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Doctor_Fruitbat
Jun 2, 2013



Mercury Hat posted:

June is officially unofficially NaNoMango part 2! Nanomango is the comic counterpart to Nanowrimo, but less stringent in the "rules".
  • You can work on your current project(s), it doesn't have to be something totally new.
  • You can set your own goal for page count! Suggestions usually are: 30 pencilled/thumbnailed pages OR 15 inked pages OR 10 colored and inked pages.
  • If you post it on tumblr, tag it #nanomango and the tumblr might pick it up.
This is always a good opportunity to give your project a shot in the arm, so I'll be doing my best to follow through. It's good timing for me, I'm about to start a new chapter.

I chickened out super hard in November, because I was scrub tier in every respect and realized it when attempting to prepare for it.

But not this time! Since January I've been drawing most days and vowed months ago that I would actually do it this time. I have set myself the goal of pencilling 30 pages, so I have something unfinished but complete and readable, and I can then bone up on the things I still have a really poor grasp on (like shading and colouring). Tomorrow I am polishing off thumbnails, doing a bunch of character sketches to get myself limbered up and on Monday I shall sit my rear end down and draw a god drat comic.

I haven't drawn a comic since I was 7 and I procrastinate heavily, but I work best under pressure and am going to see this through come hell or high water, so let's do this poo poo!

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Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


Alright, I'm in. If I don't do this, I'll probably have done nothing productive this year. So, yeah.

Going for 10 pages.

Ayin
Jan 6, 2010

Have a great day.

sweeperbravo posted:

I like to read people's thoughts on worldbuilding because I personally hate doing it and as a result only ever write realistic fiction. A few times I've had an idea for a more fantastical story and have given up after getting maybe a few paragraphs into it because I realized the amount of (to me, unenjoyable) poo poo I'd have to create to actually support the story. Hell, a few years ago I got around to making a map of the town where my comic started off taking place and that alone, while rewarding, was really strenuous.
If you ever get the itch to do fantasy-world stuff but can't be assed to worldbuild, just use the worlds of extant fiction.

And if copyrights bother you, use public-domain woldks like Wonderland or Oz.

Doctor_Fruitbat posted:

I haven't drawn a comic since I was 7 and I procrastinate heavily, but I work best under pressure and am going to see this through come hell or high water, so let's do this poo poo!
poo poo yes! I'm going to be spending half the month either on the road or away from all my references, let's do this
(honestly I have no idea if I can do it)

GreatJob
Jul 6, 2008

You did a Great Job™!


I'd like to NanoMango a 10-page test for a long-form story. Full color, etc.

windex
Aug 2, 2006

One thing living in Japan does is cement the fact that ignoring the opinions of others is a perfectly valid life strategy.

thousandcranes posted:

I watched Stripped last night, and A Softer World was one of the featured comics. The last act was about the digital revolution and the bright future of web comics.

The last act seemed detached from reality, because the only people making a "living" doing webcomics are:
1) Living in a country with universal healthcare/ actual social safety nets
2) In literal poverty
3) Producing lowest common denominator product for over a decade
4) Yeah Aaron Diaz and the Penny Arcade guys too

If you count people who are recruited out of webcomics for other fields, the picture gets a little better. But they're not making a living at webcomics.

Edit: I don't mean to be so bleak. But literally the only reason to draw comics is because you love to. It's enough of a reason, but let's not pretend there's a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.

While it's hard to argue against this, most of these guys do manage to survive. But there is one area on here you're not mentioning and I'm not going to name artists afflicted but...

There are a handful of very popular webcomics artists with very serious mental illness. Most of them do receive some kind of health care benefits of some kind, but doing comics gives them enough income to live a life and keep taking their medication (by virtue of paying for it or not selling it for money), effectively giving them an outlet doing something they love and stabilizing their lives simultaneously.

You can paint that as bleak but it's actually really positive for those individuals because it gives them a community and support system. There are also many examples. Obviously doesn't work for all cases.

