W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

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W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby LibertyCabbage on Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:15 pm

So no one's started it yet, and my idea why's the same as VCC's, which is that it'd probably just be the same few people doing it again. So, maybe it's time to rework W.A.Y. to fit the current dynamic better. Here are a few ideas I just came up with:

- critiquing individual pages, open format with no submissions required to participate
- doing interviews instead of reviews
- group peer reviews on Google Hangouts

Etc. The approach I have in mind is basically to make W.A.Y. more accessible, informal, and group-oriented. It'd also be cool if it felt more inviting and low-key to people from other forums. This Subreddit kinda shows what I have in mind: https://www.reddit.com/r/comic_crits/

Any comments/ideas?
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Re: W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:57 pm

I think it'd be tough to get new people involved- I invited people last year who said they were really excited (in some cases desperate) about getting feedback, but I guess not excited enough to be willing/able to provide feedback for others. And frankly that's one thing that I've really liked about the W.A.Y. is that everyone is expected to contribute equally. I mean, at least back in the days when there was more activity. I mean I'd be bummed if I went to the trouble of doing a thorough review/critique for someone and then they wound up doing nothing for their intended recipient. That's kind of what it's about, you know?

I like the individual pages idea. And it could go different ways, one where the reviewer picks pages they want to analyze, and one where the reviewee picks pages they would like feedback on.

Interviews is fun, though honestly I'd have difficulty interviewing someone if I was't really really into their comic, if that makes sense. (There's a reason I rarely do regular reviews as it is- if I don't enjoy the comic, I have a really difficult time a. finishing reading it and b. writing about it, even if I am trying to be constructive and analyze what I didn't like about it).

Peer reviews could be pretty cool, though I'd rather stay away from doing anything that requires IMing/skype and such partly because our time zones don't all line up but partly because I just don't enjoy communicating in a live IM format. But if everyone else was really down for that it'd be fine, I just would particpate more from the sidelines.

other ideas-
-This is osmething I've suggested to you, LC, before, but just take one element and analyze it throughout the other participants' comics. Like take for instance the use of color in all of the comics. One could kind of compare/contrast other participants, look at how they've improved (or not) individually, etc.
-People ask for specific feedback. Like for me I've had enough feedback on the earlier chapters and would want someone to look more thoroughly at the most recent chapters, and I've also had a lot of feedback on the story and would rather have more in depth art crit if possible.

-This is really dorky. This is like extremely dorky. You take your characters and roleplay them critiquing another person's comic. Could be done in dialogue/script format or if someone has the ridiculous stamina required they could draw it out. Like I said this is insanely, painfully dorky, but we're all pretty much familiar with each other's casts enough for this to be coherent.


