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Kerao

 
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Kail



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 424

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:50 am    Post subject: Kerao Reply with quote

I've been doing a comic for a while, but I haven't got much criticism of it yet. It's a fairly generic anime style thing, but if anyone's got the time to give me their two cents, I'd be grateful.

Link is here.

A few specific things:

The text: I initially started this comic with the idea that it would look really "floaty," that I'd try to stay away from hard borders around things. So, no word bubbles; instead text is colored to indicate who's talking. Is this too distracting?

The writing: Argh. I suck. The comic is supposed to be a kind of light, fluffy adventure thing (Chrono Trigger was a big influence), but I don't know how well it reads. I'm having trouble balancing the pacing with the story. I only update once a week with a fairly small page, so I don't want to spend much space on establishing shots or anything, or there won't be any plot advancement for an entire week, and I tend to prune "fluff" character scenes fairly harshly. So the comic sometimes feels (to me) like it's moving both too fast and too slow at the same time. Any writing advice anyone can give me?

The page: Does it work on everyone's browser? I was having issues with Explorer early on. I've also had some comments that people don't like the fact that the "Go back one page" button on the browser dumps them back to the index.

Any advice or criticism anyone wants to give would be welcome. Thanks!
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vulpeslibertas
Level 1 threat


Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 2489
Location: Here and there...mostly there. Sometimes kinda in between.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Site layout: The lack of being able to use the back button isn't too bad, but I kept having to scroll up to read the top of the comic. Click, scroll up, scroll down, click scroll up, scroll down...it get's old.

Writing:
The wrtiting doesn't seem natural. It feels a lot like you came up with this story idea for a character being transported to another world, then said "Wait, that's not what I would do...". So you promply ignored yourself. Instead of changing the story, you made the main character blaze about the whole thing. No matter how bland or undesirable someone's life is, nobody is going to take calmly to being transported into another world like that. It would challenge the fundamental beliefs anyone has.

You really should "Write from what you know." It's ok to put a little bit of yourself into every character. If it's not something you would do, or that you've seen someone else do, you really shouldn't write it into your comic. I'm not talking about jumping between worlds, or fighting aliens, or whatever; I mean the way people deal with these things. I've you've never seen someone angry before, you don't have the right to write stories about angry people. On the other hand, if you've seen someone angry before, and you write a story about an angry person, there should be similar elements to how they react.

The main character just feels like they don't care, and aren't really interested in the fact that they got transported to an alien world. That does merit the same reaction you would have, "!!!". It's ok to devote a page or two (depending on the pacing) to the person mentally dealing with this. The main character doesn't need to be constantly whining "What am I doing here?", but at some point he needs to stop and take a moment to evaluate the change of events, deciding if he's going to accept them, or fight them, or not care about them.

Also, there are parts where the comic reads a little like a collectible card game description. "This radio headset is also doubles as a psyonic-ultra-blaster that deals 8 damage to any Dark creature" People don't usually talk like that in real life. You also don't have to describe every detail to the audience. The audience can pick things up indirectly. They also don't need specific details. Try showing your audience how things work, instead of giving them technical specifications. Another way to give the same infor mation above is:
(Character removes radio headset from head),
(Character pushes button),
(radio headset turns into glowing thing)
(Character hands glowing thing to other Character)
Character: "Use this psyonic-ultra-blaster in battle, it is most effective against Dark creatures."
This example use much more natural launguage and doesn't recite a list of technical jargon. It does convey the same message: This is a weapon, it's name, what it's used for.

Hope this helps, take it with a grain of salt, and have fun.
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Kail



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 424

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vulpeslibertas wrote:

The main character just feels like they don't care


Aha, thanks. This is just the kind of thing I was looking for. In the original outline, there were a bunch of scenes where he sat around angsting, but when I was looking for fluff to cut, they were the first thing I axed. Perhaps I went a bit overboard. I should have a chance to add some more of that stuff a bit further down; would it be worth it at that point, or should I try and re-work some of the older dialogue?

With regards to the exposition, yeah, it was pretty corny. I really wanted to plow through it quickly. Hopefully, it should be more or less over now, though, so I think I'll leave it alone.

Regarding the layout, thanks for the input. I should be able to set it up so that it automatically pops the window back up to the top of the page.

Thanks a lot for the help!
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vulpeslibertas
Level 1 threat


Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 2489
Location: Here and there...mostly there. Sometimes kinda in between.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kail wrote:
should I try and re-work some of the older dialogue?

That's up to you. Most fans generally despise re-working of their favorites. So it depends on how bad you think it is, versus how hard-core your fan base is.

It also depends on how seemlessly you can edit your comic. If it's going to be an obvious edit, I wouldn't do it. The general rule for acting/scripting/presenting is "if you're wrong, stay wrong". Audiences typically notice corrections more easily than they notice errors.

Me, I would probably change it, because my characterization is the most important aspect of my comic, so the characterization needs to be protected at all costs. For you, you also have strong art skills to trade off of. The world view of your comic also seems to be on the "Wow it's big" mentaility. That's the mentaility that is behind most imported anime and Star Wars where the important thing the audience is supposed to focus on is the world the characters live in.

This is all just me theorizing, ...so, yeah... take it as you will.
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KEZ



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 778
Location: Not anymore!

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd really like to check it out, but none of the archive/navigation buttons work for me Confused I'm having to open the pages one by one on the archives page, and it's annoying enough that I'm gonna stop for the night and check back later. It's bookmarked definitely, if only because the art looks fantastic.
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Traitorfish
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 09 Oct 2005
Posts: 1942
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your art's very good, and, most importantly, not a bog-standard webmanga style. The text's a little tricky, but you get used to it pretty quick, and it does have a kind of "floaty" feel, as you said.
Writing can be a little odd, at times- wotsername instantly understands what a "cook" is, even though no-one there cooks, and she bothers to explain that they're nocturnal, as if it wouldn't be taken for granted. The way she explained magic seemed a little odd, too, and seemed more like a tutorial from a video game. It sort of seemed like the characters were role-playing, or something, and wasn't as natural as it could be (I don't know if any of that makes sense).
Still, very good overall.
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