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
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
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
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.
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 41 (above) through 44. Everything on this page is by Crespi except “The Trial of Colossus,” which is by Gaspar Saladino. Sources follow. Continue reading