Letterer Brandon Bovia celebrates the long-awaited release of VIZ Media’s Transformers: The Manga Volume 1 by revealing several creative process insights, including the following with associated images attached to this post:
• In this book, I was tasked with picking fonts that best suit the art, arranging the translated text into the pages in a way that’s easy to read/appealing, and adapting the sound effects into English+retouching the art so it looks seamless.
• Most modern manga have dialogue lettered digitally in Japan, but being from the 80s, Transformers is all analog. And that means any text elements you see within the pages themselves had to be erased/retouched by hand. Like these. And these. And these!
• All of the little imperfections of the original art, down to the type of ink used and the off-white of the paper, made redrawing the art uniquely difficult. It took a while to figure out how to best match the original art, but what I landed on was this: A standard brush with the blend mode set to dissolve, and a Gaussian Blur filter set to 1 px (give or take), and voila! Sometimes I would reduce the opacity of the brush as well, to “fake” the imperfections (third pic). Worked like a charm. I did this for every page in the book!
Creator credits: Masumi Kaneda (Author) Ban Magami (Artist, Cover Artist) Brandon Bovia (Letterer)