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 LibertyCabbage on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:28 am

What Birds Know sounded really familiar, so I did a search on the forums and found out that one of the peeps who makes it used to post here about six, seven years ago. So, that's where I remembered it from. I vaguely recall hearing some good things about it, and I never took the opportunity to read it back in the day, so it seems like a great one to do after I get finished with String Theory. Thanks for the tip! 749 does sound like a lot, but I believe you that it's a breezy read, and I'm getting more comfortable with the idea of spending more time working on a single post. I wouldn't be that surprised if it actually took less time to get through than String Theory, as the latter has a ton of dialogue.

Haru-Sari really caught me off-guard since I usually end up trashing comics when I take requests, and I also have a track record of trashing manga. I agree that it deserves more attention, as it doesn't seem to be particularly popular.

Thanks again for replying, as these reviews are something I've been doing pretty haphazardly. I'd like to improve as a reviewer, and I feel like there hasn't been much discussion in that area. It tends to be that people think you're a "good" reviewer if you like their comic, and you're a "bad" reviewer if you don't like it, and that's obviously not a very constructive form of feedback.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby McDuffies on Thu May 09, 2013 5:40 am

Haha dude, I forgot about What Birds Know, but now I remember it.

I would have totally trashed HNTRaC.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Mon May 13, 2013 9:51 am

McDuffies wrote:I would have totally trashed HNTRaC.
At the very least, it's different. Ya gotta it some credit for that.

The String Theory review'll get here eventually. Look for it probably next week, or possibly this week, depending on my schedule. Fortunately, it should end up being pretty long (at least as long as the And To Be Loved review).

In the meantime, melaredblu has another review up, this one of the Legend of Zelda fanfic The Edge and the Light. It focuses on the creator's attempt to blend prose and comics together.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Wed May 15, 2013 1:02 pm

The Webcomic Hipster has a new review out of the webcomic Camden Bottoms. It's a short-but-sweet piece where the reviewer considers just how appealing a depressing webcomic can really be.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:05 am

melaredblu has a new review out of the terrible sprite webcomic Love Harbor. It's a surprisingly nice and fair review despite the low quality of the subject material, and I think it's only the second sprite comic reviewed on the blog so far (the other one being my review of Against.)
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:23 am

Here's a link to a review I wrote last week. Is it traditional to ask permission from the reviewee before you put a review up on The Webcomic Police? I assume if you're randomly choosing comics to review it doesn't matter, but since this person requested the review I wonder if the "etiquette" is a little different :P

You're next, Cabbage man.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:44 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Here's a link to a review I wrote last week. Is it traditional to ask permission from the reviewee before you put a review up on The Webcomic Police? I assume if you're randomly choosing comics to review it doesn't matter, but since this person requested the review I wonder if the "etiquette" is a little different :P
Well, if that's the case, then I've violated the "etiquette" a whole bunch of times. :X I never thought about asking for permission to post a review, though, and I don't think I've ever gotten any complaints about it. So, it's really your judgment call.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:You're next, Cabbage man.
And it's pretty good timing 'cause I just posted the chapter's last page a few days ago. :D
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby Peripheral Descent on Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:07 pm

I didn't realize how much I enjoyed reading these reviews until they stopped coming for an entire month. ;)

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Here's a link to a review I wrote last week.


I noticed a few spelling errors in this one (beilevable, thorughout, accross, istelf, forrgettable), so running a spell check through the document first might help.

I must say, I really like how you guys always include the website's design into the review. I've read reviews in the past whenever I've come across them, and not one of them has ever mentioned the site itself. But the site itself can add or subtract to the actual web comic experience.

This one was a very balanced review. I've never read the comic itself and I tend to avoid comics involving yaois (despite my two x chromosomes, lol), but from the examples you showed, I agreed with the points you were making.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:30 pm

Peripheral Descent wrote:I noticed a few spelling errors in this one (beilevable, thorughout, accross, istelf, forrgettable), so running a spell check through the document first might help.

Holy shit I'm a huge moron. I knew I had forgotten to do something :( Thanks!

This one was a very balanced review. I've never read the comic itself and I tend to avoid comics involving yaois (despite my two x chromosomes, lol), but from the examples you showed, I agreed with the points you were making.

Thanks! It was... really hard to write. Sometimes I'm reading a comic and *really really not enjoying it,* but I look and see that it has a shit ton of followers and I start to wonder if I'm just missing something. The whole time I was reading that one I was taking it really really seriously when I think it's supposed to be more lighthearted, but the art was really throwing me and it wasn't until my second readthrough that I noticed how *intentionally* silly most of the writing was. I sat on that review for weeks because I felt like I was being way too harsh and I was wondering if I was just fundamentally misinterpreting it.

