Todd Klein’s Comics History BlogBook

I own a lot of comics history books, most list the details of who created the comics and when they were published and the characters in those comic books and strips. And while I am always happy to see another well done comics history book being published, I am overjoyed when someone gives us a new approach to comics history, a new facet that hasn’t been explored. So it is that when Todd Klein couldn’t get his book about comic lettering physically printed he took steps to still treat us with his research by publishing it on his blog. An action that has me delighted.

Todd Klein is a master of comic lettering, an integral part of the medium as we all know. But we are here to praise his role not as a practitioner of the art but as a historian of the craft, which he has also proved himself an expert. About his BlogBook:

… By March 2023, more than four years since I had begun, I had lost confidence my book would ever come out from Abrams, and I decided to publish it myself on my blog. Over the next ten months I converted my manuscript to a series of blog articles. At the same time, with no restrictions on length or number of images (rights and permissions were not an issue since I make no income from my blog), I expanded most of the material, added new images and research (with help from Alex Jay), and wrote quite a few completely new articles to fill out areas I had previously skimmed over to save space…

I have read most (all?) of the chapters as Todd posted them on his blog, now I eagerly look forward to reading them in the order they would have been read in a printed book form as a whole. With all the intended images:

… Some rights holders were easy to work with, and in the case of artist friends, often gave me permission at no cost except a copy of the finished book, but dealings with relatives of deceased artists was sometimes more difficult and costly. A few rights holders could not be located or contacted. Some publishers wanted substantial payments for use of their property, while others were willing to give permission for copies of the finished book. Newspaper syndicates and agents asked for the highest fees, their job being to make as much money for their clients as possible. By September, 2020, I had spent about $7,700, and that was without images from DC Comics and Marvel Comics, which would make up more than half the images in the book as I had planned it. It was clear that rights to all the images I wanted to use would run well over my $10,000 budget …

Read The Art and History of Lettering Comics by Todd Klein. As they say: Highly Recommended!

2 thoughts on “Todd Klein’s Comics History BlogBook

  1. During a vacation in Italy some years ago, I bought a Peanuts comic book as an aid in learning the language. The lettering in it copies Schulz’s handwriting exceedingly well — if he didn’t actually write the Italian captions himself!

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