Image © Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill.
Just arrived in my mailbox, a copy of the latest installment of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that I lettered and designed (with Kevin) signed and with notes of appreciation from Alan and Kevin. Looks great. It’s hardcovered with a glued binding, since someone always asks about that. Vibrant colors by Ben Dimagmaliw, and sent from the Gosh Comics signing in London by co-publisher Joshua Palmano. I love my job on days like this!
Just arrived today, and getting the interest of Leo, this very thick and heavy volume collecting all the HOUSE OF SECRETS material: 25 regular issues, two extra-long painted issues, a short story, and lots of extras. I had fun lettering this from 1996 to 2001 (with a large gap in there), Steven Seagle, Teddy Kristiansen and editor Shelly Bond were great to work with. Lots of special lettering styles were called for, and many were done by hand, though I did use commercial fonts (some altered) for the voices of the spirits. At the time DC was not set up for digital pasteups, so I generally printed out those bits and pasted them onto the artwork, or sometimes vellum overlays. I can’t say this is really a favorite series as far as the characters goes, they didn’t appeal to me that much, but it was innovative and probably ahead of its time story-wise, and well worth a look.
Image © Bill Willingham and DC Comics, Inc. Cover art by James Jean.
I’ve been looking forward to this one, not only because I enjoy seeing the great art and coloring of FABLES on the bright white glossy paper that so improves the look over the original comics, but also because I provided the introduction to the book. I’m not sure why they asked, but I enjoyed writing it, and hope others enjoy reading it, though if you’re like me, you’ll probably jump over it and start reading those great comics. The wedding of Bigby and Snow is the highlight of this collection, and there are also some cool extras, including maps. I love maps…
Images © DC Comics, Inc.
The four issue miniseries that began the BOOKS OF MAGIC series at Vertigo has been collected in one of their “Deluxe Editions,” meaning it’s slightly oversized and well produced and printed, with what I think is a handsome new cover by John Bolton. Is this the first hardcover for it? I’m not sure, but it’s a nice one, anyway. Great writing by Neil Gaiman, painted art by four stellar talents, what’s not to like? And remember, kids, this came BEFORE Harry Potter.
A new original Fables graphic novel that’s been in the works for at least four years, I think. I know lettered it over at least three. I enjoyed the story and the art, though it’s pretty violent at times. Bigby Wolf solo in a story with Nazis and lots of werewolves.
The second collection of BATWOMAN from DC’s New 52 written by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, art by Amy Reeder and Trevor McCarthy, covers by J.H. I thought this held up quite well even with J.H. not doing the art. His sensibilities are evident throughout, and the story is great, in my opinion.
Of course I lettered all these projects, so I may be prejudiced in their favor, but I think it’s a pretty nice set of books that I’m happy to add to my shelves.
This may be the oddest thing that’s come to me in the mail in years. Around 2006 or so, when I was doing design work for THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN BLACK DOSSIER, Alan Moore and Tim Perkins cut the songs on this record, and Kevin O’Neill and I designed the label. It was planned as an insert, first with the regular hardcover edition of the book, later with the Absolute Edition. Things happened, and the record was never made at that time. Last year I heard from Alan’s UK publisher, Knockabout that they were going to press the single, and I provided the label I’d assembled then. The original plan was for it to be dark blue with silver ink, but I think this color scheme actually works better with the art.
Here’s the B side in the sleeve (which Knockabout produced, I wasn’t involved in that). I’ve actually heard the tracks online, and haven’t played the record yet, but it’s kind of cool that it was finally produced. I’m afraid I can’t tell you how to get one, other than contacting Knockabout in London. I know they were including them as a premium with some Alan Moore books at one of their signings.
In case you’re interested in the fine print on the label, it reads “KAPITAL RECORDS, INC., THE BRILLCREEM BUILDING, 1619 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, NY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.” (Except on the B side where it says “ALL RIGHT RESERVED.” Oops.
Images © Razor & Tie Recordings, LLC.