I went more example heavy in that one than I think I ever have in my life :lol:

As for site design, I'm glad LC includes it in his reviews and it's inspired me to focus more on it in my own reviews. SmackJeeves has a really admirable variety of templates, which is great for people just starting out who don't want their shit to look mad plain, but then you see comics that have been running for years and have never tweaked their code at all to customize it even the slightest bit. I get that not everyone has time or the ability to really get their hands dirty with design, but even a color scheme change would do a person good to set their comic apart. Heck, go even simpler, just swap the default background image for another one :/

The worst offense (and I brought it up in this review too) in my opinion is leaving the site header/banner thing HUGE so that it occupies way too much real estate above the fold. It makes a hassle for people reading through an archive; even a relatively short archive can wear you down after you've scrolled past the same needless 900x500 banner five times. I think it happens because people never bother to go through their archive themselves, so they have no idea what it's like on the readership end.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby Peripheral Descent on Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:15 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Sometimes I'm reading a comic and *really really not enjoying it,* but I look and see that it has a shit ton of followers and I start to wonder if I'm just missing something.


I know what you mean. I used to look up "top web comics" to try and find something new to read. That actually really frustrated me, because the top comic I often found was something called "TwoKinds", which has a picture of a cat-girl on the front. I tried to read that probably seven different times, because not only did this comic have such a crap-ton of fans, it was consistently voted way up there. But I simply didn't like it. The art improved over every page it seemed, but the story, to me, was terrible. But clearly I'm a minority. I was happy when LibertyCabbage wrote a review of it, because it seemed he came away with mostly the same opinion I had of it.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:[...]then you see comics that have been running for years and have never tweaked their code at all to customize it even the slightest bit. I get that not everyone has time or the ability to really get their hands dirty with design, but even a color scheme change would do a person good to set their comic apart.


I followed Dominic Deegan for a long time, and although I'm certain he tweaked his site several times, I only really remember one change; he put a large picture of the two main characters centered on the screen. You had to scroll down to actually read his comic. It was only there a handful of days before he took it down, explaining that a lot of his viewers had complained about having to scroll down. I've seen a bunch of sites like that, and I always wonder the same thing - don't the authors consider how inconvenient it will be? If you want a large picture of your characters, put it on the main page. Or put it at the top above your gallery, where people will be going to see extra pictures anyways. Or even make it a chapter page, inside your story. *shrug*
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:05 pm

Peripheral Descent wrote:I didn't realize how much I enjoyed reading these reviews until they stopped coming for an entire month. ;)
Thanks! That's encouraging. :)

I'm very aware of my recent review drought, and I'm pretty confident that I'll be able to write more regularly in the near future. And in case you haven't seen it, I posted a new review in the Webcomic Above you thread last week.

Peripheral Descent wrote:I must say, I really like how you guys always include the website's design into the review. I've read reviews in the past whenever I've come across them, and not one of them has ever mentioned the site itself. But the site itself can add or subtract to the actual web comic experience.
Most creators don't read their own webcomics, or at least not in the way that a reader would, so I think it's helpful to share what a reader's experience is like. I also feel that the Web has a lot of creative potential, and that webcomics aren't just print comics that are in pixels instead of on paper.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I think it happens because people never bother to go through their archive themselves, so they have no idea what it's like on the readership end.
Right.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:The whole time I was reading that one I was taking it really really seriously when I think it's supposed to be more lighthearted, but the art was really throwing me and it wasn't until my second readthrough that I noticed how *intentionally* silly most of the writing was. I sat on that review for weeks because I felt like I was being way too harsh and I was wondering if I was just fundamentally misinterpreting it.
The question is, though, is "What would a casual reader think?" rather than "What do I, as a careful reviewer, think?" Because I'm guessing that most readers who are dissatisfied with a webcomic aren't gonna have a second readthrough, even if the source of their rejection is essentially a misunderstanding. So, I think you just have to trust your intuition and treat your perceptions as legitimate concerns, because the odds are in your favor that other people will have a similar reaction.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I get that not everyone has time or the ability to really get their hands dirty with design, but even a color scheme change would do a person good to set their comic apart.
It's screwy, though, how some people who spend 20-plus hours a week drawing their comic just can't seem to ever find 10 minutes to do something as simple as changing their site's background color, or throwing together a character page. Something like the latter can be vital for new readers to enjoy a lengthy story, but creators will be unwilling to spend even 1 percent of their creative time making one.

