Uber-designer Chip Kidd is prepping one of the most eagerly anticipated manga titles of 2008, a collection of Batman manga from the short-lived Batman craze that hit Japan in the wake of the Batman TV show in 1966. Jiro Kuwata, the artist on Kazumasi Hirai's 8-Man, which is considered the first cyborg superhero manga, drew the Japanese Batman manga, which was published in Shonen King magazine. 


Neither DC nor Shonen King's Japanese publisher had copies of the Bat Manga -- the world has collectors to thank for this volume documenting a little known example of cross-cultural fertilization, which will be available from Pantheon in September of 2008.


The color TV boom in Japan in the mid-60s provided an opportunity for American TV series such as Bewitched and Batman since it took a while for Japanese TV producers to ramp up to produce enough color programming to satisfy demand. For the first (and last) time since the early days of Japanese television, American programs got major exposure and made a major impression during this period (some historians trace the part of the popularity of the 'magical girl' genre to American series such as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie).