Can Inkskape be used for lettering comics?

28 Jun

I wondered, do I really need Adobe Illustrator, or can I use one of the freeware programs for creating vector graphics? Inspired by the Lettering with Adobe Illustrator, Pt 1 video made by Jerzy Drozd from the Art & Story podcast, I tried to create a word balloon in Inkscape.

Comic sample

Now I haven’t used Inkscape much, so please don’t judge the suitability of this free open source program by what I have made. Like anything else, you need to study before you can apply. Not following my own rule of thumb, I dived in and tried anyway. Needless to say, I have to study Jerzy’s video more closely and read some of the manual of Inkscape before I would starting to use Inkscape for lettering comics.

So, the objects for a word balloon are the following (top to bottom):

  1. text
  2. oval fill without outline
  3. tail with fill and outline
  4. oval fill with double width outline

By putting the oval fill without outline on top of the tail, the tail is open on the side of the oval, so tail and oval visually form one shape. In fact, you should probably group all four objects, so you can easily drag them to another position on the page.

Since this is not a tutorial, but just a test, I will leave it at this. I guess I also answered the question: yes you can use Inkscape for lettering your pages.

That is all.


2 Responses to “Can Inkskape be used for lettering comics?”

  1. Josh Williams June 28, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    Better than grouping, you will want to make a union of the oval and tail. Select both objects and press ctrl ++ or from the menu bar Path >> Union. Then you might want to group it with the text.

  2. Rene June 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    You see, I actually do have to learn Inkscape before starting to use it. Thanks for the tip!

    Edit: I tried the union of the balloon, which does what you expect, make one object out of three objects. However, it also removes the flexibility of having three objects. You can’t move the tail of the balloon anymore, and that is why one would use this construction in the first place.

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