Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

For discussions, announcements, non-technical questions and anything else comics-related or otherwise that doesn't fit in any of the other categories.

Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:40 am

After saying what I'd had to say in my little rant, I had hoped to stay the fuck out of this and hope it died down so that we could all get back to the WAY...

...but clearly that hasn't happened so here I go again.


LC - You are acting like a clown. This whole pointless back-and-forth started because you couldn't take a simple, well-reasoned piece of criticism like a man and move on.
You have gotten all bent out of shape because someone dared to question the validity of your creative expression when the very purpose of your expressive outlet is to question/comment on the expressions of others.
You chose your field of expression, now you don't get to say things like this:
I don't mind my reviews being criticized, but you're taking it a step too far by criticizing my personal goals and values.

Especially when a number of your reviews carry that very tone of criticizing personal goals/values (something I believe McD has pulled you up on in the past).


Tero - Just drop it. You're not gonna convince him of your opinion.
Is Two Kinds porn? Meh, it seems to be just fanservice saturation, made a little more sleazy by the choice of big-eyed manga style where everyone looks younger than they should.
Is it something that non-furries might find a little disturbing? Yes. But it's certainly no Kit N Kay (thank you BWW for that disturbing experience *shudder*).
I wouldn't however call it Cheesecake (at least not in the traditional sense), just label it as heavy fan-service and move on.



Now, if you two (and anyone else) wish to continue this ridiculous discussion, please take it to PMs and let the rest of us get back to business without having to scroll past your nonsense.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby LibertyCabbage on Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:12 pm

Dranxis wrote:Since Red Slime is complete and composed of many shorter comics, I wasn't sure about the best way to review it. I just decided to talk about some of the individual stories that stood out to me. Hope this review is still helpful in some way!
It's fine. I'm aware this is an unorthodox review request.

Dranxis wrote:I found Red Slime to be an enjoyable read, although (as you can expect with any short story compilation) I enjoyed some stories more than others. Overall, I enjoyed the longer stories more than the one-shots. This isn't unusual. Writing a good one-off comic is tricky, since you need to take advantage of every line and every panel to get your point across. A single comic strip should be driven by a clever idea, punchline, or story that can be communicated simply. The problem with the one-shot comics in Red Slime is that many of them don't seem to have a good punchline or idea as a foundation.

My favorite one-shot in the series was actually Older Brother Porn Drop. It had a clever idea I hadn't seen before, and some good one-liners ("During the winter months we especially need blow-up dolls, DVDs that prominently feature busty Latina lesbians, and any video with the word "Hot" "Hott" or "Hott" in the title). On the other hand, I was often left scratching my head at many of the other short comics. The science fair series had a potentially good theme, but none of them seemed to actually have a joke or take advantage of that theme in a clever way.
From an editor's standpoint, part of the appeal of one-page stories is that they were easy, low-commitment assignments that could fit into any issue. However, I agree that the quality of the art and writing for them generally isn't up to the standard of the main stories, and they're somewhat distracting and superfluous as a result.

Dranxis wrote:As for the longer comics, I especially enjoyed: The Myth of the Chupacabras, The Nightmare, Dead End, Echoes of Another, Come to Life, and Icarus. The Myth of the Chupacabras was a fun, pulpy western with fantastic inkwork (loved the rain effects). The Nightmare is one of the stories that had the most impact on me. Although the policeman character was not sympathetic, his confession was so honest, and so bereft of self-sympathy that I found myself getting pulled into his story, one lurid detail after the next. The artwork, with its carefully drawn facial expressions, was perfect for the subject matter.

"Dead End" was a shorter comic that did a great job of playing with reader expectations. Another story that takes an interesting turn towards the end was "Echoes of Another," in which a young deaf woman is mistaken for the survivor of a boating accident. The story is a little confusing at first: speech bubbles are occasionally blanked out, for when the main character can't lip-read what's being said to her. Her feeling of discomfort in realizing that she's been mistaken for someone else, and the false hope she gives this group of strangers, is well represented. As you can probably tell from reading this review, many of the stories in Red Slime lean towards the serious, even melancholy.

"Come to Life" however is a goofy tale of a young artist who momentarily becomes the superhero he's filled his sketchbooks with. The story features some of the best art in the series, with a very classic superhero look. Finally, Icarus is a wonderful take on the famous myth: putting Icarus in a sci-fi setting, where winged humans live in a dome that protects them from the harsh atmosphere outside. The wispy artwork does a great job of conveying the world the winged humans live in.
(I was confused about your mention of "Dead End" until I realized you're referring to "First Time," which has the words "Dead End" on the last page instead of "The End." It's my mistake for not adding a title to the lettering.) Of those six stories, two are by Longoria and two are by Swallow, and they definitely seem to be two of the most talented individuals involved with the project. (I'll take this opportunity to mention that CG's SergeXIII did "Echoes of Another.") I think one of the biggest lessons I've learned from the project is just how important creators like Longoria and Swallow are, and how important it is to maintain a high standard of quality. The quality levels in this webcomic are all over the place since I wasn't selective enough about the contributors.

Dranxis wrote:That's not to say that all of the longer stories appealed to me. A few of them were just difficult for me to follow: Down the Hole and Antibunny, for example. Others had a perfectly clear story, but I wasn't sure about what message they were trying to get across (if any). For example, Muse Search had a great concept, but didn't go anywhere interesting. Handgun McGinnis juxtaposes graphic violence with a mundane running dialogue about the main character's relationship problems. I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a joke or some kind of social commentary. Reverb, the final story, had lovely artwork, but I wasn't sure how to interpret the ending. Admittedly some of the meaning behind these stories may have just flown over my head: I've been known to miss some pretty obvious stuff when I read comics.
I have a personal preference for surrealistic or "out there" stuff that, in hindsight, is probably kinda jarring amidst the webcomic's main horror/sci-fi theme. However, three of those stories are stuff from fellow CGers (used with permission) that I mainly included simply because I screwed up and didn't have enough material ready for the latest issue, and "Handgun McGinnis" was similarly "borrowed" from Fu's site at the last minute. Bad project managing on my part.

Dranxis wrote:Although many of the issues have artwork that is of a professional quality, that quality is sometimes spoiled by what appear to be artifacts or a low-resolution. Lower-quality files may have been all the editor had to work with, but it is a shame that well-drawn stories like April's Fools and Suffer the Children are so fuzzy looking to my eyes. This is a minor complaint however: most stories appear perfectly fine and readable.
I vaguely recall asking Longoria if he had higher-res stuff. I agree that my standards should've been higher than to use low-res images like these.

