Category Archives: Holidays

13 Blog Years

This is the 13th anniversary of this blog. It seems every year now I’m saying that I’ve been neglecting the blog and not posting as much as I used to, and it’s true. One new reason this time is that I’m very busy working on a book about lettering that has not yet been announced, so I can’t say more about it. Once that’s done, I should have more time and energy to post here, and once the book is published, assuming that happens, I will have lots more to say here about letterers and lettering, things that did not fit into the book.

Looking back through the past year’s posts, I see the majority are reviews, mainly of books and comics. My comics reading has dwindled since this March. For some time I’ve mainly been reading them in digital form, and the production of new comics that interest me has dropped to almost none, while availability of new issues has done the same due to the virus. I could reread old comics, but I rarely have the desire to do that. Books, on the other hand, continue to be read daily, and are a comfort and a fine form of entertainment I’ve enjoyed since I learned to read. All the book reviews on my blog are on THIS page. I went to two comics conventions last year, San Diego and Baltimore, and had a great time at each. No cons are in my future now until there’s a vaccine for Covid-19. Most public activities have been halted, so there won’t be any sand-castles at the beach, fireworks, restaurant visits, vacations and concerts in the near future. It’s a new world we’re in, and while I don’t find it difficult on a daily basis, it certainly has restricted our activities.

I have many things to be thankful for. I live in a wonderful natural environment that I enjoy every day, my wife and I are happy together here with our two cats, Tigger and Leo, and we have friends we keep in touch with by phone and email. My lettering work has become occasional; I’m doing one regular book for DC, BOOKS OF MAGIC, and a few other short things only. I am semi-retired from lettering. This worked out well for the research and writing I’m doing for the book, work which I find absorbing and fulfilling. We are in good shape financially, and are managing to stay home and stay safe most of the time.

It will be interesting to see how the coming 12 months work out for all of us. I wish you well on your journey through them, and I will post here as often as I have something to say. Be safe.

Twelve Years In

July 3, 2007 I began this blog. I admit it’s been somewhat neglected this past year, for several reasons. The main one is that I’ve been putting a lot of time into a family history project instead, one that I should be wrapping up this month. It’s meant for family members, but some parts of it may show up here in the future.

I’ve cut back my comics lettering and design work quite a bit in the past year, I’m now doing about a quarter of what I was few years ago. You’d think this would give me plenty of time for blogging, but it hasn’t proved to be so. Less involvement in making comics provides less incentive for writing about them, for one thing. Eventually I hope to get back to writing more about letterers like Ira Schnapp and Gaspar Saladino, I hope in the coming year.

I’m getting older, 68 now, and health issues and doctor visits are taking up more time for both myself and my wife Ellen. It seems to occupy about one full day a week on average between the two of us.

I’m still enjoying reading some comics, but not as many, and I’m no longer receiving many copies from publishers, so that’s also a factor. I do buy a few on Comixology and review those, if anybody’s even interested in what I think!

I’m also trying to get outside more, though not so much on 90 degree days like today.

Hope you all have a great summer, and check in here from time to time to see what’s new.

Todd

The 2019 Easter Eggstravaganza

Every year for many years Ellen and I have colored Easter eggs at Ellen’s sister Ann’s house. These are the eggs we made this year. The egg artists were Ann, her husband Dave, our friend Tim, Ellen and I. Each year a judge is chosen to award winners in a number of categories. Ann’s daughter Ina was the judge this year since she wasn’t able to join us for the coloring. At the end of this article I will link to some previous years’ articles which have some how-to examples, but over a lifetime of doing this, we’ve figured out some techniques and tricks. For instance, the geometric shapes are done with tape, either Scotch magic tape or masking tape. This year Tim also tried black electrical tape, and on one egg above it’s still on the eggs, making for a cool black and green pattern. We decided he had to remove the tape for the judging, though. Thin lines of various kinds are made with the wax crayons that come with the Paas egg coloring kits. Thicker lines are done with rubber bands. Dark colors are the result of multiple color dipping, and to get more intense colors we double the color tablets and vinegar. Here are the award winners chosen by Ina.

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Eldritch Laughter for Halloween

This and all images © Todd Klein.

In 1977 I was hired by a small press horror publisher to illustrate a collection of Lovecraftian humor stories gathered and edited by Darrell Schweitzer to be titled, “Eldritch Laughter From Beyond.” I completed all the art, including a wraparound cover and sent it to the publisher, but it vanished mysteriously when the publisher went out of business shortly after, and was probably destroyed. I was able to get photocopies of some of the art before it was mailed, and the best of them are here. If you’ve spent a lot of time on my website, you may have seen these already, but I thought I’d roll them out again for those who haven’t. I no longer know the authors or the story titles. I had fun doing these, but the experience of losing the art, the opportunity to be published, and any payment soured me on doing this sort of thing, and I didn’t do any more. The illustration above sums up how I often felt about doing the art, usually late at night after I’d finished my day job at DC and my freelance lettering for them. Continue reading