Doctor_Fruitbat
Jun 2, 2013



Huh, I didn't know that it wasn't a hard and fast limit on 30 pages. I'm going to see how many pages I actually thumbnail, then revise my goal afterwards. It might end up being 24, which to be honest seemed like a more natural length when planning things in my head.

Doctor_Fruitbat fucked around with this message at May 31, 2015 around 10:34

neonnoodle
Mar 20, 2008

by exmarx


Finally watched Stripped yesterday. It was a real shock to the system for me, in a good way. For the last few years I've been kind of frustrated and confused about how I want to make comics. I don't relate to most comic books--I've never been into the superhero/mainstream comics, but I also have liked very few of the indie graphic novels I've read, even when they're unimaginably beautiful. Even when I know they're good, they don't typically "hit me where I live."

I don't know why, but I'm just a comic strip person. I can read someone's graphic novel that is a masterwork of layout, color, story, whatever -- and it won't give me as much of a warm fuzzy feeling as a dumb stupid four-panel Peanuts comic from 1962. When I did my last comic, I spent a while thinking that it would be a vertical-format graphic novel type comic, because the story was self-contained and scripted from the beginning. But after about 15 pages or so, I realized I needed to switch it to horizontal Sunday comic layout, because that's just the format I relate to. The webcomics I like most are the ones that have the newspaper strip model.

Maybe it's stupid but it helps me to sort through the different branches of the medium. It explained for me why I've had such awful writer's block this past year: I'd been trying to write for a genre that I don't really connect with. Then this morning I revisited a strip that I started in high school and wrote 3 weeks worth of material for rebooting it.

thousandcranes
Sep 25, 2007



windex posted:

While it's hard to argue against this, most of these guys do manage to survive. But there is one area on here you're not mentioning and I'm not going to name artists afflicted but...

There are a handful of very popular webcomics artists with very serious mental illness. Most of them do receive some kind of health care benefits of some kind, but doing comics gives them enough income to live a life and keep taking their medication (by virtue of paying for it or not selling it for money), effectively giving them an outlet doing something they love and stabilizing their lives simultaneously.

You can paint that as bleak but it's actually really positive for those individuals because it gives them a community and support system. There are also many examples. Obviously doesn't work for all cases.

Living with mental illness and earning a living from webcomics are vastly separate topics. There should be a more robust safety net for people with mental illnesses. When people with mental illnesses live in poverty, it is a broader indictment of society as a whole. The webcomic earnings problem is a combo of a bad monetization model, the lack of business training of most artists, and a devaluation of visual arts by both consumers and artists. The living on starvation money, homelessness, or otherwise impoverished mentally ill person is a total failure of society to protect those who are most vulnerable.

The arts can help people with mental illnesses. It's clear that some people greatly benefit from their webcomics through self expression, validation, or emotional and financial support from their readers. However, it isn't a purely positive thing due to the LOADS of counterexamples exist. There are so many counterexamples that I can't imagine that the mental illness + internet combo is anything other than a wash.

I won't post a list of names either, but how many mentally ill artists have been targeted for being a "lolcow," who insufficiently incorporates contradictory and often incoherent "constructive criticism?" How many were unable to deal with a spotlight, or having their work policed for anything "problematic?" How many couldn't handle the commitments that follow a successful kickstarter? How many are burning themselves out over an update schedule?

neonnoodle posted:

Maybe it's stupid but it helps me to sort through the different branches of the medium. It explained for me why I've had such awful writer's block this past year: I'd been trying to write for a genre that I don't really connect with. Then this morning I revisited a strip that I started in high school and wrote 3 weeks worth of material for rebooting it.

Really excited to hear this, I liked one of your previous comics

thousandcranes fucked around with this message at May 31, 2015 around 15:11

Viga
Jun 2, 2009


Nessa posted:

Very nice colour choices, though I'm a sucker for warm scenes like this. A few things though....

