Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby peterabnny on Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:11 pm

I gotta admit, Spoon - when I unexpectedly saw your review, the first thing out of my mouth was, "Oh, God - not another shitty review on a Monday morning..!" I was actually hesitant to read it! Apprehension turned to relief as my curiousity got the better of me and I read it. :)

spoonyliger wrote:CRITTERS Online! Review
by spoonyliger

As I plunge into the website I am greeted by FURRIES!

Hahahah! Just kidding. No, not by furries but by the simple, welcoming...

Site Design:
Yes, that is what I am going to tackle first. Don't get me wrong though, although the simple design is user/eye-friendly, I still think it could use a lot of improvement - it's a little rough around the edges. But nothing that spending a lot of time sanding those edges down won't fix. In the Archive pages, that faded-out CRITTERS Online! logo in the background of the website is acting as a distraction that my eyes aren't liking very much as I'm trying to read the comic. Not in itself but how it was used. I'm not a big fan of how the Home page's design doesn't match the other pages in the site and some of the links on the side menu don't have the same name. But alas, I see the site is still under construction.


Without question, that 20-year-old page is a 200K mile Detroit big block in need of a complete teardown and rebuild. As I've said, that ugly logo is the first thing to go, followed by everything below it. I'm taking vacation in two weeks, and one of those days will be spent mapping out the new page on paper and then going to work. The new logo is about half done now. Once the main page is done and accepted, I'll start working back to the other pages.

spoonyliger wrote:Art:
This looks like your old newspaper bunnies... er, I mean funnies, sorry. The three to four panels strip comics is how most of the pages flow with the punch-line in the last panel. See? Newspaper funnies, they're great. I noticed some stippling in there, specially with April. Is it done by hand? I'm not a big fan of that technique but I admire whoever has the balls to do it. Stippling would drive me crazy.


Ah, after doing it for as long as I have, it don't bother you none. The only time it gets to be a pain in the ass is when I have a lot of real estate to cover with it. It's still fun, tho. It's a kind of puzzle; think in color, translate to B&W.

spoonyliger wrote:The character design is somewhat similar to the Looney Tunes, specially with the bunny characters, but not completely, there are some style differences I do notice.


Damn, that makes me feel better! :)

spoonyliger wrote:CRITTERS Online! has been going for a while now. I've noticed that, when an artist has been working on the same title for a few years, the art quality begins to improve. With this comic, I haven't noticed too much a change. Though the inking looks a little steadier and I noticed the pages aren't just one strip anymore. I also enjoy how some pages are TOONICOLOR!


I'm glad you noticed at least some change. I really started making an effort to evolve things starting two years ago.

I should make more of an effort to color artwork. Before, my argument against it was that I eventually planned on putting together B&W comic books, and with limited free time my focus should be on B&W first. But now? I dunno. Is the technology of today's self-publishing advanced to the point that full color is as cheap to do as B&W? I still color by hand using Prismacolor pencils, and I can probably color faster using those than trying to figure out how to color digitally. If all things are uqual as far as publishing costs go, I would definitely see about the possibility of adding more Toonicolor strips.

spoonyliger wrote:Story:
As I've mentioned before, the comic started with 4-panel strip pages. So in terms of continuity I doubt the story was meant to have any to begin with. But that eventually changed. The comic has a few short stories that actually go on for more than one page in parts, thus removing the "gag in the final panel" thing from the strips. So reading just one strip might leave you a little confused on what's going on. And although the anthropomorphic characters give the comic a childish look, the plots aren't always that childish. Which I find very amusing.


Heh, that's one angle I haven't heard before about my comic, but I like it! :wink:

As I said, I like doing both multi-episode serials as well as stand-alone gag-a-day strips. Maybe I need to separate the two into different divisions on the website to help with the confusion? Doing full-page comics stretches and exercises my creativity, but I can't neglect my local newspaper readers with your standard four panel strips, either. I'm hoping I don't get to the point where I need to chose between the two, but given so many things competing for my limited free time, it's becoming harder and harder to do two formats of comics.

spoonyliger wrote:Suggestions:
I would remove the logo from background and actually use it on the top of the website for all pages, like how it's used in the home-page, only not as a big. The important thing here is that the site's look is the same for all its pages.
I'm not sure if Paul wants to keep the character design the same or not. But if he does that's fine. However, I'd like to see the artwork skill improve. If he does decide to give his characters a new look, I'd be excited to see them. Take the Chuck E. Cheese mascot for example. It's been redesigned to a more contemporary look and personally, I like it a lot better.
The story is perfectly fine the way it's going. The characters' personalities and designs are very diverse and it's fun to seem them interact with one another... or with inanimate objects.


