Creating Comics: Lettering Comics Before the Digital Age with David Lloyd

Comic creator and publisher of Aces Weekly, David Lloyd
Comic creator and publisher of Aces Weekly, David Lloyd

Back in the days before computers (and Richard Starkings), comics were hand lettered – and it was something of an arcane art that only a trusted few were employed to do at Marvel UK, where I worked in the 1990s.

It was also a demanding task: lettering either directly onto artwork, or patch paper, it required dedication and, often, long hours for little recognition. Annie Parkouse, Helen Stone, Kid Robson, IPC’s Tom Frame (best known for his work on 2000AD) , Tom Orzechowski, Peri Godbold… almost all of these names probably mean little to most comic fans and, sadly, I doubt great modern letterers like Jim Campbell and John Roshell will mean much to many readers, either. Which is a shame, because good lettering can make a good book great and a bad book look good – and bad lettering, vice versa. It’s a largely invisible and vastly under appreciated art.

Back in the 1990s, comic creator David Lloyd created this guide to lettering comics with not a Mac or copy of Photoshop in sight, and it was circulated to Marvel UK editors to hopefully make them appreciate just what went into lettering a comic. Although it may seem dated, David created a useful guide to lettering for newcomers, and I hope it’s of interest.

 

David Lloyd's Lettering Guide Page 1 David Lloyd's Lettering Guide Page 2 David Lloyd's Lettering Guide Page 3

David Lloyd's Lettering Guide Page 4

 

• David Lloyd may be well known as the co-creator of  V for Vendetta, but these days he’s earning acclaim for his digital anthology, Aces Weekly. Check it out at www.acesweekly.co.uk and check out David’s latest work on his official site www.lforlloyd.com

Web Links

Todd Klein: Comic Book Lettering – How It All Began

Wikipedia: The Letterer

Top Ten Comic Letterers? A Fan’s Choice (and they’re not all Amercan)

Moebius on the ‘Monstrous Role’ of Comic Letterers

ComicCraft Lettering Tips and Tricks

Comic Book Fonts Sources

ComicCraft

Blambot

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

2 thoughts on “Creating Comics: Lettering Comics Before the Digital Age with David Lloyd

  • March 4, 2015 at 11:18 am
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    Strangely enough, that guide may be one of the things I’ll be adding to our Aces Weekly Extras section soon along with other instructional material for those with the desire to create comics as well as read them. Nice to see it pop up here : )

    • March 5, 2015 at 7:05 am
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      Hi David – we discussed me posting it yonks ago but I only just got around to doing it!

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