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.
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
As one might suspect, the major thrust of Thursday's "Spotlight on Bill Finger, Co-Cceator of Batman" panel was that Bill Finger never got the credit he deserved.
Comic-Con's organizers made one big gesture to make up for that, presenting Finger's granddaughter, Athena Finger, with a posthumous Inkpot Award just as the panel got started. The panelists tried their best to heap credit on Finger, too.
As much as I love Batman, and I think the record will show that I love Batman a whole heck of a lot, I haven't really been looking forward to sitting down and cracking open the new Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years hardcover. Last year's Superman anniversary hardcover was a disaster of revisionist history, 300 pages that would have you believe that one of the world's greatest superheroes did nothing for seven and a half decades but cry. With that in mind, I had no idea what DC Comics was going to do with Batman. If you'd asked me to bet on it, I would've put good money on a prediction that they'd craft a narrative that acknowledged Batman only as a scowling vigilante, consumed with vengeance and every bit as crazy as the villains he fought.
But it turns out I didn't have to worry. The Batman hardcover is exactly what it says it is -- a celebration of Batman across different eras, with a roster of stories that highlights one of the character's true strengths: How well he works across different kinds of stories.
Here's some fun news that'll ruin your weekend: The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has released the names of 30 people who are set to receive stars on the Walk of Fame for their contributions to the entertainment industry next year, and among them is Bob Kane, the man DC Entertainment is contractually obliged to credit as the sole creator of Batman.
In case you don't mark your calendar solely by events related to Batman -- which is increasingly difficult since Year One was 22 years before Zero Year, with Zero Hour somewhere in between -- you might need a friendly reminder that DC has declared July 23 to be Batman Day, part of its celebration of 75 years of the Dark Knight. To mark the occasion, the publisher's putting out a free special edition of Detective Comics #27, containing material from both the 1939 original and the New 52 offering from earlier this year.
What makes this issue really significant, however, is that to my knowledge, it's the first time Batman's co-creator, Bill Finger, has received a cover credit for the original Batman story.
At a Wondercon panel last month celebrating Batman's 75th anniversary, DC Comics' Larry Ganem answered an audience member's question about why Bill Finger isn't credited as the co-creator of Batman by saying, "we're all good with Finger and his family."
According to a press release issued by the Comic Arts Council, Finger's family disagrees. Athena Finger, Bill Finger's granddaughter, is quoted in the release as saying it's time to speak up after "75 years of exploitation of my grandfather." Take a look at her full quote after the jump.
On the off chance that you want to kick off your weekend by going into a blinding rage, I have some good news! Stan "The Man" Lee, one of the founding fathers of Marvel Comics and the co-creator of characters like Spider-Man and Thor, recently did an interview with Bloomberg Television where he said the phrase "I wish my friend Bob Kane were still with us — he’s the fellow who created Batman," a collection of words that I do not understand.
Unfortunately, the report transcribing the quote did not mention whether Lee was rolling his eyes and making a wanking motion while he said this, so we're forced to assume he was sincere.
Here at ComicsAlliance, we've grumbled more than a couple of times about the persistent, legally mandated "Batman Created By Bob Kane" credit that appears on every single Batman story. The truth of the matter is that Batman was at best a collaborative effort between Kane and writer Bill Finger, who sadly remains unknown to many fans to this day. But what if -- and this is a really big "what if" -- that credit was actually accurate?
As Bill Finger's 100th birthday approaches, that's the question cartoonist Ty Templeton, artist of Bill the Boy Wonder, has set out to answer in a strip that shows Batman in the form that was actually created by Kane, and it's not exactly a familiar site. Check it out below!
Q: How do you square what happened to Bill Finger with your love of Batman? Is it a problem? -- @MikeFromNowhere
A: You know, it is and it isn't. I think the record will show that outside of a few years here and there where I just wasn't interested in what was going on in the comics, there has been very little that has stood in the way of my love of Batman. It is river deep, mountain high for me and Batman, and at this point, I don't think there's anything that's going to change that. But at the same time, there are those moments where I'll be reading one of my favorite stories, or watching Batman: The Animated Series or Brave and the Bold, and that damn "Batman created by Bob Kane" credit comes up, and I'm just angry about it for the rest of the day.
Jack Kirby said it best, Mike. Comics'll break your heart.
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