Original Release Date: December 15, 2009
This is something of a landmark page--I started doing hand-lettering. It took a while to get the hand lettering to look good. In fact, I don't think it looks good until Volume 3. But it is legible, so I guess that's the important thing. Lettering, any lettering, is very difficult to do well. That's why there are guys in the industry whose specific job is to letter comics. It takes good knowledge of space, graphic design, grammar and punctuation, and more. I've mentioned before that there is a ton of nuance that is specific to comic lettering, with many obscure formatting rules. If I had to go back and re-do Mike and the Ninja, I would probably do the entire story with digital lettering. The advantages to hand-lettering are that you aren't confined by the conventions of any particular font, and you don't have to leave space in the panels for the lettering to be added later--you can just do it at the same time as the rest of the panel and not have to worry about leaving space. However, it requires a steady hand and good ellipse-drawing skills to pull off. I have good handwriting, so that wasn't a problem. Drawing the word balloons, on the other hand...ugh. Not easy.
However, there are certain comics, with the proper content and atmosphere, that lend themselves to hand-lettering better than others. Maybe if the right inspiration strikes, I'll have a reason to do hand-lettering again.
Stu finally comes to his senses, with the help of a sick boy and his caring mother. I like the subtle change in Stu's expression as he drops the power cord--you can see his resolve to do the right thing.