Robot 6

Mazzucchelli hopes ‘people don’t buy’ new Batman: Year One reprint

Although DC Comics’ new printing of the Batman: Year One Deluxe Edition doesn’t arrive in stores until next week, the 144-page hardcover already has drawn sharp criticism — from artist David Mazzucchelli himself.

“DC just sent me this book last week, and I really hope people don’t buy it,” he told The Comics Journal‘s Dan Nadel. “I didn’t even know they were making it, and I don’t understand why they thought it was necessary — several years ago, DC asked me if I’d help put together a deluxe edition of Batman: Year One, and Dale Crain and I worked for months to try to make a definitive version. Now whoever’s in charge has thrown all that work in the garbage. First, they redesigned the cover, and recolored my artwork — probably to look more like their little DVD that came out last year; second, they printed the book on shiny paper, which was never a part of the original design, all the way back to the first hardcover in 1988; third — and worst — they printed the color from corrupted, out-of-focus digital files, completely obscuring all of Richmond’s hand-painted work. Anybody who’s already paid for this should send it back to DC and demand a refund.”

Mazzucchelli, who collaborated with Frank Miller on the seminal 1987 storyline, said he’s sent letters and emails complaining to DC executives but has received no response. The new printing, which includes new introductions by Mazzucchelli and Miller, goes on sale March 14.



Ouch! That definitely sucks :\

I was really looking forward to getting this… UGH.

Those are pretty damning slights. I wonder if DC is going to issue some kind of response to this?

Marvel methods… shame for DC.

Ah well, I still have my original floppies that I can read! :-p

I’m curious. It has a new intro by Mazzucchelli, but he didn’t know they were making it? How does that work?

Just realized–maybe he thought it was just a new printing of the previous edition, but with new intros?

Wonder what kind of shiny paper he’s referring to. The kind used in say Kraven’s last Hunt or the kind used in Batwoman Elegy and others. One type has a less (not sure if this is the right choice of words) slick consistency to it. Or is the issue just that it is shiny and somehow takes away from the art itself in reproduction?

Definitely not buying this. Better off getting a used copy of another edition. Why would DC screw around with a classic?!

Well, glad I bought those issues months ago digitally.

OK, I won’t. I’ll settle for my copies

I have my originals.

I’ve got two previous HC editions, both very nice looking.


March 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm

“Why would DC screw around with a classic?!” I know! It’s totally out of character for them! :P

Matty Macomber

March 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I can see execs and artists not seeing eye-to-eye on stuff like the shininess of paper. Mazzucchelli’s work has a nice graphic quality that I think looks better flat/matte. However, the lay consumer connotes shiny paper with higher quality and probably thinks the shiny paper is what a definitive edition should look like. Mazzucchelli would like to preserve the qualities of his art style, DC would like to make money off of Batman: Year One and are probably right that compromising his intentions is going to appeal to more people… unless the artist explicitly calls them out on it. Interesting development… wonder how the consumers will vote.

Jake Earlewine

March 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I still have the original comics, so it will be easy to avoid this reissue.

The top brass at DC have lost their minds. Really. One would think they were in politics.

It’s called “art” for a reason. When managers and vendors mess with it, reducing it to “product” status, it’s no longer art. Definitely speaks of lack of integrity.

Stay classy, DC.

Brian Nicholson

March 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm

FYI, anyone saying “I have my original issues” should know that the version from the first collection forward have had recolored art, by Richmond Lewis, (Mazzucchelli’s wife, and the original colorist)- fully painted rather than the more limited four-color palette. Plus, it’s not on newsprint – it’s not glossy, it’s on beautiful matte paper. The “definitive” version David refers to is currently in print as a trade paperback – it looks like the image that accompanies this article- and in addition to the gorgeous printing, it has all sorts of cool bonus material- bits of the original black and white art, at its original size, printed in color so you can see the ink, some pencil sketches, a four-page comic afterword by Mazzucchelli. I think it’s superior to the original serialization, all told.

Hey, were earlier reprintings the opposite of what he described? Just want to know…

@BrianNicholson – many thanks for that. Even though I own the original issues, I have ordered the paperback from Amazon now that I know it’s a “remastered” copy as improved on and approved by the original artists. Cheers.

I’m not a fan of glossy paper and prefer a heavier, matt stock. I want to be looking at the art, not at a reflection of a light bulb.

I wonder if DC will incur the wrath of Alan Moore and produce new editions of Watchmen and V for Vendetta on cheap, shiny paper?

Great information! Being a new Batman enthusiast, I was excited to hear about a new deluxe edition coming out, for I do not have the original, and I figured I’d wait a few weeks and get this one when it came out. To my pleasant surprise, I stumbled upon this review!
I haven’t purchased it yet, probably wont at all. I’ll stick with the original when I get it on Monday.

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