80 Years Of Batman (Society Of Illustrators NYC)

2019 marks the 80th anniversary of Batman and for a limited time, The Society Of Illustrators has not one but four amazing exhibits! From now until October 12, some of world-acclaimed graphic designer Chip Kidd’s private collection is on display on all four floors of the museum (Batman Collected: Chip Kidd’s Batman Obsession, Bat-Manga! The Secret History Of Batman In Japan, Illustrating Batman: Eighty Years Of Comics And Pop Culture, and Batman Black And White: Sketch Covers Selected By Chip Kidd).

And specially for July 9 at 6:30pm, Chip Kidd himself will be giving a private tour of the exhibits, with admission automatically entering you to win one of three $25 gift cards to Midtown Comics!

Across the four exhibits, there are over 300 items including original pages, cover art, commissions, recreations, artifacts, and more!

Countless amazing artists have worked on Batman art over the decades, and many of their works can now be seen at the Society Of Illustrators! Artists like Paul Pope, Neal Adams, John Byrne, Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Frank Quitely, Alex Ross, Jim Lee, and even Batman creator Bob Kane:

Fans of Batman can clearly see the evolution of the art, starting as far back as Joe Giella’s Sunday strips and going all the way up to modern pieces like this personalized Animated Series commission by Bruce Timm:

But as you make your way around the exhibits, you’ll notice that it isn’t just a collection of commissions but also an incredible assembly of iconic original art… layouts, covers, pages…

If you’ve been following Batman long enough, you’re bound to recognize some of the key art on display:

And what’s amazing is that the pieces range from pencil sketches, inked pieces, colored art, and even paraphernalia like promotional items, posters, and merchandise like these Batman & Robin cut-out masks:

There is also a floor devoted to Japanese Batman comics, thanks to Chip Kidd. This section is the first time a significant portion of Jiro Kuwata’s artwork has been on display in the United States.

It follows the success of the 1960’s Adam West TV series and is probably unlike any other Batman art you’ve ever seen:

And speaking of the 1960’s TV series, you can find an episode playing in the Winsor McCay Screening Room on the bottom floor! And on the top floor by the 128 Bar & Bistro, you’ll find even more fantastic pieces like sericels, rejected covers, and recreations of legendary Batman art like his first appearance in 1939’s Detective Comics #27:

But one of my favorite areas of this entire exhibition is probably the Sketch Cover wall. Purely using the 2013 run of Batman: Black And White (based on the hugely-popular 1966 publication), Chip Kidd’s sketch cover collection includes 24 original sketch covers done by Frank Miller, Tony Millionaire, Liniers, Nathan Fox, Mike Mignola, Jim Lee, Pash, Kyle Baker, Ed McGuiness, and more!

And as always, the museum store featured Batman-themed gifts including buttons, guides, and even a fine selection of $1 comic books! I was able to pick up a copy of The Brave and the Bold #181 (1981) and The Brave and the Bold #189 (1982).

There is so much more to see at The Society Of Illustrators’ Batman Exhibition that you’ll just need to see it for yourself! There’s no better way to celebrate Batman’s 80th!

Be sure to check out the full Photo Gallery as well as our exhibition preview video below!

Society Of Illustrators is open Tuesday through Saturday. For more information on location, hours, or current exhibitions, please visit their website.

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