If you’re an avid comic reader, you might have noticed that sometimes the lettering in online versions of comic books is whited out.
You might have wondered why this happens and what the reason behind it is.
In this article, we’ll explore why comic lettering is whited out on the internet and what the implications of this are for comic creators and readers.
What is Comic Lettering?
Before we dive into why comic lettering is whited out on the internet, let’s first understand what comic lettering is.
In comics, lettering refers to the text that appears in the speech bubbles, captions, and sound effects.
Lettering is an essential part of the comic book medium, and it can greatly affect the reader’s experience of the story.
Why is Comic Lettering Whited Out on the Internet?
When comic books are digitized for online distribution, publishers often go through a process called “flattening.”
Flattening refers to the process of converting all the separate layers of a comic book into a single image file, usually in a JPEG or PNG format.
This process helps to reduce the file size and make the digital comic easier to distribute and read online.
However, when comic lettering is flattened into an image file, it can sometimes become unreadable. This is because the lettering is often in a separate layer than the art and is colored in black.
When the black lettering is flattened into a single image, it can become difficult to read against a dark background.
To solve this problem, publishers often choose to “white out” the lettering and replace it with white lettering so that it is more visible against the background.
What Are the Implications of Whiting Out Comic Lettering?
While whiting out comic lettering might seem like a small change, it can have significant implications for both comic creators and readers. One of the most significant implications is that it can alter the intended visual impact of the comic. Comic artists and letterers often spend a lot of time perfecting the placement and color of the lettering to create a specific mood or tone. When the lettering is whited out, it can alter the intended impact of the story.
Additionally, whiting out comic lettering can also affect the accessibility of the comic for readers. People with visual impairments may rely on screen readers to access digital comics, and the process of whiting out the lettering can make it difficult for screen readers to recognize and read the text.
How Can Publishers Address the Issue of Whited Out Comic Lettering?
While whiting out comic lettering might be a necessary step in the process of digitizing comics for online distribution, there are ways that publishers can address the issue to minimize the impact on the reader’s experience. One way is to make sure that the background color of the comic is compatible with the white lettering. Another way is to make sure that the lettering is as large as possible without interfering with the artwork.
Publishers can also consider providing separate files for the lettering and artwork so that readers can adjust the lettering to their preferred color and size. This approach would allow readers to customize the reading experience while still maintaining the integrity of the comic creator’s vision.
Why is comic lettering important?
Comic lettering is an essential part of the comic book medium. It helps to convey the story’s dialogue, captions, and sound effects and can greatly impact the reader’s experience of the story.
Why is comic lettering whited out on the internet?
When comic books are digitized for online distribution, the lettering is often flattened into a single image file, which can make it difficult to read against a dark background.