Thanks, I'll keep that in mind as I keep working. I know I need to improve; I just need to know HOW to improve.

spoonyliger wrote:Overall, in my eyes what Paul has created is a homemade chicken soup for the adult soul. Characters that, aside from their fuzzy looks, remind us of ourselves because they're put into situations that we know too well, thus we are able to connect and relate. But there is much work to be done in the visual department, and it seems like Paul has already started working on it... hopefully. Let me know when the new site design is fully integrated. :)


Will do, pal! Actually, I'll let everyone here know, as I'll be depending on their feedback to make final tweaks. :)

G'damn, thanks for your review, Spoony! It was chicken noodle soup for MY soul, considering what I've been getting of late! As I've said before, genuine peer-to-peer reviews cut so painfully deep, but in a case like this the rewards you get are also so much sweeter. I have always envisioned having characters people can connect with, so it's GREATLY appreciated when I hear I've succeded! :)
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:35 am

peterabnny wrote:I'm sorry to have so disappointed you, Scoob. But if it means anything, I've since given up on both building an audience and the idea of taking my comic anywhere, and am now focused on just keeping it off peoples' "worst of" lists as I try to learn by feedback as to what a proper comic is supposed to be.


I wouldn't worry about getting on the "worst of" lists, Critters isn't that bad it just didn't really stand out.
A good example of a black and white gag-a-day comic that worked its way into more serious territory is Sluggy, although it is a different type of humour to what Critters is it's worth a read through the early years of Sluggy, you might find some ideas there.

Also I'd seriously suggest pushing for once a week, even if you have to slack of the art a bit, a lot of Critters faults would be more forgivable with a more frequent post schedule.

Line variance, I think I mentioned this in another review, you basically want to aim for the outline being double the width of inner lines - I use 0.8 for outlines and 0.3 for the rest plus add some line weight here and there - and background detail being thinner than foreground.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:47 am

Peter, I am absolutely floored with your review! Thank you for writing up such a long piece for me! I'll respond in detail later on after I've had time to process it a bit more :shucks: Thank you so much for taking the time to read my comic and write the review!
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:32 am

*BURP*

Excuse me....

just bumping the thread for anyone who still has or wants reviews
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:24 pm

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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:33 pm

writing back to piotr


peterabnny wrote:If I could say anything about the LE's website, is that it's pretty bare-bones and simple of design. The main page itself is particularly spartian, with basically just the comic and a navigation cluster of links. I'm more used to seeing sites that offer a little more in the way of different graphics or links to different things, but to be honest, I don't know what more can be added here.

I'm glad you brought this up, I'm not satisfied with the design myself right now, and after this chapter is over I'm taking a hiatus to fix up the way things look.


The art and cast links offer far more to the reader. I like how Cuddly has the art page arranged, with fan art people have done for Cuddly as well as other miscellaneous stuff. Oftentimes I like those random pieces more than an artist's regular production pieces as I find it fun to see how their mind wanders and comes up with the stuff they do. And, of course, it's always fun to see other people's takes on your own characters.

Thanks :)

I was particularly impressed with the cast page, and the amount of info Cuddly put into her characters. In addition to the obligatory head shot there's a rather lengthy and detailed description of a character - AND a link leading to the comic where they first appeared as well as a kind of self-assessment questionaire that each of the primary characters filled out! I've never seen an artist go to such lengths with their character descriptions! I have to admit, I find some of myself in a few of the LE's characters, particularly Cal, Uly and Tony. And Marie is so eerily close of a girl I know that if I didn't know any better, I'd have sworn that Cuddly added her fully and completely into the cast!

The cast page was a LOT of fun to work on, and I'm glad people enjoy reading it. I tried to keep it from being redundant, but also wanted to make sure people didn't *have* to read it first to understand the comic.

The only thing I need to mention about LE's links page is how blown away and honored I was upon finding a link to my own comic there. Thanks for the link, Cuddly! You remind me of how badly I need to update my own page with some fresh links.

You're welcome, man! You guys have been so kind and helpful over the years, and I have more people I still gotta add in there.

