Sunday 19 October 2014

Comic Book Lettering

Cerebus Vol 12: Rick Story 
(Collects #220-231, 1997-1998)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(from Bleeding Cool, 27 December 2013)
As far as awards for lettering are concerned, I do think there’s some suspicion about work created with fonts in a studio, and that can never really be dispelled. I think it’s a testament to the quality of our fonts when letterers who have bought them — and use them well — are nominated for awards for Best Lettering. All too often, letterers — and colourists — are nominated for an award when they have worked on a title that has collected all the other available awards, for best series, best writing, best art and so forth, so sometimes you win by association I think. What does bother me is that great creators like Dave Sim and Chris Ware are awarded the Eisners and Harveys for Best Lettering — their work is so much more than the lettering, but perhaps it’s the only part of the work that judges can identify as significant, so it’s kind of like a consolation prize.

I’m also of the opinion that the best lettering is really the lettering that is so much a part of the artwork that you don’t really notice it; kinda like not noticing that the sound editing on a film is really good… we only really notice sound editing, foley work or music in a film when it’s really bad — or absent perhaps — not when it feels like it’s a part of the whole experience. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Richard Starkings is the co-founder of Comicraft, Purveyors of Unique Design and Fine Lettering since 1992. The award-winning Comicraft studio is best known for pioneering the use of the computer in the art of comic book lettering.


Michael said...

I must respectfully disagree with Mr Starkings, Dave Sim won the award for lettering BECAUSE his lettering was so good and integral to his overall esthetic, not as a consolation prize to his craft.

Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

But what Richard is saying is, that giving Sim an award for lettering is missing the forest for the trees. Like anytime Gerhard won "best inker" awards - yeah, sure, he inked, but there was so much MORE to what was done than that.

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel