Honesty time!

Postby Meredith Gran on Fri Mar 29, 2002 11:00 pm

Hey folks. Here's one little way to get the board moving - a critique fest! Go ahead - flame me until I'm just a pile of ashes, blowin' in the wind...

Seriously though, NGTI just reached 200 strips (more on that this Sunday), and all I hear is compliments. And I love those compliments, folks, I really do. <=) But in my constant quest to grow as a cartoonist, and seeing as this sort of thing is my hopeful profession, there's nothing I want more than to make this strip get better and better.

So now is the time to give me some constructive criticism on the strip. The only thing I ask is that you refrain from criticizing the basic storyline, because that is something I can not (and wouldn't want to) change. ^_^

Thanks folks!
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Postby Cale on Sat Mar 30, 2002 10:55 am

Heh...I'm not all that great at giving criticism, myself. *shrugs* I really can't think of much that could be improved in terms of the art style, really. Looks good to me.
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Postby Burlington on Sat Mar 30, 2002 4:45 pm

On 2002-03-29 23:00, Meredith Gran wrote:
Hey folks. Here's one little way to get the board moving - a critique fest! Go ahead - flame me until I'm just a pile of ashes, blowin' in the wind...

Oh my gosh NO!! Not never! No way! O_O

I just discovered your comic today Meredith
and I do think it's a most excellent work!
I realize that's probably the exact opposite
of what should go on a critique post, but it
is how I feel. )
Seriously though, NGTI just reached 200 strips (more on that this Sunday), and all I hear is compliments. And I love those compliments, folks, I really do. <=) But in my constant quest to grow as a cartoonist, and seeing as this sort of thing is my hopeful profession, there's nothing I want more than to make this strip get better and better.

So now is the time to give me some constructive criticism on the strip. The only thing I ask is that you refrain from criticizing the basic storyline, because that is something I can not (and wouldn't want to) change. ^_^

Thanks folks!


The only possible criticism I can come up
with is, that you brush up a tiny bit on the
HTML code that displays your page... it makes
all kinds of stuff appear in the wrong place
on a few of the browsers I've tried (I'm in
the library and they have Macs and PC's with
Netsccape and Internet Explorer and I had to
hunt around until I found one I could see
things right on)
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Postby ZOMBIE USER 1478 on Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:16 am

Um isn't this some kinda trap?

I mean:

Kiggy: well, Kiwi, I don't like this and that
Kiwi: Oh Nickyyy!
Nick: yes, Dear?
Kiwi: He flamed me, please beat him up.
Nick: Woohoo
(Violent scene deleted)
Kiggy: X.X







Just Kidding! Actually I like your art style very much. The only thing I can think I don't get is the storyline involving Delegato and Neoma or is that penny? I confuse 'em both...


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Postby Meredith Gran on Sun Mar 31, 2002 8:23 am

Thank you, Kiggy, for actually criticizing. <=) It does not make me mad - seriously! If you have a hard time distinguishing Neoma and Penny, just remember that Neoma has dots for eyes, shorter bangs, and darker hair. And she's just a tad curvier as well. ^_^ But I will try to make their differences a little more obvious in future strips.
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Postby Cale on Sun Mar 31, 2002 10:56 am

Hmm...Come to think of it, while I may not have any criticism to offer, mayhaps a link to an artsy-type site would be of interest? I mean, just to sort of hunt around and see if there are any certain things to some styles that you might like to incorporate into your own style?

...Okay, so maybe that sounds rather half-assed, but it was worth a shot, right? :razz:

Anyway, just in case you're interested(this is a friend's site, and she's got links to other sites similar to it as well)... http://www.smoothimages.homestead.com/
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Postby Dennis K on Sun Mar 31, 2002 12:08 pm

Ack! A critisim thread! I of all people know the dangers of this, Mer, and you know it. ^_~ BUT. I'll offer one teeny tiny piece of construstcive critisism.

The lines in your drawings are usually too thin for at least my liking. You need to have the lines for the backgrounds and inatimate objects be a bit more...how do I put this...strong? The lines for the characters need to be a bit more fluid and the background needs to be a bit more static to help create a seperation of what's alive and what's not alive. (And you get bonus points if you understand that, I wrote it and I don't!)

ALSO: This is a little trick I use, once you've made the line work a bit more different from your characters and surroundings, use a thick line to outline your characters to even seperate them more from the background, to help them stand out.

But that's just my opinion. ^^

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Postby Almechazel on Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:37 pm

.. Geez... I actually can't think of any real critisism... and I can't even spell today...

You're style's very unique. I've never seen any other setup quite like it. I admire the color as a shading device, sometimes none and sometimes lots, and... well, the plot's great.

The only thing I could say is something that looks like it's hapening anyway, getting more time with the other characters. Then again, out of my main 5 characters in my comic, you really ever see... three of 'em at a time...

And after everything we've gone through at the FOGAdv forum, I'm gonna leavew it at that.
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Postby Kappo on Sun Mar 31, 2002 2:01 pm

Hiya,

Well like everyone else, I dun' have any actual criticisms.. just a comparison.

I think I got to your comic originally from RPG World, which I love oh so very much... and I couldn't help but notice that it had the most popular forums... by far. (Almost 60k posts.....geez!) ...Not that I read them...

Anywho, if I were to criticize your work at all, it'd probably be by comparing it to RPG World... which is hard, since the styles are different. Your use of markers in the shading and coloring and stuff... it's never bothered me at all, and it works well and stuff (even tho you dun' always stay in the lines. :razz:)... it's a coo style, and doesn't stick out particularly at all (by that I mean, it works, it's cool, I love it, and it's not terribly flashy). The thing is, Ian uses CG in RPG World, yes? I mean, his comic is always so bright, colorful, lively, etc... and it could just be that the setting of the story is that way... I feel that a lot of that has to do with his use of CG.

I kno you're not going to switch to CG.. and I'm not suggesting it (I'm wearing my bullet proof vest, too. :razz:), but I wonder if it would work... how it would look if everything in a scene were colored completely, etc. In the recent RPG World strips, the shading was done well with CG.. with only 2 different shades.. then again, I'm partially colorblind.. :razz:

Just keep it up, tho! I love your comic.. it's amazing... I read RPG World for the most part because it's fun, and because it parallels a lot of the games I've played in the past... you kno, it's just cool to see things like that... a comic based on a pasttime of yours... but... I read your comic like... like a novel, or a TV show I'd watch, or watever.. it's cuz I wanna kno wat happens next... To put it plainly.. if I weren't an old skoo RPG fiend, I wouldn't be reading RPG World now -- but I'd still be reading your comic. (: (Granted, I got to your comic from RPG World..... eh..)

Oh ya! Publicity and more ppl reading your comic.. that's kinda tough. :razz: At first, I was a lil sketchy on the idea of reading a comic about cats... I'm not much of a fantasy kinda person, and that was my first impression... well, til I started reading. :razz: RPG World has the RPG-Lovin audience... you might score points for a guest crossover.. or if you could find some other way to advertise outside of Keenspace.. cuz ya kno, I send a link of your comic to some of mai friends.. ppl I IM or e-mail or watever dun' realli wanna actualli click on the link... it's always, "I'll check it out later."... sorri! :razz:

Anywho, ya, that's enuff for today. Best of luck to ya! (:
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Postby 56Bagels on Sun Mar 31, 2002 4:52 pm

Seriously, your comic is great. One of the things I don't like is that you don't update everyday like Sluggy Freelance (http://www.sluggy.com) although I'm not surprised, because yours is so much more elaborate, colorful, etc.

I'd like to reiterate the confusion of Penny and Neoma. The only times I can tell the difference (besides when someone adresses them) is when Penny is kinda glowing, and Neoma is kinda...well...not.

The storyline is great but (and this is my last critique) I'd really like you to get some of those funny non-storyline comics - you know, the random ones that are just there to be funny. It just seems you're jumping from storyline to storyline without any little jokes from uninvolved characters. Without such, (and I know people will yell at me for this) it's just like reading a soap opera, rather than a comic. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE this comic - I just want a couple of funny one-comic jokes (like the 29th - unless you plan to expand it) or maybe a couple of funny storylines.

