Comic Book Conversations #7: Taylor Esposito


Artwork by Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini. Lettering in all images are by Taylor, of course.

Taylor Esposito has spent years making words jump off the pages of comic books and come to life in your mind. For the seventh edition of Comic Book Conversations, Taylor offers insight into the incredibly busy world of lettering, explains why it’s such a rewarding challenge, and says why Red Hood’s his favorite member of the Batman family. Now, let’s get to know Taylor a little better!

Art by Mirko Colak, Tom Derenick, and Veronica Gandini
GREGG KATZMAN: What did you do for work before becoming a letterer?

TAYLOR ESPOSITO: Before I was a letterer, I was a production artist for Marvel for about five years. It’s where I figured out I wanted to do lettering and work in comics.

GK: How’d you break into the industry?

TE: I broke in almost immediately after college. I was offered a week long temp job at Marvel that eventually became a full-time position.

GK: What's one of the best things about being a letterer? What’s one of the most difficult things?

TE: One of the best things is getting to work with so many amazing creators and teams at the same time. For example, as of last check, I have over 1,000 credited appearances between single issues, trade collections, digital comics and the like, all with incredible creators at the top of their field. One of the worst things is letterers have some of the worst hours and workloads in comics, so it really takes a toll on the mind and body.

GK: What’s a big misconception about letterers?

TE: One of the biggest misconceptions is that what we do is easy and that the job is an easy way to break into comics. It’s actually far from it. The reason people think it’s easy is because we make it look easy. Most creators who try their hand at lettering will confirm it’s much, much harder than it looks. Another is that we write the dialogue. We only place the dialogue written by the writers on the page.
Art by Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini


GK: If someone out there wants to pursue a career as a letterer, what advice can you offer them?

TE: Don’t (haha). Seriously, though, the best thing I can say is be aware that it’s one of the hardest fields to get into. There are many pro letterers, each who do about 15-20 books a month. Jobs are hard to come by, and the level of quality you need to be at is insanely high. If you really wanna get in, you need to work very hard, and the first step I refer anyone to is to properly research and practice how to letter like the pros.

Arty by Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini
GK: The comics industry can be very difficult. If you ever have moments of doubt, what do you do to keep positive and keep at it?

TE: Honestly, I keep myself too busy to even think about that. That said, we all have those moments where we second guess ourselves, but all of the pros have it. It’s call imposter syndrome. Just know it comes with the territory. If you think you’re perfect or have nothing to learn, you’ve already failed.

GK: You've spent a lot of time lettering Red Hood and the Outlaws. In your opinion, what makes lettering Jason Todd’s adventures different from other titles you’ve worked on?

TE: Honestly, it’s my favorite Bat-character, since I see a lot of myself in Jason. Hothead who doesn’t quite fit in with everyone else. I just relate a bit, which makes it easy to get into the book and enjoy it.

GK: Who do you believe is an underrated character/team that deserves their own series?

TE: Question Vic Sage. One of my favorites.
Art by Scot Eaton, Jaime Mendoza, Allen Martinez, Andrew Dalhouse, Wes Hartman, Wil Quintana


GK: What comic has had the biggest impact on you and why should other people check it out?

Art by Alessandro Vitti and Gabe Eltaeb
TE: I can’t even begin to figure that out. I’ve seen too many. I can narrow it down to Aparo Batman and Perez Titans.

GK: Is there anything you would like to add about your career and upcoming work?

TE: It’s been a wild ten years so far, and only five with lettering, so hopefully, I’ve got a ways to go yet. I’m sure the best is yet to come. Every time I think I’ve done all the awesome stuff I can do, I get to work on a G.I. Joe book, or a Pacific Rim strip, or a book with Kevin Eastman. I can only imagine and hope where I’m going from here.

GK: Thanks, Taylor!

Thank you very much for reading the seventh edition of Comic Book Conversations – links for the other interviews are below. Go follow Taylor on Twitter and follow me on Twitter for site updates.

Comments

  1. Holy crap! An interview with one of the unsung heroes of comics? Letterers never get facetime. This is awesome! More like this, please. Writers and artists are awesome too but I want to hear more from the less popular create staff. Letterers and Colorists play big parts. A colorist can make good art bad and bad art good. Letterers give the script soul.

    Thanks for diversifying your interviews, Gregg!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Erik! I'd love to get a colorist and an inker on this segment. :)

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