Need some helpful criticism

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

Need some helpful criticism

Postby GMMattHuff on Tue Jun 25, 2002 3:50 pm

Hi I'm kinda new to webcomics and I am looking to see how people think of my art and whatever.

My site is http://manga.keenspace.com

look through everything (even though the links arent really up yet) and tell me what you think
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Practice practice practice

Postby JCaramagna on Tue Jul 09, 2002 9:24 am

The biggest criticism I have is that you use the computer too much. Yes, there are a ton of things that are done with computers nowadays, but if you don't practice doing things by hand, it show sthrough in the final product. It's always easier to use a Photoshop texture pattern as a background, but you'll never learn to draw good backgrounds if you use that as a crutch. The computer is a tool, like a pencil or an inkbrush. Use it that way. Also, look at the lettering in comic strips and comic books. Your word balloons are WAY too huge for the lettering. People think that lettering is a minor part of the work, but sharp lettering can make bad art look professional, but bad art can never make bad lettering look professional.

Genius is in the details. Don't gloss over backgrounds and lettering just because it's "faster." Also, use lots of reference. It isn't cheating. And practice, practice, practice!

Joe
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advice and stuff

Postby LaterJ on Sun Jul 14, 2002 10:31 pm

I agree with the comment on background, yours looks fuzzy, almost like you barely tried to draw it. No offence or anything. My strip is set in a general store which should call for a LOT of backgrounds. But I have a way of circumventing the needless drawing... I don't draw backgrounds.
Don't missunderstand me, I don't mean NEVER draw backgrounds, but only draw the background elements that you need for the strip, for that story. Ask yourself, do I need to draw that lamp, table and chair? If you do, draw them nicely. If you don't, do something else. Your 2 characters there are going somewhere, so put them by the door... throw a light swicth on the wall... stuff like that.
You have intense light in your current strip coming from the lamp. I can tell because your characters have intense shadows on them opposite the lamp. In a room in which there is only one light on, the wall would not be that bright all over. Tone down your background color in that scenario, and in general. Reducing the saturation and value of your background color is good in most situations anyway. If there's more light in the room, your characters should be lit from above a bit too. Cielings are white because they're meant to reflect light down for better illumination... things in general are commonly lit from above. When using gradients on walls and sky, it's always better to use a linear gradient than a circular one; skies are whiter on the horizon, walls are darker at the floor.
My best piece of advice for you is 2 words: Visual Economy. You don't seem to be using your space effectively. You have huge areas of blue background filled with a tiny little dialog bubble. Try pulling the elements in the comic panel closer together. Move in for close ups, pull back for long shots and change angles to increase interest. You are NOT a newspaper comic. You are not confined to a set number of panels from a single angle like Garfield. You are an internet comic, you have no limits. Mix it up a little. Stagger and overlap panels. Do close ups when a character's expression is important. Choose your scene elements based on what will tell your joke the best, not because its your default. What might also help your visual economy is changing your dialog bubbles. Don't uses circles because it's hard to fit text in there. Draw a rounded box or at least fit your text into the circle better. In Photoshop (and I'm sure in other graphics packages) you can select portions of text and change the spacing or even squash and stretch it so it fits nicely in the bubble.
I started doing a more comic-book style format with my strip over a year ago and it completely alterered the look and feel. It made it better.
You're ten comics in, you're not locked into anything. Play around, have fun.
I hope this helped. If have any questions, let me know.
later
-J

Retail Weekly: The internet comic for 9 to 5ers
http://retail.keenspace.com
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Lets see

Postby BunELovecraft on Mon Jul 15, 2002 7:22 pm

Well lets see here.....

First off, the characters and art style really resembles MacHall. It's concidered bad form to have a comic that almost looks like a spin off of another, unless you meant it to be a spoof of it.

Two...with simple art, the image doesn't have to be quite as big. It could be viewed and read just as easily in half the size and it wouldn't take so long to load. ^`^ Many online comics are very detailed and need the space, but remember that the less detail is used, the less size is needed for clarity.

Aheh...I know I'm picky, I had the saaaaaaaaame problem until about April.

Hmm...the comic I viewed actually could have been done in three horizontal panels at 40% the size considering the images conveyed. I'm a stickler for saving space...don't mind me. Above all practice and keep the inking consistant. If you're gonna go sketchy, do it all that way, smooth...you get the picture.

Good luck
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