Dranxis wrote:All in all I think Red Slime is a really interesting project. Browsing the archive offers a unique variety-bag experience that you rarely see in webcomics. Like djracodex, I wish there were more collaborative projects like Red Slime out there.
I'm glad that I was able to contribute something original to the webcomics world. This was my second collaborative project (the first one being my second webcomic, Deep), and they're a lot of fun, although with both projects I got overwhelmed with the amount of work involved. I may consider doing another project like Red Slime eventually if I have the time for it and can come up with a better strategy. Thanks for reviewing it and giving me thoughts that will be useful if I attempt doing another collaborative webcomic.

@robybang: I'm just confused because you're citing the BWW as evidence that Twokinds isn't porn when both their review and the site's administrator say that Twokinds is porn.

@RobboAKAScooby: Keep it up. You're providing some quality entertainment for the rest of the forum.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Dranxis on Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:42 pm

Happy to hear that my feedback was helpful. I can't even imagine how much work it'd take to get these issues put together, especially if you're trying to do it on a schedule. If you do ever start another collab project, I would definitely be interested in following its progress.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby IVstudios on Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:41 pm

Here is my review for No Scrying. Be warned, it contains spoilers.

Spoiler free review:
It's a really cool comic that need polish in a few places. Go read it now.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Sortelli on Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:42 am

Thanks for the review IV, I've been laid up with some nasty virus so I didn't check here sooner. I appreciate the advice, and I can't say there's anything there I disagree with.

The special drink thing came out of me trying to figure out a real life chemical reaction to work into the comic and it bombed hard because I'm not a chemist so I had to handwave it anyway. I'm not sure what to do with it now. If I had the chance to do it over I'd toss it entirely, but we don't really get do-overs.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby IVstudios on Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:18 pm

I hope it was helpful.

And don't feel too bad about the Special Drink thing. I only focussed on it because it was such and aberration. If your comic was full of crappy writing I wouldn't have bothered to go on about it, but since it was so out of the ordinary it really stood out.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:19 pm

Steel Salvation Re-Review
By J. S. Conner, Evan Ledesma, and Alex Mattingly


I reviewedthe beginning of Steel Salvation last summer- I believe it was at page 16 at the time I was writing that review. For the purposes of this review, I did reread from the start to see how the newer material feels on the whole following the beginning I already reviewed. I don't intend to discuss the early pages and rehash them again except in the brief plot synopsis in this review, though some of the points I wish to address with the newer material are also relevant to that old material.

Now that the plot is much further under way, it is easier for me to get a grasp on the themes and ideas behind Steel Salvation. Dy-Gar, our main character, is a sentient robot who has destroyed all organic matter within his current geographic range limitation and yearns to continue his path of destruction in order to free other sentient robots like himself from what he perceives to be their enslavement to the human race. He finds the "squishy" flaws and inconsistencies of humans ("organics," as he calls them) to be repulsive and useless, and employs this as justification for his destruction.

Dy-Gar was created by a human- the recurring character of "The Goddess" seems to be the embodiment of this creator, or at least that is the allusion I am getting from the text. I had last speculated that the idea of "religion" and spirituality and questioning one's beliefs would play a strong part in the comic, and thus far I seem to be right. However, a theme that has emerged since the early pages is the idea that Dy-Gar himself has human-like flaws. When these flaws are brought up, he seems to operate either by denying them, downplaying them, or cursing them as evidence of the useless stupidity of humanity. This adds a little more mystery to Dy-Gar's past and clouds what I thought I knew about him, making the character more intriguing.

Delightfully, a new character has appeared starting around page 34. Roger is a robotic prosthetic arm who has no thirst for freedom like Dy-Gar does- he served his human diligently and does not have any chips on his hypothetical shoulder about being subservient to an "owner." He is a funnier, more lighthearted character than Dy-Gar and serves as an excellent foil for him. We've had some brief insights into the deeper, more serious parts of Roger's past, but it avoids becoming melodramatic or overwrought. The relationship between the two of them reminds me a lot of Shrek and Donkey, if Shrek was a genocidal maniac bent on destroying the beings that created and enslaved him. I particularly liked their interaction on page 39.

I sometimes feel like the pacing is a bit slow, like it takes longer than necessary to get from point A to point B (or really, to get to a point) because the writer wants to pad a scene out for literary effect. This seems to be getting better in general now though that Dy-Gar has met Roger and we're finally starting to get interesting answers instead of washes of implicit questions, and the plot is picking up steam.

As it had been back in August, the writing is still the strongest part of Steel Salvation. I was on the fence about the art in my last review, mentioning a few issues I found with it, mentioning a few things I felt worked in its favor. However, with the more recent pages, the art has started to frustrate me a bit as a reader. Ideally, in a comic where the art is notably better than the writing or vice versa, the weaker of the two should support the stronger, or at least not detract from it. In Steel Salvation it's starting to get to a point where I personally feel the art is taking away from the writing.

The art isn't a wreck by any means, but what I'm saying is that it does not do a good job of supporting the specific story being told. Dy-Gar is always going off on these poetic, self-aggrandizing tangents, and while I know he's meant to be a little over the top and that we aren't to take him seriously 100% of the time, the art really just isn't meshing with the writing. The dialogue speaks to this very detailed, coarse, fallen-apart, run-down, Wall-E type of a world, and I'm really not seeing that on the page. I know I'm expecting the artist to put a lot more pain-in-the-ass time and tedium into these pages but I think it's important for a story that's taking place in a world devoid of organic life for a thousand years. It's not like we're dealing with blank-background-void issues or anything like that, but the world as it is right now just seems like a blank template over which the final draft ought to eventually be laid. Like I'm playing a computer game and have to keep the graphics on low as possible so that my oldass computer can handle it.

The door on page 23 is a good example of what I'm talking about here. In the comments, the author wonders whether the door is too detailed/complex for the context it's appearing. I get that he means this from a storytelling standpoint, but from an art standpoint I disagree quite strongly! I understand that the author feels the stylistic context of that particular building may have called for less detail, but that's really closer to the level with what I wish was appearing in the rest of the comic. I want this world to just feel a lot grosser, a lot less safe. It's very clean now, very open, very unscary. I think it would really behoove the artist to start playing around with adding texture to this world. Metallic sheens on the robots, for instance, and a touch of grubby, grungy textures on the decayed organic matter would go a long way I feel toward making the comic visually come alive, pardon the pun. This would also go a long ways to making the background and foreground more distinguishable as well as helping to guide the eye where it needs to be.

