You have quite a bit of work to do

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You have quite a bit of work to do

Postby Vomorivons on Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:50 am

Hi! On a whim I checked out your comic. Anyway... I have a few things to say so far:
* 1. The character drawings look "unstable" - The proportions look strange as do the angles. If this is deliberate I don't think it works - You should consider how angles work and what looks natural. Try to study the human anatomy in order to make movements look more natural. Also try to develop your sense of perspective so that aerial views, etc. look realistic.
* 2. The anime style that you use seems clichéd and the lack of color in the mouths just looks funny. You can use Japanese animation influences and still make a unique and lively style. The style you are using now is stiff, lifeless, and unclear. We need to know what is going on in the comic.
* 3. It seems like some comic strips are meant to be read right-to-left. That should not be the case; whenever writing a comic originally written in English it should go left-to-right - that is how the English language works. The actual Japanese manga can get away with being right-to-left because they were originally written in Japanese. Notice how the "American manga" sold in stores goes left-to-right...
* 4. If you are going to use Japanese names it is usually best to research the actual names - pick a name, formed with kanji, that you feel represents the character. You may need for someone who knows Japanese and is familiar with Japanese naming to help you with this.
* 5. Get a comic-appropriate font from Blambot: http://www.blambot.com/ - Comic Sans is not a good font for comics.
* 6. If you want to use a greyscale, get some shading in there. it will enhance the comic and add to the expression.
* 7. Work on the dialog and try to not make the characters too outlandish - If you are going to have a girl yell "But I'm different! I have BOOBIES!", you need to have other people rightfully call her a psycho weirdo and shun her. If you want her to be treated normally, have her act like a regular human being in Western society.
* 8. The layouts are not neat. The presentation is not neat.

I'll see if I have any more comments to say... :)
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Re: You have quite a bit of work to do

Postby Argoth on Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:14 pm

Hey there, thanks for checking it out. Yeah, i know that there are many, many flaws in my comic... but i've only been actively drawing for the last 2 1/2 years, so i'm constantly learning.
Lemme see if i can address each point you made.
*1. i completely agree that the proportions constantly change and don't seem to flow naturally. Thats one of the hardest things i encounter when i draw. Hopefully as i become more experienced it won't be an issue.
*2. i don't have anything to say about that except that eastern anime style is the only thing i've thried learning. However, i try and augment my style as much as i can to try and make it less generic.
*3. That's just a personal style choice. i'm sorry if it's a little awkward :cry:
*4. Ya, i the closest i came to researching names was checking some on Wikipedia :shifty: i ended up giving them names based on what i thought sounded good. However, (i haven't covered this in the comic yet) the world this comic takes place in has lots of subtle differences between it and the real world, so i won't be basing stuff solely on real life standards.
*5. Excellent idea. i've been to that website before, and i really should have done this earlier. Thanks for bringing that up :)
*6. i've been trying to shade it as much as i can, but i guess i should step it up if i really want it to have an effect. i'll try and add more shading now
*7. Dialog isn't my strong suit; i've been writing the story in my head for a long time, so it's difficult for me to translate it onto paper and make it easily understandable. All i can say is i'll keep trying my hardest. Oh, and as for the comic where the girl yells "But I'm different! I have BOOBIES!" ... it was an inside joke. i already know that making comics with inside jokes is a bad idea for comics, but i wanted to put something up since i hadn't updated in a while.
*8. Can you be specific about which layouts and presentation? Is it the comic's layout, or the websites, and which specific parts aren't neat. i can't try and fix it if i don't know exactly what to fix.

Thanks a bunch for the feedback. i appreciate that you took the time to try and help me improve. Yeah, i know i have a lot more work to do, but i'll keep trying hard, and hopefully i'll keep improving :D If there is anything else, please don't hesitate to let me know.
"Sometimes I forget what's real and what's just in my head."
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Re: You have quite a bit of work to do

Postby KleinerNoir on Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:40 pm

Yo
While I find the comic to suck (no offense, I just dislike everything it stands for), I applaud your stance, being able to take criticism like a mature person, instead of getting angry and flaming whoever tries to tell you how to improve.
If you keep on like that, you will probably keep getting better.
Peace, yo.
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Re: You have quite a bit of work to do

Postby Iguana on Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:44 pm

Your comic represents everything that's completely wrong with the Internet and anime fans, but it's nice to see that you're being mature about it and actually accepting criticism. I can't really comment on the subject matter; I've always despised schoolgirl slice of life series, and your writing doesn't really help change my mind when it comes to this niche genre. No offense, but it's the kind of stuff that's obviously written by someone who's never experienced an intimate relationship outside of Japanese children's cartoons and fanfiction.

One more tip: Stop using emoticons and explaining a character's every single action (*blush*, *nod*, etc). It's incredibly annoying, and if you think you need all that to get your message across, maybe you need to improve your drawing skills before attempting comics. Lastly, and I know you've been getting this a lot, the art style you're trying to emulate is an extremely overdone and derivative one. You're basically imitating mass-produced, completely soulless pieces of animation that only serve to give Japanese animation as a whole a bad name. It's not quite my cup of tea, but you should definitely try reading a few chapters of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō as an example of a well done slice of life series.

