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 April 2018’s Letterer of the Month, we chose Adam Wollet.
Adam Wollet has been a busy creator the last five years. The writer/letterer/editor has had his work featured in Heavy Metal Magazine, Vault Comics, Image Comics, Greentea Publishing, as well as other indie and self-published works. But where Adam is truly leaving his mark is with the fine folks at Action Lab. Adam has lettered Action Lab Entertainment titles like Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman, Blue Hour, The Adventures of Aero-Girl, and Fight Like a Girl, but it’s under their Danger Zone imprint where Wollet has really taken off.
Adam has been providing the SFX and voices for the characters for Action Lab: Danger Zone‘s hit titles Zombie Tramp, Vampblade, and DollFace. He’s also worked with Jeff Dyer on his MediSin miniseries, the lethal ladies team-up Danger Doll Squad, and a number of holiday one-shots. He has also had his writing debut with the publisher when his project Kingdom Bum, with co-creator Rick Marshall, was released in 2016.
With the number of issues (and titles!) Wollet has been cranking out in the last couple of years, we knew we had to feature this amazing creator taking the Zombie Tramp universe by storm. So check out our conversation with Adam as we discuss his achievements, what challenges him as a letterer, and what’s he’s learned as a writer & letterer in the industry.
PopCultHQ Spotlight Interview
Letterer of the Month – April 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?
Adam Wollet: Comics were a huge influence on my childhood. I’ve been a big reader most of my life, gravitating mostly toward science fiction and fantasy, but comics definitely helped build the foundation for my love of reading from an early age.
PopCultHQ: What has been your proudest achievement in this business?
Wollet: This is a two-parter because I’ve had two distinct experiences in the comic book industry. The first would have be my own comic, Kingdom Bum, which was published by Action Lab: Danger Zone in 2016. Not only is it my first work that was ever published (as both a writer or a letterer), some of my favorite memories in this industry are the hours spent purely creating with my co-writer, Rick Marshall, and the rest of the creative team. Literally watching a simple idea that was mentioned in passing turn into a completed thing that others can read and (hopefully) find enjoyment in is a surreal experience that I think you can only truly experience the first time you create something. That book was a labor of love and was in the works for several years before it actually came to be the book that was ultimately published. But, Kingdom Bum was kind of my own comic book school, and it was in producing that book that I discovered my appreciation for lettering.
The second thing is the relationships and experiences I’ve had as a letterer. While Kingdom Bum was my own creation (with co-creator, Rick Marshall), it helped launch my lettering career which has in turn led to dozens of friendships and collaborations that I couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. This might not seem like an “achievement” in the traditional sense, but when making comics becomes difficult (which it often does), it’s the shared experiences and the enthusiasm of the people you work with that ultimately keep us all pushing on.
PopCultHQ: You’ve worked on quite a number of issues and titles for Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint. What do you enjoy most about working with the creative teams at Danger Zone?
Wollet: Everyone I’ve worked with at Action Lab is incredibly enthusiastic about each title they work on. I think that passion shows in the final product and contributes to a better experience for readers. I also appreciate the flexibility and professionalism that each team shares with each other. The creative teams have kept these books rolling out onto shelves each month despite hectic convention schedules, family responsibilities, and even hurricanes.
PopCultHQ: What is the most challenging aspect for you when it comes to lettering a comic book?
Wollet: The most challenging aspect of lettering a comic book is probably the first few pages, especially if it’s a large project. Every project is different, and ensuring the lettering complements the vision of the writer and artist is probably the most important part of the lettering process. My process often includes using the first few pages to hash out the lettering style, but once you have that established, the rest usually rolls along smoothly. Of course, some books are much more straight forward than others, but the process is always the same for me.
PopCultHQ: What has been the most important and/or valuable piece of advice you’ve received as a creator in the comic book industry?
Wollet: Learn from your creative collaborators, whether they’re your co-writer, artists, colorists, or letterers. You don’t have to be able to do what they do, but if you understand how they do their jobs, you will become a better writer, you’ll make better comics, and your collaborations will be much more efficient.
From my personal experience, learning how to letter provided priceless insight into how to write for comics. Nothing teaches you to appreciate a tight line of dialogue like having to letter 200 words into a panel the size of a post-it note.
PopCultHQ: On top of VAMPBLADE and DANGER DOLL SQUAD V.2, what’s on tap in 2018 for Adam Wollet? Any conventions and signing appearances lined up?
Wollet: I don’t have any convention trips planned this year, unfortunately. But, in addition to the titles you mentioned, I’m also lettering Zombie Tramp and Dollface from Action Lab: Danger Zone, as well as several books from other publishers and independent creators.
PopCultHQ: If you had the power or ability to make one change in the comic book community or industry, what would it be?
Wollet: This is a difficult question to answer briefly, but if I had to pick one thing I’d say the distribution system, in particular the reliance on pre-ordering. I understand why it’s there, but it puts a heavy burden on shops to sell books that aren’t out yet without incentivizing them to take a risk on new (non-“Big Two”) books, and can deter readers from trying new books due to the heavy upfront cost (several months of orders before the first book is even released).
PopCultHQ: Which comics are you reading right now? If given the opportunity, is there a creator currently producing comic books that you’d like to work with (in any capacity)?
Wollet: Answering this question brings pain to my heart, because it’s more accurate to ask “which comics have I purchased recently, but sit on my desk mocking me because I don’t have time to read them all.” Aside from the books I work on, I have a hefty stack of comics in my “to read” pile that ranges from most of the Star Wars titles, to a bunch of Image titles like Saga, Paper Girls, and Southern Bastards. I recently saw Dan Slott will be relaunching the Fantastic Four, which will probably find its way onto my pull list.
Special thanks to Adam for making time to speak with PopCultHQ.
Be sure to follow Adam Wollet online for all the latest from the talented creator!
Letterer – Adam Wollet