The third and final collection of CLEAN ROOM has arrived, which covers issues 13 to 18 of the monthly series. It’s the final one as far as I know, wrapping up the DC run in fine fashion. Gail Simone has created a story that is really scary, and characters that are engaging, vulnerable, courageous, cowardly, fragile, heroic, caring…in other words, human…to balance the brutal, sadistic aliens from somewhere else that can take over the human mind and body, often without those around them even knowing it. It’s great stuff. The art on this book is by Walter Geovani, and just as good as on the first two books, which had art by Jon Davis-Hunt. I’m going to miss working on this series, I highly recommend it.
Just received my advance copies of this trade paperback, collecting WW issues 206-217 and the crossover issue 219 of THE FLASH. I really enjoyed working on this run with Greg, pencillers Drew Johnson and Rags Morales, and cover artist J.G. Jones. I think it still looks and reads great. I’m happy that the success of the Wonder Woman film is getting much of her past comics work back into print, including some I worked on. There should be enough Rucka issues for a third collection. This one is out July 5th, looks like.
I’ve been unable to determine a release date for this trade paperback version of the wonderful original graphic novel I lettered that arrived here this week. The hardcover came out on June 15, 2016, so I expect the softcover version will be out some time in the next few weeks. It’s much more than a Batman story, telling an autobiographical tale of events that happened to writer Paul Dini that changed his life and came near to ending it. The hardcover is nominated for an Eisner this year for Best Reality-based Work. I highly recommend it.
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.
Recently I’ve been receiving a lot of trade paperbacks reprinting old lettering work of mine that I don’t care for much. When you’ve done as much as I have, it can’t all be top notch, and sometimes it’s a matter of bad reproduction or paper choice, but it can also be lettering that could have been made better if I’d had more time or given it more effort. I’m happy to say that the above collection, which I received today, is bucking the trend by reprinting work of mine that I mostly like a lot, having just paged through it. The book reprints issues #742-753 of DETECTIVE COMICS from 2000-2001. This is fairly near the end of the time when I was doing mostly hand-lettering for DC. All the balloons and captions here are hand-lettered, though some of the signs and titles are produced on my Mac and probably then pasted on the art either by me or at DC. The book is printed on glossy bright white paper, and both the art and the lettering look quite good on it. The stories by Greg Rucka are excellent as I recall, the art, mostly by Shawn Martinbrough, is deco and stylish, and the limited palette of colors, often close to duo-tone, are particularly appealing. There’s also an issue and a half of fine lettering by Bill Oakley: an issue I couldn’t finish for some reason (perhaps I was away on vacation) and another complete one. I love Bill’s lettering, and it’s great to see it here. If you want good examples of my work at the time, or just a fine read, I’d recommend this one. Looks like it goes on Sale May 24th.