Hey guys, long time lurker, first time poster here.
I've been making my comic Between Worlds since 2009 and feedback usually hard to come by as I don't attract all that much of a readership and I have a crippling fear of any kind of self promo (seriously, I had to take a hit of valium just to post this and am still shaking like a leaf >_<) but At this stage in the game I'm looking to see if I can get some honest critique on my work.
It's a hard comic to describe as I use a lot of experimental storytelling techniques and when it comes to the art it's no different. It starts out a little rough and even at this point I really feel I have far to go with my skills but one thing that can only ever push me forward, be is painful or otherwise, is honest feedback, so I humbly present my work for your sincere judgment :O
Thanks in advance for any time you guys can give me.
Link to the comic >>> http://betweenworldscomic.com/
*eidt* I just noticed I seem to have the poo poo post tag instead of the critique tag... how the hell did that happen O_O this is gonna get gassed now isn't it...
tenshianna fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2013 around 21:38
|# ? Feb 7, 2013 21:27|
|# ? May 23, 2013 18:23|
*Disclaimer - I can't draw for poo poo. I also didn't read everything.
Artwise: I think your style is evocative and engaging, especially in regards to close-ups to faces (and you play to that strength). Your latest chapter seems to have that much down pat, although sometimes a bit earlier on people's faces would be clean as a slate, and also one plain unblemished colour which doesn't look as good nor does it tally with how you do it elsewhere.
Palette and backgrounds are always varied and interesting throughout.
Negatives would be that your anatomy sometimes looks shaky even to my untrained eye and you seem to consistently draw clothes in a weirdly geometric manner that is really unlifelike. The people in the comic seem pretty downtropped and crumpled, so their clothes should reflect that too I think.
Textwise: Literally your very latest panel has drawn in text, which I much prefer, but I didn't see it many other places as I skimmed through. I'd like to see what it would look like if you hand wrote some of the dialogue. If that is impractical, at least you need a much less glaringly 'MS Word' font. It just makes it look amateur.
I liked when you did the text bubbles in off-white or off-yellow. Settles into the page much nicer and is less stark.
The writing I found to have improved markedly since two years ago, but still comes across as clichéd and childish at points. I'm also a strong believer in letting pictures speak for you. Sometimes it feels like you want to cram some text in every panel when it really isn't necessary.
^ Just shows you how much you can convey without relying on words practically at all.
I can't really comment on your whole story because I don't have hours to spare, sorry about that.
I hope this was useful coming from a rank amateur. As some free life-advice, it is probably not the best thing to be so terrified of putting your work out there that you rely on valium. I can guarantee that there are thousands of people less talented than you sticking their stuff out into the ether without a second thought. If somebody comes across your work and doesn't like it, the worst that can happen is that they won't read it.
Jeza fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2013 around 22:08
|# ? Feb 7, 2013 22:06|
Okay, first of all, thank you SO much for having a look and giving your thoughts. You've hit quite a few points that have either confirmed my suspicions or higlighted some areas I wasn't quite aware of, so thanks a bunch for that.
I've always struggled with anatomy, that poo poo is HARD. I don't use nearly as much reference as I should when drawing, usually out of laziness or just sheer inability on my part, but I'm going to put more work into my vocabulary of anatomy particularly in background charcters as I tend to cut corners there big time.
On the clothing, you're not the first person to point that out. I think I've just realised that as you say, there's a real disconnect between the style I draw my figures and how I draw clothing that I've only just seen now that you've said it. I use prettly much exclusively straight, angular lines when drawing the clothes which doesn't match the figures, so I'm gonna do some study on drapery and how to better convey it with my own style.
Text, I get what you mean. Finding the right font for the comic was a real struggle at first. I ended up choosing Digitalstrip 2.0 not so much because I liked it, but because it was the least typical wacky comic font I could find that best matched the tone. Although hand drawn text would probably suit better, there's no way I'd be able to do it as I just have a very shaky hand and poo poo handwriting in general, so I think what I'll do is have another look for something more individual, while still fitiing the tone and work to replace the text for the future book version I'm going to put together. Might also think about keeping all the bubbles that same cream/yellow colour throughout if it works better.
On writing, I'll be the first to say I've never been comfortable with my writing. I've always had trouble writing comfortable diaglogue. I think I've only really managed to find my stride from chapter 4 onwards, but it's good to know I still need to work on it as the writing is probably the most important aspect. It's really interesting you feel that I'm over-writing in parts as, as I say, I find it very uncomfortable, I also have a very strong belief in allowing pictures tell the story so perhaps I'm better off just working to my strength at visual storytelling rather than trying to be the kind of writer I'm not? Definitely something I have to consider. Also, that comic you linked is awesome...
No worries about commenting on the whole story, it's a long one as it stands, so I couldn't hold that against you! The info you've given already me is invaluable.
And yeah, on the last point, what can I say, I've always had a massive fear of promo. It's not for fear of a negative response or anything like that, moreso that I feel like I'm being really rude by even taking up space on a forum for my own work. I end up just cowering in a corner rather than just having the guts to be a bit of a pushy rear end in a top hat from time to time...
Anyway, I can't thank you enough, you've really helped!
|# ? Feb 8, 2013 14:48|
It seems like a small point but the tiny eyes in the last three panels are really offputting. The way she looks in the pink/black middle panels (with the, ugh ... snow?) is far more evocative. She looks a bit inhuman at the end there but that's where all the dragging-back-to-earth and emotional punch need to be.
Jeza made the other points pretty well: art style is lovely, writing is a little simplistic but there's not enough for me to make a more sound judgement.
|# ? Feb 9, 2013 05:20|