AuthorTopic: Mini-Comic (Traditional art: constructive criticism appreciated)  (Read 6335 times)

Offline Ashbad

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Re: Mini-Comic (Traditional art: constructive criticism appreciated)

Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 12:28:20 am
It's been suggested to me before, and I'll continue by suggesting it myself: I would highly recommend that you work on your realistic drawing skills by drawing from life, doing studies, etc.  Cartooning is rooted in drawing symbolistic representations of realistic subjects, and with a good understanding of drawing fundamentals and how things would be drawn more realistically, you'll be able to draw more compelling symbolized cartoons.  It's a lot of work, but it's paying off for me -- once I've drawn a few people from life, I've been able to draw much better, more informed cartoon people (as an example), and I'm sure they will look increasingly more informed once I continue with more serious studies.  While this may not apply to your bunny people as much, it definitely is in relation to the backgrounds and settings; if you study how real clouds look and if you practice drawing them realistically, you'll be able to have a much more controlled decision-making process with how your cartoon clouds would look in a scene.  A good starting point would be by reading "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (4th Ed.)", which is a great starting point for such endeavors -- it's a pretty eye-opening book.

As for plot; while you do not need to emulate the deep and entrenched plots of classic literature for such a lighthearted story, you should still make sure your storyline is coherent and is not riddled with gaps of logic.  Large gaps of logic usually amount to a symptom I like to call the "fast-forward" effect, which can be described as when a story feels sped along at a speed too great for the reader to understand enough important details.  If a reader is asking questions pertaining to the storyline that you know the answer to, but the reader cannot understand from the given context, you probably need to slow down the fast-forward effect and give more background of the scenario, which will result in more needed dialogue/frames, but it's well worth the resources to create a more rich tale.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 12:31:23 am by Ashbad »

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Mini-Comic (Traditional art: constructive criticism appreciated)

Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 08:49:55 am
Good points all around Ashbad. Thank you! But do you think you could explain a bit more about how you think the story faulters? It's fine if you don't want to though.

Offline Ashbad

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Re: Mini-Comic (Traditional art: constructive criticism appreciated)

Reply #12 on: December 06, 2012, 02:21:03 am
Good points all around Ashbad. Thank you! But do you think you could explain a bit more about how you think the story faulters? It's fine if you don't want to though.

Gladly! :)

Here are some questions that one asks oneself while reading this:

- Who exactly is the main character (yes, his name is Alabaster and he's a bunny-like creature, but how could he be described on a high-order)?
- Why does he posses the horn?
- Why did he blow it three times?
- Why did he throw it away "as hard as he could" afterwards?
- Why would he throw it as hard as he could?  Did he already suspect there was a curse?  Did he originally blow it knowing that, and decided to do so anyways?
- How did he suddenly end up in an office?
- Why would a horn haunt someone?  When would a horn start haunting someone, after they have blown it, or after they have discarded it?

And most importantly:

- What's the significance of these events?  Why do they matter in the scheme of things?

You could answer these questions and concerns by adding intermediary frames that address them.  For example, since the story is lighthearted and probably meant for children, you could probably just begin the comic with a brief, first-person direct characterization of the protagonist and the scenario (in which he could simply say, "Hello, my name is Alabaster" with explanation of who/where he is and why he's there, followed by a flashback to blowing the horn, or a present-tense narration of blowing the horn -- followed by an explanation of how he found it, why he blew it, and why he threw it.)  The "what" (implicit)in the story is covered in detail, but you distinctly lack the "why" and "how" (explicit), which are equally important components that help better explain a story's direction to readers.  Without explaing why or how the given scenarios are happening, you will have a story that may make sense to you, yet will seem jumbled to readers.

I'd probably start by storyboarding first to form a rough-rough-outline that can be used to figure out what dialogue would appear in a set of frames, what the setting would be, the characters involved, the reason why the conflict is happening, what the conflict actually is, the details necessary to support fluidity between frames, etc.

With storyboarding, you can quickly dump the ideas you've formulated onto paper to be further polished afterwards -- which is a process not unlike that of thumbnailing ideas for an artistic composition, or that of outlining a story or essay.  A comic is both narrative and a series of illustrations, and both components need equal weight of consideration during the planning phase.  Once you've outlined some general ideas, you can modify them as needed, and then draw up a working draft.  From there, you can modify or further polish your first draft into a more spectacular draft, and from there into a coherent, finalized form.

The more time you spend discovering underlying questions a reader may ask, the less likely that the reader will notice large gaps of logic in the final result.  Therefore, the only way to kill the fast-forwarding symptom is to effectively slow down, plan in large chunks from the outset, and improve your result from there.

Good luck, and I hope this post provided a better explanation!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 02:28:16 am by Ashbad »

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Mini-Comic (Traditional art: constructive criticism appreciated)

Reply #13 on: December 06, 2012, 02:46:45 am
Thanks Ashbad! I sent you a note on deviantArt!

I have also edited the main post a bit. So hopefully things are a little clearer. But the entire comic is 16 pages long. I didn't want to post the whole thing on here cause that would take forever to load. I've included a link to the comic's deviantArt gallery folder and again in a post below. I'll also put it here:

http://xhunterko.deviantart.com/gallery/40443277

I know I shoulda done that first though. That was my bad, sorry. But anyways, great critiques so far everyone!