Earlier this week, we helped announce the new DC: Batman book from The Folio Society, which puts out gorgeous hardcover illustrated editions of notable literature. 

A big part of that announcement, was sharing with you, dear reader, a look at the physical object’s incredible design. Well, today as a follow-up we have a new interview with Folio Society Head of Editorial James Rose, who discusses how this book came about, the stories that were included, and, of course, the design choices.

Check it out below!

Interview: Folio Society head of editorial talks DC: BATMAN

ZACK QUAINTANCE: How did you go about narrowing down the content that would appear in this book? It feels to me like Batman has maybe the most prolific publishing history of any character in American fiction.

JAMES ROSE: Well, it certainly wasn’t easy! There are simply too many great stories to include them all in a 320pp selection so we had to be very careful. I started by drawing up a very long list of comics that could potentially be included before sending this on to Jenette Kahn for consideration. She has made an incredible selection, taking some of my suggestions and adding her own of course. Fortunately, Jenette has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Batman but with so many stories from 85 years to choose from, we had to end our selection at the turn of the millennium.

Folio Society

ZACK: How did you decide between what eras of Batman to include in this book?

JAMES: Firstly, we really felt we should include at least one story from each decade of Batman’s existence, up until the year 2000. We really wanted this to be a broad selection, covering as much of the Caped Crusader’s timeline as we could, without focusing on one particular era. Batman is an incredibly complex character and has undergone various representations, so it was important that we try to get in as many as we could.

ZACK: In addition to the 12 classic comics in this book, what sort of new material is published here?

ROSE: Jenette has of course written a simply wonderful introduction that explains perfectly her choices and gives a brief history of the character. She also looks at some of the comics that we just didn’t have room to include here. Also, alongside the main volume is a faithful replica of Batman #1, from March 1940. We really wanted to give the reader an experience of reading the original, so we have scanned from a first issue that DC holds in its archives and we’ve even tried to match the paper used. It should look and feel just as it did on the newsstand in 1940.

ZACK: Can you tell me about the design choices made for this book, and how they were intended to make it stand out relative to other Batman books?

JAMES: We really wanted to stay faithful to our source material so the cover design features that iconic outline of Batman and the slipcase the bat signal. Then of course we also have the replica of Batman #1, something you can’t get anywhere else. One of my favourite parts though is the endpapers which reveal in three panels the transformation of Bruce Wayne into Batman, taken from Detective Comics #471. It just looks great.

ZACK: Finally, I know you may not be able to answer this, but I still have to ask — are there plans for more Folio Society collaborations with DC Comics in the future?

JAMES: Yes, absolutely. We started by releasing DC: The Golden Age and this, the first of a character-specific selection, but we intend to follow this up with a Superman volume, in series with this Batman one, followed by a Silver Age compendium. And, having only selected Caped Crusader comics up to the millennium, then I’d love to do a follow-up of this too. There’s certainly enough material to choose from!

DC: Batman can be purchased now via The Folio Society here.