First comic attempt--Opinions?

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First comic attempt--Opinions?

Postby inthebetween on Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:45 am

So, as the title reads, this is my very first attempt at a comic, so both the art and the writing itself is pretty cruddy, if I do say so myself. Anyways, here are my first two comics. The basic premise is a sleepaway camp, and I plan to really have the story focus less on a main character (although Lance will probably stick around enough to be considered the main man.), and more on a vast array of cast members, from the older staff to the 7 year old campers.

So, here are my very first two strips. They're kind of big, so I thought I'd just give you the links, not being familiar with typical etiquette here.
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w212 ... Strip1.png
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w212 ... icomic.png

So these here are my first two. I'm working on my third, but that'll be a while (see below).
Do you think the tempate (size of panels, arrangement, ect.) works? Is it too big? Is the text not readable enough?
Anything to say about the basic artwork ?(I am working on my figure drawing and proportions, reading tutorials, ect. hopefully I'll get more realism as I improve.)
Does anyone know how I can make the images look less...pixel-y? Any observations on that subject?
Does the size of the people correlate well to the size of the background?
Was the first comic too cliche?
Did the second one make sense? Is it clear what Melinda is holding in her hand? Was the joke clear enough? Was the joke too clear, and not funny enough?

I image it'll take a while for the comic to really get where I want it to be, right now there are a lot of introductions to be made.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w212 ... LanceR.png
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w212 ... lindaC.png

You'll no doubt notice on the lack of shading in the comics. For the third, I'm thinking I'll introduce some. What do you guys think of these two? (Sorry for the big files, again. Just going to give links.) It's harder than I expected it would be to chose which colours to use for that. The first one was my first try, and I don't think the colours correlate well. The shading on Lance's face and on his shirt is too different to look right, you can barely see it on his shirt whereas his face is has vast differences in colour. The second picture is better, I guess, with a more standardized way of choosing colours, but I'm not sure if the shading is too heavy. I guess the real question, how subtle shading needs to be, depends on the surroundings of the people. In a forest, there would be a lot of shading, no?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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Re: First comic attempt--Opinions?

Postby jam on Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:16 am

Not bad for a first comic!

The layout of the panels looks fine. Displays all right on my screen.

Text is too scrunchy and a bit difficult to read. Try making your word balloons larger and increasing the letter- and line-spacing a bit. You'll also want a more readable font--there are lots of good free comic lettering fonts at blambot.com.

Also, panel 3 of page 2 - you need to rethink your balloon placement. The way they are right now, the reader is likely to read them all out of order (starting with Lance's first line).

Anatomy - The biggest thing is that you want to tone down those eyes a bit. At the moment they're taking over the faces. Most importantly, they're taking up most of the forehead space, which means you don't have much room for eyebrows. Eyebrows are extremely important for showing all kinds of facial expressions, so naturally... you want them visible. Right now, your characters don't really change expression--they just look mildly shocked most of the time.

Writing - The first page is fine. I smiled. The second page makes less sense. The characters jump from topic to topic with little explanation, and I'm not sure where the joke was in there.

Coloring - What you have now looks fine for the style of the comic. If you're concerned about the shadows being too dark in some places, you can just turn down the opacity on that layer.

Other drawing things - You already have variation in your line width, which is a good thing. But I think you can use this technique better to your advantage. Especially this: Right now, you have a lot of background elements drawn with a thick outline. This makes them stand out more than they should, and thus confuses the picture. In general, dark/thick lines make things come forward, and light/thin lines make things recede. So try to save thick lines for the outlines of your characters and important, close-up things in the background, and do the details and the rest of the background with thinner lines. That way, the most important things will stand out.

Hope that helps. :)
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Re: First comic attempt--Opinions?

Postby inthebetween on Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:15 pm

Thanks so much for taking the time.

Just a quick question, are you sure you're viewing it zoomed in, and thus full sized (I only ask because the one friend I showed said the same thing, and it turned out she wasn't). Even then, especially with the second one, it still has smaller text and bubbles than most other comics, now that I look at it some more. The text itself IS from blambot, and will probably look better when it's bigger.

I think I might re-do the text in that page, more spaced out with bigger bubbles. It might even warrant a re-write, but more on that later.

That's a good point, I was trying to put my finger on why it was so hard to do expressions, seeing as all I had to work with was a mouth. The characters don't need to be obscenely adorable at all times.

That's what I was worried about. I think the joke itself works, it just needs to be clearer, and maybe trim off the extra stuff. Essentially what's supposed to be happening is that Melinda's looking at the employee manual for the camp, and seeing all the inaccuracies in it, ex. the upside-done connect-the-dots donkey, instead of an actual map. She mentions that Lance is not wearing the appropriate uniform. No one wears the uniform, and thus Melinda will look like a dork. Melinda complains she'll never fit in with the other councillors, when she's wearing the stupid uniform It's funny because really it should be the other way around??
Okay, new script:
Panel 2:
L: Hey, you must be new. I'm Lance.
Panel 3:
M: Yeah, I just got the job. I'm Melinda...This handbook makes no sense!
L: Really? I didn't even open mine.
M: Obviously. If you had you'd be wearing your uniform right now!
L: Pshh, no one wears the uniform.
M: Look, right here...
Panel 4:
M: I only brought this stupid shirt! I'll NEVER fit in with the councillors!
L: Hey, if you turn the map upside down, it's a connect-the-dots donkey!

Is the concept clearer? Some hint of an actual joke?

You're so right. Before, I never put much thought in to like width, but ! see what you're talking about. All I was doing is as I drew each piece, I gave them all thicker outline. Especially with the resizing, the trees look weird.

Thanks again for the help.
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