When we think of comics our minds jump first to the images on the page, then to the writing. How often though do we think about all the other pieces that have to come together to make the final product? 

Last year a new tradition was born: Letterer Appreciation Day. It is the comic book industry’s response to the above conundrum – the lack of recognition for all the parts of a comic. Since there would be no dialogue without letterers, it is important to appreciate the hard and creatively intense work that is done to bring written word to the page in an engaging way. 

While pondering how to celebrate the day, one person came to mind. Friend of the blog, and very good friend of mine Justin Zimmerman had an extensive history working with an array of talent to produce his amazing comics and graphic novels.

I knew as a result of his work he’s spent a lot of time working with letterers, and would no doubt have a great perspective on them and their contributions to the work. 

I asked him to write a little post in honor of Letterer Appreciation Day based on the work he has done. You can check it out below. 

Comic Creator Justin Zimmerman Talks Letterers

Lettering is an incredibly important aspect of comic storytelling. Good lettering is an integral part of the page, while substandard lettering is at best distracting. That’s why I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with some of the best in the business through my comic years at www.AWBW.com
Take, for example, my work with Thomas Mauer (click for larger versions). 
In my story THE 27 RUN, Tom brings voices to life with carefully selected fonts, color choices and balloon placement. The lettering leads the eye and establishes tone. An important feat over Russ Brown and Fran Gamboa’s art. 
Contrast that with his work on my story FLYER. It’s uncanny, is it not, how the fact that the balloons disappear at the panel borders and that the characters largely speak in lowercase brings an entirely different world to life? Oh, and the font choice here is spectacular. It completely melds with Mike Lawrence’s work. 
While not exactly lettering, the cover of THE 27 RUN is brought to incredible life by Jim Choma’s logo and Nicola Black’s design. Clayton Crain’s extraordinary visual approach is exemplified in every way by these steps, including the color of the hardcover’s spine. Form and function need to go hand in hand when it comes to every aspect of these post processes, all woefully under appreciated in my opinion.   
Happy letterer appreciation day!

We’re not alone in our appreciation for the work that letterers do! Comics wouldn’t work without their eye for detail. We hope today they get to feel the love.

Our thanks to Justin Zimmerman for giving us a unique perspective on the importance of the work letterers do! 

THE 27 RUN and FLYER are © Justin Zimmerman

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