Idk how soon I'd be down for any of this though. I need to get working on my next chapter and it's been hard enough getting motivated that I wonder whether criticism would just push me back off the wagon. It's dumb because I know I was the one who brought it up in the other thread though. Then again worst case if I don't feel like participating I can just sit and observe.
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Re: W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby LibertyCabbage on Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:25 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I think it'd be tough to get new people involved- I invited people last year who said they were really excited (in some cases desperate) about getting feedback, but I guess not excited enough to be willing/able to provide feedback for others. And frankly that's one thing that I've really liked about the W.A.Y. is that everyone is expected to contribute equally. I mean, at least back in the days when there was more activity. I mean I'd be bummed if I went to the trouble of doing a thorough review/critique for someone and then they wound up doing nothing for their intended recipient. That's kind of what it's about, you know?
Getting more people involved would just be a bonus. But anyways, my perception's that there's generally a lot more interest in getting reviews than in writing them, and it turns W.A.Y. into a matter of social obligation to an extent. And it's especially problematic if a more compassionate individual perceives W.A.Y. as being a potential source of conflict. So, it might be considered an evolution to have W.A.Y. become more of a voluntary process, with the downside being the unequal contributions you mentioned.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I like the individual pages idea. And it could go different ways, one where the reviewer picks pages they want to analyze, and one where the reviewee picks pages they would like feedback on.
It makes sense for creators to submit up to one full scene at a time, as that way it's a quick read that critics can casually respond to. Submitting multiple scenes would probably be okay as long as they're presented as separate submissions. The problem with having critics pick the pages to critique is that it could be perceived that they picked bad or unusual pages, and that could distract from the criticism; the idea is more for the creator to present their best stuff. Also, I'm avoiding using the words "reviewer" and "reviewee" since my idea is for there to just be short-form feedback, like in the Subreddit I linked, rather than full-length reviews, although lengthier responses wouldn't be discouraged.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Interviews is fun, though honestly I'd have difficulty interviewing someone if I was't really really into their comic, if that makes sense. (There's a reason I rarely do regular reviews as it is- if I don't enjoy the comic, I have a really difficult time a. finishing reading it and b. writing about it, even if I am trying to be constructive and analyze what I didn't like about it).
It's just an idea for a lighter alternative to reviews if people would rather do something like that. I thought of it as more, like, a way to get to know other forum members better rather than necessarily something about a particular project, as well as just being something pretty different from what we've done in the past.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Peer reviews could be pretty cool, though I'd rather stay away from doing anything that requires IMing/skype and such partly because our time zones don't all line up but partly because I just don't enjoy communicating in a live IM format. But if everyone else was really down for that it'd be fine, I just would particpate more from the sidelines.
The inspiration's from the LiveDraw events that were on Friday nights at some point, as well as the format of some writer's workshops I've been to. And it's sort of the point of it to feel uncomfortable as a way to push yourself as a creator and a person. But I definitely meant for there to be a way for people to spectate if they don't want to participate, even if it's just, like, uploading the session to YouTube. We could vote on a day/time and possibly have multiple sessions at different times, but it wouldn't bother me if a couple people couldn't make it.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:-This is osmething I've suggested to you, LC, before, but just take one element and analyze it throughout the other participants' comics. Like take for instance the use of color in all of the comics. One could kind of compare/contrast other participants, look at how they've improved (or not) individually, etc.
-People ask for specific feedback. Like for me I've had enough feedback on the earlier chapters and would want someone to look more thoroughly at the most recent chapters, and I've also had a lot of feedback on the story and would rather have more in depth art crit if possible.
-This is really dorky. This is like extremely dorky. You take your characters and roleplay them critiquing another person's comic. Could be done in dialogue/script format or if someone has the ridiculous stamina required they could draw it out. Like I said this is insanely, painfully dorky, but we're all pretty much familiar with each other's casts enough for this to be coherent.
Well, the point's for it to be a casual format where you could respond however you want. So, you could compare/contrast all the submissions, you could choose to only critique the characters' hair if you're some kinda fuckin' weirdo, you could just write "i dont know what a web comic is," or you could just do whatever seems like it'd be fun rather than being a hassle. And yeah, if you're submitting something, you could add notes for the critics. As for roleplaying, the goal is for it to be fun, and it's better to have fun participating in a dorky way than to watch TV instead because participating feels like a chore.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Idk how soon I'd be down for any of this though. I need to get working on my next chapter and it's been hard enough getting motivated that I wonder whether criticism would just push me back off the wagon. It's dumb because I know I was the one who brought it up in the other thread though. Then again worst case if I don't feel like participating I can just sit and observe.
Again, it's supposed to be quick and easy, even just a sentence or two if that's all you have time for. W.A.Y. doesn't have to be like a school assignment. Think of it like a Doodles thread where people comment on the stuff that's posted.
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Re: W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby JSConner800 on Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:22 pm

I was actually going to opt out of W.A.Y. this year because I know I don't have the time to commit to full reviews, so the short critique idea is actually perfect for me. I also like Cuddly's super dorky addition to that idea, probably because I'm super dorky. Having Roger critique comics with Dy-Gar providing color commentary sounds like a lot of fun, although our artists are tied up working on the comic so it would just be a script or, more likely, a short prose thing.
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Re: W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby LibertyCabbage on Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:46 am

JSConner800 wrote:I was actually going to opt out of W.A.Y. this year because I know I don't have the time to commit to full reviews, so the short critique idea is actually perfect for me. I also like Cuddly's super dorky addition to that idea, probably because I'm super dorky. Having Roger critique comics with Dy-Gar providing color commentary sounds like a lot of fun, although our artists are tied up working on the comic so it would just be a script or, more likely, a short prose thing.
The shorter format's also intended to encourage micro-criticism, which would be a deviation from W.A.Y.s of the past. An example of this using the "color commentary" format could be, like, having some dialogue for each panel of a six-panel page, with a concluding segment analyzing the overall composition and impression. This approach is probably more coherent in terms of artistic technique, but you could focus on the dialogue if you wanted to.

I'd like to hear some more ideas, though, with the aim of committing this time to brainstorming and discussion before starting W.A.Y. next month.
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Re: W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby LibertyCabbage on Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:31 pm

I'll start a new thread for this on the 21st. Let's go with the thing where we critique individual pages since it's the easiest and the most informal.
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Re: W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby IVstudios on Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:15 pm

Figured I'd post this in here so as not to mess up the flow of the new W.A.Y. thread, but I just saw the review of one of my pages, so I thought I'd say thanks! I'm glad the page was effective.

