Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Lettering tips, please!
SwinS at 2:30PM, Jan. 17, 2010
posts: 83
joined: 11-19-2007
I've been working on my new comic and I've found I've struggled quite a bit with lettering. Speech bubbles are pretty easy, but sound effects and the like can be quite a challenge. Do any of you have advice or links to tutorials on how to choose fonts, place, size, what effects (outlines, gradients) to use, etc?

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:05PM
Ironscarf at 3:12PM, Jan. 17, 2010
posts: 1,158
joined: 9-9-2008
you could do worse than to start off with this page from Nate Piekos/Blambot.

Also you might find this Comicraft stuff useful.

Hope that helps.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
SwinS at 3:18PM, Jan. 17, 2010
posts: 83
joined: 11-19-2007
Thank you! That's exactly what I needed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:05PM
Swiftgold at 5:37PM, Jan. 17, 2010
posts: 10
joined: 9-21-2009
I've found these tutorials on Deviantart helpful as well:

Part One:
Part Two:
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:05PM
Darth Mongoose at 9:33AM, Jan. 18, 2010
posts: 488
joined: 1-7-2006
My tips and ideas for sound effects would be:
-Try to plan ahead where you're putting them, and leave space accordingly.
-Pick colours that will stand out from the page but not overwhelm the artwork.
-Use fonts and word art shapes that mimic the kind of sound you're imitating. Use sharp letters for sharp or hard noises like ‘screech!’ or ‘zap!’ Chunky fonts for things like ‘slam!’ or ‘boom!’ and soft, rounded fonts for things like ‘squidge!’ or ‘poof!’. For very quiet, subdued sounds, you can write them in an ordinary text font. You can find LOADS of special fonts in places like blambot and dafont, but most of the time I find that the super-fancy ones, like ones that look like they're on fire or dripping or whatever aren't as useful as simpler ones.
-The louder or more prominent the noise, the bigger and more intrusive the sound effect. Even a quiet sound, like ‘slurp’ can be made huge and invasive if, for example, two people think they're alone in a room, then from behind a chair comes the ‘slurp’ of somebody they hate, drinking tea.
-For comedy, you can take a leaf out of the book of Japanese artists, and sound effect things like ‘grin!’ and ‘trip!’. In Japanese, they actually have onomatapeia for these things (they have a sound effect for ‘being angry’ which is ‘ira ira’, for example). It doesn't tend to work so well in English outside a humorous situation.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
SwinS at 10:59AM, Jan. 18, 2010
posts: 83
joined: 11-19-2007
Thanks guys, those definitely help. I think it's time to go on a font searching binge…
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:05PM
Kroatz at 7:49AM, Feb. 9, 2010
posts: 2,344
joined: 8-18-2008
fonts are really easy to find on: they have a lot of different fonts you can use and most I've used are useable for commercial purposes…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:23PM
scri66leKitty at 12:39PM, April 1, 2010
posts: 14
joined: 12-20-2007
there is a book called the DC guide to inking and lettering comics. it's pretty useful.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:24PM

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