Firstly thank you for a very honest review, that's exactly what I was after.
And I truly appreciate your advice, even if my below responses may sound a little defensive.
SergeXIII wrote:Shit Happens
Shit Happens is the tale of a band of chronically displaced friends, loosing their homes via gambling, misfortune, or explosions and hunting for a new one. That’s pretty much it, its day in the life of gag strip. I honestly can’t say I enjoyed the writing of this particular comic. It isn’t bad, it just isn’t particularly entertaining.
This would make a good book quote, not taking the piss here I actually appreciate the description.
SergeXIII wrote:The jokes aren’t funny, I know that stings but its true, not only did I not laugh at a single joke almost all of them made little to no sense to me in a comedic fashion. Because of this I assume that these jokes are derived from inside material (which is a major no, no) or wasn’t tested on other people.
Yeah my sense of humour is a little different to some, punchline structure is non-traditional, and definitely groanworthy at times.
Some jokes are in-jokes (yeah a no-no but sometimes too much of a giggle to resist).
I'll also add that I avoid the usual pun/gaming/pop-culture based gags of other webcomics, probably not the smartest move considering potential audience.
SergeXIII wrote: Since this is a gag comic, it deals a major blow to the plot related momentum of the comic.
Can't argue here but I do think the flow has improved this year.
SergeXIII wrote:The other factor in this assessment is the cast, and I found disappointment here as well. The cast of Shit Happens are never introduced and are hardly ever alone, and as a result are severely under developed, with only one member having any unique qualities: he’s a quirky inventor (an internet cliché). Its hard to give a shit about the cast or humor of Shit Happens, so this is a definite area for improvement.
Strangely I thought I spent the first few chapters introducing the characters and their personality traits, but it's quite possible my own familiarity with the characters makes this more obvious to me.
If I had to describe the Art of Shit Happens
in one word it would be Stiff. The cast have a very small array of poses in their arsenal and will very seldomly switch things up. You’ll usually see people from the shoulders up, facing front, smiling which is quite frankly boring and not always appropriate. For instance check out this panel where a man elbows a shark in the face
. Do you see any power behind that hit? Why is he smiling? Relying on one pose is a rookie move and for a year old comic this is no longer acceptable. We see the same perspective, characters almost never move their heads or legs, and anatomy, while usually passable, is not always consistent and has its share of common flaws like tiny hands.
Have to agree here too.
Especially for the first year (which was redrawn in 3 months (you DON'T want to see the orignial work)) but again I think this has changed considerably in recent months. I've only used the
shoulders up, facing front, smiling
about six time this year although I have used a 3/4 view variant quite a bit for conversational stuff.
And hands, I have had so much "fun" with hands, pages of hand pose drawings and I still have disastrous hands on a regular basis.
A final complaint: the inventor character looks like a girl, and I can not get over it. It isn’t only the long purple hair either (which looks a bit familiar,
no doubt contributing to this observation), he has some feminine facial features in comparison with the rest of the cast. While an ugly one, I think he could pass for a woman if you threw some boobs on there.
I've never heard that before (and cracked up when I read it).
I'd also never heard of godmode before now.
SergeXIII wrote:There’s also the lack of line variation. I see myself harping on that to everyone though, so don’t sweat it. On the plus side the coloring of Shit Happens is completely traditional and is pulled off very decently, which is saying something in the days of photoshop.
As Phalanx said about line variation in another thread, worry about getting the base right then you can worry about techniques to flesh it out. I'm still very much a beginner so I'm focusing on getting the basics RIGHT first.
I think my use of traditional colouring is one of the things that will make me style stand out some day.
SergeXIII wrote:Unfortunately I cannot make this review a positive one. Shit Happens feels like a “I’m bored, lets make a webcomic affair” in that its cast, world, premise and writing seems to lack serious and devoted thought. I’m sure you could turn this around if you tested out some humor on some other people for feedback and focused on some character development, but as of right now Shit Happens doesn’t have much going for it.
Actually it started out as an aborted short film (long story) but due to my lack of drawing skills early on it had an adverse affect on the crossover to comic (my first time drawing on this level).
I have temptations to restart it with more character development (if I did it would be in an issue based form) but don't want to stop the story now that it's getting to the point of real development and a decent episodic rhythm. Maybe I should re-do and expand the first year as a compromise with myself.
Hopefully my responses get across that I appreciate and understand your observations (and came to some of the same on my own) and have been trying to rectify some of these.
I think the main problem I've had is the lackluster first year, both artwise and writing, all I can do for the time being is to strive towards improving in the now and someday go back to fix the start.
Again I thank you for this review, can I repost it on my sites? I want to keep track of all the reviews/critiques I get and display them (I don't mind showing my flaws).