And no, I'm still not Josh Lesnick.
Last edited by Iguana on Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: You have quite a bit of work to do

Postby Vomorivons on Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:49 pm

1. There may be some books you can get that discuss proportions - Look at libraries and bookstores and see if they discuss perception and depth in artwork - Of course it is also good to keep drawing and practicing :)
2. A good way to make it less generic is think about the typical boys/girls anime and manga style. Think about what you like and what you do not. Then read other comics; you could try comics aimed at adults (not the same thing as pornographic comics, though) and more "underground" and "avant-garde" Japanese comics. Also look at comics from other countries; you could try the United States, Belgium, Brazil, etc. Think about what style, techniques, and emotions you like and which ones you do not. You could also try drawing and or modifying different styles and see how they work.
3. Yeah, I strongly suggest going left-to-right; it works best with native English comics. Remember that even the anime-inspired Western-produced works use left-to-right. However you can adopt other aspects of Japanese comics that are and can be ported to Japanese-inspired works, such as the page layouts and whole-page panels.
4. The first thing is that you need to firmly decide how the world of your comic differs from real life. When Gilbert and Sullivan made The Mikado he did not give his Japanese characters actual Japanese names. Instead he gave them names which sounded like British "baby-talk." It made the subjects seem like children of the emperor, the Mikado. You can read more about that here: http://www.ppt.org/documents/SG2901TheMikado.pdf - With that in mind, you can find a Japanese person who can suggest irregular names to you; the names would be formed with kanji in a similar manner as a real name, but the kanji themselves are unusual for a Japanese name and have peculiar meanings. With that you can also aim to produce a similar effect in English; that may be difficult but with the internet you could find people who can help you with that :)
5. You are welcome :)
6. It may be a good idea to experiment with shading - See what works and what does not. There are many scales of gray, so you have a lot of ideas and choices.
7. You could find a person to be a writer while you focus on the art; many Japanese comic books are produced in that manner; i.e. Death Note, Hikaru no Go. Also, regarding inside jokes the general rule is that when writing humor try to at least make it understood by a fairly large audience, whether it is a subculture or a population in general. You could try making a separate section with older/"rejected"/outdated comics to show people what you previously made.
8. Regarding the layout and presentation of the comic, I already answered about the actual page order. Aside from that try to control the size of the dialog balloons so they do not take up too much space. Try to arrange the dialog balloons and manage the empty and filled spaces to achieve an easy-to-read, easy-to-see work.

Also I found this blog which contains tips on how to make a very presentable comic regarding dialog baloons, fonts, etc: http://webcomictriage.blogspot.com/ - This will help make your comic more presentable :)

EDIT: Something I forgot - I believe that generally Japanese university students do not wear uniforms.
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Re: You have quite a bit of work to do

Postby Argoth on Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:23 pm

Let's see... firstly, even though you guys are being critical, i want to thank you all for being nice enough to honestly let me know what you all think. For awhile, i thought this forum was just going to sit here and take up space :P

KleinerNoir wrote:Yo
While I find the comic to suck (no offense, I just dislike everything it stands for), I applaud your stance, being able to take criticism like a mature person, instead of getting angry and flaming whoever tries to tell you how to improve.
If you keep on like that, you will probably keep getting better.
Peace, yo.

Yeah, even i kinda think it sucks (if i weren't the one writing it, i probably wouldn't even read it). But thanks for the compliment, i like to act civil on the internet.

Iguana wrote:Your comic represents everything that's completely wrong with the Internet and anime fans, but it's nice to see that you're being mature about it and actually accepting criticism. I can't really comment on the subject matter; I've always despised schoolgirl slice of life series, and your writing doesn't really help change my mind when it comes to this niche genre. No offense, but it's the kind of stuff that's obviously written by someone who's never experienced an intimate relationship outside of Japanese children's cartoons and fanfiction.

One more tip: Stop using emoticons and explaining a character's every single action (*blush*, *nod*, etc). It's incredibly annoying, and if you think you need all that to get your message across, maybe you need to improve your drawing skills before attempting comics. Lastly, and I know you've been getting this a lot, the art style you're trying to emulate is an extremely overdone and derivative one. You're basically imitating mass-produced, completely soulless pieces of animation that only serve to give Japanese animation as a whole a bad name. It's not quite my cup of tea, but you should definitely try reading a few chapters of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō as an example of a well done slice of life series.

And no, I'm still not Josh Lesnick.

Haha, ya, i'm still familiar with your general dislike of the anime subculture so i guess i could pretty much expect you to say that.

Good idea on the emoticon thing, if it's annoying i'll stop it, and i'll try to make my characters more expressive in that regard. About my style... i know that tons of Japanese fanboys have been flooding the net with this kind of crap, but i don't think there's a whole lot i can do about my style on the whole. It's the only kind of comic style that i've ever really enjoyed and been able to draw, and i don't have the taste for, or the knack to draw western style stuff. Like i said earlier in this thread, i'll try to make it less generic, and try to add my own unique stuff to it so it doesn't look like i'm simply imitating crappy japanese animation.

