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Batman: Death by Design (Batman)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,350 ratings  ·  193 reviews
A New York Times Bestseller

A June 2012 Amazon Best Book of the Month

In this new original graphic novel from superstar writer/designer Chip Kidd and artist Dave Taylor, Gotham City is undergoing one of the most expansive construction booms in its history. The most prestigious architects from across the globe have buildings in various phases of completion all over town. As c
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by DC Comics
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Batman by Alan MooreBatman by Frank MillerBatman by Jeph LoebBatman by Frank MillerBatman by Grant Morrison
Best of Batman
152nd out of 344 books — 603 voters
Watchmen by Alan MooreSaga, Volume 1 by Brian K. VaughanLocke & Key, Vol. 1 by Joe HillV for Vendetta by Alan MooreMaus, II by Art Spiegelman
Greatest Graphic Novels
220th out of 278 books — 114 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,383)
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This is a different focus on Batman. First off, he acts like Peter Parker with his insecurities and wisecracking humor to himself. The tale deals with an aged train depot that has seen better days and a movement in Gotham to rebuild it. Of course there's more to the tale and author Chip Kidd brings in some NYC history to add flavor to the overall story.

But the real attraction is the amazing artwork and the focuses on architecture and the like. Artist Dave Taylor, according to the commentary in
Jul 24, 2012 Greg rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics, dc
I got to meet Chip Kidd, and he signed my copy of this book. That was pretty cool. Getting to meet Chip Kidd was better than reading this book though. Opps. I enjoyed the story and the retro-version of Batman, this is the Batman with some modern sensibility but definitely not the dark vigilante of the post Year One / Dark Knight era.

The big problem I had with this comic was the drawing style. I was sort of expecting a really amazing looking Batman book. Chip Kidd is probably my second favorite
Chip Kidd conjures some very subtle characterizations, with dialogue to match. I'm entranced by the natural quality of the drama here, even with periodic insertions of a chunk of exposition to drop a bunch of details off (like the stork bringing in a new baby).

Batman is good - man of few words, stays on target and gets to the point. Joker is awesome - a blend of Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger, he's everything I need in a psychotic supervillain - smart, brutally honest and not afraid to do somethi
Wyatt Packard
When a crane falls onto the crowd of onlookers, all watch the famous Bruce Wayne as he announces the demolition and reconstruction of the Wayne Tower Train Station. Batman, of course investigates, and finds a mystery that will take him to some of Gotham's greatest architects and will leave him wondering just who would want to stop him from rebuilding Gotham's center.

I was ready to love this graphic novel, Dave Taylor's pencil artwork is wonderful, awe inspiring in it's simplicity and depth and i
Aslı Dağlı
Çeviri editörlüğünü yaptığım ilk çizgi romanım:) Ay lav Batman demiş miydim? :)
Holy shaftjob! Two irrefutible facts: Chip Kidd can't write and this illustrator can't render.

Kidd very unwisely chose to make unionized workers and craftsmen of America the villians -- the very backbone of our middle class -- what the hell? And by proxy he also makes Bruce Wayne's father weak and asleep at the wheel regarding a major construction project bearing the Wayne family name.

This book sports an architect vigilante -- and let the stupendous stupidness of that concept linger for a mome
Sam Quixote
The award winning graphic designer Chip Kidd turns his hand to writing his first graphic novel and what a subject to land on for your debut - a Batman book! And while the book looks great from its pleasing cover material texture and interesting charcoal print of Batman's head, to Dave Taylor's cool artistry, the book feels a bit flat to read.

The story is about architecture in Gotham. Specifically a transportation hub that has fallen into disrepair that is due to be torn down and rebuilt. But way
I got this through Amazon Vine, so I want to be up front about that. Unfortunately due to issues with my postal office, I wasn't able to post this on Amazon until its release date.

There's both good and bad things about this comic. Batman will always have a certain level of coolness, so this was still an enjoyable comic for the most part but I'd be lying if I said that the Batman series didn't have better to offer.

The shining gem in this comic is the artwork. The comic is set in an unspecified
John Hefner
First off, I think attention should be paid to this story's editor, Mark Chiarello. As director of creative operations at DC, Chiarello has spearheaded some of the most interesting and daring projects at DC, including Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier, the star-studded newspaper comic-strip tribute Wednesday Comics, and Batman: Black and White, a series of short stories by a vast array of diverse comic talent, all of whom experimented with Batman to varying degrees of success. When it was good, it was ...more
William Thomas
Although I respect Chip Kidd and his aesthetic sensibilities, I don't think he was in full control of them during the creation of this book. Everything inside is flat and lifeless, emotionless and dull. Aside from the cover (which is what Kidd is known for, anyway, his covers) there isn't much redeeming about 'Death by Design'.

