04-03-2007, 10:41 AM
An interesting post on The Beat about a debate between Greg Rucka and Richard Starkings...
Welcome aboard David! Nice to have you here with such a great opening salvo!
I think the point about the way books are edited post-lettering is worth repeating. Often I have received a script that is not close to publishable and only after they see it on the page do the writers (rarely the editors any more) make the changes. I suspect that rather than laziness (I have NEVER met a lazy editor in my career who lasted more than a couple of issues...its a damn demanding job!) this is due to cut backs on the editing staff, but it also could be to perceived convenience and time constraints. Sadly, as Richard said, often the writer is the last person who should be doing the proofs as they are far to close to the material and completely unable to separate the story from the words.
As to sentence-case lettering, I have (forgive me) mixed feelings. I have certainly done it and I feel I have done it well, but I never felt it was more readable. In fact, I feel it slows down the reading a tad because the ascenders and descenders get in the way of the lines above and below. This is subtle, and certainly debatable, but I'll stick with my instnct that it slows down the process.
I remember when Bill Jemas made the switch and one of the main reasons cited was that the reason for ALL CAPS lettering was now a non-issue: the printing process had improved so much that even the smallest derivation could be seen...therefore the blockiness of ALL CAPS wasn't needed for readability. While true, I also believe, as a letterer, I can letter faster in all caps...hand lettering that is...so I'm inclined to believe the tradition probably started out of speed and convenience as much as readability.
In the end, there will always be a time and a place for sentence case lettering...but I, as both letterer and reader, will always prefer ALL CAPS.
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