PopCultHQ is kicking off 2018 in a new way. Each month, we’ll be selecting Comic Book Creators of the Month and interview them for a spotlight article. For January 2018’s Letterer of the Month, we chose Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios.
Covering publishers from A to Z, Taylor Esposito’s work has graced the pages of countless titles. Working with Aspen Comics, Action Lab Entertainment, AfterShock Comics, DC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, EMET Comics, 451 Media, Image Comics, LINE Webtoon, Marvel, Vault Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, and more, it’s likely you’ve seen Taylor’s contributions no matter your preferred genre or taste in comics. Currently, you can find Taylor’s lettering in the recently released issues of BABYTEETH (AfterShock), VAN HELSING VS. ROBYN HOOD (Zenescope), THE SHADOW/BATMAN (Dynamite), JUPITER JET (Action Lab), and the upcoming, highly-anticipated CULT CLASSIC: RETURN TO WHISPER (Vault) alongside writer Eliot Rahal, PopCultHQ’s Writer of the Month for January.
Whenever PopCultHQ reviews a comic featuring Taylor as the letterer, his contributions have always, and I mean ALWAYS, been some of the best, most seamless lettering laid out to perfection. A true team player, you can expect Taylor to not only add the final touches to an issue, but to play his part in helping to bring the writer and.or artist’s vision come to life.
Esposito is a letterer on top his game, a man who has perfected his craft, and strives for excellence with each project. He makes for a fantastic choice to round out any creative team because he brings a high-level of professionalism, quality, respect you’d want to have on any given project.
Here is more about Esposito’s history in the business from his website:
Taylor Esposito is a graphic designer who is very much influenced by comic books. A graduate of Seton Hall University, Taylor also took classes at the School of Visual Arts. In addtion to being a graphic designer, Taylor has some training in cartooning and sequential art, as well as being a web designer.
A professional since 2006, Taylor was part of the Marvel Bullpen for about five years, during which he worked on digital comics, cover design, corrections, and pre-press. During his tenure there, he was manager of digital comics and assistant to the production manager for print.
After leaving Marvel in 2011, Taylor became a freelance letterer and production artist, working with such companies and creators as Random House, New Paradigm Studios, KIZoic, Bottled Lightning, Vertical Inc., and Valiant. In fact, Taylor was briefly a production manager at Vertical Inc. in 2012. In October 2012, Taylor achieved his dream of working for DC Comics when he became one of the staff letterers.
In 2015, with DC Comics moving west, Taylor stayed behind to go freelance again, this time founding Ghost Glyph Studios. Since that time, he has lettered for DC, BOOM!, IDW, Dark Horse, Image, Aspen, Dynamite and more.
So sit back, relax, and hear Esposito speak about his proudest achievements, what it’s like to be a letterer working on any given number of titles, and why good karma is important in the comic book industry.
PopCultHQ Spotlight Interview
Letterer of the Month – January 2018:
PopCultHQ: How did comic books influence your childhood? What was the defining moment in your life that you knew, from then on, that you wanted to letter comic books for a living?
Taylor Esposito: Comics were all around my childhood. I grew up on Super Powers action figures and Batman ’66. The earliest movie I can remember going to the theater to see was Batman ’89. I was always about superheroes. Oddly enough, there was no defining moment when I knew I’d be in comics. To be honest, I stumbled into this career completely by accident. I was out of college about 6 months with no job when I was referred to Marvel by a college buddy for a weeklong temp job in what would become the Marvel Comics Digital Unlimited prepping the service for launch. The week turned into 6 months, then a transfer to the bullpen/production department, where I would move up to assistant production manager until I left in 2011. Then, again out of work and with no options, I decided to learn how to letter. I did this freelance until the October of 2012, when I joined the DC lettering staff. I stayed there until 2015 when DC moved out to Burbank and then I started Ghost Glyph Studios. It all just happened to work out this way.
PopCultHQ: Your work has been published by more publishers than I can count. You’ve had the opportunity to work with a massive list of talented writers, and a ton of artists with which you’ve teamed. What do you enjoy most about collaborating with other creators? Which creator would you love the opportunity to work with on a project?
