In addition to being a fine artist and writer, British comics talent Dave Gibbons is also an excellent letterer. So one might wonder how I came to work with him in that capacity. It began in 1982 when Dave was just getting started at DC Comics, after having drawn and lettered stories for British comics like 2000AD for some years. Dave was looking for more DC work, and I was trying to get more work as a writer as well as letterer. Editor Ernie Colon put the two of us together on backup stories for GREEN LANTERN, in the feature known as TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS.
In those pre-computer days, lettering was done either on pencilled art or on overlays. Since we were separated by an ocean, Dave and I decided the best method was for him to provide finished art, pencils and inks, and when it came in at DC I'd letter it on overlays, which would then be photostatted and pasted onto the art. This was much quicker and easier than sending the art back and forth twice, and allowed me to write or complete the dialogue after seeing the finished art, in what's known as Marvel style comics writing. I always felt kind of odd lettering Dave's work, having seen his very fine lettering, but the system worked well for us, and we did quite a few stories together. I've written more about that in the WRITING section of this site, and in THIS blog article. The story above, our first, is still my favorite. It and several others have recently been reprinted in a new trade paperback from DC, "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps." Probably my second favorite story is the sequel to "Apprentice," called "Deeter and Dragons," which hasn't been reprinted yet.
They were all fun, and Dave and I developed a good working relationship and friendship that has lasted since, though we see each other rarely. After those early stories, we did work together on other projects, mostly short-lived ones.
In 1995 Dave furthered his writing career at DC with this Elseworlds Superman story, in a King Arthurish setting. The wonderful art by Garcia-Lopez really made it terrific project, and I was happy to be asked to letter it.
Unfortunately they left my lettering credit off the final product, but that happens occasionally, and I got paid, so I was okay with it. I worked with Dave again in 1997, briefly, when I did the logo over his layout for the Amalgam Comics title SUPER-SOLDIER, MAN OF WAR, a mash-up of Superman and Captain America. I wrote about that in THIS blog post. Next up: some classic retro comics stories that Dave drew and I lettered.
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All text and images ©Todd Klein, except as noted. All rights reserved.
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