To address the comment about the room feeling like a real room: that is largely due to the fact that I've started using Sketchup to actually build rooms and compose shots.
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Re: W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:27 am

Thanks for the review, LC! Been a while since I had feedback. I haven't been seeking it out so much lately just due to shifts in priorities and such. But it's appreciated nonetheless.


LibertyCabbage wrote:Panel 1: I like the idea of the mirror, but with the amount of text, it makes the panel too busy, and you can barely tell that it's a reflection. Also, some of Marie's lines are thicker than the old woman's lines, which makes the panel look weird.

Fair enough. Either way I had fun with the mirror, it was interesting to experiment with.

Panel 2: When I read some of the previous pages, I wasn't sure if it was Marie or some new blond dude because her features are so different from before. Her jawline, shoulders, and nose seem less rounded now, and while she's supposed to be adrogynous, she shouldn't actually have male physical features. I think her previous model was fine.
This is pretty amusing to me- her shoulders are more angular because I'm looking at certain clothes references from the time that are more starchy/angular, but her jawline I haven't changed at all and I haven't deliberately changed the way I draw her nose either, but I guess it looks different for whatever reason. She's got matted down hat hair which I think also affects the way the rest of her face looks, giving it more a diamond shape than an upside down triangle shape like it had been.

Panel 3: The composition on this one's really good. It's a classic technique to show a character's reaction rather than what they're seeing, as it both emphasizes their body language and leaves the visual up to the reader's imagination. It's also nice how the old woman seems to be kinda menancingly lurking in the background, particularly since her minimized facial features make her look weird, and it's appropriately subtle since there's nothing explicitly threatening in the scene.
I appreciate this compliment a lot.

Panels 4-5: I like how you present the old woman's hyperfemininity (and contrast with Marie) through imagery rather than dialogue. It gets the point across in one panel rather than spending at least a whole page on an uninteresting strawman conversation regarding gender norms. I'm glad that you're trying to be subtle about it since presenting Marie as some sort of Rosie the Riveter heroine would be really bland and cliché. I would've liked to have been able to read the newspaper headlines, though, since the one on the right's almost legible if I squint really hard. It seems to say, "(something) Annual (something) County Beauty Pageant." I'm guessing it just came out a little smaller on the screen than you intended.
I guess it's not immediately apparent from the page alone, but in conjunction with the previous page those photos are meant to be of Marie's cousins. In retrospect I would have liked the newspapers to be more visible, too. Oh well, live and learn. I'm looking forward to Marie's character growth this & next chapter but also figure I'm probably going to lose some people who want Marie to stay the same kind of ditzy androgynous weirdo she's been up til this point and who may feel her circumstances wouldn't lead to the changes I depict, but hopefully I can pull it off, and if not I don't care so much anymore at this point.

Panels 6-8: The mirror's better here since it's not obstructed. It also nice how you took the time to redraw the background instead of trying to Photoshop Marie in, which would probably look weird. I also like your reliance on body language and facial expressions, as it's a pretty emotional page even though Marie barely says anything.
Thanks :) It was a fun set of pages to do.

Overall: It's great that the comic's evolved past its "macro" problems, and the "micro" problems in this post aren't even really a big deal. It's a pretty good page that shows off Loud Era's subtle storytelling style, which is a key way that the comic distinguishes itself from other webcomics.

Thanks again for taking the time to give this feedback. I'm not in the game so much anymore as I used to be and this year it's been a bigger fight than ever before to make pages. I'm becoming one of those people I used to judge pretty hardcore who only do their comic for themselves and have less interest in the audience reaction. To be fair to me I've got a lot more going on in real life and I also was plainly never going to have a huge comic that everyone reads and that I make a living off of, so relaxing on being so hyper about forcing improvement and nitpicking details is at this point the way things are getting done. Not that I don't want to challenge myself anymore, but I'd be challenging me for my own sake now rather than being so invested what potential readers are going to think.

