Saturday, March 15, 2008
I'm happy we're doing this FX book for a lot of reasons--Wayne Osborne has created a comic that reminds me of superhero comics I read when I was a kid; he has John Byrne doing the art, which always wins me over; and the reason for citing the book right now (as well as to show off some new pages I just received), John Workman on letters. Outside of Todd Klein or Richard Starkings, letterers don't seem to get enough due lately. But back in the day, folks like Tom Orzechowski and Janice Chang were doing great, noticeably impressive hand-lettering in comics.
And then along came John Workman.
I think most people really noticed John in Walt Simonson's THOR run, but his work on Grant Morrison's DOOM PATROL and so many other comics in the '80s and '90s really stood out. It takes special skill for lettering to really impress and not distract from a comic's story or art, which is why only a handful of people ever really get acclaim for their letters. John's one of them that deserves every bit of praise he gets. I can't exactly put a handle on what it is about his stuff, since it's everything, from the style he uses to the way the letters fill the balloons to the sound effects. All these things take on a distinctive feel when John's on a book.
In these days of computer lettering, where we letter every book in-house, having John do the hand-lettering on this comic not only gives it even more of a distinctive look but it also reminds me that much more of comics I loved when I was a kid. So I know Todd Klein (deservedly) wins Eisners and gets the most attention for his lettering, but nothing gives me quite the same feeling as seeing Workman's stuff in an issue. Happy to have him along on this one.