Comic Art

6 Week Online Course | Instructor: Erica Schultz

Introduction to Lettering Comics

A clean, effective, and powerful-looking comic with professional lettering and production work is just around the corner!

In this digital age, everyone thinks they can letter their own comic. But there’s a lot more to lettering than digitally pasting words onto the page. Don’t let amateurish lettering ruin your project! Plus, being able to professionally letter your own projects can save you a lot of cash!

Expert letterer Erica Schultz will take you through the programs, the thought-process, and the decision-making skills to create comics with slick, professional lettering. With years of experience lettering for DC Comics, Image Comics, Dynamite, and a slew of independent and creator-owned books, including her own projects, Erica is uniquely qualified to walk you through best practices and instruct you on how to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes along with a healthy dose of troubleshooting the most common problems.

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  • You will letter up to an 8-page comic book story!
  • You will do the production work on the same story.
  • You will set up a cover with all its elements.
  • You’ll get Erica Schultz’s wealth of experience and training.
  • You also get exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum.
  • You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion—so you never have to miss a class!
  • Class size is limited to keep it awesome!

Erica Schultz is an American comic book writer, letterer, and editor who has worked in comics since 2008. She started in the industry as a digital artist and lip sync animator on the Astonishing X-Men motion comic “Gifted” from Marvel Comics. From there, she worked on comics production, background art, and ink and color assists for Neal Adams’ Continuity Studios on Batman: Odyssey, the re-release of Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, Harley’s Little Black Book, Batman Black and White, and The Coming of the Supermen for DC Comics, The New Avengers and The First X-Men  for Marvel Comics, and Neal Adams’ Blood for Dark Horse Comics.

While working with Neal Adams, Erica teamed up with artist Vicente Alcázar to create the award-winning creator-owned series M3, published by Vices Press. She was one of Gail Simone’s hand-picked writers to contribute to the Swords of Sorrow crossover series with Dynamite Entertainment in 2015, co-writing much of the event with G. Willow Wilson and writing several series solo. Erica lettered the entire 21-issue crossover series.

Following the release of Swords of Sorrow, Erica lettered the relaunch of Dynamite’s “trinity” characters, working on mini-series for Vampirella, Dejah Thoris, and Red Sonja. She also lettered books with comics legends Garth Ennis, Leah Moore and Alan Moore while also lettering for indy publishers to help give them a leg up in the industry.

Erica has written for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Action Lab, ABC Television, as well as contributing to multiple anthologies including Image Comics’ Where We Live for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and the 2016 Harvey-Award Nominated The 27 Club: A Comics Anthology published by Red Stylo Media and Action Lab Danger Zone. She also was editor on Bingo Love for Image Comics which is nominated for a 2019 GLAAD Award and a founding editor of RISE: Comics Against Bullying with Joey Esposito, Adam Pruett, and Kris White.

She was chosen by DC Comics to participate in their pilot program for what became their Talent Development Workshop and wrote a well received story for Hawkgirl with Sonny Liew. Erica is excited to bring her wealth of knowledge and skills to Comics Experience students and Workshop members.

I don’t really want to be a letterer full time. Should I take this class?

Yes! Unprofessional lettering is one of the fastest ways to make your project look amateurish. And without training, you may not even recognize it, even if you’ve found someone else to letter your projects.

Plus, even if you don’t want to be a full-time letterer, you still may want to be able to handle all aspects of your own projects yourself, especially since having someone else professionally letter your comic is expensive! By doing it yourself, you’ll save literally hundreds of dollars per 22-page issue you create. It’s a great way to keep your costs low on your comics.

And here’s another point, and an important one: lettering a comic gives you a whole new level of understanding of the comics form. Lettering is the only part of production that really, truly touches every other aspect of production. It interacts directly with the text of the script. It becomes a part of the art. It uses color choices and theory when choosing effects and special fonts. It affects your reader’s eye movement, reading pace, and page flow. Lettering connects most intimately with every other part of the creative process and yet, ironically, it’s the least appreciated and understood.

If you want to make professional-looking comics, you want to completely understand the art of lettering!

Besides watching and listening to Erica during class, what do I actually do in the course?

Every student is given a number of professional pages to letter. These are pages illustrated for real Marvel, DC and IDW comics. They’ve got professional scripts and line art for you to use and reference. And the scans are good and clean; the kind you should be getting if you go pro! You’re lettering real comics!

And best of all, by the end of the course, if you follow through, you’ll wind up with some portfolio pieces to boot!

What if I don’t know Photoshop or Illustrator?

