As a matter of principle, the applications and fonts I'll be posting feature links to open-source or freeware tools. First up are the most prominent and especially great for a wannabe with no cash:
The GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program. It could do most of what Photoshop is capable of and should be good enough for on-screen content. Please note the current version has no internal CMYK support, that means if you're printing you'd better make friends with your local printer. Color matching can be a bitch, so be prepared to visit them often. The good news is there is CMYK support planned for the next version of GIMP, so let's keep an eye out for it.
Inkscape is a vector drawing program that seems to be a good candidate to replace that pirate copy of Illustrator, harhar. The current version is great!
Scribus is a free DTP program that is good enough for most amateur comic producers and novelist. Check out it's latest capabilities at their website, the amount of work put into making must be staggering because it's a pretty good program for someone like me. You'll need to install GhostScript first, just follow the instructions.
"Will it replace Quark and Indesign?", I can almost hear you ask. The answers is no, Scribus is an on-going project just like any other open-source program. You can at best call them alternatives, but for me they'll do just fine.
The starter link pack for fonts will just have to wait since I gotta leave the intertubes alone for a while (or you can just click and surf the links in the sidebar). See you in two or three days.