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College Woe: Totally Uneducational College Chaos!

 
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manuverse



Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:36 am    Post subject: College Woe: Totally Uneducational College Chaos! Reply with quote

College Woe is a full color romantic comedy web manga i've been writing since September. Its about three childhood friends who are beginning their first year at Nekotopia Private College (A completely fictional college) in Kyoto, Japan. There they experience some quirky misadventures, meet new classmates and companions, and learn the true meaning of love and friendship!

If you like Chugworth Academy or Megatokyo, or you're a fan of romantic comedies you'll definately want to check out College Woe!

Returning to it a regular monday, wednesday, friday update schedule monday!

Created by: C Bellefontaine
Sound FX and Assistant Inker: Evan Dagg

Website: http://collegewoe.freehostia.com
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For some totally uneducational college chaos read college woe @ http://collegewoe.freehostia.com


Last edited by manuverse on Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Traitorfish
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Joined: 09 Oct 2005
Posts: 1942
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't if I can criticize this- there's very little here that's actually yours. it's a generic college manga rom-com, in which almost all the characters belonging to a culture which you do not belong to yourself, and are making an informed portrayal of. For God's sake, one of the girls is called Tsunami. It's like you're just picking names out of a hat.
The characters, art and writing are all clichéd and unoriginal, and there's really nothing that makes this stand out from the three thousand other such comics.

I know I sounded like an asshole there, and I apologise, but there's really nothing to be said for a comic which is as generic as this.
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manuverse



Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traitorfish wrote:
I don't if I can criticize this- there's very little here that's actually yours. it's a generic college manga rom-com, in which almost all the characters belonging to a culture which you do not belong to yourself, and are making an informed portrayal of. For God's sake, one of the girls is called Tsunami. It's like you're just picking names out of a hat.
The characters, art and writing are all clichéd and unoriginal, and there's really nothing that makes this stand out from the three thousand other such comics.

I know I sounded like an asshole there, and I apologise, but there's really nothing to be said for a comic which is as generic as this.


Well thats your opinion, even though its not helpful or constructive at all. Next time you should learn to be less of a jerk to people who are new to writing comics.
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Sean C



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, there's a lot more to Traitorfish's post than you know. He's said quite a lot:

Art - Not necessarily an original style. There's nothing wrong with going with a manga style, but you're following some established characteristics and stereotypes of the style, and because of this, it appears derivative and cliched. Experiment more with how you draw your characters. By developing a more personal, unique style, you not only infuse your art with more personality, you might find you have even more fun doing it. Other than that, same old, same old - keep practicing anatomy since it's the foundation of good cartooning.

Setting - Japan - Nothing new there, as many people have tried to set their comic there. The problem arises that most Westerners who do this have no realistic idea about the Japanese culture, and write according to preconcieved notions usually gained through reading other comics by people with preconcieved notions about Japan. I would really advise to write what you know, or at least do some extensive research into how things really work there.

Names - I've got nothing against going with unique names like Tsunami, but again, a lot of the Japanese names people pick for their characters are...well, just re-read the setting part.

You should try to do more to differentiate yourself from the thousands (Traitor wasn't kidding about that number.) of other comics like this one. But, hey, you're new, and your first comic is usually a learning experience. Don't do your comic according to what you've seen or what other people do; do your own thing and make it original enough to stand out.

Don't bash negative critisism - I pulled all that out of Traitor's post. Sometimes, the proverbial brick-to-the-head can be the most helpful kind of advice, and can serve as a wake-up call. In some cases, it's the only true useful advice you'll get; one of the first things a cartoonist needs to learn is to not rely on the advice of family and friends, as they'll support you regardless. Take the good with that bad and learn from it.
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manuverse



Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sean C wrote:
Actually, there's a lot more to Traitorfish's post than you know. He's said quite a lot:

Art - Not necessarily an original style. There's nothing wrong with going with a manga style, but you're following some established characteristics and stereotypes of the style, and because of this, it appears derivative and cliched. Experiment more with how you draw your characters. By developing a more personal, unique style, you not only infuse your art with more personality, you might find you have even more fun doing it. Other than that, same old, same old - keep practicing anatomy since it's the foundation of good cartooning.

