It’s here: the newest volume for your growing library of books written by and/or with covers designed by Chip Kidd. In Bat-Manga!, released today by Pantheon in both hardcover and paperback editions, the dapper graphic designer, author, rockstar (see above), and comic book fan serves up the secret history of Batman in Japan. [Cut to shot of Adam West at a sushi restaurant.] The book features hundreds of pages of Batman-manga comics written and drawn by manga master Jiro Kuwata, who answered Kidd’s questions for a rare interview included in the book. The product of a Japanese publisher’s shortlived 1966 licensing deal, the comics are collected and translated here for the first time alongside Geoff Spear‘s photos of the world’s most comprehensive collection of vintage Japanese Batman toys—assembled by Saul Ferris, an Illinois attorney who Kidd met while bidding against him for Batman memorabilia on eBay.
Get the full scoop and your signed copy tonight at New York City’s Strand bookstore, where Kidd will discuss Bat-Manga! with the book’s translator Anne Ishii, Spear, and Ferris. For those design-minded New Yorkers attending Rob Giampietro‘s talk tonight at the School of Visual Arts (or if you happen to live elsewhere on the planet), order a signed copy here. Our advice? Ignore the plummeting consumer confidence index and spring for the deluxe hardback version, which includes the cover pictured above, full-color printed endpapers, and an extra adventure written by Kuwata about a band of rogue alien robot art thieves at large in Gotham City. Who will Gotham turn to? We’ve narrowed it down to either Batman or Philippe de Montebello (strange how you never see them together).