Welp, that's all for me ranting...please don't kill me...

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Postby Asha on Sun Mar 31, 2002 9:49 pm

Ok, here's my critique. I absolutely hate this strip ( http://kiwi.keenspace.com/d/20020308.html ). I hate the upcloses of their faces, because it looks like someone punched their noses and mouths into their eyes. Some things in art make me twitch so much I can't look directly at them, and that's a GOOD example. It's just... gah. Especially Penny's.

Normally I love the art.
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Postby Frodo1223 on Mon Apr 01, 2002 3:55 am

On 2002-03-31 16:52, 56Bagels wrote:
The storyline is great but (and this is my last critique) I'd really like you to get some of those funny non-storyline comics - you know, the random ones that are just there to be funny. It just seems you're jumping from storyline to storyline without any little jokes from uninvolved characters. Without such, (and I know people will yell at me for this) it's just like reading a soap opera, rather than a comic. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE this comic - I just want a couple of funny one-comic jokes (like the 29th - unless you plan to expand it) or maybe a couple of funny storylines.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 56Bagels on 2002-03-31 17:14 ]</font>


i agree. not that it's not an interesting storyline, but what ever happened to the little tiny funny things we've all grown to love about you. it's a little to soap opera like for my tastes. i liked the older ones that were just joke like. you've strayed so far from the funnyness that i wouldn't really call it a comic.

i'm sorry, but you asked for brutal honesty, please don't hurt me.
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Postby Kappo on Mon Apr 01, 2002 10:47 am

Hiya,

Okay, so I realli tink that Penny's face on that comic is kinda... ugh... by the way, I realli love your character design.. of everyone, realli.. they're all realli coo...

Um, regarding the soap opera thing... I'd just like to say that while a comic is cool when it's funni, I'm realli interested in the storiline.. A comic doesn't necessarily always have to be funni.. Take that Snuffy Smith comic... that's NEVER funni.. and it doesn't have a stori, which is wai it sucks. (: j/k.. kay, not realli.

I doubt that you'll be able to please both worlds... by making this comic a hybrid of funni and stori... I mean, you can alternate between the two, but I dun' tink you'll always be able to incorporate both into one comic. Calvin and Hobbes... had a different atmosphere... there were mini-stories.. and the comic was almost always funni.. when it wasn't, it was philisophical, and when it wasn't, it was sad. (if, else if, else) The point is.. heck if I remember wat it was. :razz:

Basically, mai argument is for more stori, like you've been doing, with considerable amounts of humor. Watever you do.. just keep up the good work, cuz your comic is awesome. (:

~Kap
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Postby Dennis K on Mon Apr 01, 2002 10:48 am

On 2002-04-01 03:55, Frodo1223 wrote:
you've strayed so far from the funnyness that i wouldn't really call it a comic.


...

You're kidding right?

I'm sorry, and I take this sort of thing very seriously so don't take this as a personal attack, BUT WHERE IN THE HELL IS IT WRITTEN THAT A "COMIC" HAS TO BE FUNNY?

You see, you confuse the words.

Comic - Juxtaposed sequential images in deliberate sequence.

Comedy - Something of a humourous nature.

Perhaps you meant "humor comic?"

(Dennis has been doing a reasarch paper about the public opinon of comics as an art form for the past month, he's very into the subject right now)
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Postby Almechazel on Mon Apr 01, 2002 7:05 pm

On 2002-04-01 03:55, Frodo1223 wrote:

you've strayed so far from the funnyness that i wouldn't really call it a comic.

i'm sorry, but you asked for brutal honesty, please don't hurt me.


I don't mean to hurt you any more then Dennis, but I'm gonna have to.

NOone ever said a comic must be funny. just because they start like that is NOT a good reason for them to stay like that... it's jsut as good, if to a different audience, as a serious comic or an opera comic... I run a serious comic, with a joke now and then, when I feel the need, Dennis runs a serious (and damn good... no, I'm not a big fan of FOGAdv, never...) comic that starts out as a funny strip but has evolved over the last year, and personally, I think it's better for it.

Even daily funnys have to move from time to time... why, read Buckles, that one's always been an everyday comedy, but right now he's in a more serious storyline... rescuing his sister. But, he still keeps his funny. It's a -style- thing.

