Mint Condition - My Webcomic

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Mint Condition - My Webcomic

Postby Mintcondition on Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:59 am

Just thought I'd throw myself (and my Comic) for your critiquing/commenting.

I've been doing the comic for over 2 years now, but never put my comic up for real critiquing on the site that it's hosted on.

So here it is.

My name is John Harmon.

My comic is called Mint Condition.

Link is here:

http://mintcondition.comicgenesis.com
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Re: Mint Condition - My Webcomic

Postby BionicDance on Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:13 pm

Well, first impression after reading about fifteen or twenty of 'em:

- I'm so over that pseudo-anime/manga look; it's been done to death at this point
- Similarly, I probably would have dug this kind of humor like a backhoe five--maybe eight--years ago, but now I find it...ehh...
- "Ultimate Gandhi" just seems like a rip-off of Gandhi II from UHF
- That said, I do appreciate the geekery humor, being something of a geek myself; maybe I'm more of a sci-fi movies/books nut than comics and video games, but I still dig those too...
- You misspelled "Wookiee"; as a lifelong Star Wars fan (with the tattoo to prove it), I find I'm quite deeply offended ;)

I'll keep reading, but so far...I think I'm just not your intended audience.

Okay, I got as far as this: http://mintcondition.comicgenesis.com/d/20080117.html
...before deciding that it's just not for me.

Don't get me wrong; from a purely technical sense, you did a great job. Though I don't much care for the art style itself, it's rather well-rendered; I've seen some pretty craptacular comics with horrific inking, characters not much better than stick figures, etc, etc, and yours isn't one of those.
And even the writing isn't all that bad; if I'd seen this comic in the 90s or even the early 2000s, I probably would have thought it was great, but my tastes have shifted and this isn't my thing anymore. And I've seen some comics where the speech balloons are just all over the place and it's hard to tell in which order they're meant to be read, or comics where the dialogue is just unbearably amateurish...yours isn't one of those either.

So...in conclusion, assuming that you have an audience for this kind of thing--probably the same crowd reading Penny Arcade and Ctrl+Alt+Del--they're probably well-pleased, even if this doesn't quite float MY ducky.
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Re: Mint Condition - My Webcomic

Postby Still Life on Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:50 am

well personally I think this is a great comic... I especially like this one: http://mintcondition.comicgenesis.com/d/20090326.html
The art's great (although sometimes u get too carried away with blurring and highlights) and the writing is actually funny (something I struggle with). Keep going! :D
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Re: Mint Condition - My Webcomic

Postby Mintcondition on Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:47 pm

I'm so over that pseudo-anime/manga look


I may need to alter my art style...I could have sworn once I started into that style that (hey this doesn't look anime at all!). At least that's what I thought...I hate anime. So I may need to work on that to get even further from anime as possible.

"Ultimate Gandhi" just seems like a rip-off of Gandhi II from UHF


A few people have told me that. The character was just created out of a conversation between a friend and I many moons ago. Would you believe this was back before I even heard of UHF, much less Ultimate Gandhi II? Not that this really matters much. It's still similar. Personally, long after I started using him, I realized how much he reminded me of Dhalsim from Street Fighter...subconscious? Maybe.

You misspelled "Wookiee"


...that's the worst thing I've ever heard...seriously. Ouch. I can't believe I misspelled it. I never NEVER caught that and you're the first person to bring it up. In a way I thank you, but in another all I can think of now is how I have to commit ritual suicide in penance to George Lucas. Damn.

Yeah, I'm kinda wishing I didn't do that whole storyline. I didn't do it out of spite or anything...nobody was complaining to me about the comic...I dunno. Just thought it would be funny I guess.

Thanks for the response. I always enjoy reading comments about the comic (both negative and positive). I really appreciate how you can say you don't care for the art style, or the humor most of the time, but still consider it to be at least fairly good from a purely technical standpoint.

Not many people can differentiate those two aspects. Thank you.


The art's great (although sometimes u get too carried away with blurring and highlights)


Yeah...when I first discovered those two cool tricks with photoshop I went crazy I admit. I've been forcing myself back from it though. I like using blurs, because I think of each panel as a frame-up of a movie shot. So I can have say, two panels that are practically the same where one person stands in the foreground and the other in the background and have one in focus and the other blurred and then switch it for the next panel. I'm a huge fan of film and sometimes make short films and aspire to be a director someday so I like implementing camera tricks (such as the rack focus) within the comic. Plus since the comic is in grayscale (and there are only so many shades of gray) it's just another way of helping separate the foreground from the background.

But I have been trying to do other things to do that, such as changing the colors of the lineart of the background to make it lighter than the foreground, and even (not always to my own success) painting the backgrounds in photoshop...which is hard without a wacom tablet. It's really tough to paint with a mouse and takes forever to complete a comic. So I don't do that as much.

I've also been trying to give the backgrounds more of a realistic texture (while still remaining fairly cartoony) and keeping the characters purely cartoony as a means to separate them as well. I like doing that.

Glad you think the comic is funny. Hope you keep reading.

Sorry for the long-winded response, I just always enjoy talking with other artists. I've posted my comic in several forums that were not comic (or even art) specific and it met with HUGE failure. So to actually post here where I can talk with other artists is actually fun. I'm always looking to improve my art. Especially backgrounds (as I so painfully talked about). Backgrounds are definitely my weak point. If anyone knows some sites that offer even basic tutorials on cartoon backgrounds (or realistic) I'd love to check 'em out.

