One part manga, one part history, and one part awesome (and often hilarious) memorabilia collection, it’s Bat-Manga! As a fan of the Caped Crusader, I try to get a look at anything I can of him, though admittedly much falls through the cracks. This “Secret History of Batman in Japan” comes from an touts manga from an era of more hilarious Batman adventures riding on the heels of Adam West’s Batman TV show popularity. Even though the manga takes up most of the page, the extras are very nice including a wonderful interview with Jiro Kuwata. This little, or rather large, book is too unique to miss out on.
Bat-Manga is a curious creation in both the history of manga and Batman comics. The Batman manga ran in the Shonen King in an effort of cross promote itself with the 60s Batman television show what had just come to Japan. While the manga was written by Jiro Kuwata the popular author of 8 Man the manga was never popular enough to be collected into tankobon and quickly became an almost completely forgotten title. But years later Chip Kidd, a devoted Batman fan, would discover this little known series and do his best to find what chapters he could. Since there are no trade paperbacks of the Batman manga he had to dig up what few volumes of Shonen King he could find. This means he mostly found a few random stories from throughout the run of the manga and several of the stories are incomplete. To round out the content Chip Kidd has added additional materials like interviews and pictures of Japanese merchandise from the time the manga was produced. All of this meshes together to give you a strange and fascinating insight into a secret chapter in the Batman mythology.