PDA

View Full Version : The Post Mortem Thread


JimCampbell
01-24-2013, 05:56 AM
(Hopefully, some of my fellow letterers will pitch in with their own contributions to this thread!)

I don't get a huge amount of editorial feedback. And, a lot of the time, I don't get very long deadlines to work on a book. Quite often, this leads to lettering ending up in print that I wish I'd done differently but which I lacked the time and/or skill to make a better job of.

Obviously, we can't go posting pages of art and script before they're published to ask for help (although I believe gutterzombie has a private/invite only section for pro colorists for precisely this purpose) but I thought there might be some mileage in posting stuff after it's printed to see if another pair of eyes might turn up a solution that wasn't obvious at the time of lettering.

I'll offer this for starters:

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb36/jimcampbell2000/Wonderland_07_006_06.jpg

There's a scene change before and after this panel -- all the lettering has to go in this one panel. I think it's obvious that the caption should be read first, so I've tried to overlap the subsequent balloons to give the reader a cue as to the reading order. I'm not convinced it works but, even re-visiting it, I'm not sure there was another, better way of doing this.

Any thoughts?

As I said, please feel free to pitch in with your own examples of work that you wish you'd done better, or just differently. The only request I'd make is that if you're going to offer a critique, please restrict it to the lettering. Commentary on the art or script is not productive -- we have to play the hand we're dealt and this thread is (hopefully!) supposed to help with that.

Cheers

Jim

ojollands
01-24-2013, 08:46 AM
Hi Jim,

I've done a fair bit of lettering myself and I'm working on a couple of graphic novels at the moment. I can see where the challenge lies with this as you've got restricted space, an unrelated comment from the foreground character and two girls chatting whose position would ideally be switched around for the ease of lettering the panel.

The thing that really doesn't work for me in this panel is the flow of the balloons along the top, "You're insane" reads prior to the comment about Joss Whedon and confuses the progression through the panel.

I think I'd have tackled this with a similar start using the caption top left - I would have shortened the first balloon into "Oh,yes. Sorry" and then merged a second balloon in for good night to lengthen the pause a little but also drag your eye out further to the right. I would then have moved the Joss comment balloon down a little towards where the "insane" balloon currently sits so the first balloons point you more towards this and I would shift the Insane balloon down to above the middle girls hand infront of the refrigerator.

I'd then do a link from the lower down "insane" balloon to the "Cabin in the woods" balloon in its current location and finally leave says you where it is. I don' tthink that's an ideal solution either as it isn't the most obvious path around a panel but I think it would give a stronger read chance for the order to go through correctly.

I've had quite a lot of moments like this to agonise over myself and looking back at some of my published letters I'd do quite a lot of them differently, I think that's a good thing though as it shows progression and learning.

JimCampbell
01-24-2013, 10:16 AM
Hi Jim,
The thing that really doesn't work for me in this panel is the flow of the balloons along the top, "You're insane" reads prior to the comment about Joss Whedon and confuses the progression through the panel.

Ah, the thing is, it's supposed to read before the Whedon balloon* -- basically this panel drops back into a conversation from a flashback and you're supposed be coming in part-way through the dialogue.

Cheers

Jim

*I actually had to pull up the script to check that I had that correct, so it's obviously very easy to read it the other way…!

ojollands
01-24-2013, 10:40 AM
Ah... well in that case - good job :-p

JimCampbell
01-24-2013, 10:49 AM
Ah... well in that case - good job :-p

Well, that's kind of my point -- it's not a good job, because it's not clear what order you're supposed to be reading the balloons… Even though they're in the right order, I haven't made the reading order explicit enough.

Cheers

Jim

lordmagnusen
01-24-2013, 11:01 AM
Jim, I read the caption, then the "oh, yes", then "you're insane", then the whedon one. I think the order is right.

lpenha
01-24-2013, 11:43 AM
So did I.

adityab
01-24-2013, 02:28 PM
I read the Whedon balloon first. But if this panel has another panel to its left, that shouldn't be a problem. However, by butting the Whedon balloon to the top border, you might be making it fight with the caption for first attention. I'd float that one and push it a bit lower. While this would make a tighter panel, it would remove the ambiguity, I think.

ojollands
01-24-2013, 05:31 PM
The panel flowed properly from how I read it, but taken in isolation it appeared as if it wasn't. Had the previous panels also been here I don't think that would have effected how I read the flow of this one but the Insane balloon would have presumably seemed less out of place to me.

Thomas Mauer
01-27-2013, 05:26 AM
I stack the balloons so that the first-read balloon is always on top and the last-read is at the bottom. So that's why the first three are confusing to me personally. It's a choice that depends on consistency of course, so ymmv.

Have you thought about using two lines in the caption and butting it in the top left corner, the four lines in the "Oh yes" balloon for a less oval shape? This would give you a little more space to separate the first and second balloons.

Butting the third balloon in the top right corner would also give you some more space.

Todd Klein
01-31-2013, 09:14 AM
Stack the caption with DOES on a second line and put it against the upper left corner. Stack the first balloon on four lines so NIGHT is on its own line, put it just right of the caption. Restack the top right balloon so KICK moves down and IN A moves down, allowing for a narrower width, and move it as far right as possible. This should allow room for YOU'RE INSANE to the left of that and to the right of the first balloon.

JimCampbell
01-31-2013, 02:07 PM
Stack the caption with DOES on a second line and put it against the upper left corner. Stack the first balloon on four lines so NIGHT is on its own line, put it just right of the caption. Restack the top right balloon so KICK moves down and IN A moves down, allowing for a narrower width, and move it as far right as possible. This should allow room for YOU'RE INSANE to the left of that and to the right of the first balloon.

And that, ladies and gents, is why Mr Klein is the man.

As soon as I've killed this deadline, I'll do what Todd has said and post it, but I can tell just by thinking about it that it gets rid of the upward drift across the reading order, which is the main problem.

Thank you, Todd! :-)

Cheers

Jim

Todd Klein
01-31-2013, 04:53 PM
^^

Comics Commando
02-02-2013, 01:51 AM
I think I read it in correct order, but the butted balloon at top edge can easily be seen as balloon #1 by some people--another poster here, evidently.

For that reason--and since I'll butt a balloon to the top edge to insure it's read first...I'd avoid butting that one. You don't have a lot of head room to play with, but enough to drop that copy and create a full balloon all the way around it. That would make the reading order more clear.


Kurt Hathaway
khathawayart@gmail.com