KleinalphabetsSince we’re not posting much today, you should spend all your time reading Todd Klein’s blog. It’s like sitting around rapping with the Socrates of comics logo design — and there’ no hemlock at the end. Klein has a three-part examination of the logos of AMALGAM COMICS which looks at how back in the late ’90s, Marvel and Dc came together to mix up their characters…and their logos.

Since all the titles and characters were essentially “new,” all 24 books needed new logos. This called for a lot of design work, especially considering they’d most likely be used only once each, but then the same could be said for the art in each title. The two companies approached the logo design issue a little differently, but both ended up with mostly the same solution: work with the guy who’d designed many of the logos being referenced to create the mash-ups…namely, me! In the beginning, though, several of the Marvel logos were designed by JG Roshell of Comicraft, and at DC the logos were overseen and sometimes designed or assembled by Curtis King on staff.

Not only does Klein identify the designers of most of the best known logos of the ’90s, but his comments on how they work together are fascinating reading. Go on to Part Two and then Part Three.

For an even greater contribution to humanity’s legacy, Klein looks at just why Comics Sans causes strong men to weep and women to turn gray overnight. He even does a side-by-side comparison (above) of the fonts by Dave GIbbons and John Costanza that supposedly “influenced” Comics Sans, and why the result is inferior:

Keep in mind that the first two columns are many times removed from the actual original hand-lettering, and are further reduced in quality by my scanning it at a low enough resolution to use here. That said, I see much more style and consistency in both Dave and John’s letterforms than in Comic Sans, the result of many years of practice. Add in the fact that Connare created his letters by drawing them with a mouse on a computer screen, a notoriously difficult way to draw anything, and you can understand why they look the way they do. You can sit anyone down in front of a printed alphabet and ask them to copy it, but the result isn’t likely to look nearly as good as the original. Make them draw with clumsy tools, and the result will be even worse.

Must reading as always.


  1. Thanks for this and previous plugs, Heidi! I just discovered the pics in the Comic Sans article were mistakenly saved in CMYK instead of RGB, making them unviewable to some browsers. I’ve fixed it just now, so you might want to grab that image again and replace.