Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Experiencing Bat Manga with Chip Kidd Part 2

Please read Part 1of the interview before reading Part 2.

Experiencing Bat Manga continuation

With what he had to go through to get Bat Manga to be a reality, how did he know what to do? Well it took years of experience and using the knowledge he obtained from those experiences. He explained to me “when doing any kind of official Batman book, you have to work it all out with DC Comics.” Mr. Kidd has done that on the other previous Batman books, “so I knew the drill.” Next was “understanding the scope of such a project,” which included how much work is involved, what has to be done and when. This understanding and preparation is used and needed in order to keep the whole project on schedule. “It’s actually quite a complex operation, especially since I didn’t have any assistants to help.”

Now with the work process of Bat Manga from the tour and to retouching, Mr. Kidd has one important Bat Manga experience that he will take with him for future projects. “Well, the most important and exciting experience, for me, was learning that Mr. Kuwata received some of his original Batman artwork back from the publisher, after forty years. This was as a direct result of us making this book. I realize that’s not what you’re asking, but it sure was exciting.” Actually, I think it is cool (^_^)

Putting the work process aside, there was something I felt that schools usually do not tell their students, but I felt that people should know and understand. When I did my research, I found out that some fans are not happy with the crediting of Bat Manga. I did not want to know what happen nor who the fans were. Knowing how to handle the situation is not something that is usually taught in school. My question was how did you know what was the right approach in handling such situations? How did you know what was NOT the right approach?
“Well, to strictly answer the question, I would say that in any situation where people are saying negative things about you on the internet, the best thing to do is ignore it and not respond. This can be very difficult, as one’s impulse is for self-defense. Especially when you know they are misunderstanding the situation. My mistake was that I did respond, with a very strongly worded statement, and of course that was like trying to put out a brushfire with gasoline. It only just incenses people who just want and need something to be angry about.

I would say though, that there were a good many people who I think were genuinely concerned that Mr. Kuwata was not being fairly treated, and I can appreciate that. But it was not the case, and he has been very grateful that we did this book.”
Bat Manga and Readers

Bat Manga contains history, not just the history of Batman, but also the history of Batman in Japan. It also reflects the Japanese perspective and interpretations of Batman. So does this mean that Bat Manga is worth preserving and archiving? According to Chip Kidd, “the book itself is the answer to that. It IS an archive, just not a complete one. I would very much like to see all of the Kuwata Batman stories archived in their entirety in both Japanese and English. I am working on making this happen.”

So what about for Chip Kidd? Would he preserve Bat Manga for himself? “Well, I think that’s what I did, right? I very much made this book for myself, because I love the material. I did think it would have the potential for a large audience, and of course I hope it does, but my artistic inspirations for it were very selfish. I talk more about this on my website,”
© 2009 Linda Thai

Thank you Vanessa Schneider and Chip Kidd for the honorable interview opportunity (^_^)!!!!
Photography by Charlie Kochman

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