Flat and washed out gray tones dominate the artwork. Instead of utliiziing heavy contrasts and deep shadows, Kidd trades in all of that for the light and airy pencils in
May 25, 2012 Beau rated it 4 of 5 stars
I was originally excited to read this because I had seen Chipp Kidd's name credited as designing the covers to some of my all time favorite books and I was curious how he would approach drawing a graphic novel. I was disheartened when my copy arrived and I realized that he was only the author of the book and not the illustrator, but a quick flip through the early pages re-invigorated my interest. It's quite obvious that he choose his partner well and had a significant say in the look of the book ...more
BATMAN: DEATH BY DESIGN joins the bargain bin right next to BATMAN: DIGITAL JUSTICE from the 1980's. BATMAN: DEATH BY DESIGN suffers from surprisingly low ambition mixed with pretentiousness. As I zipped through the uncomplicated story with its giant blocks of forgettable text, I was wondering who on earth would all this claptrap appeal to? Comic nerds will (rightfully) scoff at the lackluster artwork, tedious story, and boring characterization of Batman. Design nerds will roll their eyes at the ...more
Larry Zieminski
Apr 23, 2012 Larry Zieminski rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Batman Fans
I'm a bit torn with this book. The artwork is great. The mostly black and white drawings feel like they were done with charcoal. It creates a great look that stands apart from the traditional comic book look.

The story is good, but there-in lies my problem. It isn't a great story. It certainly doesn't stand out as one of the "Great Batman Tales." I like the setting (1930s or so Gotham City) and the style, but the story itself feels like a good episode of the old Batman cartoon, rather than "the g
I liked the sketchy art style.. it had a steampunk & noir vibe about it.
Dillon Albus
Dillon Albus, 2-4-14,
Mrs.Gauld, 3rd period,

Batman: Death by Design-by Chip Kidd
Read January 16, 2014

This is just one of thousands upon thousands of Batman books/comics. It’s a Batman book that follows the same rules as almost all the others do; There’s a villain who makes his presence known, a beautiful lady who has some significance in the story, and he winds up beating the villain and saving everyone on time. This book was absolutely amazing. It was a Christmas present and I finally got around
This is my first comic book, and I have to say I really loved it. Short, fast-paced, action packed story with a little flair from writer (and designer) Chip Kidd. If all comics are this fun, I may become a big nerd.
Martin Earl
Jul 07, 2012 Martin Earl rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Batfans, comics friends, architects
Shelves: comics
Really, REALLY good.

This goes back to the roots of Batman, in so many ways. The age in which it is set, for one thing; but really in that it was, more than anything I've read from DC lately, a Detective Comic. It hearkens back to Batman before Frank Miller, and while I know how important he was to the modern understanding and interpretation of the Bat, leaving behind Miller's world of grim slums and mistreated hookers is an absolute relief. And the inclusion of some—gasp!—humor was an unexpected
Travis McClain
Pretty much whenever I read any Batman story, the first question I consider is whether it would have been a natural fit for Legends of the Dark Knight during its heyday. LOTDK was/is my favorite Batman comic of all time, an anthology series wherein different creative teams of writers and artists would collaborate to tell the story of their choosing, free from the constraints of connecting with what anyone else was doing with the character. Most stories took place in Batman's early years, but som ...more
Rich Stoehr
In many ways, Batman is the artist's hero - independent, self-made, creative, relying on his image and reputation to do at least some of his work for him. It makes a certain sense to tackle his story with a designer's eye...but in the case of Death by Design it just doesn't hold up.

It's a visually striking book, mostly black and white with subtle hints of color, faded green or pale blue. Finely-executed drawings on one page are augmented with rough charcoal renderings on the next, simple yet sty
Thoroughly enjoyed it - in fact, my only complaint would be that it was over all too soon. For fans of the 1930's, noir art-deco Gotham, Dave Taylor's artwork is a real treat, his sketched and shaded style, tinged with hints of pale colour here and there, give Gotham a feel as equally brooding as it is ethereal, and it's a perfect setting for this story in which the city of Gotham itself plays such a major role. Some may be disappointed to find that any villains that do appear seem almost confin ...more
Colin McKay Miller
Jan 26, 2013 Colin McKay Miller rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Not even Chip Kidd fans
Shelves: graphic-novels
Remember those episodes of “Star Trek” where a creative, tense storyline got immediately solved and deflated by some on-the-spot, made-up technology? If you like that, then you‘ll enjoy Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor’s Batman: Death by Design.

