Ah, the credits page. The way that we know whose work went into producing the comic we're enjoying. It's where we find out who wrote and penciled the book. Sometimes there's an inker. Cover and variant cover artists. A colorist. Usually a few different levels of editors. Oh yeah, and the letterer. Can't forget about the letterer.
OR CAN YOU?!
Here's a page from Action Comics #28, which came out last Wednesday:
Well, that looks pretty good, right? It even has a credit for Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. But who's that that did the lettering? Let's take a closer look:
Seems you can forget about the letterer. You know, if DC were going to take any aspect of their comic book production and attribute it to a generic group of faceless, soulless automatons, we really figured it would be their editors.
We sent Ace Reporter ThanosCopter to DC Comics headquarters to find out more about this story. Copter soon found himself enjoying a dinner of Snake Surprise in DC's executive dining room.
On the surface, nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. Dan Didio (left) and Geoff Johns (right) assured ThanosCopter (middle, bowtie, handsome) that DC's letterers were being treated with the highest respect, and that this little lettering snafu must be some kind of a mixup at the printers.
Editor in Chief Bob Harras seemed completely unconcerned. But still, something wasn't right.
ThanosCopter decided to take a look around after dinner was over. It wasn't long before he located a secret passageway and followed it into the dark bowels of DC's corporate headquarters.
What he found will shock you.
That's right. DC's in house lettering is being done by an army of child slaves. JUST AS WE SUSPECTED!
We told ThanosCopter to get out of there so we could publish our report and contact the proper authorities. He hasn't arrived back here at the Outhouse Newsroom yet. We're sure he's just running late.
In any case, shame on you, DC. Lettering is an important part of making comic books, and letterers deserve credit. If Scott Lobdell isn't going to be credited as DC Writing, and your entire editorial isn't going to be credited as The Usual Gang of Idiots, then the letterers should be credited by name as well.
Thanks to Simon Bowland, letterer for comics from Dynamite, 2000AD, Image, and Monkeybrain who called our attention to this situation with his tweet:
Is this how DC is crediting its in-house letterers now? pic.twitter.com/VVzmM3yDrb— Simon Bowland (@SimonBowland) February 7, 2014
Prompting some others to chime in:
@SimonBowland I guess they're not individuals anymore.— Nate Piekos (@blambot) February 7, 2014
@blambot "We're relocating to the West Coast and we're deleting your names".— Simon Bowland (@SimonBowland) February 7, 2014
@monkey__marc It's like the industry finds new ways to belittle its letterers every week.— Simon Bowland (@SimonBowland) February 7, 2014
@SimonBowland and nothing ruins a book faster than shitty lettering too, good lettering makes crappy art look better. Where's the respect?!— Marc Laming (@monkey__marc) February 7, 2014
@monkey__marc Sad fact is, not many publishers and editors care about lettering anymore. "Is it cheap? Is it fast? Then it'll do".— Simon Bowland (@SimonBowland) February 7, 2014
Read the ongoing conversation here.
Hopefully, DC rectifies this situation, letterers are credited by name on future books, and the children are returned to their village along with their magical stone.
But then again, this is DC, so, yeah... we're not hanging on to that hope too tightly.
Speak for yourself, Jude Terror!
Thanks to movie-screencaps.com for the images.