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Five For Friday #48 -- All the Other Stuff
posted September 23, 2005
Name Five Things Not Writing or the Art that Have Helped You Enjoy a Comic Book
1. Dave Sim's Lettering
2. Chris Ware's Coloring
3. Richmond Lewis' Coloring
4. Carmine Infantino's Cover Designs
5. Oversized Packaging, Like THB or Rubber Blanket
1. Chip Kidd's design of the Buddha collections
2. James Kochalka's coloring in Superf*ckers
3) Chris Ware's dust jacket for McSweeney's Quarterly #13
4) R. Crumb's Music Sampler - the CD packaged with the R. Crumb Handbook
5) High end production values (hardcover, dust jacket, thick, glossy paper, etc.) for old newspaper strip collections, like Little Nemo 1905-1914
1. The cute, square one-panel-per-page format, as in The Clouds Above and Cave-In.
2. The lettering of Gaspar Saladino and the late Bill Oakley.
3. The coloring of Mark Chiarello.
4. Any lively letter column or funny subscription ad in any comic.
5. Practically any logo from the 1940s.
* High-grade paper and ink (especially in European albums)
* Low-grade paper and ink (in old superhero comics)
* Letters pages
* Quality translations for foreign-language comics
* Careful sequencing of stories in anthologies
1. John Workman's lettering. Hands down my favorite letterer out there.
2. The smell of older comics and mass-market paperbacks (reprinting strips like Dennis the Menace and Peanuts, or comics like Dr. Strange) from the sixties and seventies
3. The heavier-stock matte covers on DQ books from the early nineties (then adapted by Fanta. and now everybody)
4. Windsor McKay's coloring
5. Editorials/manifestos in anthologies and reprint books that give insight into the collection (specifically for me, 3 examples: The Best of Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy, The New Comics Anthology, and the New Thing: Identity anthology) Honorable mention: Frank Hampson's coloring on Dan Dare
Sean T. Collins
1. Chris Ware's ad parodies
2. Grant Morrison's interviews
3. Alan Moore's introduction to my first trade paperback copy of The Dark Knight Returns
4. Mat Brinkman's cover for Kramers Ergot 4
5. Dave Stewart's coloring, or really that of any colorist who uses blue/blue-green as his or her go-to color rather than brown/yellow-brown
1. Jeet Heer's introduction to Walt and Skeezix, and the photographs supplementing that book.
2. The gorgeous design of Lynda Barry's One! Hundred! Demons! hardcover.
3. The joy of discovering that I can enjoy reading comics online, with the scanlation of Naoki Urasawa's Pluto.
4. Seth's appreciation of Chris Reynolds in The Comics Journal #265 help me enjoy The Dial, and Other Stories.
5. The designs of all of Chris Ware's books.
Damn you and your funnybook bigotry; Five Things That Have Helped Me Enjoy a Comic Book That's Not Writing/Artwork:
1. While reading the serialized MAUS, everything else in RAW.
2. Reading the graphix part of RAW, the MAUS serial.
3. All the non-comics material [activities pages, Wiseman & Toole
bios, Ketcham panels] in those DENNIS THE MENACE travel annuals.
4. The photocovers of SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER.
5. Since I think Lettering, Coloring and Cover Design are part of the
Art -- *the* Art in a lot of cases: Steve Ditko's drawings of hands.
1. Brian Bendis' letters pages
2. Richard Starking/Comicraft's lettering and design on Godland
3. John Workman's lettering in Simonson's Thor
4. Todd Klein's logo designs for America's Best Comics
5. Laura Depuy's coloring work
1. That when I got my very first comic book, my brother and I spent all night copying the pictures from it. I think that helped me to learn to 'read' and 'write' the language at the same time.
2. Kevin Nowlan's Inks
3. Marie Severin's Coloring
4. Those funny little bio's at the back of the Sandman collections
5. Covers that are more design-oriented, than pin-up oriented. More Dave Johnson and less Jim Lee. More James Jean and less Marc Silvestri. More 60's DC and less 00's Marvel.
Alan David Doane
The smell of the paper and ink (most often with Drawn and Quarterly)
Letters pages (genuinely a lost art these days, even in comics that think they get it right)
Quality reproduction of great artwork. Thank God for Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly, Alternative, Top Shelf and AdHouse.
