Welcome back to the annual ComicBook.com Golden Issue Awards. Every year, the staff at ComicBook takes a look back at the year and selects the best of what comics, movies, television, anime, games, and the rest of pop culture had to offer. An unstable economy and unpredictable direct market didn't stop some truly remarkable work coming out of the American comics industry this year, though, and we're here today to celebrate our pick for the year's top letterer. Letterers are sometimes the unsung heroes in comics, bringing the thoughts and words of our favorite characters to life, as well as helping to shape the worlds they live in, with stylized fonts, sound effects, and other details rarely paid attention to by many readers. In more recent years, talent like letterers, colorists, and editors have finally begun to get some love from fans and critics, but they still deserve so much more.
In the case of most of our nominees this year, they have worked on creator-owned and indie books that often ask for a more specialized skillset than typical corporate superhero comics do -- but that certainly isn't to say superhero books don't require a ton of talent.
The winner of the 2022 ComicBook.com Golden Issue Award for Best Letterer is...
That's right -- for the fourth year in a row, Cowles takes home the prize for ComicBook.com's Best Letterer. Cowles is an Eisner- and Ringo-nominated letterer, who graduated from the Joe Kubert School in 2009 and has been lettering comic books ever since. During the course of his career, Cowles has lettered numerous corporate comics, as well as creator-owned books like Bitch Planet, Bitter Root, Die, Moonstruck, Redlands, The Wicked + The Divine, and many more.
You've probably read some of Cowles' work at Marvel Comics, where he has worked on comics like Batman, X-Men, and Daredevil. In 2022, his titles included Daredevil as well as the Tom King/Elsa Charretier indie title Love Everlasting. While Daredevil covers the action and drama of superhero books, Love Everlasting had a super stylized look that demanded everyone involved craft the book precisely to reflect the classic romance comics of which it's a pastiche.
Congratulations not only to Cowles, who has consistently been one of the best and most distinctive letterers in comics for years now but to the stiff competition in this category this year, which includes a number of dynamic creators whose work speaks for itself with or without another award to honor it.
The nominees for Best Letterer are:
Deron Bennett (We Only Find Them When They're Dead)
Aditya Bidikar (20th Century Men)
Clayton Cowles (Daredevil) – WINNER
Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (Above Snakes)
Rus Wooton (Deadly Class)