Volume 5 Page 20
Posted October 16, 2018 at 12:01 am

Not fond of the seemingly crossing Emp word-balloon tails in panels 4 and 5, due to switching the camera direction between ’em. Would’ve been better served, I think, by just leaving off the tail on panel 5’s word balloon. Not like readers would suddenly cry, “Sweet Jesus, I can’t tell who the f**k is speaking, without a helpful balloon tail indicating that the off-panel Emp is doing the talking!” 

Much of the goofiest crap in American comics lettering comes from creators being obsessed with balloon-tail directional clarity, leading to tortured images of such long “arrows” curving and looping and extending grotesquely across the panel. Just leaving the g-d tail off a word balloon would be preferable to some of the ungainly lettering stunts I’ve seen. In fact, some ballsy mangaka, such as Mohiro Kitoh (Shadow Star), always use tailless word balloons for all dialogue. In theory at least, one’s dialogue writing, panel design, and visual storytelling should be clear enough to not require the use of balloon tails.

-Adam Warren

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