Steve Daly
November 01, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Batman Collected

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Chip Kidd
publisher
Bulfinch
genre
Nonfiction, Pop Culture, Coffee Table

We gave it an A

Dominated by huge, meticulous photographs of tiny bric-a-brac, the pages of Batman Collected have no white borders. And there are no limits, either, to the depths of Chip Kidd’s lifelong obsession with Batman paraphernalia. With a curator’s zeal and a social historian’s insight, he muses on 490-plus visions of Batman as the 20th-century American hero, a figure obsessed with revenge, self-invention, acquisition, and the desire ”to be feared… [and] look fabulous” through umpteen comic-book, TV-show, movie, and merchandise incarnations. It’s all there in the way photographer Geoff Spear lights and arranges the objects, from a 1966 Robin marionette splayed crucifixion-style to a hypnotically fragile, sun yellow 1989 tortilla chip stamped in the shape of the bat logo. Miraculously, Kidd finds aesthetic nourishment in every bat crumb. A

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