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 undermine the success of your project! Plus, being able to letter your own project with a professional finish can save you a lot of cash!
Expert letterer Sean Rinehart will take you through the programs, the thought-process, and the decision-making skills to create comics with slick, professional lettering. With experience lettering for Dynamite, Source Point Press, and a slew of independent and creator-owned books, including his own projects, Sean 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.
- 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 Sean Rinehart’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!
Sean Rinehart is a digital letterer for comics whose work has been featured on a variety of recent independent comic series. Having worked on a kid-friendly series for Dynamite and a variety of titles for Source Point Press, Sean has had a steady stream of published work. Prior to his freelance lettering career, he has worked in software marketing and project management for a variety of major institutions. Originally picking up lettering while living in Switzerland, he has also lived in France and Germany, but has settled in Wisconsin with his family. He has an MBA from the University of Colorado,an undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati, and is completing an MFA in Illustration.
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 producing your own projects yourself! This approach may save you literally hundreds of dollars per 22-page issue you create, not to mention avoiding the time wasted and headaches of learning on the fly. 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. It is the only part of the process that really, truly touches every other aspect of your project. It marries your script and your art. It uses color choices and theory when choosing effects and special fonts. It guides your reader’s eye movement, reading pace, and page flow. It can minimize and even fix problems with your art, or for the less experienced, mistakenly take your reader out of your story. 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, then you want to completely understand the art of lettering!
Besides watching and listening to Sean 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, Illustrator, or InDesign?
Unlike the coloring class, the lettering and production process we teach uses these three software tools, focusing mainly on Illustrator. It’s a tough program and will take practice, but we try to make it easy on you. You’ll see the point and click process, with tips on how to speed things up. Don’t worry! We cover everything you need to know for lettering and producing comics in these applications 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 learns to think on their feet (well, in their computer chairs, anyway).
You’ll be able to approach a script and set of pages with the confidence to solve problems and enhance your storytelling. The idea with all our courses is that you won’t need us once the course is over. You’ll be able to do lettering on your own!
What else will we be doing?
In addition to talking with Sean 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?
Sean will be demonstrating the lettering process in Illustrator and production-related work in Photoshop, InDesign, with some Acrobat sprinkled in. Now, you can get by without InDesign if necessary, but having that in the mix will save time in your process. Sean will be using the recent versions of these apps for demonstration, but 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 between 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.
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, Photoshop are necessary for the class.
- We recommend access to Adobe InDesign (CS3 or later) for easier production as well as Adobe Acrobat Professional for managing 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.
Online registration only: To attend Introduction to Lettering Comics, you must register online. Enrollment is limited.*
*We do not currently offer refunds after enrollment.