The sci-fi site io9.com has a sneak peek at Chip Kidd’s new graphic novel Batman: Death by Design, which focuses on Batman’s relationship to the physical structures of Gotham City. 2000AD artist Dave Taylor illustrates the story, which involves a series of construction-site mishaps that occur during Gotham City’s building boom. Says Kidd:
I started thinking about living and working in New York, and one of the great tragedies was the destruction of the original Pennsylvania Station in 1963, because it was a beautiful building needlessly torn down. As somebody who has to use the modern Penn Station, it’s a horrible, stifling thing, after they threw it in the basement of Madison Square Garden. And there were these Manhattan crane collapses in the spring of 2008. I thought, “How could these two things possibly be related?” Batman is very much about architecture, as he uses the buildings as transportation and defense. Great Batman stories always incorporate architecture in some way, but I hadn’t seen a story that particularly dealt with that.
I can’t agree more about Penn Station, and it’s interesting that Kidd picks up on something we are all aware of and makes it explicit. Check out one of the pages below, and more at i09. The book is due out May 30.