I dig the comic's commitment to grayscale and think that in terms of gray-value contrast, the art has certainly improved since I last read. However, the lines have reached a fatness breaking point. I had mentioned last time around that the artist might want to play around with varying line thickness in order to make figures really stand out. Lately though, the line art is just excessively, excessively fat and wide. Like, yes, this does afford the comic greater variety in terms of line width by maxing out the fattest the lines ever could be, but all the needlessly thick lines now are doing is flattening the figures of the foreground and making them less readable. Perhaps the artist is looking to go for a Butch Hartman, Craig McCracken-esque style where the outlines of characters and figures are thick in order to really separate them visually from the world around them. If that's the case, be mindful of how line thickness works within that style school- 1. all "interior" lines are noticeably thinner than the thick outlines, and in the Hartman example even at major body junctures such as the neck or shoulder, unless denoting that (for example) a hand is much closer to us than the face behind it YET 2. generally, the thickest lines are only ever about 3 or 4 times thicker than the interior lines. Looking at the most recent page, it seems to me like the overly-thick lines seem to be trying to fill the role of textures or shading, and it doesn't really work. I do appreciate that there is line variation, but right now the lines at the "heavier" end sabotage the purpose behind employing line variation to begin with.

One last issue I have with the comic visually at this point is that within text bubbles, dialogue just changes sizes for seemingly no reason. Page 30is a good example here. Usually, rendering dialogue smaller has the effect of making it "sound" softer or weaker when read, and larger dialogue has the opposite effect. The changing size of dialogue font within speech bubbles does not appear to be following any kind of melody of speech, it just seems to change in order to fit the text into the dialogue balloon. This makes some of the dialogue "sound" very strange, like Dy-Gar is trailing off at times when you'd think he'd be triumphantly shouting, or putting heavy emphasis on parts of the dialogue that don't call for such emphasis.


Overall, I like the direction Steel Salvation has taken. I think the writing is getting more focused, the story is starting slowly to build up the stakes, I'm interested in the two main characters, and it really stands apart from other robot-in-a-world-run-by-stupid-flawed-humans stories. I'm sorry to have picked on the art so much in this review, and hope that the artist isn't too disappointed with what I've said, but also hope that perhaps this will give them a little thorn in the side to really kick things up a notch for the next chapter and beyond that. I'm pleased with where things are going and look forward to reading this comic again after it's begun its next chapter.
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Sorry folks, no robot cheesecake here

Postby JSConner800 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:02 pm

Cuddly, your review, as before, is wonderfully in-depth and it's really exciting to hear the evolving opinion of someone who's critiqued our comic already. It couldn't come at a better time, either. After a lengthy hiatus, I'm meeting with Evan and Alex this weekend to begin work on Part 2, and I'll be compiling all the reviews of our artwork in order to make the changes we need to make. Anyway, on to the more specific responses.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Dy-Gar was created by a human- the recurring character of "The Goddess" seems to be the embodiment of this creator, or at least that is the allusion I am getting from the text. I had last speculated that the idea of "religion" and spirituality and questioning one's beliefs would play a strong part in the comic, and thus far I seem to be right. However, a theme that has emerged since the early pages is the idea that Dy-Gar himself has human-like flaws. When these flaws are brought up, he seems to operate either by denying them, downplaying them, or cursing them as evidence of the useless stupidity of humanity. This adds a little more mystery to Dy-Gar's past and clouds what I thought I knew about him, making the character more intriguing.


This is exactly what I was going for, and it feels really good to hear that. I don't know what else to say that won't make me sound like a gushy idiot and/or needlessly spoil plot twists, so I'll just leave it at that :D

Delightfully, a new character has appeared starting around page 34. Roger is a robotic prosthetic arm who has no thirst for freedom like Dy-Gar does- he served his human diligently and does not have any chips on his hypothetical shoulder about being subservient to an "owner." He is a funnier, more lighthearted character than Dy-Gar and serves as an excellent foil for him. We've had some brief insights into the deeper, more serious parts of Roger's past, but it avoids becoming melodramatic or overwrought. The relationship between the two of them reminds me a lot of Shrek and Donkey, if Shrek was a genocidal maniac bent on destroying the beings that created and enslaved him. I particularly liked their interaction on page 39.


I've been really concerned about whether or not Roger's comic relief adds or detracts to the serious elements of the story, and while the lighter aspects of the comic didn't work for LC, at least they mixed well enough for you. I'm still going to try and integrate them a bit more seamlessly - the majority of Part 2 takes place in the spaceport, which was a focal point of the war, as well as a place that Roger was intimately familiar with, so he's got to deal with the shock of waking up to find his old stomping grounds covered in blood and bodies. I don't want to ruin the levity that he brings to the plot if it's working for some people, but I feel pretty confident that I can introduce a more intelligent, serious character without taking away that "Shrek and Donkey" dynamic entirely. I'd always intended for him to become more serious as the story progresses, though. Roger has some delusions of his own, and instead of him "teaching Dy-Gar how to love" or any of that nonsense, they'll sort of balance each other out. In the end, I hope they'll have more of a "Walt and Jesse" thing going on.

I sometimes feel like the pacing is a bit slow, like it takes longer than necessary to get from point A to point B (or really, to get to a point) because the writer wants to pad a scene out for literary effect. This seems to be getting better in general now though that Dy-Gar has met Roger and we're finally starting to get interesting answers instead of washes of implicit questions, and the plot is picking up steam.


Ever since LC's Webcomic Police review, I've been studying successful comics to figure out how their pacing structure works (and how it differs from the literary prose that I'm used to), and I've noticed that a lot of them move rather quickly. They often move more quickly than I would like, but since Steel Salvation currently moves slower than I would like, I'm searching for a happy middle ground. In the first draft of the Part 2 script, it takes Dy-Gar and Roger over 20 pages just to get to the spaceport. I wanted more time for character development, so there was a lengthy scene where the two robots are settling into an abandoned convenience store to recharge before their expedition. There was a flashback where Dy-Gar described his first undamaged memory recordings, which fleshed out his past and offered up some foreshadowing, but otherwise didn't answer any important questions or move things along. Now, after LC's review and my own research, I've decided to cut that section entirely and start in the spaceport. Since then, key story elements have sort of fallen into place, and the pacing, which was already better than it was in Part 1, should now be even better than that.

