collected volume.  Three collected editions were released that year: a softcover trade paperback, a hardcover and a signed hardcover.  The softcover trade and hardcover were released by Warner Books and carried by everyone who sold books.  The signed hardcover was released by Graphitti Designs, the powerhouse of hardcover collected material in the 1980s and 90s.  The material has been collected and reprinted many times and for those looking to get the ultimate read I suggest The Absolute Dark Knight.

The Graphitti Designs hardcover collected the four issues of the mini series and carried the same introduction by Alan Moore and afterward by Miller.  Additionally it featured five pages of sketches and preliminary art from Miller.  It was limited to 4000 signed and numbered copies with a signature page featuring art by Miller that was used for the Dark Knight statue DC released shortly thereafter.  I remember when this book shipped: comic shops were allocated and quite a few ended up auctioning their copies.  Keep in mind these were live auctions at the store in those pre-eBay days.

Graphitti always produced A/P or artist proof editions of their signed and numbered hardcovers: somewhere between twenty to fifty copies of the book that were outside the set number.  They were given to the creators, publishers, editors, staff, etc., normally as a gift.  These have become the most sought after and collected of the Graphitti line with some substantial values.  I picked mine up for $375 in November 2002: a 9.8 copy in its original shipping carton.  Currently when available this book fetches $800 or more.  This makes Batman: The Dark Knight artist proof one of the most expensive modern comic hardcovers and a must have for the serious collector.

Batman: The Dark Knight
DC, 1986, ISBN 0-930289-11-0

Scott VanderPloeg Written by:

Editor-In-Chief. Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans. Joe Shuster Awards Harry Kremer coordinator.

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  1. Walt
    October 27, 2010

    The thing I remember most about Batman: The Dark Knight was how hard it was to read. Someone I knew told me about the book and was adamant that I read it. It took me the third try to actually catch on to what was happening. I was so used to reading comics in that old lazy disposable way that I was quickly bogged down by the substance this book was offering me. Only when I realized the weight of the material did I adjust my approach, tackling it like a book. It is still one of my favorite super hero comic stories, ever.

  2. Paul
    August 2, 2014

    Any idea who the cover artist was on the Warner Books edition. I’ve had that book since my Dad bought it for me in the 80s. The cover is an iconic part of my childhood and I can’t find any info on the artist.

  3. September 17, 2014

    Frank Miller/Lynn Varley (it’s just an airbrushed version of Miller (and maybe Jansons) art.

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