I'll review your webcomic.

Think your comic can improve? Whether it's art or writing, composition or colouring, feel free to ask here! Critique and commentary welcome.

Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby peterabnny on Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:23 am

I'd be willing to offer my comic, Critters, for your review, LC.

I don't have much in the way of any preface notes other than I'm currently in the process of reworking the look of my website, and I've started with my home page. I have a graphic designer pal helping me, and I'm still instituting his suggestions. I'll be curious to see what you think overall, and whether or not we're already on the same page as far as changes go.
"I've come to accept a lot of what's wrong with this world, and there's not much I can do about it." - Johnny "Rotten" Lydon

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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:43 pm

Great! I'll review Critters tomorrow.

As for the website, after a quick glance I expect I'll be complaining tomorrow that it looks primitive, but I'm a lot more focused on the actual comic, and I also look at websites from more of a practical standpoint than a design standpoint.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:43 pm

Webcomic: Victory
URL: http://victorycomic.comicgenesis.com/
Creator/s: Christopher Villanueva
Run: 1/10 - current
Schedule: M/W/F
Section/s: Ch. 6

Website: Readers will immediately notice that this website looks very shiny and bold, and it's a nice touch. This positive impression quickly fades, though, if they scroll down to below the comic, where they're confronted with a horrible mess of buttons, banners, and links.

The coolest thing about Victory's website is that it actually has its own introduction video on YouTube. This video isn't well-promoted, though, and if I weren't deliberately reviewing the website, I probably wouldn't have noticed it. This is one reason why having a million "vote for me" banners on your site isn't a practical idea. Ironically, I expect mostly only regular readers find this video even though they aren't its intended audience.

The extra features are pretty good, with a fan-art page, a page showing Victory's powers, a blog, and a Comic Genesis subforum. I dislike how some of the buttons have words split into two lines, which look like "Sum Mary" and "Arc Hive," but the summary page can be merged with the archive page, and the archive button can be placed by the page-navigation buttons. And the page title at the top (the part that goes in-between the < title > tags) should be capitalized consistently.

Lastly, the creator's been extremely consistent with his updates, which is a huge boon to the webcomic's ability to keep its readers interested.

Writing: When it comes to spelling and grammar, I usually just add a minor note at the end of the "writing" section, but with Victory... oh, man. I don't mean to be overly harsh about it, as I get that English probably isn't the creator's first language and all that, but if I were a casual reader, there's no way I would put up with struggling to get through the mangled dialogue. The writing in this webcomic is like something I'd expect to see in a low-budget Nintendo video game from the '80s. Here are some of the highlights from chapter 6:

"Maybe I'll go back tonthe meeting. I'll pretend to be interested make sure Bloodwing isn't planning anything, if he is."

"Victory is also immune to a forms of disease." "So... he can't get AIDS or have or have cancer?"

"So Victory decided to lift the cruise ship and set it on a near by deserted island and repaired the ship and set the ship back in the ocean."

"I don't know hat's Bloodwing giving Victory AIDS or how Bloodwing gave Victory AIDS."

"Your welcome. Thank you. Your pretty neat, too!"

The comic also does a poor job of separating sentences. I'm used to seeing the technique where a writer uses ellipses to separate parts of a sentence into multiple speech bubbles for dramatic effect, but Victory tries to do this without using ellipses, and the result is always confusion. I found myself on several occasions rereading bits of dialogue, eventually realizing that they're supposed to be treated as one coherent sentence.

The creator simply needs to put more effort into getting the English right. No matter how brilliant the writing really is, readers just aren't going to see past the terrible English.

That said, as for the writing on a conceptual level, I think the idea for this whole chapter is a total mistake. The concept of a super-strong guy who flies around saving people might have been fascinating to readers 80 years ago, but in 2012? No way. Even that Superman movie remake from a few years ago was boring as hell, and that was a high-budget production with special effects, romance, and Kevin Spacey playing Lex Luthor. An entire chapter of the supervillains sitting around in a dark room commenting on how "interesting" Victory's bland powers are doesn't cut it. And okay: They decide to try to inject Victory with a disease, and to overwhelm him by committing multiple crimes simultaneously. These aren't complex ideas, and could be taken care of with just a couple pages, leaving the rest of the chapter for stuff the reader might actually care about. I also imagine this overview of Victory's abilities would be painfully redundant to a reader who had already been following Victory's exploits for the first five chapters.