The art isn't a wreck by any means, but what I'm saying is that it does not do a good job of supporting the specific story being told. Dy-Gar is always going off on these poetic, self-aggrandizing tangents, and while I know he's meant to be a little over the top and that we aren't to take him seriously 100% of the time, the art really just isn't meshing with the writing. The dialogue speaks to this very detailed, coarse, fallen-apart, run-down, Wall-E type of a world, and I'm really not seeing that on the page. I know I'm expecting the artist to put a lot more pain-in-the-ass time and tedium into these pages but I think it's important for a story that's taking place in a world devoid of organic life for a thousand years. It's not like we're dealing with blank-background-void issues or anything like that, but the world as it is right now just seems like a blank template over which the final draft ought to eventually be laid. Like I'm playing a computer game and have to keep the graphics on low as possible so that my oldass computer can handle it.


This explanation really helps me to understand the issue that LC brought up in his review, and I think it'll help Alex and Evan, too. We need to get the visuals in sync with the story. I don't know if Alex is willing or able to go with a grittier, more detailed style, since he's primarily a graphic designer and he likes things to look clean and minimalistic. Often the pencils look far more detailed than the final strip, so this is something we'll have to discuss with him. Evan has volunteered to do the line art though, and he seems committed to getting more of those details he worked so hard on into the comic, so if that works out we may be able to remedy this problem somewhat.

The door on page 23 is a good example of what I'm talking about here. In the comments, the author wonders whether the door is too detailed/complex for the context it's appearing. I get that he means this from a storytelling standpoint, but from an art standpoint I disagree quite strongly! I understand that the author feels the stylistic context of that particular building may have called for less detail, but that's really closer to the level with what I wish was appearing in the rest of the comic. I want this world to just feel a lot grosser, a lot less safe. It's very clean now, very open, very unscary. I think it would really behoove the artist to start playing around with adding texture to this world. Metallic sheens on the robots, for instance, and a touch of grubby, grungy textures on the decayed organic matter would go a long way I feel toward making the comic visually come alive, pardon the pun. This would also go a long ways to making the background and foreground more distinguishable as well as helping to guide the eye where it needs to be.


Yeah, I was referring to the fact that the door was too technologically advanced for an apartment complex, especially compared to the doors shown in previous strips. I didn't actually have a problem with the amount of detail on the door, and I agree that we need more things like that. Fortunately, Part 2 is the perfect place to start making things more gross, more claustrophobic, and less safe, since it takes place in a building that has remained untouched since the end of the war. It's unknown territory for Dy-Gar, and it's become a terrifying and foreign place for Roger. I'll emphasize that to my artists before we get started.

I dig the comic's commitment to grayscale and think that in terms of gray-value contrast, the art has certainly improved since I last read. However, the lines have reached a fatness breaking point. I had mentioned last time around that the artist might want to play around with varying line thickness in order to make figures really stand out. Lately though, the line art is just excessively, excessively fat and wide. Like, yes, this does afford the comic greater variety in terms of line width by maxing out the fattest the lines ever could be, but all the needlessly thick lines now are doing is flattening the figures of the foreground and making them less readable. Perhaps the artist is looking to go for a Butch Hartman, Craig McCracken-esque style where the outlines of characters and figures are thick in order to really separate them visually from the world around them. If that's the case, be mindful of how line thickness works within that style school- 1. all "interior" lines are noticeably thinner than the thick outlines, and in the Hartman example even at major body junctures such as the neck or shoulder, unless denoting that (for example) a hand is much closer to us than the face behind it YET 2. generally, the thickest lines are only ever about 3 or 4 times thicker than the interior lines. Looking at the most recent page, it seems to me like the overly-thick lines seem to be trying to fill the role of textures or shading, and it doesn't really work. I do appreciate that there is line variation, but right now the lines at the "heavier" end sabotage the purpose behind employing line variation to begin with.


This is a matter of cutting corners more than anything else. Alex warned us that his current methods would produce fatter lines, but they were necessary at the time to allow Alex to keep up with our update schedule along with school and work. Now that he's out of school and work - and we've considered updating once every two weeks - we can look into alternatives. Again, thanks for the concise, detailed explanation (and the examples!).

One last issue I have with the comic visually at this point is that within text bubbles, dialogue just changes sizes for seemingly no reason. Page 30is a good example here. Usually, rendering dialogue smaller has the effect of making it "sound" softer or weaker when read, and larger dialogue has the opposite effect. The changing size of dialogue font within speech bubbles does not appear to be following any kind of melody of speech, it just seems to change in order to fit the text into the dialogue balloon. This makes some of the dialogue "sound" very strange, like Dy-Gar is trailing off at times when you'd think he'd be triumphantly shouting, or putting heavy emphasis on parts of the dialogue that don't call for such emphasis.


Yeah, I don't know why Alex does this. LC brought it up as well. It's on the honey-do list :wink:

Overall, I like the direction Steel Salvation has taken. I think the writing is getting more focused, the story is starting slowly to build up the stakes, I'm interested in the two main characters, and it really stands apart from other robot-in-a-world-run-by-stupid-flawed-humans stories. I'm sorry to have picked on the art so much in this review, and hope that the artist isn't too disappointed with what I've said, but also hope that perhaps this will give them a little thorn in the side to really kick things up a notch for the next chapter and beyond that. I'm pleased with where things are going and look forward to reading this comic again after it's begun its next chapter.


Don't be sorry! We need to be picked on if we want to get off our asses and improve. Besides, you explained all your points so thoroughly, not only will they be motivated to improve, but you've even given them some direction. It's easy to just say "this is bad because I say it's bad" and then move on. That might still motivate the right kind of person, but it's generally far more helpful to explain yourself. As always, your feedback is invaluable :D
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:21 pm

So glad to hear you found my review useful!! It doesn't seem like you really needed me to clarify the points I'd made so I'm glad I was able to get things sense-makey the first time :P I'm really looking forward to where SS will be by the time of next year's W.A.Y. It seems like you bunch of guys are pretty thoughtful and dedicated to what you're doing, which is really heartening. It's refreshing to give someone a pokey review and not have them respond that it's their style or "this is just a hobby so FU!" XD
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:28 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:this is just a hobby so FU!


I never thought you'd stoop to that level Cuddly...for shame!

:shifty:

:lol:
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:53 pm

RobboAKAscooby wrote:Review of Loud Era:

I finally have the time to properly respond to this now that my life is settling like a pile of leaves and I'm no longer feeling like i'm waiting for some shoe to drop :lol:

If it sounds like I just described a whole genre, well I suppose I did, Loud Era is very typical of the teen slice-of-life genre typified by the likes of Archie comics and every teen sitcom since the late 70s.

