Robot 6

See Rich Barrett’s HeroesCon presentation on design in comics

design-slideshow011-640x480Design is integral to comics. In its basic form, it’s used by artists to tell story through panel composition and transitions, but in broader terms it’s the logos, trade dress and visual platform by which comics are shown to the public.

Last month at HeroesCon in Charlotte, North Carolina, cartoonist/designer Rich Barrett moderated a panel that looked at the approach and examples of graphic design in use in the medium. With a panel that included cartoonist/designers like Jim Rugg, Matt Kindt and Robert Wilson IV, publisher/designer Chris Pitzer of AdHouse Books and non-comics desginer Matt Stevens, Barrett shepherded the room through slideshow series of impressive design, from page layouts to book covers to book packaging.

The indie-centric design group talked about the use of design by mainstream creators like Jonathan Hickman, Chris Ware and Chester Brown, and its changing role of design as the methods by which comics being sold have changed over the past 20 years.

Although no recording of the panel exists (as of yet), Barrett has shared his slideshow presentation here:



Anyone have any idea what that book of logos in the slideshow is? The one with Spider-Man and Batman stuff?

David: That’s Rian Hughes’ work, I believe from DEVICE.

Awesome, I thought I recognized it. Gonna have to pick that up. Thanks Chris.

Hey Chris,
Thanks so much for writing about this. I thought the panel went really well. It was a little different navigating a visual portion with a QA for the panelists like that but it was a good conversation. I don’t think they recorded this one, however I did a similar panel two years ago at HeroesCon that didn’t have a slideshow like this, but there is a podcast recording of the conversation that you can listen to here:

That one was less about history and current trends in design and more about the panelists personal experiences. We had Jim Rugg, Chris Pitzer, Jonathan Hickman, Drew Weing and Eric Skillman on that one and it was really great.

Leave a Comment


Browse the Robot 6 Archives