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Batman: Death by Design Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, June 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Batman
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; De Luxe edition edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781401234539
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401234539
  • ASIN: 1401234534
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

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


From the Trade Paperback edition.

About 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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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 40 customer reviews
It's just too bad they are wasted on such a lacklustre story.
S. A. W.
The story is an interesting idea, but ultimately tries to do too much with too little to go on.
Rich Stoehr
The art is beautiful, but even fantastic art couldn't improve the writing/story.
Serene Night

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James Donnelly VINE VOICE on April 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Chip Kidd, while being a rather excellent historian, doesn't have the deftest hand when it comes to works of fiction. Kidd's written any number of books about comics, comic characters, creators, etc. and he's a four-time Eisner winner. After years of just writing about the people and the characters, DC gave him a shot to write FOR one of those characters, and it's the one character I can practically guarantee every comic fan has a fan-fic piece in their head about: Batman.

This is a piece filled with some really interesting ideas, and an 'Elseworlds' take on the character to a certain extent. The book, while never stated to be in a specific year, based of reference, style, and dialogue seems to take place in the 1930's. The book opens with artist Dave Taylor (who drew about 10 issues of BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT in the 90's and then a decent amount of JUDGE DREDD afterwards) giving some beautiful pencilled cityscapes as Batman tests a grappling gun on the old Wayne Central Station, a historic landmark marred by the passage of time and is soon to be razed by Bruce Wayne himself. However, during Wayne's press conference, a massive construction crane topples and almost kills everybody there. Naturally, it's time for Bruce to put on the cape and cowl and put his "world's greatest detective" skills to work.

And naturally, there are several suspects to this case: thuggish Union boss Bart Loar; the new station's primadonna architect Kem Roomhaus; the mysteriously-missing original architect Gregor Greenside; the beautiful suffragette 'urban preservationist' Cyndia Syl.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. A. W. on May 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let me start by saying that I'm pretty much a comic book novice. So I can't judge how well this graphic novel fits into the overall ethos of the Dark Knight. As a stand-alone story, however, Death by Design is downright dull.

The plot revolves around the demolition of the crumbling Wayne Central Station. Socialite Cyndia Syl is protesting the loss of an architectural treasure and the mysterious Exacto is warning about a lack of structural integrity in new construction.

The story comes off as some kind of vague morality tale. I'm just not sure exactly what scriptwriter Chip Kidd is trying to say. Is it a condemnation of labour union leaders? A plea to save old buildings? Or a call to build new ones that are more energy efficient?

Kidd trots out a classic nemesis in what I can only assume is an attempt to inject a bit of much needed excitement. Sadly, not even the Joker can breathe life into this thing.

At least Dave Taylor's artwork is appealing. The charcoal drawings give Death by Design a nice retro feel. It's just too bad they are wasted on such a lacklustre story.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tom Reagan VINE VOICE on May 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The pencil illustration artwork is very nice, if not inconsistent (Bruce Wayne has about three different side profiles). But the story is boring and lacking.

This is a whodunit story, yet Batman's master detective skills are barely used, here. I know this takes place in his early days as Batman, but maybe that was a mistake for this type of story. Or maybe the writer, Kidd, should have used that as a vehicle for Bruce to test his detective skills for the first time.

and Why is the Joker in this book? His character has no point what-so-ever in this story. He just shows up out of nowhere and has no motivation to the main plot, except to act as a Dastardly character to the female lead, in the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ERSInk . com on June 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Close your eyes and imagine something with me. An employee at DC Comics is cleaning out Bob Kane's basement. He comes across a box and proceeds to open it. Inside the box is the Holy Grail of comic books: a never-before-seen 100-page Batman story by the creator himself completely finished and ready to be published. Now imagine DC publishes it in the present in a hardcover book form for everyone to enjoy. Open your eyes and get ready to feast upon "Batman: Death by Design."

If you've been waiting for a book to come out that captures the flavor of Bob Kane's original Batman tales straight out of the pages of "Detective Comics" Issue #27 or "Batman" Issue #1, then look no further. "Batman: Death by Design" combines the gangsters, mysterious masked criminals, femme fatales, and the first real costumed crazy arch nemesis into a tale reminiscent of what we get when opening up the pages of the first couple of "The Batman Chronicles" volumes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rich Stoehr on June 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In many ways, Batman is the artist's hero - independent, self-made, creative, relying on his image and reputation to do at least some of his work for him. It makes a certain sense to tackle his story with a designer's eye...but in the case of 'Death by Design' it just doesn't hold up.

It's a visually striking book, mostly black and white with subtle hints of color, faded green or pale blue. Finely-executed drawings on one page are augmented with rough charcoal renderings on the next, simple yet stylized panel layouts with an eye for the dramatic. The result is something that looks and feels like a classic superhero comic of the 1940's, but with a modern edge. I stopped every page or so to admire the artistry of it.

The story is an interesting idea, but ultimately tries to do too much with too little to go on. With the Wayne Central train station decaying and nearly falling apart, Bruce Wayne is overseeing the replacement of his father's legacy. Thick with architectural trivia, union contracts and political intrigue, a misplaced appearance from the Joker, a love interest for Bruce Wayne, new gadgetry for Batman, and a new pseudo-hero in Exacto, 'Death by Design' feels like a story in search of a point. Ultimately, the story crumbles under the weight of its ambition. Removing some of the elements (the Joker's presence seems most obviously unnecessary) might have made it work better overall.

I can appreciate the ideas here - a love of classic building and classic storytelling, an appreciation for the art of the previous century. The art of this story makes a great showcase for those ideas, but when it comes to the story itself, 'Death by Design' lived up to its own title - what killed it was inherent in its design.
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