Frank Miller gets a lot of credit for revitalizing Daredevil in the late ‘70s, and rightfully so. But his artistic collaborator, Klaus Janson, deserves his share of the credit as well. Janson actually joined the Daredevil ongoing series four years before Miller.
When Miller came on board with Daredevil #158, Janson inked and embellished Miller’s pages. Miller took over scripting duties with Daredevil #168, and increasingly left the bulk of the penciling and inking to Janson. Together, they created a defining run that introduced Elektra, the Hand, Stick, and most of the elements that made it into the Daredevil movies and Netflix series.
In this latest installment of Artists Alley, Janson shared with us a few memories from his time on Daredevil, both before and during his tenure with Miller. He also recalled his first impressions of Miller’s art on the title.
“At the time, Frank’s pencils were incredibly dark and heavy and very detailed,” said Janson. “So it was not very difficult to ink him at all. It was a great pleasure. Daredevil changed when Frank came on. Frank was very much interested in some of the Japanese influence that he was reading at the time. He incorporated a lot of manga and a lot of anime. Bringing in things like the ninja warriors, and even Elektra had a little bit of Japanese influence in her.”
“But Frank definitely radicalized the character in some ways,” added Janson. “I have to say Frank was incredibly creative at that time. We were both very, very ambitious and very hungry. It was a partnership that was really beneficial to both of us.”
For more of Janson’s Daredevil memories, check out the entire video!