I like lettering but I am not particularly fast at it. It’s a good thing then that I only have 2 pages to letter for our short story to be published in 8th Wonder Press 2015 Anthology.
The strange thing is that most of the lettering is done even though the Art is not finished. I actually lettered on top of Nick’s rough Artwork and we submitted the lettered Art that way along with the story pitch. Of course, there will be some tweaking. One of the thing I wanted to do was to make a caption box in the shape of a scroll. It actually makes perfect sense to do that when you read the story. I just did not know how to do it so I went to the best online lettering resource I know of:
Though they did have some of the techniques pertaining to making boxes look tattered, they did not actually explain how to build the actual scroll. This was before my adorable wifey bought me their fantastic book “Comic Book Lettering the Comicraft Way” for my birthday. As mentioned in the picture above, it actually explains some of the Scrolly Ends techniques.
That did not stop me.
Using the example above as a guide, I started “drawing” the box in Illustrator. I then drew the other chunks (bottom and sides) and placed them over or under the main box. I then manipulated them using the anchor points, tattered the whole thing and Voila:
Okay, not perfect, but pretty damn good. Lettering is rewarding in those tiny glorious moments.
In preparation for the Rose City Comic Con, I have been compiling Nick and I’s work. Using Adobe InDesign, I compiled all three issues of the Activist to be printed in one 32 pages B&W opus.
Can you see the typo?
Adobe InDesign is pretty easy to use when you are already familiar with other Adobe programs such as Illustrator (which I use to create the word balloons, written words and sound effects on top of Nick’s artwork) and Photoshop (which I use to merge the artwork and the Lettering files together on top of all the crazy other things I create with it including, but not restricted to, wedding invitations).
Our last issue, Oily Shit!, was a breeze since we knew about bleed and the right kind of formatting for comic book pages. I just had to drop it in and InDesign made the book for me. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our older comics. I had to resize and sometimes even correct and adjust the lettering, account for bleed on documents without bleed and make sure the color art from Big Enough For You? don’t look like crap in B&W. I even found a couple typos! You guys did not tell me.
This whole process took a lot longer than expected as my poor 4 years old laptop struggled to switch from one Adobe program to another, having all three opened simultaneously. I am actually surprised it did not start smoking.
Can the saddle stitch handle that many pages?
I did it though…or almost. Tomorrow, I go back to the printer to see the proofs and if it all looks good, I’ll show you guys next week.
People usually like it. I did it here if you wanna try.
Notice the pretty artwork from Nick. Only I know that’s what he looks like on the toilet–>here.
Yesterday I gave it to a coworker and told him about the work Nick and I are doing and how we’re going to be in an anthology blah blah blah…
Then the unthinkable happened. As he was browsing through this very website on his I-phone, he noticed a TYPO! Not a typo in a text or a blog or a word balloon. No no no..that I could have stomached. He saw this:
How do you pronounce that???
What in the name of fuck? I mean come on people, a little help here. No one noticed this!!!??? Yeah, I’m looking at you Nick. I have a valid excuse, English is my second language: “Anglissh his aard four mi”.
Anyway I fixed it:
Phew! I feel better. Next time though, could you please let me know you guys. I mean, what am I not paying you for?
I just could not resist. A GIF is such a succinct way of sharing the process with you guys. Of course, there is a lot more involved than just pasting stuff on top of each other like some mad comic book sandwich artist, especially when it comes to Nick’s Artwork.
In any case, I love making GIFs. If you enjoy them, you should check out the two Activist Issues I made using Photoshop.
Following last week’s post about Nick bringing the script to life, I decided to show you the next step in the process. I am currently lettering the next issue. I use Nick’s rough artwork while he inks and adds the Blacks (and Whites?) to the finished artwork.
We start with the Script:
Excert from the OILY SHIT Script- Page 3
3.2. The AC grabs onto a board member (Cynthia CARROLL) by the collar as BOOGIE blinds her from behind. A tentacle appears behind the AC.
3.3. The tentacle has grabbed the AC by his feet and is pulling him from behind while he is still holding onto CARROLL’s collar. The AC is being stretched a bit between the two and starts freaking out.
AC:What the heeeeeeell???
3.4. Close on a very surprised AC. He is holding the now torn suit as the tentacle wraps itself around him.
Then, Nick turns it into Artwork:
I start to letter on the Rough Artwork. Since I work in layers, I can always adjust it later when I put it on top of the finished artwork in Photoshop. Sometimes, if I see that the original dialogue does not fit the artwork anymore (as in this case here) I change it. I quite enjoy doing that so it all comes together. I truly believe the Artwork is what makes the comic so there is no reason to fight it with shitty dialogue. When the artwork is particularly expressive, I might even cut the dialogue altogether just as I did here in the final panel. Scroll back up to the script and check it out.
If you have any advice on lettering, please share!