Arlen Schumer's ComiColumn: In Defense of Dots

4CP: Four Color Press features an article by John Hilgar titled "In Defense of Dots: The lost art of comic books." This article is BRILLIANT!!!! As the author/designer of the coffeetable comic book history book The Silver Age of Comic Book Art, I'm all about those dots vs. current printing modes; here's what I wrote in my preface:

...artists whom I think rank among the greatest American artists of the 20th (and 21st) Century. Artists for whom there has never been a coffeetable book celebrating their work, the actual printed comic book art as it was transmitted and perceived by the readership, printed with ben-day dots on cheap newsprint—not the black and white original art, as beautiful as it is; that’s production art, as far as I’m concerned. And certainly not the recent spate of reprints, which, though they serve a noble purpose, remove the original coloring and replace it with garish colors on harsh white paper. I wanted to create the first true art book about the art of the comic book artists of the Silver Age of comics. Now it is true, that most of the comics in those days were poorly printed, with mis-registrations rampant; yet there is also something beautiful about them, too, and in trying to capture the integrity of the original printed art while also "cleaning” it up, I assumed the more accurate role of art restorator: not recoloring, but retouching...

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There are 2 Comments to "Arlen Schumer's ComiColumn: In Defense of Dots"

  • John Hilgart says:

    Arlen, I very much appreciate your appreciation of my essay. I am, as you could probably guess, also a fan of your Silver Age book. I've scanned and posted hundreds of images to my 4CP gallery since writing that article a year ago, and they've made me feel even more strongly about the print aesthetics you and I share. Cheers! -John

  • John! Thanx for the kudos, but the pleasure's all mine, because your piece gets my highest compliment: better than I coulda done myself! :) and thanx go to greg theakston, whose Facebook post was the 1st one i saw (even tho he panned it!); so god bless Facebook & the 'net for giving your piece, which you wrote over a year ago, this better-late-than-never traction! And re: my Silver Age book: do you have the hardcover or soft? Because if it's the latter, you're missing an extra 16-pg color section only in the HC; so e-mail me at and I'll send you (and anyone else out there) a PDF of it--and some other Silver Age exclusives--I kid thee not! (Smilin' Schumer)

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