I would warm up the first panel a bit. The dark blue used for the background is drawing a lot of attention because it's the only cold colour on the page. It could still work if you balanced the page out with more cool shadows.

Colour the lips. Even if they aren't wearing lipstick, human lips are still going to be a slightly darker shade than their skin.

Push your shadows. I know you're just getting started, and I used to have the same problem, but try to make your shadows darker, so the page looks less flat. It's okay to put more focus on colour choices first, but try to work with your shadows, and make sure those shadows don't become too saturated. The shadows for this scene should be somewhat purpley blue to contrast with the warm sunlight. I would recommend putting a lot of side shadow on the girl in panel 4 to separate her more from the two characters in the background. Keep the background warm and the foreground a bit cooler. Same goes for panel 2. The girl's head and shoulders kind of blend into the background. Play with it a little to push her into her own plane.

Don't be afraid of gradients. Even if you're not going for a super rendered look, a simple gradient can do a lot for a scene with this kind of lighting.

Lastly, pay attention to the inking. A lot of lighting direction comes from the inks, rather than the script. In panel 3, you are actively going against the inks. See all that black ink by the dude's feet? Those are the shadows of the boxes, meaning that the light source in that panel is coming from the left side, whereas you have coloured it as coming from the bottom right. That could only mean that the primary light source it not coming from the windows after all. Maybe this isn't meant to be a sunset/sunrise scene in the first place.

Also, for help with breaking up planes, here's a great breakdown by colourist Dave McCaig. http://www.dave-co.com/gutterzombie...php?f=5&t=11966 The Gutterzombie site isn't as active as it used to be, but you can still find some good tutorials on there.

I hope that helps!

Thank you so much for the great critique! I read and put it into action:



I didn't know about the planes. I read through your link and WHOA the gears have clicked. And I didn't think about the inking making directions. I got a bit confused by the window placement and was trying to imagine where they would be off screen.

I really appreciate this. My next work will be better thanks to you! ^_^

Viga fucked around with this message at Jun 1, 2015 around 01:28

DrSunshine
Mar 23, 2009



I'm a bit late to the whole worldbuilding discussion, but here's my 2 cents-- Basically, in regards to worldbuilding, I don't actually do that much. That is, it's never a thing which I consciously set out to do, it just kind of happens as I ponder about the stories and the characters. I encounter various things in my daily life, and sometimes ponder "I wonder what this would be like in my story?" and then go about answering that question. I think that more than anything else, just doing basic research about the issues and settings that your story is about is sufficient enough "world-building", in that you can always find a real-world analogy to what's happening in the story and adapt it to your setting in some way. So for me it never really gets to the point where I sit down at the computer and hammer out a document that explains everything about the world, because most of the time it's all just things that I ponder about and incorporate into the drawings or dialogue in some fashion.

EDIT:

I suppose it also depends on the sort of story you're trying to tell, and the setting it takes place in. Mine is a little simpler, because it's essentially fantasy alt-universe Europe, circa 1820. So the whole political setting, down to the culture and climate, are roughly based on the situation in Central Europe during the dawn of the Industrial Age. It was easy to build up the story from there, since all I had to do was read up on history and learn about the history and economics of industrialization. I suppose it'd be a bit different, and the world building more extensive, had I wanted to build an entirely different sci-fi or fantasy universe out of whole cloth.

DrSunshine fucked around with this message at Jun 1, 2015 around 15:35

FunkyAl
Mar 28, 2010

Your vitals soar.


Here's a Weird Worldbuilding Trick: If you set it in present-day earth, the worldbuilding is already done for you!

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



FunkyAl posted:

Here's a Weird Worldbuilding Trick: If you set it in present-day earth, the worldbuilding is already done for you!

I keep trying to write about present day earth, but by the time I start writing about the present it's already the past. PLEASE ADVISE.

Mercury Hat
May 28, 2006

SharkTales!
Woo-oo!




