Category Archives: Lettering/Fonts

The Danny Crespi Files Part 20

This and all images © Marvel.

We’ve reached the final part of this series, showing the last three pages that include cover lettering, and one bonus page. About 20 more pages came with the original photocopies from letterer Phil Felix, a friend and workmate of Danny’s, but they contain mostly logos by other people and I won’t be covering them here. (If I knew for sure which of them were by Danny I would cover those, but none are credited, and it’s a lot harder to guess styles with logos than with cover lettering.) This collection was compiled by Phil while he was on staff at Marvel, and it represents a great resource for people like me who are interested in who lettered Marvel covers, something Danny did a lot of from about 1974-1979. Above is page 77 which is all lettered by Danny. Sources follow.

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Ira Schnapp High School photo

I’ve written a lot about Ira Schnapp on my blog. He was a letterer and logo designer for DC Comics from 1940 until about 1968, and he died in 1969. From about 1949 to 1967, Ira set the style for the company, creating many of their house ads and logos and lettering hundreds of covers and thousands of story pages. I wrote a detailed series of articles gathering all the information I could find about Ira beginning HERE, with the help of fellow logo designer and comics historian Alex Jay, whose research has been invaluable. One thing I didn’t cover, because I didn’t yet know it, was Ira’s time in high school. Alex has found out more about that since those articles were written, and here it is.

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Images © DC Comics and Marvel Comics respectively.

Here’s something new I’m trying: LOGO SKETCH CARDS. Sketch covers are popular now, comics with a blank cover except for the printed logo and trade dress that artists do marker sketches on at conventions. I thought, why not do marker sketches of logos on cover size art paper that people could buy and use to get sketches from artists? Each card is on Strathmore 400 Series drawing paper cut to cover size. The logos are drawn with Sakura Pigma markers which use waterproof, chemical resistant, fade proof, bleed free black ink. Both paper and ink are pH neutral, acid free. Logos are all black line work except for Batman, which has a gray india ink wash. If you’re getting a color sketch from an artist, the open areas can be colored by them. If you’re getting simply a marker sketch, the logo matches, and the entire card is original art, nothing printed. Each Logo Sketch card will come on an acid free backing board in a crystal clear comics bag. I’ll be at the Baltimore ComicCon this October 18-20 as a guest, and plan to have them for sale there for $30 each. If you’re going to the con and would like to commission a particular logo, message me on Facebook or email me and we’ll work out the details. Let me know if you like this idea! Thanks. More below.

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Pulled From My Files #98: DC Inside Cover Art

This and all images © DC Comics.

In my first few years on staff at DC Comics I was given all kinds of odd jobs, and I enjoyed the challenges and variety. Here are a few that I kept, and which I will have for sale at the Baltimore Comic-Con this Oct. 18-20. Above is the inside front cover of the Legion of Super-Heroes Tabloid, official title ALL-NEW COLLECTORS’ EDITION VOL. 7 #C-55, 1978. For this essay probably written by Paul Levitz about the origins of the LSH, I made an open book against a starry background with decorative title and initial capital “I.”

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My Comics Life-List 1982

Image © DC Comics.

This is the fifth in my ongoing series of articles listing where and when I first worked with other creators, mostly on inside pages, in chronological order based on cover dates of the comics. You can find the previous entries on the COMICS CREATION page of this blog.

Ground rules: I worked on staff at DC from July 1977 to August 1987, and in that time worked with every staffer and many freelancers in some capacity, and did art and lettering corrections on a host of comics. I can’t count those. Some of the things I did in comics did not usually involve working directly with artists and writers: logo design, house ads, cover lettering and production work of various kinds. Another thing I won’t count are relettering foreign stories, as I did for HEAVY METAL early on. To be added to my comics life-list, I thought I should be part of the creative team making stories. That means I was the letterer (in most cases), occasionally the writer, and rarely the artist or colorist. Of course this lists only the first time I worked with someone, so anyone from the previous year lists will not be here. Entries are tagged as a writer (w), artist or penciller-inker (a), penciller (p), or inker (i). I did not often interact with colorists (c) in pre-digital days, as my work was finished before theirs began, but I’m including them as an important part of the creative team. My credit is for lettering unless otherwise noted.

Scott Shaw! (p) NEW TEEN TITANS #16, Feb. 1982, Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew 16-page preview

Ross Andru (p) NEW TEEN TITANS #16, Feb. 1982, Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew 16-page preview

On this project, Ross did the Superman figures, Scott did the rest. I worked with Ross and knew him well at DC when he was on staff. Scott I only know from his panels at the San Diego Comic-Con, though we probably met at DC. I also lettered the first issue of the series, out the following month.

Pablo Marcos (i) BATMAN #345, March 1982

Pablo was a fine penciller, here he was inking a Catwoman backup story. A few years later I worked with Pablo when I was a writer on THE OMEGA MEN. We met in the DC offices, and he was kind and friendly, but I didn’t know him well.

Jan Duursema (a) WARLORD #55, March 1982, Arion, Lord of Atlantis backup

Jan was a wonderful, warm person who I got to know in her many visits to the DC offices, a rare female artist at DC at the time. I loved her art on ARION, and she’s still doing fine work today. We also worked together on the Arion logo.

Ron Randall (p) WEIRD WAR TALES #109, March 1982

Gerry Talaoc (i) WEIRD WAR TALES #109, March 1982

I know Ron from talking to him many times at the DC offices and later at conventions. I never met Talaoc. This was a two-page story early in Ron’s career.

Mike deCarlo (i) GREEN LANTERN #153, June 1982

I met Mike at the DC offices, but I don’t remember talking to him very often.

Pat Broderick (p) THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #2, July 1982

I don’t recall meeting Pat, though I may have.

Stephen DeStefano (a) HOUSE OF MYSTERY #306, July 1982

Stephen spent a lot of time hanging out in the DC offices in the early 1980s. In comics, he’s best remembered for ‘MAZING MAN, but for this title he did some one-page “I…Baby Vampire” stories that were great. Stephen was as fun and as funny as his art, and today he’s working in animation and teaching.

Jerry Ordway (i) WONDER WOMAN #295, Sept. 1982

Before Jerry became one of DC’s best superhero pencillers, he was getting work as an inker, here on a Huntress backup story. I talked to him many times as we worked together over the coming years.

Lou Manna (p) HOUSE OF MYSTERY #309, Oct. 1982

Sam Grainger (i) HOUSE OF MYSTERY #309, Oct. 1982

Nansi Hoolahan (c) HOUSE OF MYSTERY #309, Oct. 1982

These creators were all on a four page story, “Through a Lens, Darkly” that I wrote and lettered. I don’t remember Lou or Sam well, I think we met at the DC offices, and Lou has recently gotten back in touch on Facebook. Nansi was on staff with me, another production artist.

Gene Colan (p) NIGHT FORCE #4, Nov. 1982

I remember Gene from meeting him at the DC offices. We worked together a number of times, but this series was a highlight for me. I appreciate his art more now than I did then.

Sam de la Rosa (i) WORLD’S FINEST #285, Nov. 1982

I believe I met Sam, but do not remember him well.