A Calling

Just a handful more of these and we’ll move on, I swear.

Kerning Over a New Leaf

If you’re looking at today’s strip and scratching your head trying to figure out what’s different, take a look at the dialog balloons. Instead of using a pen to letter those speaky things, I’m using a computer font based on my lettering handwriting.

I really love the look of pen lettering because I think it fits my work so much better than the precision of computer lettering. But the sad truth is that my hand cramps up creating all those tiny shapes despite using a tool that requires little to no downward pressure. The whole reason I took up the brush was that it’s easier on my hand than using dip pens. Don’t know why I thought it would be different with lettering.

I will still draw the balloons with the pen because it helps me space out the composition of each frame. And I kind of feel like my balloon shapes have sort of become part of the whole package. The effects I’ll probably still do with the pen as well as some of the verbalizations like “Hmmm…” or “Ah…” and the like. But the dialog will be handled by this type face that I’ve hacked together. I suspect that I’ll be tweaking it the more I use it as I figure out where it’s failing me.

So there you go, computer lettering. We’ll see how it goes. Hell, someday, the entire comic might end up being drawn on computer.

  • Jack_T_Robyn

    Only really noticed when you called attention to it. It’s a time and pain saver, I say continue with the computer lettering. It’s even your own personal font still.

  • rubberbend

    I’m just wondering: how are you going to do your beautiful bold letters? They just wouldn’t look the same :C

  • awesomemvs

    I looked back at the page before and wow. That’s a huge shift.
    I always center the text in my word balloons but keep it right-aligned in captions–but what do I know? If you tried centering it and it looks odd, that’s probably it.

    Your comic’s still great!

  • radcake

    I am so not a grammar-nazi, but there is a missing word in the second register. I like the font though. It does look like your hand and not at the same time.

  • Key

    If you want it to seem less regular, to keep the hand done feel, you can add in superfluous spaces. That will keep the one word per line centered text from being obvious.

  • Kyle Wright

    I have been a fan since angryzenmaster.com was an actual webcomic and will probably always be a fan, so it’s not going to change that. I did notice a difference, but not so much that it stands out strongly. I would say it is more…rigid, if ever slightly. I will miss the free flow of before, but not so much that I will demand your hand to cramp. Hell, it’s your comic. You do whatever the fuck you want with it. I don’t understand fans that bitch and complain, they’re free. They are the hard work of talented people who want to do what they do. So do the fuck what you want to do and if anyone says otherwise send em my way. I can push a 500lbs pallet of watermelons by myself, I’m pretty sure I can set some annoying whiner straight

  • lionthetiger

    The biggest difference is now the letters are a consistent size, whereas with the hand cramping there was variation in letter sizes. Do what makes it easiest for you to make comics that you’re happy with.

  • http://ypcomic.com Jamie Noguchi

    Ah, shits! I see it. I’ll have to fix it when I get home. And I thought I was being so clever with fonts and shit.

  • http://ypcomic.com Jamie Noguchi

    There’s a bold character set in the font I created. So when I use capital letters, it’ll shift into bold.

  • http://ypcomic.com Jamie Noguchi

    It depends on where I put the word balloon. If it’s butted up against a gutter, I justify the text to whichever gutter it’s against. If it’s free floating, I center. Captions are always left-justified.

  • http://ypcomic.com Jamie Noguchi

    That’s a good idea. I should have probably adjusted the spacings a bit on that one. Still getting the hang of it again. Been a while since I lettered anything with the computer.

  • Phil C.

    If you had to shift to computerized lettering (and frequent cramps in your hand is a fucking good reason) then I’m glad you at least created a font based on your handwriting.

    I am a big proponent of hand-drawn lettering over computerized (it just looks warmer and more organic to me) but I’m also fully cognizant that this is your sandbox and your rules. :) I’ll miss the hand-drawn, but thank you for keeping it familiar.


  • http://www.facebook.com/the.abe.lee Abe Lee

    The lines look a little too straight compared to the hand lettered ones. Maybe try moving a few of the letters in the font away from the baseline.

  • White Rice

    Honestly, I couldn’t tell it wasn’t the same at first. After reading the post, it can be seen, and the spacing on the borders is a little odd, but nothing bad, and if it ensures hand-cramp-free comic-ing, then I’m all for it (it is a good font)

  • Brittany B.

    I don’t remember where I saw it, but there was a free program that allowed you to write/draw your own font. If you look around, I’m sure
    you can find it. You simply use a tablet to write the letters and
    symbols and you just go from there. So if you really wanted to, you
    could just make your own font to use, resulting in the same look you had before and have no more hand cramps!

  • http://twitter.com/anne_athema World Rocker

    I had no idea you did all this by hand. And three days a week no less! Granted I’m new to YP. I’ve seen several comics that I thought were hand drawn/coloured that ended up being sketched by hand then scanned in and coloured (nothing wrong with that either), so I kind of take it for granted that all webcomics are the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=783755826 Mike Dains

    Also flipping back to Issue one to now, it’s clear that you’ve become MUCH more familiar and comfortable with the characters. I know it’s always going to happen as a comic artist, but I also know it never hurts to hear it. :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/lamj83 Jeffrey Lam

    I noticed there was something off with the font, I believe it’s due to the lack of kerning. That’s why it doesn’t look as good as your hand-lettering, but I’m sure there’s a way around it – many of the comics I read don’t hand-letter their text either.