Bat-Manga: The Secret History Of Batman In Japan

February 22, 2009 | Trades

Bat-Manga: The Secret History of Batman in Japan
Chip Kidd, Geoff Spear, Saul Ferris
$69/$60 (U.S.)
384-page hardcover
*** 1/2 (out of five)

Batman is arguably among the top three most recognizable comic book characters ever created.
Alongside icons like Superman and Spider-Man, the Dark Knight has achieved untold success not only on the printed page in his 80 years of existence, but on TV, in Hollywood films and in extensive merchandizing.
Perhaps nowhere is the true global impact of the Batman brand on more glorious display than in the pages of Bat-Manga: The Secret History of Batman in Japan.
The brainchild of acclaimed book designer Chip Kidd, Bat-Manga collects not only many of the long-lost original Japanese Batman comics of the mid-to-late 1960s, illustrated by Manga icon Jiro Kuwata, but also examines much of the vintage Japanese merchandizing centred around the character from tin and inflatable toys to action figures, puzzles, games, clothes and more.
Full of colourful pages mixing vibrant illustrations and nostalgic kitsch, this thick tome is sure to bring the “Bang! Zap! Pow!” to Bat-aficionados everywhere.

(This article was first published in the Toronto Star)

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