RobboAKAscooby wrote:Well since you're still going with the reviews I might as well volunteer Flying Tigers - find out how it's going before it goes too far.
LibertyCabbage wrote:Website: At first I thought the yearbook- and scrapbook-themed pages were a good idea, but then I realized they set my expectations too high because the characters are way more interesting in the side pages than they are in the actual comic. And how come Dr. Chan, one of the most prominent characters in the comic so far, isn't shown on the cast page, while Naomi, a character who hasn't even appeared yet, is?
LibertyCabbage wrote:Aside from that, the background color looks terrible, the navigation drop-down doesn't work, the HTML for the Facebook plugin is sloppy, and there's a huge Twitter box taking up space on the home page that has nothing to do with the webcomic.
LibertyCabbage wrote:Art: There are a massive amount of problems with every facet of the artwork, to the extent that it seems pointless to even begin to get into details. Instead, I'm going to suggest the creator drops down to a once-a-week schedule, and uses that extra time to either put more effort into the pages or practice with other artwork. He may also want to consider switching to doing black-and-white pages in order to focus on improving the line art. In any case, the comic's in terrible shape right now and requires drastic change.
LibertyCabbage wrote:The story falls into four main sections so far, which can be labeled like this:
1) Harli almost gets gang-raped
LibertyCabbage wrote:2) Harli hangs out with two attractive male friends while in an undershirt and panties
LibertyCabbage wrote:3) Harli strips naked in her bedroom
LibertyCabbage wrote:4) Harli catches a pervert stalking her, then bends over in front of him
LibertyCabbage wrote:For what I'm concerned, this comic is 100% about Harli being degraded as a sexual object. She also looks dangerously anorexic, although she's never overtly conveyed in the comic as having an eating disorder. And she shows zero personality or emotion -- amazingly, her most emotional moment in the comic is when she gets laughed at for doing the laundry the wrong way.
LibertyCabbage wrote:I'm baffled at what the creator's trying to accomplish by this. I considered the comic might be trying to make some sort of hyper-feminist "society brainwashes girls to be sex robots" statement, but I don't view the writing as nearly sophisticated enough to be that subtle. And even if the comic is feminist, it'd still fail pretty hard at being political.
LibertyCabbage wrote: No, I think the answer's more simple than that: The creator enjoys drawing super-skinny teenage girls with huge eyes, and that enjoyment has manifested into a 40-page webcomic called Flying Tigers. And if doing this makes the creator happy, then that's great. But I'm not going to continue to read it, or really even regard it as a legitimate project, and I don't expect others to, either.
LibertyCabbage wrote:Overall: I haven't felt this put off by a webcomic since I read Boston and Shaun http://badwebcomics.wikidot.com/boston-and-shaun , which I feel dirty even mentioning. I'd like to be able to offer a friendlier perspective, but I have literally nothing positive or encouraging to say about Flying Tigers, which goes beyond being merely awful by being obscene as well.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:Which left me wondering what exactly is that supposed to say about me? What kind of creepo am I coming across as here?
RobboAKAscooby wrote:What had me so upset was something beyond the nature of a harsh review and I'll explain that later but first I'll start with the constructive stuff (and apologies for simply deconstructing your review but it's the easiest way to address things right now):
RobboAKAscooby wrote:The obvious answer here is I haven't gotten around to this yet, most of the supplemental pages are still very much a work in progress. Which is part of the reason I haven't exactly been going wild on promoting the comic (another part being the story hasn't gone anywhere yet as I said earlier in the thread).
RobboAKAscooby wrote:I can't argue here, the HTML is shocking, it won't center for some reason and I've given up for the time being trying to fix it. As for the twitter, I'm hardly the only comicker out there with their own personal crap on their site and at least it's not the usual massive blog underneath each comic, it's just a simple twitter feed which also gives readers a way to contact me if they wish and I've put it out of the way of the comic itself.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:Yes there are plenty of problems with my artwork. It's stiff, the line-work can be shaky (blame my ruined hands), colouring can be a little messy, backgrounds are often poorly done or non-existent - this one for example was just plain lazy - the camera angles are unimaginative and on a couple of occasions I re-used the same artwork over a few frames. Not to mention the style isn't for everyone (although it does have its fans).
