P.O.W.! Challenge 12--Final Poll

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  • Kmadden2004

    4 14.29%
  • skorpi

    7 25.00%
  • Sudsy

    0 0%
  • yoitisi

    17 60.71%
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  1. #1
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    P.O.W.! Challenge 12--Final Poll

    P.O.W.! Challenge 12--Final Poll

    Final Poll: P.O.W.! 12: The Other Side

    Again, I left this one run a little late to polling to allow any stragglers time to get in. We've got four finished entries this trip totaling 16 pages. This was the first time we attempted a comic with a script, well-presented by forum member Nathan Long, and I think, judging from the response, that it's definitely something we'll do again soon. Congratulations to everybody who fought their way through to the end. The voting will be open for roughly two weeks. Vote for one artist, and just to remind you--the theme is "The Other Side," with any interpretation you felt appropriate to your story. The art could have been either black and white or color, so don't let that sway your vote, and the stories do not have to adhere word for word to the original script.

    Artists are posted in alphabetical order...

    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

    Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary
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  3. #2
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    Kmadden2004...

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    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

    Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary
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  4. #3
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    skorpi...

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    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

    Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary
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  5. #4
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    Sudsy...

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    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

    Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary
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  6. #5
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    yoitisi...

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    voting for yotisi

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  8. #7
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    Weird to see only four entries made it to a finished status. The original thread had many starts that looked promising.

    Anyway, time for some crits:

    ---------------------------------------

    Kmadden2004: First of all, great job on finishing this round It's an achievement all by itself. I like the way you incorporated the deaths of the three ghosts with the puppets, it works well to show it's a flashback and not part of the 'now'. However, I think you're style is kind of ill-suited for this specific story. The style is suited better for short comical stories imo, while the story (at least, to me) is rather more serious. It also looks a bit too much off the shelve, with standard expressions and a lot of close up shots.

    The script also called for some pretty complicated environment shots, but in your entry they are not really easy to read -partly because of the style, partly because of your current skill level. I think you'd benefit greatly if you did some environment and anatomy studies to enable yourself to draw more complicated panels.

    Skorpi: You got my vote Shame you didn't get around to inking it, and some panels really could use some more work, but I like the overall feeling and flow of the pages. I think page one is actually the most attractive, simply because of the big splashpanel with the bride in it makes it a really dynamic and interesting page to look at. The background in it could've use some work though, because since it's such an important panel in there it automatically attracts the most attention.

    I also like the two panels on the left side of page two, especially the first one has a nice camera angle that enhances the readability of it. You could've done a bit more with the panel borders though, as the pages overall feel a bit stiff and less interesting than page 1. Adding an angled border instead of a neat horizontal/vertical one helps, but easily starts to feel like a trick rather than that it helps. Also, the balloon 'ah I'm no ghost' seems a bit misleading of where it comes from, and I naturally start to read the other balloon in that panel first.

    The last page is ok, but the very last panel puzzles me a bit. It falls a bit off the page, and it just shows..a hand...no blood, nothing. Since in the big panel before the actual murder has not happened yet, seeing the hand of the assassin where he is supposed to be dead already is kind of abrubt and doesn't read well to me.

    Sudsy: Also great job on finishing something for this round I like how your first panel is clearly something you spend a bit more time on to get the reader into the story quickly. However, like Kmadden2004, I think you're a bit held back by the style you use. The first panels works very well, but further up in the story the environment shots seem to give you some trouble, which makes the story a bit less easy to read. The panel with the three shady characters outside works to explain that part of what it's supposed to say, but nothing in there explains to me it's a whorehouse they're going into -while this is still an important part in the story, why else would the assissin sleep with the brides sister?

    Also, the combination of rough cross-hatching and really black blots of shadow mess the overall page composition up a bit. For example, on the first page you have three very dark spots that really distract the attention away from the actual image, especially in the first panel. It works well to make a character stand out from the backgroun like in the 4th panel, but always keep the overall impression of the entire page in mind too. The text is rather large and seems to break the flow of the page in some occassions too.

    One little thing, since you've chosen to make it a real fantasy story by making the characters aliens, you face another problem: recognizability of characters. I found it a bit hard to distinguish some of them because of this.

