Critique please?

Think your comic can improve? Whether it's art or writing, composition or colouring, feel free to ask here! Critique and commentary welcome.

Re: Critique please?

Postby Lianweijun086 on Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:01 pm

Yea, about the gutters thing. I don't really have a good handle on that myself, which is why I generally keep it the same throughout, small but noticeable. Every now and again I'll fiddle with it, but I'm usually not too happy about how it goes, so it goes back to 10px.

Yea, the balance of each page does get better through your archives, which was why I was a little hesitant to mention it, but I figured I would anyway. Just in case it wasn't a conscious decision or something. What I do now is sketch my entire comic out, place the text and then move stuff around for balance. I learned that from watching the artist of Least I Could Do's artist's ustream. I love his show, there's just so much one can learn from watching a pro at work.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby W M on Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:54 pm

Above all, you have an incredible grip on the atmosphere in your comic--wonderful choice of palettes!

The only thing that really bugs me is the size of your panels. Don't be afraid to use a lot of negative space around your characters, because right now they seem a little jammed inside your panels.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Alias Pseudonym on Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:25 pm

>.<

Missed two weeks there because of an unexpected vacation. But I rushed and managed to get this week's done somewhat late. Here's the latest one.

Thanks. I like colours. I've noticed that lots of comic artists don't really use colour very much and especially don't use much shading. As for cramming characters into panels, that might be partly because I like the characters more than the backgrounds.

What do you guys think of this battle sequence? Am I doing ok, or does it look weird, or hard to follow?
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Re: Critique please?

Postby BionicDance on Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:12 pm

Wendybird wrote:I like the style. It's very rich and alive. It can be a little bit confusing, though. one thing that might help is leaving more room between the panels, so they're more clearly separated, and so we have room to breathe between all that color and movement that fills up the panels.


I have to agree. I'm finding it very difficult to read, like it's triggering my ADD HARD or something...the panels are so busy that I can't seem to make my eye settle on something.

Alias Pseudonym wrote:...so is there anything I can do with the scribbles to make them less distracting for you?


Make 'em bigger so there'z fewer of 'em. That'd probably do the trick.

There isn't a lot I can say that others haven't yet, but...I'm finding it difficult to get too terribly attached to the characters. Granted, I think my own comic might suffer from this a midge (though I start with an action sequence to set the scene; the characters get introduced seriously a bit later) so I'm not one to talk, really, but...when I look at the TV shows and movies and books that have stayed with me over the years, I find that I remember the characters more than the situation in which they found themselves. Good characters--people I wish I knew, wish I had as friends--can shore up a LOT of weak points in a series. I mean, the first season of Babylon 5 really isn't all that great, to be honest, but the characters kept me coming back until the show got awesome. Just as an example.
So...maybe it comes up in a few pages past where I've read, but...I'd like to see the characters really showing their personalities more.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Alias Pseudonym on Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:18 pm

How far have you read? There are only 13 pages at this point... Do the last few, after I changed page format, still bug you?

As for the characters, there hasn't been a great deal of development yet. I started at the aftermath of a big fight, just barely introduced everyone, and now we're recapping the big fight. Give me two more pages and we'll be back with the characters. Although I can't say any of these people are anyone I'd particularly want to befriend...

Also, the next arc should be much better planned out than this one.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby BionicDance on Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:57 pm

Alias Pseudonym wrote:How far have you read? There are only 13 pages at this point... Do the last few, after I changed page format, still bug you?


Well, the colors not so much, but...there's something about the outlines that rubs me the wrong way. They're so rough, yet so thin; nothing on the page really seems to stand out. It's like the characters and the backgrounds almost blend together in a weird way; my eye isn't drawn to anything enough to intuitively separate the elements making up each panel. I find it's a struggle to tell what's going on; maybe not a major struggle, but...

Although I can't say any of these people are anyone I'd particularly want to befriend...


...mmm. Then this comic may not be for me; my favorite shows, books, movies, etc, almost always contain people I wish I knew, with whom I'm willing to spend an hour a week or so.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Alias Pseudonym on Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:49 pm

Right, time to poke this thread, I think. I'm now one comic into the first official chapter and two comics into a new setting and a new layout system. The comic panels now default to a 3x3 grid to keep it simple, and will mostly have minor variations on that. Also everyone has new palettes, and I like to think it helps with the things-not-standing-out problem. So, any critique or feedback?
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Re: Critique please?

Postby SevenCurrents on Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:09 am

Alias Pseudonym wrote:Right, time to poke this thread, I think. I'm now one comic into the first official chapter and two comics into a new setting and a new layout system. The comic panels now default to a 3x3 grid to keep it simple, and will mostly have minor variations on that. Also everyone has new palettes, and I like to think it helps with the things-not-standing-out problem. So, any critique or feedback?


