XTIN - The Dragon's Dream World (comic)
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    XTIN - The Dragon's Dream World (comic)

    Last edited by Jack the R; June 9th, 2013 at 02:10 AM. Reason: add attachment
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    Pretty interesting - not sure I can offer much - partly because the whole mood of the work has a surreal tone making it hard to critique. The one thing that might help
    some pieces (cover and gray scene with attendants) is a little more focus or tighter rendering where you want to draw the eye. Anyway - good job!

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    Deleting . . .

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    I can't really read the text at all, unless I try really hard and look very closely. I don't know if that's supposed to happen.

    It's a bit difficult for me to make out what's going on in the comic as well, but that might be because I'm not familiar with comics like these at all. I'm still trying to read it all though because there's something about it that makes you want to look further, like some dreaded fascination. I suppose that's a good thing.

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    Yo

    Thought I'd stop and check your stuff out. Very interesting concepts. They look very original. I'm interested in entering the realm of comic work myself. It's cool that you have someone to do CG for you. What's the scope of this comic in terms of length? Full on production from inking to coloring might become very timely if you were to approach every page like this. I'm interested what your process is like though.

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    Is the hanging woman supposed to be human at all? She doesn't seem to have a pelvis, and her ribcage seems strangely tubular.

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    All the ones where she's hanging upside down. The one in the "Sina Queen wants more" panel with a purple cast seems to be closer to human anatomy, although it also seems to be a different person. The one hanging from her feet has strange anatomy and proportions if she's intended to be human. If not, which is entirely possible here, then no problem.

    Take a look at this comparison, it should be easy to pick out the anatomical differences.

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    HI Jack the R

    I am not a huge pro on lighting/anatomy myself, so I will just comment on things I noticed in general.
    First of all regarding the likeness of the main character. I actually see this as a key point of any comic , that the characters are instantly recognisable. Try sketching her out in many different situations until you are sure you have a good sense of how she is supposed to look like. I would also add some distinctive features like a bump in the nose, some killer brows, hollow cheeks or other stuff that makes her more interesting. Atm she is looking very bland.

    You have created a very good start to a comic though... I am eager to see how it continues because I think the mood is endearing and original. The font and bubbles are WAY over the top though. I would change them to very simple and clear frames instead. That is me talking to you as your comic editor so keep that in mind!
    Such detailed and special bubbles are best left for some very special occasions!

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    use more 3D!! I loved those frames, I really think a mix betwean 3D and 2D could make a cool effect on something like this.

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    The text on the comics is automatically hard to read. i suspect it has more to do with the colors you are using and possibly the font choices. Im not saying that you should automatically go to a standard font but it needs to be more readily readable otherwise it just wont be enjoyable to read. I know that white text on dark background is harder for the eyes to read than dark text on a light background. I remember in spawn they would sometimes make the creatures talk with white text on black which worked there. Otherwise you compensate with some gradient action.

    As for the art I dont really know what to say. I dont think I am the demographic for this type of genre. It reminds me of the Saw movies which I think are just a pointless disturbing gore fest. And since the inner self matches the outer self I think its easier for people to enjoy it who are closer to that nature.

    I read it and look at the images but feel no connection to it. So I think it may lack some form of connectivity. Theres nothing I can relate to about it because its so surreal. My question then is where are you really trying to transport me with this? I dont really enjoy going to a land of torture and demons and fear and anger and fighting. Maybe I am missing a part of the story where someone goes on a bad trip or something.

    Your latest panel is kinda hard to read visually which suggests your composition isnt trying to lead my eyes. There is the composition rule: 60/30/10 which suggests its good to make your scene have 60% of one value, 30% of another and 10% of another. The values are Lights (your brightest values), middle range, and darks. Your background of your newest page looks to be about 80% mid, 15%dark, 5%lights. I suggest redistributing some of those values to your main focal point otherwise the viewers eyes travel where they dont need to be for the real dramatic impact of the story.

    But ya I dont know how far you are in on these but hopefully that helps something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack the R View Post
    Just want to throw this out - I'm getting a fair amount of contradictory opinion. Quigleyer likes the balloon shapes, I like them (would like to mix them up a bit), Janos and Tony Wallace don't like them. Most people haven't said anything about them one way or another . . .

    Lotet liked the 3D - but other people (like Dr. Hua, ironically enough) didn't like it, so I stopped doing it . . .

    Some people found the story hard to follow, some understood what I was trying to do, most haven't said anything one way or the other . . .

    Janos and Tony Wallace don't like the faces, I get compliments on the art from other people.

