An old voice restored. (Comic update)

A little blog post about custom fonts, but before that: Creeping Me Out is coming along well. I’ll have something akin to a roadmap for an update in the coming weeks. For snippets as to what’s going on I’d recommend checking my Creeping Me Out Instagram or my personal/artist Instagram. Also my twitter, if you can stomach my off topic nonsense. My other social media is a bit of ghost town for now, but I’ll try to get better. 

And now let‘s talk about fonts!

Back in .. 2001, in the days of proto-CMO, before it was even a webcomic, and until 2006, about 30 pages into CMO’s original run, I used a comic-sans like font called chalkboard. I liked how clear it was, and considering there were no attempts at making things look “professional” (or.. good?), it was okay for a bit.. 

My (at the time) obsessive distaste toward using other people’s creations led me to a service called fontifier for creating my own cursive font. It was a site that directed you to print out a table of all the letters/characters and then write in the boxes. Then you’d scan it, pay them a small fee, and it would provide a download link. Hurrah, a font of your hand writing! I loved the font at the time. Back then we were all targeting 800x600px website layouts, sometimes even 640x480px, so you couldn’t really tell the font was a bit crappy. 

That was the font I used until 2015 when I switched to a Blambot font for CMO, as I was frustrated with the low resolution of my custom font. It got really ugly if you used it on large text. It was terrible, unsuitable for print, and missing various special characters. Its letter spacing was pretty unpleasant too.

So then there were a few years of much more generic type, but it never felt like my/cmo’s voice to me, just a bit wrong.

Last year, when I was pondering the future of CMO I went back to my handwritten font with a mind to remaster it, and ended up manually editing it in FontForge – an open source font editor. It took a few days tinkering but now I finally have the best of both worlds; a font with usable upper and lowercase, bold and italic, which has the personality of my handwritten font, but scales well enough to print! 🎉

I’ve been converting the entire strip to this font family, and I’m looking forward to it being my main font moving forwards. 

The moral of the story? Choose a suitable font from the start of your project, and put the work in to learn how to edit them if you’re not 100% happy. It probably makes more sense than the crazy font journey I’ve been on. Editing fonts is actually pretty easy to learn, it turns out!

See you soon!

– Michael

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