The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics

    (Watson-Guptill, 2004)
™ and © Watson-Guptill

DC Editorial Art Director Mark Chiarello provides step-by-step guides to coloring, and Eisner, Harvey, and Comics Buyers Guide Award-winner and master letterer Todd Klein does the same for lettering. Beginners, note: This is an in-depth guide for computer users who use professional software. After Chiarello provides a quick history of comic-book coloring (complete with the 124-color palette of the 1970s), he dives into today’s computer coloring, suggesting both tricks (change the color file to grayscale to see whether values are too monotonous) and basics (read the entire story before starting). Moreover, he addresses industry standards (publishers want Mac files, Adobe’s Photoshop is the coloring software, CMYK is the mode, and CDs are a common way to get art files to the publisher) and preferences (he recommends WACOM graphic tablets). Letterer Todd Klein provides basics (you’ll need “patience and lots of practice”) and detailed, step-by-step, instructions for both hand lettering and computer font design. It loses half a star for providing less support for PC users; footnoting for them at some points would have upped it to four stars.

— Maggie Thompson
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