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Nate the Robot
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:36 pm    Post subject: Nate the Robot Reply with quote

<shameless_plug>
Check out Nate the Robot!

www.natetherobot.com

http://www.thewebcomiclist.com/p/22183/Nate-the-Robot
(currently not showing as being updated, but I think I've fixed that)

</shameless_plug>

Hey, like everyone else here I am trying to get going on a webcomic. I like the forum that talks about real-life issues because that's constantly my problem. With a wife and two kids, it just seems hard to sit down and draw.

This is a lot of what my comic is about, being a busy nerdy family man, and I tell it by making the main characters all robots. My updates are completely sporadic, and that's something I need to fix. I need to work up a buffer and start uploading them once a week.

I'd love to hear some feedback on the art and humor quality. I'd also like to hear some tips to speed up the digitizing process. Currently I am drawing and inking by hand, then importing using 2DLT into Manga Studio EX 4, and then coloring and putting the dialog in there. It's not a bad process, except the scanning always causes some troubles.

Thanks so much!
Jim
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Uncle Greedy



Joined: 02 Jun 2011
Posts: 285

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Nate the Robot Reply with quote

topjimcomics wrote:
<shameless_plug>
My updates are completely sporadic, and that's something I need to fix. I need to work up a buffer and start uploading them once a week.
Jim


Why? Don't worry about that. We have to earn a living and there are so many things to be taken care off. My comic (and many others for sure) are updated completely sporadic as well, as there is hardly any other way except
- you get paid for your comic so that you have to put it up in time -
- you are a spoiled brat/etc who has to care for nothing at all and can do all the time what he/she likes
- your life follows a strictly organized pattern with no big surprises.

So just take your time and simply update if you can or will. Nobody can force or blame you for that.
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Thanks! Reply with quote

All good points, thanks for the kind feedback!

Jim
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:49 pm    Post subject: Any secrets to plugging your comic? Reply with quote

I'll start with an tip I stumbled across accidentally. For fun, I drew my most recent comic with Robosapien (toy robot from WowWee) and Roomba (robot vacuum from iRobot). On a whim, I posted them to the respective company pages on Facebook. On WowWee, I just got a like, but iRobot reposted my comic so that all the followers saw it. It was awesome!

Do you guys have any tricks for getting seen by more people than just your facebook friends? I created a twitter account and am trying to get used to it, but I'm a dinosaur apparently and don't know how to do it right.
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Justinfh



Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take all the time you need. What you could do is create a buffer. You know, a bunch of comics before publishing. Then post new comics once or twice a week. Like every Monday and Thursday or something.
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AndToBeLoved



Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read through some of the more recent strips and there's some funny gags in there. Worth checking out.

As for the art, what I'm noticing is that a lot of lines are very thin. Especially on lines outlining the silhouettes of the characters. They should typically be thicker, especially for this style. IMO.

The backgrounds should have a little more life to them, or nothing at all. This pin up would look a lot better if he weren't standing in an empty corner: http://www.natetherobot.com/Default.aspx?comicId=25. Either fill the corner up with more objects (chair, plant, lamp, table, teleportation pod, etc), or just leave the background completely empty with maybe just a simple gradient effect or something. You may want to try scanning in your work at a higher resolution, as the baseboards in this image look very pixelated.

Also be careful how you digitally color these things. Look at the podium in panel three of this page: http://www.natetherobot.com/Default.aspx?comicId=22. You can see pixels of white hiding between the black wood grain and brown color. It looks like it was filled in with a paint bucket which never works well. Fill in these areas 100% of the way using a brush or pencils tool, or select the area with a lasso tool and then fill in with the bucket.

As for updates, I've come to notice that updating regularly is not the most important thing in the world. I used to think it was, but looking at a LOT of fairly successful comics tells me otherwise. It's not impossible to do it. I've been doing my comic, And To Be Loved, for about two years and have maintained regular updates every week. I don't get nearly enough from the site to live off of yet, and I am extremely busy with working as a freelancer. I used to update twice a week, but after switching from black and white to color, I went down to once a week. This helped greatly. But in any case, regular updates are not super important, just be sure to update as often as you can. At least a few times a month.


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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AndToBeLoved wrote:
I read through some of the more recent strips and there's some funny gags in there. Worth checking out.

As for the art, what I'm noticing is that a lot of lines are very thin. Especially on lines outlining the silhouettes of the characters. They should typically be thicker, especially for this style. IMO.

