In the interests of continuing this, I'm reviewing Eight to One. Addressed to the artist.
Art: I really like the art, and it's really improved a lot over its initial form. Sometimes it looks you are trying too hard, for example the current page, but I'm not actually sure which of the two dominant styles is actually "harder". It seems like the comics with Charles are generally more "sketchy" than the more clean lines with the Mary comics. True or otherwise, I much prefer the sketchy style and hope you continue it. I really love the use of different camera angles that pervades the comic, such as the from underneath view of the 6-24-05 comic. This seems to be a particular skill of yours.
Points of style that are particularly good include the panel borders (one of the first things that stands out when evaluating the comic, the panel borders are excellent and unique), the occassional extreme emotional take (particularly interesting given the unique character's facial structures), and the odd fantasy moment.
Sometimes the character styles are a bit inconsistent, especially over the scope of the comic. Mary has changed dramatically, and not always is it explainable away. Sometimes a given character will have extreme changes in facial structure over the course of a storyline, such as the art critics from the last arc. Mary's freckles are sometimes confusing and often disconcerting, especially since she seemed to start without any. It's also odd how two pages that seem to be at the same level of style, will show something like her freckles in two completely different ways.
Sometimes pages aren't finished. Not often, but it seems more often because you tend to point it out. Don't do that!
Writing: I enjoy the writing, I smile at most of the jokes, and I'm interested in the characters. That says a lot. The characters are also quite distinct, writing-wise. One problem I have is that the comics don't always stand alone. In a given arc, there may not be any payoff until the end, leaving a lot of pages devoid of closure. The current page happens to be a good example. Pretty, yes, well written, uh...? Sometimes character development gets in the way of story or (in its place) humor. They should work together more seamlessly.
One thing I really like in the writing, and I'd like to see more of, is the use of references to previous events. Referring to something that happened even a moment before (story time) or a few nights ago adds to the flow and is really appreciated, especially since in a few places, that dialogue has clarified something that wasn't necessarily clear from the previous comic.
Site: The simplistic design really works for this comic. The black and white color theme allows the site to integrate really well with the art (damn banner ads). The use of font-in-image is well done, and I was impressed by the links page for this reason. I found the dailytemplate to be a bit cluttered, mostly because the text was always there, on every page, above the comic. At the current length of the comic, and given the fact that there are identifiable arcs, adding some links to chapters to your archive page would really be beneficial. The wall o' calendar is a bit sizeable and somewhat useless.
Regarding the calendars, change to the ***css_calendar*** tag. You don't have to change your CSS coding, I imagine just using that tag will allow it to integrate with your site better. You could block the W's if you wanted, take a look at the help or gear forum for more details.
Pet Peeves: Get the garbage out of the archive. Especially the unfinished comic (May 19th was it?). It's good to let your audience know that you are working on it, but you should have erased the unfinished version with the finished one. Now both are in the archives. Remove the pinups too, or if you want to keep them in the archives, move them away from critical story points. Covers are great, just not midclimax. Keep everything related directly to the story, remove the rest. A lot of artists don't do this, but I personally think it's critical. Not that I follow my own advice.
Don't bash the art in your comments. It's just tacky. And if you comment about a comic being late or something, remove the comment when the comic is 6 months old. At that point, it's not really late anymore.
While I think you could do things to improve the comic, even if you didn't, I think you've got a really great thing here that's definitely ahead of the curve. I like where it's headed now and I hope that you keep the good things you have and avoid picking up any bad ones. Sorry if you wanted a more negative review, I don't really see the need for it.
Last edited by Risky
on Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:11 am, edited 3 times in total.