Superhero or supervillain? Technology’s role changes comic books

Comic books have been around since the 1930s, each story taking shape as it moves from its writer to its artists (usually a penciler and an inker) and then to its letterer and colorist. Today, that team effort, which also includes an editor reviewing the work and mindful of deadlines, remains largely the same. But while the way writers and editors work is relatively unchanged, computers and technology have broadened the options for illustrators — some of whom have traded pencils and inks for styluses — and revolutionized the roles of letterers and colorists, in speed, output and artistry. This technological evolution did not go exactly as some had imagined it might. “I recall in the late ’80s, we were all so sure that every discipline of comics creation would switch over to being done with the aid of the personal

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