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Old 01-31-2015, 10:43 PM   #31
Charles
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Regarding font size used in lettering, I would offer up the following for contemplation.

I prefer reading comic books in PDF format. I prefer not having to zoom in on a comic, in order to read the lettering, easily. Small lettering remains a problem, where independent comic books are published. I find myself favoring a slightly larger font size, these days. I hate straining, in order to read a comic book at actual size.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:02 PM   #32
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Thanks for the insight Charles. I like reading pdfs as well and understand the need for larger font sizes. But sometimes, from what I've seen, is that you need to resort to smaller font sizes in order to fit well without covering up artwork. I know it's not always possible but I try and make do.

So here's a slight update on the Dredd page and the next page;




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Old 02-03-2015, 01:02 AM   #33
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Too small. Causes eye strain to try and read it.
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:56 AM   #34
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Thanks again Charles.

It does look a bit smaller than the first time around. I only decreased the font size by 1 compared to what others said it was too big, but it really shows. The non standard dimensions threw me off.
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:21 PM   #35
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I was referring to the image, not to the font.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:16 PM   #36
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Oops, sorry about that Charles. Tumblr automatically resized the images, so I had to edit the html to get it to work.

I fixed it

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Old 02-03-2015, 09:41 PM   #37
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That's better, but the same panels are not the same size, because the image isn't the same size as the previous time. It's legible, but visual comparisons go quicker, if the two pages are the same size.

That said, there has been some improvement. Putting the bold words "peaceful coexistence" on the same line, is one example to point to.

But, look at that same speech bubble.

Why do you want that bubble of text to be aligned to the right? It creates huge gaps of empty white space inside of the speech bubble.

Furthermore, the top left of that speech bubble curves inward, as it should, but where is the top right equivalent of that very same bubble line? Is it that you simply didn't want to draw it, or is it an oversight? I know that the next panel overlaps the bubble, so to speak, but would it visually throw off either the bubble or the next panel, by including that missing bubble portion?

I would encourage you to look, again, at possible text candidates for placing in bold. For example, what about the panel where Judge Dredd refers to Leon luttz as Curly? It seems to me that Judge Dredd makes no attempt to avoid antagonizing Leon. Thus, to me, at least, I think that both "Curly" and "Big Shiny Dome" are good candidates for emphasis. Maybe, also, Judge Dredd's inquiry of, "Understand?"

Look again, though, at the South Slahead speech bubble. Leon Luttz is responding to Judge Dredd's question about extremist bald-o stuff. What if you placed Leon's immediate response of "absolutely not" in a speech bubble by itself, to the left of and above his head?

If you do so, you can lower that Slahead bubble, and perhaps narrow it a bit at the top. The bubble below it looks pretty good. The top bubble in that panel is visually problematic, though. It is not visually pleasing.

Leon is adamant - Absolutely not! To me, there should be more emphasis, which an exclamation mark would provide. Isolate it out, and emphasis it with the exclamation mark, and I think that Leon will come across as more emphatic in is response to Judge Dredd. Additionally, you can have the top left sweath of white space partially filled with another speech bubble and/or tail.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:26 AM   #38
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Thanks again for the crit Charles I read that if a balloon is butted to the corner of the panel then it fits better than if it was centrally aligned. I also resorted to this to make it fit in the gap better and so I can mask the balloon behind Leon's head.

As far as the emphasis goes, I just followed the script. I've read that a lot of writers don't like when letterers emphasize words themselves and prefer they follow the script exactly as its been written. Others expect the letterer to add the emphasis themselves.

Thanks again for the critique
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:41 AM   #39
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As far as the emphasis goes, I just followed the script. I've read that a lot of writers don't like when letterers emphasize words themselves and prefer they follow the script exactly as its been written. Others expect the letterer to add the emphasis themselves.
This is a bit of a minefield… if a script contains no bolding at all, I generally assume that the writer has left those choices to me. If there are bolds in the script, then I assume that the writer has made conscious choices about what should and shouldn't be emphasised and I respect that. Gordon's script has emphasis provided and so (as far as I'm concerned) falls into the latter category.

I also disagree with Charles' suggestions for bolding, regardless —*they don't strike me as particularly naturalistic speech patterns and, besides, Dredd is all about the deadpan. He's not trying to antagonise Leon, he's just being dismissive because, well, that's what he does.

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Old 02-04-2015, 05:50 AM   #40
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Thanks Jim. I know there's no right or wrong way of when to emphasizing text. It's great to help with the emotion but the same can be done with colors to get the whole panel into a certain mood. Hell, I've also spoken to writers who think sound effects are outdated and shouldn't be added any more (though some attempt to letter themselves...).

I'll keep working on this and hopefully show more improvement when the lettering course starts.

Thanks again

Tomas
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:36 PM   #41
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Having not seen the script, I can't speak to it. Certainly, if you have a script, then you should probably stick to it. My comments proceed, based upon what is presented in the thread.

That said, Jim is a letterer, and I am not. He speaks with the voice of first-hand experience.

As far as naturalistic speech patterns are concerned, absent elaboration on Jim's part, I'm not sure how to respond to this particular item.

