The introduction by West is a passionate read, as he reminisces about the show and sounds genuinely thankful for the fans who have stuck with his version of Batman for so long. He also is openly mournful at the loss of so many of his show co-stars. It’s certainly hard not to read his words without imagining the caricatured Adam West voice.
Set into easy to read but informative chapters, A Celebration covers the series from development, writing, casting and even the ingenious misappropriation of various pieces of used sets from the Fox backlot (mainly coming from Irwin Allen productions) to dress the screen test footage. While the text may be sparse in some chapters, the images more than make up for it. There are hundreds of stills and delightful behind-the-scenes photographs that will have fans grinning wider than the Joker. They are accompanied by numerous elements of ephemera from the production, which includes production paintings and sketches and studio notes and letters.
A whole chapter is set aside to list the many instances that Robin exclaimed something as ‘Holy… Batman’. These are worth perusing for the gems one might have otherwise forgotten’, such as ‘Holy cliché!’, ‘Holy contributing to the delinquency of minors!’, and ‘Holy unrefillable prescriptions!’ These moments were an element of the show that always had viewers smiling and certainly a welcome addition to the book.
The mammoth tome - it’s an oversized affair that comes in at over 250 knee-aching pages - is completed by an episode guide, which while not essential, is a great way to piece together all the info you’ve just ploughed through. There’s even a (paper) utility belt that wraps around the hardback cover, although the temptation is to remove this to stop it being damaged - well, you know what us collectors are like!
The book does what it sets out to do with ease - it’s a celebration of the camp series that is still the definitive representation of Batman for many of us. Hard core fans will probably not learn too much new from the text, but will devoir the images and love the passion that has brought everything together. Retreat to your own personal Bat-cave with a copy and rediscover the series all over again.
BATMAN: A CELEBRATION OF THE CLASSIC TV SERIES / AUTHOR: BOB GARCIA, JOE DESRIS / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 29TH