The weekend is here! Take a look back at what’s happened in the past seven days. New comics, new stories, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!
There are a lot of ways that a comic book can reinforce the iconography of the superhero. A snappy costume; signature powers; an artist that defined the look of the book for a generation. But part of the iconography of the superhero is a good logo, and part of establishing that iconography is that hoary old comics tradition: saying the logo out loud.
Lettering is a criminally underrated part of comics. When you see good writing, you tend to notice, and when you see good art, it gets talked about. The best you can say about good lettering is that it’s invisible. When done well, no one should even realize it’s happening. There’s been some stunning lettering in every issue of Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland, by Nate Piekos of Blambot, and it deserves to be noticed.
Nothing makes a comic book look less professional than bad lettering, but if you have some doubts about how to do it the professional way, don't fret. Comixology and Comicraft are here to help with a new graphic that highlights some of the common dos and don'ts of the fine art of lettering!
Joe Caramagna is a writer and letterer best known for his work at Marvel, where he writes much of their all-ages line and letters titles including Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil. His newest project is the Kickstarter-funded miniseries The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp, with artist Scott Koblish. The history of the infamous cowboy --- much of which is myth, some of it legend, and maybe even some of it true --- is a tangled knot, which Caramagna slices through to provide readers with some of the most interesting Wild West stories in recent comics history.
To find out more, Caramagna spoke to ComicsAlliance about the series, the man behind the legend, and how the Kickstarter process developed for him. We also asked him about his role as a letterer, to learn what makes a great letterer, and what life is like as a lettering pro.
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.
Q: Lettering: who does it best and why? -- @awa64
A: Comic book lettering is up there with inking and coloring in the holy trinity of underrated comic book skills, but it's also one of those things that, once you start paying attention to it, you'll never be able to not notice it again. I'm not exaggerating even a little bit when I say that it's one of those things that can absolutely ruin a comic if it's done wrong, even if everything else is perfect. But to be honest, of those three elements, lettering is still probably the most underrated.
The thing is, when it's good, it can be absolutely gorgeous in its own right. And fortunately for us, there are a lot of people who do it very, very well.
For years, master of comic book lettering and logo design Todd Klein has released a series of limited edition prints created in collaboration with some of comics’ most superlative talents, each spotlighting Klein's unmatched gift and love for exquisite typography and design. In keeping with that theme, the prints have been ordered alphabetically, with the latest brought to us by the letter K: "Knowledge." And because it is the initial of Klein's surname, the letterer chose to go solo on this print, which, as he writes so beautifully across the top, is a compendium of calligraphic knowledge that all letterers, designers and comic book fans would do well to take to heart.
The bulk of lettering in mainstream comics is meant to be invisible. By invisible I don't mean you can't see it; it's more that you don't notice it. In the '90s, Marvel tipped too far in one direction and gave a bunch of characters distinctive word balloons: Iceman spoke in icy bubbles, the Human Torch in flame balloons...
X-Men Regenesis represents for Marvel Comics a considered and comprehensive effort to retool its expansive line of mutant-based titles for a new era and new readers. Predicated upon a schism between Wolverine and Cyclops, the line includes an all-new Wolverine and the X-Men #1 as well as a relaunched Uncanny X-Men, not to mention sister titles Generation Hope, New Mutants, Uncanny X-Force and more...