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AskMeAboutOrcs
Alley Oooooooop


Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 990
Location: TWCL intern

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the deal with the guest account anyway? If you're too lazy to create a user, then what could your post possibly account for?

*rimshot*



(actually, a lot of fun can be had with the guest account)
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martytanenger



Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 109
Location: USofA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sign me up for level 2, please Smile
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jdalton
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Joined: 01 Jun 2005
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Location: 1 hr east of Vancouver (currently)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tbowl wrote:
You need a 4th level. Your comic is bad and you should feel bad.

No way dude. That's not my style. Level four would have to be something like "Eisner award winning land," and for that you'll have to talk to the Eisner award people, not me.
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Jonathon Dalton

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jdalton
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thestripedone wrote:
...And, please, don't hold back. I'm a big fan of "harsh critiquing". Laughing

Mmmkay, don't say I didn't warn you. Razz

No, seriously though, I think Marson's Story can take a bit of critique because I can see the framework of some pretty good talent here. But I think you might still be a long way from print.

Let's start with the art. Your drafting skills aren't bad, by webcomic standards, but they still need some work. You are at the stage, I think, where what you really need is a whole lot of time sitting in a life drawing class/session/whatever sketching nekked people to hone the sense you already have of the human form and how it moves. In webcomicland your skills pass muster, but the gatekeepers of printland will expect you to do a lot more work.

Your colouring could use some work too. Right now you've got about three or four different techniques competing for attention and they're not playing nicely together- you've got the airbrushy stuff, the textured surfaces (which I think might have some potential), the flat colour fills, and a sort of smeary brush in a few places. The problem with digital colouring stems from its greatest advantage- that you can do anything. Try limiting yourself to fewer brushes, and more unique brushes, and the results might look more polished. Another thing you want to consider is balancing light and dark. Though I see some improvement in that regard by the time we get to the pub scene. Right now your panels are reading as very flat, not because you don't have enough light and shadow, but because you have too much. Look through some photos or other pieces of art, Dutch or Neoclassical paintings are good for this, black+white films are too, and you will see that light is used not just to define shapes but also to draw the eye. When you light your scenes you need to be thinking about how to show the viewer which objects are important, which sit in front of other objects, and what we ought to be looking at first.

My main art suggestion, however, has nothing to do with drafting skill or colour and everything to do with composition. I see you've started putting white gutters between your panels. That's good, keep that up. I'm not sure what process you're using to plan out your panels before you draw them, but more emphasis needs to be put here. This is the secret language of comics and the aspect, I think, most blocking your way right now. Each panel needs to be treated like its own work of art. Everything matters- the size and shape of the panel, the zoom-level, whether or not we can see the background, the camera angle, the cropping, where the text will go, how the reader's eye is meant to track through it, etc. Every time you compose a panel, make a point to think about these things and make choices based on what will work best. Don't just (for example) draw all the heads the same size during a conversation because that's the size you started with in the first panel. And don't sweat it if this doesn't make any sense right now. This is the kind of thing that only comes with training you eye to see all elements of composition. When I first started posting comics on the internet someone gave me very similar advice to this, and it's taken me years to have the confidence to be able to say "I've got that sorted now." For the most part, at any rate.

Next, writing. I'm not sure whether you're the writer or the artist, so I'm going to assume I'm using the collective "you."

It's a little hard to judge a story with only 20+ pages. This is especially relevant in webcomicland where story comics are rarely ever successful until they have a large archive. In time your footprint on the web will only improve as your archive grows- assuming you can keep up regular updates and promote yourself effectively. I was a bit confused by the prologue but this may not be a bad thing if the subsequent chapters go on to fill in all the gaps later. Only time will tell.

So instead I'm going to confine my comments to the dialogue, which I think could also use some work (both by web and print standards, which are probably more similar for writing than for art). The dialogue could use some work. The prologue, especially, seemed to have two competing voices overlapping each other. There's the modern, colloquial, idiom-laden manner of speech, and the pseudo-medieval, precise manner of speech, and they seem to mix together in unusual ways. I'd say pick one speech pattern and stick to it- either the timeless Lord of the Rings style for its ability to make everything sound Epic, or the casual modern style for its ability to ground your characters in reality. Not both. You might be able to get away with using these different voices for different characters, but mixed phrases like "Silence, slut!" just don't work for me.

Okay that's a lot to chew over, I know. But I don't think any of these things are out of your grasp, and if print (or at least print-quality) is your ultimate goal, I think they are all things that you will have to confront sooner or later. Might as well start with some of them now, huh? The best way to address all of these issues is to keep them all in the back of your mind... while you draw dozens and dozens of pages of comics. Wink
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thestripedone
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Joined: 12 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was an excellent critique, thanks!

I'm actually the writer, and I'll definitely go over the dialogue more with "voice" in mind. I think that's one of my weaknesses in general, really.

Some of the layout issues might be my fault, too, since I write in "panels" with a description at the beginning of each. I'll probably change to just putting the dialogue, and letting the artist (my wife) do whatever she wants with them. I'll share your comments on brush/colour/lighting stuff with her, as well.

Thanks again!
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thestripedone
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I just want you to know that I'm blaming you entirely for the fact that I have the opening song to Cats stuck in my head now.
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thestripedone
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like the guest account broke this again, so I'll pop it back into view.
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mirz



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 524
Location: Near Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I don't know if this will ever start up again, but given some other stuff going on with our lives/strip, I'd like to withdraw my comic from the list to be reviewed.

Thanks!
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Dutch
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, sorry Mirz. I think I killed this thread too.

I think this is 'review thread' number four that has ended just as mine was next in line. Very Happy
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mirz



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dutch wrote:
Nah, sorry Mirz. I think I killed this thread too.

I think this is 'review thread' number four that has ended just as mine was next in line. Very Happy


That's because you are just too darn awesome with your 700+ archive. Wink And I'm not simply teasing, I truly think it's amazing that you strip has such a great history, even if it does scare many people off.

Hey, I PMed you a while back and haven't heard back. Did you get it? Are you avoiding me? Things are moving quickly over at FWC now and I'd like to touch base with you. Is email better?
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Dutch
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I got the PM. About the possible cover art. You already got some from other people, didn't you? I assumed that meant anything I did wasn't required, so I pulled back.

You also said something about sending me another one later on, so I was just sitting back waiting for that! Smile
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mirz



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dutch wrote:
Yeah, I got the PM. About the possible cover art. You already got some from other people, didn't you? I assumed that meant anything I did wasn't required, so I pulled back.


Aww... I was just curious/hopeful about what you would have come up with. But, I understand.

And, yes, another PM is in the works.
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Dutch
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, forgive me. But I've been a little... preoccupied... with losing houses and stuff lately to do much drawing Smile

Actually... noticed a story on the front page of here... some webcomic artist of sorts had an apartment fire and people were getting all concerned and sending her money.

I found that ironically funny in a dark humoured sort of way! Very Happy
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ttallan
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wha...? Dutch, are you saying you're a victim of the bushfires? Shocked

There is a strong precedent of comic creators helping each other out in times of crisis, because many of us are self-employed and have none of the benefits that employers often provide, or just can't afford things like insurance. For example, Lea Hernandez and her family lost their home to a fire a year or so ago-- and with it, countless pieces of art and her studio, her means of making a living-- and many fans and fellow creators pitched in. She didn't ask for it; people rallied to help her.

If you have lost your home, I am very, very sorry to hear it. Sad I would never suggest that you ask for money, but I will say that comics community (extending beyond the TWCL) can be surprisingly supportive. Smile
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AskMeAboutOrcs
Alley Oooooooop


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guest account again? :-/
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