Setting - Japan - Nothing new there, as many people have tried to set their comic there. The problem arises that most Westerners who do this have no realistic idea about the Japanese culture, and write according to preconcieved notions usually gained through reading other comics by people with preconcieved notions about Japan. I would really advise to write what you know, or at least do some extensive research into how things really work there.

Names - I've got nothing against going with unique names like Tsunami, but again, a lot of the Japanese names people pick for their characters are...well, just re-read the setting part.

You should try to do more to differentiate yourself from the thousands (Traitor wasn't kidding about that number.) of other comics like this one. But, hey, you're new, and your first comic is usually a learning experience. Don't do your comic according to what you've seen or what other people do; do your own thing and make it original enough to stand out.

Don't bash negative critisism - I pulled all that out of Traitor's post. Sometimes, the proverbial brick-to-the-head can be the most helpful kind of advice, and can serve as a wake-up call. In some cases, it's the only true useful advice you'll get; one of the first things a cartoonist needs to learn is to not rely on the advice of family and friends, as they'll support you regardless. Take the good with that bad and learn from it.


Thank you! I'm glad you actually are giving me advice instead of saying whats bad about it. Afterall one cannot improve as easily if they are not given advice! That is why i got ticked off at Traitorfish. I don't like criticism unless its constructive.

Anyhoo, I do agree with you on the whole art style thing. Its just i happen to be an avid fan of manga, and so are my existing fans on deviantart. i have been experimenting on improving my anime style as you can see in some of the newer pages of the comic. I also intend to go back and revamp older installments of the comic, once i have the time.

As for setting and names, i actually researched them both... ffor about a year after initial got the idea for the comic actually. Some of the characters, like Kumiko (companion child), Yamiko (Dark Child) and Aneko (older sister) are named because i thought their meaning fit. Other names like Tsunami's actually have story purpose. Others like Shado are named because they sound like other words (Shadow) and because they have meaning to me (Shado is what my name would be in japanese). Also, some of my characters are either Canadian, American or Half Japanese (Yamiko, Lina, Chadder and Evan) so they will actually have some western characteristics to them (Eg: Yamiko is obsessed with western rock legends). I researched my Japanese culture quite well i believe, but i wanted to throw in some local canadian and american culture too since some of the characters are westerners aswell. (I'm Canadian, by the way, which is why i talk about them so much).

I am trying my best to make my comic unique believe me... thats why i threw in some characters i have NEVER seen in anime or manga... like an emo kid, and a hippy chick. (I have other breaks from the norm planned too but i cannot reveal them since they are spoilers) I do admit i have to work on making my story break away from the comman webcomic cliches... and that is why i'm currently breaking the comman cliche that comics with completely quirky gags can't follow a story that becomes dead serious from time to time... Afterall, i wrote a story, not a collection of gags, right? Rolling Eyes In fact when i'm not putting time into drawing and coloring my comics or promoting it (or at college experiencing the very events that i sometimes become gags or storyarcs in my work), i'm brainstorming new directions to take it... mainly because this is my passion and i do desire to become a professional comic book author when i finish college in a couple of years.

Anyhoo, I'm glad you actually gave me constructive criticism... It definately helps and i really do apreciate it. I am on the same wave length as you and, while i have done the research, i will definately work on make it stand out from the other 1000 college comedies out there.
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Traitorfish
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Joined: 09 Oct 2005
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Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manuverse wrote:
Well thats your opinion, even though its not helpful or constructive at all. Next time you should learn to be less of a jerk to people who are new to writing comics.

