I’ve always tended to center-align text in caption boxes in my own comics… but recently realised that most comics seem to left-align their text in boxes… for example, here’s Ben Katchor and something from the Fantastic Four (featuring Ben Grimm!)
(who also deal with the last line in different ways: Katchor centers the orphan “Alarms”, whilst the Marvel letterer cropped the box itself).
In the english translation of Manu Larcenet‘s Ordinary Victories however, the text is center-aligned.
… whilst samples from Daniel Clowes suggests that he follows the shape of the box/balloon.
So… are there are principled reasons for picking either choice within a rectangular caption box?
Some theories I’ve heard:
1. Left-alignment looks more like a journal or diary entry (via Gene Yang)
2. Left-alignment was technically easier to execute when hand-lettering (via Janice Chiang)
3. Eyeball tracking means readers process left-aligned text more quickly (via Jesse Hamm)
What do other comics creators and readers out there think? 🙂