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Chip Kidd: Remixing Batman And Designing Super-Solutions [Interview]

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Chip Kidd is a one of American publishing's foremost graphic designers, a respected novelist and author in his own right, and a life-long comic book fan. He's worked with DC Comics on a number of different projects over the years, writing histories, creating logos, designing books, and even authoring stories like 2012's Batman: Death By Design graphic novel with Dave Taylor. Recently, he produced a "remix" of the first-ever Batman story (which was originally slated to be published in DC's "Detective Comics #27 Special Edition" giveaway, but ended up as a feature in the deluxe hardcover Batman: A Celebration Of 75 Years instead).

While at San Diego Comic-Con last month, we got a few minutes to drop by DC's booth and talk with Kidd about Batman, his design work, and his current (and upcoming) projects.

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The Arkham Sessions: The Psychology Of Fanaticism In ‘Batman: Eternal Youth’

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Does Poison Ivy's strong dedication and ideology differ much from the Caped Crusader's mission to rid the city of criminals? (Crusader is his nickname, after all.)

In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we delve deeper into Poison Ivy's psychology with her second appearance in Batman: The Animated Series by exploring her predilection for plants and her fanatic, destructive level of devotion to protect them.

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The Dark Knight Returns Library Books: Highlights From Batman Day At The Library

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How did you celebrate Batman Day?

If you missed it, the day of the Dark Knight was July 26, and libraries all over the country commemorated the occasions with some creative, literacy-encouraging activities for kids -- and apparently at one, a bear. Random House's library marketing wing partnered with DC Comics to send event kits to libraries, and also set up a Pinterest board for photos of libraries' various celebrations. Check out some of our favorite photos.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: Culture, DC

Pop Chart Lab Breaks Down ‘The Myriad Monikers Of Gotham’s Villains’ [Infographic]

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Like virtually everyone else on the Internet, I enjoy a good chart breaking down my favorite pieces of pop culture into their components, cataloguing and organizing them for easy -- or at least well-designed -- reference. As a result, I tend to be a pretty big fan of the folks over at Pop Chart Lab, who have devoted their considerable graphic skills to doing exactly that. The only problem I've had with them is that their first attempt at organizing the names of Gotham City's population of villains and assorted weirdos had some glaring omissions.

Fortunately for me and that blank spot on my wall, they've corrected that in a second version, and it is amazing. Check it out to see where the names of Arkham and Blackgate's maladjusted miscreants fall, from the Joker (categorized under "Inanimate Objects" and specifically under "Playing cards") to the extremely obscure Gloves (under "Gloves").

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The ‘Gotham’ Pilot Can’t Decide What It Is, And What It Is Is Not Very Good [Review]

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If you're the kind of person who looks at Batman's origin and thinks, "Hey, I wish this was more convoluted and made even less sense than it already does," then I have some good news for you. Gotham, the upcoming DC Entertainment television show on Fox that focuses on Jim Gordon as a young detective with the GCPD and definitely isn't a Batman show despite having Bruce Wayne, Catwoman, the Penguin and the Riddler in the first episode, made its debut last weekend at Comic-Con International when the pilot was screened for an audience of fans.

The short version is that it's not very good. The longer version is that while it tries to do a lot of interesting and engaging things with its roster of characters, the end result is a show that's not really sure whether it wants to be a stylish, gimmicky procedural about quirky characters in a city of comic book villainy, or a by-the-numbers TV cop drama. The end result is -- barring major improvements -- a project that doesn't do enough with either to be worth watching.

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Filed Under: , Category: DC, Opinion, Television

Warner Bros. Celebrates 75 Years of Batman With Exhibit And VIP Studio Tour [Photos]

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Considered one of the foremost motion picture and television production facilities in the world, the Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank, CA invites visitors to celebrate the 75th anniversary of DC Comics’ Batman with a special exhibit in their VIP Tour. For a limited time, tour-goers are given an opportunity to view dozens of original costumes, props, gadgets and vehicles from all seven live-action Warner Bros. Batman films, and ComicsAlliance checked it out.

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Gotham Academy: Cloonan & Fletcher On Women, Children And The Future Of DC’s Batman Line [Interview]

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DC Comics' upcoming Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl is one of those ideas that's so good that it's amazing that it took a full 75 years of Batman comics for it to actually happen. Set in a prestigious private school in the middle of Batman's hometown, Gotham Academy will debut this October following the adventures of two young students at a private school in a city known mostly for its truly staggering population of supervillains.

One assumes that hijinks will ensue, but to find out more, ComicsAlliance's Juliet Kahn spoke to Cloonan, Fletcher and Batman group editor Mark Doyle at San Diego Comic-Con.

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Ask Chris #205: The Worst Story From The Best Writer

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Q: Hey Chris, what's the worst story from the best writer? -- @starr226

A: I've gotten this question a few times over the past few weeks, and it's one that's really interesting to me for a few reasons, the most important of which being that nobody in the history of comics has a perfect record. Once you put out more than, say, four comics, everyone from Jack Kirby on down has stunk up the room at least once in their career, and it can be really fun looking at something to try to figure out exactly why something doesn't work, when everything else from that particular creator works so well.

For me, though, as easy as it would be to hit a soft target like Alan Moore and Scott Clark's Spawn/WildC.A.T.S: Devil Day, the biggest and most surprising drop will always be Larry Hama and Scott McDaniel's surprisingly terrible run on Batman.

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Joe Quinones’ Robin ’66 Challenges Cameron Stewart’s Batgirl For Selfie Supremacy

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If you follow the ComicsAlliance Instagram account, then you already know that we are pretty passionate about selfies. It's one of the reasons that we're actually so excited about seeing all the covers for DC's upcoming Selfie Month, in which the heroes of the DC Universe snap pictures of themselves while they're going about their heroic duty. It's a fun way to inject some much needed levity back into these most colorful characters, and one that fans respond to in enormously positive ways if the reaction to Cameron Stewart's Batgirl is any indication -- and that wasn't even part of the Selfie Month promotion.

This week, one such cover was unveiled that has risen above all the others as possibly the single greatest superhero selfie of all time: Joe Quinones' cover to Batman '66 #14, where Robin the Boy Wonder can be seen snapping a photo of himself with the rotary Bat-Phone.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: Art, DC, Humor, News

Watch The Complete Batman ’66 Press Conference With Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar [Video]

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Arguably the most anticipated home video release, like, maybe ever, Batman '66 has finally been remastered and slated for release this November. The television show is both a classic interpretation of the Dark Knight but also an influential and beloved pop culture phenomenon in its own right, but arcane rights issues kept the complete series from the home video market for decades.

As announced earlier this week, Batman: The Complete Television Series will be available November 11 on Blu-ray, DVD, digital, and, of course, a super expensive collector’s edition that comes with all sorts of groovy stuff, including a selection of photos from star Adam West’s personal archives (when you’re as mature and sophisticated as West, you get to have “personal archives”).

In observance of the news, series stars Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar sat for a press conference at Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend, and ComicsAlliance's Chris Sims was there to document the event for your immense pleasure.

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