Lastly, look how many characters are identified on this page http://victorycomic.comicgenesis.com/d/20120130.html (which is over 1,100 pixels wide, by the way). It's very overwhelming to a reader to have a virtual horde of minor characters suddenly thrown at them. This kind of thing is probably better suited for a "cast page" extra. And why does Victory need to have so many supervillains? I can think of only five supervillains for Spider-Man, and only nine for Batman, and these superheroes have been around since forever ago, while Victory is only on its sixth chapter.

Art: For a webcomic that updates three times a week, the artwork's pretty impressive. The characters always seem well-rendered, even in action poses, and the coloring's vibrant and dramatic. The creator's also clearly capable of handling a variety of perspectives and body types, although he seems to have issues drawing women's necks. (For example, check out the pale-skinned woman on this page http://victorycomic.comicgenesis.com/d/20120208.html .)

As for Victory's design, he's not as muscular as you'd expect a superhero to be, and at first this makes him come across as more of an "average Joe." But as Victory's physical prowess is explained more as being as far from average as possible, his humble appearance ends up looking more silly than anything. This kind of look would work okay in a superhero parody, but it's not so great when the story's trying to be serious.

Overall: I reviewed Battle Pope, a superhero comic, a few years ago, and I wrote that even though the writing's lousy, the comic's still kind of entertaining because the artwork's so gorgeous. Victory's artwork is respectable, but it's obviously nowhere close to the level of Tony Moore's artwork. Fans of superhero comics are overwhelmed with the amount of professional-quality work they have access to, and unfortunately for webcomics like Victory, this raises the expectations for superhero webcomics higher than they would be for other webcomics. While I might consider a different kind of webcomic with terrible writing and decent artwork to be merely underwhelming, I feel like Victory completely collapses under the weight of its oversaturated genre.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby Rogan on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:56 pm

Wow... Thanks for the review of Bee Police!

I found it very informative, and full of good pointers. Especially the parts about the style changing so much. I'll try to keep it more consistent. Bee Police is a one man show, and I'm juggling it along with my other passions. Your review is really helpful because it says someone is actually reading what I put up, and that makes me want to work harder on it.

Again, Thank you!
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:10 am

I'm glad you found the review to be helpful. And I completely understand about webcomics being a time-constrained hobby and requiring maintaining a delicate balancing act with other aspects of the creator's life. That just makes it even more impressive when a webcomic's done well.

I definitely plan on reading more of Bee Police when I get an opportunity to. This review thread is unfortunately taking its toll at the moment on the time I have for casual reading.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:09 pm

Webcomic: Critters
URL: http://www.crittersonline.org/
Creator/s: Paul R. Zook
Run: 1/95 (really!) - current
Schedule: Once in a blue moon
Section/s: 2010 - 2012

Oh, boy. Well, here goes nothing...

Website: What's up with the update schedule? I assumed at first this simple B&W gag comic would update three times a week, or maybe even daily, but it turns out it doesn't even update once a month. 2010 had nine updates, 2011 also had nine updates, and 2012 has two updates so far. Honestly, from my perspective, this comic's in a state of permanent hiatus, and I wouldn't have reviewed it if Critters' creator hadn't personally requested a review. Even if I was a reader who was in love with this webcomic, I still wouldn't read it because it virtually never updates.

The home page is embarrassingly primitive. It looks like something from the '90s, and it's by far the worst website of the comics I've reviewed so far. Even the generic templates that Smack Jeeves and Drunk Duck spit out are superior. The creator can start by making graphic buttons, customizing the font, shrinking the enormous banner at the top of the page, and trying to come up with a site layout that has even a hint of creativity and effort.