    ---------------------------------------

    Since there were only 3 entries to comment on, I took the liberty of doing a more in-depth crit here. Hope it helps you

    Last edited by yoitisi; August 19th, 2008 at 05:25 PM.
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  10. #8
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    My vote's definitely going to yoitsi since the mood he creates seems to go best with the story. It was great to see how original you guys can get even with written guide lines.
    I wish I could have finished (I still plan to), especially after talking a little trash, but I ended up losing ALL of my time in the last week. F#@k excuses though, this challenge has got me motivated. Thanks CA.

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  11. #9
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    Yay! Congratulations to the four that finished, and thanks to everyone who gave it a shot. There were a lot of great starts that I would love to see finished. I'll keep checking the Unfinished Challenge forum and Noncompetitive Forum for late finishes. Now on to the crits.

    Kmadden - I like the way you used color and lighting to get across mood, and I don't mind the cartoony style so much. Some of the expressions are great. I also like the use of the puppets in the flashbacks, which reinforces the idea that the assassin manipulates people. There are also some nice angles here and there.

    My biggest crit is that it is somewhat sloppy. I understand that there wasn't a lot of time, and you gotta do these things when real life allows, but a little more effort would have brought this up quite a bit - putting more detail into the backgrounds, relying less on gradient fades, taking some more time with character design - all would have given it a bit more polish.

    My problem with the character design is that some of the characters look too similar, particularly in silhouette. One of the assassins has a wide hat and high collar like the general. Another of the assassins looks very much like the counsilor, except with an eye patch. Another problem with the assassins is that, until the last page, we only see two of them, then suddenly there are three. This is a bit confusing.

    Last crit is with the last panel. It looks like - at least on my monitor - the three ghosts have vanished entirely. I would have liked to see them just a little bit more visible. Again, overall a good job, I just would have liked to see you polish it a bit further.


    Skorpi - Great job. Well drawn and well told, and I love the angles and composition of almost every panel. My favorite might be the first panel on page four. Very nice. All the characters are easily distinguishable, the story flows cleanly from panel to panel, and you bring a cool twilight mood to the whole story with the gray washes.

    I would have liked to see a little more detail from you as well. The bedroom in the first shot, for instance, is only a bedroom, not a prostitute's bedroom. There are also a couple panels on the second page where the assassin is talking that have no background at all. Putting some gray in there might have been preferable to white. Also, the lack of detail in the bath scene makes it impossible to tell how the bride died.

    My biggest crit is with the handling of the three assassins. Their poses, and the poses of the prostitute, are not sneaky enough, and without that sense of threatening danger, the story loses some of its tension. Also in the splash panel on the last page, the one with the axe doesn't look focused on his job.

    Some minor details. I agree with Yoitisi about the arrangement of word balloons in the fifth panel of page three, and the lack of blood on the assassin's hand in the last panel of page four. Also, it the page four splash panel, the general is missing the dagger in his chest. Besides these little things, a terrific job!


    Sudsy - Nicely told. The layout is simple, but does the job. The thing I like best is the gestures of the characters. As I'm sure you're aware, you need some work on anatomy and technique, but the poses are all very lively, and have a lot of character. I also think that you handled the scenes with the prostitute and the three assassins very well. There is a real sense that they are sneaking, and they're up to no good.

    Biggest problem, beyond anatomy, is technique - crosshatching here, dots there, incomplete lines, sketchy lines. I don't feel this is a problem of ability. It looks like you rushed through it instead of taking your time. If you had slowed your pen down, used a template to get those windows round, and picked one way to do shadows and stuck with it, you would have a much more cohesive, pleasing look.

    Details. If the lettering was smaller, you could have got more into the panels. The scene of the assassin painting the symbol over the general's body is very difficult to understand because of this. The shadows on the bed on the first page don't have enough shape to tell that they are human shadows, and as Yoitisi says, in the first panel on the second page, you can't tell its a brothel from the outside.

    Overall, a fun, lively style, but slowing down and thinking about your approach would give it some needed polish.


    Yoitisi - You got my vote. Extremely well done. No drawing or style crits. It looks great. The characters have a lot of character. The costuming and decor are excellent, and feel all of a piece. (Except for the XXX neon sign, but I give it points for silliness - and boobs.) Layout is very nice. Storytelling is top notch. I'll even forgive you your rewrites...

    Crits are minor. Difficult to tell the shadows are human in the first panel on page one. Poses for the three assassins could have been more dynamic. Might have been cool to see the general half in shadow in the last panel of page two, as if he was stepping out from the shadows. That's about it. All in all a great job.


