Parting Shot: Todd Klein Remembers Christopher Reeve’s Visit to DC Comics in 1979
Besides his ongoing contributions to the comic book medium as one of the industry’s greatest letterers and logo designers, Todd Klein maintains an indispensable blog where he regularly hosts master classes in masthead analysis that are peppered with endlessly fascinating anecdotes and factoids about how working in the comics industry has changed throughout the decades, with specific emphasis on production methods. He recently published a real doozy of a two-parter that is filled with photographs of the DC Comics offices in 1979 that depict the bullpen-style working method of the time, complete with all kinds of old-timey machinery and typewriters and overlays and photostats and paste-ups and other things we will never, ever understand. It’s a really fun look into a time before most of the ComicsAlliance contributors were even born, and one thats made all the better by this awesome shot, taken by Production Manager Jack Adler, of Superman: The Movie star Christopher Reeve visiting with DC editor Jack Harris and Klein himself.Klein’s posts detail the arduous task of comic book creation in the late 1970s, which included many late nights, traumatic deadlines, technological hazards, and of course the loss of personnel as a consequence of the infamous DC Implosion of the time. But the letterer was also quick to point out how much fun comics creation could be, especially in New York and with that era of DC people.
There were perks, too. Meeting famous people, like Christopher Reeve, above, as they visited the offices (with editor Jack Harris and myself in a photo by Jack Adler). Meeting artists and writers whose work you admired and perhaps had grown up reading. Lunch out with company friends or freelancers. Occasional parties in the office, or out of it. Being invited to free movie screenings. Visiting the rest of Rockefeller Center for free, including the roof deck on the RCA building, and all the great stores, museums and attractions in the area on your lunch break. In all, it was a wonderful experience, and one I feel lucky to have had, and the comaraderie and friendships forged then are warm in my memories to this day.