I don't agree that Judge Dredd is all about the deadpan. He was originally conceived along the lines of a Dirty Harry type of character. Certainly, Dredd is a very serious character - but, his reputation precedes him.

Judge Dredd could easily have just called Leon by that name, Leon. Or, he could have stuck with calling him Luttz. Instead, he opts for Curly. He futher characterizes Leon's head as "that big shiny dome." For one who seeks only to deadpan, Judge Dredd certainly resorts freely to colorful characterizations, it seems.

Beyond this, though, what was Leon's reaction, after he is out of Dredd's earshot?

"Gruddamn judges!"

That's a bit of an emotional reaction to straight deadpan, don't you think?

Natural speech does not preclude emphasis of words, in any event. What is Judge Dredd's personality? What is his style? He is authoritarian, by nature. He isn't exactly the charming type. He has presence, and he speaks with force. He doesn't mince words, and he's already made the connection between Luttz and extremist bald-o activism.

If Dredd is all about deadpan, then why emphasize bald-o and extremist bald-o stuff? Why emphasize anything that he says?

Because, he is not a dull, monotonic character. Just as Dirty Harry would emphasize words, it is no less natural for Judge Dredd to do so.

Again, I'm not looking at a script. The dialogue between Dredd and Luttz, there is what Judge Dredd says, and there is what Leon Luttz hears. Whatever speech patterns exist here are fabricated, not natural. Assuming that Judge Dredd speaks in a completely impersonal manner, that wouldn't preclude him from resorting to emphasis in his dialogue with other characters.

Everyone is entitled to their respective opinions on Judge Dredd, as a character, of course.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:45 AM   #42
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Fresh out of Dave Sharpe's Intro to Lettering Class, I figured it'll be a good idea to start a thread. Lots of awesome information, so I highly recommend taking his class, even if you only want to do it to letter your own work. Still have a lot to learn, both here and on my coloring thread so there will be plenty of mistakes.











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Old 04-28-2015, 03:42 AM   #43
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Just my two cents? I don't think letterers should bold words that are not bolded in the script. I've read books that were poorly bolded and the speech patterns were jarring; if the writer calls for a specific cadence using bolds, punctuation, separate balloons or all three it's the letterers job to transcribe without adding. I'm a big fan of letterers doing design work in the old style and on the physical board, but comics aren't made that way. There is a generation of guys who would probably have loved the old system, but most guys working in a studio lettering stacks of files for Comicraft in 2015 aren't trained to think that way. It's complexity, and creativity that the job currently lacks.

I said all that to say this. Don't add. If you letter, look for the blank spots that the artist left in the panel. Please for the love of fuck stop covering up important story shit with balloons. I drew it like that so the reader can see it. And the writer in kind may have written in a flat, perhaps interpretive way for a reason. Bolding removes the reader's participation in 'acting' the story out in their minds, hearing the characters say what they're saying through the prism of the readers' own perspective.

Here's a question I have for you:

I'm considering drawing balloons on my pages, placing them where I think they should go in inks and leaving the interior to be filled-in by the letterer...

How do we feel about this? Tell me.

Best,
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:19 AM   #44
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Thanks for your input. I did exactly what the script asked, I didn't bold anything that wasn't indicated by the writer. As for adding the balloon placements then getting the letterer to 'fill in', the artist needs to be aware of the size and shape of the letters so the balloon has enough for the words and breathing space. You don't want it to look like translated manga with different sized words just to fit in the balloon. Plus, what if there is a rewrite of the dialogue? The writer wants to add in more words but the balloon cant be altered?
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:14 AM   #45
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I'm considering drawing balloons on my pages, placing them where I think they should go in inks and leaving the interior to be filled-in by the letterer...

How do we feel about this? Tell me.
Your publisher will tell you to stop. It makes re-purposing content for translated or digital editions murderously hard. Also, as Tomas M91 notes above, unless you know exactly what font the letterer is going to use, and how the text will stack, you're going to get some ugly-assed balloons with horribly uneven amounts of space.

Letter it yourself, or let the letterer do it.

ISTR lettering several issues of your stuff for Zenescope and it was notable because:

Quote:
If you letter, look for the blank spots that the artist left in the panel.
On your pages there actually was dead space. There are plenty of artists who don't seem to give this the slightest thought, or think that leaving space outside the live area is somehow helpful, and that leads fairly directly to…

Quote:
covering up important story shit with balloons.
My job is to put the balloons in an easily readable order, and if the artist hasn't left me the space to do that, or has drawn the first speaker out of multiple speakers on the right of panel, or otherwise done something that makes it difficult for me to maintain that easy reading order then I'll put the balloons where they damn well need to go, and if that upsets the artist then s/he should have laid the page out better.

That said: if I lettered any of your pages in a way that prompted howls of anguish, I'd be genuinely interested to know. It's hard to get feedback in this business, so if you think I fucked something up then I'd honestly like to hear about it.

(I appreciate it's been a couple of years, so I understand if you can't remember and don't have the time to dig out comps.)

Cheers

Jim
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