Death by Design looks like a classic black and white film. It should be a neat style from Dave Taylor, with flares of color added in, but it feels quite dull. Bruce Wayne looks too soft and the Batman get-up is as close to Adam West as you can get. The story is
Bryson Kopf
Ok, so I enjoyed this, but these 4 stars on the strength of Dave Taylor's great art and fantastic designs for Gotham. I dug the idea of having an architectural mystery going down (especially as it melds two historical events), but the story is otherwise just ok. I think Kidd neglected doing some better character work (especially for the reporter Richard and for Cyndia) which makes a lot of the story suffer from a lack of stakes or drama in a few spots. Also, the inclusion of the Joker was extrem ...more
Jan 04, 2012 Oriana marked it as to-read
WHAT??? Zomgmgmg.

From Flavorwire: In an interview with CBR, Kidd explained, “I actually came up with the title first. I thought, ‘If it’s me and you know who I am and what I do, then I’m going to come at this whole thing from a design standpoint.’ I’ve said for many years that Batman himself and especially the way he’s evolved is brilliant design. It’s problem solving. And we get into that in the story. Beyond that, it became about me going ‘What if?’ What do I want that I haven’t seen? And real
Jessica at Book Sake
Holy blocks of text, Batman! This book was a chore to read for me. I like to read, but when it comes to comics the text should be short bursts, not giant walls covering a fourth of the page.

This is definitely not the usual superhero book. It seems like more of an experimental project in writing and art. The art is toned down. You won’t find any giant muscles or skin tight clothing. People look normal, even Batman looks normal for a guy in a costume. It does a great job of giving that retro, noir
The story was something typical of a Batman comic, not too over the top and easy to follow. I enjoyed it all the same. Some of the character choices I didn't particularly enjoy, such as the main female character, but that seems to be a typical trend with me and female comic book characters. I did enjoy the appearance of several Batman villains, my favorite being the Joker, and the brief appearance of the Penguin.

I wasn't really a fan of the art. It was generally rather good, but not to my tastes
A really interesting and different take on a batman story. The artwork at first wasn't doing it for me, but by the end I was in love with it. The whole black & white, oldies tone worked really well. It's subtle, but done perfectly. I even liked the simplified batman logo, which at first I didn't get, but then I could see how it fit in with the architectural vibe of the book. I also couldn't help but literally laugh out loud when Chip Kidd pretty much shows up in his own book (not to mention ...more
This is a 3 star book with 5 star graphic art. Ergo, I compromised and gave it 4. Set in the first half of the 20th Century (I think it was purposely not specified when) this is an interesting book, a good idea, and some wonderful art and well researched material about architecture and then having it applied to Gotham. Joker shows up but isn't essential to the volume, and it really is the art that does it here in gorgeous black and white pencils...worth a look (literally) doesn't actually requir ...more
The art is probably the most redeeming feature; I feel the need to say that first. However, the inconsistency of just about all the faces is rather distracting, especially when all but the one lone female character are tall, white, dark haired men (this includes the Joker). Aside from one mustachioed man , one overweight and balding man, the Joker's distinct style, and one man with a beard and glasses, it's almost impossible to tell the characters apart. The backgrounds are beautiful and the mid ...more
Michelle Cristiani
I was debating 4-5 stars and decided to round up on originality alone. My hesitation was that it took me a few stops and starts to finish, which is unusual for a graphic novel I really love.

This novel, all black and white, replays some very early 1940's art style, and is super wordy. It's more a story than an action-packed thrill ride. So it reads like a book, not a comic. Is it ok for me to say that? I'm a comic fan, people. But mostly I just want to read stories about Batman and look at him w
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Chip Kidd is an American author, editor and graphic designer, best known for his innovative book covers.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Kidd grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, strongly influenced by American popular culture. While a design student at Penn State, an art instructor once gave the assignment to design a book cover for Museums and Women by John Updike, who is also a Shillington native. T
More about Chip Kidd...

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