Artistically, you can tell a huge difference between Cuddly's early work and her most recent. Every artist has their own unique style, and Cuddly's no different. Her earliest efforts look rough and unrefined, but she seemed to have caught on and settled into a regular style pretty quickly. The brightness of the colors in the comic perfectly stand out against the dark backdrop of the page they're shown against. If it was by design, I say good show! The colors have an interesting watercolor and pencil mixed-media look to them, even as they're done digitally on the computer. The only gripe I have regarding them are some of the skin tones used. I know Aggie and Elsie are supposed to be sporting faces of freckles, but at times they look more like they're being afflicted with measles or chicken pox, and their pale and pasty tones made me want to offer them vitamins and Ensure.

:lol: I've struggled with their freckles and have been looking at ways to improve them. Going to try something different in some upcoming comics, so hopefully it'll be a little less sickly looking.

As a technical aside, I don't know if it's a problem with the file or there was an upload problem, but this ep looks like it repeats itself unnecessarily: http://loudera.comicgenesis.com/d/20110824.html .

Oh my god that stupid %^&ing page. I've tried deleting the image, I've tried deleting the linked image, done full-updates, this site just really wants me to have two of that comic :( I'll see if I can fiddle with it more and get it gone.

All in all, Loud Era is a solid, approachable comic with good storytelling and a unique artistic style. I'm glad I had the chance to get to know it, and after today Cuddly can count me as another loud fan.

Thanks so much Peter! I really appreciate that you took the time to read through my comic and write all this. You brought up a lot of good points that I hope to implement either in upcoming comics or in the next chapter. Thanks again awesome person!! :D
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby spoonyliger on Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:44 am

Well, I uh... *blushes and fiddles fingers* I could use a review. It'd be my first.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:20 am

Ha didn't notice your review was up Cuddly, reading it now and reply in the morning (after work...ugh I need a holiday).
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:15 am

Scratch that, I might as well comment now since after reading it a couple of times there's nothing I really need to get my head around.

Firstly, thanks Cuddly, always appreciate your input.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:At first glance, the site is pretty spartan, and although the different links fit into the theme of "Things having to do with Harli's life," I feel like as a whole the page isn't cohesive, The background is just a solid color that, while soothing, doesn't add much to the page. Perhaps a subdued wallpaper-style background of sand with some seashells, and then maybe you could use an image map to place all the links on Harli's surfboard or something? It's pretty simple to do and I could help you out with it if you'd like :) (I can whip up an idea of how I'm picturing it if my wording is confusing)

I feel that the dropdown menu might be glitched, because it didn't seem that what I was clicking was taking me where I expected to go, though maybe it's just a problem on my end.

Yeah I should pretty the page up - and I think I understand your design idea.
Not sure what glitch you're getting with the dropdown but (even though it's working for me) I'm not surprised, my dropdowns always seem to go screwy.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Artwise, you've refined your style a lot since years ago when I first reviewed Shit Happens. You've settled on a style for characters, but sometimes I worry that your style is confining you too much. Emotions are kind of limited to what the character can express with their eyebrows and mouths- I'd like to see them echoed more through body language and other parts of the face when applicable, if that makes any sense.

I feel that their arms are too spindly for the broadness of their torsos. I will say that htis has improved in recent pages, and anatomy in general is getting much better (the stiffness has improved a lot for one thing). Keep working on sketching dynamic poses, and studying the human form in general, but I think in particular the arms are what stand out now.

Agree with both of these. The arm thing especially in profile (I think I mentioned that somewhere on the forums) has been bugging me, it's one of the things I don't notice I've screwed up until after I've inked and can't fix without redoing everything...*sigh*

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:lot's of advice about backgrounds

Will work on it.
Thanks for the tips on the organic stuff.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:The use of copy/paste, while cutting down production time, does little to help the feel of the comic. Even if people are sitting and having one continuing conversation, expressions change, body language changes, people don't just sit very stoic and still. I don't think you've done this lately though, and if that's the case then my point is moot.

Laziness, pure and simple, I'd fallen a few weeks behind and cheated to try and catch up.
Of course now I'm way behind again but not so much caring as trying to improve what I do.

