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The Monster & The Girl

 
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OnlyTheGhosts



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:23 pm    Post subject: The Monster & The Girl Reply with quote

The Monster & The Girl
http://themonsterandthegirl.comicdish.com/

By : SamuraiTaiga
Rated R - NSFW, due to occasional extreme violence, nudity, erotica

Full Page format

Genres: SciFi, possibly Science-Fantasy, with a bit of Space Opera, Mystery, Heroic Fantasy, Detective, Romance, Horror, and other genres thrown in
Ongoing!


Updates on Monday Nights (Japan Time) ... or trying to

Stories told about the adventures of an immortal techno-magical cyborg created by a mad alien 'god', and the mysterious beautiful woman that he has vowed to protect. In every lifetime that he finds her.

Each chapter is a single story regarding one of their adventures, although not always as the protagonists. The first story arc is set during the waning era of the Bright & Glorious Empire of One Hundred Galaxies. It's an era when the species known as the Verkara are the most technologically and militarily powerful in existence, having ruled the Empire for such a great length of time that few other sentient species can conceive of this mighty race ever falling from power...

The artwork is grey scale, mostly 4 shades of grey plus black & white, with occasionally higher detail and finer shading. It's a “made-in-Japan” OEL Manga as I'm in Japan, it's manga, but I'm using English for this version. I have plans for a Japanese version later. For me, this webcomic is both for practice and experimental. I'm primarily a writer, and originally planned TM&TG as a series of novels. There's over a decade's worth of background work, gigabytes of files, dozens of notebooks, folders, and huge piles on paper collected for the stories and setting. I probably won't run out of stories for TM&TG for many, many years.

An example of the artwork
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first thought is that it's incredibly hard to tell what's going on in the artwork. It looks like you've drawn some generic shapes in Photoshop and applied various filters to them. I have absolutely no idea what kind of a world they've landed in until page 10, which really isn't good since you have three scenic shots of the world before then.

I would really encourage you to define your artwork more. If you don't want to use outlines, that's fine, but make sure the saturation is different enough between objects and backgrounds that someone can tell what's going on.

Page 10 is a vast improvement since you start using outlines. I hope you to continue that.

On page 8, in the second panel, the color of the woman's legs blends directly into the background. Since you aren't using outlines to define anything, her legs practically become invisible.

Also on page 8, but in the first panel: Kenrick's dialogue gets cut off, presumably because you ran out of room at the top. Try to avoid cutting in the middle of a sentance unless it's for a dramatic effect, as it interrupts the flow of speech and makes it sound clunky.

I think Mayu will ultimately hurt your female audience (though after reading this, I really doubt you're trying to have a female audience). She's portrayed as a moronic, oversexualized woman that needs to be protected for some reason. It may not even be that she's stupid, since Kenrick seems to understand what she's actually trying to say (supposedly), but the way she communicates implies that.

I'm immediately turned off by the ridiculously large breasts, as it completely detracts from any seriousness the story has going for it. If your story's target audience is just men, then great, but do not think it will be well received by women. I know you labeled your comic as "erotica," but when each breast alone is twice the size of her head, it's the type of sexualization that's degrading.

As for the website, I really recommend turning your cursor for hovering over links back into the default clicking hand. I know it's fun to dress up websites and customize as much as you can, but when you change basic functionality, you create a learning curve for your users. I say this because as I was reading at first, I had no idea I could click the page to move forward, and was frustrated that I had to scroll down to the navigation bar.

I would also suggest changing the color of your links, as they're hard to read. You already have red and blue for your name in the banner - one of those would be good options to consider.

I won't comment on the writing because you're only a handful of pages in. Good luck with your project.
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OnlyTheGhosts



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the critique, MindChimera. (^^)

MindChimera wrote:
My first thought is that it's incredibly hard to tell what's going on in the artwork. It looks like you've drawn some generic shapes in Photoshop and applied various filters to them.


GIMP and Mypaint. A lot of artwork started in pencil and was scanned. Not generic shapes, I drew everything, but agreed it's hard to see some of what's going on with the characters due to lack of definition in the early pages. The lack of outlines as you point out later.

MindChimera wrote:
I have absolutely no idea what kind of a world they've landed in until page 10, which really isn't good since you have three scenic shots of the world before then.


