A little bit of comic surgery required.

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A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:22 am

Okay I should probably wait to address this until after Cuddly does her review but since when do I ever do what makes sense.

So the main problem with my comic IS the poor writing, primarily at the beginning, which has led to poor characterization as the story has progressed.

Now one solution to fix this would be the "Band-aid Method" where I just do a bunch of short side-stories to plug the plot-holes, but this would lead to a lot of inconsistencies in both art and writing so it's not the best choice - it's the easiest choice - and doing the easy choice is what has got me in this mess in the first place.

So I've (almost) decided some surgery is in need - time to cut out the bad and put some good in it's place - and I'm hoping for some feedback on this decision, am I doing the right thing?

As it stands right now I plan to get rid of episodes one, two, three, four and eight - which will eliminate the xgame from the comic and change the tone of the comic from the sports-based beginning to the character/relationship story it is becoming (and should have been from the beginning).

Then I'll need to write a bunch of new episodes to fill out the start - and this time do it properly - starting with a proper introduction for Sammi, more backstory on Max and the long-promised story of how Roy and Lisa met. In essence more stories about the people being the people.

Of course all of this will cause a bunch more problems for me in how I'll deliver this reworking to the audience and when to start on that.

So yeah any thoughts?
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby Wendybird on Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:37 am

I'd say the best way to go for your audience is, first write and redraw the new sections, see that they fit in smoothly with the rest, then replace the old stuff all at once. This would require probably more patience than I have, though, since I'm motivated by an update schedule.

The other option that makes sense to me is to post your new pages in a different place before they are completed. Then you can insert each arc into your archives once it's ready. I'm not sure when you'd want to take out the stuff you want to take out in that case.

I guess whether this will work for you and how to time it depends on your personal rhythm; it's the kind of thing you won't know until you try. I thought I could do two comics at once. I couldn't but I learned a lot. I also expanded my capability so that now I can work on a lot more stuff at once.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:40 am

I have a few suggestions for you along this line that I'll put into my review :) Seems that you and I are both having a period of reflection regarding our earlier work.


p.s. Welcome back, Wendybird! Haven't seen you around in a while :)
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby McDuffies on Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:39 am

I guess I already responded in a Webcomic above discussion thread.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:26 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I have a few suggestions for you along this line that I'll put into my review :) Seems that you and I are both having a period of reflection regarding our earlier work.


Subtle difference, your beginning actually works well enough.

I'll wait for your suggestions before I talk anymore about fixing my problems.

I mean my comic's problems.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:13 am

So yeah I'm going to wait until I finish Episode 13 (the end of season 1) before I fix the beginning.

But I will try to work on the new stuff as I go if time allows.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:10 am

Good luck!!
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby McDuffies on Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:02 pm

I still want to try to dissuade you from rewriting your early pages any time soon. If my comments partially convinced you to go a step back instead of showing you an optional direction forward, then they were counter-productive. The idea in pointing to faults of your earlier writing was to use this as an example of what to avoid when writing future pages, not to point to the places where you should start putting patches. When I said that one day you'll probably want to go and rewrite it yet again, I meant that it's 100% sure you'll want to do that. I'm not quite convinced that at this moment you'll be able to write a beginning that will hold well with time. I mean, you have shown some progress since you started the comic, but that isn't enough.
I mean, you've just passed a serious rite of passage where several people really gave you a kind of comments that are a tough pill to pop even in small doses. It's a kind of thing that, only with passage of time, practice and work, can develop into knowledge and skill. Now that some flaws have been shown, it probably seems easy to avoid them, to apply everything that you've learned. But it's not, writing only gets good when you've integrated that knowledge in your writing so much that you don't have to think about it anymore. I would personally like to see you keep working as you have so far, and letting all those lessons find a place in your writing, and only when you can look behind at your last chapter and say that you're satisfied with it and with what you're capable of writing, should you start doing things that you want perfected.
Ie, no time frame at which you'll start rewriting it, but rather a goal, a level of skills at which you'll know that you won't be going back and rewriting it again after that.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:17 am

Thanks for the advice McDuffies.

