March 28, 2006

Why comics avoid the name "Clint"

According to Joseph Gerharz, at least one of these "has been floating about for years on the net, decades in print. I first saw it back in 1982 at a comic con; and was told there was an actual policy against using the name Clint in comics after this was published."

[via Erin McKean via Arnold Zwicky]

[Don Porges writes:

I've heard "never name your character Clint Flicker". I am sure I will be but one of many to point out that there is at least one semi-major Marvel character named Clint; the archer Hawkeye is/was Clint Barton (since the late 1960s). He is currently deceased, although I think I read something that implied that his status could change soon. (Look, it's _comics_.) Although in the "alternate" Marvel continuity, the "Ultimate" line, he's alive.

By the way, this becomes less of an issue with the advent of mixed-case lettering, computer lettering, and better ink and paper to avoid the letters bleeding into one another.


[And Eric Bakovic writes:

Sometime between 1984 and 1987 there was a magazine cover story on Clint Eastwood, and in big block letters on the cover it said "CLINT!" I saw it in a magazine rack at my school, and the very bottom of the letters were obscured in such a way that the relevant visual effect was accentuated. (I believe it was Newsweek ... it wasn't Time, because I just checked their back issue covers; Newsweek's website doesn't provide any, but Time has 'em all the way back to 1923.)

Of course I remember all this detail because I was somewhere between 13 and 16 at the time, and naturally found it hilarious. I may have even gotten kicked out of class for laughing out loud or pointing it out or something.


[Mike Albaugh notes that "the label for the candy 'Flicks' was changed from all upper-case to mixed-case in about 1971".]

Posted by Mark Liberman at March 28, 2006 07:23 PM