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BATMAN: YEAR ONE Co-Creator David Mazzucchelli Rejects New Deluxe Edition

The co-creator of one of Batman's pivotal stories is not pleased with the volume's Deluxe Edition re-release.

Having your work altered by your publisher might be at the top of things that would piss off any creator, so when BATMAN: YEAR ONE artist David Mazzuchelli received his personal copy of the recently reprinted BATMAN: YEAR ONE deluxe edition, the artist was not at all pleased.

According to Mazzucchelli, all the work the artist completed for the publisher in preparation for the release of the deluxe edition was, quote, "tossed in the garbage" by DC's editorial.

DC just sent me this book last week, and I really hope people don't buy it. 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.

Mazzuchelli revealed to The Comics Journal that DC not only changed his cover, but that they also re-colored the artist's artwork -- evidently without his knowledge.

== TEASER ==

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.

Those are certainly some fighting words from Mazzucchelli. If you had worked on a graphic novel and the publisher changed your work how would you feel? DC previously released BATMAN: YEAR ONE deluxe edition in 2005, and although that version is no longer in print, copies of the previous deluxe edition publication are still available. What do you think of the changes made to the book? Would you still buy this version? BATMAN: YEAR ONE Deluxe Edition hits stores on March 14th, 2012.

56 Comments
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Posted by The Mighty Monarch

Yeah, I can see where he's coming from. I happen to think that version of Green Lantern: Secret Origin with Ryan Reynolds is total bullshit.

But I mean, yeah. They changed his work without telling him. That's a dick move. I mean, technically they own it and whatever, so its within their right, but it's still a dick move.

Posted by TheGreyOutcastX

For shame, DC. For Shame.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

GOOD GOD NOT THE SHINY PAPER!!!!!!!!

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@spiderbat87: I feel like the shiny paper thing is an overreaction, but he has a legitimate point with everything else.

Posted by TheGreyOutcastX

@The Mighty Monarch: Indeed. At least have the nerve to tell the artist, not this go behind his back crap. DC had to know he was gonna flip when he saw this. Sad thing is there was no need for this. The book is a classic and fine as is.

Posted by Video_Martian

What a dick move from DC's part -_-

Posted by mickoreo_LZ

Part of the appeal of Batman: Year One (aside from it being one of the greatest stories ever told) was that the art and colors were so... Batman. Shiny paper and re-coloring are completely unnecessary. The story and art are timeless. Good on Mazzucchelli for speaking his mind and bringing this to light

Posted by 8diagrams

Really? complaining about shinny paper?

Posted by InnerVenom123

@8diagrams said:

Really? complaining about shinny paper?

Makes more sense from an artist's perspective, but yeah.

Having the tone of the dark artwork brightened up is a bad thing when the artwork is well, intended to be dark.

Posted by entropy_aegis

@mickoreo_LZ said:

Part of the appeal of Batman: Year One (aside from it being one of the greatest stories ever told) was that the art and colors were so... Batman. Shiny paper and re-coloring are completely unnecessary. The story and art are timeless. Good on Mazzucchelli for speaking his mind and bringing this to light

Hardly, the story is rather dated.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@entropy_aegis: That's a matter of opinion.

I however have none on that specific matter, as I have yet to read it in the first place.

But it does bear remembering that Batman hasn't really had his origin revisited since then, while Superman has several times.

Posted by PunchDance

Dick move.

Posted by the_fallen11

Hey..everyone that says that the shiny paper is not a big thing. They need to take In consideration that he is an artist. If his publishers alter his art in what he feels is a negative way..he has every right to be upset...his art is being misrepresented. Don't say he's overreacting.

Posted by BatWatch

@The Mighty Monarch said:

Yeah, I can see where he's coming from. I happen to think that version of Green Lantern: Secret Origin with Ryan Reynolds is total bullshit.

But I mean, yeah. They changed his work without telling him. That's a dick move. I mean, technically they own it and whatever, so its within their right, but it's still a dick move.

This.

Posted by entropy_aegis

@The Mighty Monarch said:

@entropy_aegis: That's a matter of opinion.

I however have none on that specific matter, as I have yet to read it in the first place.

But it does bear remembering that Batman hasn't really had his origin revisited since then, while Superman has several times.

Maybe,but I honestly find Birthright and even Secret Origins to be more entertaining than Year:one.

Edited by The Mighty Monarch

@entropy_aegis said:

@The Mighty Monarch said:

@entropy_aegis: That's a matter of opinion.

I however have none on that specific matter, as I have yet to read it in the first place.

But it does bear remembering that Batman hasn't really had his origin revisited since then, while Superman has several times.

Maybe,but I honestly find Birthright and even Secret Origins to be more entertaining than Year:one.

But you have to admit its still aged well. Superman's origin story keeps getting shaken up (Loving Morrison's current thing thought) but Batman's has been consistent. Year One is still the definitive origin story for Batman, whether its the best thing ever or not, it's still a classic. It's aged pretty darn well all things considered. If DC hasn't had the need to shake up Batman's origins, Year One is still holding up, it's still 'timeless.'