To be fair, the world outside the escape craft isn't shown until page 8, with two blurred panels. If there's too much detail, you wouldn't find the tiny depictions of the characters; they'd be lost among the background. Page 9 is supposed to emphasise this focus on the characters and the escape craft, otherwise it (and they) would be lost in the background of the huge forest. Apparently that wasn't clear to percieve though, despite the blurring of the background being what should've been recognised as intentional. From page 10, the style choice should be clear; the vast background is well detailed, and the characters are lost in it, almost invisible if not for the speech bubble nearby indicating their location.

MindChimera wrote:

I would really encourage you to define your artwork more. If you don't want to use outlines, that's fine, but make sure the saturation is different enough between objects and backgrounds that someone can tell what's going on.


Agreed. Getting into that. I probably won't be going back to fix earlier pages though, since the Art Evolution is something I'd like notice more as well.

MindChimera wrote:

Page 10 is a vast improvement since you start using outlines. I hope you to continue that.


Good suggestion. Not sure the outlines worked or not, but they did seem to there.

MindChimera wrote:

On page 8, in the second panel, the color of the woman's legs blends directly into the background. Since you aren't using outlines to define anything, her legs practically become invisible.


Thank you, I hadn't noticed that.

MindChimera wrote:

Also on page 8, but in the first panel: Kenrick's dialogue gets cut off, presumably because you ran out of room at the top. Try to avoid cutting in the middle of a sentence unless it's for a dramatic effect, as it interrupts the flow of speech and makes it sound clunky.


Ok. Though I can't recall why I made it separate that way. The (…) implies an intentional pause though... I've tried to break up the huge chunks of text that Kenrick's speech style is prone to create.

MindChimera wrote:

I think Mayu will ultimately hurt your female audience (though after reading this, I really doubt you're trying to have a female audience).


Maybe or maybe not. You could be surprised at that one. I've recieved the opposite opinion too, despite what appears to be the common opinion of certain people in the western nations, it's not exactly common everywhere else. Not even sure that it's as widespread as those people believe either, since people I talk to in the street, in pubs, on other forums, don't share that view. I've previously written and published erotica. Most of my fans were female, and they were the most enthusiastic in their emails. Fetishes cover such a huge range, and tastes vary so greatly internationally. I think it's a mistake to assume that the PC view of a few nations in Europe, and a few others of that same associated political axis are going to be widespread outside it. Equally it's a mistake to assume that it's as widely supported as it's portrayed in the media or among certain groups. I talk to a LOT of people.

MindChimera wrote:
She's portrayed as a moronic, oversexualized woman that needs to be protected for some reason. It may not even be that she's stupid, since Kenrick seems to understand what she's actually trying to say (supposedly), but the way she communicates implies that.


Yes, she might be perceived that way if you're carrying certain assumptions from a particular set of ideals and culture. You're the first person to say so, though.

I won't explain further because *spoilers* shouldn't be exposed sometimes. Besides, a strong accent, dialect, or misuse of a language not your own native language shouldn't imply lack of intelligence, yet in most western media portrayals, big boobs = stupid, blonde = stupid, speaking with a strong accent or dialect or not being familiar with a language = stupid. Everyone sounds like an idiot in a language that they don't know well. Are Chewbacca and R2D2 lacking in intelligence? I think most people realise that they aren't despite not knowing what they're actually saying directly, because of the replies from someone else who gives us clues through the other half of the conversation.

MindChimera wrote:

I'm immediately turned off by the ridiculously large breasts, as it completely detracts from any seriousness the story has going for it.


Not that all serious, highly intelligent women are flat-chested, right? (^^) That's what you've implied there. Big boobs = stupid, right? No way can a shapely woman in a miniskirt, with big breasts and blonde hair be 'intelligent' and 'serious', right? (^^)

It's a fad of the current western media to portray athletic slender women as 'smart' to such an extent that in Japan, the term has been completely misunderstood. 'Sumarto' roughly means slender & stylish in Japan, not 'clever'.

Your reaction is cultural, reflecting the current media portrayals in your country. You have a point in that - as you demonstrate from your reaction - that many people think that way. That's why it's an easily parodied element that people DO think that way, and makes it fun to counterpoint in the story.

I find it fascinating that you're essentially displaying an assumption that big breasts mean that a woman can't be serious nor highly intelligent. It's rather like the fat man being portrayed as gluttonous, foolish, a figure of comedy, regardless of numerous overweight - but very clever - detectives in older movies and TV shows. So many young people have forgotten those old movies when a woman could be shapely, and clever. That a femme fatale in a 1950s film wasn't a fool, despite having very significant curves.

