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Postby The Neko on Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:55 pm

Bloodline

Art: The art is simplistic, which seems to contrast the comic-book style format chosen. (This is just a personal preconception, but I tend to associate formats with detail expectations.) At times, the backgrounds are well-done (such as in the last two pages), while in others, there's unnecessary blank space in the panels (page 13).


Writing:
The concept for the story is very interesting, and the ending is quite disturbing. The author definitely had a point to show the audience. However, I think it would have been better if there were more pages that developed the characters and the situations. It seems the characters are thrust into something very quickly, and then everything else is resolved just as quickly.
The overall message is very simplistic (especially for a complex issue) and is explicity told to the audience in the last statement in page 6. Without the development of characters and dramatic irony, the ending ends up being less striking and powerful to the reader. If we started to care for Mai Sing and explore her personality further, her fate becomes much more sad than it is. The audience feels the connection suddenly cut off, and it's sad.
It would also have been interesting to explore what happened after the police took them in. Surely an investigator wouldn't take their word for it without evidence, etc. It would really build things up further.
Also, the reasoning of the parents doesn't make sense. I mean, people would notice that A) she's gone B) the timing of when the child is born being less than 9 months after the disappearance.

In short, the idea is definitely solid, but it seems to be more of a frame for a story than a finished product.

Smaller errors:
Page 6 has typos like "damped" and "swer". Some other pages have punctuation and grammar errors. At other times, the spoken words are not incorrect, but just awkward.

Site:
Bare-Bones. No extra features. None are really necessary for this piece, though. Although it would be nice if Navigation also went backwards as well.
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Postby Tangho on Sat Jun 11, 2005 2:32 pm

Didn't someone reviewed Go For It?
Do the next person have to review it again?

If we started to care for Mai Sing and explore her personality further, her fate becomes much more sad than it is.

That would be cruel. The comic wasn't about one girl, it was about a sickness in Chinese culture that girls worth less than boys. My grandmother committed infanticide to three of her baby girls. My mom was lucky, she was born in a month that's considered providential in Chinese lunar calender. (every 12 years, there's an extra month for the same month. My mon was born in the second February of that year, you can only have two febrary in one year every 144 years)

In short, the idea is definitely solid, but it seems to be more of a frame for a story than a finished product


Of course it could be expanded into a long story, but short stories are more efficient for deliver a simple idea.

I guess my targeted audience. were Chinese who knew what's going on in China back in those days.
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Postby MrEff on Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:37 pm

[EDIT] Nevermind

-MrEff-
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Postby Yeahduff on Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:00 pm

Go For It.
by RL Peterson.

Go For It is like the syndicated comic from hell. The strips are gag-based, using a four to six panel layout, where a premise is introduced in the first panel and a punchline and post-punchline banter in the last panel, and the art is simple in a stylized manner that's quick to do and places the emphasis on the gag. But instead of the gentle humor of For Better or For Worse or Peanuts, Go For It punchlines involve beloved childhood icons committing murder suicides and consumerist junkies suffering organ failure after a lifestyle of binge advocated by commercials.

The art's simple and inobtrusive. Peterson's style is a cross between Daria, with it's heavy black outlines, flat colors, and disinterested expressions, and the manga he so reviles (or at least purports to), with dynamic hair styles and pointy-chinned faces. It's perfect for the material, well-drawn though you'd never think to give it any awards or anything.

As with any gag comic, there's little heavy lifting and the humor's hit or miss. Basically, either you laugh or you won't. And if you don't have a rather twisted sense of humor, chances are you won't. Some of the best moments are when the gag formula is subverted or discarded. One such moment involves The Bananas in Pajamas meeting an undignified and melodramatic end. It's not hilarious so much as it's surreal, and brilliant. Other small throw away touches point to the absurdity of the gag format, such as when a character is approached by a hard-core Star Wars dork in a Darth Vader mask, to which he replies, "Why do you people keep talking to me? Who the hell are you?"

There's an unfortunate amount of gross-out humor, but if you're gonna subvert the sunday funnies, I guess a few bodily functions will do the trick. Go For It is not for everyone, and chances are you'll be able to identify yourself after just a few strips. But the observations are sharp and the commentary biting. It'll be interesting to see what will happen when the high-school-aged nihilism gives way to real satire. Until then, Go For It is a fun, twisted read.
Last edited by Yeahduff on Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Radewagon on Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:07 pm

oh, happy happy day! place holder for 8:1
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Postby Risky on Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:08 pm

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.

Overall: A+

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.
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Postby Yeahduff on Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:49 am

Do not review this bump.
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Postby McDuffies on Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:27 am

I'll risk and take risky.
Next one can review either mcDuffies, LWK or xxxx.
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Postby Risky on Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:24 pm

Rade needs to review 8:1
I need to review My So Called Knife
McDuffies needs to review me (the'elven please)
Next person needs to review mcDuffies, LWK, or xxxx....

That said... yeahduff bumped the 15th (and posted his review on the 14th). Radewagon, where are you?
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Postby Risky on Thu Jun 23, 2005 6:42 pm

How annoying.
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Postby McDuffies on Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:33 am

Yeah.
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Postby Yeahduff on Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:41 am

Or Karma.
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Postby RPin on Fri Jun 24, 2005 2:55 am

See?

That's why you don't review placeholders. That way, if someone disappears, you can just take their place.
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Postby Risky on Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:05 am

*wonders oddly who Rod was talking to*
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Postby RPin on Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:09 am

I was talking to people who reviewed placeholders.
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Postby Risky on Fri Jun 24, 2005 4:09 am

Risky wrote:Rade needs to review 8:1
I need to review My So Called Knife
McDuffies needs to review me (the'elven please)
Next person needs to review mcDuffies, LWK, or xxxx....

That said... yeahduff bumped the 15th (and posted his review on the 14th). Radewagon, where are you?

Sorry Rade, I jumped ahead of you. You were just too slow. I reviewed Eight to One,
McDuffies if you could review The'Elven, next person to review McDuffies stuff.

Here's the Eight to One review (or scroll up) http://forums.keenspace.com/viewtopic.p ... 832#886832
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Postby McDuffies on Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:05 am

Elven it is.
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Postby McDuffies on Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:11 pm

Sorry, Risky, I
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Postby [AlmightyPyro] on Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:17 pm

O_O


[AlmightyPyro would like every one to know that he's speechless.]
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Postby Risky on Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:08 am

Okay, thanks McDuffies. You don't have to apologize, all of your comments have obvious sources in the comic. I want to say that the reason I chose this story is that I wanted to tell this story. I'll take your review to heart for its constructive elements, it seems that you've put a lot of effort into it. Which character was the mystery added character, if I might ask?

I hope this thread doesn't die, you put a lot of effort into your review and you deserve one in return. If nobody gets in line behind McDuffies, I may, cyclical as it would be.
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