Critters also has an amazingly terrible blog, where the creator apologizes for his terrible update schedule more often than he posts strips. I'm not kidding -- 2010 has 10 blog posts for nine strips, and 2011 has 11 blog posts for nine strips.

The cast page and extras sections are actually pretty good, although the characters in the cast page are 10 times more interesting and detailed than they are in the actual comic.

There are some problems with the site not working right. Some of the links don't target correctly... what is it, target= for the link and name= for the destination? The 2012 section of the archives still incorrectly says 2010 (we're almost in March now...), and the "previous" link on the May 2010 strip links to itself.

I guess there's supposed to be merchandise or something some day?

Writing: It's the same kind of cute, bland, unfunny, and apolitical slice-of-life gag strips you'd expect to see in the comics section of a print newspaper -- which is a major problem, because the comics in the newspaper are absolutely awful. And to make things worse, it's mostly old people who read print newspapers -- so the people who actually like newspaper comics for whatever reason are totally unlikely to read webcomics anyways.

Rule #9001 of Writing: Know your audience. Obviously the demographics of the people who read webcomics can be broken down into different subgroups, but all these subgroups have something in common: They're totally turned off by traditional newspaper comics. It's like a Mormon walking into a Baptist church and trying to convert people there -- yeah, he might get that weird guy over by himself in the corner to listen for a bit, but for the most part the Mormon's completely wasting his time.

As far as describing the writing mechanically, which I feel obligated to devote at least a few words to, it's never funny or amusing in any way, and the characters are completely devoid of personality. The only character I found to be at all interesting is Leo DeCat, who occasionally shows up to pitch an impractical scheme. And remember how I described the comic as "apolitical" earlier? It is, except for times when it gets very political http://www.crittersonline.org/october2010.htm and serves as the creator's personal soap box. Unfortunately, this political aspect ruins the comic's innocent charm, which would have otherwise been its lone positive feature.

Lastly, the furry world in the comic doesn't always play out very plausibly. For example, in one strip Peter gets attacked by the Easter Bunny, which is actually pretty bizarre since most of the characters in the comic are rabbits. And in another strip, the rabbits use the online screen names "pinkbun2k" and "honey.bun," but why would they reference their species in their screen name? Wouldn't it be strange if someone in real-life had a screen name like "pinkhuman2k"? And for some unexplained reason, there's a human in one of the strips http://www.crittersonline.org/may2011.htm as a one-panel throwaway character.

Art: Readers should immediately notice that the art looks like the famous Looney Tunes style. In fact, the rabbits look a lot like Bugs Bunny, and Leo DeCat looks a lot like Sylvester the Cat.

The art's decent, but it gets boring pretty quickly because almost all the panels are just variations of the characters standing and talking or sitting and talking. The creator does a reasonable job of varying emotions and perspectives, but there are a ton of repetitive knee-up and waist-up shots. Although, I give the creator some credit for always including some new element in the artwork of each strip.

The "pointillism" style of shading used is pretty unusual. It looks okay, but it also looks time-consuming, and I wonder if simply coloring the characters gray digitally with a program like GIMP would cut down the production time significantly.

Overall: If Critters ever actually updated once in a while I could maybe give it some credit for at least trying, but since it doesn't even do that I just don't really see the point of it. The creator writes on his site that he sees Critters as "a serious, full-time potential source of income," but I see that statement as completely bogus. The creator needs to focus on actually having a marketable product before he even dreams about making money off of it.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:49 pm

Okay I just want to jump in here quickly before peterabnny responds because I kind of feel responsible - what with my ongoing push for newer members to get reviewed - and say don't get too disheartened everyone's first review is a big one.

That said I would suggest taking at least a day to think it over before responding - perhaps even ask someone for a second opinion while you're at it - because there is some good advice in there.

And LC I'm aware of the irony of my comments here but what the heck it needed to be said.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:09 am

Thanks, Robbo. Keep in mind, though, that peter's been making Critters strips for 22 years, so he isn't exactly a newbie. (Really -- here's a strip from Nov. 30, 1990: http://www.crittersonline.org/november1990.htm .)
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:44 pm

Webcomic: Strange Investigations
URL: http://strangeinvestigations.smackjeeves.com/
Creator/s: "Grey Annis"
Run: 10/11 - current
Schedule: Once or twice a week

Website: Hey, it works, and it looks good. I guess there's not much you can do with a Smack Jeeves site, although it'd be nice if the website had at least some kind of special feature.

