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kyle cassidy

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In which our hero meets more comic book people [Apr. 9th, 2011|10:44 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Front 242: Gripped by Fear]

I don't have a lot of comic books. But nearly every one I do own, including the Sandman and Starstruck was lettered by Todd Klein.

Back in the early days of comics there was a division of labor between drawing, inking, coloring, and lettering that let artists work faster (and time is money so things need to be fast) - this still exists today.

The letterer doesn't just write "Look out Bob! He's got a gun!" in something that looks like Comic Sans, they need to write it in a way that expresses the action and mood, they're the ones who write "THWACK!" in big crazy letters that let you know someone just got clobbered.

Clickenzee to Embiggen.
Illustrations from The Green Woman by Peter Straub & Michael Easton, drawn by John Bolton, lettered by Todd Klein

Last week I was reading in ye local Philly geek news that Todd Klein was coming to "party" at Locust Moon Comics, which is really close to my house. And it totally was a party. There was food and wine and the guys who run the store, Chris and Jason and Justin were absolutely awesome. Todd signed thing while every comic book fan in West Philly sallied through the store, he wandered around and talked to people

Clickenzee to Embiggen! Todd Klein at an undisclosed location near Locust Moon

Since I seem to be on a roll photographic comic book people lately, I brought my camera and we shot outside in the rain. Which was okay, because I had an umbrella. Todd's supernice and very humble and was totally a delight to hang out with. And I really liked the "come party with cool people" atmosphere at Locust Moon -- it was a lot more interesting than standing in a line, getting your things signed and going home and I got to meet tons of interesting people.

Clickenzee to Embiggen!

I gave Todd a copy of The Dead Bird on the Nightstand because he knows lois2037 who did the layout on that. It was just a swell evening.

Okay, I'm off to a party with Trillian & Colonel & Dr. Stars. Some cool stuff coming up this week and I'm in San Diego next weekend (the 17th) photographing YOU.

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[User Picture]From: badger
2011-04-09 02:54 pm (UTC)
I loved Klein's work on Promethea.
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[User Picture]From: greygirlbeast
2011-04-09 02:56 pm (UTC)

Very nice. I worked with Todd for many years, while writing The Dreaming.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-04-09 03:17 pm (UTC)
I should have known! -- I'd totally forgotten that you did so much of The Dreaming.
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[User Picture]From: penpusher
2011-04-09 03:00 pm (UTC)
Hm. Even enlarged I couldn't make out the lettering over Mr. Klein's left shoulder on that brick wall. I guess that wasn't his work!
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[User Picture]From: girfan
2011-04-09 03:39 pm (UTC)
I met him in 2004 at Fiddler's Green. He is a very lovely (and talented) man!
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[User Picture]From: mizkit
2011-04-09 04:00 pm (UTC)
I met him at SDCC a few years ago. Utterly charming man.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2011-04-09 06:32 pm (UTC)
I gave him our book. He may fanboi you now.
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From: fixiptah
2011-04-10 06:24 am (UTC)
I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case.

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[User Picture]From: chebutykin
2011-04-10 04:05 pm (UTC)
Todd is a gem. I'm always thrilled when people actually know who he is, because letterers and colorists usually don't get much fan love.
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From: (Anonymous)
2011-04-11 01:58 am (UTC)

Just saying "hi" from the Gold Coast, Australia - Looking Forward To Getting Involved.

Thanks...this looks really interesting. I am looking forward to having my say!
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[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2011-04-12 02:34 am (UTC)
He should be an inspiration to lefties everywhere! (that is, if he's not just posing with pen in left hand) All these left-handed people go through life with mussed handwriting, being told they'll never have clean writing, and here this guy is being a Wiz Bang Letterer Dude!
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[User Picture]From: inkista_
2011-04-13 10:55 pm (UTC)
No, he's not just posing. He really is a leftie. It made my jaw drop when I first realized. I've seen him letter old school (with a t-square and Ames lettering guide!) at Fiddler's Green. Remember that when he does Dream's balloons, he did them positive and then flipped them digitally to be negative. When he does one "live" he has to draw it in the negative. It's kind of awesome that if no one told you, you'd never know. If he's using liquid ink, he says he starts at the lower right to avoid smudging (he's pencilled in his stuff before inking it, so he can do that).

Also, word balloons, captions, and sound effects aside, the logo on the cover is where the letterer's art is really expressed. I once attended a presentation back in the '80s given by Tom Orzechowski where he described how many attempts it took him to duplicate the X-Men logo's vanishing points, weight, and feel in coming up with the New Mutants logo. And after giving us all this information about proportional forms and readability, etc. then he said, "but sometimes you just gotta throw out all the rules." and put up a slide of the Scorpio Rose logo. Letterers rock.
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