In light of the recent announcement by Titan Books that the Batman 1966 TV Series has an all-new 256 page hardback book upcoming, SUPERMANIA looks back through the history of the publisher for its varied coverage on the Superman movie series.
As we wait oh-so-patiently for the definitive volume celebrating the cinematic adventures of the Man of Steel, it may come as a surprise to learn that its been almost two decades since so much as a chapter was dedicated to a retrospective of the films in an official release.
Though there are many career highlights to cram in across all media, one could be forgiven for thinking that a project entitled Superman: The Complete History – The Life And Times of The Man of Steel (top pic) would grant ample page space to the cast & crew that defined the character for a generation and beyond. Alas, these ground-breaking pictures are allocated a total of 8 out of its 190 pages (most shown above).
In fact, author Les Daniels is given a relatively easy ride here, with his no-frills insight free summary of sixty years (at the time of publishing) leaving little to recommend it past the initial read-through –
So thank goodness for the Art Direction & design by the genius that is Chip Kidd. Already a legend in fandom thanks to his incomparable masterwork Batman Collected Chip’s unique compositions are the only saving grace for this otherwise mediocre entry in the catalogue of Super-literature. Committing full pages to contemporary photographs of vintage collectables and classic screen-used costumes, (third & fourth pics) Chip’s layouts dominate the page with splashes of memorable comic-art.
The book concludes with a promise of Superman’s return to the silver screen in a movie directed by Tim Burton (whatever happened to that?) and tucked away in the smallprint of dedications is a thanks to one Jim Bowers, described here as a ‘Christopher Reeve aficionado’, his modest contribution here hopefully a prelude of much bigger things to come…