Here’s a writer that is totally deserving of every award and nomination he has ever received. From his beginnings as a comic book letterer, to an accomplished editor and writer, Richard Starkings has become an icon in the comic industry. Even if you have not read his award-winning series Elephantmen, you have still seen his work and you may not even realize it. He has lettered such smash-hit comics as Ultimate Spider-Man volume one, George Perez’s JLA/Avengers, The Avengers: Heroes Return series and many, MANY more.
He is a master of comic font lettering and truly an amazing writer. He has made a huge impact on the comics’ industry in more ways than one. His contributions to the comics’ industry with his mastering of fonts have been forever sealed due to the nature of said contributions.
As for the series Elephantmen, it is so well written that it leaves you wanting more at the end of every issue. Never would I have believed I would enjoy a comic WITHOUT superheroes. It just didn’t seem right. But this is more like an on-going novel that just so happens to have amazing art to back it up. I truly enjoy it. The minute you read an issue, you HAVE to find out what happens next. Mr. Starkings is the reason why we spotlight writers.
VIDEO: Starkings discusses the Elephantmen movie for a One Shot Presents interview (starts at 1:25)
When the story itself is being driven by a man like Richard Starkings, you can bet he’s going to get you to your location and show you all the sights along the way. Every time I read a new issue, it’s a fun ride. It’s rare when I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every issue of a book, but this is one of those occasions. Never a lull and never a gaping hole left in a story, you get all the fixings when reading Elephantmen. It has come to the point where I have started buying the single issues JUST to get the next part of the story. However, with the extras in the collected volumes, I will continue to buy those as well. I digress.
Mr. Starkings’ work on Elephantmen is a true wonder and everyone should at least read the first issue. Give it a try.
I would also like to share a personal experience with Mr. Starkings. Well, experiences. I had my first run in with Mr. Starkings at Wonder Con in 2009. Something about him and the other two people at his booth, who I would later know as Gabriel Bautista and Moritat (both extremely cool and funny as well) drew me to the Image Comics Elephantmen booth. The first thing that caught me was the Elephant (Ebony) picture I saw. It was so different from what I though comics’ were. My wife and I walked up and proceeded to talk to them. In talking, I found an interest in the book and decided to buy volume one. We kept talking and, as it turns out, these guys had me rolling. I now have an accurate depiction of Dr. Manhattan on my Wonder Con cover thanks to Mr. Starkings [:)]
When I got home after the weekend, I remembered reading the quote “mix between Blade Runner and Taxi Driver“. I had decided to watch Blade Runner and LOVED it. Immediately, I started reading the book. They were dead on. I ended up buying all four volumes (at the time) and was extremely happy to find that the story progressed every issue and left you wanting more in every way. I had even went back and bought the over-sized “Concrete Jungle” and “Mystery City” hardcovers. I just couldn’t get enough.
Every time I got the chance to meet them, I would buy something new from their booth because it was just too awesome not to. This past February, I was among the fortunate people to have attended the Image Expo. There I bought the newly release volume 00. This was the republishing of the “Wounded Animals” series. Based on the stories I had already read, I decided I should also buy a copy for my buddy Eddy Colmenares. I don’t do that sort of thing, but I believe in the book and it was totally worth the $25 to help bring a buddy into the fray. And, as always, Gabriel Bautista draws a personalized head sketch of one of the characters in the book.
I didn’t get to read it until the next weekend, but when I did, WOW. Mind = blown. There are many more stories I have of Mr. Starkings, but this was one that I wanted to share. All in all, Mr. Starkings is an amazing writer and is truly a specimen to be worthy of any spotlight.
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