Zombie Marge, Step-by-step (Day 4)

Let’s do some lettering! With the line art all locked down on it’s own layer in Adobe Illustrator, I create another layer on top for the text and word balloons. I like that all my layers stay editable so that I can continue making changes until it’s just right.

I break up the text into small groups and fit them around the pictures. Many times that means rewriting bits of copy to make it fit better. Space is always limited. No one gives long speeches here. I try to strike a balance between the words and pictures, keeping in mind that this is a visual medium. With the words, less is always better. Sometimes a bit of dialogue has to go in and disrupt the art. In this case, I had to remove the severed head in panel 3 for Father Nozebest’s impassioned plea for Marge to put on some clothes.

Here’s some background on the type. Nate Piekos of Blambot.com designed most of the fonts in the strip. He offers a wide range of comic related fonts, including sound effects and titles. Many are free while others are very reasonably priced. Check him out. And while you’re there, take a look at Nate’s excellent webcomic, “Atland.” He been doing it for the last several years and has over 300 pages available to read. It’s one of my favorites.

Since both Marge and Grubworth always talk within the same panel, to avoid confusion as to who is speaking, I chose to give them distinctly different lettering. The spooky font looks like Marge’s raspy voice might sound. I render their word balloons differently too, so when two are pointing at her head, the reader can tell who says what.

With the lettering all in place, tomorrow I can start coloring the strip.


  1. How much do you change the dialog at this point? Do you find yourself finessing a lot at this stage?

  2. I don't change the content or meaning, but many times I need to look for ways to say the same thing in fewer or shorter words. Every once in awhile I have the opposite problem where I need to fill out a line or even write in an extra joke.