The ComicBookFonts.com $20.11 Store-Wide Spectacular

You’re a big fan of hand-lettered fonts and display typefaces, right?

Really? You’re not?

Oh.

Damn, this is awkward. Someone told me you were. Look, I’ve already clicked the “Add New Post” button here so just play along, okay?

Well, then! I have terrific news for you: it’s time for the annual New Year’s Day sale at ComicBookFonts.com. If you’ve never heard of this outfit before, you just need to know two things:

1) When I say “They specialize in comic book fonts,” I don’t mean “…like Comic Sans.”

In fact, I mean “So completely unlike Comic Sans that it’s a wonder they don’t have a typeface called ‘Snas Cimoc’.” No, no no. These are true, professional digital handlettering fonts that appear in many of today’s best-selling comics.

2) The term “comic book fonts” also includes the kinds of snazzy display typefaces that you might see in a book’s logo or in its sound effects balloons. So don’t think that “handlettering” is all that ComicBookFonts sells.

Their annual sale is insane. To celebrate the New Year, everything in the whole catalogue is $20.11. That includes the font package that normally sells for $395 and the ones that usually go for $19. Can you blame me for RSVPing my regrets to Barack and Michelle on their New Year’s Eve bash? It’s all about priorities. I can beat the leader of the free world at Apples To Apples any day of the year. If I don’t get in on this sale, I’ll be kicking myself for the next 11 months.

I’ve bought loads of ComicBookFonts over the years. Here are my favorites, plucked straight from my MacBook’s font library:

Comicrazy:

This is the Star Prize of the sale: it’s their $395 super-professional lettering font. It has real weight…but even at small sizes, it remains readable.

Hedge Backwards:

Still a comic book font, but somehow looser and more casual than Comicrazy. It also has the advantage of being more affordable than Comicrazy, which is a rather critical factor the other 364 days out of the year.

Face Front:

Many of these lettering fonts tend to be very “square.” I use FaceFront when I want something whose proportions are a little narrower.

Monologous:

Monologous is a font with a secret. Take a look at the words “meeting” and “arrange” in the sample. Monologous is a font in which the upper-case keys and the lower-case keys produce different versions of the same capital letter. By making a few tweaks here and there, you can eliminate the duplication of forms that makes a digital handwriting font look less natural.

(Monologous isn’t the only font with this trick. Look at the font descriptions carefully.)

Letterbot:

Letterbot has been an MVP in my font collection ever since I bought it during my first New Year’s sale a few years ago. I love it. It looks hand-lettered while still evoking a digital-ish sensibility. And its legibility is absolutely bulletproof. I title videos with Letterbot because I know that even when the video’s been compressed for streaming and viewed on a tiny phone screen with a terrible connection, people will still be able to read the text.

Marian Churchland:

One of my favorite “utility” faces. When I need to fit a line of text, when I need a font that won’t distract from the main text, and when I simply want to create a functional label for something around the house, I turn to Marian. It also harmonizes with most of ComicBookFonts’ other typefaces. I often use it as a subtitle font for a line of title text set in Comicrazy.

Bryan Talbot Lower:

Bryan Talbot is my favorite “casual handwriting” font. If I wanted real scrawl, hell, I’d just scrawl it myself. This font wouldn’t look out of place in a schoolroom but it doesn’t look childish or cheap in the least.

Cheese And Crackers:

These fonts may be dirt-cheap but still: twenty bucks is twenty bucks. I try not to buy fonts that are so quirky that I’ll never use them. Cheese And Crackers was a gamble that paid off. It’s a fantastic choice for a title or a headline that needs to make a fast, big impression. It scales way, way up quite handily, to fill a whole page or a big screen in an auditorium.

It’s easy to imagine this font used for the title card in a 1960’s Rock Hudson comedy.

Belly Laugh:

Oh, man: will you ever use the hell out of this font. It’ll be your go-to for every sign you will ever create for every purpose. It could just as easily have been named “Yard Sale Saturday” or “Use Other Door” or “Do not put pathology lab samples in the breakroom fridge unless it’s on a plate.”

