AuthorTopic: Mini-Comic (Traditional art: constructive criticism appreciated)  (Read 8231 times)

Offline xhunterko

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Hey guys!

I did my first mini-comic this year. I've shown it to a few friends and family and have put it on the internet. While I've already gotten some feed back on an issue, I didn't get much on the comic itself. You guys are by far, the most brutally honest critics I know. So, I was wondering what your guy's take on my comic would be. Here's a couple links:

Title:

Sample beginning panels:

Sample middle panels:

2 panels before the end:


The full comic can be viewed here:
http://xhunterko.deviantart.com/gallery/40443277

So um. What could be improved here?

Thanks in advanced!

EDIT: I have included the link to the full comic through the deviantArt link. The whole comic is 16 pages. Hopefully that explains some story gaps.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 02:37:13 am by xhunterko »

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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

Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 02:10:41 am
It seems you misspelled certain in the second to last panel. There is also not really any plot. He gets a horn, he blows it, he throws it away, and then he realizes it might be cursed. There isn't really any story line to it. It has no main conflict as of now and there aren't really any jokes if it is meant to be one of the funny one liner sorta webcomics and not a story driven one.

Offline xhunterko

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

Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 03:59:23 am
Yeah there's a few spelling errors here or there. I should have included a link to the rest of the comic in it's entirety. I'll do that here:

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

There's 16 pages so I didn't want to post the whole thing on this thread.

Offline yaomon17

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

Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 04:05:48 am
If you could ink it it would look great!

Offline NaCl

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

Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 08:00:49 am
I think the characters have a sort of simplistic charm to them. I can see you put some thought and heart into them. Nice work.

However, I think you did not put the same heart into the rest of the art. It looks like for many aspects of it, you just kind of rushed it and compromised. This includes all the backgrounds, the writing, and the effects. The hand written parts are poorly done. I can empathize, my handwriting is terrible. But the lettering is as much a part of your work as every other element, and needs to same attention. Generic MS Paint fonts just don't cut it. Ellipses in a grid don't cut it for the clouds, either!

I am not sure if this is a rough draft, but you also need to think about how you want to render this. It looks like everything was done with a waxy #2 pencil, not gonna cut it! It makes everything look like it was done in a school notebook. After you are happy with your lines, try going over them with Photoshop to make them clean and professional looking. That alone will really boost the quality. I see you did this for a few lines, and it looks inconsistent with the pencil.

As for the story, It's kinda cute. But it doesn't make a great deal of sense. I see what you were going for, and I think you just about got it. I just don't get why he disappears then reappears like that. Did he go on an adventure?

Also, work on your grammar. If you're going to write it can't hurt. At least learn the difference between you're/your, there/their, than/then, etc... It just takes like 10 minutes to look up.

Offline xhunterko

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

Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 08:59:38 am
@NaCl Thank you! Yeah, it was very rushed. Even though it was done over the course of a few months, I'd pick it up, then drop it again to work on a game. The problem was I had a day job and could only allocate how much time I could spend on what. And I really wanted to get a graphic novel done this year. So yeah. I thought I had had enough story though. Where would you have done different?

Offline rikfuzz

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

Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 09:30:02 am
You have a day job?  Out of interest how old are you?  :-X  There are some very basics you should should really be taking care of before seeking people's feedback, imho.  (If you're not taking any care to even try planning, spell-checking, inking, lettering*, etc I don't believe you're serious about the whole thing to be honest).  If you're serious, I'd try a forum that specialises in comics and is beginner friendly.

http://www.sweatdrop.com/forum is beginner friendly, although based around Japanese style comics, but there's obviously a lot of overlap, especially in the basics. 

(*okay a little bit)

Offline xhunterko

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

Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 09:43:36 am
You have a day job?  Out of interest how old are you?  :-X  There are some very basics you should should really be taking care of before seeking people's feedback, imho.  (If you're not taking any care to even try planning, spell-checking, inking, lettering*, etc I don't believe you're serious about the whole thing to be honest).  If you're serious, I'd try a forum that specialises in comics and is beginner friendly.

http://www.sweatdrop.com/forum is beginner friendly, although based around Japanese style comics, but there's obviously a lot of overlap, especially in the basics. 

(*okay a little bit)

Had a day job. So I wasn't sure how much time I could spend on it. So yeah, like I said earlier, very very rushed. I hadn't seen that forum before, so I'll probably check it out. Thanks!
(if you are curious about my age, you may click my indieDb button and then click my profile name there to see a short about summary of me. :))

So I don't seem rude:

"If you could ink it it would look great!"

I thought so too. And then I thought, I am never going to get this done before the end of this year if I do. Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 11:10:01 am by xhunterko »

Offline Maru

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

Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 12:18:05 pm
Aint gonna lie, I thought you were a bit younger when I saw this lol... :o

Hmmmm your character is cute and simple, I like that.

Maybe work on drawing basics before you begin a comic. I did a couple of comics a good few years ago and it's not easy. Like, at all. You need to be confidant of your artistic abilities before you go into making panels and panels of artwork. Write a plot, proofread it and send it around for some crit, then storyboard it in some rough thumbnails.

Maybe make some refined character turnarounds (here's an example of a good one: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v251/Anna_Z/kumaclonesmall.png) and some character profile sheets to refine your artwork there first.
Be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time and dedication to this if you're serious about working on it.

Offline xhunterko

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

Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 10:13:13 pm
Quote
send it around for some crit

And then there's the problem of no one wanting or having time to read it. :( What do you do in situations like that? But yeah, good points all around.

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!