Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll

Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll

In 2010, Universe published Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll, which was originally a French-language book called Rock Strips. McD Workshop’s Chris McDonnell was brought on to update the design, and as Chris quickly realized was necessary, hand-re-letter the entire book. Above are Rock Strips, the original French language edition and Tunes, the English translation design featuring the hand-lettering.

Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll
Chris’s original, alternate cover design pitch. The publisher decided to simply have me update the existing cover.
Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll
Here is a comparison of the original comic about Elton John by Charles Berberian and Chris’s re-lettering.
Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll
This comic on the Sex Pistols by Jean-Christophe Menu had a ton of words written in a style which fortunately is very compatible with Chris’s own natural hand lettering.
Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll
This comic on Metallica by Riad Sattouf had a lot of nice, white space around the lettering and allowed Chris to copy letter forms as exactly as possible.
Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll
Each artist’s lettering was a unique challenge to replicate or at least approximate. Here’s a comic on AC/DC by Appollo-Brüno and Chris’s lettering on the right.
Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll
This comic on Nick Cave by Laure Del Pino was challenging because of how integrated the lettering was into the image.
Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll
This comic on Jimi Hendrix by François Ayroles involved re-lettering the title and very involved letter forms.
Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll
This comic about The Stranglers by Serge Clerc had a highly individual lettering style that was interesting to copy and try to fit into all the many boxes.