March 24, 2014

April Convention Schedule: AKA Why I won't be posting much, unless I get a recap done quickly!

April's looking to be a rather... full month, so while I'm busy working on projects, I'm gonna tell you what and where I'll be doing things in the upcoming month!


First up is SHUTO CON. It's up in Lansing MI, and I've been vending there since the first year they opened! (I think it's in its... 4 year now? I think? I've lost count of all of these things)  ANYWAY, I'll be there vending in the Artist's Alley under Crash Bang Labs at TABLE U, as well as giving some panels!

As for my panels, I'm reprising the same ones I did last year, with small edits, and a slightly longer running time (that way I can stop to breathe in between my slides!).

So if you've wanted to learn some tips about comics, or wanted to learn how to draw people, COME FIND ME! My panels are both on FRIDAY EVENING.
Time in a Box: Tips for Comic Panel Layouts
A picture’s worth a thousand words, but a terrible layout only spells disaster! Join Crash Bang Labs for a discussion panel about Comic Panel layouts and composition. Whether you’re drawing a single comic strip or a full chapter book, the tips and tricks in this panel will help you tell your story your way!

Her Legs are HOW Long?
An Interactive Panel on Drawing Properly Proportioned People
Having trouble drawing people, or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn? Join Crash Bang Labs for an interactive panel on drawing human body proportions! The first half of the panel we’ll discuss proportions, and show examples from comics and animation, and the second half we’ll do some follow-along exercises where we draw a basic male and female! Sketchbooks are encouraged, but basic paper and pencils will be available for those who don’t carry art supplies with them.

I'll also be located right next to my good buddy Rajamitsu at Tiny T-Rex Studios!

As always, I'll be there IN COSPLAY! What will I be dressed as? WELL THAT'S A SECRET. Basically I have a fun closet cosplay prepared (something I can toss together with minimal effort) as well as a costume I've had some fabric sitting around waiting for something to be done with it! SUNDAY IS A GRAB BAG CAUSE I DUNNO WHAT I WANNA WEAR.

Trust me, it's gonna be fun. :D


Anime St. Louis is a first-time convention for me. I'll be there for the WCS Preliminaries competition (which I believe is taking place on Sunday?). I'll probably have some extra costumes on hand, but we'll see!


The little convention that surprised me! Okay, more like, "I was shocked they got information to us finally!". BUT I JEST, I JEST. This is a new convention I like to put under the category of a "Pop Con" or an "Entertainment Expo", because not only do they have some anime stuff, they'll have all sorts of other regular guests and panels, and the like.

Since it's nearby (and I won't have to stay at a hotel for a first year con, yay!), I opted to vend in their artist's alley! The whole show is going to be located in the Renaissance Center building, just like Youmacon in years past before they expanded to the cobo. I hear that we might be on the 4th floor? Near either the main events or dealers, I'm still unsure.

BUT I HAVE A TABLE, so that's really all I'm worried about (that and figuring out how to get my gridwalls up that high because they don't fit in the escalators). I'll be vending hopefully near my pal FAN-TASTIC! who will have all sorts of lovely jewelry and glittery things for your perusal!

After that, I get a couple of weeks break, and it's off to the next gauntlet of shows. And people wondered why I was trying to work as best I could these first few months. I'm not going to have ANY spare time in the next two months!

March 3, 2014

HOW TO BOOK: Font Basics!

Now I'm gonna start this one off with the fact that I am not a master of fonts, I just happen to really enjoy them, so I know a bit about them, but there's still a lot I'm learning. Okay now that that's out of the way, LET'S TALK FONTS.

Hmmm... Fonts, you say?

One of the big things when making a book of any kind (novel, graphic novel, art book, magazine, brochures,etc), is deciding what font you want to use. To me, I find that fonts can make or break a document, so while I lament about my own fonts, I wanted to first chat about them with you guys.