    Once again, congratulations and thanks to all of you for taking up this challenge. This is the first time a story of mine has been made into a comic, and it was an extremely cool experience. I loved seeing what everyone came up with. Maybe I'll get to do another one of these some day.

    Thanks again!

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  13. #10
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    Nathan: Thanks for the crits. You're right about the last panel on page two, if I would redo any of this it would be exactly that panel. Page two is the weakest of the three imo since it is much more static than the other three. The other crits are spot on too, though I kinda like the xXx panel

    Hope to see you do this again someday, because it was a lot of fun to do. The story was great to work with. I actually have some feedback for you too, seeing that it is your first comic script and all

    A couple of my changes in the text were based upon the fact that the image itself already told was was said in the text. This might be a more personal choice, as I like my audience to think a bit more about what they're seeing (the assassination of the general is a nice example, let the audience figure out why the assassin is planting a flag that matches the sign on the dagger by just hinting about it in the text). In some cases, like in the first panel on page 2, it might even give away the plot already while this is maybe not so apparent in the script.

    A last thing might be that the description for the artist of what has to go into each panel might be a bit more free, although I didn't really have a problem with that.

    Anyway, thanks again for doing this, it was great fun

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  15. #11
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    Thanks for the feedback and the votes, I didn't expect them beneath Yoitisi's great entry XD

    yoitisi Backgrounds are my weakness, it laks me on ideas so they look boring Pherhaps I should use more reference pictures (And I shouln'd be that lazy XD)

    Also, the balloon 'ah I'm no ghost' seems a bit misleading of where it comes from, and I naturally start to read the other balloon in that panel first.
    I figured me out, most readers will red this panel automatically "backward" if you move your eyes from the panel above to the one beneath, you read "backward trough the panel. But now I see, not everyone reads it like that

    The last page is ok, but the very last panel puzzles me a bit. It falls a bit off the page, and it just shows..a hand...no blood, nothing. Since in the big panel before the actual murder has not happened yet, seeing the hand of the assassin where he is supposed to be dead already is kind of abrubt and doesn't read well to me.
    Ok, problem o black withe, thr dark part under his arm should be blood. I didn't want it to look to brutal.

    NathanLong Thanks for the feedback.
    My biggest crit is with the handling of the three assassins. Their poses, and the poses of the prostitute, are not sneaky enough, and without that sense of threatening danger, the story loses some of its tension. Also in the splash panel on the last page, the one with the axe doesn't look focused on his job.
    I agree, but wyh they have to be sneaky? they are 3 to 1 and the assassin doesn't even wear weapons. They haven't to fear anything.

    I shouln't justify myself all time :/


    Ok, some comments to the other entries:

    Kmadden2004 No red tie? XD
    More seriously: I like the black red color combination. The Shadows with the blood and the marionettes are good ideas. And I like the facial expression and boby language of your characters.
    The panneling is a bit boring, you draw the faces mostly the same size, with some focus you can make it more interesting.
    And a detail on page 2, the assassin and the councilor are looking in the same direction, so the seens they didn't look to each other.
    But good yob

    Sudsy Nice idea to make an alien story of it. Despite their unfmiliar look, it's easy to read their expression. Good job so far
    I with your lines would look cleaner, now it looks uncertain. I thik some cleaner lines would make your entry looking more professional.
    Your Panneling isn't bad, but page 2 is a bit confusing to read. Especially your charakter looks similar.
    But I like your last panel, interesting camera angle

    yoitisi What should I write, great work. I love the black white contrast and all this little details. There's a good reading flow. And I like the black pages.
    some detail crits, on the first page, how the bride and the assasin piont at each other seams me to strong. Without text I would think, the are quarrel with each other.
    Your people looks partially bit stiff, but else great job.

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  17. #12
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    Yoitisi, you're right. I have to get better at not showing and saying at the same time. I will work on that. Cleaner and leaner is always good.

    Skorpi, I don't suppose there's any reason for them to be sneaky (except maybe he might run away if he hears them?) I just think it will give the story a more dramatic feel.

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  18. #13
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    I liked Kmadden2004's style, he gets my vote!

    I appreciate all the good critiques! I'll have to print them out and remind myself of them before the next one! All of them are relevant, and for the most part I have solutions for fixing the problems you have pointed out!

    The experience of doing this in a set time and getting the reviews back has made this project worth it!

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