Fifth Degree: Lettering Links

Josh Crawley

Josh Crawley

by Josh Crawley

No, I’m not lettering for a Legend of Zelda comic book (though that would be forty three shades of awesome), but I’ve come across a couple of helpful links the past few days for those that are interested in the behind-the-scenes that go into the (under-appreciated by many) process of putting the author’s words on the page.

When people find out I letter the occasional comic book, I’m often asked how I do it. Usually, it’s some variation of “Do you do it by hand or on a computer?”

While there are some people who are talented enough to letter by hand, I wouldn’t ever trust myself to touch ink to anyone’s original artwork. While there is the possibility of lettering on a separate piece of paper and scanning that to combine it with the original art via computer, I much prefer having the higher number of possibilities a computer can offer in the same amount of time.

“We get it. You’re scared, Josh. Get to the point!” You asked for it…

Letterer Jim Cambpell has put together a great blog that goes through the process of computer lettering. Even just skimming it, I’ve already picked up some helpful information that will make certain lettering tasks easier for me. When I have more time, I’m looking forward to comparing and contrasting the information with Comicraft’s Balloon Tales guide to lettering.

As for hand lettering, Blambot’s Nate Piekos has a pretty good tutorial. What I’d really like to point your attention to though, is the sci-fi looking tool known as the Ames Lettering Guide. Dustin Harbin has put together a pretty swell tutorial titled Using the Mighty Ames Lettering Guide. He has lots of great images of it actually in use. I also found the “slant guide (wimps only)” on the diagram pretty hilarious, but I’m kind lame like that.

DC Comics Guide to Coloring & Lettering Comics

DC Comics Guide to Coloring & Lettering Comics

So that’s a little bit that goes into lettering. For more great information be sure to check out Todd Klein’s blog and the DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering by Mark Chiarello and Klein.

That’s it for this week. Next week, I’m hoping to do something a little different (and possibly useful) if I can make arrangements!

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Josh Crawley may or may not be the keyboardist for Everclear. He strongly suggests you not bet that he is.


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