Crash Course In Fonts

Okay! I'm mainly going to cover the very very extreeeeeeeme basics when it comes to fonts. Honestly, I could fill pages, and other people already have made books on this, and websites, and everything else. So I just want to touch on my opinions and knowledge about fonts.

First off a font is basically the different ways text can be written/designed/made (there are technical terms, but I'm trying to avoid lots of weird vocabulary here). There are hundreds of thousands of types of fonts. You may know of them from when you're in Word, and need to pick something other than Calibri to type a letter.

Your list may vary.

There are many types of fonts, with kernings, spacings, and all sorts of other little doodads that even I don't remember at the moment. What you need to worry about are two types of fonts. Serif, and Sans-Serif.

Serif fonts are fonts that have those little decorative bits on the ends of words.

Sans-Serif (I think sans is either latin or french for "without", I'm not remembering right away here) is a font that does NOT have the little decorative bits on the ends of the letters.

Top font: Times New Roman
Bottom Font: Arial

I mostly included this because on font websites, this is a set of the major groupings they'll have in their search tools.

A Time and a Place for All Fonts

I think it's wise to note that there's a time and a place for all fonts. That's really what font choice comes down to. Are you using a font that is appropriate for the situation/document?

You're not going to use Comic Sans to write a letter to the CEO of a company (or *cough as headers in a serious textbook cough* #REALLYHAPPENED), but you might use it to make a cute birthday card, or a happy poster for an event!

You're not going to use Impact to write an entire letter in. But using it in meme pictures? IDEAL.

How your fonts display to people (and this will vary depending on if it's a digital source or printed!), will have an impact on how they view your work. Are you making something that's supposed to be serious? Don't use CurlsMT. Are you making something that's supposed to look fanciful? Try to avoid things like Calibri.

Making a comic? I suggest using an all-caps style font, or something sans-serif at least: like CC Wild Words.

Are you having your document printed? I strongly suggest printing a low-quality draft, just to get an idea of what it might look like! (I do this frequently because sometimes the digital view just displays differently than printed, and honestly, sometimes you don't realize something doesn't work until you hold it in your hands!)

Long story short: Play around with fonts.

Your first font won't necessarily be your last. (if you're making something large, this is unfortunately when InDesign overpowers other programs, because if you've set up your document correctly, a couple of mouse-clicks and you can change ALL your body text or headers instantly).

What's a Good Way to set up Fonts in my Document/Comic/Book?

Um... I'm gonna cover this in it's own post. Honestly, it would make this post like 14 pages long. TRUST ME. 

Short version: Look at books you like, try to emulate those.

Where can I find these ...Fonts?

Honestly? I go to a place called "Font Space", found at

When I'm there, I can search by keywords, categories, or just search randomly. I can type a string of words to get an instant preview, and I can set it to search ONLY commercial use fonts (aka. stuff you can use on stuff you make to sell!).

There are others, but I've found this one to be the most useful (and has the least amount of popup ads, others.... others you'll need ad blocker).

There are also programs you can use to make your own fonts from your own handwriting! (Something I'm looking into) But alas, I don't know a lot about them yet, so... I don't have much to add on that realm.

Where'd you learn this?

I love searching and using fonts. I've taken a class or two in design (and one on InDesign oh HO), and I like reading about layouts and graphical set ups. I don't know why I didn't go into it in college - I'm going to say mostly that I didn't know these things existed until near the end or after I graduated. I also didn't know I liked it until most of my way through college. 

And... I did a google search. I found some neat things. Take in mind nothing is set in stone as absolutes, but there's some very strong industry suggestions! They're at least worth a readthrough. :) Most are not too long, and they usually have pictures to help!

Picking Fonts for your Self Published Book - The Book Designer

Book & Magazine Fonts - Linotype

What's a Good Font for Your Book? - Making it Easy

The Wisdom of Fonts – 10 book typefaces that can’t go wrong - Fiction et al

7 Fonts to Never Use in Your Book - Wise Ink Blog

Okay that's enough blather from me right now! Time to go back and mess with the book some more...