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Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan    by Chip Kidd, Geoff Spear & Saul Ferris order for
by Chip Kidd
Order:  USA  Can
Pantheon, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

I am a bigger fan of the Batman movies than the comics, but I am a huge fan of manga, so Chip Kidd's Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan appealed to me from that perspective.

With the help of Geoff Spear and Saul Ferris, Kidd complied pages from the Batman manga that ran in Shonen King from 1966 to 1967. While these stories are based on the American comic, they have all been re-formed for a Japanese audience. All of the episodes are complete, but even though some of the story arcs are missing chapters, these stories are still enjoyable.

The manga-ka behind the Batman manga, Jiro Kuwata, did a marvelous job mixing American and Japanese comic styles. When the characters are in their non-superhero roles, they look like pure 1960s manga characters. However, when they transform to Batman, Robin, and the various villains, they look closer to their American counterparts. The stories themselves are a nice mix of Eastern and Western that make them enjoyable for Batman and manga fans alike.

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