Tom Orzechowski is primarily known for his work in lettering the Uncanny X-Men comic books. Over the course of Orzechowski's career, he has lettered something on the order of 6,000 pages of (long-time X-Men writer) Chris Claremont's scripts.
In 1968, when Orzechowski was 15, he met a group of aspiring comic book artists at the Detroit Triple Fan Fair comic convention in Detroit, and joined their comics club. Some older members of the club included future comics professionals Rich Buckler, Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, and Mike Vosburg. An aspiring comic book artist, Orzechowski quit drawing when he saw their work. None of the club members wanted to letter their own amateur comics, however, so Orzechowski took on those jobs.
Tony Isabella, who knew Orzechowski from the comics club, joined Marvel Comics in 1972, and soon got Orzechowski his first professional work, lettering retouches on the Marvel UK editions of classic Fantastic Four, Thor, Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Daredevil stories. Within a few months, Orzechowski had worked his way up to lettering for some of Marvel's black-and-white monster magazines. One of his first jobs of that kind was for Monsters Unleashed, on one of the first Marvel stories written by future X-Men scribe Chris Claremont.
Orzechowski's connections from the comics club days paid off again when Rich Buckler pulled him over to letter Black Panther (Jungle Action), and Jim Starlin did the same for Starlin's run on Captain Marvel. A couple of panels from Uncanny X-Men #141, p. 12, displaying a variety of Tom Orzechowski's lettering techniques.
By the time of the debut of the New X-Men in X-Men #94, Orzechowski had developed a reputation as a "new projects guy," and was given the odd issue, and then with issue #122 (June 1979) finally the title. After a number of years on X-Men over Chris Claremont's scripts, the two men paired together on many future X-Men-related projects. (Orzechowski also designed the logos for The New Mutants and Wolverine comics, among others.)
When all was said and done, counting X-Men, many of its annuals, The New Mutants, Wolverine, X-Treme X-Men, and MekaniX, Orzechowksi lettered something on the order of 6,000 pages of Claremont's scripts over a 25-year period.
Orzechowski left the X-Men books shortly after Chris Claremont, in 1993. He joined the team putting out Image Comics' Spawn 1992, where his title was copy editor for most of the first six years. Orzechowski worked for the manga packaging outfit Studio Proteus from 1989 until their demise in 2004. Studio Proteus titles on which Orzechowski worked included Nausicaä, Appleseed, Dominion, and Ghost in the Shell.
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with Tom Orzechowski.
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