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Mooretoons - Link to my blog and cartoon strips

 
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:37 pm    Post subject: Mooretoons - Link to my blog and cartoon strips Reply with quote

For the past thirty or so years I have been drawing Mooretoons...

To begin with they were little more than a teenage boys rough ink scribblings that were penned as I went, using blue, black or red biros. Numerous panels were crammed together on a single page and the dialogue was hastily written, poorly spelt and hard to read.

Nonetheless it gave me the opportunity to depict the Earth being frequently saved from alien invasion by a certain time-traveller in a blue box and the super-hero Campaign continually battling such notable baddies as Deaf Woman, Captain Sumo and The Sword.

For the next ten years my style developed and stabilised into pretty much what you see today, but with the introduction of a personal computer I was able to hand draw my characters on pre-printed panel layouts, have my text neatly printed inside respectable-looking bubble balloons and introduce colour sound effects. There was even the odd partially coloured story.

As a result the aliens of Beorge were able to plot the adventures of their Earth Timeman to ensure the smooth passage of time, the British Police Service established a covert department designed to thwart and hide any alien incursions, and in the near future a spaceship was launched to establish whether there was a tenth planet at the far edge of our solar system. Oh... and in the far future the Human race fought squidgy tentacled aliens for oxygen-rich planets.

For the last decade however things have got really busy, as although all my characters and props are still hand-drawn, they are now scanned into Paint Shop Pro, cleaned up, coloured and all placed on the computer. As a result a lot of the movement and dynamism of my earlier drawings has been lost and replaced with relatively static chest height up panels. But, in my opinion at least, the quality of my comic images these days are far more consistent and colourful than their predecessors ever knew.

Certainly without the change in technology I would not have been so prodigious in my output, and therefore the ancient Romany Empire would not have unleashed a horde of gibberlings upon the ancient world in "Pax Romany", the World governments created a legion of super-heroes and villains in "Alternate Heroes" and "Heroes Of Godwinson", the saviour of souls defeated numerous risings of the Undead in "Ermin Meonstoke" and the fourth agent of Beorge ultimately sacrificed himself in Nineteenth Century New Zealand in order to save the Earth in "The Rambler".

What in the World am I talking about? Well hopefully you'll click the link to my blog and find out... http://mooretoons.blogspot.co.uk/

Really will be grateful for any feedback (good or bad). Many thanks to those who look Very Happy
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Milknut



Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, you have been perseverant! I hope that I can one day say I have been making cartoons for thirty years!

So I did have a few suggestions:

Do you really need those copyright watermarks on your images? I don't think you are in danger of having your work pilfered! Smile

Beyond that I'd say that you might consider a less cluttered layout. I found it very difficult to understand the dialogue, and this is in large part because you break it up with ellipses over many different balloons. It makes it feel disjointed, and with the complex sentences you are using it makes comprehension very difficult. If you made your panels much larger it would give you room to write the dialogue you want.

Finally, you might consider shifting to a non-blog format, such as the Comicpress plugin for Wordpress. Scrolling vertically and negotiating between walls of text is kind of off-putting to me.

Thanks for sharing your work!
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Milknut,

Hopefully I have at least another thirty years ahead of me. Very Happy

Many thanks for the comments and for the time you've clearly put into them. I must confess the ellipses never occurred to me as an issue as I picked that up as a technique from reading comic books back in my youth and they've never been queried before.

Ideally I wouldn't use them but I do rely on my heavy dialogue to push the story along, almost like an audio at times (as the characters describe something that is happening which my panels don't actually show). As a result I do find I don't have room for as much dialogue as I'd like in a single speech bubble, hence the ellipses. My layout is very static too, with the panels squeezed between a top'n'bottom text bubble.

I suppose in many ways they're more of a written story supported with cartoon pictures than an actual comic strip which predominantly uses the pictures to tell the story.

The panel sizes simply go back to my being able to print six on a single piece of paper, so I don't really have much more room to make them any larger, and that'd effect the composition. I can shrink my drawings but increasing their size makes them look horribly blocky.

Thanks for suggesting Comicpress, I've tried to download it but their website link doesn't seem to be working at the moment. I will keep trying though so I can give it a try as you're quite right my blog is rather clunky. I might change the format and simply post the 6 frames at the start of each blog and then explain the motivation/techniques underneath. I may also then post the full story as one post once its finished, so you can just scroll through it if you don't want to wade through my musings etc,

I liked your website and the fact you're back to drawing after a spell away. I've had similar breaks myself, usually 3-4 months. And then I end up drawing every hour work allows for the next few weeks before I slowly start to wind down again. Smile
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dpat57
Ich bin ein webcomicker


Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 2613
Location: Sunny/wet/windy Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My lasting impression from reading your comic on your blog site is that you're working hard to turn readers off, not pull them in.

I had to zoom in 3 steps with Ctrl-plus before I could read your dialogue comfortably. Maybe that's just the default size the blog site shows the comics at, and you can't adjust this. Consider using a comic display site like http://comicfury.com and http://www.theduckwebcomics.com -- both are free and have plenty of active members. There are other sites out there, those two are just off the top of my head.