    In the end I'm going to have to call it as best I can and some people who meant well and were trying to help out aren't going to be 100% pleased.

    But keep trying
    I think with any forum for critique, you'll end up getting contrasting advice that's mixed with preferences. By nature, when people are asked to critique something, they look at it differently. Things they would have otherwise noticed become glaring, and sometimes people go out of their way to avoid this tendency, and end up on the other side of balance.

    It's less true for a single image, but more true when dealing with a story's worth of them. As the complexity increases, so does the amount of preference in the responses. Questions, for example, of whether or not to use 3d, will be preferential. Sort of like giving a nicely rendered cartoon low marks for not being realistic. Or a publisher rejecting Harry Potter because it has goblins in it.

    The hard part is separating the preferential criticism from the foundational stuff. It's easier in writing, where you can clearly say that issues of spelling and grammar are foundational, while whether or not goblins are cool, is not. Or in a visual image, where one can point directly to compositional issues, warped perspective lines, etc. With a comic, now you're combining both mediums of storytelling, so the lines begin to blur even more.

    With writing, I've learned a couple things about critiques. First of all, the client is king. So if I'm writing for someone, and they want it a certain way, that's what they'll get. If I'm writing primarily for myself, I'll look for repetition in critique. If more than one person points out the same issue, I need to take a good hard look at it. If three people, independent of one another point out the same issue, it probably needs to go. If only one person has an issue with something, I usually weigh the pros and cons, and go with my gut.

    Hope that makes sense. I guess what I'm trying to say is figure out what things people are saying that are technical, and which are preference first, and then it will be easier to know which to take to heart and which you can take in but not apply.

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    As for the bubbles, I think the shape is pretty unique and cool looking. But it's still really hard to read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wallace View Post
    As for the bubbles, I think the shape is pretty unique and cool looking. But it's still really hard to read.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Do you mean the shape of the bubbles makes it hard to read, or the font is hard to read?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack the R View Post
    Thanks for the advice.

    Do you mean the shape of the bubbles makes it hard to read, or the font is hard to read?
    Sorry, the font, color saturation or some combination therein (makes it hard to read). My only thought on the shape is because it's used pretty universally throughout the comic so far, it's hard to tell who's talking. Using different shapes for each speaker or group could help, I think.

    110 pages is a crazy long creation myth too. The garden of Eden segment of Genesis isn't even close to that.

    Let's see... as for the serpent devouring it's tail representation, you can find examples all through history and various cultures of it. You might consider just doing several different serpent/circles using different cultural stylings, and sort of overlay the images at different sizes angles and opacities to represent the passage of eras (making the circles themselves form sort of a bending tunnel, if that makes sense).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wallace View Post
    Sorry, the font, color saturation or some combination therein (makes it hard to read). My only thought on the shape is because it's used pretty universally throughout the comic so far, it's hard to tell who's talking. Using different shapes for each speaker or group could help, I think.
    O.K., I agree with that. More shapes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wallace View Post
    Let's see... as for the serpent devouring it's tail representation, you can find examples all through history and various cultures of it. You might consider just doing several different serpent/circles using different cultural stylings, and sort of overlay the images at different sizes angles and opacities to represent the passage of eras (making the circles themselves form sort of a bending tunnel, if that makes sense).
    I was thinking of making it more streamlined and science fictioney, but let's first decide if the basic idea is functional and readable.

    I may have to lay out the next page . . .

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    Deleting . . .

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    I wonder if hitting those successive symbols with some radial blur would create a stronger sense of time/movement. Right now, the "One Thousand Years Earlier" certainly does the trick, but the clock idea isn't coming across as strongly to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wallace View Post
    I wonder if hitting those successive symbols with some radial blur would create a stronger sense of time/movement.
    I think that might be a really good idea to try out. You spoke about the "functionality of the Snake Clock" and I am assuming this is something that will occur regularly throughout the story. Even if it only occurs once I would urge you to begin to think of the amount of panels that will be taken up with the same thing to get the point of it moving around in a spiral. I like the outcome and it works out surprisingly well, but it just takes too many panels. It's my understanding that story telling should be as concise as possible to keep reader interest up, to tell the story more efficiently, etc. You should, in my opinion, try different things out to help out with that. See what happens with the radial blur, try using just 3 panels and see if you get the same effect, etc., etc.

    I think it's a realistic goal to get your point across in the amount of space it takes for that top landscape format panel.

    Last edited by Quigleyer; February 14th, 2010 at 01:53 PM.
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    Deleting . . .

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