need tips and critique on my comic

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

need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Crrash on Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:14 am

well my first run of strips is online and so i thought i'd get some critique other than "oh thats so cool! i could never make something like that!" and "thats really good! (even though it's crappy, but im not going to tell you that so i don't hurt your feelings or something)". It's only four strips (well, six, but only two are the way the comic is going to be mainly), but it's what i had already made by the time i had the site up.

ah yes, the site! http://crrash.comicgenesis.com that would be.

to the site itself:
1. The title is in portuguese even though the comic is in english. I'd like to maintain it that way, but i realize it might turn people away. should i add some kind of subtitle in english? or what would be best?
2. The site itself was made with my limited html knowledge from way back at my first two attempts at making comic sites and general hubs for things by and for me and some friends (though we never were much dedicated to that so it never lived too long.. wait, why again am i talking about this?). So i realize it might not be the best thing ever, specially since it's so reliant on pictures and some things ended up bigger (or smaller) than i'd like because it all came from a page i printed on and then scanned. I've also got a cbox on the main page (is that within the rules? i mean its not like the tagboards we seem to have to remove) and a statcounter thingy in the background to get an idea of the visits. Anything i could change and make better? I kinda like the style, so i wouldn't like to change it too much.
3. i kept a space free (to the left of the calendar) for the newsbox image thingy. i guess i still can't upload my own image, so no reason to put it there yet, right?

to the comic:
1. i keep complaining in the area i made into my own comment to each comic about the faults i see... shouldn't really do that, right? not a good idea to make readers aware of the faults, mh?
2. text. what would you recommend? i'm still trying to get the hang of drawing and writing on my HP Pav tx2000 and what settings to use. it might get better, but my handwriting isn't much better on paper (though less bold and thus easier to read :P. also this would be awesome training to get better handwriting). I could also just use the writing tool, in that case what font and fontsize would you recommend?
3. i suck at consistency. i draw a character one way one time, and another way another time. I tried using geometric forms and lines and such as every tutorial ever teaches but even those always come out different and don't really help me. also how do i figure how a character should look seen from different angles? when i try i get the feeling they look like different people with the same hair.
also i prefer the 3/4 view, since i feel the profile view looks too flat and the front view is.. dunno hard or something, don't really like it. any way too make the profile less flat or is it okay as it is?
4. and well generally what do you think and what do you think i should do better?

i think that's about it :D on to doing homework and incessantly refreshing this page until i get one or more responses whenever that is.
Crrash
Newbie
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:04 am

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Samuli on Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:27 am

You mentioned these yourself:

2. The text is way too small, I can't read it – or could if I REALLY wanted to but it's just too much effort. You are trying to fit too much text in too small a space.

2. Your hand lettering is also difficult to read because the letter spaces are too wide and the word spaces too shallow. You need to group letters in a word together and separate words from one another. EDIT: on closer reading, it's just inconsistent. If you're having trouble writing small, write big and scale it down to match. And use guidelines to keep the script steady.

1. The complaining box below the comic is preventing me from actually getting into the comic itself. Metatext not working here. The proper place for those kinds of notes are in your journal or here. When you are publishing stuff you really have to think: "What does a reader get from this?"

It looks as if the comic has promise but please fix these, so I can read it :)
Image
User avatar
Samuli
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:46 pm

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Crrash on Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:00 am

Samuli wrote:You mentioned these yourself:

2. The text is way too small, I can't read it – or could if I REALLY wanted to but it's just too much effort. You are trying to fit too much text in too small a space.

2. Your hand lettering is also difficult to read because the letter spaces are too wide and the word spaces too shallow. You need to group letters in a word together and separate words from one another. EDIT: on closer reading, it's just inconsistent. If you're having trouble writing small, write big and scale it down to match. And use guidelines to keep the script steady.

1. The complaining box below the comic is preventing me from actually getting into the comic itself. Metatext not working here. The proper place for those kinds of notes are in your journal or here. When you are publishing stuff you really have to think: "What does a reader get from this?"

It looks as if the comic has promise but please fix these, so I can read it :)

i think i'll just try with the writing tool, and heck there's better ways to make the speechbubbles anyway (whyever did i think that making them by hand was a good idea?). Though i think it kinda fits for the first three panels of the second strip.
sooo, how wrong would it be to use comic sans? :)

about the comment thingy. is something like in the first strip okay and anything more complainy should be removed and avoided? curse my tendency to point out all my own mistakes so others have nothing left to criticize :P
Crrash
Newbie
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:04 am

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Ohemgee on Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:30 am

The title is actually good, in my non-Portuguese opinion, because it's unique. you could add an English subtitle though or make it a bit smaller, so that people can quickly see English on the site as well (and not have to scroll down).

