Hire This Woman: Letterer Kuen Tang
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Kuen Tang has been a busy activist since becoming a quadriplegic in 2001, including work with organizations like the Canadian Paraplegic Association, filming documentaries with Oprah Winfrey Network Canada, and teaching courses on any number of subjects. In between all of that, she’s discovered a passion for lettering comics and has worked on comics for Zuda and as a staff letterer for Affinity Press. She’s also an artist and a writer.
ComicsAlliance: What is your preferred form of creative output?
Kuen Tang: I love lettering the best because its great to be the part of a creative team that completes the project.
CA: What’s your background/training?
KT: I have been taking art classes (including private lessons) since the age of 6. I have a Bachelor of Education degree with a minor in Visual Art.
CA: How would you describe your creative style?
KT: My lettering style changes according to the artist’s style. I believe it’s the letterer’s duty to match and enhance the artist’s style. My painting style is abstract realism.
CA: What projects have you worked on in the past? What are you currently working on?
KT: My first project was working with the artist currently drawing The Great Pacific, Martin Marazzo. We collaborated on a project called Absolute Magnitude for DC Comics. I lettered a project for Sarah Burrini called For all the Cows. I created logos for two comics called Old School and The Matriarch. I worked on many projects with an awesome artist called Chris Malgrain from France, an English comic called The Rovers and a French comics called Roxellia IV, as well as two comic strips that I wrote called Universal Design and A Wheeler’s Dream.
I’m currently a staff letterer for Affinity Press. I’ve worked on comics such as: The Apple of Idunn, The Five, Written, The Urd, PTD Lunched, Rapier, Equal Fight, Team Chicago and Staff Ezikel. I’m also currently working on Freebooters, Shadow Fraction, Sideshow and
I’m currently writing and developing a book of comic strips on disability issues. I’ve worked with great artists from worldwide who all donated their talent for a good cause.
CA: Approximately how long does it take you to letter a 20-page issue?
KT: I can letter a 22-page comic as fast as three days without affecting my quality of work.
CA: What is your dream project?
KT: My dream project is to letter a comic with Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith and Menton3.
CA: Who are some comic creators that inspire you?
KT: Rus Wooton; I just love his lettering style. Stan Sakai; anyone who can put so much dialogue into a comic and make it look great is god at lettering. Sergio Aragones; Groo is the funniest and most well-written comic, using comics to express political views and bring real issues in a humorous way.
CA: What are some comics that have inspired you either growing up or as an adult?
KT: I love Groo the Wanderer, all manga such as Dragon Ball, Ranma 1/2, etc.
CA: What’s your ideal professional environment?
KT: Working in my studio and lettering comics for people all over the world. I would love to work for Dark Horse, Image, Marvel and DC.
CA: What do you most want our readers and industry professionals to know about your work?
KT: I may be a quadriplegic but it does not hinder my love for comics and my ability to create great comics. I’m passionate about lettering comics and always look for ways to learn and constantly improve my skills. I’m capable and eager to letter any style in any language because I enjoy a good challenge.
CA: How can editors and readers keep up with your work and find your contact information?
KT: I update my website monthly if not more often, www.kuentang.com.
If there is a woman you’d like to recommend or if you’d like to be included in a future installment of this feature, drop us a line at comicsalliance-at-gmail-dot-com with “Hire This Woman” in the subject line.