I guess I should commend you, Scooby, for what seems like a lot of enthusiasm to progress and learn from some overwhelmingly negative reviews. I feel sort of guilty for not having much nice things to say about the comic, but anything else would in this case be breaking the rules of the game which you joined on your own, and the best I can do is try to be constructive.
I should stress that making a bad comic is not a bad thing. Every artist out there has produced hundreds of pages of bad comics before being able to do anything remotely good. Some of us have those, basically, teaching experiences, plastered all over internet and criticized to death. Others were spared of it by being private about their geginnings, or being born too early for internet. In any case, making a bad comic can only perhaps be considered bad if it doesn't lead up to something good. There's something really cool about reading some webcomic from it's shoddy beginnings to sometimesmajestic levels to which one's skills develop, an experience that we all project to, suggesting intrinsic potential in everyone.
That said I shall continue reviewing:
First of all I'll address the thing that rubs me wrong upon reading very first pages: "Director's comments" above below comic. I never like artist's comments, they always seem highly unnecessary and even detracting. They're ok if they're news or even blogs, but whenever they're about the content of the comic, it's bad.
That's what happens in "Sh!t Happens", where comments range from those that reiterate what happened in the comic to those that actually contradict it (whenever comic page fails to achieve what author had in mind). Sometimes you address nonexistent tension, other times you give up clues to what is yet to happen too early. Near the beginning, you are talking about characters as if we already know who they are and care for them, which at that point is impossible. Often, you talk about tension which we don't see in a comic. Early in the comic, you'd write a comment if only to comment how you have nothing to comment upon. Some comments were as inane as "this is an exposition page", something that shouldn't have to be said at all.
Storytelling is, in a way, an art of giving out informations in certain pacing and timing, to certain effect. Comments screw this up big time: they are giving up information untimely, ruining both pacing and timing, creating a lag of sorts behind every page. Not intended as a part of narrative, they are not considered by an author when he's planning his comic, yet they affect how it's read.
Worse yet, they are there as a constant reminder to author's presence. Again, storytelling is an art of building an illusion, making us believe that these characters are real and worth caring about. And yet there are comments that constantly remind us of author's presence, of the fact that characters are no more than his paper dolls. This goes double for comments like "I like to torture my characters" and the like, as they do that very literally. It kind of makes author look self-centered: he won't let his characters take center stage, he always pops to remind us: "I made this!"
Finally, comments make us aware of flaws in your storytelling. There's a gap between what you want to achieve and what you're capable of, and talking about what you wanted makes us very aware when you fall short of it. Your comments constantly oversell the comic. One time you mention that Max is some kind of genius, what we see in a comic contradicts that. Other times you talk about Max's big secret as something we should be puzzled by, even though the only hint to that secret is thrown two pages before that. Art teacher is described as creepy some two pages before can see that.
Now I know that some will say "well then don't read the comments" but they are there, short and inviting, and I believe that most of readers will read them even if they don't like them.
One simple thing you can do to instantly increase quality of your comic a bit is, drop the comments.
One thing I can say in favour of writing is, it's smooth and breezy and it's easy to start reading and then just go on reading to see what'll happen.
First flaw occures when we realise that there's never any real conflict in the comic.
A guy falls for the girl - then it promptly turns out that the girl likes him too. A gang attacks characters - they beat the gang to a pulp. A teacher is a sex predator - a teacher is fired without so much as an investigation. An obnoxious comic relief says something awful - an obnoxious comic relief is punched and thus brought to his place.
These are more bumps on the road than actual conflicts, and there's never a feeling that anything's at stake.
Take, for example, a relationship between Max and Sammy. This is a relationship made only of stuff that's nice and sweet about relationships. What about the rest, the part that would actually make their relationship look live and vivid? Wouldn't it be interesting if they also had some character traits that clash with each other?
Writing people being happy and good triumphing over evil must be a great pleasure, but fiction thrives on conflict. In answer to one of your Director's comments, no, you're not nearly sadistic enough to you characters.
Worse than that, once the story gets rolling, big gaping plotholes emerge.
First one appears when, whether a sexual predator is going to keep working at school or not, is decided not by an inquiry, testimonies, trial - but by who wins in a game of popular sport? What's more, this major decision for a serious school is made not by a dean or a board, but by one of the students. Yeah.