Spills:

Another all-star in my font library. It’s a bold but elegant script face that makes its presence known instead of standing meekly at the back of the room with the harpist and the swan ice sculpture. There’s just no way to “cheat” this effect when you need it.

Oh, I’ve bought lots and lots more fonts than just these. But these are the ones that I dip into regularly.

They’re so good, in fact, that they actually make my presentations more fun to prepare. My captions and bullet points don’t just sit there on the slide. I actually enjoy the slides as graphical objects. I don’t want to make the slides less pretty by putting in too much text or making the slide too complex. Result: I simplify what I’m saying and thus the actual message is clearer and sharper.

So those are your marching orders. Go on over to ComicBookFonts.com and commence to buyin’. Two final tips: buy the “international” versions of their fonts when available. These include all of the extra weirdo-foreign characters. Normally, ComicBookFonts charges a little extra for those expanded fonts.

Also, be aware that many of these fonts are upper case only. So look before you click. And don’t buy fonts when you’re still hung over from your New Year’s revels. How do you think they came up with the Houston Rockets logo?

25 thoughts on “The ComicBookFonts.com $20.11 Store-Wide Spectacular”

  1. Last year was my first shopping the font sale, thanks to your recommendation on an episode of that fine podcast Macbreak Weekly. I of course went for Comicrazy, This year I have been doing research, but still don’t know for sure what I will pick up tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestions and tips.

  2. I just picked up:

    Face Front
    Sez Who Sez You
    Dutch Courage
    Cheese And Crackers

    I’ve been buying their fonts since 1998. I have quite the collection.

  3. As a pro letterer, I have to admit that these guys have helped me to earn my bread and butter for quite a few years. Thanks ComicCraft and the crew. You guys rock.

  4. Ahh, thanks for letting me know about these guys last year. I have to agree about Comicrazy and Hedge Backwards off the top. Last year, I then went for Yada Yada Yada, Meanwhile, and Zoinks, all in Intl variants. The only one I used much of the bunch were Comicrazy and Zoinks, though. The rest felt like variants.

    From that initial experience, however, I’ve learned over the year how much I want lots of font choices, and sometimes the more whimsical, the better. So I’ve expanded my collection this year (ouch!) to another 13 fonts (plus the lettering PDF for the heck of it):

    Absolutely Fabulous (Intl)
    For that retro chic look; a classy font.

    Biff Bam Boom (Intl)
    Ideal for hand-nudged, explosive bits.

    Doohickey (Intl)
    Doohickey Lower (Intl)

    These two, I think, will work well as a comic-ish Helvetica.

    DutchCourage (4-pack)
    Because it’s awesome and a steal.

    Elephantmen (Intl)
    The aged looks sold me.

    HipFlask
    Feels fast yet solid.

    Long Underwear (Intl)
    For the fun-factor.

    Moritat (Intl)
    The M, the girl, and the extra weights sold me.

    Scott McCloud (Intl)
    Who didn’t love the Google Chrome comic?

    Spills (Intl)
    Duh. It’s gushing with flavour.

    Storyline
    A flexible, playful serif for when I think I’ve something that might be worth printing.

    Thats All Folks
    Who doesn’t love kids parties and modernist, chunky, cartoony typefaces?

    Now I have a wishlist for next year (because the $270 I just dropped already hurts), including: Bryan Talbot Lower, Belly Laugh, Marian Churchland, and Marian Churchland Journal (which I was already considering), plus Letterbot, for the same legibility reasons.

    It’s tough to stop now, as using and selecting from these kinds of fonts quickly become addictive, and I don’t want to feel later like I’m missing a font and have to wait another 10-11 months! Telling myself these 5 fonts would cost me an additional $100.55 helps, though. I wish they had installment plans, or typekit.com-style subscriptions! ;-)

  5. Wow. Nice way to begin 2011, spending nearly $200 that was not in the budget. I busted a resolution I didn’t even have time to make!

