A couple of years ago, my pal – Writer/Designer extraordinaire – Chip Kidd, created a short story for DC Comics’ limited series, Batman: Black and White. This particular collector’s edition was wrapped in a mostly blank white cover (with text in place) which allowed readers to use their talents and imagination to create their own original artwork for the cover.
Chip took the idea a step further and began asking well-known artists and illustrators to take a stab at creating a cover in their own unique styles. I was really excited when Chip asked me to participate a while back, particularly when I heard about some of the other artists who would be lending their own talents to the project…many are personal favorites. (You can check out the list of contributors HERE.) And, Chip offered us carte blanche to create whatever we wanted to do.
I was definitely a comic book geek when I was a kid. I loved anything DC, and I was a huge fan of the campy old TV series with Adam West. Batman was first portrayed on screen by an actor named Lewis Wilson in a movie serial released in 1943. When I was ten, my folks dropped my older brother and myself off at an independent movie theater that was doing a retrospective of old serials, and we enthusiastically sat through all 15 cliff-hanger episodes – almost 5 hours! I chose to feature a portrait of Wilson for my cover because I thought it might be unique (it appears that actors who portrayed superheroes back then weren’t pressured to spend as much time in the gym as they are today) but mostly – I just have terrific memories of sitting in the dark with my brother that day, enjoying the movie and eating lots of crap.
Chip’s collection of original covers (eighty-eight, so far) are presently on exhibit through November 7th at the Society of Illustrators Museum in NYC, with an opening reception planned for October 7th. For more information and tickets, go HERE. And perhaps the very best part: DC Comics will publish a coffee table book featuring the collection next year with proceeds going to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.