Updates have been all over the place, but February was the most prolific month so far, so I can't really complain. A regular schedule would be nice.

Writing: After doing two extremely negative reviews in a row, I wanted to reward myself by reviewing something I'd actually enjoy reading, which is why I was drawn to this comic by its artwork. But to quote "The Blitz" from How I Met Your Mother: "Awwwww, maaaaaaaaan!". The creator seems to have slept through her "Writing Supernatural Stuff" class, and should have been disciplined by her supernatural-writing professor by being assigned 10 classic supernatural movies to watch.

The first rule of Supernatural Club is: Don't give away your spookster on the second page! If supernatural stories are cars, then their gasoline is foreshadowing and suspense. If pages one and two went down the Memory Hole, then there would be a lot more tension in the story, and the big encounter on page 19 would be a lot more awesome and exciting.

Awwwww, maaaaaaaaan!

The second rule of Supernatural Club is: If your protagonist has an awesomely cool secret, don't blow it two seconds after we meet him! This comic would be way better if Paul had just glued his damn hat to his head. That way, it could be a mystery why he knows about all this weird, supernatural stuff, and the big reveal could have been a huge and awesome moment for the comic once the readers actually got a chance to get to know and care about this character.

Awwwww, maaaaaaaaan!

And the third rule of Supernatural Club is: Unless it's a zombie comic, don't make your characters act like brainless idiots! I'm seriously supposed to buy that Millie's stupid enough to follow a demon into a haunted house? And it's when the whole reason she hired a paranormal investigator in the first place is because she "[doesn't] have the courage to go in there"? This chick would probably lose her mind in one of those fake haunted houses they have on Halloween; yet here's good-ol' Lucifer in the abandoned house of Millie's dead sister, and how does she react? She's totally cool about the whole thing, of course.

Awwwww, maaaaaaaaan!

Aside from that, the characters have no personality, pacing issues, yadda yadda, let's just skip ahead to the praise part.

Art: Yay! Every single panel is 100% awesome as hell. Terrific line art, terrific shading and contrast, terrific style and perspectives, terrific character designs, terrific backgrounds and architecture... just phenomenal everything. Cue applause. Every struggling webcartoonist out there should aspire to have their comic look half as good as Strange Investigations looks.

Very nice.

Overall: Read this comic now so that later on down the road you can brag that you read it back when nobody knew about it. That's assuming the creator eventually figures out how to write, anyways. But it's only 25 pages right now, so it won't take long to read, and you can even ignore the writing if you want and just look at the pictures.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:05 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:Thanks, Robbo. Keep in mind, though, that peter's been making Critters strips for 22 years, so he isn't exactly a newbie. (Really -- here's a strip from Nov. 30, 1990: http://www.crittersonline.org/november1990.htm .)


Wow, I've barely been drawing four years (first ever and utterly dreadful comic) and I'm on my third comic - about 700 pages counting some redrawn pages.

But I still get the feeling he's only recently ventured out into the wider world with it - I remember my first review *ouch* but it helped.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:48 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote: I guess there's not much you can do with a Smack Jeeves site, although it'd be nice if the website had at least some kind of special feature.

The sad thing is that isn't even true, it's pretty easy to generate extra content over there. I've managed to get my mirror site there to look almost exactly the same as the one I have here, same features and all. Many people just don't think of that part when they dive into making a comic, and underestimate how nice some bonus material can be and how much it can make a site seem more like a "real" site, as opposed to just an archive.


edit to add: Oh hey! I've read the comic you're talking about! I was really jazzed about the art but forgot to check back on it and then never looked it up again. Lol, thanks for reminding me of its existence.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:06 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:
LibertyCabbage wrote: I guess there's not much you can do with a Smack Jeeves site, although it'd be nice if the website had at least some kind of special feature.

