Publisher: Image

Writer and letterer: Nate Piekos

If you have read Bigger Than Capes, or if you have listened to the podcast you will be well aware that we champion letterers. It’s a skill that’s less obvious to people reading comics, even though lettering is an essential part of that experience. With writing, with art and even with colouring you can perhaps more easily see the effort that has gone in but letterers put just as much effort in and their contribution has an impact on how you read a book, from the flow of panels to the voice of the characters. Finally here’s a book that lays it all out and makes your realise just the sheer amount of work that goes into lettering.

The beauty is that although this book is aimed at the would be letterer, the bulk of a book being pretty technical, it also gives the layman like me a chance to really see what work goes into it. I had some idea before reading but I was fascinated to see the sort of tricks and processes that go into lettering. It also doesn’t gloss over the fact that this is hard work.

One of my favourite pages is when the position of lettering affects how you read. There’s a really nice comparison between an editor’s idea of where things should go and the finished product (which read better). There are plenty of really nice real world and clear examples which help to illustrate the technical points in a really clear and obvious way. There are also really nice shots of the software processes too, giving a clear visual guide.

Everything is taken step by step. From the things you need to start, all the way through to proofs and putting it together. This is an incredibly comprehensive guide that is full of really useful details with plenty of experience being passed on through its pages. You can tell that Nate Piekos knows his stuff when it comes to lettering and how to make lettering good and effective.

This is a book you can dip in and out of as well. The index at the front is hugely useful as if you are looking for a particular aspect of lettering you can just find a chapter on it. I am sure for anyone trying lettering this will be so useful as a book to go back to again and again.

As I said I am a complete layman and will likely never letter a comic in my life, but I do have a great interest in lettering in comic books. I have read books purely because of who has done the lettering. The Essential Guide To Comic Book Lettering helps remind me why I am so passionate about lettering and why it’s so important to mention lettering in my reviews.

A really useful guide.

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