Every comic panel has the same format, balloon above and balloon below, making them appear repetitive. And your art appears repetitive too, with the same side profile views, maybe copy/pasted. Repetitive is boring to the eye.

Yes you're aware of the problems with the latest panels, how the "rain" effect is masking everything. This isn't helped by the unnecessary copyright/all rights reserved watermark throughout the panels. I can barely make out your characters in the latest page.

Your backgrounds are kinda psychedelic and it's hard to figure out where the story's taking place or why the backgrounds constantly change.

I'm not tryin' to shoot you down, I'm just saying that with some easy changes your pages could be more appealing, and be presented in a much smarter display venue for a more enjoyable reading experience.

Meh, what do I know, everybody's a critic. Hope it helps, good luck with the comic.
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dpat57,

Seriously many thanks for your feedback. It's one of the reasons I came onto this forum I assure you. Very Happy

I wasn't aware of the issue with the size of the panels. Which is obviously rather crucial to a comic book series. Embarassed They appear very clear on my son's computer/monitor (who acts as my Quality Assurance guy) so I'm not sure what the problem is there. However, having taken you up on your excellent suggestion Ref ComicFury, I have doubled the size of my images and removed the watermark. I'll try and update the pictures on Blogger to these larger panels over the weekend.

I'm afraid with a few exceptions now and then, the format you refer to is the Mooretoons format and over the years its the one which works best for me. I agree that is repetitiveness can be a hindrance but it lets me quickly put together a story over a few weeks hobby time. I really am starting to think the best way to describe my cartoons is that they're a written narrative with some comic drawings sandwiched inbetween Smile And from what you're saying probably its a Bovril style Laughing

I have though already seen a load of alternatives on this forum and I do plan to try and branch out as and when I can. Eliminating ellipses and putting speech bubbles elsewhere within a panel being but two...

I'm redrawing the rain panels. I was never happy with them so they're being changed this weekend if I can.

One of the 'new' things I wanted to do with this story was try out some psychedelic backgrounds, having wanted to try and touch some of the magic the old "Doctor Strange" or "Nick Fury - Agent of SHIELD" seventies comics had. I've clearly not been that successful in your eyes, and I am now starting to think perhaps I should have a posted a less bizarre adventure to begin with.

Anyway, many thanks indeed for your thoughts and time. Much appreciated and perhaps you wouldn't mind visiting http://moorteoons.thecomicseries.com/ in the future to see if you think that's an improvement, or http://mooretoons.blogspot.co.uk/ to see some changes there as well.
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jorgear



Joined: 25 Aug 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting in my thread (mystery and adventure here). Of course I like Tintin comics and it is my main influence. Congrats for your comics. Though you have a different style, your works look great. Continue like this Wink
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgear, many thanks indeed. I'm a little stuck in my ways to do much else but stick with it, but I do want to try and break some of my usual patterns Smile That's an incredible website you have. Thanks
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick update as I've posted the final part of my "Men Of Mystery" adventure "Burning At Baiame Cave" on my blog http://mooretoons.blogspot.co.uk for those who like to read an entire strip at once. Next up is... "Embassy Of The Fist" Smile
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jorgear



Joined: 25 Aug 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to you, Blaxkleric. Keep up the good work. Best regards.
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've started posting my next "Men Of Mystery" adventure "Embassy Of The Fist" on my blog for those who are interested. Link is here: http://mooretoons.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/men-of-mystery-embassy-of-fist-part-one.html

Bit of an attempt to do some martial arts in the Mooretoon style Smile
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback to those on this forum and others. But I thought an actual picture of some of the kung fu action in my latest story might lure even more comments Smile



Thanks for looking
Blaxkleric

http://mooretoons.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/men-of-mystery-embassy-of-fist-part-one.html
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of you that like to wait until a complete adventure is posted, I've just put up the final panels to "Embassy of the Fist", concluding the kung fu battle between Sensei Cheng Fu and Yamamoto.

For those interested. It can be found here: http://mooretoons.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/men-of-mystery-embassy-of-fist-part_8.html

Please let me know on the blog if you want to see anymore Agent Unknown or Cheng Fu cartoons Smile
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a blatant advertisement for the start of both a new series and new story on my blog. I've just put up the first panels to "Gloom of the Glooms", the opening story to my "Custodians of the Cosmos" science fiction serial. This initial adventure sees the Custodians attempting to prevent an alien invasion of the Earth.

http://mooretoons.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/custodians-of-cosmos-gloom-of-glooms.html

Thanks for looking Smile
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Blaxkleric



Joined: 09 Sep 2014
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all. I thought an actual picture of some of the sci-fi action in my latest story might be of interest to some of you and act as a blatant plug for my blog Smile



As ever feedback very welcome. My blog contains additional postings and musings: http://mooretoons.blogspot.co.uk
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