The sad thing is that isn't even true, it's pretty easy to generate extra content over there. I've managed to get my mirror site there to look almost exactly the same as the one I have here, same features and all. Many people just don't think of that part when they dive into making a comic, and underestimate how nice some bonus material can be and how much it can make a site seem more like a "real" site, as opposed to just an archive.


Oh, okay. Yeah, after seeing a few Smack Jeeves sites that were really simple, I assumed they just didn't have much creative control over their site. And yes, I expect every webcomic to have at least something on their site other than just the actual comic.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:edit to add: Oh hey! I've read the comic you're talking about! I was really jazzed about the art but forgot to check back on it and then never looked it up again. Lol, thanks for reminding me of its existence.


It's a small world! I actually only found out about Strange Investigations after flipping through a few dozen banners of sprite comics, manga, and brand-new comics that I refused to look at. It seems to be getting a decent number of fans and comments, though, so I guess it's catching on somehow.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:29 pm

Yeah, SJ is really a mixed bag, for sure. I am getting a lot more views on my mirror site there than on this one, so it's not all for naught. I think part of it is that the site, when you sign up, offers some basic templates, and people pop one in and then figure it's good enough, since some of them look really elegant (though after you've seen the same exact layout and color scheme on ten different sites, well...)
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:33 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote: some of them look really elegant (though after you've seen the same exact layout and color scheme on ten different sites, well...)

I'll stick to functional thank you very much.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:09 pm

RobboAKAscooby wrote:
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote: some of them look really elegant (though after you've seen the same exact layout and color scheme on ten different sites, well...)

I'll stick to functional thank you very much.

Well, by elegant I mean they have a big elaborate background image. The structure itself, if you were to take away all colors and patterns, is straightforward. There's one design that is made up to look really swirly and victorian-ish, I'll see if I can find an example.

Functionality is of course key, but aesthetics can only help.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby peterabnny on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:48 pm

What is it they say, be careful what you ask for?

First off, and foremost, thank you for reviewing my comic and website, LC. I was actually rather surprised and impressed that you went through things to the extent you evidently did. I won't lie, however, and say your assessment didn't hurt, not am I proud enough to admit that it's been an excrucinatingly long workday for me thus far. Regardless, tho, I did in fact ask for it, so regardless of what I think of your literary critiquing method, kind or unkind, this is what I asked for.

On the matter of my schedule, I update the last weekend of every month, or the first weekend of the following month if I'm running behind. The dates listed on each cartoon's release should all be about that time. Those months where you see two cartoons listed in the archives are indicative of where I was running late from the previous month, but running on time for the current month. I used to announce that in the home page intro, but I dropped it as part of the ongoing changes I'm currently making, as I stated in my intitial invitation. As much as I would LOVE to have the free time to update more frequently, I simply can't, due to the fact that I work full time, have a wife and a house that we're currently working on, and other hobbies and clubs that I'm a member of. With my limited free time I alternate between working on the house and working on the strip. Somewhere in there I'm trying to find time to work on the website as well. Still, with everything I have going on, nine times out of twelve for 2010 and 2011 isn't too bad for me, and we're only three months into 2012, and I'm hoping to release the next ep of Critters this weekend. As you might imagine, I'm hard-pressed to agree that I update "once in a blue moon," "virtually never," and is "in a state of permanent hiatus." To avoid confusion, however, I can certainly add a release schedule to my list of changes currently underway. Additionally, I didn't know about the 2010-2012 mislabel, so thank you for bringing that to my attention. I will fix as soon as I'm able (or, rather, my wife since she's my webmistress and holder of HTML).

My blog is merely just a vehicle to let my fans know what I have going on. Sometimes I have something noteworthy and I don't feel like waiting until the end of the month, sometimes not. Thus the blog entries aren't necessarily tied to a release, nor had I ever intented it to be. So it could very well happen that I have more entries than I do cartoon releases.