I am well aware of my artistic faults, although I'm sure there's more that could be pointed out to me.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:And here's where I started feeling sick - but I'll get to that.
First though I'd like to point out my writing flaws from a technical stand-point.
The pacing is a bit uneven - especially in the current conversational part, a few of those pages could have been combined. The characterization of secondary characters is pretty much non-existent so far (by design, their personalities will be revealed through the storytelling) all that's known is Eric gets into trouble, Doc loves his job and Brad's a perve.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:True. And a rather efficient way of setting up exactly the kind of vile people the Cobras are, you don't need to know anything about the rivalry between the Tigers and the Cobras to know they're bad people.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, Eric is a close friend and Doc is her legal guardian/big brother figure, it's not like she's in tiny lingerie - hell this is practically pjs - not to mention her pose is hardly sexualised and rather casual, she's just chilling out.
Granted the nature of Harli and Doc's relationship hasn't been explicitly stated yet (perhaps something I should have done in the cast page) but she clearly lives with him and is obviously not involved with him (she has Storm).
RobboAKAscooby wrote:Which is a very blunt way to describe 2 pages where she gets dressed, ignoring 3 other pages that set the day in motion as well as gives insight into the character of Harli - her dedication to her surfing, her hero Bethany Hamilton, a little bit of grumpiness and her relationship with Storm.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:Actually she catches Brad spying on the cheerleaders (or bubbleheads as she calls them) getting changed - which will be stated in this weekend's pages - and she clearly reacts with disapproval but like most groups of guys and girls there's the occasional perve whose friends just roll their eyes at because they're a harmless dork. (as for the bending over, she's picking up the stick to poke Kai with, I should have drawn an extra frame but I didn't)
And again you discount the entirety of 10 other pages where Harli is searching for Kai and the others are discussing the previous night (ie Eric's break up and the attack on Harli) to focus on a 3 page gag introduction.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:With the exception of the Cobras attempt and Brad's cheeky peek Harli is never really sexualised - you could argue the 2 pages getting dressed
RobboAKAscooby wrote:The mood is more bored "alright I better get dressed" than "look at my boobies".
RobboAKAscooby wrote:She's not anorexic, tiny maybe but clearly in fitting with her body frame.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:Yes absolutely no personality or emotion
RobboAKAscooby wrote:I honestly don't know what to think about this, I think this says more about your opinions than my intent.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:No my motivation is simple, storytelling, I just chose to tell the story of a teenage girl (surfer/martial artist/lesbian) whose about to go through one of the the hardest years of her life.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:And now we get to the crux of the issue - the reason why I spent most of a day feeling like the worst person on Earth
RobboAKAscooby wrote:You compared my comic to one of the most vile, misogynistic, fetish comics out there.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:For some reason you've looked at what was certainly never intended to be in anyway offensive and read into it some sort vile sexist misogynistic subtext that I am baffled trying to find.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:Made doubly troubling by the fact I know where the story is going - Harli's coming of age story should be empowering in the end as she goes through lot (including the death of a friend as hinted on the first page) and eventually succeeds in her dreams - but right now all that I can think about is how it's going wrong.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:But the more I've thought about it the more I've realised this is less about my intentions and more about your perceptions, you are the one seeing this sexual context - and you might blame it on poor characterisation which would have been perfectly legitimate - you've taken a few pages that displeased you and completely let it colour your opinion.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:Your attitude comes across as a "White Knighter", you've perceived a wrong and gone after it blindly.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:As yet not a single other person has laid such accusations against the comic (even the more sex-related parts of my other comic didn't get this reaction), although it is certainly possible that others here at CG may chime in to agree with your assessment - at which point I would have to seriously reconsider the situation - for the time being I have to conclude this issue is yours.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:If you had called Flying Tigers boring, poorly characterised with a little too much fan-service for your liking and the artwork is rat-shit. Also there's some technical issues.