I haven't picked up a pencil in over a month and a half. Writing the current chapter this summer took so much time and effort and didn't even feel that rewarding. I used to daydream my storylines and characters all the time and it just hasn't been happening since late spring. It's starting to come back now that I'm in a better place but it's slow going, and I'm being mindful not to force myself to do stuff if I'm not feeling it. But I still value the feedback you've given and the time you put in. I don't think Loud Era is dying but my relationship to the comic has changed a lot over the past year or so and my priorities are a lot different these days. Hoping to get back to the drawing board soon in whatever capacity that might be. Probably goign to turn out to be a weird chapter in terms of art/structural consistency, but consistency has never really been somethign I cared about too much to begin with for th emost part.
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Re: W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby LibertyCabbage on Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:03 pm

IVstudios wrote:To address the comment about the room feeling like a real room: that is largely due to the fact that I've started using Sketchup to actually build rooms and compose shots.
Yeah, it's kinda self-evident that you put some extra effort into it. The scene seems like it's really taking place in an actual room rather than, like, an implied room.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Thanks for the review, LC! Been a while since I had feedback. I haven't been seeking it out so much lately just due to shifts in priorities and such. But it's appreciated nonetheless.
Well, I didn't mean for it to be a review or a critique as much as just more, like, a stream-of-consciousness impression. It also took way less time than an actual review, obviously. This might be too weird of an approach considering that no one else is jumping on it yet, but it's been fun to try something different.

This is pretty amusing to me- her shoulders are more angular because I'm looking at certain clothes references from the time that are more starchy/angular, but her jawline I haven't changed at all and I haven't deliberately changed the way I draw her nose either, but I guess it looks different for whatever reason. She's got matted down hat hair which I think also affects the way the rest of her face looks, giving it more a diamond shape than an upside down triangle shape like it had been.
I just checked Ch. 5 for a comparison, and the front part of her nose becomes flat instead of curved, and her jaw has a sharper angle now. Her hair's also orange instead of yellow, is notably longer, and is a completely different style. I get that the period clothes have big shoulders, but it all adds up to be a bit much.

]I guess it's not immediately apparent from the page alone, but in conjunction with the previous page those photos are meant to be of Marie's cousins. In retrospect I would have liked the newspapers to be more visible, too. Oh well, live and learn.
I procrastinated for a while before I wrote my post, so I forgot about the previous page where the cousins are mentioned. It's really obvious now that I re-read it.

I'm looking forward to Marie's character growth this & next chapter but also figure I'm probably going to lose some people who want Marie to stay the same kind of ditzy androgynous weirdo she's been up til this point and who may feel her circumstances wouldn't lead to the changes I depict, but hopefully I can pull it off, and if not I don't care so much anymore at this point.
I'm all for any sort of character development at this point.

Thanks again for taking the time to give this feedback. I'm not in the game so much anymore as I used to be and this year it's been a bigger fight than ever before to make pages. I'm becoming one of those people I used to judge pretty hardcore who only do their comic for themselves and have less interest in the audience reaction. To be fair to me I've got a lot more going on in real life and I also was plainly never going to have a huge comic that everyone reads and that I make a living off of, so relaxing on being so hyper about forcing improvement and nitpicking details is at this point the way things are getting done. Not that I don't want to challenge myself anymore, but I'd be challenging me for my own sake now rather than being so invested what potential readers are going to think.
The comic's definitely getting better. I was underwhelmed before when you were posting a lot about Google Analytics and readership numbers when the art and writing was pretty sloppy, so you do seem to be more focused now. One thing you could look into is promoting the comic via social media since you seem to like interacting with your readers. It's getting to be pretty standard for webcomics to have social media now anyways.

I haven't picked up a pencil in over a month and a half. Writing the current chapter this summer took so much time and effort and didn't even feel that rewarding. I used to daydream my storylines and characters all the time and it just hasn't been happening since late spring. It's starting to come back now that I'm in a better place but it's slow going, and I'm being mindful not to force myself to do stuff if I'm not feeling it. But I still value the feedback you've given and the time you put in. I don't think Loud Era is dying but my relationship to the comic has changed a lot over the past year or so and my priorities are a lot different these days. Hoping to get back to the drawing board soon in whatever capacity that might be. Probably goign to turn out to be a weird chapter in terms of art/structural consistency, but consistency has never really been somethign I cared about too much to begin with for th emost part.
Well, I like that you have a good attitude towards criticism, and it's a fun webcomic to read and write about. It's not popular or particularly impressive, but it's got personality and has clearly had a lot of thought and passion put into it, and it stands out in a medium full of soulless imitations.
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Re: W.A.Y. 2015 ideas

Postby LibertyCabbage on Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:14 am

This place is boring, so let's start brainstorming about W.A.Y. 2016. I'm liking the idea of doing interviews instead of reviews this time. So, instead of critiquing/reviewing the webcomic above you, you'd interview the gal or guy who makes the webcomic (or thingy) above you. And to make everyone comfortable, you'd specify what forms of interview you're cool with (e.g., e-mail, PM, chat/IM, audio, video). Recording audio/video is the trickiest part, but I can provide technical details for that.
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