Regarding the writing, I've always had the belief that a comic is a world of your own making. You set the rules, and in my case, there are none. I grew up on Warner Bros. fare, and I suppose that influence isn't just reflected in my character designs; it's also present in the the kind of world I've built for myself, where silly, off-the-wall scenarios can happen which may conflict with preconceived notions that the reader may have. It's like, "Ah HA! You thought things were like this. No, they're actually like that!" A very cartoony notion, IMO, and I believe that's one of the things my fans like about the cartoon. As you rightly point out, mine is not a political cartoon. But I still reserve the right to get political if I feel like it (in fact, once this election year kicks into high gear, I'll probably be doing more such cartoons). Again, I like to set up rules so I can break them.

To answer your specific questions, LC, the screen names you refer to in my current serial do have origins. April's name, pinkbun2k, refers to, simply, that she's a bun who loves the color pink. Unfortunately, since mine is primarily a B&W strip, she isn't shown with enough pink stuff to really drive home the point. Not much I can do about that one, unfortunately, since color is too time-consuming a process for me to do at this time. April's galpal, Ronnie, Nellie Mortensen's character from her strip "The Furry Experience," chose her name as "honeybun" is her father's pet name for her, according to Nellie. What can I say? I like to keep such things consistent out of respect for Nellie and her character. Regarding humans in the strip, regular readers will tell you that I have frequently used them throughout my comic's run. In my world, like that of WB, humans and anthros live side by side. April's human co-worker at her student placement has appeared twice now, and human toddlers are frequent in the BG of their daycare. Frieda's gyno in the story "And Baby Makes Three" is human and appears in I believe two or three eps. Humans are also in crowd scenes although they're fewer in number and harder to spot.

Of this review in general, I found but drops of positivity out of a sea negativity. But I did get:
- The art stands on its own, and I do a good job of varying emotions and perspectives.
- I get kudos for including some new element in the artwork of each strip, as well as my use of pointilism.

On the first point, I thank you as trying to capture an emotion effectively and trying out new perspectives are second only to detailed BGs as far as percentage of drawing time goes. I can get by with minimal BG, but a facial expression can make or break a mood.

On the second point, thank you again. Given the visual limitations of B&W I try to compensate by adding visual elements to catch the eye. Pointilism is another way. I think in color, but ink in B&W. Yes, the manual shading is much more labor intensive and adds time onto each strip, but the end result is worth it, IMO. And anyway, I don't have GIMP to experiment with.

Otherwise, there's nothing more I can take away from this, which, sadly and unfortunately, appears little more than an unbridled orgasm of hatred, mockery and contempt. I can't even begin to fathom any other ways I can improve this abomintion of a cartoon, which is probably LC's intent; as I read it, there's absolutely nothing salvageable or redeeming about the strip whatsoever, so the only option left for me is to take it out back and shoot it between its pixelly eyes, and thereupon promise never to pick up a pencil for another cartoon again.

This will have been my fourth formal, in depth critique (using the term loosely) that I've had done of Critters. This on top of a handful of other, lesser and more informal critiques by different people. Coming out of this execise I'm beginning to see a larger picture forming for my humble cartoon. I'm beginning to think I have a polarizing cartoon. Reactions from reviewers have varied, but in general, they either liked it or hated it; there was next to no in-between at all. It was the same story when I was in an indie alt rock band back in the day. Its existance was short-lived, but we did play a few gigs and from what we could determine, people either really loved us or really hated us.

Like any polarizing TV show or band, I would argue that whether you like it or not depends on whether you "get it" or not. You get the kind of humor, or get the kind of action, or get the kind of sound, or something like that. It gels with you, and resonates with you, and you...just...like it. If not, you hate it. Reading LC's indictment of my strip's writing, somewhere I have to wonder if that's the case with him, as well as a (fortunately) small number of others who panned my work. Yet among my fans, they like what I do - and have told me as much. Unfortunately, in a polarizing situation I don't think there's anything I can do except stay true to myself and stay the course. I can continue to work on drawing people into my cartoon to boost visibilty and popularity, but ultimately, whether or not they get me will determine whether or not they'll stay.

