GRAPHIC NOVEL CLUB: DARK KNIGHT RETURNS’ inker Klaus Janson says study, study, study

Whether it’s sitting in class or at home with YouTube, keep on learning.


The Beat is a proud sponsor of Comix Experience’s Graphic Novel of the Month Clubs, which bring comics fans a curated mix of the best of new release graphic novels and conversations with the creators who make them. Each month, the staff of Comix Experience votes on three sets of upcoming books they are most excited about—one gets presented to adults, another to middle readers, and the third is a classic. Each club provides swag like original signed custom bookplates for adults or buttons and magnets for the kids (in this case, the former, to support the featured Comics Masterpiece book, The Dark Knight Returns).

dark knight returns

Most excitingly, the Graphic Novel Clubs bring in the creators of selected books to talk exclusively to GNC members in interviews conducted by Comix Experience owner Brian Hibbs, who brings 30 years of experience in comics to the table. These talks are livestreamed to members all over the country and are a fun and informative mix of conversation on craft and form, as well as on the business of making comics. The Graphic Novel Clubs make a point of being inclusive, inviting creators from a wide variety of age, race, sex, and cultural perspectives to speak to members.

Membership is what propels these conversations, so if you like what you see, please support these discussions of comics, and the creators who make them, by joining the club.

Today: Brian Hibbs talks to inker Klaus Janson about his role in the seminal Batman comic, The Dark Knight Returns. In this clip, Hibbs probes Janson about tips he’d give to upcoming and aspiring comic creators, and the lauded inker emphasizes study over everything. As he alludes, comics creation begs for experience both in cartooning and storytelling, so Janson recommends studying direction, film, and writing from anywhere you can get it, whether through formal schooling or digging through YouTube.