The lettering in this old cartoon looks more irregular than usual. Since I have begun looking at a lot of early A&J cartoons, I have been surprised to notice that the quality of my lettering seems to have fallen off over the years, even while the quality of my drawing and inking have improved dramatically. I cannot account for this.
Of course, lettering is the bane of cartoonists. It’s tedious. It requires a certain precision and is less forgiving than cartoon drawing. It isn’t what a young cartoonist signs on to do, which is draw funny pictures. It’s too much like work!
There are a lot of computer-generated fonts out there these days that replicate hand lettering. It’s no big deal for a computer-savvy young artist to create a font from his own handwriting. I think this is bad for the development of the cartoonist, however. It makes lettering too easy. A healthy disdain for lettering is the path to proficiency. Learning to tell a story or a joke with more drawing and less lettering is what cartooning is all about.