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Penn State’s University Libraries have acquired the archives of graphic designer and author Chip Kidd. A Pennsylvania native, he graduated from the school’s graphic design program in 1986.
Renowned for creating the jackets for such books as Michael Chricton’s Jurassic Park and The Lost World, Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, David Sedaris’ Naked and Gerard Jones’ Men of Tomorrow, Kidd also designed the covers for Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Vertical Inc.’s Osamu Tezuka line, and Dave Gibbons’ Watching the Watchmen. Kidd also wrote Batman: Collected, Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross, Bat-Manga: The Secret History of Batman in Japan and the 2012 graphic novel Batman: Death by Design.
Kidd’s archives, which date back to his childhood, include his student portfolio, early drafts of the iconic Jurassic Park cover, original artwork, proofs, and correspondence with such authors as James Ellroy, Michael Updike, Larry McMurtry and Cormac McCarthy. The more than 250 boxes also contain letters illustrated by Chris Ware, and nearly 200 pop-culture collectibles, such as Batman figurines, cereal boxes and plates.
“I’m thrilled that what amounts to my life’s work has found a home at the Penn State Special Collections Library,” Kidd said in a statement. “In many ways I have my education at PSU to thank for its very existence.”
The collection is expected to be on exhibit by January 2014, with the materials also available to researchers by that time.