Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Joe Simon, Steve Ditko, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and dozens of other Golden and Silver Age visionaries produced superhero, romance, western, horror, and crime comics using the craftsman’s tools of their day: paper, typewriters, pencils, brushes, inks, and dyes. From the 1930s until roughly the mid-1990s, comic books were produced almost entirely in this fashion, with a few digital blips along the way.
But as electronic tools became increasingly affordable and powerful, the comic book creation process shifted from an analog process to a digital one. In contemporary times, there’s a good chance that no aspect of your favorite title is physical until finished pages start rolling off a printing press.
“In the analog days, when you’d write fiction, every word was physical,” said Bryan Edward Hill, a writer whose credits include Detective Comics and Michael Cray for DC Comics and Ash vs. The Evil Dead and Titans for Hollywood. Although Hill’s comic book career blossomed in the digital age, he’s familiar with the challenges that faced the scripters who came before him.