So no, yoiu're wrong, plain and simple. Comedy doesn't make a comic, having an audience makes a comic... or so I've learned.
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Postby FlamingDeth on Tue Apr 02, 2002 4:15 pm

This post is directed more at Kappo than Meredith, but oh well. First thing I'd like to say is that you're thinking of the RPGWorld Role-playing forum, which is where I've aquired most of my posts. The forum IanJ actually checks and where they actually talk about the comic on a regular basis is a keen<i>spot</i> forum, not a keen<i>space</i> forum. And about CG and NGTI...

<img src="http://www.greatdave.org:7777/fdamv/ngticg.GIF">

I know that I suck at CGing, but that should give you the general idea of what NGTI would look like CGed. In my opponion, the current method of coloring using markers works better with Meredith's drawing style...

And that's my two cents. Blarg...I failed in giving any actual criticism. Then again, if you have to actually put concious effort in to finding something to nitpick on, there really isn't anything to complain about.
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Postby Kappo on Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:17 pm

Hiya,

G'morning... zzzzz.... sorri, realli tired.

Hey, thanks a lot for your repli.. thankee for takin the time out for that. :razz:

Appreciate the clearin up of the RPG World Forum... heh.... was like, "OHMIGOSH!!!!!!!" when I saw how many posts were on the board..... hehe... and the CG... okay, about that CG.... I'm not a hardcore art person... so please excuse my lack of "appreciation" of art, styles, etc... but I personally see CG (based on what you've shown me) as equally appealing as the use of markers and such.. and more importantly, cheaper and less time consuming (right?). I'm all for personal expression and having one's own style and such... and....... I forgot wat I waz gonna say. :razz: Darn AIM... (:

Anyway, thanks again for clearing stuff up. (:

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Postby Asha on Tue Apr 02, 2002 8:11 pm

On 2002-04-02 17:17, Kappo wrote:

I personally see CG (based on what you've shown me) as equally appealing as the use of markers and such.. and more importantly, cheaper and less time consuming (right?).

If you're going to spend enough time on it so that it's as nice as looking as Meredith's marker work, it WOULD take a long time. And I perfer her markering to her CG.

And... <i>why</i> do you type like that?
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Postby Hanako on Wed Apr 03, 2002 4:39 pm

For NGTI:

I just have a few things to say about this comic (NGTI). In Meredith's defense, I understand why she doesn't post comics daily because contrary to popular belief, Meredith does have a "Life" outside the comic book realm (you do don't you?) This maybe the only "REAL" criticism Meredith will ever receive. I have come across a few problems with the comic. One, the art is okay, I really don't care if it's in marker or CG, but is there any way to improve on the faces? I mean, how pointy are they gonna get? A bit more expression in the faces wouldn't hurt either (C'MON THEY'RE TOO STICK-FIGURED).
Second, what the HELL kinda story are you writing?? Most of what I've read are pieces that I've either seen on TV shows, or read in other comics. Some fresh ideas would be nice (be bold!).
Third, please kill that bird--it's just waisted paper and ink.
Finally, add a bit of background. A few lines and color don't cut it.
Well Meredith, if you are reading this, please take this to heart: Work on your art!
You need help money-wise for a convention, which is sad, because you're not that good of an artist. Quite frankly, I'd be ashamed if I were you. I'll be surprised if you take in 600 dollars. You wrote that today's comic strip would be the last--please keep your promise.

-Hanako ^_^
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Postby FlamingDeth on Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:05 pm

Hanako...

Yes, I understand that she has a life. She could update it once a month, and I would still read it.

On the art...it's manga style. It's <i>supposed</i> to look pointy. Watch anime, read manga. It's all angular, and I for one find that style quite appealing.

As for the story, she asked you not to criticize that. Besides, if you don't like the story <i>or</i> the art, why do you read it?

And the bird...Kiwi rules. I don't see what fault you see in him. Leave the bird alone...

I don't mind the background. It helps you focus on the characters more.

I think that adresses all of your 'points'. I have a question... Do you like <i>anything</i> out of the comic?
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