Space-Bird posted:

I keep trying to write about present day earth, but by the time I start writing about the present it's already the past. PLEASE ADVISE.

Watch this scene, then try to apply the lessons you learn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5drjr9PmTMA

Doctor_Fruitbat
Jun 2, 2013



Six loosely sketched pages down; I'm learning a lot on the fly, like how much to shove on a page (some of them ended up being obscenely underpopulated, so they ended up getting rejigged) or how an establishing shot should look:



Anyhoo, I'll post some thumbnails as I go along and once I'm done, assuming no-one points out any glaringly terrible things I should fix, I can start the pages proper.

Rethy
Feb 23, 2014

Here to Party


FunkyAl posted:

Here's a Weird Worldbuilding Trick: If you set it in present-day earth, the worldbuilding is already done for you!

Man, I can't write wizard battles with this.

FunkyAl
Mar 28, 2010

Your vitals soar.


Rethy posted:

Man, I can't write wizard battles with this.

Exactly what are you trying to say about wizards, here? Did you not SEE the Harry Potter Movie?

Space-Bird posted:

I keep trying to write about present day earth, but by the time I start writing about the present it's already the past. PLEASE ADVISE.

Instead of "drawing" your comics, perform them live over internet simulcast

Rethy
Feb 23, 2014

Here to Party


I was being entirely facetious back there, but if we're really honest with ourselves, JK isn't the strongest world builder out there. Like, all transactions are performed with three denominations of pocket money? Which can be forged by school children? In the gold standard? Horrifying!
That's in no way a slight on her ability as a storyteller, or the phenomenon of the series, so I guess the takeaway for us all is you don't need to sweat the small stuff!

FunkyAl posted:

Instead of "drawing" your comics, perform them live over internet simulcast

Wh-

Where can I invest?

FunkyAl
Mar 28, 2010

Your vitals soar.


Rethy posted:

I was being entirely facetious back there, but if we're really honest with ourselves, JK isn't the strongest world builder out there. Like, all transactions are performed with three denominations of pocket money? Which can be forged by school children? In the gold standard? Horrifying!
That's in no way a slight on her ability as a storyteller, or the phenomenon of the series, so I guess the takeaway for us all is you don't need to sweat the small stuff!

Yeah exactly! I like to joke about worldbuilding, as expressed just a few posts ago, but the reader is going to bring a ton of assumptions about how things operate in the real world to your comic, as you the author brought those same assumptions into the creation of your world. So it's like, you can just COAST on ten thousand years of human civilization, no problem.

It's like, Marvel Cinematic Universe? Big deal!! All movies ALREADY take place in the same cinematic universe: ours. (which is also basically true on the level of movies and other works of art constantly informing and referencing each other so ayyyyyy)

hell astro course
Dec 10, 2009

pizza sucks



FunkyAl posted:

Yeah exactly! I like to joke about worldbuilding, as expressed just a few posts ago, but the reader is going to bring a ton of assumptions about how things operate in the real world to your comic, as you the author brought those same assumptions into the creation of your world. So it's like, you can just COAST on ten thousand years of human civilization, no problem.

It's like, Marvel Cinematic Universe? Big deal!! All movies ALREADY take place in the same cinematic universe: ours. (which is also basically true on the level of movies and other works of art constantly informing and referencing each other so ayyyyyy)

I'm sort of confused as to what you're saying here. Every person has a different experience, and every story needs a setting, and as an author you have to explain it, regardless of wizard fights of something 'real'. If you're saying we only have our own experiences to draw upon to tell a story, real or imagined, sure. I guess people get really funny about the phrase 'world building' in general. I dunno. You gotta tell a story, so you gotta build some worlds...but building a world isn't story telling, just part of it. I guess.



Mercury Hat posted:

Watch this scene, then try to apply the lessons you learn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5drjr9PmTMA


Yea right. Where am I supposed to find a VCR in 2015. Nice try.

