Lettering question

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Lettering question

Postby Shadowscrawl » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:43 pm

Boring meat-and-potatoes question for either Dave or Paty: “back thenâ€
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Lettering question

Postby Paty » Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:10 pm

:magneto
LOL...unlike now, back then we were polite to fans, rarely, if ever, telling them to "go away". LOL

Each character had it's own specially designed logo...or it's name in what we call "display" lettering...always open for color... sometimes with a "drop-shadow". some characters had more than one official logo... like spider Man. But we needed them for merchandising... so, as characters were developed, each got his logo.
these masters, which were shot to any size for whatever usage we needed...were kept by Danny Crespi in the lettering departmen's files. You could stat the masters or xerox them... but never use the masters! LOL...the logos were trademarked and registered with the copyright people and must be used in printed comics every ten or so years. to retain those copyrights, trademarks and registrations. This is why you will see old lettering styles pop up now and again ...sometimes on covers, sometimes in interior pages... they are renewing the TMs and registrations. this happens also with characters...you must use them once in a while to renew their trademark and registrations and copyright status.

Most of the display lettering was done "in house" by people like Danny Crespi, Morrie Kuramoto and occasional other letterers who showed promise in design and ability, like Jim Novak... who worked mostly at home but was an excellent designer and craftsman with lettering design. We had a couple of letterers who worked at home, but were given logo assignments when Danny found out they were superb designers, Jim was one of the finest. All of this lettering design and completion was done by hand... and was as much an artistic forte as the penciller's work.

Alas... now it is all done by computer, I am sure...just about everything is. I don't think original art even has the word balloons lettered on it any more...it is too easy to just do it on computer and drop it in.

I am sure there is a lettering department at marvel ...I have no idea how they do what they do these days. I guess my files are still extant, too... cuz I see stuff from them every once in a while in the books and the merchandising... but I am sure everything is scanned and on computer file these days.

Haven't a clue as to coloring, either. do they still use Dr. Martins analine dyes? I do when I color anything... they are wonderful colors and you can do so many wonderful wet watercolor things with them...which we used to do for presentation art and coloring for reproduction...some of those effects you simply cannot get with computer unless you do a sample of what you want and scan it into a program or archive to use later.

The original Avengers logo and FF logo was done by sol Brodsky ... and I saw it used recentlly...probably to secure the old trademarks again.

Paty
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Lettering question

Postby Shadowscrawl » Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:23 am

Dear Paty, thank you so much for all the wonderful information!
So lettering was a department in itself...of course that makes sense. Interesting note about the copyright 'use it or lose it' policy. I didn't know that either.
There are still letterers around although computers are taking over. In my case it's kind of computers that brought this question about. I purchased a few fonts that are based on specific artists' letterings. That and trying to find something close to the original Nightcrawler title font for my fan site got me curious. I always likes that one. Do you?
Thank you for the names. Now I have a new excuse to go through my old comics collection; finding letterers!
I really appreciate your taking the time to answer. I love those insights into the way the company was run. I hope that you are keeping your posts as notes. There's a book in there!
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Lettering question

Postby Paty » Sat Aug 20, 2005 5:32 pm

:magneto
Oh, Lord! No... I don't keep notes...LOL. A friend contacted me recentlly to do a column about Marvel...or rather my experiences and observations about Marvel... He wanted me to call it "Harras, you Idiot!" LOL... he loved that... I used to open my letters to Bob Harras with that...but it was too limiting... so I am gonna call it "Down inFlames, You Bastards!"... although the first installment may, indeed, be called Harras you idiot...LOL

Letterers at Marvel... a lot of them were, as the artists and writers were, freelance. Mostly what was done inhouse was corrections and such. good letterers like annett Kawiki, denise whol, Squid...that's John Calimari... which I know is octopus..but we called him Squid anyway...LOL...and, of course, the aforementioned Morrie, Jim Novak and the Leader of the pack, adorable Danny Crespi. Danny was our father figure there... one of the older but definately lovable guys! there were a number of other letterers ... all working freelance and mostly never coming into the offices. the ones who did come in often got pressed into servitude to do corrections when they innocently walked in and a dreaded deadline doom was hovering...LOL quickie was studying to be a pediatrician, I believe...paying her way through school with lettering work. Denise was our fashion plate, a rich gal who married a doctor and disappeared into housewivery... or social elitery...who knows?
All this was twenty and more years ago, y'know...LOL... seems like yesterday... I cannot believe that much time has passed!
sigh... old...old...old...
Paty
:magneto
Magneto Rules!
Xavier drools!
Write support the Claremont Magneto! Cast a vote for complexity in characterization! And write to protest THE USELESS KILLING OF NIGHTCRAWLER !!!
Write to :
Isaac Perlmutter , Alan Fine, Alex Alonso and Nick Lowe at
Marvel Entertainment Inc.
135 W 50th Street
New York, NY 10020
:magneto
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