Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Conventions | The Phoenix Convention Center was evacuated Thursday, the first day of Phoenix Comicon, after a fire alarm was triggered by a damaged heat sensor (something similar occurred during last year’s event). Attendees were allowed back in to the venue after about 30 minutes. The convention, which in 2013 drew a record 55,000 people (leading organizers to cap attendance), continues through Sunday. [The Arizona Republic]
Retailing | Kirby Tardy, owner of Collectors Comics in Grand Rapids, Michigan, looks back at 35 years in the business. The store opened downtown in 1979 as Opalia’s Amorphium, and started out carrying a wide range of merchandise; since then it has gone in the opposite direction from many comics shops and focuses mainly on comics themselves, not peripheral items like figures or games. At one time there were several branch locations, and Tardy and his wife Debbie spent a lot of time going to comics conventions in the 1990s. The couple is planning to retire next year, but hopes the business will continue with new owners. [MLive.com]
Comic Sans, the near-universally reviled font inspired by the lettering of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, has received a facelift, courtesy of designer Craig Rozynski.
“Comic Sans wasn’t designed to be the world’s most ubiquitous casual typeface,” he explains in his introduction of the updated version. “Comic Neue aspires to be the casual script choice for everyone including the typographically savvy. The squashed, wonky, and weird glyphs of Comic Sans have been beaten into shape while maintaining the honesty that made Comic Sans so popular.”
The font of choice for office co-workers, dormitory resident advisers and owners of lost pets across the globe, Comic Sans was developed in 1994 by Vincent Connare at Microsoft as an alternative to the Times New Roman that was used in a beta version of Microsoft Bob. He never intended the font to be utilized beyond that, and certainly never imagined it would become so widely used and abused.
With Comic Neue, Rozynski set out to rescue the battered font. “A few years ago, seeing Comic Sans yet again getting a good bashing online I wondered, could it be saved?” he told Creative Review. “Could Comic Sans be given a make-over? The first ever sympathy font? A joke at first (maybe it still is), but one that I began taking seriously enough to have a go at.”
Rozynski has released Comic Neue into the public domain; you can download it for free here.
“What really bugs me is the letter ‘I’ in it because in comic books you only use the capital letter ‘I’, which is the one with the crossbars on it, for the first person pronoun. You never use it as a capitalisation of a word or within a word but I believe in Comic Sans that is the only letter ‘I’ that is available. So the whole thing always looks wrong to me. I think it’s a blight, an absolute blight on modern culture.”
– Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, whose lettering for the landmark 1986 miniseries helped to inspire
the widely reviled font Comic Sans, on the typographical terror he unwittingly helped to unleash on the world.
Creators | Dan Parent discusses an upcoming Archie storyline that will bring Valerie Brown from Josie and the Pussycats to Riverdale, causing sparks to once again fly: “The fans can expect the next step in what I think is the most romantic story in Archie history. The chemistry between Archie and Valerie was hot the first time they got together, and now you’ve really got to see it simmer, all the way from the rekindling of their romance to getting much more serious than we’ve seen before.” [USA Today]
Editorial cartoons | Cartoonist Jeff Stahler has resigned from The Columbus Dispatch following accusations that he lifted ideas from other cartoons, including one that ran in The New Yorker. [Poynter]
“Every day, millions of people rely on Comic Sans for countless applications ranging from scrapbooking to school projects,” Allan Haley, Monotype’s director of words and letters, said in the announcement. “Comic Sans is also a favorite in professional environments, used in medical information, instructions, ambulance signage, college exams, corporate mission statements and executive reprimands – even public letters from sports team owners to their fans. Breaking up with your spouse? Why not write a letter in Comic Sans Pro, embellished with a typographic whack!, pow! or bam! Comic Sans is everywhere, and now it’s even better.”
Because the only thing better than plain ol’ Comic Sans is bold and italic Comic Sans, the family pack includes two new italic and bold italic fonts designed by Terrance Weinzierl. “Our aim is to put the ‘fun’ back in ‘functional’,” the designer said. “We can’t wait to see Comic Sans Pro used in everything from second wedding announcements to warning labels. Long live Comic Sans!”