Comic writer and editor Frank Mueller complains Jennifer Bush Kraftthe widow of the former DC editor and magazine publisher David Anthony Kraft and his estate via the original artwork to the Comics Interview Magazine #2 from 1983 and #31 from 1986. The cover artwork was intended to advertise The dark knight returnsand roninboth of which were published by DC Comics at the time.
Frank Miller’s claims state: “In each case, Miller and Kraft agreed–consistent with commercial usage and usage at the time–that (a) Kraft could retain the Works for a period of time, (b) each of the Works may not be used for any purpose other than as cover art for the respective editions of Interview Comics noted above, and (c) both works remain the property of and will be returned to Miller after use as cover art is complete and , by each case, upon request” and stated: “The DKR work is of particular value because it is one of the earliest (though not the first) cover artworks to (a) depict Batman in the distinctive Dark Knight Returns style and (b) Carrie Kelley.” Also that “beginning in the 1980s and at times thereafter, Miller, directly or indirectly, and Miller’s publishers asked Kraft to return the works and other artworks that Miller intended him to use as covers for borrowed issues of Comics Interview. Kraft Returned One of those artworks – a work created by Miller and supplied to Kraft for use as a cover for an issue of Comics Interview interviewed Miller about his Sin City comic series, which is not the subject of this article. However, Kraft did not return one of the works, leading Miller and his publisher (who reported the results of his inquiries to Miller) to believe that they had been lost. Miller learned about the artwork after learning that Jennifer Bush-Kraft planned to sell the pieces at auction, and the current pages in question are being kept by the auction house awaiting judgment.
George Gene Gustines of The New York Times reports that Jennifer Bush-Kraft contradicted Miller’s claims, stating, “My husband kept all his correspondence. Saying all that, I don’t know if you can understand the level of meticulousness, by name and alphabetically by company.” She states that she has not found any such return requests from Miller and that she believed that Miller Kraft had gifted the art.”If it hadn’t been given, David would have returned it…He wouldn’t have ruined the relationship with anyone he might work with in the future” or with DC Comics, and it was common for Kraft those kinds of relationships kept pieces.” I can’t afford to go to court and I can’t afford not to go to court, I’m just a person. I’m not Frank Miller. I don’t have a company.” .”
Sales of Dark Knight’s original artwork have recently broken many records, with the cover of the first issue recently selling for $2.4 million. Frank Miller recently started his own publishing company, Frank Miller presents. We will follow this court case with interest.