WrathOfBlade
May 30, 2011



People get their backs up about worldbuilding because it's such a pitfall for amateurs, but obviously it's not impossible to do well. I do think you need to be able to stand outside yourself, and recognize where your worldbuilding is leading you to make choices that are unsatisfying to readers who lack context, and just mercilessly butcher whatever backstory you had in mind to make those bits read better. Which is really really difficult, especially when you're first learning to write and it feels like this one story will be the only one you'll ever tell.

Kill 6 Billion Demons is constantly derailing its story for the sake of worldbuilding, and yet the exposition is so poetic and beautifully rendered that it becomes enjoyable for its own sake. That's something I really admire and try to learn from.

GreatJob
Jul 6, 2008

You did a Great Job™!


How 2 Worldbuild:

-Use Earth map, put magic in
-Pick your favorite animal to make big for use as mounts instead of horses
-Generate MacGuffins so characters have excuse to trek all over magic!Earth

Scribblehatch
Jun 15, 2013



GreatJob posted:

How 2 Worldbuild:

-Use Earth map, put magic in
-Pick your favorite animal to make big for use as mounts instead of horses
-Generate MacGuffins so characters have excuse to trek all over magic!Earth
This is absolutely the best way to go about it. I had no idea it could be described so succinctly.

Quetzal-Coital
Mar 7, 2003


GreatJob posted:

How 2 Worldbuild:

-Use Earth map, put magic in
-Pick your favorite animal to make big for use as mounts instead of horses
-Generate MacGuffins so characters have excuse to trek all over magic!Earth

Preferably a series of MacGuffins that have an easily applied template, repeatable storyline after storyline.

GreatJob
Jul 6, 2008

You did a Great Job™!


Bonus points: Use your builded world to show off a niche skill or obsession that doesn't go on your résumé.

FunkyAl
Mar 28, 2010

Your vitals soar.


Space-Bird posted:

I'm sort of confused as to what you're saying here. Every person has a different experience, and every story needs a setting, and as an author you have to explain it, regardless of wizard fights of something 'real'. If you're saying we only have our own experiences to draw upon to tell a story, real or imagined, sure. I guess people get really funny about the phrase 'world building' in general. I dunno. You gotta tell a story, so you gotta build some worlds...but building a world isn't story telling, just part of it. I guess.

I'm mostly joking, but I guess what I'm saying is that your own experience colors everything you're doing anyway (worldbuilding included) so character decisions and themes based around your own experience go a long way.

Doctor_Fruitbat
Jun 2, 2013



Five days in, 18 out of 24 pages scripted and thumbnailed, so I'm off to run around a forest for the next three days and get absolutely nothing comic-related done whatsoever. Good times!

Diabetes Forecast
Aug 13, 2008

Craptastic
Asslicious
It is for to waste
the time


Honestly the worst thing is 'scifi worldbuilding' where everyone just kinda decides that humans are most important and aliens are bad blahblahblah here comes Punch Rockgroin.

please give me my award for making the next star district effect

Diabetes Forecast fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2015 around 06:41

Mercury Hat
May 28, 2006

SharkTales!
Woo-oo!




I just finished thumbnailing my next chapter, 12 pages this time. That should take me through to at least the middle of the month. Keep it up, guys .

neonnoodle
Mar 20, 2008

by exmarx


Here's the first page of the thing I've been working on. I'm planning to put it up tomorrow.

neonnoodle
Mar 20, 2008

by exmarx


The site's up now: http://www.atthezoocomic.com

Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


Something to consider....

http://www.webtoons.com/en/contest

Basically it's some korean company expanding into western webcomics. They are looking for creators to submit 3 chapters (as in a collection of pages) of a scifi work by July 7, and then one more chapter per week until August. Top prize is $30k.

quote:

The Science Fiction Comics Contest is a global competition that was created to celebrate unknown and up-and-coming comic artists. A grand prize winner will win $30,000 and the second place winner will receive $10,000. Both winning artists, along with the third and fourth place winners, will also have the opportunity to become paid, featured LINE Webtoon artists.

