|In which our hero meets more comic book people
||[Apr. 9th, 2011|10:44 am]
|||||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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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.