:shifty: i still reserve the right to think you're Lesnick.

Vomorivons wrote:1. There may be some books you can get that discuss proportions - Look at libraries and bookstores and see if they discuss perception and depth in artwork - Of course it is also good to keep drawing and practicing :)
2. A good way to make it less generic is think about the typical boys/girls anime and manga style. Think about what you like and what you do not. Then read other comics; you could try comics aimed at adults (not the same thing as pornographic comics, though) and more "underground" and "avant-garde" Japanese comics. Also look at comics from other countries; you could try the United States, Belgium, Brazil, etc. Think about what style, techniques, and emotions you like and which ones you do not. You could also try drawing and or modifying different styles and see how they work.
3. Yeah, I strongly suggest going left-to-right; it works best with native English comics. Remember that even the anime-inspired Western-produced works use left-to-right. However you can adopt other aspects of Japanese comics that are and can be ported to Japanese-inspired works, such as the page layouts and whole-page panels.
4. The first thing is that you need to firmly decide how the world of your comic differs from real life. When Gilbert and Sullivan made The Mikado he did not give his Japanese characters actual Japanese names. Instead he gave them names which sounded like British "baby-talk." It made the subjects seem like children of the emperor, the Mikado. You can read more about that here: http://www.ppt.org/documents/SG2901TheMikado.pdf - With that in mind, you can find a Japanese person who can suggest irregular names to you; the names would be formed with kanji in a similar manner as a real name, but the kanji themselves are unusual for a Japanese name and have peculiar meanings. With that you can also aim to produce a similar effect in English; that may be difficult but with the internet you could find people who can help you with that :)
5. You are welcome :)
6. It may be a good idea to experiment with shading - See what works and what does not. There are many scales of gray, so you have a lot of ideas and choices.
7. You could find a person to be a writer while you focus on the art; many Japanese comic books are produced in that manner; i.e. Death Note, Hikaru no Go. Also, regarding inside jokes the general rule is that when writing humor try to at least make it understood by a fairly large audience, whether it is a subculture or a population in general. You could try making a separate section with older/"rejected"/outdated comics to show people what you previously made.
8. Regarding the layout and presentation of the comic, I already answered about the actual page order. Aside from that try to control the size of the dialog balloons so they do not take up too much space. Try to arrange the dialog balloons and manage the empty and filled spaces to achieve an easy-to-read, easy-to-see work.

Also I found this blog which contains tips on how to make a very presentable comic regarding dialog baloons, fonts, etc: http://webcomictriage.blogspot.com/ - This will help make your comic more presentable :)

EDIT: Something I forgot - I believe that generally Japanese university students do not wear uniforms.


Thanks for all the helpful advice. It might take awhile to get this comic away from where it's heading, but i think with lots of hard work, i can get this comic to stop sucking so bad :P
i'm almost definitely going to keep this a one-man project, so i guess i'll have to work on my writing skills a bunch more too (but i might try and consult some people who know japanese if i want some better names, i think i can do that much). i'll try to take all these critiques into account when i work on my comic next, thanks again for all the feedback :D
"Sometimes I forget what's real and what's just in my head."
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Re: You have quite a bit of work to do

Postby Avelanch on Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:14 am

I just wanted to jump in here and note that even though you say you are meaning to do the strips right to left style, you tend to flip it back and forth, so its really the inconsistency thats makes it difficult. Like the infamous "i have boobies one", correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it is meant to be read left to right while the majority of your comicsdo not. You should really stick to one style or the other. If you're going to do it eastern manga style then make sure its all in that style. If your gonna go it western "manga" style then keep with that. the Western "manga" style would be my preferred approach, since the eastern manga style is counter culture intuitive. Since you're readers are going to be English speaking usually you want to stick to their reading norms. If you are writing it for the Japanese population then right to left would be the correct method, but, again, thats really your choice.
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Re: You have quite a bit of work to do

Postby Argoth on Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:12 am

avelanch wrote:I just wanted to jump in here and note that even though you say you are meaning to do the strips right to left style, you tend to flip it back and forth, so its really the inconsistency thats makes it difficult. Like the infamous "i have boobies one", correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it is meant to be read left to right while the majority of your comicsdo not. You should really stick to one style or the other. If you're going to do it eastern manga style then make sure its all in that style. If your gonna go it western "manga" style then keep with that. the Western "manga" style would be my preferred approach, since the eastern manga style is counter culture intuitive. Since you're readers are going to be English speaking usually you want to stick to their reading norms. If you are writing it for the Japanese population then right to left would be the correct method, but, again, thats really your choice.


Oh, that colored "i have boobies one" was just a filler. It's not even going to be put in the archives. It's true that i did make that one left-to-right, but i put that arrow at the bottom of it to designate the way it's read. All the other comics though should be read right-to-left though, and if some of them don't look that way, then maybe i made a mistake somewhere, or maybe i drew it in a way that it's hard to tell which way it should be read. i'm going to keep the main comic in eastern manga style because, i guess being "counter culture intuitive" is one of the reasons i started doing it that way to begin with, if that makes sense...

Thank you for jumping in and contributing :)
"Sometimes I forget what's real and what's just in my head."
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