10 Mistakes Made by Amateur Letterers

Nate Piekos knows a thing or two about lettering comics. Not only is he the creator of Blambot Comic Fonts but he’s also lettered books for the likes of for Dark Horse, Marvel, etc and created a fair few comics of his own. Recently Nate posted this handy guide to common mistakes made by amateur letterers. Since it’s a skill that many of us in the indy comics scene are trying to perfect, I thought I’d throw it up here. All credit for this work goes to Nate and I strongly suggest you check out the rest of his work to see these examples in action.

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Moon 2, Page 1: New Lettering

Exciting times at Bunker manor. Finally – after months of trials and tribulations – and patient strumming of fingers waiting for the pages to move closer to being finished – Dan’s words begin to appear on the pages of Moon 2. This means of course we are in the final stages of Moon 2 production. Not long to go now folks.

Moon 1 is still available digitally and in print. You can order each right here from Beyond the Bunker and Graphicly.com. Just click away below!!


Moon 1.3 – the full process

Moon Page 3. Perhaps the image that went through one of the most extensive additional design work. It passed backwards and forwards between myself and Iv as a black and white, a colour and finally a graphically enhanced image. As it is effectively a one panel page it was a great opportunity to stretch ourselves a little and Page 3 is probably one where I genuinely feel the finished product appeared as it had originally been attended. It also confirmed that myself and Iv knew what we were doing… (at least vaguely)

The original inks. Drawn over pencil line work to decide layout and composition and the finer details. Fairly basic stuff. A detailed description of what we were looking for was sent over to Iv.

Iv applied her own artistry to the page, adding her own ideas to the tones and hues – something she always does really well. In particular, the decision to take the plain black of the sky behind and make it a more interesting blue. The figures at the base of the main image were intended to be uplit red / yellow. However Iv lit them blue to tie them together with the main image and not undermine the central Moon deity figure. It also sets apart beautifully the main abstract poster image and the bottom panel. These are her colours as they were returned back to us before I got my greasy mitts all over them again. Iv is an unnaturally talented colourist and a pleasure to work with.

Next some graphics to enhance the basic colours. Taking existing constellations, one is a lifted selection from astronomoical photography and the other is painted digitally using the template of the original constellation taken from a low res image. I think this one is in CMYK (the standard format you have to put it in to go to print – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (K for some reason)) so the colours are bleeding and the colour map has altered slightly but it is still the same image as the others….

… and slap on some lettering using Illustrator and finishing in Photoshop by creating layers and slicing and placing elements behind the central figure. Otherwise the linking branch of the speech bubble would really detract. Et voila. Page 3 of Moon 1. More of the same coming soon. Danke.