Graphic Novel Friday: Interview with Chip Kidd

It's Bat-mania here at Omnivoracious as we gear up for next month's The Dark Knight Rises, the purported final  installment in director Christopher Nolan's Batman films. In preparation, we recently spoke with Batman scribe Scott Snyder, and then we had the opportunity to sit down with bestselling author, award-winning graphic designer, and now graphic novelist Chip Kidd. Mr. Kidd is an unabashed Batman fan, but this month's original graphic novel, Batman: Death by Design, marks the first time he's stepped into Gotham City as a feature-length writer. Given your background in graphic design, what’s it like to collaborate on a project where someone else is in charge of the visuals—where someone else is credited as the artist?

Chip Kidd: Well, if you’re with the right person it’s like magic, and this was definitely magic. The artist, Dave Taylor, was suggested to me by my editor at DC Comics, Mark Chiarello, and at first I thought, “I’ve never heard of this person.” But then I realized that I had—Dave had done a visual retelling of the origin of Robin in the 100th issue of the now-defunct Legends of the Dark Knight comic. This was in the mid-1990s, and I remember at the time thinking, “Wow, this is absolutely amazing,” but not really paying attention to whom the artist actually was—which I’m not particularly proud of. It turns out it was Dave, and it was great. Mark had suggested him for several reasons, but not the least of which is that he’s great at facial expressions and he’s great at drawing buildings—both of which would be key to this particular story. Not only that, he was willing to devote three years of his life to it. Pretty amazing.

Getting back to your original question: I guess I’m still new enough to this, the idea that I write down just a little bit of prose on a page in terms of what I want to see, and then you wait two weeks and then you see it. It’s incredible.

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