clock menu more-arrow no yes

Where the “comic book font” came from

Comic book culture is mass culture — even lacrosse moms and field hockey dads who’ve never been in a comic book store can recognize the "comic book font."

But calling it a font is a misnomer — as the above video shows, this distinctive style of handwriting is an aesthetic shaped by culture, technology, and really cheap paper.

That style is just as interesting in a digital era. I spoke to the founders of Comicraft, a digital font firm that replicates the handwritten style for many major comics. It turns out that the switch from pen to pixels is an evolution — not a rejection — of a long history of lettering in comics.

If you want to learn more about comic lettering, you can explore the blog of legendary letterer Todd Klein. Or, at the very least, next time you see a comic, take the time to mind those meticulously constructed Ps and Qs.

Video

The problem with beach nourishment

Video

What’s left of affirmative action, explained

The Goods

Why women’s pockets suck

View all stories in Video