Anyway, to wrap up, I'm sorry you didn't like my cartoon, LC. You may have left me with next to nothing in the way of tips to improve my stuff - or even encouragement to keep drawing - but nevertheless I'm chosing to wear this scarlet letter as a badge of honor. It is so completely over-the-top in its boundless venom and limitless hate that I simply must share it with my fan base. Even as you use my cartoon as a horrible example of what not to do with a webcomic, you may forgive me, sir, for using your review in the same manner.

LibertyCabbage wrote:Thanks, Robbo. Keep in mind, though, that peter's been making Critters strips for 22 years, so he isn't exactly a newbie. (Really -- here's a strip from Nov. 30, 1990: http://www.crittersonline.org/november1990.htm .)


It's true that I've been drawing Critters since 1990, but you have to consider my timeline. Back then my cartoons were little more than doodles to pass the time, and they probably took maybe ten minutes to do. That should be painfully evident in the cartoon you just quoted. In 1995 I discovered the Internet, and a close friend helped me build the CrittersOnline website. There followed an attempt by me to take my cartoon more seriously, and I started to dream of making a living from it. By the late '90s I discovered the furry genre, and, having an anthro strip myself, saw a potential to break things wide open. My dream of syndication had all but faded by the early '00s, but I still thought I had a chance to make it big in a more indirect way. By the mid-'00s, however, even that was becoming tempered as I came to realize the difference between furry art and anthro art, and the respective potential of each. By the late '00s, I left furry and turned my focus back to the mainsteam where I started - and, as I see it, where I belong. When I joined CG three years ago, I became even more serious about my art - in spite of the fact that it was becoming much harder to find free time to do it - and started actively seeking out advice and reviews, and instituting changes accordingly, to both the cartoon and its website. Did you notice that it wasn't until two years ago that I started tweaking my character designs and strip format? There you go. So yes, although I've been drawing Critters since 1990, I haven't really had any guidance to improve things until just a few years ago. So it would be a mischaracterization to say that longevity equals continuous improvement in my case.
Last edited by peterabnny on Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:35 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby peterabnny on Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:00 pm

Oh, and Scooby - I will very much anticipate your primer on the proper way to give reviews! After this thread, I feel such a thing to be very sorely needed indeed.

Also, I briefly checked out Flying Tigers. From what I saw, I'd say I've seen comics a lot better than yours, and I've seen comics a lot worse. Regardless, I don't think things are as bad as LC said, and I never would have savaged you as badly as he did.
"I've come to accept a lot of what's wrong with this world, and there's not much I can do about it." - Johnny "Rotten" Lydon

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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby McDuffies on Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:03 am

peterabnny wrote:Of this review in general, I found but drops of positivity out of a sea negativity. But I did get:
- The art stands on its own, and I do a good job of varying emotions and perspectives.
- I get kudos for including some new element in the artwork of each strip, as well as my use of pointilism.

You missed one very huge positive message that you could have taken:
- Based on characteristics of your comic alone, you have a fair shot at doing a newspaper comic. :P
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:18 am

peterabnny wrote:Oh, and Scooby - I will very much anticipate your primer on the proper way to give reviews! After this thread, I feel such a thing to be very sorely needed indeed.


Sometime this month I'll get it done - in preparation for the W.A.Y. - between work, trying to finish my second (published) novel, working on 2 comics, a little bit of social life and the usual day-to-day chores/errands I'll admit advice columns take a back seat.

peterabnny wrote:Also, I briefly checked out Flying Tigers. From what I saw, I'd say I've seen comics a lot better than yours, and I've seen comics a lot worse. Regardless, I don't think things are as bad as LC said, and I never would have savaged you as badly as he did.


The only real problem with LC's initial review of FT was that it was brief and poorly worded/explained, which made it come across as dismissive and as a personal attack.
With the follow up correspondence LC did a much better job of explaining his thoughts and I could see the validity of most of his input - we'll never agree on everything but I can still take plenty of good stuff (as in useful) from what he had to say.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby McDuffies on Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:02 am

Boy, first you're gonna hafeta make a thread "how not to stretch yourself too thin".
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