Prison Grievances: When to Write, How to Write

Part graphic novel, part workbook, Prison Grievances was the brainchild of Dr. Terri LeClercq, who wanted an educational book about prisoner’s rights (limited though they may be) with regards to conditions, assault, sexual assault and other topics in a package geared toward any reading level.

From a lettering standpoint, it was incredibly tricky, as there was often LOTS of text per page to work with, and cutting wasn’t much of an option, as it’s educational. This project was a sort of baptism by fire and extremely helpful in honing my lettering craft (so to speak… like a d-bag).

In addition to lettering, I also produced and laid out the book for printing (exclusively in Adobe Illustrator CS6; should’ve maybe also used InDesign…).

Here’s the IndieGoGo campaign, that has some additional information about the project (funding has long since ended).

​Buy a copy from Amazon, if you want to learn about prisoner’s rights (and who doesn’t?)

(written by Terri LeClercq; art by Patrick Hubik and Shawn Van Briesen)

2014-15 Update: Spanish Language Translation

In the summer of 2014, Terri came to me to do a translation of the book for Spanish speakers. “No problem,” I thought. The caveat? I haven’t spoken Spanish since junior year of high school. The entire book was translated by Francisco Ramirez balloon-by-balloon, so I didn’t get lost along the way. I’d argue this version looks better than the English one, what with several years of lettering experience between the two. Plus, far, far fewer hyphenations.

Wardenclyffe “Rocket. Science.”

A 5-page pitch piece for writer J.J. Mason. His original plan was to do four 5-page stories per issue, this being the first. I don’t know much more than that. Still, a fun project. I hope I get to do more!

(written by J.J. Mason; pencils by Diego Toro; colors by Kote Carvajal)

D.I.S. (Defence Intelligence Service) Pitch Piece

Another short pitch piece, but this time I got to do an actual double page spread. Take that, lettering bucket list! Of course, I didn’t have much to do on said page. But it still counts! D.I.S. is a sort of supernatural special forces within the British government, written by Kevin Gunstone, who’s done books for Image and Marvel.

(written by Kevin Gunstone; pencils/inks by J.C. Grande; colors by Andre Vaz)

2015 Update– Issue #1:

The pitch above worked, because D.I.S. is coming in 2015 via Markosia! The above pages were recolored and relettered for the full issue. Will update when there’s a place to buy from, but will be available digitally and in print! Issue 2 is being drawn as I type.

(written by Kevin Gunstone; pencils/inks by J.C. Grande; colors by Jessica Alley; new logo by Patrick Foster)

Elder House Pitch Piece

Yet another 5-page pitch piece. I’m getting good at these. 🙂 Another first: stroke-less balloons. Something I’ve wanted to incorporate into something for awhile now, but you really need the right type of artist/style/art to go with it. I probably could’ve done it with Wardenclyffe, too, but Carlos Trigo’s style works quite nicely.

(written by Andrew Coppola; art by Carlos Trigo)

2014 Update:

Andrew and Carlos got the full issue together. It had been so long since the pitch that I relettered it and tightened things up. Again, the difference a couple years of experience provides. I believe a second issue is in the works or will be soon. Still kept the stroke-free balloons (besides on stark-white backgrounds), but shrunk everything a little bit. With any luck, I’ll soon be able to update this with a publisher that will be releasing the book.

Missing Persons Pitch Piece

Worked with another nice bloke from England called Liam Johnson on this one. I don’t know a ton about this story, but in a nutshell, some entity/corporation/other thing has figured out a way to transport– through time and space– history’s most notorious… whatevers for devious motives. The pages I did covered the ‘abduction’ of D.B. Cooper, but he’s not the only blast from the past that would make an appearance, I’m told. Beautiful art courtesy of Bernardo Vieira, who hails from Spain (and I don’t know much about, nor can Google help here).

My lettering work officially travels more than I do.

Note: Liam has requested I hold off on posting the whole pitch until he’s had a chance to shop it around, so for now, just the cover and a couple pages.

(written by Liam Johnson; art by Bernardo Vieira)


Jack Foster is a do-it-all guy who quit his job to pursue his passion project full-time. Everything from the writing to the getting it in Previews and picked up by Diamond. Everything except the letters. Most of the letters, anyway. Lots of cool art with watercolors and all. The story is a gritty noir set in a world with superheroes. Some of the pages were in a work-in-progress stage and may be missing elements. For mature audiences.

(writing and art by Jack Foster)

Issue #1

Issue #2

Zombie Hustle Pitch Piece

Andrew Coppola’s back with a retro-looking zombie thriller. Since this had a throwback style to it, I tried to emulate a hand-lettered style done digitally. I added a touch of roughening and slight shear to the thinner-stroked balloons to give a looped-by-hand feel. Simple sound-effects round out the style. Hopefully I’ll get to do the complete story one day.

(written by Andrew Coppola; art by Dejan Stevic)

Caesar in Gallia Pitch Piece

One more from Andrew Coppola. A period story with Caesar as the lead. Pretty straight-forward from a lettering standpoint for this one. Nice linework from prolific Aspen MLT, DC and Marvel artist Koi Turnbull.

(written by Andrew Coppola; art by Koi Turnbull)


Jeremy Grady writes a futuristic, post-apocalyptic graphic novel tale of survival with some science fiction tossed in for good measure. The look for the letters in this book maaaay have been inspired by Rus Wooton‘s work on Black Science, from Image. The trickiness with this title was the book was inked by 4 different people, so page dimensions were all over the place. Still, everything worked out right in the end. Art by Boom! Studios artist Jeffrey Edwards.

If you’d like to buy a copy, send Jeremy a message via his Facebook page (link below). Will likely be available digitally soon, too.

(written by Jeremy Grady; pencils by Jeffrey Edwards; inks by Alonzo Nunez, Josh Oakes, Ferry Susanto, and Joe Silver; cover by Giovani Kososki)


Chrissy Lim runs a really cool site called PaperPlane Co. that creates digital and interactive storybooks for tablets. This was a comic novella written by Lim and drawn by her sister, Lynn. Check out some of the book trailers they have on their site!

(written by Chrissy Lim; art by Lynn Lim)

Nova #1

A pitch piece that’s a complete issue, Nova tells the story of a monastery who meet a scion in a key prophecy– humanity’s last hope. With some training, perhaps he can be the man they need him to be. I think the bonsai page numbers were a nice touch. Find more info at Nova’s Tumblr.

(written by Harrison Perry; art by Claudio Muñoz; colors by Emmanuel Ordaz)


Kingsgard #1

Another pitch piece for a fellow DIY-er. Kingsgard is a sort of future militaristic hero story. An average kid with something to prove wants to join the Kingsgard and right some wrongs. Do some good. I don’t have a lot of info on this, but here’s a sneak peek. Written and drawn/inked by Jarod Lam (and here’s his deviantArt and Twitter).

(script and art by Jarod Lam)