I would have thanked you for it, for pointing out the flaws.
RobboAKAscooby wrote:Heck as it is I thank you for pointing out some technical issues and would thank you for pointing out issues with the art and writing if your comments actually contained more than just "it's bad", but still it made me re-examine my comic which is always a positive.
That's the thing (fan-service aside) there's very little personal libido motivation going on.
McDuffies wrote:Yet I think that it's pretty apparent that lots of what you see as perverted in Scooby's comic is accidental. Here's an example: his main character may look anorexic, but only if you ignore his drawing flaws. These flaws are pretty apparent in other character's designs which suffer from similar, though not exactly the same, insufficiencies. Said in "criticize the comic" phrasing, she looks anorexic compared to characters of some other, more expertly drawn comic. Compared to characters of her own comic, not so much.
McDuffies wrote:More accidental things: Scooby is not a good writer. Attempted rape is a cliché, a common place of bad writers trying to cause emotional distress. One characteristics of bad writers is, they have a small toolbox, and this toolbox is mostly taken verbatim from elsewhere. I've seen literally hundreds of comics where rape or attempted rape was used as a plot device for unearned drama to erase it from my toolbox forever. There are some other clichés in Scooby's toolbox taken from typical webcomicker's repertoire, and many of them are of sexual nature. We may perhaps try to psychoanalize group mentality of webcomicdom that perpetuated those clichés.
Anyways, Scooby's bad writing also accounts for one-dimensionality of his characters, which coupled with sexual themes and cliches, means that Harli seems like a sexual object. I think he does try to imbue Harli with character. Has he succeeded, he would be able to get away with much more sexual situations than he does now.
But even with bad writing and sexual object character, we still have an average sexploitation comic, dozens of which you've surely encountered so far, dozens of which do much better than most of good comics do. But then there's also Scooby's drawing, which in this stage is very un-sexual. Not only does it make his "sexy" scenes unsexy and therefore pointless, but also it unfortunately connects him to loads of elderly guys who are making badly drawn pornography all over internet. My theory is that, because you were aware of these "porn-amateurs" who are by now practically a meme, through this connection you saw Scooby's comic as more pornography-oriented than it really is, and perhaps imagined him as older than he is.
McDuffies wrote:I can imagine that Scooby was upset because many things that are in fact accidentally wrong, were marked as intentionally wrong. Surely you could have expressed more clearly that "this is how a reader might see it" which again would be a very valuable information to scooby, but it's certainly not the same as "this is how I saw it" - cause you're not a reader, you're a reviewer (see title of the thread) so unlike a reader, you are analytical, you talk about causes as well as consequences, at least that's what a reviewee expects from you.
McDuffies wrote:But actually I'm provoked to rant about what you said in the other thread.That's the thing (fan-service aside) there's very little personal libido motivation going on.
When authors say things like "that was necessary for the story", it always sounds fake. I came to thinking that there are infinite ways to tell one story in a good, honest fashion, and that it's pretty much author's decision whether he'll tell the story with or without, say, sexual content.
You'd say, surely it's not possible to tell stories of sexual perversion and people's secret fantasies in a direct and honest fashion without getting explicit and brutal? But wait, Luis Bunuel has been doing that exact thing his whole life, with no more nudity than Deneuve's bare back. So I think it would be also pretty possible to talk about sexuality of teenagers without anything explicit or any "fanservice".
Wasn't your decision to write a story about teenagers? Wasn't your decision to focus on sexual situations? Wasn't your decision, when portraying a vicious gang, to do it through a sex-related crime, instead of equally vicious, sex-unrelated crime? Would your comic's integrity be in danger if you drew your character sleeping in her pajamas instead of shirt and panties?