Let's talk about Max, the main character. We can skip for a moment the fact that he has a very disconcerting authority over the dean of his college. Max is a kind of guy who gives a sexual predator odds of actually keeping his job as a teacher, just so he could have himself a game of his favourite sport. What's more, Max brings a girl he's trying to woo to the team even though she's never played it before, so he further increases sexual predator's odds of keeping his job, just so he could get closer to a girl.
(Then again, as soon as Sammy steps on the board for the first time, she manages to keep up with the experiences players, so maybe the game is just really really easy?)
A director's comment notes than Max is supposed to be something of a genius. What we see on pages is more of astonishingly stupid - and kind of douche - just one of many cases where we're told what Max is like in comments, but not through comic storytelling.
Further more, said teacher who in first few panels act like a regular teacher, later turns out to be an exaggerated stereotype of a gang member, acting like one even on school's grounds. It becomes increasingly unbelievable that this guy could have ever worked as a teacher.
It appears that you should have proverbially killed your own children. Ideas that seemed great when you came up with them them may seem ludicrous to a reader. Any writer who tries to write a bit more complex narrative always faces challenge of believability: does this make any sense? is this believeable? is it consistent with what we know about characters? do characters acting like this make any sense? is it logical within the world as i established it? is it logical in relation to real world?
As a sf writer you'll probably be tempted to brush these concerns away by saying that in the world you conceived, these kinds of things are possible. You shouldn't though, as that would be a transparent rationalization; even fictional sf reality has to be consistent with what's previously established about it, it must seem functional and self-contained. A lot of praise goes to skills of a writer who establishes reality in which even very bizarre events seem believable. Your world, on the other hand, is too similar to real one to explain such bizarre events.
I should also advice you to rely on your own life experience more than on what you've learned from films, comics and pop culture in general. In a society as enveloped in pop culture as we are, this is very difficult, and purely fictional cliches manage to routinely sneak into realistic fiction. One's personal experience may be limited (specially when it comes to crime and violence) but it's still strangely universal, specially when it comes to human nature. Also it can be greatly expanded by research, even if only a brief wikipedia browse. Pop culture, on the other hand, is a source of rehashed artificial elements useful only for writing pulp, that only get more caricatural with every iteration.
Details just fail to flesh out. Max and Sammy are on verge of getting married, but we still don't know what makes their relationship work, what they do once cuddling and going out stops. In response to a question about this relationship asked by a reader, you can muster but a few flimsy common interests.
Obnoxious characters are recognized by groaning and eye-rolling of others, but things they say are never really that obnoxious - in fact, they're quite naive by usual standards.
And then there's my favourite webcomic trope, virgins who are saving themselves for marriage.
Why favourite? Well, back in the days, conservative comic writers tended to invoke this as part mary-sue, part oportunity for stealthy preaching (anyone remember GPF?) and it betrayed a lot more about authors than they were willing to admit. Coupled with that brief discussion about drawing from live nude posing followed by a sexual assoult, this gives Sh!t Happens an odd, probably unintended, conservative slant. Very odd, considering the amount of fanservice in it.
And let's face it - how likely is it to run into someone who's saving themselves for marriage these days? Not very much, specially outside of fundamental religious circles. How about someone who's saving themselves for marriage despite sleeping in the same bed as their boyfriend? How about being comfortable nude in front of said boyfriend they haven't slept with, despite being outspokenly shy about nudity?
I'm guessing you've heard a lot more criticism about your drawing than writing. I guess I may as well pile on and actually chance to say something new here and there. It can't be easy - there's a lot of things to be improved upon, it probably seems overwhelming. I'll try to stay away from tings I think aren't pressing matter, like lack of backgrounds.
Don't be alarmed though - it never gets to be less overwhelming. All accomplished artists I know have many problematic areas perhaps only they know about. It requires not only love of drawing, but also love of learning to draw, as it's a never-ending process. On the other hand, this means that drawing will never get boring as there'll always be a challenge, and granted - it gets much more fun once you get through basic stuff.
Easily the most pressing matter is that you always show your scenes from a bland isometric perspective. Most of your panels have a character either facing the camera, or standing besides someone who is facing the camera. Most of objects in any given scene, have a side that is facing the camera.
Although static scenes need to be presented in visually interesting fashion too, action scenes are particularly suffering. Yours is a comic about fast, violent sport. Tell me - does this
page do justice to it's nature? You may want to analyze action scenes in manga comics to see how one such scene can be livened up by clashing various camera angles and points of view.