Well, I'm afraid that's my point- there is very little that can be done for this strip. It is, at it's heart, very generic, and there is little hope of making it stand out. Improvement is possible, of course, but your basic premise is far to limiting and over-used to make this into something significant.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't make a comic- to be fair, you're work so far is better than most such strips- but you'd need to revise your basic premise. I've nothing against manga, Japan or college strips, but you have to try and take a more unique approach.
It doesn't need to be a huge leap, either. Take CONvicts, for example. At a very basic level, it's fairly run of the mill- it's a manga-esque comic about two nerds and is full of pop and geek culture references. But the situation they are in, trapped in a huge, never-ending convention, is original, and so, properly executed, makes for a very good comic. A single good idea like that can serve to set your comic apart from the herd.
Basically, I'm saying that this isn't really your comic, which I think is a shame- webcomics are the perfect place to do something interesting, original and unique, so to limit yourself by sticking to such a used premise is really limiting your potential as a comic creator. This may sound unpleasant, but, basically, my recommendation is that you start over with a new idea.
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JohnK



Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 463
Location: Glendale, California

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manuverse wrote:

i have been experimenting on improving my anime style as you can see in some of the newer pages of the comic. I also intend to go back and revamp older installments of the comic, once i have the time.


If there is one piece of advice I can give it's always move forward. Tobias(the artist) wanted to do the same for Coffee Time. It's just a bad idea. The old stuff has served its purpose and redoing it is a monumental waste of time. What you have in store for the future is more important.

Plus, the cronicle of crappy art to greatness is always cool to see.
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GlenGoldentree



Joined: 02 May 2006
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Location: Boise, ID USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. I love looking at comics and seeing how far they have come from the beginning. Most of your audience isn't going to re-read your old material just ebcause you re-did the art anyway, and new readers will judge you by your current quality first, and then read your archives if they like what they see. Either way, your time will be better served creating new stuff than rehashing your old material.

I can't really comment on your comic because I am biased against manga. Smile

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manuverse



Joined: 28 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traitorfish wrote:
manuverse wrote:
Well thats your opinion, even though its not helpful or constructive at all. Next time you should learn to be less of a jerk to people who are new to writing comics.

Well, I'm afraid that's my point- there is very little that can be done for this strip. It is, at it's heart, very generic, and there is little hope of making it stand out. Improvement is possible, of course, but your basic premise is far to limiting and over-used to make this into something significant.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't make a comic- to be fair, you're work so far is better than most such strips- but you'd need to revise your basic premise. I've nothing against manga, Japan or college strips, but you have to try and take a more unique approach.
It doesn't need to be a huge leap, either. Take CONvicts, for example. At a very basic level, it's fairly run of the mill- it's a manga-esque comic about two nerds and is full of pop and geek culture references. But the situation they are in, trapped in a huge, never-ending convention, is original, and so, properly executed, makes for a very good comic. A single good idea like that can serve to set your comic apart from the herd.
Basically, I'm saying that this isn't really your comic, which I think is a shame- webcomics are the perfect place to do something interesting, original and unique, so to limit yourself by sticking to such a used premise is really limiting your potential as a comic creator. This may sound unpleasant, but, basically, my recommendation is that you start over with a new idea.


Your comments are confusing me, because i do break away from comman cliches... While the perverted idiotic main character is somewhat cliche i made all the other characters unique in one way or another (usually in many ways actually). Infact a romantic emo kid with an S&M complex, a hippy chick, a clumsy niave wannabe cook (terrible cook. yes. clumsy cook. no) and a badass, potty mouthed, swordfighting, rulebreaking, sex crazed, drug craving, western rock obsessed punk girl who happens to like adorable little kittens are fairly original for manga (and probably comics in general)(i've read/watched over 500 manga/anime so i know what has been used and what hasn't). Another big thing in this comic is that contriversial topics such as drugs, alcohal and sexuality play a major role in both the story and the humor. I also have other twists in the story and in the characters, but to reveal them would be spoilers.

Also this IS my comic. Most of the characters (except Shado, Tsunami and Evan) share personality traits of my own... and most of the gags and events (except the serious or romantic sequences) are based upon experiences i had in college/highschool/life. So please don't start about the content not being mine.

