The book includes a selection of the Japanese Batman cartoons created by Jiro Kuwata in 1966-67, around the time of the Batman TV show. Designed for a Japanese readership, these offer Kuwata's interpretation of the standard Batman motifs within original storylines.
The word balloons were translated by Anne Ishii, a Publishers Weekly comics correspondent, and then tweaked by Kidd. He said the originals often simply described what was on the page, so he cut out a lot.
The panels and word balloons run from right to left (though the translated words read left to right, of course). The panels are also numbered in case you get lost, though in the first story those numbers aren't always easy to spot.
First, Batman and Robin have tracked Clayface to the subterranean pool that gives him his powers.
That's right: Bruce transformed himself into a giant batarang. What an improviser!
I'd love some help interpreting the following conversation from the start of another story (a story whose ending wasn't available for this volume). We're at a jewelry auction in Gotham, and we all know that won't end happily. Bruce and Dick are there, of course. Kuwata's version of Dick almost always wears a dark jacket and bow tie, which makes him look as if he's in evening dress while everyone else is slumming. Then an unfamiliar lady pipes up.
Is there some genre convention about teenagers that I'm not recognizing here? To me Dick seems uncharacteristically hot-tempered and nasty. Even with all his Golden and Silver Age worrying about being replaced, he didn't lash out at rivals for Bruce's attention like this.
As you can see, the pages are yellowed, and details sometimes disappear into bindings. In a "turn bugs into features" approach, Kidd tells us that he decided to reproduce the experience of reading the old comics digests where he found these stories. He also threw in a few pages of bootleg Batman comics from China, showing him fighting Superman and the Monkey King.
In addition to the comics, the volume contains many full-color photographs from Ferris's collection of Japanese Batman toys and ephemera, including this ad, which appears to offer us an early look at Damian as Robin.
The book has a $60 cover price, but that brings almost 400 oversized pages printed in color.