This Is THE KILLING JOKE We Actually Wanted


I don’t like The Killing Joke. I never have. From a dramatic standpoint, I’m totally fine with the Joker being a mind-game playing, homicidal maniac. It’s just that Alan Moore’s story goes way too far with its sadistic treatment of Barbara Gordon.

Well, here’s Kerry Callen to the rescue with a Killing Joke cover (commissioned by Lee “the Batfan” Johnson) as if it were illustrated by Dick Sprang! This way, you can imagine the Clown Prince of Crime bopping his victims with a silly, oversized mallet instead of crippling and disrobing them.

“I often see collections of vintage comics that use ‘modern’ art on the covers, misrepresenting the inside stories,” sez Kerry. “DC should flip it and use ‘vintage’ art to sell any future reprints of The Killing Joke! Ha! Not really. This art was a commission for a Joker black-and-white piece only. I colored it just for kicks!”

The Batfan also likes to put his coloring skills to use, so he turned Kelly’s piece into a vintage cover:

I’d buy that for a dime.

Want more SUNDAY FUNNIES WITH KERRY CALLEN? Come back next week!

Want a commission? Send an email to You can also find other work at


— A Groovy JUSTICE LEAGUE Spin on a GEORGE PEREZ NEW TEEN TITANS Classic. Click here.

The DC COMICS Treasury Edition You REALLY Want to See. Click here.

KERRY CALLEN spent much of his career as an artist and art director, developing product for Hallmark, but has also dabbled in comics for many years. As a freelancer, he creates work for a range of needs, spanning from Mad Magazine to children illustrations. He has two graphic novels available on Amazon worldwide, Halo and Sprocket: The Definitive Collection, as well as Dirtnap: Mystic Spit.

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On


  1. That’s a Killing Joke I can get behind. Nice work.

    Post a Reply
  2. DC should never have allowed Alan Moore to get his irreverent hands on Batman in the first place, let alone allowed The Killing Joke to become canon.

    Post a Reply
  3. Great piece, but I also think The Killing Joke is probably the best single Joker story in comics. The Joker was trying to drive Jim Gordon insane, hence the horrific treatment of his daughter. It didn’t work because the Joker didn’t understand that it doesn’t neccesarily take “just one bad day” to reduce anyone to madness.

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: