I’m going to keep this installment of the blog somewhat short since we’re on our Holiday break, but I wanted to be sure to clue you guys in to a great article for your reading pleasure. Last week I discussed at length the idea of using boldface type as a storytelling element, but that’s merely scratching the surface of the kinds of things you can choose to do or not do with comics lettering, and Balloon Tales is home to a fantastic roundtable discussion on the subject featuring some of the most respected names in the business.
The discussion is supposed to be about obsolete and/or abandoned techniques, but these are folks who know their stuff enough to not just be content with blanket bans and omissions, expressing their frustration with editors over the years who have enforced such things regardless of whether it might actually be appropriate. This discussion, incidentally, is where I got my insight that the misuse of boldface might have been due to printing errors more than any errors on the part of writers or letterers, and yet because it could be done badly in the past, there were those with veto power who had barred it from consideration— a rather irritating situation for dudes like Kurt Busiek who damn well were putting a lot of thought and care into their decisions, only to be overridden because others had been careless before.
Which is sort of like outlawing science fiction films because bad science fiction films have been made, isn’t it? Speaking of which, the roundtable begins right off with the worry that comics these days are being expected to be too much like movies, to the point where a lot of comics-specific techniques have been nixed by editors as being, ludicrously enough, “too comic-booky”. Sound effects, for example, and boy howdy did I have my own say on that.
But I, for all my opinions, am still but a small fish. Without further ado, I bid you read the words of some of the true movers and shakers: LETTERING ROUNDTABLE
Oh, and Happy New Year!