OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:44 am

The blog is updated again today, with the Wednesday Surgery bringing a minor rant about the importance of good typography, and a how-to on old-school telepathy balloons.

As always, feedback is very welcome.

Cheers!

Jim
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby balooga » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:26 pm

Thanks for posting these. I'm finding them very useful.

Cheers!
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:43 pm

balooga wrote:Thanks for posting these. I'm finding them very useful.


I'm genuinely delighted that people -- your good self included -- are finding this stuff interesting and/or informative. The encouragement is very much appreciated, and I shall endeavour to keep the posts coming. :-)

Cheers!

Jim
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:08 am

Just a quick note to say that it's Sunday Surgery time over on my blog, where a perfectly reasonable question gets rather short shrift in favour of a rant about the collaborative process in comic creation! Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Cheers

Jim
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby Eagle » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:56 am

Thanks for that!

It's the first of your posts I've read because I'm not a letterer myself, but it neatly answers something that came up for me recently.
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:53 pm

Eagle wrote:but it neatly answers something that came up for me recently.


Well, whatever it was, I'm glad I could help!

I've updated the blog again today, with Part Six of the Illustrator Guide. This time, pretty much everything you need to know about sound effects.

As ever, if I've missed something, or if anything is unclear, please feel free to either post here, or use the Comments section on the blog, and I'll do my best to address the point at the next twice-weekly surgery, which come up every Wednesday and Friday.

All other feedback is also most welcome.

Cheers!

Jim
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:30 pm

Following up yesterday's update to the Illustrator Guide, today brings us the Wednesday Surgery, with apologies for the brevity of the post (I'm rushed off my feet this week).

So, it's just a quick productivity tip today, which I hope will be useful -- and there's more to come.

Cheers!

Jim
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:08 am

Today's update to the blog is a Sunday Surgery post that is almost entirely unrelated to lettering.

Instead, we get to grips with some queries about resolution, page sizes and the effects thereof upon settings for both Photoshop and Manga Studio, particularly brushes. I find this stuff fascinating, so hopefully I've managed to make it more interesting than that summary sounds!

Cheers

Jim
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:52 am

After a brief spell of being mentally busy, the blog is back in action with a quick Wednesday Surgery post addressing a couple queries arising from a previous post, including how to quickly pick up stroke and fill styles from existing objects in Illustrator.

Cheers!

Jim
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:23 pm

It's Sunday Surgery over on the blog, looking at getting the sort of files out of Illustrator that publishers and editors are looking for when they transfer content to these new-fangled iPad and e-reader thingies.*

Hopefully, I've had these headaches so you don't have to!

Cheers

Jim

* Q: Why can't they just take an .ai file?
A: I don't know.

Q: Shouldn't we be charging them extra for this?
A: Yes. Yes, we should. Let me know how that works out for you, because I've not had much luck yet.
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:54 am

A day late, but hopefully not a dollar short, the Wednesday Surgery arrives bringing a couple of batches of unlettered pages together with the accompanying scripts for prospective letterers to download and practise on.

I very much hope to get permission from some of my other collaborators and perhaps some publishers to make more 'Practise Packs' available over the next few weeks. Further announcements when I can confirm.

Cheers!

Jim
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby Jamesabels » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:25 am

Hey man, I haven't had a ton of time to power through your archives and posts and such but have you ever posted anything on finding work? I used to letter full time but I have went to flatting and some coloring since just due to the sheer lack of work out there, I figure you have to find a way in through someone else and since I know a decent amount of colorists now from flatting I've considered trying to look for some lettering in my downtime but not sure if it's worth the effort =/
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:54 am

Hi, James!

Jamesabels wrote:have you ever posted anything on finding work?


Interesting… that's probably worth a proper blog post at some point in the future, but to try and give a succinct answer:

I'm afraid I don't have any special insight. The bulk of my income is derived from two publishers, and my "in" with them was chiefly dumb luck: they were looking for a fill-in letterer in a hurry and my samples were top of the pile. In both cases, the samples had been out for so long that I'd actually forgotten about them.

Obviously, if you don't actually have any samples out there, then even dumb luck is out of the question.

TBH, I'm lucky in so far as I have a wife with professional qualifications and we don't have any kids -- I imagine there are plenty of people whose domestic circumstances would make it impossible to live on what I make in a year. It's largely a matter of doing a LOT of free work and hoping that some of it turns into paying work. The first year I made any money, I'd say that about 75% of the work I did was actually free, or 'back end' (for the record, I never expected to get paid for the back end jobs, but if I had my time again, I wouldn't take them on), the second year it was about 50/50 and I was able to pack in my day job; this year I think it'll be about 66% paying and I hope that next year it's going to be north of 75%.

I have lettered a lot of sample pages for proposals, which is quite a sneaky way of getting your work out there, since it means that you've a good chance of getting the gig if the book's picked up, but at the very least the writer and/or artist is going to be out there knocking on doors and talking to editors with what is effectively a set of your samples! If you've given them a professional lettering job for free, then you've enhanced their samples and they're going to big you up.

Beyond that, the only advice I can offer is about making sure that even a small break turns into a bigger one: always do your best work, regardless of the page rate; always deliver on time; try very hard not to be a dick. That's all I've been doing!

Cheers

Jim
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby Jamesabels » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:22 pm

Thanks for the tips, I will have to get on top of my submissions and such. I just downloaded the pages and scripts from your site so I will sharpen my skills on those :)
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:45 am

Through snow and ice and not one but two plumbing disasters in a week, my blog grapples its way back towards a regular schedule of adding new content.

Another practice pack, and the much-delayed final part of the Illustrator Guide both loom on the horizon, but Thursday brings us the latest Wednesday Surgery post (ahem) and we should be back on the regular schedule from Sunday.

Cheers!

Jim
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