It’s no secret that Chip Kidd is a big Batman fan. In fact, just a couple of years back, we were talking about exactly that, when we wrote about the famous design keeping tabs in his journal of all things Batman-related at that year’s Comic-Con. Now it seems that Kidd is making that love official, with the news coming last month that DC Comics had brought aboard Kidd to pen a full-length graphic novel and artist Dave Taylor to visually bring it to life.
Though the news about Batman: Death By Design, which is set to be released sometime next year, has been circulating since mid-October, there have been a number of great interviews with both Kidd and Taylor out there, with new illustrations popping up from the book here and there.
We point you first to Newsarama, who recently interviewed Kidd, learning that one of the story’s main villains is a new creation made by the designer himself. Named Exacto, Kidd describes him as “an architectural critic as a Batman villain.”
Comic Book Resources also has a great talk with the designer from right after the NYCC event, wherein he talks a bit more about the artistic direction the book will be taking. Here’s a bit about coming up with the name and where it all goes from there:
I actually came up with the title first. I thought, “If it’s me and you know who I am and what I do, then I’m going to come at this whole thing from a design standpoint.” I’ve said for many years that Batman himself and especially the way he’s evolved is brilliant design. It’s problem solving. And we get into that in the story. Beyond that, it became about me going “What if?” What do I want that I haven’t seen? And really, the overall Art Direction for the book is “What if Fritz Lang made a Batman movie in the late 1930s and had a huge budget? Go!” There’s the visual platform.
I have enjoyed Chip Kidd’s design work for ages and thoroughly gushed over his massive revamp of Batman back when Greg Ruck was the writer on Detective Comics. A visually talented designer, he has also tried his hand at writing with the critically acclaimed novel The Cheese Monkeys and its sequel, The Learners. Having worked on the ultimate edition to Batman history and collectibles, he also released the guide to Bat-Manga and even contributed to the cartoon Brave and the Bold when one of the stories was adapted for Bat-Mite’s Strangest Cases.
However, when news broke that he was hard at work on a Batman story the comic book world exploded… as did Kidd himself.
“I’ve wanted to write a Batman story all my life but I never really thought about what it’d be if I was ever given the opportunity. It was a happy dilemma,” says the writer/designer. “Once I had the offer in front of me, I had to create and outline and all that. In some ways I knew too much, as I knew his entire history and everything that’s been done with the character so finding a story was daunting. In comics and publishing I’m basically known as a designer, so when the title ‘Batman: Death by Design’ popped into my head I realized it could be a story about Batman’s world from some kind of design perspective.”
“It’s like a fanboy dream come true, and I’m a huge fanboy – I’ll be the first person to admit that,” Kidd gushes. “Given that Batman: Death By Design is outside of continuity, it gives me a tremendous amount of freedom. Whether or not I’ll introduce or invent anything that’ll have any resonance in Batman’s mythos going forward remains to be seen years from now. Personally, I’m thrilled with what we were able to do. I’m sure most script writers are used to this, but for me seeing Dave Taylor’s drawings of my scripts fully fleshed out is like magic. It’s really amazing.”- Via Newsarama
More as it comes…