In the world of music, Killing Joke is a post-punk-pre-industrial band that is probably best known for the songs “Eighties,” “Love Like Blood” and “Millennium. These guys:
In the world of comics, The Killing Joke is a graphic novel written by Alan Moore and drawn by Brian Bolland. The story revolves around the possible origin of The Joker and is regarded as one of the best Batman / Joker stories out there. [It’s also a Monty Python skit about a lethal joke used by the British against the Germans in WW II. It’s very, very silly. -AC]
And back in 1988, the company that printed it, DC Comics, was well aware of the band’s existence and the possible copyright issues that might ensue. Contact was made and a pre-emptive deal was made. In exchange for non interference with the graphic novel’s name, Killing Joke got permission to use some Batman art on a single and an album cover.
And they also got the original artwork of the cover of the comic.
The cover was last known to be with bassist Paul Raven… who unfortunately passed away in 2007. Since then, it’s kind of disappeared. Which is saying something. Not only is it an important piece of comic book history, it’s a valuable piece of comic history. Brian Bolland’s art work goes for a bit of coin, the lowest priced cover I could find was on sale for $7500 (a Wonder Woman cover). The Killing Joke cover would go well over $10 000, maybe even six figures.
But the art… still remains at large.
You can read more about it at Bleeding Cool.