Thursday, May 28, 2015

Leroy Lettering and Ben Oda

Oil and water. Peanut butter and marbles. Ben Oda craftsmanship and Leroy lettering. A great many pairs of things seem unable to coexist within a close proximity. And yet...

In the above splash page from EC Comics' Weird Fantasy #21 from 1953, the title lettering is by the great Ben Oda but all the captions and word balloons are the stencil-type of lettering called Leroy lettering. All of the Al Feldstein-edited horror and fantasy ECs were lettered in this incongruous fashion (while the pages of the Harvey Kurtzman-edited war titles and Mad were impeccably lettered by Mr. Oda from top to bottom).

I've known the name of and appearance of Leroy lettering since the hills were young but I never took the time to research exactly what the process entailed. I appreciated this recent blog post of Ben Towle that explained those pyrotechnics (and my blog-chest swells like a proud papa on seeing that that article links to one of the many blog posts I have devoted to my favorite comics letterer of all time).

Also, this is a good time to clang the bell once again that you can download a free font based on the hand-lettering of Mr. Ben Oda right over here; I use the Odaballoon font all the time!


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