By Rachel M.
Four different exhibits fill the floors of the Society of Illustrators this summer. The main exhibit—Illustrating Batman: Eighty Years of Comics and Pop Culture presents original artwork from over 50 of the most accomplished and recognizable artists to work on Batman including Bob Kane, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Brian Bolland, Paul Pope, Mike Mignola, Jerry Robinson, Dick Sprang, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Carmine Infantino, Joe Giella, Sheldon Moldoff, Jim Aparo, and many others. Additionally the exhibit contains collectibles, toys and advertising premiums from the collections of several long time collectors. No Batman exhibit would be complete without some artifacts from the 1960s TV show, and here you can even watch some episodes with Adam West as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson / Robin. The show also features essays and scholarly criticism about the art and artists who helped create this still exciting and iconic character.
In Batman Collected: Chip Kidd’s Batman Obsession, on display in the third floor gallery, one of the world’s most acclaimed graphic designers, Chip Kidd, shares highlights from his personal collection of Batman original art and rare ephemera. Significant Batman originals by Alex Ross, Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Burce Timm, and Tony Millionaire are on exhibit, among many others.
Discover the classic 1960s Bat-Manga original art of creator Jiro Kuwata, as popularized in the book by Chip Kidd, Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan. More than fifty largely unseen or exhibited pieces from this book are on display in the second floor gallery.
Lastly, Batman Black and White: Sketch Covers Selected by Chip Kidd, features an extraordinary selection of original Batman drawings assembled from the collection of award-winning Designer/Writer Chip Kidd. In 2013, DC Comics released a brand-new six-issue revival of the legendary Batman: Black and White series. Based on the hugely-popular 1996 publication, each issue of Batman: Black and White features several short stories written and drawn by top comic writers and artists. In the first issue, released on September 4th of 2013, Chip Kidd’s short-story titled “Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When” (co-written by Michael Cho) was featured, and the issue also included a blank variant cover. This blank cover overlap allowed fans to seek out original sketches by their favorite artists, and became a popular collectable.
The collection is a wonderful tribute to the artists behind the Dark Knight. It runs through October 12. More information about visiting can be found at https://www.societyillustrators.org/plan-your-visit.