Tag Archives: Wes Locher

30Jun/20

One Shot: Bringing it All Together – Lettering Cures or Kills by Wes Locher

If sequential storytelling is the invisible art, then comic book lettering is an invisible-invisible art, viewable only through the MacGyver-esque day-saving bomb-thwarting tinkering involving lemon juice and a lighter.

For many fans, the “what” of comic book lettering is limited to the placing of dialogue, captions, and word balloons on the comic book page. However, in reality, it is so much more than that. For instance, it also involves placing sound effects.

But wait, there’s more!

Lettering is an art form in itself that requires not only a keen design eye but also a mastery of the language of comics. Letterers must view a comic book page as a whole, choosing where to place those word balloons and captions in order to successfully lead the reader’s eye across the page from the first panel to the last.

Think for a moment about the last comic you read. Did you have trouble knowing which word balloon to read next? If not, then you were blessed with professional comic book lettering. If you were lost on the page and had to take a wild guess, then you were a victim of amateur work.

In fact, a comic book can have PEN/Faulker-worthy writing and the most imaginative, beautiful art since Kirby, but it can quickly be destroyed by shoddy, unprofessional lettering.

Once all dialogue and captions are on the page the letterer is also responsible for adding in the sound effects that will breathe life into the title’s action sequences.

This doesn’t simply block letters thrown onto the page—oh no!—a letterer must ensure the sound effect sits appropriately with the art and visually represents the actual sound. The punch to the gut of the protagonist’s enemy might be called out as “Whud” in the script, but no matter the variation (thud, fwump, whumph, fud, tup, et al), the letterer must represent this hit so the reader both feels it and hears the sound in their mind’s eye.

This is known as onomatopoeia (which only took me six attempts to spell correctly) and indicates a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes.

These sound effects provide a soundtrack to the book and allow a letterer to show their creativity. Most letterers develop their own “signature” style for sound effects, using it as a way to differentiate themselves. After all, word balloons and caption boxes generally all look the same, and sound effects are crucial to adding a dash of fun to the letterer’s workload.

Next time you read a comic, ask yourself: “How was the lettering?” if you can’t think of anything negative, then you were treated to the best that the industry has to offer. And often, having nothing negative to say is the biggest compliment one can give a pro letterer.

It’s my hope that this brief overview provides you with a bit more information and understanding when it comes to the role and responsibilities of a comic book letterer. Perhaps you’ll even gain a bit of respect for the work once you’ve closed the back cover on your issue. Though it’s more likely, you’ll probably think, “Oh, yeah, someone placed the dialogues, captions, and word balloons on the comic book page. Neat.”

 

02Jun/20

Silverline News: Double Feature KS ending in four days

Close as of this writing!

The kickstarter for the Silverline Double Feature of Divinity #1 and Twilight Grimm #1 is close to making goal as I write this up. Currently, there are 134 backers pledging $5,576 making 92% of goal. If you’re reading this and haven’t backed, remember that the comics are done, we just need the funding to print and ship them to you! And of course, we know you’re going to love them. So get on over and pledge if you can: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/silverlinedoublefeature1

Silverline Live now 3 times a week!

Yep, it’s true, and that’s our big news this week. Tomorrow (Wednesday, June 3), longtime Silverline creator Sidney Williams will be talking with a good bit of the creative teams behind Divinity and Twilight Grimm. We have it on good authority that even R.A. Jones will be joining the group via phone! https://www.facebook.com/events/2660675587554560/

Then, Sunday night (June 7), Roland will talk with a host of those who weren’t part of the Wednesday chat. They’ll talk about crowdfunding in general. Then, on Monday night, the first Silverline Live: 1on1 will debut as Roland sits down to talk with Thomas Florimonte (who will be inking at the same while he talks!).

So, if you’ve got questions, post them on the Silverline FB group page. We’ve created event pages on FB as we’re going to try them out, see if they work to help generate questions before we go live.

Next Kickstarter

Kickstarter Exclusive cover by Steven Butler

We know the current one isn’t over yet, but we wanted to let you know that we already know what we’ll be kickstarting in July, after we’ve got fulfillment (or at least most of it) for the Silverline Double Feature #1 done. July will see two Sidney Williams written comics: the first is Bloodline, an adaptation of the short story written by Sid and Robert Pettit. Bloodline is penciled by Rob Sacchetto, inked by Terry Pallot, and colored by Jeremy Kahn. The other is Friar Rush #1, the first of a three issue mini-series. It’s penciled by Aaron Humphres, inked by John Martin, and colored by Rebecca Winslow. And oh—guess what, BOTH of these are already finished. RIGHT? Two months before we even crowdfund, these are done!

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