This year we’ll be holding a few more panels and presentations than in previous years, to try to encompass different aspects of comics and their creation.

One of these areas that we’ll be covering is in the art form that very few people, including some comic creators (turns away in shame!) sometimes overlook…lettering!

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We’re honoured to have with us this year a seasoned pro (and local Nottinghamite!), Jim Campbell – letterer on…well, check out below!

Ltrg_Pirouette_01What books have you worked on and how did you get into comic book lettering?

I got into comic lettering by accident. Waaaay back in 1979, I got my first copy of 2000AD (Prog 104, Earthlets!) and noticed that Dave Gibbons got his name on the credits twice for doing his own lettering which, to my ten-year-old brain, was the coolest thing ever. From then, I always took an interest in lettering, and what different letterers brought to various stories and titles. Fast-forward twenty years and it dawned on me that I could use my professional skills (I was a graphic designer by then) to letter comics on a computer. I started lettering small press books because I got sick of seeing great art ruined by lousy lettering. Somewhere along the line, those jobs started turning into paying gigs, and, about 2009, it dawned on me that I was making as much money lettering as I was from my ‘proper’ job, so I jacked in the office job and went freelance.

What have I worked on…? Blimey. I’ve averaged between 5,000 and 6,000 pages a year for the last few years, so it would probably be quicker to tell you what I haven’t worked on!

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For several years, I lettered everything Zenescope Entertainment published, and I still do their Robyn Hood ongoing title and the odd mini-series. I’m doing a lot of work for BOOM! Studios (Burning Fields, Giant Days, Bill & Ted, Munchkin, Sleepy Hollow), Titan (Dragon Riders, Home, Penguins of Madagascar), Black Mask (GodKiller, Pirouette, We Can Never Go Home, Transference, Sinatoro) and some really cool indie/small press stuff like Improper Books’ much-anticipated Porcelain sequel, Bone China [Drawn by our guest Chris Wildgoose!!!] as well as MULP [ANOTHER of our guests!!!].

Often an overlooked role in comics, what would you say is the job of the letterer and how vital is a good letterer to a comic?

The ‘curse’ of a letterer is that bad lettering can really spoil a good book, but good lettering is invisible, so the better you get, the less people notice your work! I’m going to be talking about this in some detail at your fine convention, so I’ll save any piercing insights (hah!) for that.

What can we expect to see from you at NCC?

A blindingly insightful talk on the role of the letterer and the value they add to the creative team on a book? Well, that’s the plan!

You can find me on Twitter: @CampbellLetters and I have a blog (that I’m trying to maintain more regularly than I have been doing!) here: http://clintflickerlettering.blogspot.co.uk

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Make sure you come and hear Jim talk about the vital role that is a letterer! Pick up you tickets in store at Forbidden Planet International Nottingham, or click HERE!