12/4/06 comic

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12/4/06 comic

Postby Perk_daddy on Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:13 am

You always apologize for the political aspect of Lightbringer, Link, but it's always a draw for me. I read Bernard Goldberg's Bias a few years ago, it was eye-opening but not at all surprising. Good comic today
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Postby Linkara on Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:32 am

I just fear the political aspects can turn people off since superheroes are supposed to be about escapism from the troubles of real life. Not to mention I don't want to turn into the conservative version of Jud Winick. ^_~
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Postby Wandering Observer on Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:13 pm

Politics and philosophy are never bad things to have in comics, provided that you can handle them with a certain amount of care.

Right now, Lightbringer's political side is very undeveloped. As a writer, you are aware of your own opinions, however you have not developed effective tools to communicate those opinions. The audience you cater to right now is the audience that shares your views very closely, since you have yet to show any evidence to back up your opinions. Your views will preach to the choir, but those who disagree will be turned away very quickly.
Besides your critical discourse skills, you may also want to work on how you convey your ideals. Creative writing is most effective when it uses imagery and metaphor to convince a reader. Graphic novelization is exceedingly dependent on it, since the imagery being used is actual illustrations. So far, Lightbringer has essentially acted as a puppet; he is used as a mouth to say what the Author's views are. While this is very good at making explicit, deliberate statements, it is an ineffective tool at showing Lightbringer as a person who is actually wise, which seems to be the effect you're going for. Instead, Lighbringer comes off as a person who is overly talkative and opinionated.
To make the story fit your view point better, show Lightbringer acting in virtuous, wise ways. After all, it is not General Werre's dialogue that proves he is evil; rather it is the mutilated corpse in his closet.
I would also suggest limiting Lightbringers Dialogue. Your use of text dwarfs your use of pictures, which is not good thing in graphic novels. In certain times and places, extensive dialogue is alright, but in combat or any other fast moving action sequence, lengthy text slows down the combat while making the entire scene very unrealistic. This is evidenced heavily in the last panel of this comic:

http://lightbringer.comicgenesis.com/d/20061127.html

Lighbringer wouldn't have time, nor need, to give this kind of speech in a real time battle, and thus the speech throws off the movement of the strip, dragging it out much farther than is necessary.

In short, Political and Philosophical discourse is alright to have, so long as you follow a few simple guidelines:

1. Be sure your main point and your arguments can hold their own. Otherwize, your just preaching to a very small choir.
2. Back up your points with some kind of evidence. Once again, nobody will take you seriously otherwise.
3. Show, don't tell. Nobody likes being lectured, and people of opposing views won't give you the time of day if they disagree with your rant.
Who knows? You may end up convincing some people if they aren't aware you're proving a point....
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Postby Linkara on Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:24 pm

Hence my fear of becoming ranty/preachy if I'm not already. ^_~

I'm going to agree and disagree with you about the philosophy and combat mixture. On one hand, you're absolutely correct and I am constantly worried about the text taking over the page. I think part of the problem is the text/picture size contrast. I've tried to make the text smaller than it is (the text on a normal comic book is VERY small in comparison to the rest of it, but the resolution doesn't always transfer well onto different monitors), but I've found it makes it unreadable to me. Now, part of that problem is, of course, the size of my own pages, which are drawn smaller than how a professional would.

In the case of the text you cited in particular, I should note that I have a problem when it comes to using less words in order to get my point across as effectively. In this case, I needed to explain why the Gentleman's hypnosis wouldn't work on Lightbringer. However, I will say that I am aware of the problem and I'm trying to simplify things whenever I can.

Now, as for philosophical discussion during combat and the timing involved in it, I'm going to slightly disagree with you. ^_~ I make sure he's not giving a long-winded in speech in the process, but sometimes the timing of the actual words spoken doesn't really take very long or in this case I'm taking a liberty with the lack of spelt-out time to make it seem like there's enough time to say these things.

Thanks for the guidelines for philosophical discourse! ^^
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Postby Wandering Observer on Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:08 pm

My Apologies; it was not my intention to say that philosophical discourse duing combat was a bad thing, and I'm sorry If I implied as much. I was specifically reffering to verbose monologues during combat.
You are certainly correct that you can take certain liberties with time in comics, and that spoken word takes very little time at all. However, whenever any kind of action parallels diologue, it would be wise to be a bit more prudent. It only takes a few seconds to say a sentence, however, it takes a fraction of a second to throw a successful punch, and even less time to shoot one of Lightbringer's light attacks, as stated following the comic I linked last time.
Here's a few tricks I would reccomend to you-

Show action, then follow up with discourse after the fighting is over. You pull this one off very well when the Gentleman is leaving, as well as after the fight with the Smiling Man.
The Smiling Man fight one of your better fight scenes for a simelar reason as well. When fighting the smiling man, you use multiple action sequences to set up the much of the dialogue because you do this, you're viewers know that the Lighbringer and Smiling man are fighting. A single beam of energy might take a fraction of a fraction of a second to fly through the air, but a continuous fight scene could go on for much longer. Thus, the timing for discussion and the timing for action coincide very well.
One or two attacks from each character, such as the first gentleman fight, go much faster.
When using dialogue during a fight scene, make sure it's a fight, not a few punches. When a lenthy fight will not do, try to save big converations for after the conflict.
If you want to, of course.
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Postby Linkara on Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:38 pm

Don't worry, this is good stuff. ^^ It'll be more like how you describe for Issue 6, I can assure you. Thanks for the continued feedback! It's always helpful!
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Quote of the Moment: “Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” ~Criswell~
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