Category Archives: Creating Comics

THE DANNY CRESPI FILES Part 12

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 45 (above) through 48. The lettering in page 45 is all by Danny Crespi. Sources are below, except for “Firelord,” which I can’t find. It looks unfinished, and may be unused. Oh, and “New,” can’t find that one either. Continue reading

IRA SCHNAPP in ADVENTURE COMICS Part 2

This and all images © DC Comics.

I’ve had a tough time trying to decide which early stories in ADVENTURE COMICS were lettered by Ira Schnapp. I’m sure there were none in issues 1 to 102. In issue 103, Superboy begins as the lead feature, and it seemed likely to me that at least some of those would be lettered by Ira. He had an association with the character: he designed the first and second logos, and of course an association with Superman as well. Above is a page from the Superboy story in issue #103, and it doesn’t look anything like Ira’s work.

A closer look at the story’s title caption confirming it’s definitely not by Ira. It’s by another letterer who often worked on Superman stories, I don’t know his name. His letters are very wide, and on his R the right leg is very curved and the loop sometimes does not join the left side. That’s also true of the center line between the loops of the B. This letterer continued to work on some Superboy stories in this title until the early 1950s. Continue reading

IRA SCHNAPP in ADVENTURE COMICS Part 1

This and all images © DC Comics.

Continuing my research into the DC Comics lettering work of Ira Schnapp, this part will cover Ira’s lettering on the covers of ADVENTURE COMICS.  Prior to issue 103, above, dated April 1946, the title featured Simon and Kirby’s Sandman for several years, and few of the covers had any hand-lettering. What did appear was not like the work of Ira Schnapp. Issue 103 began a long run featuring Superboy as the lead character (Superman as a boy), and Ira lettered most of the covers from this issue on, when they had cover lettering at all, some did not. The word NOW! is very much in a style that Ira used throughout his cover lettering career (about 1944 to 1968). The rest of the lettering is typical of early Schnapp cover lettering, not quite like what he used a few years later, but similar.

Ira also designed the Superboy logo seen on this and many later covers and stories, derived from his revamp of the Superman logo from 1940 (itself based on the original logo designs of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster). It’s interesting to note that while the P and R loops are rounded, the B and O in BOY have square corners that match the U. Ira designed a very different Superboy logo for the character’s own title a few years later. Continue reading

Incoming: DOOM PATROL Vol. 1

Images © DC Comics.

The first collection of the new DOOM PATROL I’m lettering has arrived. I’m enjoying it a great deal, and you might, too. I think it stands on equal footing with the earlier series written by Grant Morrison, from which writer Gerard Way and artist Nick Derington took a lot of their inspiration. As I don’t get individual printed issues anymore, this is my first look at it printed and in color. Looks great!

One thing I’ve been noticing in recent DC printed comics is a different method of color separation. I’m not sure when it started, but fairly recently, I think. Gone are the regimented rows of dots in the colors, now they are dithered.

A closer look to explain what I mean. See how the tiny dots of color do not line up in rows, but instead are spread randomly? The previous regimented dots were a function of photographic color separations. Digital separations have other options, including this one. It gives the color a more evenly spread feeling, you notice the dots less, and those dots are much smaller than they used to be, too. I have no way of measuring how many dots per inch the color uses here, but it’s a LOT. Note, there’s no dots in the solid black lettering and balloon borders above, but when I used color in the lettering, it has the same kind of separations. Interesting and modern. The look is closer to what you’d get at home with an inkjet printer, which I think uses the same diffusion pattern of dots. Printed comics are now even more finely detailed than their digital versions available on sites like Comixology, though those look fine when I read them, too.

The collection goes on sale May 31st at comics sellers. I heartily approve.

Savannah Part 3

My final report, last two full days in Savannah. Sunday morning, Dave, Ann and Ellen decided to attend Mass in Savannah’s Catholic Cathedral, St. John the Baptist. I opted to walk around outside instead, but got this photo of the outside. We regrouped at the Book Lady Bookstore, where we found a few things we wanted, then had lunch at the Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant. Continue reading