As far as consistent character design goes, it seems you've done alright, as long as the characters have very distinct characteristics (and the fact that your comic is in colour helps) like hair length and clothing styles. Your profiles seemed to be alright as well, not too flat. It's a good idea to draw your characters in profile as well as from the front (even if it doesn't look quite perfect), so that you can practice drawing the face from these positions, and it also makes the comic look better overall with variety.

For my handlettering I use guides on photoshop and write slowly and as large as possible in the guides. Sometimes this means going back and erasing whole lines of text but it's worth it to make the comic readable (okay my comic isn't a great example of readability...). For the site issues I can't help much though.

One last thing. Switching between large many paneled epic story line and a sort of gag college strip (I presume) makes it a bit disjointed... I know it's still early in your webcomic and now you just need to accumulate an archive, but consistency in storyline will help new readers go through your archive without giving up.

Good luck!
Image
Though not universally, squares are widely regarded as having an even number of sides that has been conjectured by experts in the field to be approximately four.
User avatar
Ohemgee
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:06 am
Location: Lala land

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Jin-roh on Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:00 am

I actually think your site looks fine. Better than mine anyway.

It is my personal opinion that hand drawn text should be avoided whenever possible. I would suggest finding and using any non-comic sans font you can find. You can get them for free.

Your MYST comic was clever.
Image
Jin-roh
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:28 am
Location: So CAl

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Crrash on Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:29 pm

Ohemgee wrote:The title is actually good, in my non-Portuguese opinion, because it's unique. you could add an English subtitle though or make it a bit smaller, so that people can quickly see English on the site as well (and not have to scroll down).

yeah, it came out a bit big. Maybe i'll try making it smaller. Though this time without actually printing the title on a piece of paper. too much work for not much of an effect and it's hard to fix it if it turns out too big or too small.

Ohemgee wrote:As far as consistent character design goes, it seems you've done alright, as long as the characters have very distinct characteristics (and the fact that your comic is in colour helps) like hair length and clothing styles.

hair will be different due to everyone i'm basing this on having their on style, clothing however might fall back on t-shirts a bit often due to lack of imagination (though it might change if i ever remember how the others dress :P)
Ohemgee wrote:Your profiles seemed to be alright as well, not too flat. It's a good idea to draw your characters in profile as well as from the front (even if it doesn't look quite perfect), so that you can practice drawing the face from these positions, and it also makes the comic look better overall with variety.

i'm making a strip which pretty much works as practice for several positions. the biggest problem i'm having is, how should i draw noses from various points of view. I guess i'll eventually get the hang of it.
Ohemgee wrote:For my handlettering I use guides on photoshop and write slowly and as large as possible in the guides. Sometimes this means going back and erasing whole lines of text but it's worth it to make the comic readable (okay my comic isn't a great example of readability...)

ah that really sounds like a pain. Now i'm definitely going back and changing everything to something not handwritten :P
Ohemgee wrote:One last thing. Switching between large many paneled epic story line and a sort of gag college strip (I presume) makes it a bit disjointed... I know it's still early in your webcomic and now you just need to accumulate an archive, but consistency in storyline will help new readers go through your archive without giving up.

true... better keep the theme. It's mainly about whatever (humorous) things happen to me or friends, and us being university students i guess it falls into the "gag college strip" category. In no way am i going to continue making those more epic (i guess) strips regularly (but it just so happens that in 4 weeks i did two :P) so it wouldn't break the flow very much. however if it's really better to not mix it, i might just make another comicgenesis page (naaah, then i'd feel obligated to update it :P) or just dump it on deviantart.
Ohemgee wrote:Good luck!

thanks :D
Jin-roh wrote:It is my personal opinion that hand drawn text should be avoided whenever possible. I would suggest finding and using any non-comic sans font you can find. You can get them for free.

i just googled for "font for comics" and came up with this: http://www.blambot.com/font_digitalstrip.shtml. Does it seem good? btw. why do many comics write in all-caps? is it some readability thing?
Jin-roh wrote:Your MYST comic was clever.

thanks :)
Crrash
Newbie
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:04 am

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Jin-roh on Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:55 pm

I am not sure why many comics write in all caps. My guess is that it is probably for a nice "clean" look.

Blambot is a great place to start. 1001freefonts.com is also good. Yes, that font looks nice to me.

