The letterer works on the dialogue and words. They fill in the speech bubbles and the panels with captions. They either hand write or draw the words, but some letterings can be done on a computer. The manner in which the lettering is done can have an effect on how the words are interpreted; different letter size and color can mean different things.

Overall, the letterer takes the script and puts the dialogue in speech and thought bubbles and provides the caption; they are even responsible for the sound effects. They are important to the comic labor force because although there are some comics that only have visuals, many comics contain words to tell a story. Without them, a writer’s intended message might not get across to the reader. If the lettering is not done correctly, then the story might not be as intended.

Figure 1. Panels from Greg Rucka’s Stumptown depict the variety of lettering for this scene for dialogue and sound effects. Source: Rucka, G. (2011). Stumptown Volume 2. Oni Press.

These panels from Stumptown Vol. 2, written by Greg Rucka, show the different types of letterings that are used to depict this scene. There is the black “font” in the speech bubble to show the dialogue. There is also the orange font that serves as the lyrics to the song playing in the scene, along with the large purple letters in all caps that depict another sound effect.


Ferezin, N. (2015). Comics, By the Letterer. The Prolixhttp://www.theprolix.com/blog-1/2015/2/17/comics-by-the-letter.

Lyga, A. & Lyga, B. (2004). Graphic novels in your media center: A definitive guide. West Point: Libraries Unlimited. (Glossary).

Van As, T. (2013). Glossary of comic book terms. Retrieved from How To Love Comics, http://www.howtolovecomics.com/comic-book-glossary-of-terms/ .