Reliable schedules, be it monthly or yearly, it's nice to know the next one will be there when you expect it.
Appendices -- especially Chester Brown's and Alan Moore's.
1. The SMELL
2. The countless absurd ads
3. Flexographic printing
4. "FLICK" smudged into "FUCK"
5. Page numbers
1. That old newsprint smell
2. The way they looked in an old spinner rack at a candystore/drugstore
3.The old PSA's at the bottom of Marvel comics in the 70's ("use the power-18 vote!")
4. The Spider-Man mask replacing the UPC bar code in the box on the cover of 80's Marvel Direct Market comics
5. Getting the book autographed by my favorite author/artist.
1) Any Fantagraphics book designed by Jacob Covey.
2) The recent trend of including cloth bookmarks in the spine (the new Dennis volume, Walt and Skeezix)
3) Todd Klein's lettering
4) Alan Moore's appendix for From Hell
5) Old Hostess ads, though I suppose those don't necessarily count as "not comics"
1. Any letters page that includes B.N. Duncan
2. The Optic Nerve letters page
3. The misc. columns in Hate #26-30
4. Chester Brown's footnotes
5. Art Spiegelman's "Comix 101" lecture
1. Terry Austin's inks
2. Something priced for LESS than I expected
3. An interesting letters page
4. Readable and expressive lettering.
5. Folks that actually put out product when they say they will.
1. Al Wiseman's lettering in the old Dennis The Menace comics, which often effectively combined seriffed lower case, sans serif upper case, and red colored display lettering, all in the same word balloon.
2. Stan Lee's emerging editorial persona, particularly as displayed in the letters pages of the Marvel Comics published from 1961 on up through 1965 (once the Bullpen Bulletins Page became a regular standardized feature, a little of the magic vanished, even though it made perfect sense for the firm's small staff to consolidate the monthly hype in what was still an entertaining manner).
3. Ira Schnapp's logo's for DC Comics' Silver Age books, as well as his covers and house ad lettering--especially those small, text-only promos he did for Mort Weisnger to promote the editor's Superman Family titles back in the early sixties.
4. Russ Cochran's magnificent over-sized, B&W reproductions of the EC line in his series of slip-cased library volumes, complete with extensive first-class supplementary material.
5. Painted covers on early sixties Gold Key Comics that were repeated on each issues' back cover, minus any distracting logos or lettering.
1. The sweet/spicy smell of underground comics after soaking up that perfumed incense in a head shop. (Ironically, that would include my copy of Ditko's Mr. A
2. Historical and biographical information, personal anecdotes and critical overviews in vintage comic book and comic strip collections.
3. Sumptuous oversize publications (even when they don't fit on my friggin' bookshelf) and extras like tipped in mini-publications (Maus
or Modern Cartoonist
) or color supplements in a black & white comic.
4. All the hand lettered text pages Weirdo
. Crumb and Bagge lettering for pages and pages and pages.
5. Marty Pahls remembrances and Crumb's hand lettered autobiographical introductions to the Complete Crumb Comics
1. Ben Oda's beautiful, restrained lettering for DC Comics and many newspaper strips during the Fifties,Sixties and Seventies.
2. Klaus Janson or Tom Palmer's colors over Gne Colan art.
3. The headlines, clothing and movie ads and more in the newspapers I read much of TERRY AND THE PIRATES and STEVE CANYON in on microfilm; it provided a compelling atmosphere and context.
4. The package design on USAGI YOJIMBO.
5. eBay bargains.
(Sorry this is late - was at SPX all weekend...)
1. Ken Bruzenak's lettering and SFX in Howard Chaykin's comics, such as American Flagg!, The Shadow, and Blackhawk
2. The die-cut and paste-in effects used by Marc-Antoine Mathieu in "Julius Corentin Acquefacques, Prisonnier Des Rêves"
3. Alan Moore's appendices/text pieces/fake ads in Watchmen, From Hell, and LoEG
4. Lynn Varley's coloring of Frank Miller, esp. in Elektra Lives Again and 300
5. (Seconding ADD) The tactile pleasure of D&Q's production values, especially the paper stock and ink