Thursday, January 03, 2013

Courtroom Sketching and Comics Lettering

Thomas Gianni of Chicago started courtroom sketching over thirty years ago. But it's a dying artform. This article from yesterday's Chicago Tribune focuses on how cameras being allowed in courtrooms is reducing courtroom sketching to a quirky anachronism. Mr. Gianni counters, though, that a sketch artist can juxtapose or highlight images in ways that a photograph cannot.

I immediately thought of a parallel to the comic book world. Formerly universally done by hand, a majority of comics lettering is now done by computer instead. As I continue to point out though, the organically-less-than-perfect quality of hand lettering is far superior to the mechanical uniformity of computer lettering. I must confess that the recession of hand lettering saddens me more than that of courtroom sketching, but really I don't want any artform to be lost because of technological convenience.

Let me tell you a couple more things about Tom Gianni. He painted a mural in a library that is mere minutes away from Castle Hayfamzone (and here is a video of him explaining that project) plus he is working on a graphic novel entitled Mechanic Anna (which maybe you can find out more about over here on his website). Hmmm, I wonder whether Mechanic Anna will feature hand lettering or computer lettering...


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