MindChimera wrote:
If your story's target audience is just men, then great, but do not think it will be well received by women.


Well, not everyone thinks alike. We often see people jumping to the conclusion that everyone else thinks the same as they do, which of course, is far from true on the international scale. So, I'm not worried about your preception there. Besides, although it's not my goal, controversy is also good marketing. Salman Rushdie wouldn't have sold as many books without it. Eyes Wide Shut did better due to the controversy as well. Flaunting the rules is also more fun, and you learn more.

It's just a cultural reaction; like yours in the very stereotype expected result equating large breasts with lower intelligence. Because that's how the western media has trained you to think.

That isn't why I portrayed the character that way, but your reaction is an interesting one because it's so common in the West these days. You don't intend to give offence to big breasted women, but likely didn't think about what the pathway leads to. If a serious character must always be slender, athletic, and a shapely one must be a figure of comedy that is expected to detract from the seriousness of a story, it seems to say more about a certain cultural stereotyping.

Why should a woman look like Angelina Jolie to be considered beautiful, intelligent, and capable?

MindChimera wrote:
I know you labeled your comic as "erotica," but when each breast alone is twice the size of her head, it's the type of sexualization that's degrading.


BDSM novels are erotica, they're also denounced as 'degrading' by people who aren't into BDSM. Victorian prudes were calling it degrading for women to be dressed as they were in Japan, China, and African nations. A lot of western women love high heels, and a lot of people in Africa and the Middle East call that degrading too. Just a cultural reaction. I'm sure that some feminists would be upset, while others would write fan mail. Fetishes vary so widely, but aiming for any particular market that caters to a popular fetish still does well internationally. I've known men who like big breasts, others who like boyish looks. Most of my erotica readers were female anyway. Funny how few people believe it, but it's true.

MindChimera wrote:

As for the website, I really recommend turning your cursor for hovering over links back into the default clicking hand.


Mine shows a clicking hand, so I'm not sure what you're talking about there. I didn't change the cursor code at all.

MindChimera wrote:
I know it's fun to dress up websites and customize as much as you can, but when you change basic functionality, you create a learning curve for your users. I say this because as I was reading at first, I had no idea I could click the page to move forward, and was frustrated that I had to scroll down to the navigation bar.


I didn't change basic functionality, only colours and appearance. As I said above, your problem with the lack of a clicking hand confuses me. What browser and OS are you using? I've used Firefox, Opera, Chromium on various Linux systems, but don't have IE. Also, IE hasn't kept up to date with current standards.

MindChimera wrote:

I would also suggest changing the color of your links, as they're hard to read. You already have red and blue for your name in the banner - one of those would be good options to consider.

I won't comment on the writing because you're only a handful of pages in. Good luck with your project.


I suspect this problem is your browser. The links show as light grey on a very dark background, and turn bright white when the mouse hovers over them.

MindChimera wrote:
You already have red and blue for your name in the banner - one of those would be good options to consider.


Others criticised any use of colour on the web pages due to the artwork of the comic being grey-scaled. So, the opposite view. I had more colour on the original version. I was told repeatedly that a grey-scale or B&W comic shouldn't have a colour web page. I only kept the red and blue in the name because although there could be others with the same name appearing in search engine results, it's less likely they use that particular colour pair on the name.

MindChimera wrote:

I won't comment on the writing because you're only a handful of pages in. Good luck with your project.


The artwork kind of goes in the same box there. (^^) Yet your suggestions about it are very helpful. It's all practice and I was thinking along the same lines about making the definition clearer. I noticed most of those issues already, but after debate on another forum about it, the general consensus arrived at was that it's a bad idea to go back and edit stuff, better to show the art evolution.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SamuraiTaiga wrote:
To be fair, the world outside the escape craft isn't shown until page 8, with two blurred panels. If there's too much detail, you wouldn't find the tiny depictions of the characters; they'd be lost among the background. Page 9 is supposed to emphasise this focus on the characters. Apparently that wasn't clear to percieve though, despite the blurring of the background being what should've been recognised as intentional. From page 10, the style choice should be clear; the vast background is well detailed, and the characters are lost in it, almost invisible if not for the speech bubble nearby indicating their location.