I dunno if I ever mentioned it here before, but Archie comics were probably my biggest influence starting from when I was like 9 or 10 years old in terms of art and storytelling. I try to stay a little less campy, though, but I think that ol' redhead still shines through here or there XD

Writing-wise it's pretty solid. From the beginning there is a general tone of hope and happiness that carries through to even the latest pages but along with that is a building undercurrent of something sad in the characters' future. I am especially worried for Uly, his time in the army and the few flashbacks to happy times just don't bode well.

Glad this is coming through. WWI and the immediately following period was a really weird time where you had a lot of optimism and hope but also a lot of bad shit that was leading to important social change. Different characters (mostly unintentionally) kind of carry out different themes I think were important to the period but also still can resonate today. Things start to break up pretty soon now that the kids don't/won't have the safety of high school and their "home network" to run to all the time.

Since the last time I reviewed (and especially since the first time) , you've cut down the beginning into a much tighter intro which does a much better job of introducing the characters in their broadstrokes, it’s easy to get a grasp of who’s who despite the large cast.
A good example is the first appearance of Cal, Aggie and Marie. In that one conversation it’s clear – Cal (hopeless romantic dreamer), Aggie (no-nonsense realist) and Marie (the weird one) – and this kind of economical intro pays off well enough for the rest of the cast.

Glad to hear this. I'm still not 100% satisfied with the opening, but have yet to think of a better way to do what I want to do. As with the new Joseph intro I added years after the fact, I'm never hesitant to go back and smack around some old pages if I see a better way they could be doing their job. If I ever come up with a preferable solution I'll undoubtedly go back into the ring, but for the forseeable future the opening is as good as it's gonna get, and much better than the old rambling Halloween chapter (or, and Schoob you'll remember, the chapter that PRECEDED that one... good grief, what was I thinkng)

The way you handle touching moments with a warm restraint is very welcome.
The scene with Tony and his Mamma after Aggie’s letter is a near perfect example of letting the art tell the story, the scene is simple and plays with only two words of dialogue that could have left off completely.
Contrast this with the more dramatic scenes, such as Aggie’s and Cal’s argument at the train station, and it sets a nice balance of tone.
You let each scene stand as what it needs to be.

This is great to hear, thanks. When I was working on the Tony/Mamma scene I kind of worried that like it was overly dramatic and lame and people were going to react with at best disinterest and at worst displeasure at my sentimentality.

Sometimes the dialogue is a little too modern but I don’t really think that’s much of an issue, you avoid using any millennial slang, more honestly it helps to make it readable to the modern audience. Having read plenty of comics from the 40s and 50s I have to say that if you tried to make the dialogue more period it would probably be more detrimental than helpful.

I think this is a valid point, as much as I agree with people who've pointed out my dialogical anachronisms. I've found difficulty employing certain types of slang from the period just because of how hokey they sound, like I feel they would yank somebody out of the narrative/immersion. In something like Lackadaisy it's not really an issue because every pixel of it oozes 1920s so there's no disconnect. It probalby sounds dumb given that my comic is called "Loud Era" because that gives one the expectation that the time setting is the most integral part of the comic, but what's really important to me is that readers can relate to the characters and feel at least somewhat of a closeness to them despite being a (in my case at least) 90 year age gap.

A minor niggling question I had was over the seeming disappearance of Tony’s idolisation of the boxer but surprise, by the time I got to the end there was a mention.

Yeah, that's my bad. That's one of my problems with insisting on writing such a large cast, little pieces might take ages to come up again. To be fair to myself, I try to keep it so that the things that are important and going to be necessary story-wise in the near future are mentioned/visible more regularly/apparently.

One final note on the writing, whenever the characters get over excited - whether it be Joseph swearing about his legs or Cal’s “Lee-onnn!” or Marie just generally being herself – I can’t help but see similarities with what you write on the forum/facebook/etc, it’s like moments that your own personality peeks through.
And quite entertaining.

Lmao. This really made me smile. I do put a lot of "myself" into the characters but it's difficult for me to tell objectively how much and what of it is actually coming through in the text. XD

The technique is really good, blending and shading is on par with most digital efforts which is impressive from a practical work. The times when the shading/lighting is done with pencil over marker is quite interesting, similar to the traditional hatching for shape but a little softer.

Cool! I'm getting better now with using traditional tools because I'm trying to be more bold about it and not trying to hide behind subtle techniques or using the computer to add effects I'm too "scared" to add physically and unundoablly.

The title card are a nice touch, obviously going for the silent film intertitle look, helps set up the feel of the idea that life is a play.

Thanks! That's another thing I want to touch up a bit, I want to change the home page so that instead of the gang all dripping off of Eddie's car, it's a silent movie theater with them all sitting/milling about in the seats and then on the screen you click where you want to go, navigation-wize.

Some early backgrounds have that white halo issue where you've been reluctant to colour too close to the characters. Other than that the backgrounds are well done, the level of detail is more or less equal to that in the character or other foreground objects.

You wanna know what that halo is

That's my obsessive and uneducated use of the "unsharp mask" function because i didn't know how to use levels/curves to add contrast








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Expressions are another strong point, very clear without going to the overblown exaggerations that even a lot of “professionals” tend to fall back on.
Even when it comes to special effect panels like Cal’s “OMG I killed my parents” type moments it only pushes the boundary enough to illustrate the outlandishness of her panic/worry.

Thanks. I try to avoid trodden cartoon shortcuts because for the most part it would look jarring given the rest of the visual appearance of the comic. Marie gets most of the distinguishably wacky faces, followed probably by Clarabelle and then I guess Eddie when he has his maniacal break at the end of the prome chapter.

Character design is mostly excellent, although there are times that some male characters can be confused (especially in tighter shots), generally speaking the characters have individual appearances that also match their personalities. The range of body types is also a major positive, each of the girls has a distinct sillouette.
Overall the characters look and feel distinctly different but at the same time fit together clearly, at no point do any of them look as if they don't belong in the world you've created.

I'll probably inquire with you at the end of this chapter whether the dude-fusion has improved by that point. I'm trying to focus on the distincting qualities between them instead of just drawing them as Generic Cuddly-Pleasing Male #83.0. I can fully sympathize with and understand what is stereotyped as the male problem of drawing female characters all with the same figure and face XD

There are some anatomy issues, most noticeable is the occasionally too long arms. Often these issues seem to occur when the camera angle or perspective changes from the more standard straight angles so it’s possible the anatomy issues are linked to perspective issues.

