We’ve been talking recently about the importance of lettering when making your own comics. In my two posts Comic Balloons & Clarity and The Comic Lettering Spell the discussion in the comments turned toward discussing our own processes.
Personally, I use a program called Comic Life.
A lot of you asked to see how I use Comic Life to letter my comic, The Dreamer. So while the topic is still fresh, I recorded my lettering process on the most recent page of my story.
In This Tutorial I Will Show You:
- how to import and export between Photoshop and Comic Life so the process is seamless.
- how to create and use Styles to easily format all your balloons in one time-saving click.
- why lettering your comic early will help you make better, stronger comic layouts.
Read on to learn how I use this simple program with professional results…
Comic Life, Friend of the One Man Show:
A professional comic letter must have a variety of fonts and styles at his disposal. Who knows what his next job might require?
But for the independent creator who is wearing multiple hats in the process of making a comic, the job of letter is often just one of the many tasks he must juggle. So for people like me who are working on only one comic—the same comic—all of the time, having an arsenal of cool fonts and customizability isn’t our greatest need.
Our greatest need is working quickly but professionally. And I’ve found this simple little program, Comic Life (designed to put silly captions on vacation photos), actually works as the perfect solution for my lettering problem.
What Comic Life Gets Right:
Why not Illustrator or Photoshop?
I’ve been using Comic Life for over five years, since Page 1, Issue #1 of my comic. (I’m now on issue #15.) So why haven’t I moved onto Adobe Illustrator, yet?
- Professional looking word balloons are just a drag and drop away in Comic Life.
- By creating your own custom Styles in the program, you only need to set up your favorite font, stroke and color preferences once.
- Text is designed to maximize the space inside a balloon, and text is automatically reformatted every time you make a change to balloon size and placement.
- Balloon tails are highly adjustable, and only take seconds to tweak.
- The program comes fully loaded with commonly used balloon shapes, popular comic fonts, and even Sound Effect lettering options.
- The program only costs as much as a Blu-ray disk.
So watch how I use the program, and see if you get a few new ideas on how to streamline your own comic lettering process.