FERGUSON’S 7 QUESTIONS WITH… MIRIAM ABUIN
I am always looking for a diverse group of creators on 7 questions and when I mentioned on Facebook that I was looking for letterers, this creator’s name was first on peoples’ lips. It’s 7 questions with Miriam Abuin.
What was the first comic work you did that was published?
The first comic work published has been Lightning Strike Issue #4. Before that, I did the translation of Underground by Jeff Parker & Steve Lieber’s into Spanish. For those who haven’t read it, it’s a five issue thriller about cavers in Kentucky. It came to my hands after finishing some translation studies and I decided it was perfect to try my skills and became my first project as a letterer, a bit by accident. This is the longest story I’ve worked on… Parker and Lieber seem quite happy with the result (what a relief to know they weren’t mad at me for ruining their story and art!!), but I am still waiting to publish it on-line.
What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?
It’s been almost a year since I finished Underground, and the next project after that was LS 4. In Underground, I learned the importance of planning what I was doing with my fonts, getting the script ready. I found resources for letterers, read and checked out tutorials… I had to respect the original, but it made me aware of the importance of good lettering and that shouldn’t interfere with the art or the flow of the story. In LS 4, I have learned to work with others, which is great to help you improve. Ciaran Marcantonio has been an excellent editor and Robert Carey gave me some very useful notes about lettering, it’s good to have the opinion of writers and artists.
What’s your process for lettering a comic book?
I read the script, decide what fonts I will use for everything: dialogs, if everyone is going to speak the same way or if I should give them a different font, find a title font to suit the tone of the story or the genre. And decide what colour I can use in captions, it is for this reason why I like to letter once I see the final coloured pages.
What is the biggest influence on your work?
I have enjoyed Saga a lot, and I like the way they’ve played with their lettering to help define the characters. Fables and Batman, City of Owls do very interesting stuff with the captions too. I’ve read some Spanish stuff recently, one of my favourite ones is Simiocracia by Alex Salou and since I can remember I have been reading Mafalda by Quino. I particularly loved the water-coloured art in The Nao of Brown or Blue Is The Warmest Colour. Underground or Persepolis are two of the stories I have read more than once, and I know, everything I mention is very different, but they all have either an interesting story or very strong artwork, or both at the same time!
What are you working on right now?
I have just finished some edits in Clockwork Universe, to include in the Arcana steampunk anthology.
What do you have out now or coming out next?
LS issue 4 was released at Arcadecon, I’ve worked on: Nightmare Scenario, A Dame to 1101011 For, Customs and Canon Law. I also worked in a couple of stories for the Dublin Comic Con magazine, so I am really looking forward to seeing that. Lightning Strike # 5 will be out at DICE, in which I lettered Reality Watch, Clockwork Universe and Red Lotus. Around the same time in September, Clockwork Universe will be published by Arcana (who are showing Clockwork Universe in SDCC at the moment!) So, these are exciting times!
What is your favourite Irish comic?
My favourite so far is Half Past Danger. I am absolutely in love with the art and the colours, the story is so funny and the dialog sounds soooo Irish. It was my first time reading a comic in individual issues (I’m more of a paperback type of girl…). I’ll be exporting that to Spain! Who knows, maybe I could even translate it?!
Miriam Abuin on Twitter https://twitter.com/miriamabuin