I use "Anime Ace" and have for over two years. It is all caps, is nice and readable, and can do bold and italics with some fonts do not have available. You can feel free to look around for whatever works best for your comic. Personally, I think that most dialogue/text fonts are as good as any other, so pick was aesthetically appropriate to your genre.

Just never, ever, use Comic Sans.
Image
Jin-roh
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:28 am
Location: So CAl

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Samuli on Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:24 pm

Crrash wrote:i just googled for "font for comics" and came up with this: http://www.blambot.com/font_digitalstrip.shtml. Does it seem good? btw. why do many comics write in all-caps? is it some readability thing?


Everybody's using blambot. They're good.

Yes, all caps it's a readability thing, hand lettering in a very small size is easier to make out if the letter forms are caps. Also, it was probably faster to hand letter caps when it was still all done by hand.

A good way to judge if your text is readable enough is to do this: look at a spot on the screen other than your speech bubble, snap your eyes to the bubble and back, don't let them stay on the text more than 1 second. If you could make out most of what was in the bubble, you're ok. If you want to be sure, make your friend type something in the bubble so you don't know what it says.

I think if you like hand lettering a lot and are willing to dedicate time to learning the artform, then it's way better than any font - you can do so much more with it (look at Will Eisner's comics or Cerebus). But since you obviously are not that into it, just find a nice free font and type away! I use Acme Secret Agent because it has scandic letters. I even bought rights to use it commercially (and I have)!

Oh yes, and you mentioned not remembering what people wear – take reference photos (or sketches). If you have a camera phone, nothing could be easier. Your friends probably won't mind.
Image
User avatar
Samuli
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:46 pm

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Crrash on Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:58 am

Samuli wrote:Everybody's using blambot. They're good.

good :)
didn't really know about them before

Samuli wrote:Oh yes, and you mentioned not remembering what people wear – take reference photos (or sketches). If you have a camera phone, nothing could be easier. Your friends probably won't mind.

yeah i'll probably do that.

well, i uploaded a newer version of the first comic and the newest. tell me what you think.
i wanted to change the comments i made to the comics, and also upload a newer version from the second comic, but it just won't let me. it says i don't have enough permissions to substitute the files... i'll look into that later though
Crrash
Newbie
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:04 am

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby mikemacdee on Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:18 pm

There's nothing inherently wrong with doing speech balloons and lettering by hand. How do you think professional comic book artists and cartoonists usually do it? And there's a variety of ways to make it look good, but I think the two most important things are to make the letters legible and to make all dialogue as concise as possible so the words don't clutter the page. Writing practice is needed for that second one. In addition, doing lettering and speech balloons by hand will make it more consistent with the comic's style. I've also read that you don't want to have more than 20 words per panel as a rule of thumb to keep from crowding it with text.

The second-to-most-recent comic is perfectly readable, but it would be better if the text was a little bigger. In panel 2 the line "much better" is a good, readable size that's easy on the eye. Panel 1's text is a bit of a strain on the eye, and panel 3's text is good but could be just a bit bigger. The clown statue comic is perfectly readable because you use computer font....but it's really not as nice-looking as your hand-lettered text in the previous one (you have nice handwriting for this medium), and EVERYBODY uses computer font anyway. The art has greatly improved, but not using hand-lettered text kinda pushes the comic's overall look toward Generictown. Others will probably disagree. Bottom line, while the art in the latest comic is better than in the previous one, I think the previous one looks better overall because it's ALL your penwork.

As for comments about what you think is wrong with the page of the day, DON'T DO IT. Not because it makes the flaws stand out more, but because it doesn't do you any favors as an artist in the eyes of your readers. They'll wonder why you bother posting it if you think it's so terrible, or maybe just think you're whiny. Frankly you shouldn't need to leave comments at all! Let the page speak for itself.
User avatar
mikemacdee
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: a desert

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Samuli on Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:49 am

Crrash wrote:well, i uploaded a newer version of the first comic and the newest. tell me what you think.
i wanted to change the comments i made to the comics, and also upload a newer version from the second comic, but it just won't let me. it says i don't have enough permissions to substitute the files... i'll look into that later though


MUCH better! Now I can read all except the Myst-episode, which still has minuscule text. I don't know what kind of display you have but you have to remember that these days many people have high-resolution displays that aren't necessarily larger. So everything becomes even smaller for them.

I like the style of the art in the latest comic (statue) quite a lot, very good job on the background and colouring. I wasn't too keen on the photographic backgrounds. This fits much better.

