1.14.2012

The Rarest Frank Miller Thing Ever

Back in 2009, I received a gift from my friend Howard Penner. Howard knows that I'm a HUGE Frank Miller fan. I collect anything I can of his; the more original the better. I have several original pages from his Daredevil run, his Elektra mini series, Sin City and others. And of course, I have everything that's ever been published that was written or drawn by him (up to a point -- when Dark Knight 2 came out, I gave up on Frank and stopped collecting pieces, mostly because when he decided to suck and phone things in, I decided I didn't need that crap).

So when I opened the package and discovered this print, I was a bit floored:




I'd never seen it before. In fact, I had no idea it even existed. I was blown away -- here was a Frank Miller piece I not only didn't have, but had no clue was even a thing. I thanked Howard profusely and immediately framed it and hung it in my office.

Then, my friend Ed Piskor put me in touch with the colorist, Kim Deitch. Kim was happy to see that someone had a copy. He explained to me that it was quite rare, but so was everything that young artists were doing back in the days when printing things was the only way to put them out in the world. I asked him to tell me the story behind it, and he gave me a short version explaining that it was a short run promo print to help out a store in Berkeley, CA.

But that was about it. That's all I learned. And it was enough to feel satisfied that it was a neat piece of rare history that I owned.

Then this morning, I awoke to an email from Howard which linked to the long story on the history of this piece. And it was sufficiently wowing enough to cause me to post this. It is posted by Robert Beerbohm, the publisher of the piece and the host of Frank Miller's very first ever autograph party, for the death of Elektra in Daredevil 181 in Berkeley, CA.

From the link:

Frank Miller poster project used for selling the day I hosted Frank Miller at his very first ever autograph event for the death of Elektra in Daredevil #181 which hit the stands 17 Dec 1981 - the event was four days later Saturday 21 Dec

I published this collaboration between Frank Miller and Kim Deitch who hand cut color seps on short notice. An admirable job with lots of detail. The only time in the world these two creator's comic art work crossed paths.

Lily Marlaine poster comic art story was printed up in Berkeley as an edition of 1000 color and 100 black & white posters.

Frank signed just shy of 400 of them that week end, was going to get back to finishing up the project. Then Best of Two Worlds suffered a catastrophic warehouse flooding Feb 1986 Valentine's Day week end

Same week end as Eclipse Comics HQ just a scant 43 miles north was washed down the Russian River.

Probably 70% of the print run was destroyed. Now this is a very rare published example of Frank Miller's beautiful art work. He used to be good when he was younger all inspired by Will Eisner's The Spirit.

Copies at all are rare, signed ones almost impossible now more than 30 years ipso post facto.

Hope you enjoy. We had a lot of fun that week end at Best of Two Worlds now in that galaxy a long time ago far far away.

So I thought I'd share that with you guys. It's not bragging; sometimes, magic just happens to you and you don't realize how magical it was until much later. And when it finally dawns on you, you want to share that moment and information with people.

...Okay, so maybe it's a little bragging. But only a little.