Taylor: The great thing about my job, beyond working on comics and working with so many amazing creators, is the ability to help make others’ visions come to life. I think of coloring and lettering as a support staff. Almost like the production team on a movie. For me at least, it makes every job different and interesting. I get to go flashy and over-the-top on super books, creepy and suspenseful on horror, etc. so it’s like a new thing each time. Creators—well, that’s a long list. There are too many friends and legends I haven’t gotten around to working with yet.
PopCultHQ: As a letterer, not only are you the final piece in bringing the comic together, you also must have to establish some unique relationships with both the writer and the artists on the title. With the number of titles you take on in a given month, how do you find time to immerse yourself into each story/script, provide the lettering on each title, and maintain those relationships to help both writers and artists (and publishers, for that matter) carry out their vision?
Taylor: To be honest, I tend to not completely immerse myself in each story by design. I do talk to the writer/artist (or editor for bigger books/companies) to get an idea of the story, and what they want out of the lettering. Once the basic bones of the title is figured out, I just adjust issue to issue. I skim the art and script to see if I need anything new, and if I do, I work out the kinks before lettering, so once I get started I can just move through books quickly and painlessly.
PopCultHQ: Your company, Ghost Glyph Studios, offers comic book lettering, logo design, and graphic art services. What type of individual or business would benefit most from your services? What can people expect when they choose Ghost Glyph Studios to represent them or their work?
Taylor: Obviously any and all comic companies would benefit, as well as any business looking to create a corporate identity or even just folks looking to make business cards, flyers, logos, etc. With GGS, you can expect quality and professionalism.
PopCultHQ: What has been the most important and/or valuable piece of advice you’ve received as a letterer in the comic book industry?
Taylor: The most important piece of advice I’ve received, though it would apply to everyone, not just letterers, is be a good person. Don’t treat people like garbage, don’t try to sabotage them or talk about them behind their backs. It’s a small industry and everything gets around, so best to just be friendly, honest and up front with everyone. In the end, the good karma will help more than you know. You may not work on every top Marvel or DC title, but people will respect you and want to work with you. I truly believe that I’m working today because of a combination of professionalism, a good work ethic, and because I’m someone my editors, friends and colleagues want to work with. I know this sounds braggy or preachy, but I’ve seen it in action again and again with my friends and colleagues who have made a successful career in comics.
PopCultHQ: On top of your current ongoings with AfterShock (Babyteeth) and Dynamite (Bettie Page, Centipede, etc.), what’s on tap in 2018 for Taylor Esposito and Ghost Glyph Studios? Any conventions and signing appearances lined up? Projects you can discuss?
Taylor: Not too many projects I can discuss at the moment. I can say that there will be more from me out of LINE Webtoon, Aspen, Aftershock, Dynamite for certain, along with my current books through DC, Zenescope, and the rest. The only con appearance for certain at the moment is tabling at East Coast Comic Con with my pal Karl Slominski in Secaucus, NJ in April. I usually visit the local shows in NJ and NY, but those are only walking around. If you wanna stay aware of what I’m working on, keep an eye on @ghostglyph and @taylorespo on Twitter, and Ghost Glyph Studios on Facebook.
PopCultHQ: If you had the power or ability to make one change in the comic book community or industry, what would it be?
Taylor: If I could make one change, it would be that letterers get thought of as part of the team more often by creators, news, and fans, and that they be properly credited whenever a book is mentioned or promoted anywhere.
PopCultHQ: What has been your proudest achievement in this business?
Taylor: To be honest, I’ve had too many to name just one. I guess the list can include being on the DC staff, being credited in Batman, Detective [Comics], Superman, and Action [Comics], being a regular (and only) letterer on a number of titles, helping to launch Letterer Appreciation Day (Sept. 1st), becoming friends and colleagues to many of my idols and mentors. I can probably name more, but let’s leave it at that.
Special thanks to Taylor for making time to speak with PopCultHQ. Be sure to follow Taylor Esposito and Ghost Glyph Studios online for all the latest from the talented creator!
Letterer – Taylor Esposito
Ghost Glyph Studios