It can’t be easy to effectively redesign a pop culture icon 50 years after its inception, but that is precisely what Miller & Co. did here. And not just formally, not at all. Yes, the page layouts were revolutionary, but it’s the renewed emotional intensity to the saga of what appear to be Bruce Wayne’s last days that truly affect the reader.
This was the first book I read that was really about the power of design and typography. I would say that Charlotte’s typographic web-o-grams represent the first depiction of a successful ad campaign in children’s literature.
A bit obvious, and more than a little embarrassing, this book nonetheless truly made me reevaluate what it means to be a designer, at a crucial time in my life (late college). It is NOT to be taken as gospel, but more as a cautionary tale of megalomania. Plus, as a soap opera it’s pretty hard to beat.
Certainly one of the best novels of the 20th century, it’s also a brilliantly withering observation of America’s descent into (and embracement of) kitsch. The descriptions of Humbert and Lolita’s feverish car trips across the country read as if Dante were lost in an endless J. C. Penney’s.
Milgram’s detailed account of his experiments of the title at Yale in 1961. For me these constitute one of the greatest feats of design in mid-20th century America, and inspired me to write The Learners, my second novel.