I think part of the problem though, is that you're relying so much on blurring everything. I'm not really sure what kind of style you're trying to achieve here, but a lot of things your artwork aren't recognizable.

SamuraiTaiga wrote:
Ok. Though I can't recall why I made it separate that way. The (…) implies an intentional pause though...

It does, yes. But does it read correctly for a pause to be there? "According to the geographic coordinates, the closest... starport facility is approximately five hundred stade distance away." If he's supposed to be interrupting himself in his dialogue, shouldn't there be a reason? Nothing seems to be causing him to pause as they're just walking out of the ship. I believe it would read better if the whole sentence were together.

SamuraiTaiga wrote:
Maybe. You could be surprised at that one. I've previously written and published erotica. Most of my fans were female, and they were the most enthusiastic in their emails. Fetishes cover such a huge range, and tastes vary so greatly internationally.

That's great and all, but that point doesn't really matter to me since I can see neither your previous work nor your fan mail, so I'm not able to make comparisons between that and your current comic. All I have is your testimony. I'm not calling you a liar, just the point doesn't really matter to me.

You may certainly have female fans, but it looks to me like your audience may be more male-oriented. But that's just a guess, I could certainly be wrong, and I'm sure neither of us will lose sleep over what I think on that.

SamuraiTaiga wrote:
Yes, it might be perceived that way. You're the first person to say so, though. I won't explain further because *spoilers* shouldn't be exposed sometimes. Besides, a strong accent, dialect, or misuse of a language not your own native language shouldn't imply lack of intelligence, yet people do tend to think that way in most media portrayals. Everyone sounds like an idiot in a language that they don't know well. Are Chewbacca and R2D2 lacking in intelligence? I think most people realise that they aren't despite not knowing what they're actually saying directly, because of the replies from someone else who gives us clues through the other half of the conversation.

I agree, but page 5 is what particularly catches my attention on this subject. It's not just that what she says is difficult to understand, it's that it's also intentionally erotic. The erotic dialogue is very one-sided as well; Kenrick hasn't said anything of the sort, but everything Mayu says is.

I don't think that good looking-people or large-breasted women are all stupid. But I do think that people of any gender who only talk about sex generally are.

SamuraiTaiga wrote:
Not that all serious, highly intelligent women are flat-chested, right? (^^)

It's a fad of the current western media to portray athletic slender women as 'smart' to such an extent that in Japan, the term has been completely misunderstood. 'Sumarto' roughly means slender & stylish in Japan, not 'clever'. Your reaction is cultural, reflecting the current media portrayals in your country. You have a point that many people think that way, and that's why it's an easily parodied element that people DO think that way, and makes it fun to counterpoint in the story.

I find it fascinating that you're essentially displaying an assumption that big breasts mean that a woman can't be serious nor highly intelligent. It's rather like the fat man being portrayed as gluttonous, foolish, a figure of comedy, regardless of numerous overweight - but very clever - detectives in older movies and TV shows.

You're misunderstanding what I'm saying and jumping to conclusions.

I said ridiculously large breasts, meaning far outside of the norm. Her breasts go down past her waist, which is not normal (I'm not convinced it's possible, unless we're talking sagging, but we're not). I actually don't mind if you want to have a large breasted character in your story (actually, I don't care what you do, it's your story, haha), but I have yet to meet someone who has breasts twice the size of their head.

I have met intelligent women with large breasts. I've also had friends get breast reduction surgery because of the pain caused to their spine. In my experience with people I've known, large breasts lead to health problems.

I'm sorry that I caused a misunderstanding, but my opinion is not that large-breasted women are unintelligent. It's more of that combined with her pencil-thin waist that likely couldn't support her water balloons and her poor mastery over the language she's using. She's very stereotypical as an idealized woman among the types of men who think women are an inferior gender.

SamuraiTaiga wrote:
It's just a cultural reaction; like yours in the very stereotype expected result equating large breasts with lower intelligence. Because that's how the western media has trained you to think.

If a serious character must always be slender, athletic, and a shapely one must be a figure of comedy that is expected to detract from the seriousness of a story, it seems to say more about a certain cultural stereotyping.

I didn't say that. I said her breasts were ridiculous.

I guess the reason it bothers me is it stands out so much because of the art. It's hard to see any features on either of the characters unless you're right in their face, so the breasts become a defining factor of who she is.

In the end, if this is the story you want to tell, go ahead. I can certainly be wrong and you will have a better idea of who you audience is than I will.