My comic is only in its beginnings. I spent over a year researching Japanese culture, designing unique characters and writing a plot that would be different from every other comic in its same genre. The story is just beginning to pick up and the characters are just beginning to develop. I do promise you that the comic will be unique and will stand out from the others of it's genre. However, I refuse to be discouraged or to scrap this concept, just because one person out of my already high number of readers says it is cliche and generic, based upon its genre, style, and setting.

I'm glad you think that my comic is one of the better ones in its genre though! Smile
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Traitorfish
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Joined: 09 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manuverse wrote:

Your comments are confusing me, because i do break away from comman cliches...

Non-clichéd and original are by no means the same thing. And that assumes that your comic isn't clichéd, which I feel it is.

Quote:

While the perverted idiotic main character is somewhat cliche i made all the other characters unique in one way or another (usually in many ways actually). Infact a romantic emo kid with an S&M complex, a hippy chick, a clumsy niave wannabe cook (terrible cook. yes. clumsy cook. no) and a badass, potty mouthed, swordfighting, rulebreaking, sex crazed, drug craving, western rock obsessed punk girl who happens to like adorable little kittens are fairly original for manga (and probably comics in general)(i've read/watched over 500 manga/anime so i know what has been used and what hasn't).

Just because you happen to use a set of stereotypes in a context to which they are ever-so-slightly new doesn't mean you are being original.
Just because you give characters shallow attributes like "S&M complex" doesn't mean they're anything more than clichéd, unoriginal"emo" stereotypes.
If you can break out of the shell you've built for yourself, I'm not just talking about "manga" here. Making a "manga", an ambiguous term if there ever was one, doesn't give you free reign to use clichés and stereotypes just because they haven't been drawn that way before.
And, on top of all that, so what? A few semi-original characters do not make an original comic. The art style, the plot amd the main characters are nothing that hasn't been seen before. At it's heart, this comic shows very few signs of original thought.

Quote:

Another big thing in this comic is that contriversial topics such as drugs, alcohal and sexuality play a major role in both the story and the humor. I also have other twists in the story and in the characters, but to reveal them would be spoilers.

Err... I really don't know how to explain how out-dated your world view is sounding right now.
Drugs, alcohol and sexuality are no longer inherently controversial issues. If you treat them in a certain way, they may be seen as such "But I'm gay and I drink and also here are some drugs" is no longer guaranteed to make your work cutting edge.
Besides, since when was that unoriginal? Sex, drugs and alcy-hol have been a subject of art for centuries, particularly the last 40 years. Music, literature, movies, art, even comics. Nothing new there.

Quote:

Also this IS my comic. Most of the characters (except Shado, Tsunami and Evan) share personality traits of my own... and most of the gags and events (except the serious or romantic sequences) are based upon experiences i had in college/highschool/life. So please don't start about the content not being mine.

So why is it still a clichéd college rom-com manga? I'm not accusing you of stealing content from elsewhere, in fact, the very opposite- I'm saying that the very premise of the comic is, fundamentally, very generic, and, no matter how much original content is layered on top of that, it will still be very generic.

Quote:

My comic is only in its beginnings. I spent over a year researching Japanese culture, designing unique characters and writing a plot that would be different from every other comic in its same genre. The story is just beginning to pick up and the characters are just beginning to develop. I do promise you that the comic will be unique and will stand out from the others of it's genre. However, I refuse to be discouraged or to scrap this concept, just because one person out of my already high number of readers says it is cliche and generic, based upon its genre, style, and setting.

Well, I'd like to think so, but past experience has, as you may have guessed, left me cynical, bitter and generally pessimistic. Who knows, you could well do something original with this, but I fear that your basic premise is just to limiting to make this, at it's core, much more than another version of the same stuff we've seen again and again. Genre style and setting are important, especially when you have picked such limiting ones- a science fiction story, even one which starts generically, has a huge scope for advancement. A college rom-com, by comparison, does not. Even if the events or are characters are technically distinct, it'll take huge effort to make it truly stand out. Every snowflake is unique, to commandeer a handy image, but they still all look the same.
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