Artist J.H. Williams III asked me to help out with this album cover art for “Apocryphon” by the group The Sword. I did type design for the covers and interiors of the album’s folded double sleeve, including the song lyrics (but not the logo, J.H. did that), and put everything together in InDesign. There was a smaller version for the CD, with a separate booklet for the lyrics. The music is not to my taste — head-banging heavy metal — but J.H. likes it and says he’s had lots of great feedback on the art. There are apparently lots of versions of the album available, look for it if you’re interested.
Images © DC Comics, Inc.
DC didn’t send me volume one, so this is the first I’ve seen THE ANNOTATED SANDMAN. I wish I could recommend it to you, but I have to say I’m not impressed. The annotator, Leslie S. Klinger, has produced similar tomes for the Sherlock Holmes and Dracula stories. I like annotated fiction, I have a number of them in my library. But comics is not the same sort of thing as a novel or short stories. Klinger has chosen to focus almost exclusively on the writing by Neil Gaiman. Comics is a collaborative medium. To largely ignore the art shows a massive lack of understanding of that medium. Kind of like doing one of those commentary versions of a film with only the screenwriter talking about his script and influences, nothing from the director or cast.
This huge book reproduces each page of comics in grayscale, no doubt as a cost-savings, but the result is dull and monotonous. The notes are in the wide margins, but on many pages they take up only a small part of the page, or none of it. Quite a few pages with no notes, and a lot with the only note saying an ad page followed this one in the original comic, which I find rather pointless to even mention. Imagine if the annotator went after input from the artists, and had a deep knowledge of comics and art history. Then there would be lots more to write annotations about, and this series might be worthwhile. Hey, I could have said plenty about the lettering, if anyone asked. I’m sure Danny Vozzo could have added lots of new information about the coloring too, if it were present and he was involved.
Much of the material in the notes is available elsewhere in other books about Sandman and online. Klinger has had the advantage of reading and quoting from Neil Gaiman’s scripts, but that’s the only new source I see here. If his notes were presented alone as a book, they might fill 100 pages at most, and in that form I might have been interested in reading them, but I have to conclude this series is an opportunity wasted.
Image © Elaine Lee & Michael Wm. Kaluta.
Just arrived from Michael Kaluta is this handsome oversized hardcover edition of STARSTRUCK from IDW, collecting the newly reprinted series with marvelous new color by Lee Moyer, and the same old lettering by myself (and John Workman on a few Galactic Girl Guides stories). IDW is producing some extremely nice hardcovers these days, giving DC a run for their money in that area. I have a fondness for this project, which I started working on in 1980, and added to sporadically over the years since. I recommend it highly. Best darn space opera you’ll find in comics.
This and following image © Grant Morrison.
I knew that DC was doing a new one-volume omnibus hardcover edition of Grant Morrison’s THE INVISIBLES, but until it arrived I didn’t conceive of how large it would be. There were three series, I lettered two of them, and with all the additional material (there’s lots) it comes to about 1500 pages, and weighs 10 pounds. Light reading, it’s not!
I mean, look at these side views — thicker than a New York City phone book, I bet! (If they still make those.) If you’re a Morrison fan, this is probably something you want to at least consider getting, even if you have the trade paperback collections. Better get going on your arm workouts, though! And I bet Rian Hughes is pretty happy with the showcase his logo is getting!
© Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose and DC Comics, Inc.
I really enjoyed lettering this new hardcover graphic novel that arrived here today. The story is funny and full of great characters, and though being a foodie will help you enjoy it, I think anyone will have a good time reading this tale of intrigue and war among the power chefs of a slightly different Los Angeles That’s CHEFS, not CHIEFS! The art by Langdon Foss is great, and the coloring (which I’m seeing here for the first time) by Dave Stewart and José Villarrubia is also quite delicious. I suggest you have a look.
Image © DC Comics, Inc.
Arrived moments ago on my doorstep (UPS works late around here!), six issues of J.H. Williams III goodness, with help from co-writer W. Haden Blackman, Amy Reeder & Richard Friend (on the zero issue), colorist Dave Stewart and myself on ocarina. Worth a look!