SamuraiTaiga wrote:
I didn't change basic functionality, only colours and appearance. As I said above, your problem with the lack of a clicking hand confuses me. What browser and OS are you using? I've used Firefox, Opera, Chromium on various Linux systems, but don't have IE. Also, IE hasn't kept up to date with current standards.

I suspect this problem is your browser. The links show as light grey on a very dark background, and turn bright white when the mouse hovers over them.

I see what's going on, you have two sites - one you linked in your thread and another one in your forum profile. The link you posted was at the top of your post, so once I'd read through the post, I was closer to the bottom and clicked on the profile link instead. :P

The links on your site at thecomicseries.com are light grey on white, and the CSS has this bit of code in it:
Code:
a:hover {
color: #000000;
cursor: crosshair;
}


Your design on comicdish.com looks much better.

SamuraiTaiga wrote:
The artwork kind of goes in the same box there. (^^) Yet your suggestions about it are very helpful. It's all practice and I was thinking along the same lines about making the definition clearer. I noticed most of those issues already, but after debate on another forum about it, the general consensus arrived at was that it's a bad idea to go back and edit stuff, better to show the art evolution.

Yeah, art kind of goes in the same box, but I tend to give writing a bit more time; I typically won't judge the writing until I can see at least a full chapter/segment. I'm not looking to just judge dialogue, I want to see the opening, pacing, and closing of a section in the story. Since you're only in by a few pages, I can't really give you fair feedback. I can, however, look at a page of artwork and see I have no idea what I'm looking at (which may or may not be a failure on my part), and give that as feedback.

Besides, you didn't exactly ask for a critique, you just presented your website and asked people to look at it. ;) I'm always afraid I'll be overstepping my boundaries and hurt somebody's feelings when I critique them, but I think it's better than just letting the thread sit with no replies. And I seem to be well received so far, or at least people are doing a good job of hiding it. So I guess I haven't pissed anyone off (yet?).

I agree that you shouldn't worry about redoing old stuff. Learn from mistakes, decide what you like and don't like, and move on. :) My intention of giving a critique is not to make you go rework all your old pages, but to help you decide what you think needs to be changed and what you think I'm completely wrong on. :P I try to be helpful in giving my thoughts on the comic since sometimes you need an extra pair of eyes to catch things (like the legs/background thing you said you hadn't noticed) and sometimes the person gives you opinions you could do without.

Overall, always enjoy what you do, and don't follow anything I've said if it makes you unhappy with your project.
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OnlyTheGhosts



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MindChimera wrote:

I think part of the problem though, is that you're relying so much on blurring everything. I'm not really sure what kind of style you're trying to achieve here, but a lot of things your artwork aren't recognizable.


I was actually trying to keep the 'where' unknown to the reader until Page 10, other stuff is intentionally unclear – like the control area of the escape craft – because they're really not important. The characters are.

MindChimera wrote:

It does, yes. But does it read correctly for a pause to be there? "According to the geographic coordinates, the closest... starport facility is approximately five hundred stade distance away." If he's supposed to be interrupting himself in his dialogue, shouldn't there be a reason? Nothing seems to be causing him to pause as they're just walking out of the ship. I believe it would read better if the whole sentence were together.


Perhaps he's checking from memory. Most people pause when they do that. He could also be implying with the pause that he's not 'sure' that it's a starport. When you're not sure what something is, but you have to name it anyway, do you pause?

*Spoilers* again

MindChimera wrote:

That's great and all, but that point doesn't really matter to me since I can see neither your previous work nor your fan mail, so I'm not able to make comparisons between that and your current comic. All I have is your testimony. I'm not calling you a liar, just the point doesn't really matter to me.


If it didn't matter, you wouldn't have brought it up (^^)

You really can't be 'objective' or 'neutral' though you might try, because it's the way you've been taught to believe certain things, assume certain things in your culture and background. We all live in our houses of mirrors; our friends and acquaintances are likely similar in many of the same assumptions because that's who we choose to discuss things with, leading to the illusion that these shared assumptions are more common than they actually. This is worsened when many people don't give their true opinion, holding back, because they don't want to give offence, or are too afraid of the status quo that they deal with.