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I'd not be too happy either to be honest. I have the simple TP version of this though, not the deluxe addition so at least I can say with certainty that Mazzhucchelli would not be angry with me. Clear conscience is a good thing.

Posted by InnerVenom123

@entropy_aegis said:

@mickoreo_LZ said:

Part of the appeal of Batman: Year One (aside from it being one of the greatest stories ever told) was that the art and colors were so... Batman. Shiny paper and re-coloring are completely unnecessary. The story and art are timeless. Good on Mazzucchelli for speaking his mind and bringing this to light

Hardly, the story is rather dated.

How so?

I mean, aside from the fact that there isn't an iPhone in everyone's hand, and there's a bit of slight racial social commentary with one character ("Wear a suit, look good. This is gonna be tough. Bad enough that you're black." (Oh, Miller...)).

Posted by Zomboid

Well, I'm glad I bought this book before this version came out... I can understand his frustration, definitely.

Posted by BoyWander

Do they still print the original? I'd rather buy that >_>... I draw comics as a hobby and I know I'd be pissed off too...

Posted by thechessclub

@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

I'd not be too happy either to be honest. I have the simple TP version of this though, not the deluxe addition so at least I can say with certainty that Mazzhucchelli would not be angry with me. Clear conscience is a good thing.

Yeah. Good thing. I'm sure he's gonna be knocking at the door of everyone who buys the new print ready to throw them a personal hissy=P jk.

I had the 2005 edition but gave it away to a coworker interested in his origin when I found the Frank Miller big ol sexy hardcover containing that and DKR. Sooooooooo hot!

http://www.comicvine.com/complete-frank-miller-batman-the-complete-frank-miller-batman-hc/37-258514/

Posted by Iraito

the story about horrible colors remember me of the "Killing joke" Deluxe edition, personally i never liked the new direction they took with the colors; and now with a deluxe edition for year one history seems to repeat.

Posted by davidgrantlloyd

Ya shouldn't ah done that, DC.

Posted by BatClaw89

Dc can do whatever it wants with "your" art asshole. shut up get a job

Posted by The Impersonator

@TheGreyOutcastX said:

For shame, DC. For Shame.

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

Apprentice: 
 
 
 
Master: 
 
 
 
Rise.

Posted by Mercy_

@FadeToBlackBolt: .....fcking win.

@BatClaw89: I'm sure he will read that and really take it to heart.

Moderator
Edited by The Mighty Monarch

@BatClaw89: Just because they 'can' doesn't mean they should. DC 'could' re-release every comic in shades of orange and pink but they wouldn't because it'd be fucking stupid. They accepted his artwork back then, it didn't need a change. They paid HIM to do the work, if they were going to change it, they should've done it years ago when he first submitted it.

Just because they 'can' doesn't mean its not a total dick move. Like all they shit they put Alan Moore through with rights issues. And Cartoon Network releasing DVD's made of random jumbles of sometimes overlapping episodes instead of actual fucking seasons in fucking order. Sure they 'can' do it, but that doesn't make it any less assholish.

But at the very lest, they could've had the god damn decency to TELL him.

Posted by JamDamage

haven't seen it yet so I can't make a statement. Someone is mad tho.

Posted by Static Shock

@The Mighty Monarch said:

@BatClaw89: Just because they 'can' doesn't mean they should. DC 'could' re-release every comic in shades of orange and pink but they wouldn't because it'd be fucking stupid. They accepted his artwork back then, it didn't need a change. They paid HIM to do the work, if they were going to change it, they should've done it years ago when he first submitted it.

Just because they 'can' doesn't mean its not a total dick move. Like all they shit they put Alan Moore through with rights issues. And Cartoon Network releasing DVD's made of random jumbles of sometimes overlapping episodes instead of actual fucking seasons in fucking order. Sure they 'can' do it, but that doesn't make it any less assholish.

But at the very lest, they could've had the god damn decency to TELL him.

Refrain from profanity in the future. You've been warned.

Posted by Mokey

Another re-release of Year One, but still no Flex Mentallo hardcover?

WHERE IS MY FLEX MENTALLO HARDCOVER, DC? WHERE IS IT?

Edited by ahgunsillyo

So... I'm confused. Is the edition with which he's having such a problem different than the one that came out in 2005? The listing on the DC Comics website says that it's a "New Printing," so it's a little unclear if it's any different than the one that's been on shelves for seven years [for the hardcover; the paperback came out in 2007].

I don't know; I've had the paperback edition on my bookshelf for a good long while now, and I had no problems with how it looked or anything. On the contrary, actually; I think the artwork holds up quite nicely in that edition. Then again, I didn't draw the thing, nor have I read the original editions from the 80s, so I obviously don't have quite that level of personal attachment to the artwork.

The listing says it's a "new edition of the deluxe hardcover designed by Chip Kidd," so maybe Mazzucchelli should take it up with him?