Good call on the arms! I've noticed some of my zoom-out shots looking wonky and i think you've hit the nail on the head. I caught myself doing it during this scene actually. I think in general you're right about perspective issues, because that's when I actually have to like, you know, draw the bodies, and years of ARE U REDY FOR MY CLOSEUP MR DEMILLE stunted my growth in that capability path

Extras on the site are mostly art from/for swaps and contests, it would be nice to see a few stand alone art pieces of the Loud Era cast, maybe presented as photos or Cecilia's paintings. I understand that time constraints make it difficult for extra stuff but it is something that you might like to think about.
The archive is solid, very useful with the hover over thumbnails.

That's a cool idea, I've thought of photos before but paintings would be a neat tie-in as well. I always want to make extra stuff, but I always feel bad about taking time I could be using on my comic to do stuff that's like tangential. Plus the fact that I'm now displeased with the "yearobok" photos again and will at some point need to re-re-re-re-re-redo them -_-

I think one of the big things that makes me like this comic so much is that it avoids a lot of the things that I don’t like about so many other webcomics. It is a comedy/romance/slice-of-life/mushy-goofy-thing but never falls into the pitfalls of being too cartoony or overblown DRAMAOMG!!!!!!
For the kind of audience that Loud Era plays to it is a tremendously solid work. The artwork is fairly unique and hard to confuse with any other webcomics I've noticed. The charming lovable characters make up for the genre-trappings of the storylines.
Loud Era isn't the comic you go to for hard, edge-pushing intensity it is the comic you go to for a fun, well-written story.

This made me very happy to read :) Thanks for the kind words. I've said it before, but I'd wrather write the comic as it is now, even though my audience isn't a vast troop by any means, but being satisfied with the fact that I'm avoiding cloying gimmicks that tend to make a story more popular but don't necessarily make it *better.*

Here's just a list of a few things I jotted down that made me smile/laugh/whatever...
Letter from Cecilia and the girly mag – first page

I never knew whether anyone would catch those. XD

Eyes look a little weird in extreme closeup with lack of pupils.

Thanks! Going to be mindful of this going forward.

Joseph swearing is very much like Cuddly on the forum.

Whaaaat? But I'm so caaaaalm and sereeeeene and you know I'm chill b/c I talk about poop!!!! :lol:

Gerry’s appearance kind of reminds me of that sparkly vampire twat.

LMAO. As an aside, in the Sim-neighborhood I have of my comic characters, Gerry and Thomas (the other guy there in the limo with them) are a gay married couple and raise the out-of-wedlock-babies born to other families. XD

(and no, I didn't realize until it was already happening that they are Tom and Jerry -_-)

Flashback violin scene, just how much age between Uly and Joseph? Also widdle cutie kiddo.

There's supposed to be 5 years between them- in that scene, Joseph is 7 and Uly is about to turn 12. That might change though because part of me wants Joseph to have been borin in 1899 but I don't know I have a good enough reason why yet to change it. Honestly in retrospect Joseph is probably too old to be willingly dressed all dandied up like that anymore but let's assume he likes looking that way and the decision is his own. :P

Drunk Eddie

The part where he screams while holding the bottle above his head out of everyone's reach is my boyfriend's favorite panel in the whole comic. :D

Marie’s face going out to see drunk Eddie is just bizarre.

LOL. It was originally supposed to be a normal face but then, for some reason, I

Sexy forest nymph Cecilia, who knew Cuddly had fanservice in her.

Hahahahahahahaha XD Aaaaand the topless scene goes to the flattest-chested, longest-haired girl in the comic! That was fun to draw, though. I kinda wish they had the opportunity to show more skin more often. Freakin' early 20th century clothing.

Just what was Cal’s dream?

It kiiind of gets alluded to again in the near future :D

Thanks a million, Schoolb! I really appreciate that you took the time to reread over my comic and write me up a review again. Hopefully you'll enjoy the rest of this chapter, we're about a third of the way into it now IIRC.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:50 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I dunno if I ever mentioned it here before, but Archie comics were probably my biggest influence starting from when I was like 9 or 10 years old in terms of art and storytelling. I try to stay a little less campy, though, but I think that ol' redhead still shines through here or there XD

The ol' gang is a big influence for me too, especially going forward with the new comic.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Glad this is coming through. WWI and the immediately following period was a really weird time where you had a lot of optimism and hope but also a lot of bad shit that was leading to important social change. Different characters (mostly unintentionally) kind of carry out different themes I think were important to the period but also still can resonate today. Things start to break up pretty soon now that the kids don't/won't have the safety of high school and their "home network" to run to all the time.

I both can't wait and dread the upturn...

...

...I want them to stay in highschool foreveeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :cry:

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:If I ever come up with a preferable solution I'll undoubtedly go back into the ring, but for the forseeable future the opening is as good as it's gonna get, and much better than the old rambling Halloween chapter (or, and Schoob you'll remember, the chapter that PRECEDED that one... good grief, what was I thinkng)

Whatever happened to that kid anyway?

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:This is great to hear, thanks. When I was working on the Tony/Mamma scene I kind of worried that like it was overly dramatic and lame and people were going to react with at best disinterest and at worst displeasure at my sentimentality.

I don't think anyone who is a reader of your work would be displeased by sentimentality.

It's kind of interesting that Tony is the most immature of the guys but he has probably the most emotionally mature moment, it kind of reminds me of some of the stuff that has/will happen with Brad in FT (but that is a story for another day).

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I think this is a valid point, as much as I agree with people who've pointed out my dialogical anachronisms. I've found difficulty employing certain types of slang from the period just because of how hokey they sound, like I feel they would yank somebody out of the narrative/immersion. In something like Lackadaisy it's not really an issue because every pixel of it oozes 1920s so there's no disconnect. It probalby sounds dumb given that my comic is called "Loud Era" because that gives one the expectation that the time setting is the most integral part of the comic, but what's really important to me is that readers can relate to the characters and feel at least somewhat of a closeness to them despite being a (in my case at least) 90 year age gap.

Yeah I've seen most of Loud Era's reviews comment on this but to me it has always been a case of readability versus authenticity, there's a reason movies set in the past don't go all-in on the language use.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Lmao. This really made me smile. I do put a lot of "myself" into the characters but it's difficult for me to tell objectively how much and what of it is actually coming through in the text. XD

XD

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Cool! I'm getting better now with using traditional tools because I'm trying to be more bold about it and not trying to hide behind subtle techniques or using the computer to add effects I'm too "scared" to add physically and unundoablly.