Your page appears to be 404ed.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Alias Pseudonym on Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:49 pm

Ah, I don't think it is. It works for me. See?
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Alias Pseudonym on Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:20 pm

I got around to making a new banner, since the old one had old art and wasn't what the comic looks like anymore. Is this one better?
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Alias Pseudonym on Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:36 pm

K, the whole comic now looks wildly different from how it did the last time I got feedback, so what do people think of the changes? And also of the story so far.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Lianweijun086 on Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:40 am

Hey buddy, long time no see!

Last time I popped in here, I talked about the lack of gutters, but now it seems like you've gone a bit too far the other way. I'd estimate your gutters to be 20-25px wide, which kind of disrupts the flow of the comic. So you want SOME gutter, but not as much as you've had recently.

Also, you're drawing full pages, but you're not really using it to your full advantage. The last couple of episodes have a really rigid 3x3 tic-tac-toe pattern. I see like, 6 or so episodes back, your panels start to vary in size, but not shape. I think your comic could use a little more in the way of "picture in picture", vertical panels, perhaps diagonal gutters,etc. Remember the size and shape of the panels can really help you express perspective.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Alias Pseudonym on Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:56 pm

Yeah, my panel divisions were just done by eye there and were way too big. I standardized it down to about ten pixels horizontally and 15-20 vertically for the last two comics and the two I've got coming. Do you think it's still too big?

The tic-tac-toe pattern is part of my plan for mood; I'm using it for when the story is still building and there's no real danger, and then I'm going to break it up into different compositions later when things start to speed up. The colours change too.

I'm also wondering what people think of the line-work now, I've been working on making it less thin and scratchy. Also, I took out most of the pupils, because Zed in particular looks way better without them.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:14 pm

Yeah, the line work definitely is looking a lot better, at least I think so.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Lianweijun086 on Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:30 am

Yea, I appreciate the line work much more now than in the beginning. It really helps to distinguish the characters from the background. However, one thing that might work for you is make the lines WITHIN objects thinner. So for example, a tree. Maybe you could use thinner lines in the details, like branches, wood grain, leaves, but use thicker lines (about the thickness you have now) on the outer perimeter.

Also, the linework doesn't seem to be "consistent." I know it's supposed to be a little scratchy, but it just varies A LOT from panel to panel. Take your last update, for instance. If you look at the last 2 panels, the linework looks completely different. In the second last panel, the lines are pretty smooth. However, in the NEXT panel, the strokes are all over the place.

I know the scratchiness is all part of your style, so I don't intend to have it changed. But I think you should consider a sort of conformity. The more consistent you are, the more it looks like you're in control. With a scratchy style, it's imperative that you assert your dominance over the lines. Otherwise, it kind of just looks messy in a bad sort of way. As if you're NOT doing it on purpose.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Alias Pseudonym on Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:49 am

Lianweijun086 wrote:Yea, I appreciate the line work much more now than in the beginning. It really helps to distinguish the characters from the background. However, one thing that might work for you is make the lines WITHIN objects thinner. So for example, a tree. Maybe you could use thinner lines in the details, like branches, wood grain, leaves, but use thicker lines (about the thickness you have now) on the outer perimeter.

Also, the linework doesn't seem to be "consistent." I know it's supposed to be a little scratchy, but it just varies A LOT from panel to panel. Take your last update, for instance. If you look at the last 2 panels, the linework looks completely different. In the second last panel, the lines are pretty smooth. However, in the NEXT panel, the strokes are all over the place.

I know the scratchiness is all part of your style, so I don't intend to have it changed. But I think you should consider a sort of conformity. The more consistent you are, the more it looks like you're in control. With a scratchy style, it's imperative that you assert your dominance over the lines. Otherwise, it kind of just looks messy in a bad sort of way. As if you're NOT doing it on purpose.

Hope that helps!


>.<

Yeah see I'm totally doing this on purpose and not at all because I can't draw straight lines. And, yeah, consistency is something I have to work on in general. The trouble is that some things I draw turn out really well and end up looking smooth whereas other end up looking not so good and I have to rework them a lot, which tends to lead to some scratchiness. I think I am getting better with practice, though. Particularly at drawing entire bodies, which I've been doing a lot recently instead of doing mostly heads and busts.

Using lines within objects, period, might be a really good idea. I've been putting all my textures in the coloring step and some of them work better than others. Like some of the wood looks terrible.
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Re: Critique please?

Postby Menelaos on Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:34 pm

It has, without a doubt, improved in terms of aesthetics. Clearer and more orderly than the first strips.
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