I was surprised too, at first, at receiving any fan mail for those stories. I actually received enormous amounts for awhile, at least for what I was used to, or prepared for. What those women wrote in those emails caused me to rethink my own assumptions about what others had told me. Since then, when someone has brought up the suggestion that I may put off a female audience with fetishes, oversexed, busty women, or BDSM, or whatever.... I've known that's simply not as true as the other person assumes. I don't write about demons raping women, yet I've been requested to do so, by women. Not my thing, but it was theirs. People pretend one face in public, fit into the paradigm that they're told that they must fit, act as if they think a certain way, and in private are entirely different people. I've written in a huge range of genres, and that's what I've learnt repeatedly, been told repeatedly, by the people who sent emails or commented in private about my stories. The feminism, the current version of political correctness in the Western nations, is no more true of what most people really think than the image of Victorian prudishness that is so often mentioned. This is why all those fetishes thrive. The majority feign agreement with whatever the politically correct view of their time is, whatever the culture of their country, but in their hearts most either rebel or want to. You get told this, and probably continually ignore the evidence, until one day it starts to sink in, or someone comes out and tells you in a way that shocks you. Then you realise how stupid it was to believe that people really would be any other way.

MindChimera wrote:

You may certainly have female fans, but it looks to me like your audience may be more male-oriented. But that's just a guess, I could certainly be wrong, and I'm sure neither of us will lose sleep over what I think on that.


I'm sure at first there will be more regular male readers simply because of what the story appears to be, the promise of sex and violence that eventually must occur. It's an adult webcomic, not for children. But I won't be surprised at all when the number of female fans climbs to equal or even exceed the number of male readers. I expect that, just from experience with what happened with my written stories. It's difficult to give a brief explanation why, but I do have a sense about it. I've seen it happen before. Many times.

MindChimera wrote:

I agree, but page 5 is what particularly catches my attention on this subject. It's not just that what she says is difficult to understand, it's that it's also intentionally erotic. The erotic dialogue is very one-sided as well; Kenrick hasn't said anything of the sort, but everything Mayu says is.


Yes it is intentionally erotic on my part for writing, but not necessarily so for that character. Which should be clear from what Kenrick replies; Mayu is not intentionally being erotic with double-meanings or mispronunciations. Kenrick just doesn't bother to correct her or is past noticing. I wouldn't say she's comedy relief though, since both characters will show comedic elements depending on the situation. Comedy isn't the focus, but even in horror, or a detective story, or what have you, comedy should sometimes be there. Star Wars and Star Trek are both serious overall, yet comedy still showed up. Forbidden Planet was another film that I really like, there's some innuendo there too. I love many of those old 1950s films.

Just a couple of real world examples that I've seen of something very similar which I based the concept of Mayu's speech pattern on;

An Australian man who learnt all of his Japanese from women, female teachers only, girlfriends perhaps. He had no idea that despite his impressive vocabulary and general fluency, that he sounded like a male homosexual carrying on with a fake feminine voice. Nobody would tell him, either. It would've embarrassed him if he knew.

Three Japanese women that I personally knew who learnt most of their English from foreign boyfriends. The result shouldn't be unexpected, but it certainly surprised people at a party that I went to with two of them. Most of what they said in English came out with the same sexy sound, mixed with innuendo, double-meanings, that one associates with the bedroom. This wasn't their intention at all. One of those women also wrote hilarious poetry in English that was funny because of the same double-meanings.

It must happen a lot. I've been told that foreigners in Japan call this problem “Bedroom English”. I doubt that it's unique to Japan.

It isn't all erotic what Mayu says anyway. I doubt more than a quarter of what she says could be taken that way. A lot of it is Mondegreen and Malaproper

MindChimera wrote:

I don't think that good looking-people or large-breasted women are all stupid.


No, you don't intend to be seen as thinking that way. I was only pointing out that it's the logical flipside of your opinion that a large breasted woman detracts from the seriousness of a story, or gives the impression of being stupid. You didn't think about it, but it's the logical mirror result of that comment of yours. You didn't even realise that's how it could be taken until I pointed it out. We are all victims of the mainstream media in our different countries, but the media portrayals of stereotypes aren't same everywhere.

MindChimera wrote:

But I do think that people of any gender who only talk about sex generally are.


Thankfully she talked about weaponry, energy signatures being tracked and discovered, the need for avoiding the use of their more advanced equipment, and her opinion that Kenrick's choice of disguise wasn't good. We know this from Kenrick's replies to Mayu.

