updike on kidd

Though the cultural climate of southeastern Pennsylvania has surely changed in the two-and-thirty years between my boyhood and Kidd’s, the soil must still be fertile for the young homebody and media maven, “for all of us”, as Kidd wrote in his epic album Peanuts: The Art of Charles M Schultz (Pantheon, 2001), “who ate our school lunches alone and didn’t have any hope of sitting anywhere near the little red-haired girl and never got any valentines and struck out every time we were shoved to the plate for Little League”.

In a field, book-jacket design, where edge, zip and instant impact are sine qua non, Kidd is second to none. Can he draw? Presumably, yet the mark of his pen or pencil rarely figures into his work. His tool is the digital computer, with its ever more ingenious graphics programs. In the ever-expanding electronic archives of scannable photographic imagery, he is a hunter-gatherer.

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