Monday, June 08, 2009

Comic Lettering: How To and How Not To!

Comic book lettering is the art of putting those neat little words that you read into the neat little balloons so that you can read them. It's mostly design and like all design sometimes it's done well and A LOT of the the time it's done poorly. Good lettering should be seen, but not noticed. If something about the lettering or balloons is pulling you away from the story, then the letterer has failed to do his job correctly.

Almost all lettering done today in comics is done digitally using computer fonts. There are 2 major places dedicated to producing high quality comic book related fonts. These 2 places are Comicraft founded by Richard Starkings and Blambot founded by Nate Piekos. Both places provide high quality fonts as well as articles about lettering. Those articles can be augmented by the lettering videos available at If you still find yourself with questions, then head over to the lettering forum at Digital Webbing. Some of the top letterers working in the current industry can be found at Digital Webbing including (but not limited to) Nate Piekos, Clem Robins, Tom Orzechowski.

Now while we can not all be professional letterers, we can all be better than sub standard letterers. Those you SHOULD NOT listen to are those that offer tutorials for lettering using anything other the Illustrator. While you can use other tools, they are undersuited for the job at hand. If you MUST use those tools, then you should do so mimicking the Illustrator method as much as possible.

If you don't think lettering is that important, then contact me and I'll get my youngest to letter for you. Otherwise, learn to letter well (I did) or hire a letterer (I'm generally available).

Monday, June 01, 2009

PVP Awesomology: Truth in Advertising

Scott Kurtz (of PVP fame) posted the following in his blog :

Image wanted to me to let you know that you’re time to nab a signed and numbered edition is running out. We are only printing 300 of our signed and numbered edition. These come with a full color tip-in sheet signed and numbered by ME. We’ve already sold through half of those editions and that’s not including our offline orders. Both editions are being sold at a reduced price online. These will cost more if you wait for them to hit stores or pick one up at a local retailer or book shop, so act now while you can.

The bold area immediately caught my attention and I immediately went to check out the great pricing. Kurtz is offering the $99.99 AWESOMOLOGY for $85. That's a 15% discount. Of course, there is still shipping which turns out to be $10 to me via the cheapest method. So the $99.99 book would cost me a grand total of $95.00. My saving $5 (5%).

Most comic books shops offer some sort of discount. Even a 5% discount is the same as buying it direct from Scott AND it has the added benefit of supporting a local business.

So much for truth in advertising. If you're a student in Durham, stop by any of the Ultimate Comics stores and you receive an automatic 10% discount. Become a subscriber and you can get a 10-25% discount (based on sales).

Furthermore, all Image collections end up on Amazon. Amazon will most likely give you at least a 10% discount AND free shipping. The Awesomology is very similar to the DC Absolutes (in pricing and size). Amazon offers those at 35%+ discounts AND FREE SHIPPING. has it for $61.90 with a best online price match guarantee. If you find it anywhere cheaper before you buy it, they will match the price. If you find it cheaper after you buy, they will give you $500 is in store credit.

Tales of Wonder has it for $69.99

As a comic book creator, I think you should support creators directly as much as possible. However as a creator, I'm not going to say something is such a great deal when in fact it's not. Come on, Scott, you can do better.