Willie Schubert teaches lettering

Willie Schubert Teaches Lettering

Legendary letterer Willie Schubert explained the fine art of hand lettering to an early 1990s crowd in the pages of “Hero Illustrated” #17. This is from an article series called “From Pencils to Inks” by Mark A. Nelson. (He’s the one writing on the last page to wrap things up.)

Pardon my scanning skills, but here’s how Schubert did that in three pages back then. My favorite part is near the end when he mentioned that he digitized his lettering style in 1989!  Todd Klein, of course, has examples of that from Schubert’s work on “Lone Wolf and Cub.”

Now, let’s see how he explained hand lettering:

Will Schubert teaches lettering, Part 2


I love the “BOOM” and “BANG” on this next page:

Will Schubert teaches lettering, Part 3


Now for some good advice on getting started with hand lettering: TRACING!

Will Schubert teaches lettering, Part 4

Dig that early 90s background pattern!  Those things were always awful, and every magazine in the 90s played with them to one extent or another.  This was one of the less egregious once, and I minimized it in my scan.

It’s the simplest, most basic explanation of hand lettering ever, I think, but it’s packed with great examples.  Schubert’s style is instantly recognizable.  I like this one.

If you want to learn more about lettering in depth, there are two books you’ll need to pick up:


Todd Klein contributes the lettering portion of “The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics.”

The Comicraft crew teaches you all the nuts and bolts of Adobe Illustrator in “Comic Book Lettering: The Comicraft Way.” The screenshots on the latter might look ancient, but the techniques still ring true. And there’s some nice guest art in the book along the way you might like.

We really are overdue now for someone to write the next definitive guide to computer lettering comics. Someone? Please? Anyone?

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