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Starkings at the 2011 New York Comic Con.
|Born||Richard Alan Starkings
27 January 1958 (age 59)
|Area(s)||Letterer, editor, writer|
Richard Starkings (born 27 January 1958) is a British font designer and comic book letterer, editor and writer. He was one of the early pioneers of computer based comic book lettering and as a result is one of the most prolific creators in that industry.
Starkings' lettering style was originally inspired by British comic strip letterers Bill Nuttall and Tom Frame. Starkings' UK career began with lettering jobs in 2000 AD's Future Shocks and various strips in Warrior. From there he moved to Marvel UK where he lettered Zoids in Spider-Man Weekly and Transformers before becoming an editor for the company in the late 1980s. However, by the beginning of the 1990s he devoted himself exclusively to lettering, finding work in the much larger comic book industry in the United States.
In 1992 Starkings founded Comicraft, a studio which trains and employs letterers and designers and provides "Unique Design and Fine Lettering" services for comic books from many different publishers. In the mid-1990s Comicraft, online as comicbookfonts.com began to sell their Font designs as software applications through their Active Images publishing company.
Originally Starkings had intended that the advertisements for these fonts would feature Marvel and DC Comics' characters, however when he failed to receive the authorisation to do that, Starkings created his own character to illustrate the ads – Hip Flask an anthropomorphic hippopotamus "Information Agent". Hip Flask has since graduated to his own series of one-shot comic books, published by Active Images. Starkings plotted the first two issues with artist Ladrönn and enlisted the assistance of Joe Casey to co-script. Mystery City and all subsequent issues are plotted and scripted by Starkings. In 2006 Image Comics launched an ongoing prequel series to Hip Flask, Elephantmen, written by Starkings and illustrated by Justin Norman, Tom Scioli, Henry Flint, Chris Bachalo and Chris Burnham.
In 2001 the character's similarities with an Australian comic book character called Hairbutt (a bumbling anthropomorphic hippopotamus private detective) led Hairbutt co-creator Bodine Amerikah and Darren Close of OzComics to accuse Hip Flask creator Starkings of plagiarism. Starkings replied that he created Hip Flask without any knowledge of Hairbutt, and that their similarities were a bizarre coincidence.
- Richard Starkings at 2000 AD online
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