Unlike the coloring class, lettering is done mainly in Illustrator. It’s a tough program, but we try to make it easy on you. Don’t worry! We cover everything you need to know for lettering comics quickly and in a friendly manner. And we’ll slow down if we need to.

What do I do after the class?

Once the course is over, you’ll have been taught how to approach comic pages and stories—not just a set of steps for these specific pages. It’s important that the letterer learn to think on their feet (well, in their computer chairs, anyway).

You’ll be able to confidently approach a script and set of pages. The idea with all our courses is that you won’t need us once the course is over. You’ll be able to letter on your own!

What else will we be doing?

In addition to talking with Erica during the class sessions—and they are recorded if you have to miss one or more—you’ll also have exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum where your class can meet online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the duration of the course.

And the forum is where you’ll be able to post your work for your class to review, comment on, and make suggestions. And likewise, you’ll be asked to comment on your fellow students’ lettering as well. You’ll problem solve together and find new ways to letter and work around story challenges!

Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?

Absolutely not. All Introduction courses are designed for total beginners and those seeking to improve their craft. The class has a quick pace, so if you’re very new, be prepared to work, but one thing we pride ourselves on at Comics Experience is our ability to teach to any individual’s skill level.

These courses aren’t about the instructor, and that’s why we keep them small. We have an excellent track record with our students, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way. So, new to comics? Come on in, we’d love to show you around! Old pro? Let’s sharpen those skills and learn a few new tricks! Everyone’s welcome, and the group learning will help everyone improve!

Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?

Nope. Not one bit. You need to have high-speed Internet access. We recommend that you have headphones with a microphone to plug into your computer, but that’s by no means necessary. Ultimately, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, though we like hearing your voice!

Once you’re in your first class, we’re sure you’ll get comfortable very quickly.

What computer programs do I need for this course?

You’ll need Photoshop and Illustrator. Any version will do! The basics are the same and have been since the beginning. And we’ll do some general troubleshooting with folks as they encounter differences in different versions of both programs, if necessary.

What if I miss a class?

All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. And on top of that, you’ll have exclusive access to the Comics Experience forum, set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time!

If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?

You bet. We’ve had students jump in from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa. Not Antarctica yet, but give us time! Some of these students have not been able to attend live, but they’ve all been happy to view the recordings and interact with their classmates online!

Learning about lettering is great, but do we get any practical industry advice?

You’ll get a LOT of practical industry advice. Networking is one of the main topics in all of our introductory courses. It’s, simply put, essential for anyone who wants a career in comics. We discuss relationship-building and ways to get your foot in the door and where to go to meet the right people, and so on.

If I don’t want a career in comics, and just like making comics or even just want to learn more about the art form I love, is this class right for me?

Sure it is! How better to expand your knowledge and understanding of comics than by engaging with creators? And that’s what most of our students are—they’re creators. It’s a great place to learn just for fun if you wish, too. We’d love to have you!

How do I sign up?

Click on the PayPal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.

There simply is no better comics lettering course offered on the Internet or live—this is the best—period. If you want to letter comics for fun or become a pro, your comics career starts here. Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.

To participate in our live online sessions you will need:

  • A computer or mobile device that meets Zoom’s minimum requirements
  • To agree to the terms included in Comics Experience’s User Agreement.
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
  • A mind like a sponge!

Note: The following software is needed to do the course work. If you do not intend to do the course assignments and are just taking the course to learn (if you’re interested in editing, for example, or just a curious fan) then you will not need them.

For lettering and production work, you will need:

  • Adobe Creative Suite (CS3 or later) and Adobe Photoshop (CS3 or later). Just Illustrator and Photoshop are necessary for the class.
  • We recommend access to Adobe InDesign (CS3 or later) as well as Adobe Acrobat Professional for creating and editing PDF files.
  • Some form of Word Processing software where the file can be downloaded as a .DOC, .PDF file. Microsoft Word is the recommended word processor, but others like Pages, Google Docs or Text Edit will work.

David Joyce

“Class was great, and Erica was awesome! By far the most useful/informative aspect of the class was the PDF handouts. All in all, it was a great course and I learned a lot.”

Thacher Cleveland

“The class was very informative and I learned a lot from Erica. She had a very straightforward and common sense approach to teaching the class and presenting it in a manner where it wasn’t overwhelming. The course materials that she created and shared with us are invaluable and will be an excellent resource for a long time to come. I’d recommend her class to anyone looking to get into professional lettering.”

Erik Hombre Gudowski

“I really enjoyed the class and came away with a ton of notes, tips and tidbits. Erica was a blast too with her humor and demeanor.”

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