Set your Types, Newtypes

A little while ago (aka last year) the first chapter of Shimamoto Kazuhiko’s Mobile Fighter G Gundam manga was translated and uploaded to MangaDex. After a hot minute, while good progress has been made on the second chapter, it’s kind of a lot to handle. Volume 1 alone is about 240 pages of actual translating, typesetting, redrawing, and then some. This was all being handled by my friend who began the project with a translator on-board while he did literally everything else.

Typesetting manga, for the uninitiated, is essentially just taking the translated text and throwing it onto the raw scans, replacing the original Japanese text. It’s not exactly the toughest job to get a page or two done, but there’s a reason certain scanlation teams like Hokuto no Gun assign different roles in scanlating projects to different folks. Point is: it’s a lot for one person. Even one that has uploaded multiple translated manga in the past.

Knowing a thing or two about paint.net, to say the least, typesetting always seemed interesting to me. Fun, even! And when I mentioned this to that said friend, I happened to get the supplies (as in a bunch of fonts, raws, the translation, etc.) to start typesetting the second chapter myself. Not all of it will be done by me, but as of writing this, I’ve already got a dozen or so pages finished. I’m not sure when it’ll be done, but expect another upload sometime soon. Can’t guarantee it’ll be on MangaDex, though. Place kinda went to shit.

I figured it can’t hurt to show a page that I’ve got down. I might go a little overboard on oversizing text and adding outlines, but fuck me if it doesn’t look cool.

The job hurts my back, but as I expected, it’s really not half-bad. Knowing your way around at least one capable graphics design program can get you quite far in something like this. I don’t wanna understate it and call it monkey work, but it’s pretty easy to turn off your brain and still make it work. Style is key: always throw in a different font depending on the moment, size text accordingly (make the hot-blooded lines big!), and don’t slack on redrawing a few lines that you happen to have to erase.

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