Truth of the matter is I've wanted to get rid of the Xgame for a while now - which is why I haven't even mentioned it in comic this year - and was planning to (after finishing this season at ep13) do some side stories to tell the stuff I'd not gotten to in the main story.
So it's not so much a matter of you guys making me want to rewrite but more you guys helping me figure out what else I didn't tell that I should have.

A closer look at the problems shows me I only really need to remove about 60 pages and rework what's left of those early chapters before adding anything new (probably around 80 new pages), just to give some proper introduction and character development - and I'm sure in next year's WAY y'all will find plenty of flaws with the new stuff but hopefully it will work better as a cohesive whole. I certainly don't expect it to be flawless, just more readable and more fitting with where the story is now and is heading.

Either way it'll take me almost the rest of the year to finish this season so there'll be plenty of time to figure it all out.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby Phact0rri on Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:17 pm

I would agree with the "non-rework" situation. Just because your old comics were weak (whose wasn't?), you can go forward bettering your self as you go. There's no set rule that you can't organically adjust things as you go. For the most part this is a hobby, and a learning exercise more than anything. And I think we draw a lot (where's Joel when you need him) of understanding and skill from looking at the failures. More forward, but don't worry about what has already happened.

If you get disastified, I am in the school just pack it up and make a new comic. But you should always focus on moving forward and progressing. There's loads of comics out there that were just TERRIBLE starting out, and are now completely awesome. Cool thing about this community is that we are all students and teachers.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby McDuffies on Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:32 am

Phact0rri wrote:I would agree with the "non-rework" situation. Just because your old comics were weak (whose wasn't?), you can go forward bettering your self as you go. There's no set rule that you can't organically adjust things as you go. For the most part this is a hobby, and a learning exercise more than anything. And I think we draw a lot (where's Joel when you need him) of understanding and skill from looking at the failures. More forward, but don't worry about what has already happened.

Also: the skill of avoiding known mistakes when writing new material is much more sought after than the skill of rewriting old material when someone points to those mistakes. But I think we've already dissuaded Schooby.

If you get disastified, I am in the school just pack it up and make a new comic.

There's also a lot of cases where authors were very attached to their characters, so they were starting new comics reusing old characters. Take John Allison for examole, he's been using his characters of Shelly and Tim since his pre-internet high school comics.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:38 am

McDuffies wrote:
If you get disastified, I am in the school just pack it up and make a new comic.

There's also a lot of cases where authors were very attached to their characters, so they were starting new comics reusing old characters. Take John Allison for examole, he's been using his characters of Shelly and Tim since his pre-internet high school comics.


Schoob's got that down pat :D This is his second incarnation of these characters.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby McDuffies on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:11 am

I think that kind of "being satisfied with all parts of your comic" doesn't happen in webcomics... remember reading your favourite webcomic, five years of archives, and then returning to it's beginning to reread it again, then thinking "hey, I don't remember it being this crude!"
Anyways, some of the best stories start in the middle.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby Phact0rri on Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:41 pm

McDuffies wrote:I think that kind of "being satisfied with all parts of your comic" doesn't happen in webcomics... remember reading your favourite webcomic, five years of archives, and then returning to it's beginning to reread it again, then thinking "hey, I don't remember it being this crude!"
Anyways, some of the best stories start in the middle.


I think having a consistent style works well in print comics. but Webcomics are a much longer burn than those for the most part.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby McDuffies on Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:50 pm

Phact0rri wrote:I think having a consistent style works well in print comics. but Webcomics are a much longer burn than those for the most part.

But even newspaper comics are rarely consistent from beginning to end. Just remember those early Calvin & Hobbes strips.
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:02 pm

McDuffies wrote:
Phact0rri wrote:I think having a consistent style works well in print comics. but Webcomics are a much longer burn than those for the most part.

But even newspaper comics are rarely consistent from beginning to end. Just remember those early Calvin & Hobbes strips.


or Garfield

he had those beady little eyes
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Re: A little bit of comic surgery required.

Postby McDuffies on Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:38 pm

Yeah. When he actually was fat. Garfield kept getting redesigned to make him more ready-made for merchandize, animation and that kind of stuff.
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