Category Archives: Creating Comics

THE DANNY CRESPI FILES Part 14

This and all images © Marvel.

Continuing my ongoing series about the cover lettering of Danny Crespi at Marvel Comics, mostly from 1974-1979. Photocopies of saved cover lettering from Danny’s files were compiled into a collection by letterer and friend Phil Felix during the 1980s when he worked with Danny on staff at Marvel, and Phil sent me copies. This time I’ll look at pages 53 to 56. Page 53, above, is all by Danny Crespi. Sources follow. Continue reading

IRA SCHNAPP in BOY COMMANDOS & LEADING COMICS

This and all images © DC Entertainment.

Continuing my research into the early work of letterer/designer Ira Schnapp, as you might guess, covering these two titles together means I didn’t find much of his work in them. BOY COMMANDOS was a new feature created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby when they came to DC from Marvel in 1941. It first appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS #64 cover-dated June 1942. It was soon also appearing in WORLD’S FINEST COMICS beginning with issue #8, Winter 1942-43 and in their own series with the first issue having that same cover date.

Simon and Kirby were fast, and all the early stories were by them, and often lettered by their in-house letterer Howard Ferguson, but as time went on they  they brought in others to help, and I think allowed National/DC to also commission stories. Their title series ran for 36 issues. By the second half of that run, lettering on both covers and interior stories was often done by the unknown letterer I’ve nicknamed “Proto-Schnapp” because his style is similar to Ira’s and was, I think, one that Ira used as a model for his own lettering work. At first glance, the cover lettering on issue #20, above, looks like the work of Ira Schnapp. Continue reading

IRA SCHNAPP in SUPERMAN Part 2

This and all images © DC Entertainment.

Before I begin examining the inside story lettering of Ira Schnapp in SUPERMAN, let’s look at some other lettering on the title before he got involved. There’s no doubt that Superman co-creator Joe Shuster was the first letterer for the character. His earliest work was formatted as newspaper strips, he and Jerry Siegel’s original plan in the early 1930s. When they were unable to sell it as that, they went to the comic book market where Superman made his debut in ACTION COMICS #1, June 1938. The early ACTION stories were the newspaper strips reformatted as comics pages. The example above is page 8 from SUPERMAN #1, June 1939, which reprinted the Superman stories from ACTION #1-4. You can see from the uneven panel borders that is is one of those reformatted pages, and probably produced well before 1938 when it was just Jerry and Joe. One interesting thing is that each panel in the story is numbered. Continue reading

IRA SCHNAPP in SUPERMAN Part 1

This and all images © DC Entertainment.

Continuing my research into the early work of letterer/designer Ira Schnapp, the first issue of SUPERMAN was produced before Ira did any work for the company. By his own words, that was his re-imagining of the Superman logo by Joe Shuster, as seen here. Ira’s version first appeared on the cover of issue #6. According to the Grand Comics Database, Leo O’Mealia did the handsome frame and cover lettering on this first issue.

Many of the early Superman covers did not have any cover lettering. They used only the logo and some type, if anything. The few that do have cover lettering reveal none that I believe was done by Ira Schnapp until possibly this one: Continue reading

JOHN WORKMAN & TODD KLEIN Part 2

Todd Klein, Robert Greenberger and John Workman at our panel.

What follows is the second part of the transcription of a panel that John and I did at the 2017 Baltimore Comic-Con moderated by our friend and former co-worker at DC, Bob Greenberger. I recorded it on my phone and transcribed it later. The panel was held on Sept. 23rd. Both John and I have edited our comments to make them clearer and more correct and complete. (As John puts it, “to make sense of my incoherencies.”) This picks up about a quarter of the way through the slide show I put together for the panel. For these posts, I’ve reformatted the images to fit better here, and in some cases have links to larger versions. All images are © the respective companies and copyright holders.

HEAVY METAL staff, 1981, by Workman.

Todd Klein: This is a piece by John of the HEAVY METAL staff, and I thought this was interesting not only because John drew and lettered it, but also because of how small the staff is. They were putting out a monthly magazine?

John Workman: A monthly and specials. Also, I worked a lot for NATIONAL LAMPOON at the same time.

Bob Greenberger: Put out by the same company.

JW: Yeah.

TK: A lot of material for that size staff.

BG: The publisher Len Mogul who we talked about earlier is the top left head. Continue reading