OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

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OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:11 am

Forgive the off-topic nature of the post (please feel free to delete if I'm too far OT) but I thought a few folks here might be interested…

I'm in the process of re-drafting my PDF guide to lettering using Illustrator, and as part of that process, I'm putting the revised chapters up on my new lettering blog to get feedback of all kinds, in hope of improving the guide when I compile the posts into a new PDF.

(I'll also intermittently be speaking my brain on other lettering issues that vex, thrill or infuriate me, and trying to make other practical posts about things I know a bit about, ranging from print production to using Manga Studio.)

I hope you'll forgive the link, but some of these posts are likely to be a bit lengthy to post here. We begin today with a discussion on preparing the script for lettering which, ironically, has absolutely nothing to do with using Illustrator at all.

Feedback either on the blog or here is most welcome.

Cheers!

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

Postby Jamesabels » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:52 am

Hey man, nice to see you keeping your guide fresh and up to date, my first gig ever in comics was lettering and I still letter some when flatting work is thin. Looking forward to checking this and your blog out, your first PDF along side the Comicraft book taught me how to letter in the first place :)
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:14 am

Jamesabels wrote:Hey man, nice to see you keeping your guide fresh and up to date, my first gig ever in comics was lettering and I still letter some when flatting work is thin. Looking forward to checking this and your blog out, your first PDF along side the Comicraft book taught me how to letter in the first place :)


Hi, James!

Delighted you found it useful -- I know that Illustrator can be a really unfriendly bit of software if you're just trying to work out how to do stuff with no guidance, and that was what prompted me to produce the guide in the first place.

I've been meaning to go back and change a few things I've since discovered better ways of doing, and add a section on more advanced techniques, like masking SFX so that they integrate with the artwork better, and I figure if I started posting the guide on my blog, it'd force me to stop procrastinating and get the bloody thing done!

Cheers

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

Postby MBirkhofer » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:22 am

Lettering is something I always wanted to learn more about. I'll be checking this out later after work.
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Re: OT: A Professional's Guide to Lettering Comics

Postby JimCampbell » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:55 am

MBirkhofer wrote:Lettering is something I always wanted to learn more about. I'll be checking this out later after work.


Cool! I'm aiming to get at least one chapter up per week, more if I can manage it. I should stress that one area I won't be covering is the conventions of comic lettering, simply because Nate Piekos has an excellent guide to this very subject over on his Blambot site, so I decided that I'd simply link to that and concentrate on the nuts 'n' bolts mechanics of how you actually do this stuff using Illustrator.

Cheers!

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

Postby JimCampbell » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:04 am

Just a quick note to say that Part Two of the guide is now live, covering the unglamorous but essential process of getting your documents set up correctly!

Cheers!

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

Postby JimCampbell » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:47 am

Well, I've cobbled together a selection of random ramblings for the second of my (hopefully!) regular 'surgery' columns.

Cheers!

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

Postby JimCampbell » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:10 am

I'm very pleased to present Part Three of my Lettering Guide: Setting Type.

As ever, feedback and/or criticism of any kind is most welcome either here, or on the blog itself.

Cheers!

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

Postby JimCampbell » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:41 am

I've now updated the blog with today's "Sunday Surgery" section, offering some tips on file size optimization, and a non-lettering-related how-to on creating panel borders in Manga Studio.

Check it out here. As always, feedback is not just welcome but actively encouraged.

Cheers!

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

Postby JimCampbell » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:11 am

Updated again, this time with an opinion piece.

Where do I stand on the issue of sentence case lettering in comics? Short version? I'm against it, because I think it looks awful. In fact, it's right up there with darkening off pencils in Photoshop and calling them "digital inks" with practices I'd like to see stopped tomorrow.

Long version? Check out the more detailed argument in today's post to my blog…

The full piece is a little long (with illustrations) to dump in a post here but, as it says in the full article, counter arguments are very welcome either on the blog itself, or here. I'm genuinely interested to know what people think.

Cheers!

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

Postby JimCampbell » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:38 am

Well, it's that time of the week, so I've updated the blog again. Wednesday Surgery tackles the unglamorous but necessary subject of good computer house-keeping…

Cheers!

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

Postby JimCampbell » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:00 am

I've just posted Part Four of the Illustrator Lettering Guide to my blog. This time: Speech Balloons and Captions!

As always, feedback is most welcome and, this time, some homework!

Cheers

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

Postby JimCampbell » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:28 am

Only a day late, the Wednesday Surgery brings an Illustrator tip that should be of use to anyone who uses the package for graphic design, not just letterers…!

As ever, all feedback is very much appreciated.

Cheers!

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

Postby JimCampbell » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:15 pm

Part Five of my guide to lettering in Illustrator is now up on my blog.

Moving on from regular speech balloons last time, we cover as many of the non-standard balloons as I could think of, starting with simple linked speech balloons, through burst balloons, breakout balloons, thought balloons, radio balloons and a few more besides.

If anyone thinks I've missed a particular kind of balloon, just drop a note in the Comments section and I'll revisit the subject in a future post.

Cheers!

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

Postby JimCampbell » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:20 am

Hard on the heels of yesterday's instalment of the Illustrator Guide, I've updated the blog again. It's time for the Sunday Surgery, this time looking at zig-zag balloon tails (which, in all honesty, should probably have been in yesterday's post, but which I overlooked).

Cheers!

Jim
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