Category Archives: Creating Comics

More 1950s Letterers Part 2

From KID COLT, OUTLAW #137, Nov 1967, image © Marvel

Continuing with other lesser-known letterers whose main work began in the 1950s, with research help from Alex Jays blog. This staff letterer at Marvel Comics in the 1960s and 1970s, Morrie Kuramoto, rarely got his name into print, and seemed to avoid it. When he lettered stories, he usually used the pen name Sherigail, combining the names of his wife and daughter. His story lettering was done with a wedge-tipped pen, and is similar to that of Sam Rosen. Most of what Morrie lettered at Marvel were things that had no credits: cover lettering, house ads, title pages, and occasionally logos, and when he wasn’t lettering, he was doing art and lettering corrections on stories and preparing them for printing. Like his fellow staffer, Danny Crespi, Morrie had a long history at Marvel, but few fans and readers knew his name.

Continue reading

More 1950s Letterers Part 1

From THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1, Jan 1963, image © Marvel

I’ve already written about some letterers who were busy in the 1950s, this two-part article will cover others who were not as well known. Once again, much of the research and many of the images in these articles are through the kind courtesy of Alex Jay, and found on his blog. Links in the letterer names will take you to his articles about them.

Readers of Marvel Comics in 1963 were beginning to find out who did the lettering on Marvel stories, thanks to printed credits campaigned for by Artie Simek, who was doing much of that lettering. But Marvel started crediting all their letterers, as on this famous story, and readers might have wondered, “Who is Johnny Dee?” It was a pen name used by Jon D’Agostino, who had been working in comics in a variety of roles since the late 1940s, including coloring, penciling, inking, and lettering. Perhaps he used the Dee pen name to fit in better with writer/editor Stanley Lieber’s pen name Stan Lee. His lettering for Marvel at this time was professional, but not flashy, much like that of Artie Simek, and he did a fine job.

Continue reading


From AMERICAN FLAGG! #1, Oct 1983, image © Howard Chaykin Inc., this and all original art images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

When the first issue of Howard Chaykin’s AMERICAN FLAGG! was published in 1983, readers were startled and impressed by the amount and variety of lettering from newcomer Ken Bruzenak. Lettering professionals like myself were even more impressed! Ken was a newcomer to comics lettering, but not a newcomer to the world of comics.

Continue reading

More 1930s-1940s Letterers Part 2

From KRAZY KOMICS #6, March 1943, lettering by Gary Keller, image © Marvel

Continuing with more little-known letterers from the early years of comics, and this article would not be possible without the research and information provided by Alex Jay on his blog. Thanks, Alex! Click the linked letterer names to find out more about them there. This page lettered by Gary Keller is full of interesting styles and sound effects. There are shaky letters and balloon shapes from a character suffering from the cold weather in the first two panels, a variety of open letters and sound effects in the second row, an arrow caption in the third, and a thought balloon in the last panel with both bubble tail and shape, and a dotted line.

Continue reading

More 1930s-1940s Letterers Part 1

From SUB-MARINER COMICS #25, Spring 1948, lettering by Mario Acquaviva, image © Marvel

I’ve already written articles about the best-known and most prolific comics letterers of this period, but there were others who I feel deserve to be profiled, at least briefly. Since letterers were rarely credited, there are many pages of comics from these years whose letterers are unknown, but thanks to the research of comics historian Alex Jay and others, we do have some information on the following people. Most of what I know about them is from Alex’s blog, he’s graciously allowed me to summarize his research and use some of the images he gathered. This two-part article would not be possible without his help, and if you want to know more, click the linked letterer names to go to the articles about them there, where you’ll also find plenty of other comics and design history information. Thanks, Alex!

Continue reading