Chip Kidd is a smart guy who does some great work (many of his cover designs, as collected in Book One; his first novel, The Cheese Monkeys) and who also gets in his own way by being too smart all too often (his second novel, The Listeners; most of the books of comics he's designed, like Bat-Manga!, Jack Cole and Plastic Man, Peanuts). So I was somewhat sanguine coming into Batman: Death by Design; I wasn't sure which Chip Kidd would show up.
But Good Chip Kidd is usually in control when he's telling his own stories -- it's primarily when he's packaging someone else's material that Bad Chip Kidd assumes control -- and so Death by Design, though a bit cluttered with Kidd's enthusiasms and not really, at its core, a Batman story, turns out to be an entertaining graphic novel set in a vaguely mid-century out-of-continuity Gotham City obsessed with architecture. It's a quite wordy book, and Batman isn't nearly as central or important as he usually is in a story with his name and face on the cover -- it could almost serve as a launching point for Exacto, the vigilante architect, if DC or Kidd wanted it to.
I was also amused that one of the primary figures of evil here is the union boss who ruined the old Wayne Central Station of Gotham; who says that those effete New York types are all reflexively leftist? But, in the end, it's the usual thing for an out-of-continuity superhero story: set in a romanticized and simplified version of the creator's favorite past era, with lots of appropriate baubles and gewgaws, only as much characterization as is required to keep the story going, some sturdy superhero-ing, and whatever semi-extraneous enthusiasm the creators bring to it: in this case, mid-century architecture.
- Read in February
- Love From the Shadows by Gilbert Hernandez
- Batman: Death by Design by Chip Kidd and Dave Tayl...
- Basse Wickman solo en trio-upplevelse
- Carving Out a New Nook in the Market
- A Short Political Comment, In Re the US 2nd Amendm...
- Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/23
- Peanut by Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe
- Skåpmålarmusik del 10: Jim Hanft
- Free Matt Hughes!
- Impressing People Who Can't Do Math
- Oh, and the Nebulas, Too
- Diagram Prize Time Again
- Skåpmålarmusik del 9: Karla Bonoff
- Traveling by Map
- Borrowing E-Books
- Poseidon: Earth Shaker by George O'Connor
- The Murder of the Century by Paul Collins
- Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/16
- Skåpmålarmusik del 8: Latin Quarter
- Incoming Books: February 16
- Skåpmålarmusik del 7: Eva Hillered
- Skåpmålarmusik del 6: Spirit of the West
- Ve Haff Vays Uf Making You Buy Kindles!
- The Colonial Marines Battle Cry
- For My Conservative Readers
- Find Them In the "Goddamned Partner" Section at Ha...
- In Honor of the Day
- In Sickness and in Health, In Debits and In Credit...
- The Times Is ON IT
- What Work For Hire Looks Like
- Some People I Know May Need This
- Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/9
- Richard Thompson ännu glödande
- Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
- Calvin & Hobbes IRL
- Ännu en chans
- My New Look
- Najafi Sells Bookspan to Pride Tree
- Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/2
- Distributed Egosurfing
- The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Re...
- Musiken som smutsig industri
- Hey Kids, Comics!
- Worries Assuaged
- ▼ February (46)
- ► 2012 (395)
- ► 2011 (104)
- ► 2010 (103)
Thing the First: Holidays I hope you all had a happy Bloomsday, and are looking forward to a particularly festive Juneteenth. For myself, th...
Or, A brief jeremiad aimed at people who agree with Hobby Lobby and the various other companies jumping on their bandwagon. For those who ha...
Tillknycklad av kärlek, fas 2 I förra inlägget skrev jag om chocken när kärlek plötsligt tagit slut. Sen kommer de bittra anklagelserna och ...
If you read The New Yorker , you're familiar with Frazier -- he's been writing short comic pieces (collected in books like Coyote V....
I'm going to rent myself a house In the shade of the freeway I'm going to pack my lunch in the morning And go to work each day And w...
En hel vecka har gått utan att jag hunnit med ett ord... Det är mycket nu... Desto viktigare att den musik man lyssnar på, om man nu alls hi...
I need to update information on a website I control with information about a company in India -- and I was just on their contact page a few ...
Just nu hinner jag knappt med livets vardagliga nödvändigheter, men snart kommer oktober och då lättar det. Och det kommer en massa spännand...
I read all of these books in mid-February, expecting to dive back into regularly reviewing my review copies -- if any publicists are lurking...
Top Shelf, one of the finest publishers of interesting comics on this or any other continent, is having one of their periodic amazing sales ...