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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Discussion on Handwriting

Recipe written in Old Austinian, c. 1996
My childhood handwriting was like most children's. It was loopy and awkward, and I would often mix up the lowercase 'd's and 'b's. I would also flip my 'z's and '9's backwards. I kept this handwriting throughout Elementary School, and though it got steadily better, it died out completely when I got to 5th grade.

In 5th grade, I began writing the Never Ending Comic. Since the words in comic books are in all capitals, I adopted this new system as my handwriting for everything. Naturally, my teachers were bothered by it, especially since that was still in the age of cursive.

Personal narrative written in Middle Austinian, c. 2000
On a slight tangent, have you noticed that cursive is pretty much dead here in the United States? Its dying out has been so gradual that I didn't notice until I went to Brazil, where it's still a common practice. I think it's an interesting development for America to kill the loopy, connected type of writing in favor of simply printing. I'm not sure if this is contributing to that one type of people who basically contorts their hand into a knot just to write (You'll know this when you see it. Watch people (particularly girls) when they write, and there's bound to be one who it's a wonder doesn't have carpal tunnel), but that's that. My opinion on the death of cursive? Good riddance.
Anyway, this "all-caps" style of writing lingered as part of my comic-drawing personality throughout Middle School, but as Junior High time approached, I decided that I needed to stop writing in all capitals. I distinctly remember the interesting day when I made a conscious decision to design my own handwriting. I sat down at my desk, thinking of various options I had for various letters in the alphabet. I decided that I liked my lowercase 't's to have tails. I decided I liked simple letters like 'p' and 'b' to be drawn without the little foot at the bottom, drawn with a single looping flourish. I designed my handwriting that day in late 7th Grade and have used it ever since.
Early Modern Austinian creative writing exercise, written c. 2003

I am admittedly rather proud of my unique style of writing, most often written with a G-2 07mm black pen, and I decided recently to begin working on an "Abelhawk Hand" font that I can use for my comics, graphic novel dialog, etc. There may be other uses as well, such as cutting corners when having to handwrite something, but for the most part this is just going to be a fun little scheme to add to my list of personalized creative projects.

The font will be available for presentation soon!


  1. Did you ever find a good program to do this with? If not I'll have to keep digging a little deeper to see if I can run into that one I used forever ago. Your handwriting wins my jealousy. *bows in respect*

  2. Heh, no need to bow, Brother Redge. Your handwriting is the coolest left-handed handwriting ever.
    I found one program that's super professional and lets you make vector fonts, etc, but when I wrote out all the characters and scanned them in and tried to make a font, the stupid trial version doesn't even let you SAVE! What's the point of a 30-day trial if you can't do anything during those 30 days?
    So I'm trying an alternative method that looks a little weird... but it's worth a shot and I'll let you know.


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