The backgrounds should have a little more life to them, or nothing at all. This pin up would look a lot better if he weren't standing in an empty corner: http://www.natetherobot.com/Default.aspx?comicId=25. Either fill the corner up with more objects (chair, plant, lamp, table, teleportation pod, etc), or just leave the background completely empty with maybe just a simple gradient effect or something. You may want to try scanning in your work at a higher resolution, as the baseboards in this image look very pixelated.

Also be careful how you digitally color these things. Look at the podium in panel three of this page: http://www.natetherobot.com/Default.aspx?comicId=22. You can see pixels of white hiding between the black wood grain and brown color. It looks like it was filled in with a paint bucket which never works well. Fill in these areas 100% of the way using a brush or pencils tool, or select the area with a lasso tool and then fill in with the bucket.

As for updates, I've come to notice that updating regularly is not the most important thing in the world. I used to think it was, but looking at a LOT of fairly successful comics tells me otherwise. It's not impossible to do it. I've been doing my comic, And To Be Loved, for about two years and have maintained regular updates every week. I don't get nearly enough from the site to live off of yet, and I am extremely busy with working as a freelancer. I used to update twice a week, but after switching from black and white to color, I went down to once a week. This helped greatly. But in any case, regular updates are not super important, just be sure to update as often as you can. At least a few times a month.




Wow, thank you SOOOO much for taking the time to critique my comic! I appreciate all the feedback! My art "skills" come from years ago, when I would doodle superheroes all over the place which notoriously left me without any skills at drawing backgrounds. I'm hoping to fix that over time, and it's good to know that the lack of good backgrounds is distracting. Most of the other stuff you listed is just an old dog learning new tricks, and my perfectionism going to snot by 11:30pm when I just want to be done =). I am glad to know about the thicker outlines, I'll start working on that.
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zeeshan



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may want to try scanning in your work at a higher resolution, as the baseboards in this image look very pix elated.
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't thank you guys enough for the feedback!

Most of the pixelation in the latest strips come from drawing the entire thing on the iPad. I only have a first generation iPad, and it has terrible limitations. At the moment, though, any limitations are surpassed by the fact that I can more readily draw. Also, like a moron, I didn't see the line drawing tool, and so that is helping a lot. My goal is that each strip fixes mistakes from the strip before, so that eventually I am doing everything at full potential.

This latest strip I think fixes the pixelation issue (although I had inconsistent background colors issues, which will be fixed next week).

Nate the Robot #27

Oh yeah, I meant to ask, do any of you know of any resources I can use to learn how to draw better backgrounds? It is a HUGE weakness I have always had that I want to learn how to fix.
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AndToBeLoved



Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome about the feedback! Glad I could be of service.

Yeah, the newest strip looks a lot better in terms of pixelation. Much smoother.

If you're interested in doing digital line art, I hear that ipads and tablets of that nature are terrible. But of course, a lot of ipad owners would never fess up to that, lol. My advice would be getting an older model Wacom Cintiq. I recently bought a Cintiq 15x off of ebay for around $350 and it is absolutely great. I never thought I'd be so happy producing digital art. And this is an pretty old model. I don't use it for everything. Just my simple webcomics and coloring. I still do my more detailed work by hand. Or, if you don't want to invest in something that pricey (although the new ones are several time more expensive than mine), perhaps you'd like a Bamboo tablet? I was using one of those for a couple of years and they are pretty good. Many people swear by them for doing line art, but I have a hard time drawing on the tablet and having to look up at my screen. So I was happy when I switched to the Cintiq. A Bamboo tablet would be less than $100 for a new one, I think. Food for thought.


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antleonardi01



Joined: 05 Feb 2012
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to be taken seriously and retain any readership at all, you do need to pick an update schedule and stick to it.

2 days a week should be doable very anybody. Any extra strips you upload are just a bonus!

Keep going dude.
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@antleonardi01
I'm working my way up to that, when I started, I wasn't motivated enough. I should have not started I guess until I really got the motivation. I'm not going to ever miss once a week, and I should be able to do twice a week in the near future.

@AndToBeLoved
Yeah, I've looked into the used Cintiq route, no doubt that would be a lot nicer. In the tablet route, I've considered upgrading to a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. It uses a Wacom stylus and is pressure sensitive, and looks pretty nice. The big thing about tablets is that I can draw while sitting at the table helping my daughter/son do their homework. I also looked into this guy:

http://www.amazon.com/Yiynova-Tablet-Monitor-light--MSP19/dp/B005EJAU9S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358177802&sr=8-1&keywords=yiynova
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New strip up!

Nate the Robot #28
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