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Letterer and designer Todd Klein has been making his way through the alphabet for the past few years in a series of art prints he sells on his website. For each print, he’s teamed with a different writer or artist, including Steve Rude, Shawn McManus, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Bill Willingham and Dave Gibbons, with each print focusing on a particular letter of the alphabet.
For the “K” print, which went on sale Tuesday, he opted to go it alone.
“Every day, millions of people rely on Comic Sans for countless applications ranging from scrapbooking to school projects,” Allan Haley, Monotype’s director of words and letters, said in the announcement. “Comic Sans is also a favorite in professional environments, used in medical information, instructions, ambulance signage, college exams, corporate mission statements and executive reprimands – even public letters from sports team owners to their fans. Breaking up with your spouse? Why not write a letter in Comic Sans Pro, embellished with a typographic whack!, pow! or bam! Comic Sans is everywhere, and now it’s even better.”
Because the only thing better than plain ol’ Comic Sans is bold and italic Comic Sans, the family pack includes two new italic and bold italic fonts designed by Terrance Weinzierl. “Our aim is to put the ‘fun’ back in ‘functional’,” the designer said. “We can’t wait to see Comic Sans Pro used in everything from second wedding announcements to warning labels. Long live Comic Sans!”
For those who are interested in the details of the craft, letterer Jim Campbell, has set up Jim Campbell’s Comic Book Lettering Blog, and if the title seems straightforward enough, the URL takes a moment’s thought. (Here’s a hint if you’re still mystified.) This blog is probably more useful to aspiring letterers (and comics creators) than the general reader, as Campbell takes the reader step by step through the creation of different shapes of word balloons and lettering types, usually working with Adobe Illustrator, and presents some useful resources as well. And he answers questions! Campbell also has a five-part tutorial on lettering with Adobe Illustrator that can be downloaded for free. His current gigs include lettering for Classical Comics, Markosia Enterprises, and Zenescope.
David King, creator of Danny Dutch, has a nice little set of lettering dos and don’ts up on his blog right now. Some are fairly subtle, and even if you don’t make comics, it’s interesting to see the hidden rules of word balloons (“Word Balloons Do Not Exist In Our Dimension”) made explicit. King winds it up with a few examples of really sweet lettering from a variety of sources.
Letterer Todd Klein announced a new print on his blog yesterday, a collaboration with Promethea artist J.H. Williams III. Titled Drawing The Sword, the text Klein will add is from Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. All 500 copies will be signed by both creators, and it will sell for $20 plus shipping.
Klein has done other prints over the past year or so with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Alex Ross; you can find them for sale on his website.
A few years back, with the help of a couple of online tutorials, I taught myself how to letter a comic to ease the submissions process a little.
No, that’s not quite right: I taught myself how to use Illustrator to place words in little balloon-like objects. Comic-book lettering, when done right, is an art. What I do … well, let’s pretend it gets the job done and then speak of it no more.
It was while wrestling with my shortcomings that I came to really appreciate the masters of that art. So I was happy to see last night this too-brief exchange between two craftsmen, Todd Klein and Tom Orzechowski, about the latter’s hand-lettered work on Savage Dragon, taking over for John Workman.
“I’ve lined up an Image GN with creators who are delighted with the thought of hand lettering, and I’ll be looking for more of this,” Orzechowski writes. “I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed the pen and ink.”
There are some nice examples of his Savage Dragon work at the link.