In simple words, Right angle: boring. 45 degree angle: only marginally better. Clashing of various angles (of trajectories, parts of the body or sides of objects): much better. A page with lots of objects of the same size: boring. Varying sizes and distances: much better.
I'd like to set you a challenge for the beginning: to try to proceed with a comic without ever drawing a character directly facing camera.
It brings us to another point: It's great that you are working on improving your anatomy, and it shows. But adverse effect of this is that your drawing is very stiff. Every line seems to be laboured, as you're trying to get things correct, I can almost imagine your hand clutching the pencil in a cramp.
As important as anatomy is, it's a discipline that leaves a lot of leeway and doesn't require perfectionism. You can get away with hand being a bit shorter or thinner than it should be; perspective tends to distort our view that way. What is more important is confidence. Try to loosen up when you draw, to make lines more fluid. As a preparation for drawing the comic, spend some time doodling and scribbling, and only when your hand is loosened up and your grip isn't tight, proceed drawing the comic.
Characters are always in these stiff, awkward poses. Before drawing a characters, try doodling stick figures on a separate piece of paper, don't bother whether they're physically possible or not, try to catch a figure in mid-movement, until you come with a pose that is loose and natural. Then use this pose in a comic. Better yet, anatomy books often have a section with variety of these stick figure poses, which you can use to practice.
You can't draw hair. Max's looks like a helmet, and every female character with bangs of different colour looks like she has a poorly placed wig on top of her actual hair. You should work on textures of hair, and also use some reference photos when coming up with haircuts (I use them. It's impossible for me to come up with a haircut without reference).
Mannerisms you adopted (the way you draw eyes, faces, etc) are a matter of personal preference, but they remind me of my issue with my first webcomic, mcDuffies, in which I adopted drawing square eyes and elongated faces and stuff, even though that was different from how I usually drew.
At the time I thought this would distinguish my comic from others, later I came to think it was distracting and limiting for me an an artist, effectively limiting what I could express on their faces and how I could design a new character.
I can picture you eventually rejecting these mannerisms in favour of less constrained drawing style, one that you're using away from your comic, one that would let you show greater range facial expressions than the current one.
We know that you work on your anatomy, and it shows in recent comics, however it's very easy to see which pages were interesting to you (bull body panels, splash pages) so you worked on them more, and which aren't.
Consistency is one thing that makes comics much more difficult than usual drawing. Many illustrators are great in their line of work, but when they try comics, they just don't have consistency that is required. It's also a problem that many amateur comic artists struggle with (you and me included).
Problems with consistency increases with any comic drawn with somewhat realistic bodies but caricature heads. For one, many artists have problems deciding whether neck, heads and female breasts should follow the size of the head, or the size of the body. Also, inconsistencies with size of body related to head are usual, as artist draws what feels natural to him at the moment, and doesn't check the character sheet.
I suggest you go easy on fanservice. I'm not against fanservice itself, quite the contrary, but troubles with anatomy, stiff poses, rigid linework, all work against you. In that combination, lingerie pinups can pass, but panty shots and the like are really more of fan disservice.
But even if those problems weren't there, I don't think there's anything sensual about your particular style, nothing that lends itself to erotic imagery. Eroticism requires not only tecnical skills, but also ability to evoke touch through visual medium, certain smoothness, certain... I don't know what exactly, but just drawing girl's panties does not mean instant eroticism.
Anyways, I don't see how fanservice could have any positive role in a kind of comic that you're trying to make. Fanservice is a very tricky thing and I've seen only a few comics where it wasn't out of place, not including those that are mainly about fanservice to begin with.
Of course, drawing nudity is necessary for any artist who wants to progress and I'd never in a million years discourage you from it, even putting it in a comic, but even then there's a lot of difference between fanservice and just plain nudity.
Ultimately, if you like drawing fanservice, by all means draw it, but it deserves warning that the way you're doing it, it's not exactly nice to look at.
I guess something should be said about the fact that you practically start your comic with a panty shot. The idea to start this way is perhaps one of those favourite children you should have killed. I guess it's not unlikely way for two people to get attracted to each other, after all "Goodbye Colombo" starts in a similar manner, albeit in a more elegant and discreet manner. But there's something unnerving about the fact that you have us see your main female character's panties before we even learn a single thing about her character.