Peripheral Descent wrote:I know what you mean. I used to look up "top web comics" to try and find something new to read.
I used to use TWC as well, but then I realized that all it really shows is which creators are the best at getting their readers to click on a link. As for a better method, there's obviously reviews, but you could also check out the links section on webcomics you like.

Peripheral Descent wrote:But clearly I'm a minority.
You're really not, and it's worth keeping in mind that popularity in webcomics doesn't require a broad, mainstream appeal. The alternative to that's catering specifically to a niche but dedicated audience, which is the case with TwoKinds. Most people would think TwoKinds is trashy, but the people who do like it are really into it, and that combined with frequent, consistent updates over a long period of time are why it's gotten to be as prominent as it is.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:16 pm

What's up next on the cutting board, LC?
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:05 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:What's up next on the cutting board, LC?
Well, I was thinking of doing the Loud Era one next, but since you asked for whoever did it to wait till you finished both of yours, I'm not sure if I should put it off till later, or if I should just get it outta the way and then hold the review hostage. But I also have the String Theory review to write, What Birds Know to read and write, and two Project Wonderful experiments to write-up. But it's Friday, so that means it's time to zone out for a couple days and maybe finally get some Pageant stuff done.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:38 pm

If you wanna write mine to get it out of the way, be my guest, I just put that clause because I feel bad I've gotten so many reviews and haven't had a chance to pay it forward yet. Maybe I'll just hold off on reading it until I've written the others :P

String Theory is one of those comics that looks painfully good and I'm almost afraid to read it because I'm scared I'll like it too much :cry: I need therapy
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:35 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:String Theory is one of those comics that looks painfully good and I'm almost afraid to read it because I'm scared I'll like it too much :cry: I need therapy
I'll do PW, then the String Theory review. And it is "painfully good," although it has a big flaw in the writing that's gonna prevent me from just heaping praise on it.

Also, The Webcomic Police has a new review out done by melaredblu of the interactive noir webcomic Dead on Arrival.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:01 am

robybang from the Smack Jeeves forums has a review of Moth up as his first contribution. It's a neat webcomic that I've mentioned in GD a few times.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:35 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:robybang from the Smack Jeeves forums has a review of Moth up as his first contribution. It's a neat webcomic that I've mentioned in GD a few times.

Roby's a cool dude. I always enjoy his reviews.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:10 pm

blankd from Smack Jeeves wrote a very thorough review of a yaoi webcomic a couple months ago, and it's now on the blog if you haven't had a chance to read it yet.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:53 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:blankd from Smack Jeeves wrote a very thorough review of a yaoi webcomic a couple months ago, and it's now on the blog if you haven't had a chance to read it yet.

I sure hope blankd will do more reviews. It seems like she hasn't been around a lot lately but her input has always been valuable and she doesn't sugarcoat a thing.
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Re: I'll review your webcomic.

Postby LibertyCabbage on Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:26 pm

Webcomic: String Theory
URL: http://www.stringtheorycomic.com
Creator/s: Beckey Grundy
Run: 2/09-current
Schedule: Two or three pages a month

Website: The site has no shortage of bonus material, the most notable being a "sketch blog" Tumblr account that's updated frequently with images related the webcomic. The cast page is another highlight, as it contains original artwork and an abundance of background information, and it's stylized to look like a folder of classified government documents. The creator's attention to small details, like including watermarks, staples, and blacked-out text, make the cast page really exceptional.

I had some trouble using the archive page since I didn't immediately notice the instructions in italics at the top of the page. Specifically, there were several times I wanted to view a list of pages but was unable to, not realizing that the solution was to click the cover image on the right side of the browser window. I suggest making the instructions stand out more, adjusting the left column to be narrower, and changing the setup so that the link on the left is the one that displays the page list.

Writing: The story starts off weak, as it focuses on a poorly developed romantic relationship between Schtein and his female assistant, Delia. Pages 5 through 15 portray Schtein as a misogynist who's upset about having to work with a woman (1, 2, 3), but Page 16 brings a complete reversal, where Schtein gets so impressed by Delia's intellect that he becomes infatuated with her. This significant turn of events feels heavily forced, as it's too ridiculous that a recent college graduate would instantly grasp top-secret technology that's baffled expert scientists. In addition, this page is the only moment in the story that it's suggested Delia's a super-genius, so it seems inconsistent with how her character's portrayed, and even as soon as Page 30 she's shown clumsily fumbling around with unfamiliar technology. In any case, Page 16's twist leads to relationship drama, mixed signals, more relationship drama, more mixed signals, and, finally, jealousy, and the result's an underwhelming soap opera.

Then, this happens, and String Theory becomes one of the best webcomics I've ever read.

* continued in the next post *
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