‘Rorschach’ No. 3 first look: Chip Kidd takes on variant cover

Oct. 12, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.

Chip Kidd co-authored “Watching the Watchmen: The Definitive Companion to the Ultimate Graphic Novel” with Dave Gibbons and Mike Essl. (ChipKidd.com)

Chip Kidd wrote "Shazam!: The Golden Age of the World's Mightiest Mortal" with Geoff Spear. (ChipKidd.com)

The cover for Gary Spencer Millidge's "Alan Moore: Storyteller," designed by Chip Kidd with Jose Villarubia's photo. (Illex Press / ChipKidd.com)

Chip Kidd's cover design for Gerard Jones' "Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book." (ChipKidd.com)

Chip Kidd, one of the most celebrated book cover designers in publishing, is taking on Rorschach, one of the most twisted and controversial characters in comics.

Kidd is bringing his design skills to a variant cover for “Rorschach” No. 3. The comic, which goes on sale on Nov. 21, is the next installment in the antihero’s “Before Watchmen” series, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Lee Bermejo. Issues No. 1 and 2 set Rorschach against corpse-carving serial killer The Bard and crime lord Rawhead in a gritty 1977 world. Despite initial outcry and criticism from fans of the original 1986-87 “Watchmen” series by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, the DC prequels are gaining traction.

Kidd, who has worked as a designer for Alfred A. Knopf since 1986, is no stranger to the world of comics. His graphic novel “Batman: Death by Design” (with art by Dave Taylor) was released earlier this year, and he has authored several books about comics, including “Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz,” “Shazam! The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal” and “Bat-Manga: The Secret History of Batman in Japan.” Kidd also co-authored “Watching the Watchmen: The Definitive Companion to the Ultimate Graphic Novel” with Gibbons and Mike Essl.

Kidd is perhaps best known for his iconic book covers, including for Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park” and Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men.”

Hero Complex readers get a first look at Kidd’s variant cover for “Rorschach” No. 3. Also, flip through the gallery above for a peek at a small slice of Kidd’s prolific work.

– Noelene Clark

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