Well your boldness has inspired me to be a little bolder too.....but still apprehensive about the unundoablly.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I'll probably inquire with you at the end of this chapter whether the dude-fusion has improved by that point. I'm trying to focus on the distincting qualities between them instead of just drawing them as Generic Cuddly-Pleasing Male #83.0.

It's gotten much better over the last couple of chapters.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I can fully sympathize with and understand what is stereotyped as the male problem of drawing female characters all with the same figure and face XD

I don't think I have the face problem but I definitely need to work on the body problem, at least I draw them with different heights and boob-sizes XD

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Good call on the arms! I've noticed some of my zoom-out shots looking wonky and i think you've hit the nail on the head. I caught myself doing it during this scene actually. I think in general you're right about perspective issues, because that's when I actually have to like, you know, draw the bodies, and years of ARE U REDY FOR MY CLOSEUP MR DEMILLE stunted my growth in that capability path

Ditto.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Plus the fact that I'm now displeased with the "yearobok" photos again and will at some point need to re-re-re-re-re-redo them -_-

LOL I still have the old-style yearbook photos on my site for FT, heck I still have a ton of old art in my extras :roll:

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:This made me very happy to read :) Thanks for the kind words. I've said it before, but I'd wrather write the comic as it is now, even though my audience isn't a vast troop by any means, but being satisfied with the fact that I'm avoiding cloying gimmicks that tend to make a story more popular but don't necessarily make it *better.*

I totally agree.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Whaaaat? But I'm so caaaaalm and sereeeeene and you know I'm chill b/c I talk about poop!!!! :lol:

The Zen of Poop by Mitchell Bravo.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:
Drunk Eddie

The part where he screams while holding the bottle above his head out of everyone's reach is my boyfriend's favorite panel in the whole comic. :D

:lol:

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:
Sexy forest nymph Cecilia, who knew Cuddly had fanservice in her.

Hahahahahahahaha XD Aaaaand the topless scene goes to the flattest-chested, longest-haired girl in the comic! That was fun to draw, though. I kinda wish they had the opportunity to show more skin more often. Freakin' early 20th century clothing.

May I suggest:
ComicGenesis Summer Party Arty Swap
or, you know, something...

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:
Just what was Cal’s dream?

It kiiind of gets alluded to again in the near future :D

Oooh! Squishy, smoochy, schmexy times?

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Thanks a million, Schoolb! I really appreciate that you took the time to reread over my comic and write me up a review again. Hopefully you'll enjoy the rest of this chapter, we're about a third of the way into it now IIRC.

Loud Era is one of only three webcomics I read regularly so it was, as always, my pleasure.

I really like the latest scene with Cal and Leon in the park BTW
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby JSConner800 on Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:42 pm

I've just gotta say, between the new script that I'm writing for Part 2 and the artistic improvements we've got planned, I'm uncomfortably excited to start posting again. I just want to vomit up all of Part 2 at once, because I know it'll blow Part 1 out of the water and reward the handful of people who have stuck with us through our early learning phase. This week, Evan's going to practice inking one of our old panels, and he'll be using a pair of brush pens to hopefully vary up the line width a lot more. In the meantime, Alex will be using his newfound freedom from inking to figure out how to do filters and textures and other cool effects in Illustrator. We're pretty much still in the planning process, but we're all on the same page now and we're all willing to put in the effort necessary to make this work. I'll probably post the results of our experimentation once we have something worth showing.

My biggest obstacle now is patience, or the lack thereof :lol:

Also I've been a piece of shit reviewer and I apologize to both Scooby and Tero. I've made some progress on Flying Tigers and I should have something for you in the Foreseeable Futuretm
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby LibertyCabbage on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:58 pm

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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby Terotrous on Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:32 pm

JSConner800 wrote:Also I've been a piece of shit reviewer and I apologize to both Scooby and Tero. I've made some progress on Flying Tigers and I should have something for you in the Foreseeable Futuretm

On the plus side, if you procrastinate another 3 months you can review What Lies Beyond in its entirety.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby JSConner800 on Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:58 pm

Terotrous wrote:
JSConner800 wrote:Also I've been a piece of shit reviewer and I apologize to both Scooby and Tero. I've made some progress on Flying Tigers and I should have something for you in the Foreseeable Futuretm

On the plus side, if you procrastinate another 3 months you can review What Lies Beyond in its entirety.


Consider it done! Or not done. You know what I mean.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:52 am

JSConner800 wrote:Also I've been a piece of shit reviewer and I apologize to both Scooby and Tero. I've made some progress on Flying Tigers and I should have something for you in the Foreseeable Futuretm

No probs.
On that note I was looking over it recently and noticed some weird formatting errors on earlier chapters so I will go back and fix those tomorrow on my day off.

Terotrous wrote: another 3 months you can read What Lies Beyond in its entirety.

Cool!
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:09 pm

Thanks for the review, LC.

I liked the integration of comic images into the video, I think it worked well and helped to illustrate the points you were making.

Honestly I'm surprised that the final score you gave to the two chapters was so high, given how disappointing and unspectacular you found chapter 5 to be. I'm glad to hear that you found parts of it amusing although on the whole it was ineffective.

Also, I adore Alison Bechdel and have been planning for years to try to get myself a copy of her Dykes to Watch Out For anthology. Guess I'll look into it more closely now.

A few things I'll respond to:
-Heights changing in characters
I'm absolutely certain I don't maintain the ratios properly, but yeah, Eddie, Clarabelle, and Cecilia are all intended to be tall (Eddie in particular) and the others are all pretty short. Somehow in my designing of the characters I didn't end up making any of them average height.

-Eddie's drunk dialogue
Glad you found his behavior amusing. This doesn't have any bearing on your review whatsoever, but I figured I'd mention that the drunk "font" is the same used for Cal and Leon in a previous chapter- it's not done digitally, but with a felt tip pen that I hold somewhat loosely between the wrong fingers and then I write each of the letters in backward in order to give it a teetering, wobbling look.

-Overall improvement in chapter 6
Also glad to hear you've felt this was a strong improvement. I changed a lot about my process for this chapter. I guess everybody's critiques from over the years finally started to sink in. Hopefully the rest of the chapter won't go to shit though I'm sure it'll ahve the same "too many characters, too little focus" issue that my previous chapters have had. Who knows, though.

