2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, May 23, 2008

Prog 492

Seeing Judge Dredd Attack of the 50 Foot Woman lettered by art robot Gary Leach has made me think that I've been negligent in talking about the sterling work that 2000 AD lettering robots do. Reading this thrill made me think how much of a contribution to Dredd's tone letterer Tom Frame is making, thanks partly to Leach's hard to read hand-written-letter representation in the captions.

Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy seem to be the only creator robots giving Frame the credit he deserves by apparently treating him as an equal member of the Sooner or Later team. In the credits to this prog's episode, they say about Frame, "whereabouts unknown” as if in reference to this prog’s Dredd story.

2000 AD letterers have nearly always provided work that was above the call of duty but in the case of Frame he seemed to elevate it into an art form itself. His work was always resolutely clear yet dynamic and expressive when required. As a thrill, Dredd might have suffered from an inconsistency of look thanks to the rotation of artists had it not been for Frame's constant presence and professionalism. Tharg has a lot to thank him for.

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  • There's much to be said about Tom Frame's consistent excellence, however right now I just want to note the bonkers crazy unsettling beautiful wonderfulness of the cover. It's about as alien as a thing can get.

    By Blogger Jez, at 9:45 pm  

  • When I think of 2000AD, I think of specific pages, specific panels, almost all of which feature Tom Frame's lettering. So it all becomes part of the whole Proustian package, and I really do miss his work terribly.

    By Blogger Mark, at 1:26 am  

  • Jez, that is one hell of a cover. O'Neill has been rpoducing some stunners during the metalzoic run.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 12:53 pm  

  • Mark, there's something about Frame lettering big that's lodged in my mind.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 12:54 pm  

  • I once (20-odd years ago) bought a limited edition Bolland poster of Dredd, hand-printed by Tom Frame.

    It was like getting a wee piece of 2000ad all to myself.

    I like Dave Gibbons' lettering as well - a bit campy/dramatic, but great in stuff like Dan Dare and Harlem Heroes.

    God, it's great to be a nerd...

    By Blogger Stavros, at 6:43 pm  

  • Stavros, in general, I thhink most of the lettering in 2000 AD was pretty good, myself. Personally speaking, I don't belive that appreciating a craft of lettering makes you a nerd.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 1:51 pm  

  • I really like Steve Potter's lettering too, for example on Halo Jones book one. Good lettering really makes a difference to the work. i recall one 2000Ad letterer in particular who used to mar almost every story he worked on, including some Alan Moore future shocks - Jack Potter.

    By Blogger Simon C, at 6:27 am  

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