  6. i have no experience with fonts and this is the first time i actually became beware of the concept of ‘buying’ a font. these fonts look great and this is a nice opportunity to start experimenting with them. but what type should i buy: truetype or opentype? i work on a mac and only use the ilife apps, apple’s aperture and sometimes a little bit of photoshop/indesign. thanks for the help!

  7. If you haven’t gotten Bryan Talbot’s Grandville graphic novels, you haven’t experienced how well suited the font is. I’ve just bought it, and tweeted to fellow comic artists in Bryan’s realm (anthropomorphic) to get that font!

  8. I have a project I am doing for a non-profit this spring and have been waiting for this sale after hearing you talk about it in the past!

  9. Thanks for the recommendations Andy (and others). Just dropped $240 for the 3rd year in a row. Love their fonts.

  10. Andy – why did you have to go and post something like this. I mean – we had Christmas and gifts then New Years and a bunch of alcohol.

    Now you have to go and post super awesome fonts for me to spend $100 on to make all my friends jealous when I create super cool keynote’s – is there a place I can have my wife send you an email complaining?

  11. Many thanks to Andy for turning me onto this site. Over the past three New Year’s I have collected:

    AstroCity
    BellyLaugh
    Comicrazy
    DigitalDelivery
    Doohickey Lower
    Dreamland
    Elephantmen
    Elephantmen Greater and Taller
    FaceFront
    HedgeBackwards
    HedgeBackwards Lower
    HushHush
    Meanwhile
    Scott McCloud
    Speeding Bullett
    Tim Sale Lower
    WildWords

    Love it and I have the most unique diagrams and slides of anyone at work. If only Visio could use them (big hole in the Microsoft world) for when I can’t use OmniGraffle.

  12. That’s a tempting offer, Richard, $10.75/font or $16.59/font (Intl)… I think I might just take you up on it, but I’ll wait until my next paycheque since unlike today’s sale, that bundle is available until the end of January.

    And for folks who might miss the (still on!) new years day sale, there’s apparently also a mid-year 50% off sale if I recall correctly.

    What I would wonder, though, is if there are plans for TypeKit or web-embeddable typefaces? I’m also a web designer, and given the multitude of font selections out there now, I’d love to replace Comic Sans (or Marker Felt) with Comicrazy everywhere I go.

    And while there are roll-your-own embedding options including Cufon/SFIR, SVG, EOT/CSS and more, I’d love it if my existing subscription to TypeKit legally offered Comicraft typefaces. A list of such web font subscription outlets, each with their own selection of fonts & pricing.

    See paragraph 5 of http://www.zeldman.com/2010/12/31/2010-the-year-in-web-standards/

    If just experimenting, Font Squirrel has some great free options, as well as a free generator: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fontface/generator

    Oh and did I mention web fonts work great on the iPad/iPhone via SVG? Now if only webkit had Adobe’s great kerning engine …

  13. I’m a dunce, sry. But out of the four I purchased only ComicCrazy prints out correctly. The others present as weird symbols (and yes, I DID buy actual alphabets). Any help? Can I be brave enough to say I actually want these to work in WORD as well as Pages and Adobe….

    Thanks also to Macs in Law Offices (MILO), they sent me to CWOB!

  14. @Kellie Word for Mac, from X through to 2008 has various typeface bugs. Only in Word 2011 do they finally support OTF ligature features. If you can, with all its other improvements, I suggest an upgrade to Word 2011, or use Apple’s iWork ’09. Word on Windows also gets it right, it’s just 2008 that has “memory loss,” it thinks it’s already loaded every font it needs, and sometimes, it hasn’t. Google around for ways to clear font caches, remove unneeded fonts, etc.

  15. Louis – Thanks, just exactly what I did, the same was said by my buds in MILO, a bunch of lawyers who are also aspiring mac geeks (o, that such were true). Thanks! And now the OTF works fine in WORD. My fave is comiccrazy, I do believe.

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