-The page where Aggie and Donny go to the different apartments
I wasn't entirely satisfied with how this page turned out ot be honest, but there wasn't much I could have reasonably changed other than just making the page bigger that would have fixed the problems I felt with it. Mostly just a mind-to-paper translation issue. This page was initially supposed to be a four-page scene that i had the right mind enough to chop.

-Cal and Leon
Again, glad to hear that this is still a compelling part of the story. It's kind of weird, the response to the latest two scenes around them has been pretty evenly split in terms of comments left by male readers and female readers. I don't know if I've managed to strike some weird "enjoyable romance for men" thing or if it's just representative of my readership, probably just the latter as I'm not a sorceress.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to reread my shit and come up with things to say about it. As always I now have more food for thought and even though I think I've outgrown a lot of the issues that (artistialcally at least) plagued chapter 5, it's not something I wish to get complacent about so a few barbs and prods are always appreciated to keep me heading down the right track.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby LibertyCabbage on Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:01 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I liked the integration of comic images into the video, I think it worked well and helped to illustrate the points you were making.
I'm trying to make each video review better than the previous one. The next step is probably ditching Movie Maker.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Honestly I'm surprised that the final score you gave to the two chapters was so high, given how disappointing and unspectacular you found chapter 5 to be. I'm glad to hear that you found parts of it amusing although on the whole it was ineffective.
I based the score more on Chapter 6 than Chapter 5 since the former's newer content. Maybe, like, 1/3 Chapter 5 and 2/3 Chapter 6. It was weird to score since the comic changes so much in a short period of time.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Also, I adore Alison Bechdel and have been planning for years to try to get myself a copy of her Dykes to Watch Out For anthology. Guess I'll look into it more closely now.
The main idea of it (besides the lulz) is that autobiography's about as personal as you can get, so Fun Home's sort of an extreme contrast to Loud Era when it's trying to cover too many characters and ends up being too vague and impersonal.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:A few things I'll respond to:
-Heights changing in characters
I'm absolutely certain I don't maintain the ratios properly, but yeah, Eddie, Clarabelle, and Cecilia are all intended to be tall (Eddie in particular) and the others are all pretty short. Somehow in my designing of the characters I didn't end up making any of them average height.
I didn't elaborate on it in the review since it's a minor point, but what I more kinda meant is that I'd guess the tall people are about 6.5'-7' while the short people are about 4'-5'. And not only is this extremely unlikely, but there'd have to be commentary about it by the characters by now. And I considered that it might be the comic being visually "cartoony," but that wouldn't fit in with the realistic nature of the story. I checked the bios to see if their heights are listed, and they aren't, so it might be a good idea to add that and try to make sure the characters conform to a consistent height, as I remember the comic having a lot of random moments in general where the characters appear tiny/huge.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:-Eddie's drunk dialogue
Glad you found his behavior amusing. This doesn't have any bearing on your review whatsoever, but I figured I'd mention that the drunk "font" is the same used for Cal and Leon in a previous chapter- it's not done digitally, but with a felt tip pen that I hold somewhat loosely between the wrong fingers and then I write each of the letters in backward in order to give it a teetering, wobbling look.
That's even better. I figured it was, like, MSPaint goobledegook.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:-Overall improvement in chapter 6
Also glad to hear you've felt this was a strong improvement. I changed a lot about my process for this chapter. I guess everybody's critiques from over the years finally started to sink in. Hopefully the rest of the chapter won't go to shit though I'm sure it'll ahve the same "too many characters, too little focus" issue that my previous chapters have had. Who knows, though.
There's been a lot of good advice already in all the WAY reviews, so the main thing at this point is to just make sure you're always improving, and not let yourself stagnate or get worse.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:-The page where Aggie and Donny go to the different apartments
I wasn't entirely satisfied with how this page turned out ot be honest, but there wasn't much I could have reasonably changed other than just making the page bigger that would have fixed the problems I felt with it. Mostly just a mind-to-paper translation issue. This page was initially supposed to be a four-page scene that i had the right mind enough to chop.
It works because visual storytelling is awesome and is comics' greatest strength. Loud Era also really needs these kinds of pages to just throw in architecture because the setting is so important and period clothing just isn't enough to convey it. You might want to check out Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware if you haven't read it yet 'cause the historical architecture (plus Ware's art in general) is amazing. (IIRC, like half the comic is modern and half is historical Chicago from some year I forget.)

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:-Cal and Leon
Again, glad to hear that this is still a compelling part of the story. It's kind of weird, the response to the latest two scenes around them has been pretty evenly split in terms of comments left by male readers and female readers. I don't know if I've managed to strike some weird "enjoyable romance for men" thing or if it's just representative of my readership, probably just the latter as I'm not a sorceress.
You're just good at writing romance.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to reread my shit and come up with things to say about it. As always I now have more food for thought and even though I think I've outgrown a lot of the issues that (artistialcally at least) plagued chapter 5, it's not something I wish to get complacent about so a few barbs and prods are always appreciated to keep me heading down the right track.
The comic's already good; now it just needs to be consistently good.
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Re: Webcomic Above You 2014 Review and Discussion

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:43 pm

I based the score more on Chapter 6 than Chapter 5 since the former's newer content. Maybe, like, 1/3 Chapter 5 and 2/3 Chapter 6. It was weird to score since the comic changes so much in a short period of time.

Fair enough.

I didn't elaborate on it in the review since it's a minor point, but what I more kinda meant is that I'd guess the tall people are about 6.5'-7' while the short people are about 4'-5'.

Thanks for explaining it, that makes more sense to me. I'll try to work out some sort of height chart for myself. I used to sort of have one but that was back when my anatomical drawing was even worse than it is now so it was basically useless.


There's been a lot of good advice already in all the WAY reviews, so the main thing at this point is to just make sure you're always improving, and not let yourself stagnate or get worse.

Yeah. I think in ch5 part of my problem was less that I was getting complacent and more that I was pushing myself in directions that weren't helping the big picture. I didn't really know what I was doing and was treading water pretending to swim. But going forward I can see where I need to work.


Loud Era also really needs these kinds of pages to just throw in architecture because the setting is so important and period clothing just isn't enough to convey it. You might want to check out Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware if you haven't read it yet 'cause the historical architecture (plus Ware's art in general) is amazing. (IIRC, like half the comic is modern and half is historical Chicago from some year I forget.)

Can do.

The comic's already good; now it just needs to be consistently good.

Thanks! And thanks again for taking the time to write/video about it.
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