But honestly, I know many people who talk a great deal about sex who aren't stupid at all. I also know some people who think that anyone who has sex on their mind a lot of the time must be stupid. The two kinds don't get along well.

MindChimera wrote:

You're misunderstanding what I'm saying and jumping to conclusions. I said ridiculously large breasts, meaning far outside of the norm. Her breasts go down past her waist, which is not normal (I'm not convinced it's possible, unless we're talking sagging, but we're not).


Oh no, I'm sure I understood you. I was just pointing out that flipside of your comment, that's all. I thought that was fairly clear. My wife's breasts were very large when she was breast-feeding too; larger than her head, definitely. She's not a small woman anyway. She also has a very sharp business sense that I respect. I've personally seen larger still, but I agree it's rare. Even rarer in Japan, yet I've seen that here.

If you do a search on sites that get into that big breast fetish, you'll find plenty of evidence of women as busty as the character. Without plastic surgery. I'm not actually really into the over-the-top range, but not against it either. It just fit the character concept, and I figure why not go with it?

MindChimera wrote:

I have met intelligent women with large breasts.


I'm sure you have. But you do understand that the assumption that large breasted, sexy dressed, sexy acting, must be somehow dumb, silly, comedic, or otherwise detract from the seriousness of a story is a totally cultural view that's not realistic? Ne? That's all I was pointing out there. That flipside of your comment.

MindChimera wrote:

I've also had friends get breast reduction surgery because of the pain caused to their spine. In my experience with people I've known, large breasts lead to health problems.


I've actually never met anyone who a breast reduction due to the problems you mentioned, although I've heard of women in some places doing that. I've met a lot more women who had bad bra choices, poor posture, other health issues that were exacerbated by larger breasts but they didn't blame their breasts as the sole cause of their problems. I've also met women with large breasts who never had problems with them at all. After it was publicised in Japan about the problems that metal wired, overly supporting, firm, inflexible, bras caused, my wife changed her style and started to massage them more often. She also changed the style of bra to ensure that the fluids could move more, detoxify, etc.... How much is lifestyle? How much is due to diet? I've been told that breast cancer rates in Japan are extremely low due to differences in diet. Perhaps these lifestyle, fashion, and diet choices are more influential on health problems than many people realise. There are a lot of major health issues with breast reductions and mastectomies as well. So, how much of the blame is as deserved as it's portrayed? Or is it like the medical fashion that came and went for appendix removals. They were being blamed for all manner of ills, then the fad faded. While the fad was commonly believed, people were adamant that the appendix had to be removed, resulting in the vast majority of operations being unnecessary – yet people really DID believe that the appendix served no useful purpose, was too much trouble, etc.... so just get rid of it anyway. It's not the appendix never has problems, or that large breasts never lead to some difficulties, but fads due tend to come and go further exaggerating a problem in people's minds - including well educated doctors who should know better.

MindChimera wrote:

I'm sorry that I caused a misunderstanding, but my opinion is not that large-breasted women are unintelligent.


I was pointing out the flipside of what you said, that's all. You just gave an opinion that was easily shown to be offensive in the background assumptions that it was built upon. You couldn't help it. Hollywood films repeatedly present the image of the big breasted shapely blonde as an idiot of some kind. You know it's not true, yet you supported the stereotype with the comment that large breasts detracted from the seriousness of the story. It's not intentional of you to say that large breasted women are dumb or silly, but that's what the flipside of what you said comes down to. It's a cultural view spread in the western media since the 1960s. It wasn't common in the late 1930s to 1950s. During the 1920s, the flapper thin look was 'in', and the perception was that busty girls weren't stylish came with it. These fads come and go.

MindChimera wrote:
It's more of that combined with her pencil-thin waist that likely couldn't support her water balloons


You've seen what corsets and bustiers look like in Victorian times, and again during the 1940s-1950s? Extremely narrow waists, exaggerations of the bust, hips, backside. Now imagine what could be done with Science! It's fashion, and few people in a different era ever believe that the fashion of another era was right. Double, triple that, sense of dissonance when it's an entirely different cultural lens that someone is looking through.

Besides, it's not as if a comic has to have exactly perfect anatomically statistically common proportions for all characters. The most fun & interesting characters are all extremes of a body shape; it makes them more recognisable.

MindChimera wrote:
She's very stereotypical as an idealized woman among the types of men who think women are an inferior gender.


