The Complete Frank Miller Batman (Longmeadow Press, 1989).

§ January 14th, 2010 § Filed under batman, from the vast Mikester comic archives § 1 Comment

This hardcover book (with a leatherish-style cover) was assembled by Longmeadow Press, a publishing imprint for a U.S. bookstore chain that, among other projects, created “bargain books” for sale in those stores. To quote a former Longmeadow employee from this interesting discussion I found, the goal was to make “high-end bargain books (i.e., they looked classy, not schlocky).” And this Complete Frank Miller Batman book ain’t bad-looking. It has a leatherish-bound hardcover with silver lettering on the spine (along with a dark blue Batsymbol), the metallic blue and silver image on the front cover (as seen above), a bound-in blue fabric bookmark, and clean white pages with a shiny silver trim at the edges. It should look garish, but it all seems to work together nicely, somehow. Or maybe I’m just used to it.

This book includes the entirety of The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, as well as the 1980 story “Wanted: Santa Claus – Dead or Alive” written by Denny O’Neil. Reproduction is strong, the coloring is good and faithful to the original (aside from the Santa Claus story, where the coloring is a bit slapdash, and too dark). Text pieces/forewords by Alan Moore, Richard Bruning and Miller himself are included. Of course, it’s no longer the “Complete” Frank Miller Batman, as we’ve had The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman since then, but if anyone says this makes it the “Complete Good Frank Miller Batman,” I a’gonna punch you in the nose.

I remember the bookstore I bought this from had piles of these stacked by the entrance, and I always figured these were common as dirt. However, I hardly ever see these turn up in collections at the shop. My own copy has been a faithful companion, becoming my own definitive edition of these particular stories, which allowed me to sell off the originals. I even used it in college, during that one class where the Modern Narrative professor was cool enough to assign Dark Knight along with Don DeLillo’s White Noise. And given I was dragging it to class, the Batman book looks like it’s still brand new. That’s either a testament to the book’s durability or to my comic-fan obsessive-compulsive need to maintain that Near Mint condition.

Anyway, here’s another Amazon thing. There are plenty to be had of Complete Frank Miller Batman, apparently, starting at about eighteen bucks, and going all the way up to a dizzying $192:


Yeah, I threw in a banner for White Noise, too. That was a pretty good book, as I recall.

ADDENDUM to the Superman Spectacular 1982 book I discussed a couple of days ago: the cowriter of the funnybook in question, Paul Kupperberg, popped up in the comments for that post (EDIT: link dead, sadly!) to briefly discuss his involvement in producing Superman stories for the overseas market. Bonus: Vinnie Colletta inking story! Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Kupperberg!

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