Look at Ben Oda!
I've told you before that Ben Oda is my favorite comic book letterer of all time, and I never tire of repeating it! I get to bring it up again this time because something of interest has been posted in one of the blogs I check regularly, and I want to share it with you.
I have written in the recent past about the excellent Simon and Kirby Blog that is maintained by historian and archivist Harry Mendryk. In his blog entry of 2/4/2007, Harry displayed two vintage photos of Ben Oda! One has Mr. Oda waving from the driver's seat of his fine automobile and one shows Mr. Oda eating a meal with his family (!).
These are wonderful photographs that allow us latter-day fans to get a glimpse of a man we usually get to know only by his work. When I first saw the photos on the blog last weekend, I was startled and amazed by them and they were new and fresh to me. As the week has progressed and my new and old memories have comingled and coalesced, however, I'm now thinking that I have seen one or both of those photos before at a time in the dim past. Thank you to Harry Mendryk for digging up those beautiful pictures, and you can click here to go to the Simon and Kirby Blog to see the photos yourself.
As an added BONUS for you when you click over to see the photos, Harry's even more recent post dated 2/10/2007 (today!) is all about Foxhole #1. In the post, Harry displays the splash pages of all three stories featured in that 1954 comic book (with beautiful Photoshop restoration done by Harry himself; he describes his processing technique in an earlier entry). So what's the BONUS, you ask? Well, the title lettering on all three spash pages is fairly obviously the handiwork of Ben Oda himself! (I would guess that not just the titles but all of the beautiful lettering on those pages is by Mr. Oda, but I can't state it with certainty.)
Let me take this opportunity to invite and encourage you to download Odaballoon, which is a free computer font based on the lettering style of Ben Oda. Have you ever known anyone who walks around proclaiming they have a favorite font? Well you do now! Odaballoon is superb and I use it on a daily basis. Click here for more information about Odabaloon and for directions on how to retrieve it for your own use. And please mention to Mr. William Oda that The Hayfamzone Blog sent you!
And about this Hayfamzone Blog, do you ever wonder why I'm always sending you someplace else to look at images instead of embedding the images right here? Do you think it's because I'm lazy? Do you think it's because I couldn't figure out how to embed images? NO! IT'S NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS! It's that I prefer The Hayfamzone Blog to be a reader's blog (and yes, dear reader, you thoroughly deserve the boldface I just annointed you with!).