BATBOOK OF THE WEEK: The Dark Knight Returns Gallery Edition

EXCLUSIVE: Graphitti Designs’ Bob Chapman reveals how the highly anticipated art book came together.


Yeah, this is an easy choice. We just completed 13 DAYS OF THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS GALLERY EDITION click here  in which we showed off rare, full-size, high-res Frank Miller and Klaus Janson original art pages. We also talked to collector Chip Kidd about his contributions (click here) and showed off the whole thing in the FIRST REVIEW of the book (click here).

The 216-page, 13 x 20 book lists for $175. It hits retailers 5/18 but you can also order it directly from Graphitti Designs. The company is also selling a signed, limited edition for $275. Click here for more info.

Now, with the book’s release date upon us, here’s a Q&A with Graphitti Designs chieftain Bob Chapman on just how he was able to painstakingly piece the book together:


For the full 13 DAYS OF THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS Gallery Edition Index, click here.

For a COMPLETE REVIEW of the book, click here.

Dan Greenfield: How did the project come together?

Bob Chapman: Being able to produce a large-format Gallery Edition of The Dark Knight Returns, was something that was on our minds when we began our discussions with DC Comics for the license, more than four years ago. We knew at that time that the original art was scattered throughout the world and would take considerable effort to locate and to acquire scans of. Knowing that it was unlikely that we could obtain scans for the complete book, we approached the project realistically and decided early on that an incomplete book sourced from 50 to 60 percent of the scans would be better and more desirable than never seeing any of the Dark Knight art in this format. Fortunately, we exceeded our expectations and were able to access around 80 percent of the original art.  We knew from the beginning that Frank’s Dark Knight art is what the Gallery Edition format is all about.

There are many books that we hope to be able to produce in this format in the years ahead. In most cases, the art for the titles and artist whose work we want to capture is no longer owned by the artist, has not been kept together or/and doesn’t even exist anymore. We realize that many of the books we want to do — and books that deserve to be seen in this format — fall into this category and that gathering the art will likely take many years. We’ve made this commitment and are gathering a wide array of scans for books that we would like to produce over the next 5 to 10 years. Capturing the art in this format is the next best thing to seeing the actual original art…and considerably less expensive!

Main cover

Main cover

Dan: How much input did Frank Miller have in the production?

Bob: Though Frank cooperated completely with our edition, he regretfully had minimal input in the production of the book.

Dan: What’s the best story you can tell us about tracking down pages?

Bob: While in final production for the book, we became aware of five pages of DKR original art that were located in the Philippines. After seriously considering flying there, we were able to make arrangements with an associate who lived in the Philippines to scan the pages for us.

Variant cover

Variant cover

Dan: What’s the next Graphitti Designs Gallery Edition going to be?

Bob: Our next book with be the Girl Power: Amanda Conner Gallery Edition. This will feature her Power Girl, Supergirl and Silk Spectre art and is scheduled for a September 2016 release.



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Author: Dan Greenfield

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