To enter, artists over the age of fourteen can upload at least three episodes of an original digital comic directly to the contest's entry page. All entries must be in English. Throughout the contest, content will be judged based on reader popularity and audience engagement as well as evaluations by LINE Webtoon staff for creativity, originality, and the artist's ability to publish digital comics on a weekly basis. The Science Fiction Comics Contest is free to enter through July 7, 2015. After the Preliminaries, the contest asks qualifying contestants to continue through the finals with four rounds, during which time they must update their comic with one new chapter per week. The winner will be announced on August 5, 2015.

Fangz fucked around with this message at Jun 9, 2015 around 16:45

neonnoodle
Mar 20, 2008

by exmarx


That smells of spec work. It's sort of a gray area because webcomic artists routinely give away their work online anyway, but it's still "SUBMIT FOR CONTEST! $$$" and that kind of poo poo is most frequently predatory and awful.

Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


neonnoodle posted:

That smells of spec work. It's sort of a gray area because webcomic artists routinely give away their work online anyway, but it's still "SUBMIT FOR CONTEST! $$$" and that kind of poo poo is most frequently predatory and awful.

Can you explain further? The rules seem fairly legit, and you do keep ownership of your entry. You don't submit more than three chapters unless you get on to the top 16 shortlist.

Mercury Hat
May 28, 2006

SharkTales!
Woo-oo!




How's everyone going on their Nanomango? I got started a few days ago and have managed three pages so far. I won't be able to keep up that pace, but it's a nice jumpstart to the chapter. This one's set right in Washington DC so I had a lot of fun trying to draw the landmarks and fudging a lot of the details.

Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


Mercury Hat posted:

How's everyone going on their Nanomango? I got started a few days ago and have managed three pages so far. I won't be able to keep up that pace, but it's a nice jumpstart to the chapter. This one's set right in Washington DC so I had a lot of fun trying to draw the landmarks and fudging a lot of the details.



I'm on a pathetic 1.5

Junko
May 16, 2008


Fangz posted:

Can you explain further? The rules seem fairly legit, and you do keep ownership of your entry. You don't submit more than three chapters unless you get on to the top 16 shortlist.

LINE's last winner seems really excited about the webtoon format. Hopefully he gets around to writing that essay as to why. I heard that the webcomics/webtoons ecosystem is different in Korea, where LINE's stuff is based, and that there are films and tv series based off some webtoons.

neonnoodle
Mar 20, 2008

by exmarx


Junko posted:

LINE's last winner seems really excited about the webtoon format. Hopefully he gets around to writing that essay as to why. I heard that the webcomics/webtoons ecosystem is different in Korea, where LINE's stuff is based, and that there are films and tv series based off some webtoons.

That is encouraging. Typically the idea of an "art contest" sets off alarm bells to me, but as long as people are already creating the work, I guess it's good for them to have a place to submit it for wider recognition.

Squidster
Oct 7, 2008

Life's just better with Ominous Gloves.


I can't quite figure out what they're looking for - the entry size says " The cartoon image must be less than 800px wide and 1280px long. (JPG only)" . Does this mean they want 3 regular pages before July 7?

Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


Squidster posted:

I can't quite figure out what they're looking for - the entry size says " The cartoon image must be less than 800px wide and 1280px long. (JPG only)" . Does this mean they want 3 regular pages before July 7?

I think they want something in the Asian style of web comics, with chapters consisting of individual images - each only a very few panels, strung together vertically. You can see examples on the site.

Fangz fucked around with this message at Jun 10, 2015 around 16:48

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Squidster
Oct 7, 2008

Life's just better with Ominous Gloves.


On closer examination, I see they also say "You decide the length of each episode and when to submit each episode during the Preliminary Period and Tournament Period", so I assume it's a stack of pages in that vertical 800x1200 strip format. That sounds daunting to do weekly.

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