Thursday 15 October 2015

Credit Where Credit's Due…

(That font is Blambot's ProtestPaint BB, if you're interested…)
I'm not really a militant on the subject of crediting letterers; I've never been one to agitate for a front cover credit, for example. Some creative teams or publishers have taken to giving the letterer a cover credit, which is fantastic but I have no illusions — no one is buying a book based on who's done the lettering.
Ours is a contributory, supporting role in the creative process, but that doesn't mean it's inconsequential or unworthy of recognition.

So… what does get my back up is when a reviewer credits the writer, artist, colourist, sometimes even the editor, and doesn't include the letterer.

I'm certainly not asking for reviewers to undertake a detailed analysis of the lettering in every book, but the choices a letterer makes concerning dialogue fonts and balloon styles, the way they choose to handle sound effects, make every bit as much of a contribution to the overall look of any given book as the choices made by the colourist.

You're not supposed to notice the craft of the letterer; it's supposed to be more-or-less invisible. Nonetheless, ours is the hand that ties the writer's words to the artist's images in a fashion that's clear and readable, ours is the stage of the creative process that makes comics, well, comics.

I don't think asking reviewers to remember that is too much.