Sunday, August 31, 2014


This week, I wrote up a review of Sam Alden's It Never Happened Again for PopMatters. The book was touching, beautiful, and had clear universal appeal. It was also a quick but powerful read, so I definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone. If you'd like a taste, you can read one of the two stories from It Never Happened Again, "Hawaii 1997," in its entirety on Alden's tumblr page here. I also had a new "1987 And All That" go up at CSBG, this time on the first eight issues of Suicide Squad. Spoiler alert: that title rules and 100% earns its reputation, even nearly three decades later.

Something I Failed to Mention
I gave most members of the Suicide Squad creative team individual credit in that post, but never mentioned letterer Todd Klein by name, even though he was there for all eight issues along with John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell, and Carl Gafford. And though the letters didn't do a whole lot beyond the usual dialogue and sound effects, they also never crowded out the art, nor were they confusingly laid out at any point or otherwise unclear. That's already better than plenty of letterers manage to do, so Klein deserves credit for his reliably good work, and there is one area in which his lettering actually stands out: the credits pages. While some issues listed the creators in a standard caption box, several of them did something a little more creative. The first issue acted more like the opening sequence of a movie, with the name of each creator getting its own caption on the second page, introducing them one panel at a time even as the first scene unfolded. Another issue opens with the Squad standing behind a line of trees, and the creators names are almost hidden in the trees themselves, as if they were carved sideways into the bark. And so on. Klein clearly had fun with the credits when he found a way to do so without drawing attention, another mark of strong lettering, and a contribution I wanted to be sure and point out somewhere.

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