Just because a guy likes a different kind of beauty than you doesn't make them any more prone to seeing others as inferior or not. I suspect that many men who just happen to like idealized shapely women would see that attitude as rather insulting to them. There are guys who like boyish women, leggy women, busty women, and it changes all the time. The ideal of the 1920s was the skinny woman with no visible breasts at all, and straight lines. It keeps changing. Even the assumption as to what certain 'types' of men are going to like is just as stereotypical and offensive to many men. I see people in western nations point to Japan and call it a patriarchy, revealing that they haven't a clue how our society here operates. I know people who think that BDSM fans see women as inferior, again without a clue.

The idea that men who like busty blondes must see them as 'inferior' isn't even slightly realistic in spite of the prevalence of that myth spread among certain people. If anything, I think she's more stereotypical the ideal of the lover of the blondes in bikinis, who don't necessarily believe a cute beach-girl is inferior to men at all. You don't chase the inferior and try to impress them.

MindChimera wrote:

I guess the reason it bothers me is it stands out so much because of the art. It's hard to see any features on either of the characters unless you're right in their face, so the breasts become a defining factor of who she is.


And you didn't notice Kenrick's muscles, jagged toothy mouth, and those sort of things that are just as big? (^^)

Anyway, I'm still getting better with the faces, especially tough is the woman's. So, that particular issue will fade with time.

MindChimera wrote:

In the end, if this is the story you want to tell, go ahead. I can certainly be wrong and you will have a better idea of who you audience is than I will.


There's a lot to come considering it's less than a dozen pages done so far. I actually don't know for sure who the audience is, but I've been trying to analyse from the feedback that I've received, the nationality, time zones, etc.... I've made nice charts, and still haven't worked it out to my satisfaction.

MindChimera wrote:

I see what's going on, you have two sites - one you linked in your thread and another one in your forum profile. The link you posted was at the top of your post, so once I'd read through the post, I was closer to the bottom and clicked on the profile link instead. Razz


Ah. OK.

I'd forgotten about that profile link.

MindChimera wrote:

The links on your site at thecomicseries.com are light grey on white, and the CSS has this bit of code in it:
Code:
a:hover {
color: #000000;
cursor: crosshair;
}


I'm not responsible for that one. Came with the default template that I picked, I only changed some of the colours. Thank you for pointing it out; I'll edit it.

MindChimera wrote:

Your design on comicdish.com looks much better.


The Comic Dish pages were easier to be flexible with, and the original template (Spacey) was nicer to begin with. I'm a lot happier with the result there too.

MindChimera wrote:

Yeah, art kind of goes in the same box, but I tend to give writing a bit more time; I typically won't judge the writing until I can see at least a full chapter/segment. I'm not looking to just judge dialogue, I want to see the opening, pacing, and closing of a section in the story. Since you're only in by a few pages, I can't really give you fair feedback.


That should be interesting when the time comes. Writing is a more interesting subject to me as well, which is partly why my art skills aren't at the place I wish that they were.

MindChimera wrote:

Besides, you didn't exactly ask for a critique, you just presented your website and asked people to look at it. Wink I'm always afraid I'll be overstepping my boundaries and hurt somebody's feelings when I critique them, but I think it's better than just letting the thread sit with no replies. And I seem to be well received so far, or at least people are doing a good job of hiding it. So I guess I haven't pissed anyone off (yet?).


You're polite. That's always good.

I've seen people who mistake insults, snarky rudeness, more insults, derogatory accusations, and persistent harassments as the 'way' to give critique. You're a long way from that kind of behaviour, so the response is respect.

MindChimera wrote:

I agree that you shouldn't worry about redoing old stuff. Learn from mistakes, decide what you like and don't like, and move on. Smile My intention of giving a critique is not to make you go rework all your old pages, but to help you decide what you think needs to be changed and what you think I'm completely wrong on. Razz I try to be helpful in giving my thoughts on the comic since sometimes you need an extra pair of eyes to catch things (like the legs/background thing you said you hadn't noticed) and sometimes the person gives you opinions you could do without.

Overall, always enjoy what you do, and don't follow anything I've said if it makes you unhappy with your project.


Extra pair of eyes is always useful. I'm kicking myself over missing the legs issue. Like “How??”, yet it happens. We sometimes 'see' what we intended and planned to be there, instead of what's actually there.

Anyway, thank you very much. Some of what you've said is very useful, and I've taken notes on what to fix.
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