Archive for how-to

Confessions of a manga letterer

I’ll just start this out with a little about me. I have a day job in book production, which I love (but the company I work for has a strict “no blogging about work” policy, so you won’t be hearing any more about them, alas). In my free time (haha), I letter manga. Check out the books I’ve worked on (or am scheduled to work on) under the “List of Work” page, or see the “Recent Books” box on the right.

So, what does a manga letterer do? Essentially, my job is to place the English translation in the Japanese art (so far I have only done Japanese books). I get art files and a script from the publisher, and combine them to make interior files for the English edition. Usually, I also clean and retouch the pages, but sometimes they are already clean when I get them–and once I got to actually work from the original Japanese print files (and all the typeset Japanese was in separate Illustrator files). It was very exciting!

When I’m not working, I enjoy divesting hardcover books of their jackets to check out the case cloth and foil, occasionally studying Japanese (though I’m awfully behind now!), and reading. A lot. I understand it’s practically required that I post photos of my cats every now and then, so just to get us started off on the right foot, here are Bailey (left, named for the Irish Cream) and the new guy, Loki (right):

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