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Batman: Death by Design

Batman: Death by Design

4.0 4
by Chip Kidd, Dave Taylor (Illustrator)

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A  New York Times Bestseller

A June 2012 Amazon Best Book of the Month

In this new original graphic novel from superstar writer/designer Chip Kidd and artist Dave Taylor, Gotham City is undergoing one of the most expansive construction booms in its history. The most prestigious architects from across the globe have buildings in


A  New York Times Bestseller

A June 2012 Amazon Best Book of the Month

In this new original graphic novel from superstar writer/designer Chip Kidd and artist Dave Taylor, Gotham City is undergoing one of the most expansive construction booms in its history. The most prestigious architects from across the globe have buildings in various phases of completion all over town. As chairman of the Gotham Landmarks Commission, Bruce Wayne has been a key part of this boom, which signals a golden age of architectural ingenuity for the city. And then, the explosions begin. All manner of design-related malfunctions–faulty crane calculations, sturdy materials suddently collapsing, software glitches, walkways giving way and much more–cause casualties across the city. This bizarre string of seemingly random, unconnected catastrophes threaten to bring the whole construction industry down. Fingers are pointed as Batman must somehow solve the problem and find whoever is behind it all.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a fantastic period piece about architecture, politics, and murder."—Publishers Weekly

"...crisp, clean style that is both awe-inspiring and regal."—IGN

Publishers Weekly
Eisner Award–winning designer and novelist Kidd teams with veteran Batman artist Taylor for a fantastic period piece about architecture, politics, and murder. Bruce Wayne is preparing for his father’s condemned Old Wayne Central Station to be torn down and replaced by a new design. A falling crane signals that there are those opposed to the plan willing to take action. Wayne, as himself and as Batman, must square off against the beautiful and dedicated Cyndia Sil, who wants to see Old Wayne Central Station restored; Exacto , a costumed figure hoping to bring down corrupt union boss Bart Loar; and the Joker. While the story is enjoyable, what really shines is Taylor’s art, mostly done in black-and-white, but with flares of pastel color that bring the pages to life. Taylor frequently uses alternate panel sizes to tremendous effect, from dramatic two-page spreads to a tiny eight-panel sequence along the bottom runner of a page. Only some slightly illogical storytelling at the end mars a beautiful effort that is clearly a labor of love for both creators. That aside, it’s a solid, stand-alone adventure that Batman readers will love. Reviewed from a black-and-white galley. (May)
Library Journal
In an art deco-ish 1930s Gotham City, Bruce Wayne is spearheading a project to rebuild the crumbling train station. However, construction site "accidents," a beautiful urban preservationist, a power-hungry union boss, and the bigenerational legacy of the original architect all come down on Wayne's head. Both Batman and a newbie reporter try to investigate the accidents, and then the Joker introduces more chaos. This Batman take is visually gorgeous: Taylor's color-tinged pencils lay out sweeping period details with consummate skill. Well-crafted dialog, inventive gadgetry, and amusingly plausible architectisms like "patri-monumental modernism" lend texture, but famed book designer Kidd's story and characters don't quite gel. The villain's motives sometimes make no sense, the preservationist's beauty seems overly Botoxed (too much like the "sanctimonious snot" Wayne decides she isn't), and it's improbable that editor Osbourne, Wayne, and his valet, Arthur, would all have been ignorant of the long-term union dirty dealing. VERDICT The story succeeds artistically (the creators did considerable homework), and Exacto and the Joker come off brilliantly. But plot disjunctures weaken the overall presentation. For collections where Batman is popular or art overrides story.

Product Details

DC Comics
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Chip Kidd is a graphic designer and writer living in New York City and Stonington, Connecticut. His first novel, The Cheese Monkeys, was a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book. His first book, Batman Collected, was awarded the Design Distinction award from ID magazine. He is the co-author and designer of the two-time Eisner award-winning book Batman Animated. He is the editor-at-large for Pantheon, where he has overseen the publication of Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Dan Clowes's David Boring, and the definitive book of the art of Charles Schulz, Peanuts (designed, edited, and with commentary by Kidd). He has also written about graphic design and popular culture for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Details, The New York Observer, McSweeney's, Vogue, The New York Post, ID, and Print. His book jacket designs for Alfred A. Knopf (where he is associate art director) have helped spawn a revolution in the art of American book packaging. His work has been featured in Vanity Fair, Eye, Print, Entertainment Weekly, The New Republic, Time, Graphis, New York, and ID magazines, and he is a regular contributor of to The New York Times' Op-Ed page.

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Batman: Death by Design 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't believe this is awesome! When I was surprised, I just love a batman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
Holy blocks of text, Batman! This book was a chore to read for me. I like to read, but when it comes to comics the text should be short bursts, not giant walls covering a fourth of the page. This is definitely not the usual superhero book. It seems like more of an experimental project in writing and art. The art is toned down. You won’t find any giant muscles or skin tight clothing. People look normal, even Batman looks normal for a guy in a costume. It does a great job of giving that retro, noir vibe but falls short on excitement and character expression. I am all for experimentation and trying different things, especially from DC with Batman. But experiments are bound not to register with everyone and this one just didn’t strike home with me. ARC Reviewed by Chris for Book Sake.