Also what you said about the speech bubbles, poor planning on my part.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:On the topic of pacing, I feel that the comic moves too slowly. You might choose to work with more smaller panels as opposed to the current model of a few large ones. Here are two pages that I feel could be combined into one. I don't mean that you would want to take the second one and just slap it onto the end of the first one, but more that not much is happening over these two pages and combining them would help the story move faster. Really try to fit as much information onto every page as you can. Panels of the characters walking along or looking at things, when used outside of a suspenseful scenario, draw out the scene unnecessarily and take away from the story.

Yeah I'm trying to find a proper balance for the pacing.
There is an idea I'm toying with - doing larger scenes on longer pages - but I'll post about that later as I want some feedback on it anyway.
To be fair those pages you pointed out were supposed to make the reader feel the dullness Harli was experiencing but perhaps that kind of thing is best left as part of a larger whole (ie movie, damn my cinematography background).

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:My last point is that, so far, the characters don't really stand on their own. Harli's bubbly and adventurous (though she'd object to the first adjective, but given how she reacts to really horrible scenarios it's kind of true), the boys are hapless pervs, Storm is a not-so-hapless perv, Nolan's a good guy, the Cobras are nasty and gross. But I feel like we should know more about them by now, we should see other sides to them, deeper things. Really the strongest quality that anyone has is how perverted they are and how they react to other people being pervs. In and of itself it's not a terrible characteristic, but it keeps the story at kind of a sophomoric level and makes it hard to take it seriously or care too much when the Cobras swoop in to wreak havoc.

I'd put a lot of the
characters don't really stand on their own
down to the poor pacing and the fact that as Robot said in his review
Robotthepirate wrote:It's moving slowly. You're still introducing, which is cool, but 60 odd pages in I feel while lots has happened that nothing at all has happened, at the same time.
I just simply haven't done a proper job of introducing everyone - albeit for the opposite reason of previous comics where I rushed.
But also I'm not great at writing for comics.

Harli's seemingly happy-go-lucky personality is a bit of a coping mechanism, I suppose this is more of the deeper territory I should have delved into by now. She probably would object to the word "bubbly" if nothing more than that it sounds too much like "bubbleheads" as she calls the cheerleaders.

The overall pervyness of some characters is meant to reflect on the whole teenage thing (teenage boys are pervs, no exceptions) but I'll try to tone it back on the Tiger side of the equation so as to make the Cobras' behaviour stand out.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Your work has changed a lot since I first reviewed SH back in I think '09? The story you're aiming to tell is of a different breed, and your art has improved, and I can understand that due to the problems you have with your hands, drawing can literally bring you some form or combination of blood, sweat, and tears. I think you're on the right track, but I think that fixing the pacing and having more smaller panels per page will help you a lot. You'll have more individual things to draw, but it'll only be one page of individual things as opposed to two. And larger panels will still be good when you need them, but for the general mundane scenarios, smaller ones may suit your work better (and be easier on your hands- less of a background to draw when you have less space to fill, and all that!)

Again I think it's a case of me going too far in the opposite direction to fix flaws of previous comics - in this case getting out of that "talking head" zone - as well as my DP background still having an effect (I still see everything through a horizontal box).


Saved this for last since it's the biggest flaw.
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I know a lot of people have already given you the runaround for the first scene, so I won't harp on that for a long time. I understand that you want to convey what happened, but the way it's done and the length of time it goes on for makes it seem really voyeuristic. I read that you're planning to redo it at some point, so keep it shorter, maybe even remove the dialogue and thought bubbles. Then the scene wouldn't be so off-putting (in a way other than how you intend), and would be taken more seriously.

I might have to go with that idea, at least in the meantime, re-cut what I have and change the dialogue a bit.


Again thanks Cuddly :D
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:20 am

Glad you found it helpful schoob! :D A lot of the art stuff is stuff you shouldn't worry about "going back and fixing" on older pages, just implement them going forward and stuff.


I just looked back at the thread and realized Tero got skipped :( Would you be able to write a review up for him as well as DD?
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:44 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Glad you found it helpful schoob! :D A lot of the art stuff is stuff you shouldn't worry about "going back and fixing" on older pages, just implement them going forward and stuff.

Of course. If I had the time to go back and fix thing I'd be using that time to get further ahead :D

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I just looked back at the thread and realized Tero got skipped :( Would you be able to write a review up for him as well as DD?

Sure, why not.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:52 pm

RobboAKAscooby wrote:
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Glad you found it helpful schoob! :D A lot of the art stuff is stuff you shouldn't worry about "going back and fixing" on older pages, just implement them going forward and stuff.

