FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister
Lettering: Computer v. Hand-made
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Zwol.org Forum Index -> (Web)Comics Theory: ART
Previous: PostAnother "Wild Takes" on Online Comics Next: PostWaiting Patiently...  
Author Message
Greg Stephens
Forum Founder


Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2001 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A thread in the Zwol comic part of these forums led me to write a little bit about my lettering technique, so I thought I'd reproduce that posting here, as well:

Nope, using a computer to letter isn't cheating at all. Actually, all of my comics up through #85 were lettered by computer using a font I created from my own handwriting. Word balloons were also done in computer.

But I find there are several benefits to hand-lettering: I get to see the finished comic on paper, which appeals to my asthetic sense of completion; It's much faster to do any special lettering I require; Positioning the word balloons and characters becomes more organic; I don't waste time drawing complex things which may get covered over later by word balloons.

As much time as I say lettering takes on paper, it takes just as much time in the computer. Sure, the computer can create the actual words faster, straighter, and more legible than I can, but the balloons become a real pain and take the most time because I'm not happy with a simple ovoid shape-- I want something that looks more organic, and that takes time. Now, there may be a happy medium where I can hand-draw the word balloons to the size I think they should be and then fill in the lettering in with the computer (and I have done that), but I just haven't taken that plunge fully as yet.

I am glad I took the time early on to make my own font, because if I screw up the hand-lettering badly enough, I can simply replace entire hand-done word balloons with computer-generated replacements (as seen here-- Balloons 3 and 6 are my font).

Just because I was such a stickler to the DIY ideal and made my own font doesn't mean that more generic fonts are wrong either. Blambot is a great place to find free fonts specifically made for comic work and I'm sure many people are familiar with Richard Starkings' Comicraft.

_________________
Good morning! That's a nice tnetennba.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Jack Masters
Consistant Poster


Joined: 04 Jun 2001
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2001 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't even consider hand-lettering things, because I do it so horribly badly. What you see in this comic is actually my normal handwritting.

_________________
House of Stairs
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
rcar
Consistant Poster


Joined: 31 May 2001
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2001 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All your points are good ones Greg. Especially about coving art later with balloons. Some planning for balloons helps in that. I have no problem with computer type verses hand. As long as it is readable. I used to had letter but got too many complaints about being able to read it. I have been typing since.

Randy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
buzzard
Frequent Poster


Joined: 30 Jul 2001
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2001 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, using your own font is a good move. I never noticed it at the time, although it's obvious in hindsight (especially on double letters like in "actually"--somebody needs to make the font technology that picks at random from a couple variations or something, heh).

I was definitely picturing it as lettering in the computer but drawing balloons on paper, for all the reasons you say. I imagine that addressing the size worry is best done by typing up the dialogue in the computer, finding out how big it is, and then drawing the balloon to suit, but I can see how that could still be a pain.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Tim Mallos
Understands reinventing


Joined: 23 Apr 2001
Posts: 354
Location: Brighton, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2001 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't (yet?) have a set scaling to my drawings once they are scanned- Computer lettering lets me monkey around with the size of my art without muddying up the text, even if the size limitations require that i muddy up the art due to format, file size, etc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Greg Stephens
Forum Founder


Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point- not everybody (actually, I suspect that very few) making comics on the web draws them the same way I do- Drawing the entire comic all at once on the same sheet of paper. My method had a lot more in common with print in that it requires you to know how large you will eventually be presenting the comic and measure your lettering to fit. Many people (Pete Abrahms and Mike Rosenzweig to name two) simply draw the pictures they need at whatever size they feel most comfortable, wherever on the sheet (or sheets) of paper they like and then assemble the comic in the computer, adding appropriate lettering at that time.

As to being able to pick out fonts based on the regularity of the letters (seeing identical shapes in the case of a "LL", for example)-- I actually made two fonts. My earlier comics were done with my first font, for which all of the letters were capitals- both the upper- and lower-case sets. But I made the two sets different so that when I typed an "A" it used a different version of the letter than if I typed an "a". (Make sense?) This allowed me to type the word "ALL" and have both "L"s appear different. (But I don't think I did that much.) Though my first font had a nice organic, bouncy feel to it, it simply wasn't refined enough to continue using and I really wanted a lower-case set of letters to use, so I made a new font which looks far more regular than the first one.

_________________
Good morning! That's a nice tnetennba.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
daveletters
Forum Member


Joined: 29 Aug 2001
Posts: 3
Location: CrossGeneration Comics

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2001 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree. I've lettered simultaneously electronically and by hand for quite a while now, and while one method allows more speed in one area, the other allows more speed in another. Electronically, if a font doesn't exist to convey a certain effect or texture, I'm forced to reproduce it freehand; an enriching and sometimes time-consuming technique. I keep my "hand" in by looking for these opportunities to go beyond what established fonts can portray. The warmth of the human hand on cold type is the primary appeal of comic book lettering.

_________________
Dave Lanphear
Visit at www.crossgen.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
wendi
Forum Member


Joined: 04 Sep 2001
Posts: 3
Location: Ann Arbor, MI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2001 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like doing my lettering by hand. But then, I don't really use my computer for anything save graphics and building web pages.

I do want to try scanning some drawings in and coloring them to see what that's like, but I don't see many uses (for me) for computer lettering.

_________________
wsf
http://www.sfpro.com/
http://www.johnny-public.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Zwol.org Forum Index -> (Web)Comics Theory: ART All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group