EDIT: Apparently, it is different. Or at least, the cover art is different. Now I can see what he was talking about when he said they made the cover to look like the Blu-Ray/DVD box art.

Posted by thephantomstranger

@BatClaw89 said:

Dc can do whatever it wants with "your" art asshole. shut up get a job

You best be trolling...hard.

Let me phrase this situation a little differently for you, asshat, you give your friend an Iphone for his birthday. He responds by bashing it with a rock. Yes your friend has every right to do what he wants with his new gift and maybe you get a laugh or two out of it but it's still a dick move.

Posted by DarthShap

I do not think it is a "dick move" or anything towards the artist. I just do not think it was necessary. The paper and the colors were just fine and there is nothing wrong with looking as old as it actually is. That is what I love so much with the Kirby Omnibus Editions, that it kind of felt like 70's comics.

@Mokey said:

Another re-release of Year One, but still no Flex Mentallo hardcover?

WHERE IS MY FLEX MENTALLO HARDCOVER, DC? WHERE IS IT?

Agreed. They keep postponing it. Their new release date is April, 2nd. Fingers crossed they do not postpone it again.

Posted by WildValentine
@entropy_aegis: Outdated? Seriously? What on earth brings you to that opinion? 
 
Next you'll tell me that Hush was a better story arc than the Long Halloween.
Posted by Billy Batson

Why is he complaining? It's not like his art was good so he doesn't have the right to complain.
jk (only about the second part)
BB

Posted by entropy_aegis

@WildValentine said:

@entropy_aegis: Outdated? Seriously? What on earth brings you to that opinion? Next you'll tell me that Hush was a better story arc than the Long Halloween.

Both were mediocre.

Posted by nahadef

DC was lucky to have employed Mazzuchelli. He classed them up for a while there. You think they'd appreciate that, but, no, they are DC.

Posted by Silkcuts

I love that Mazzucchelli spoke up. DC is making moves without thinking. Some work some are backfiring. I love DC, but moves like this has slowly pushed me away from them each year.

Posted by Baddamdog

DEMZ FIGHTIN WORDS

Posted by The Jeff

@RedheadedAtrocitus: either way, he's making money, which makes everyone happy

Posted by KidSupreme

@spiderbat87 said:

GOOD GOD NOT THE SHINY PAPER!!!!!!!!

LoL!!

Posted by hectorsquall

@spiderbat87:

Posted by Gordo789

I don't see what the big deal is here. DC has a right to print as inferior an edition of Year One as they want, stepping on as many toes and burning as many bridges as they want while they do it. David is simply letting us know that this is an inferior edition. Thanks for the heads-up.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@hectorsquall said:

@spiderbat87:

WIN
Posted by Ganthetsward20

I debated buying the latest edition of the book but I really didnt look inside of it. I'm glad I didnt though if this is a major of a change as he's making it sound.

Posted by mickoreo_LZ

@entropy_aegis said:

@mickoreo_LZ said:

Part of the appeal of Batman: Year One (aside from it being one of the greatest stories ever told) was that the art and colors were so... Batman. Shiny paper and re-coloring are completely unnecessary. The story and art are timeless. Good on Mazzucchelli for speaking his mind and bringing this to light

Hardly, the story is rather dated.

I have to respectfully disagree. So many other DC heroes have had their origins told and retold since 1986, but Batman hasn't. He didn't get an update in the new 52 for a reason. His origin was already told perfectly and can't really be topped

Posted by bloggerboy

@mickoreo_LZ:

That's not the reason though. The reason for Batman not needing a reboot was because he was selling well before the reboot. He had arcs like R.I.P from Morrison who has his say (Batman Inc. continues soon). Green Lantern wasn't rebooted because Johns has the influence and events like the Blackest Night sold well.

Superman had New Krypton (which I liked a lot) but dunno if it was that successful. Wonder Woman had Amazons Attack and well...pants...Plus Greg Rucka's out.

Posted by Eisenheim

It's funny how some are focused on "shiny paper". It's a shame that the agreement with Mazzuccheli was altered/broken. I would be just as upst.

And enough with the reprints...it's killing the profitibility of the collectors market.

Posted by DarthShap

@bloggerboy said:

@mickoreo_LZ:

That's not the reason though. The reason for Batman not needing a reboot was because he was selling well before the reboot. He had arcs like R.I.P from Morrison who has his say (Batman Inc. continues soon). Green Lantern wasn't rebooted because Johns has the influence and events like the Blackest Night sold well.

Superman had New Krypton (which I liked a lot) but dunno if it was that successful. Wonder Woman had Amazons Attack and well...pants...Plus Greg Rucka's out.

You are partly right. Yes, one of the reasons why its was not rebooted was that it was successful series. But other characters have not been rebooted, Swamp Thing and Animal Man for instance and look at that, they have been defined in the critically acclaimed works of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison.

Back to Batman, the fact that Frank Miller wrote the origin story, that it is a classic and widely considered as one of the best comic books ever is far from irrelevant.

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