Frank Gets Bat-Manga-Mania


by

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


For those of you who don’t already know, Frank’s begun writing occasionally for Publishers Weekly. His latest piece is a review of the Chip Kidd-co-edited collection of Jiro Kuwata superhero comics, Bat-Manga! I wish I hadn’t read it myself, because now I have another stupid book I need to buy, but check it out if you have money to spare (or better impulse control).

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3 Responses to “Frank Gets Bat-Manga-Mania”
  1. Anonymous says:

    you got a soda on your roof, asshole

  2. noel troll says:

    hey Frank, this is a little late, but I feel worth mentioning, I just got the Bat Manga book a couple of days ago and I am really turned off by the production. If you take a look at the page layout, the for-edge of the book is reprinted in the fold. The big black bar with the trivia translations that is dead center in every spread was printed on the fore-edge of the original copies. This is killing me!! I love the comics, but I find them really hard to read because of this discontinuity. The spreads are all printed back to back. The pacing of the stories are completely messed up. I just don’t understand why they did this?!? In the production notes Chip Kidd says he is a comics purist so they kept the comics in an un-flipped state, which i totally agree with, but i think that ruining the integrity of every spread in the comics is much worse! I love the images in this book, but reading and enjoying the comics the way they were meant to be is impossible.

  3. Frank Santoro says:

    “The spreads are all printed back to back. The pacing of the stories are completely messed up.”

    This is correct, I believe. Unfortunately, there are no notes explaining this.

    From what I can discern, SOME, maybe most spreads are switched around –meaning they still read in the Japanese style –right to left–but that they are not appearing as they were originally composed. There are many instances where one can see how a color spread is chopped up. It is maddening. Why did they do this?

    I think it’s to have that black bar in the middle so that the margin notes could be translated. I like the black bar, it weights the pages but that is not how they appeared originally in ’66. The pacing is interrupted, and I believe the integrity of the work as a whole as well.

    I wanted to write about this in my PW review but space considerations didn’t allow it. It is a bummer, but the work is still there. It could be worse. but it COULD have been better.