Thanks again.
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Re: Mint Condition - My Webcomic

Postby Mintcondition on Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:54 pm

By the way Bionic Dance, how long does it take you to complete a comic? I stumbled across yours a while back and was stunned that you actually do a full-page comic rendered in 3D.

I was wondering how long it takes you to do that and what your process is for doing it?



And Still Life, I dig the comic. It's very funny, and the characters are very original. You need your own site dude. Seriously.
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Re: Mint Condition - My Webcomic

Postby BionicDance on Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:29 pm

Mintcondition wrote:I may need to alter my art style...I could have sworn once I started into that style that (hey this doesn't look anime at all!). At least that's what I thought...I hate anime. So I may need to work on that to get even further from anime as possible.


It's mostly the head shape, maybe a bit of the eyes. Some of the mouth shapes, too, especially the complete lack of mouth when at rest. VERY Japanish.

A few people have told me that. The character was just created out of a conversation between a friend and I many moons ago. Would you believe this was back before I even heard of UHF, much less Ultimate Gandhi II? Not that this really matters much. It's still similar. Personally, long after I started using him, I realized how much he reminded me of Dhalsim from Street Fighter...subconscious? Maybe.


Fair enough. I was just sayin'. :)

You misspelled "Wookiee"


...that's the worst thing I've ever heard...seriously. Ouch. I can't believe I misspelled it. I never NEVER caught that and you're the first person to bring it up. In a way I thank you, but in another all I can think of now is how I have to commit ritual suicide in penance to George Lucas. Damn.


*grin* Most people don't know/don't care about that second 'e', but...well, I wasn't kidding about the tattoo, and I jolly-well noticed!

...it's this thing I do. ;)

By the way Bionic Dance, how long does it take you to complete a comic? I stumbled across yours a while back and was stunned that you actually do a full-page comic rendered in 3D.


Well, I've been doing 3D animation since about 1992, so this seemed thoroughly natural for me. :)

As for how long it takes, well, that depends on a lot of different factors, like whether or not I have all the models built already or if I have to make something new like a character or environment. Lighting and reflections, special effects, etc, are also relevant factors in rendering times.
But assuming that I have all of the models ready to go, I can make a page in anywhere from two to six hours; I've never made more than two pages in a day, and it's rare for me to do less than one. Of course, I have to make time for the rest of my life--martial arts, going clubbing, hanging with friends, that kinna thing--but still, I seem to have come up with a system that lets me more than meet my four-times-a-week release schedule.

I was wondering how long it takes you to do that and what your process is for doing it?


Well, it's pretty simple, really: write dialogue and make bubbles in Photoshop, thus gauging how large the panel needs to be; position camera, pose characters, light scene in 3D Studio MAX, then render; bring rendered shot into Photoshop and composite with dialogue; add tails to dialogue pointing at the characters; repeat for each panel.
Took me a while to figure this out at first, but I've got it down to a science now on my 61st page (which isn't released yet; I've given myself about a month's lead time on pages just in case I need to model something new or have technical trouble)...

Incidentally, thanks for noticing; I only started this comic about two-and-a-half months ago and despite my nearly seventeen hundred YouTube subscribers and all my Facebook and LiveJournal friends, I've been finding getting an audience, well, difficult; according to Google Analytics, my audience is about 25, give or take. I suppose that's not bad for a new comic, but it's still nice to be recognized explicitly.

And thanks for taking a look, regular reader or not; I intend to do a post similar to yours once the story reaches a specific point, probably in the "Comic Pitching" forum. There is a very significant thing that'll happen around about page 80 or 90 that will shape the direction of the comic big time, and I don't really want to open it up to official critique until that happens; nearly everything leading up to it--though significant--is prologue and introduction, really... just sayin'.

Anyway, cheers! :)
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Re: Mint Condition - My Webcomic

Postby Still Life on Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:43 pm

Mintcondition wrote: And Still Life, I dig the comic. It's very funny, and the characters are very original. You need your own site dude. Seriously.


Thanks man! I'm working on my site but till then I signed up for some space here at Comic Genesis. Plus i'm still working out the art and writing kinks so any advice u can give would be great (i'm dealing w/ a lack of feedback problem too :shifty: ).
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Re: Mint Condition - My Webcomic

Postby Samuli on Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:28 pm

Mintcondition wrote:
I'm so over that pseudo-anime/manga look


I may need to alter my art style...I could have sworn once I started into that style that (hey this doesn't look anime at all!). At least that's what I thought...I hate anime. So I may need to work on that to get even further from anime as possible.


This interests me. A while back I took part in a local manga-competition and I'm fairly sure I got disqualified because what I did was not considered manga enough. (you can see samples of it on my blog) Where does the line for "manga" go? I'm definitely not a manga-aficionado, but I'm curious because the genre seems fairly strictly defined in style. Actually, I might start a thread on this…

I kind of like the comic, it's not exactly my thing, except for the X-men references, but I can see it working for the right crowd. (and in reference to this , I've always wondered how Cyclops can exhaust his power if it's always on, and only contained by ruby-quartz glasses… ;) )
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