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Burbler Comic Book Typesetter is a tool that automatizes the lettering of comic books.
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Burbler Comic Book Typesetter

Burbler is a tool that automatizes the lettering of comic books.

As opposed to other comic book creation tools, where you can only typeset a text bubble when you create it from the program; and as opposed to general-purpose image editing tools, where you need to deal with text centering and line breaks manually; Burbler attempts to make it as painless as possible to place text on a speech balloon that is already part of the image. This is ideal for artists who prefer type but would rather draw the bubbles by themselves, or for translators who can’t change the original artwork.

Burbler is still in the very earliest phases of development (read: right now, the repository is nothing but project structure). Burbler is free software, licensed with a GPLv3+ license, and lives at GitHub. You’re very much welcome to contribute.


As the development of Burbler is only getting started, the following is a list of planned features:

  • Opens and saves images in JPG, PNG and SVG formats.
  • 1-click text bubble selection (a la Adobe Photoshop’s Magic Wand / GIMP’s Fuzzy Select).
  • Clears automatically any content of the selected bubble (useful for translating).
  • Automatic text layout to fit the bubble shape, handling any hyphenation and line breaks.
  • Supports bundles of pages that act as a whole and are saved as a single file (a chapter or a volume, for example).
  • Supports text formatting styles across a page or bundle, as well as importing and exporting styles.

System requirements

Burbler is a web-based app, so the only requirement to use it is a modern browser, such as the latest versions of Chrome/Chromium, Firefox, Edge or Safari. Burbler is also a progressive web application, meaning that it can be installed as a normal application in mobile systems.

Furthermore, in the future we also plan to build the Burbler code as an Electron application, which will make it possible to installed it as an app in desktop systems such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX and different GNU/Linux distributions.

Developing Burbler

Make sure you have Node.js and NPM.

git clone
cd burbler
npm install
npx gulp watch-server

For running the server on a different port, use a PORT environment variable:

PORT=80 npx gulp watch-server

The watch-server and dev build targets compile a development version at the /out folder. For a production version, run the default target (npx gulp).

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