Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Todd Klein and Tom Orzechowski are On Board the Hayfamzone Train

Yes, that's an Ames Lettering Guide pictured above. (I bought a new one at the art store last week rather than to try and find the one I used back in the 1980s.)

Last year when I was trying to figure out the identity of the letterer of the early issues of Jimmy Olsen, I contacted Todd Klein and Tom Orzechowski. The two of them are not only top-tier letterers themselves but I also consider them both to be knowledgeable historians of the artform of comics lettering. They did not know the answer to my Jimmy Olsen question, but they wished me well in my pursuit of the answer.

I did get to the bottom of that mystery last fall, as you can remind yourself by looking back here and here. It took me until last week, though, to report back to Todd and Tom in order to enrich them with the answer to the mystery I had taunted them with. Each of them wrote a very nice reply and I'd like to share those missives with you (because that's the way we roll in the hayfamzone).

Todd (who of course was the letterer of Neil Gaiman's Sandman and so many other DC and Vertigo series) got right to the point:
Great post, Brian, you've added to my own knowledge. Thanks!
Tom (who lettered The X-Men for decades as well as so many other Marvel series) wrote to say:
You have absolutely gone above and beyond. It's great to be able to bring Laura's identity to light after all this time. She brought a fine and understated clarity to all those Weisinger & Schiff books.
About a decade ago I handled a squarebound comic for Joey Cavalieri called World's Funnest Comics. It was written by Evan Dorkin, and followed Bat-Mite and Mxy through all the eras and properties of the DCU. It was drawn by someone else every third page or so, each evoking those different times and places. It was my job to match all the lettering styles, from Sam Rosen on the Quality books to Gaspar on Julie Schwartz' and so on. The splash, by Dave Gibbons, matched Dick Sprang's approach to a 1961 World's Finest page. I have plenty of Superman family books from that time, but this was the first time I had to do practice runs on that precise and attractive approach she had. I hope I did her justice!
My best,
I extend my thanks to both chaps for all their years of beautiful lettering and for being such nice guys to boot. You can see what Todd is up to over at and you can visit Tom at (LATE-BREAKING UPDATE: Todd has written a very nice article about The Hayfamzone Blog's reporting and you can read it over here.)


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