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My new years resoloution was to finish one page of my comicbook a week, so I have until thursday to fine tune this and move on to the next page. I'm hoping to get some good crits while I work on the borders and captions.
I'm going for a damaged, impressionist look rater than a slick traditional comic look.
It's imperative that this first page communicates without dialogue to a reasonable extent. Although dialogue and narration will be added.
Okay, well here's how I interpreted your narrative. I'm not sure if it's wrong or not since you didn't tell us what is actually happening.
3 dudes sitting down looking at something. small guy (the one not wearing mask) looks at the girl, asks for the gun, and shoots the guy wearing the weird mask.
Did I miss a lot?
By the way, I only examined it for about 30 seconds, which is about the amount of time the average person would have the attention span for something like a comic book page.
I really like the style you are working with, I have always preferred loose, Humberto Ramos type art as opposed to art that gets realistic and uptight. Just wondering what you were planning for the borders. I personally don't think you need them, the background washes create a natural border for each pannel that is very effective!
I'm really like this to start. I like the way you are using the "color of the paper" to good effect. And you have a fun style.
Since you're working digitally, I would do some re-sizing and rearranging to make a better page design overall. I guess you're going to do that.
Anyway, the big thing for me is whether the storytelling reads properly. And the glaring problem is that you really need to establish the room at the start. I can't tell the layout of everything. Always make an attempt to set up the layout of the room and where all the characters are, near the start of a scene. This way you go from the general (the whole room and where everybody is) to the specific (intercut shots of the characters, close ups of objects, etc.)
here's a quick "design-over" trying to set up a first panel that "sets up the layout of the room." And then moving the camera in to get some specific shots once the overall layout is established.
I also sorta couldn't figure out what was going on... I think some guy in a mask leans over and looks at some guy looking at a playboy while in a waiting room. And then the girl hands a gun to the guy, and I guess he shoots somebody, or it goes off, or something. Hard to tell. A lot of comic book storytelling is "mapping" the action. And then using that map to place people in the room in a consistent way from panel to panel. In film they call it "blocking" the scene.
So, in order to get some clarity, I've dropped the "looking at the other guy's magazine" shot, in order to just have one simple piece of readable storytelling to the page. I know this might not be the story you are trying to tell, but I thought it would be instructive just to show a bit of clear storytelling.
You'll also notice I removed the last two panels on the page. Don't rush the story. Set it up first, then explode stuff.
You'll also notice I keep the guy on the left and the girl on the right for the entire page. This is a great help to clear storytelling and is called the 180 degree rule. It works for comics as well as movies. Essentially it just helps you better understand the storytelling and staging of the scene if you keep people in consistent relationship to each other throughout any one part of a scene. Google "180 degree rule" "cinema" if you want to learn about this staging principle in depth.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
wow kev. Everything you say is true. The design over really helps. I'm not going to do exactly what you did, because that would be your design and not mine. It's going to take some reconsideration of the writing, but totally worth it.
I hope this is better. I have some tinkering to do, but that involves allot of staring and chin scratching.
I had to dump the high lights due to layer issues. Luckily it wasn't that hard to do. This time I'll do it with the correct layer orientation.
Originally I wanted it to have the resolution on the first page. But it lacked suspense and spoiled it's own surprise. So I'm no longer counting on it to tell a mini story on the first page. And I'm going to re-plan the next page and the one after that.
A wise comic book class lecturer once told me you should never change the way a character is facing unless it's a different scene. The way the guy with the tie constantly changes is kind of distracting. Since people read comics fast (like an above poster said) changing a character's position means the reader will have to work out 'who's who' before they continue reading. Having them look in the same direction throughout the whole scene means the comic should read more easily.
thanks grandmassa. I'm glad to see I have a fan. Comics are hard to stay motivated enough to finish. So I'll take all the motivation I can get. I'll post page two very soon. Like I said 1 page a week come hell or high water.
I'm going to post the finished product under the registry section and I'll have a tag linking to it soon.
That guys second speech bubble is kinda hard to read. Had me going face up to the screen to read the "..for a second" part. May want to take a look at that. (also font, size and width seem to fluctuate a lot)
Other than that, I like it! Your style fits in pretty neatly and it has a nice grit to it. Somehow I'm hoping for Pulp Fiction thing, but I'll have to wait and see, won't I? Keep it up, looking forward to the next page.
It looks very good to me, i definitely like the style of it. The only thing that I really noticed is the guy's position when he is asking for the gun. It looks a little bit too emotional, if you know what i mean, compared to the other parts where he is slouching over in the chair and leaning on his knees to peer over.
Please continue with your new years resolution.
I think it helped very much that you added in the setting of where these guys were in relation to eachother. Whoever suggested that initially, good idea.
I'm having the font fluctuate according to emphasis in statement. The whole thing should be easier to read in print. Hell the type may be too big.
Christian you might be onto something, but for now I'm keeping it as is. I'm going to sleep on it.