Of course. If I had the time to go back and fix thing I'd be using that time to get further ahead :D


Man, I wish we all had the time.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:07 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:At first glance, the site is pretty spartan, and although the different links fit into the theme of "Things having to do with Harli's life," I feel like as a whole the page isn't cohesive, The background is just a solid color that, while soothing, doesn't add much to the page. Perhaps a subdued wallpaper-style background of sand with some seashells, and then maybe you could use an image map to place all the links on Harli's surfboard or something? It's pretty simple to do and I could help you out with it if you'd like :) (I can whip up an idea of how I'm picturing it if my wording is confusing)


Well I've got to redo the surfboard (had issues working out transparency and butchered the pic in the process) and I need to make a new banner and navigation buttons but I think this layout might be more effective.

Also thinking I need to do something to tie in the martial arts side of her life. Maybe on the other side of the comic.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:21 am

Hey I really like that!! It also looks a lot more modern than the previous design. I'm looking forward to the rest of the changes you'll make!
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby peterabnny on Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:29 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Peter, I am absolutely floored with your review! Thank you for writing up such a long piece for me! I'll respond in detail later on after I've had time to process it a bit more :shucks: Thank you so much for taking the time to read my comic and write the review!


Not at all! I'm glad I could help ya out. Double glad I could make it a good review for ya! :)

I'll get to the meat of things tomorrow. Tis shut down time for me now...
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby peterabnny on Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:41 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:writing back to piotr
I'm glad you brought this up, I'm not satisfied with the design myself right now, and after this chapter is over I'm taking a hiatus to fix up the way things look.


I'll be interested to see what you come up with! In my case, I'm taking vacation time to do that.


VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:The cast page was a LOT of fun to work on, and I'm glad people enjoy reading it. I tried to keep it from being redundant, but also wanted to make sure people didn't *have* to read it first to understand the comic.


It would take a little longer, but I think your people and writing is strong enough that people can figure out their personalities eventually. :)

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote::lol: I've struggled with their freckles and have been looking at ways to improve them. Going to try something different in some upcoming comics, so hopefully it'll be a little less sickly looking.


If I may offer a suggestion, only add the freckles on closeups. Otherwise, if they're that heavily freckled give them a slightly ruddy appearance. If not, give them your usual skin tone. If you take your cue from real life, you usually don't see a person has a face full of freckles until you're closer to them. :)

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Oh my god that stupid %^&ing page. I've tried deleting the image, I've tried deleting the linked image, done full-updates, this site just really wants me to have two of that comic :( I'll see if I can fiddle with it more and get it gone.


Just thought you'd like to know. :) Let us know when you're done so we can let you know if it worked.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Thanks so much Peter! I really appreciate that you took the time to read through my comic and write all this. You brought up a lot of good points that I hope to implement either in upcoming comics or in the next chapter. Thanks again awesome person!! :D



*grins* More than welcome! I was glad to do it. :)
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon May 13, 2013 4:46 pm

HEY ALL Y'ALL BUTTWIPES REMINISCE WITH ME
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VeryCuddlyCornpone
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Tue May 14, 2013 1:06 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:HEY ALL Y'ALL BUTTWIPES REMINISCE WITH ME


Ah yes, how I remember the merry days when I still did comics and annually had them torn to shreds by my peers, the sheer joy that coursed through my veins...

...HEY KID GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

...Sorry where was I? Oh right the year was 1985 and...
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby LibertyCabbage on Wed May 15, 2013 12:55 pm

This seems like a good place and time to remind everyone that WAY 2013 will start Monday, May 20th. I'll be making two threads for it: one titled something like "WAY 2013 Placeholders," and the other titled something like "WAY 2013 Reviews & Discussion." I'll also be clarifying the new process in each thread's OP in order to try to minimize any potential confusion.
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"Seems like the only comics that would be good to this person are super action crazy lines, mega poses!"
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2012 - Discussion Thread

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Wed May 15, 2013 2:53 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:This seems like a good place and time to remind everyone that WAY 2013 will start Monday, May 20th. I'll be making two threads for it: one titled something like "WAY 2013 Placeholders," and the other titled something like "WAY 2013 Reviews & Discussion." I'll also be clarifying the new process in each thread's OP in order to try to minimize any potential confusion.

Sex.
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Don't kid yourself, friend. I still know how.
"I'd much rather dream about my co-written Meth Beatdown script tonight." -JSConner800000000
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