Wasn't it all at least partly motivated by the fact that, ahem, you like drawing girls in clothes, that you like writing and drawing sexual situations? By, you know, your libido.
The thing is, there is nothing wrong with your libido, and there is nothing inherently bad about desire to draw sexual stuff. Hell if someone called you, say, a pervert, that's practically a non-insult. Picasso was a Pervert (check out any exhibition of his sketches), Fellini was proudly a pervert, Bukowsky as well. David Lynch too. It's because they're perverts, not despite it, that they're great. Hey, taking Bunuel as an example again, do you think he shot Jeanne Moreau's legs walking extensively because it was helping him underline the social message of the movie? No, he did it because he had a foot fetish. And those legs are among the most memorable scenes in his oeuvre.
Pervert is sometimes just another way of calling a sexually-frank person. But if you deny sexual motives in your work, then you're hardly frank (primarily to yourself), and there's incongruity between what you say and what you write/draw, which make you more prone to being called 'pervert' (in bad sense of the word) by others than if you were completely frank.
McDuffies wrote:It's important to mention, I think, that a great deal of why people might react negatively to sexuality in your comic is your drawing skill. I think there's many things that would barely warrant a shrug if they were drawn by someone more able to convey sexy or erotic.
I'll admit I do rely on cliches a fair bit.
I really wish I could write my comics as well as my books but it really is a different language.
If the comic is coming across as sexploitation though, then I do have to fix it - McD, do you think removing the sexual nature from the initial attack would help?
Yeah sorry about that McD, I wasn't exactly in the best state of mind when I said that so I kind of misinterpreted it to mean I was getting off on it rather than that I allow my own attractions into my work - which I do (and everyone does), blue eyes and long legs pop up a lot in my work (I know, my attractions are so mundane) - and enjoy drawing the occasional bit of fan-service.
This does also fall into my thoughts on webcomics vs books/movies - the fact that with a comic you're releasing it as it goes means that readers don't have the advantage of the full story in front of them.
McDuffies wrote:This does also fall into my thoughts on webcomics vs books/movies - the fact that with a comic you're releasing it as it goes means that readers don't have the advantage of the full story in front of them.
Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas and Dostoyevsky also published most of their works in a serialized format, piece by piece in papers.
McDuffies wrote:At this point using a rape or something of that kind in a webcomic is really an instant minus for me. I don't have that kind of opinion for other media though. Thing is there's a lot of rape stories in webcomics, all of them handled as tearjerkers, means for instant "serious" points and in a contrived way which betrays people who don't have any understanding of how traumatized people act and feel.
You might rewrite that part, I'm not sure how that'll go well, I've seen other kinds of traumatic events tend to be handled by webcomickers similarly, albeit tackled with less frequency, I think all in all it depends on how you handle it, and not which particular event you handle. I told you on earlier occasions to focus on future, that I think that redoing old stuff may be counterproductive in regard to your improvement, I'm sticking to it.
McDuffies wrote:I'll tell you one observation that might help you. Conventional wisdom says that compassionate eye turns away from the violence, while sadistic eye lingers on it for what seems like hours, always wanting to get one more look at the sight. Somewhere in the middle is the eye of an impassioned observer. It is also noted that every graphic violence eventually gets glamorized even despite intentions of the author, except the violence that is never shown in the first place. Many authors, in their zeal to look the truth directly in the eye without flinching, have an opposite effect, which is why folks like Larry Clark get tagged as exploitative even though sex and violence in their movies, technically speaking, is essential for the story. So can a comic artist be stuck between an opportunity to draw a great-looking scene and a question "is this scene actually supposed to be great-looking?"
McDuffies wrote:Yeah sorry about that McD, I wasn't exactly in the best state of mind when I said that so I kind of misinterpreted it to mean I was getting off on it rather than that I allow my own attractions into my work - which I do (and everyone does), blue eyes and long legs pop up a lot in my work (I know, my attractions are so mundane) - and enjoy drawing the occasional bit of fan-service.
For me, it's big boobs and blond hair. (j/k)
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