Comicon’s 5 Best Letterers Of 2022
by Erik Amaya
Welcome to Comicon.com’s Best of the Year Awards, gathering the best comics and comics talent of the strange year that was 2021. This year we will be awarding in the following categories: Best Original Graphic Novels, Best Comic Series, Best Single Comic Issues, Best Writers, Best Artists, Best Cover Artists, Best Colorists, Best Letterers, Best Digital/Webcomics, and Most Progressive Comics.
Contributors to Comicon’s Best of the Year Awards this year include: Oliver MacNamee, Rachel Bellwoar, Richard Bruton, Scott Redmond, Tito James, Tom Smithyman, and Tony Thornley.
The following are Comicon’s 5 Letterers of 2022.
5. Aditya Bidikar
Bidikar continues to excel in his lettering, with his continued work on The Department of Truth particularly marked out as a great example of his skills. A comic book that is loaded with dialogue, Bidikar beautifully balances the lettering without ever compromising the art, or the narrative. The art choices he has taken with the speech balloon designs only add to the edgy quality of the series; a huge contribution to the overall look and feel of this successful title.
— Olly MacNamee
4. Clayton Cowles
There’s a reason Cowles is the letterer on a lot of the biggest books in the industry. He knows how to add to the books, with letters that are distinct without taking away from the story. He takes the scripts and elevates them, adding to them as the books go on. Even better, he puts the work into the X-Men books with the data pages, continuing to make one of the best supplements in modern comics even better.
— Tony Thornley
3. Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Lettering is an art form that is very understated at times, but it plays such a huge part in not only establishing what characters might be saying or thinking, but conveying their emotions and tone. Otsmane-Elhaou is one of the best at showcasing the voice/personality of characters, making sure we hear their emotional state alongside the artwork illustrating it. Little changes like the size/shape/color of the font or how a speech bubble appears to give the words the right amount of power to let us feel and hear them. Just one glance at any of the lettering in a series like Poison Ivy shows how well Otsmane-Elhaou accomplishes what he sets out to do, the dark terrifying horror angle of the series is dripping from every piece of lettering.
— Scott Redmond
2. Ed Dukeshire
Dukeshire’s lettering on Once & Future seemed to find the inner voice of each character with his various font designs and colour schemed he adopted. And, like all great letterers, these design choices never over shadowed the art or felt in any way intrusive. An integral part of the series and the tone of fantasy/horror, often evoked through his lettering.
— Olly MacNamee
1. Ariana Maher
Letters are usually the hardest thing to talk about in a comic. If they’re doing their job right, you don’t notice them until after the issue is over. That’s one thing Maher has done well as she got a rightfully-earned spotlight for her work throughout the past twelve months. She’s able to make her work look distinct without being distracting. She knows just how to use her talents to emphasize story and dialogue, while adding to the overall reading experience.
— Tony Thornley