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.”Read mor
When I started working on staff at DC Comics in New York in 1977, there were copies of this brochure from the previous year around, and I took a few home at some point. Dollar Comics were still being published at the time. The brochure is 8.5 by 11 inches and printed in red and black. The art is by Neal Adams, probably inked by Dick Giordano. The display lettering is probably by Gaspar Saladino.Continue reading
In 1998 I was asked to design logo-style lettering for a promotional postcard advertising the four-issue series SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Here’s a tiny thumbnail layout from DC’s Brian Pierce, top, and the art for the postcard with my lettering laid over it in Photoshop. This is what I sent back to Brian to show how it would work on the art. Continue reading
I’m not a hoarder, really I’m not, but I do save things that I like. Looking for something else, this morning I came upon a small cache of convention badges and buttons. The ones above are all comics related. At upper right are badges from the first two comics conventions I attended, organized by Phil Seuling and taking place in mid-town Manhattan in 1975 and 1976. The ’75 con was at the Hotel Commodore, July 3-7. I just went in for one day, Saturday July 5th. The Barry Smith button is not dated, but I got it at one of those. The Berni Wrightson Howard the Duck badge came from the ’76 con, as did the Frank Thorne Red Sonja badge. Both are © Marvel Comics Group. I don’t know when I got the Bat-symbol one, it could be from later. The Spirit Jam badge is from 1981, and not from a con, it was sent to me by Dennis Kitchen for lettering several pages of the many-hands homage story that first appeared in THE SPIRIT #30 dated July 1981. It was later collected in a separate book in 1998.
In the same place were these science fiction convention badges and button. I think my first such con was the one at upper left, MidAmeriCon in Kansas City, Missouri, Sept. 2-6 1976, the 34th World Science Fiction Convention. A Kansas City friend got my badge for me, hence the incorrect town and state. It was the one time I got to see my favorite science fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein in person, a great thrill. Disclave 1977 was in Washington DC on Memorial Day Weekend. I had fun there, but did not actually have a hotel room, I had to sleep on someone else’s floor. IguanaCon, the 36th World Science Fiction Convention, was held Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 in Phoenix, AZ in 1978. I got cute on the badge. Noreascon Two, the 38th World Science Fiction Convention, was held in Boston Aug. 29-Sept. 1 1980. I had lots of fun at all of these cons, and met many of the science fiction and fantasy writers and artists I admired, but after 1980 I was too busy with my DC Comics staff job and freelance work to attend others. “The White Dragon” by Anne McCaffrey, subject of the button, came out in June 1978, so I must have picked that up at Iguanacon. Last is the original art badge by William Rotsler I bought from him at one of these cons for $2. He would sell them in the dealer’s room to cover his con expenses. They were meant to be con badges you would write your name in, but I never did that. Rotsler was a well-liked fan artist and writer.
Now that I have these out of the box they were in, I may offer them on eBay in the coming weeks. More file stuff when I have time.
When I began working in the DC Production Department in 1977, this is what cover proofs from the separators in Connecticut looked like. Proofs of each of the four color plates (Black, Cyan or Blue, Magenta and Yellow) were printed on clear acetate, and lined up correctly over a sheet of white paper, then stapled either at the top or bottom. These proofs came in the regular deliveries from Chemical Color to the DC offices in Manhattan where they were checked for errors by Anthony Tollin, the Cover Coordinator, and shown for approval to the editor of the book. Tony would call Chemical and ask for any changes wanted. Printing was approved, and the separations would go to the printing plant in Sparta, Illinois. DC would receive one final proof, uncut make-readies from the press before the book was stapled, trimmed, and shipped to distributors, but by that time it was too late to change anything, and the only option in the case of a major problem was to scrap the print run and start over. I never saw that happen when I was there. Once the book was printed, these acetate proofs were generally thrown away. I saved sixteen of them from covers dated 1978-79 because I liked the art and I thought they were cool. This one has gorgeous art by José Luis Garcia-López and Dick Giordano, which is why I saved it. They sat in a drawer under my desk at DC, and when I went freelance full time, they came home with me and sat in a drawer in my storage room. I pulled them out this week to bring to the Baltimore Comic-Con to sell. Continue reading