And I think that you're probably right to stick to the humour strip format, it works better for me at least.
Image
User avatar
Samuli
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:46 pm

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Crrash on Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:00 am

i'm sill trying to figure out how to fix the myst one. originally the panels were seperate and bigger, that's why now everything is too small. i'll either have to delete the text at the beginning and end and make the drawn panels bigger, or somehow rewrite it and rearrange the text.
Crrash
Newbie
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:04 am

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby mikemacdee on Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:41 pm

The Myst comic suffers from "wall o' text". You need WAY more panels to accommodate all those balloons, otherwise you may as well just write a script and post that. You can fix it by drawing a panel for every pair of word balloons, which means you'd have to redo it from scratch, but it'll be better off that way anyway.
User avatar
mikemacdee
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: a desert

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Crrash on Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:25 am

mikemacdee wrote:The Myst comic suffers from "wall o' text". You need WAY more panels to accommodate all those balloons, otherwise you may as well just write a script and post that. You can fix it by drawing a panel for every pair of word balloons, which means you'd have to redo it from scratch, but it'll be better off that way anyway.

yeah. it wasn't born to be a panel of a multipanel comic limited to 700px width. I'm still going to see if i can fix it somehow without having to draw anything new. heck i only eventually made a second panel since i already had part of it drawn and the rest i edited to fit... maybe ill make more panels and do the same again for them.
though right now my buffer is used up and i really should try making a new buffer, specially with christmas coming up.

on a different note: i've finally changed all the speechbubbles in the other comics and made the title smaller.

edit: ooooor i might just try it now for the heck of it. do you think the myst comic is ok now? still as much text as ever though
Crrash
Newbie
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:04 am

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby mikemacdee on Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:18 pm

It's definitely better, but it would still benefit from being redone from scratch and without a copy-paste job. Making the joke more concise would help you a lot. The last part with the intern isn't really necessary: you could end it nicely with the "sucker" bit. You can definitely leave out the bit about the bad linking book considering if the editor frees Cyrus, he'll be trapped in his stead (which is more logical and pretty damn funny).
User avatar
mikemacdee
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: a desert

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Crrash on Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:51 pm

mikemacdee wrote:It's definitely better, but it would still benefit from being redone from scratch and without a copy-paste job. Making the joke more concise would help you a lot. The last part with the intern isn't really necessary: you could end it nicely with the "sucker" bit. You can definitely leave out the bit about the bad linking book considering if the editor frees Cyrus, he'll be trapped in his stead (which is more logical and pretty damn funny).

meh, i think i'll leave it at that. i don't feel it's worth having all that work with a strip that isn't part of the main comic and really has its current non-single-panel form just as an afterthought.

btw. Myst lore (the comic was made for a myst group) says that trap books where you switch places with whomever inside don't exist and are an artistic liberty, that's why i wrote that extra line, even though i'm depicting a scene from the first myst game where it was said that those were trap books. So the business guy would know he'd need a linking book if he wanted to save sirrus, so better give him a book that sends him to an alternate version of Kveer with no way to leave.
ah well, it really would remove some clutter
Crrash
Newbie
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:04 am

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby henrygrik on Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:24 am

Hi,
The comics need to be published in the different languages. So, that people who don't know English they could too enjoy the comics. As it is published only in some languages only, it gets limited to the people who can read those language. Comics should not be treated as looking as the rich people or the people of one specific criteria,but looking globally.
henrygrik
Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:48 am

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby Crrash on Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:50 am

henrygrik wrote:Hi,
The comics need to be published in the different languages. So, that people who don't know English they could too enjoy the comics. As it is published only in some languages only, it gets limited to the people who can read those language. Comics should not be treated as looking as the rich people or the people of one specific criteria,but looking globally.

uhm, nice and all that you want me to make the strips in more languages (i could offer portuguese and german too, though any other language would need a translator or a bit more work) but i chose english for the comic, exactly because its the language most people can understand (none of my realllife friends speak english as their primary language, but its the only language most of them have in common)
Crrash
Newbie
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:04 am

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:44 am

I think it's some spam, crrash.
Image
Don't kid yourself, friend. I still know how.
"I'd much rather dream about my co-written Meth Beatdown script tonight." -JSConner800000000
User avatar
VeryCuddlyCornpone
Cartoon Hero
 
Posts: 3136
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:02 pm
Location: the spoonited plates of Americup

Re: need tips and critique on my comic

Postby mikemacdee on Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:40 pm

And/or moronitude.
User avatar
mikemacdee
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: a desert

Next

 

Return to Technique Tips and Tricks



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest