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Been working on this on and off for a bit, I'm still gonna probably change a few things soon (like Joplin's clothing, dude looks like a valet or card dealer or something).
And as you can see I haven't finished Django, yet, but it's good to get some input on what I have so far, seeing how everyone else is "done".
Oh, I can tell you right now that the lighting is inconsistent and basically a grab bag.
Been working on this here and there.
Ok, might give a go at explaining what I'm thinking here.
The bottom line is that I'm thinking of taking a 1930's cartoon backdrop (particularly the works of Fleischer and Mintz) and twist it into the vein of a shonen comic. But not just any shonen, Jump-style shonen, REAL shonen: Friendship (友情), Endeavor/Struggle (努力),Victory (勝利). Really goofy, huh?
The story takes place in Great Depression Chicago, about a bunch of inexplicably battle suited weirdos who get mixed up with the Mafia, and subsequently an underground anarchist cult that plotted the murder of the mayor.
I'm still going in the way of research, and I've got a ways to go. But it's fun, I tell ya.
I'm just looking for some critique on my character designs. Are they distinguished well enough from each other? Do they all look like they belong in the same world, particularly Vet? It's not easy making a single human in a group of funny animals not stand out too much. Do some ideas just not work at all? Artie's torso could be a problem.
And if anyone didn't catch the joke, all of the characters are named after musicians (except Eddie) and Joplin's an anachronism in two ways.
Last edited by Psychotime; October 15th, 2012 at 03:40 PM.
These are really awesome. I love your style.
One thing I noticed is that Vet's left leg seems shorter than the other.
I don't want to call this an inconsistency, but one thing that I noticed is that some characters seem slicker than the others. Artie and Calloway have very few details, and seem very geometric, whereas Vet and Eddie look very wrinkly and kind of floppy in comparison.
I have to agree with snacks about the "floppyness" and what really got me was that I originally thought that Vet looked way too "real" for a "toon" but then I read the description and she's supposed to be like a "REAL real" human? I'm just having a hard time figuring out if this is a Roger Rabbit type of scenario that she's real but just stylized (what with the lack of gloves too), or is she too supposed to be like a "human toon" like Betty Boop?
Also what bother's me is that though overall most real, her feet are small compared to her hands (like Pat's but less cartoony) so I might look into that too, especially if she's supposed to be overall realer or a more stable character in personality.
With Artie the lack of visible clothing cues on the arms kinda bother me as they also kinda jump to a step more real anatomy too. It does kinda make an interesting contrast between the "geek" shirt and the bruiser arms (as in as opposed if the outlines of the arms were round too, making him look more gentle) but personally I'd add something, like another stripe to the sleeves to connect the arms with the shirt body stripe or a button to the wrist or something.
Good call. It has to be pretty distracting, huh?I don't want to call this an inconsistency, but one thing that I noticed is that some characters seem slicker than the others. Artie and Calloway have very few details, and seem very geometric, whereas Vet and Eddie look very wrinkly and kind of floppy in comparison.
More human toon. I'm not thinking of trying any Bonkers type thing, and I do want Betty Boop comparisons to some degree. She's the one character that's been redone the%what really got me was that I originally thought that Vet looked way too "real" for a "toon" but then I read the description and she's supposed to be like a "REAL real" human? I'm just having a hard time figuring out if this is a Roger Rabbit type of scenario that she's real but just stylized (what with the lack of gloves too), or is she too supposed to be like a "human toon" like Betty Boop?
Last edited by Psychotime; October 8th, 2012 at 11:28 AM.
Hmm, I might suggest watching some of the old Popeye cartoons on trying to figure out the amounts of simplification (though they're newer than what you're going with):
Overall I think it's safer to, as snacks mentioned, make her clothes more geometric and less detailed, the more real folds of the dress is what caught my eye the most with her.
Well, there's still the style affecting the view of the proportions so it's bit harder to say without being biased, but on personal account and based on this image I'd still make the feet bit bigger, or then I'd make the hands smaller (maybe try losing the fifth finger too). The hands are obscured in this but they look fairly average in size and the small feet aren't really giving any shape to the character (like with small feet she could easily be posed on to a triangle shape, being widest from the top and narrow down) but if the limb size were bit more consistent, at least personally I'd see it work better (with Pat it's easier to accept since the size difference is very exaggerated in all parts [as in really thin arms, large hands, thin body, huge head, where as Vet is still pretty close to average human-ish proportions in other parts than head and feet] and she's an animal to boot).
woah. okay. I love these characters very much. Sorry to be complimenting so much hah this is a critique zone after all. I think the character that is the weakest would be Vet, she should be a more Fleischer centric character, since she kind of looks out of place. Try a different eye form, something more exaggerated. But still. what a great line up! Mind if I ask what program did you do this in?
I think the mouths falling off the face are a bit annoying, because they seem like the only thing on the character that isn't affected by the structure of the character. You go to all these lengths to show that there's3D legs inside the 3D shoes and then you have glue-on mouths. Bleah.
Aw...I always thought they were funny. It helps you take the character even less seriously.I think the mouths falling off the face are a bit annoying, because they seem like the only thing on the character that isn't affected by the structure of the character. You go to all these lengths to show that there's3D legs inside the 3D shoes and then you have glue-on mouths. Bleah.
Quick edit of Vet, less frills and bigger feet. The display on the monitor I'm using right now is giving me some trouble, so the values might not look right. Just so you know.
What do you think? Better?
I'm redoing Artie and Joplin's clothes as we speak. Found some things in one of the fashion books I bought that might work for them.
Last edited by Psychotime; August 15th, 2012 at 03:59 PM.
All of the characters look pretty good to me. If I was art-directing this, I'd say quit fussing with minor details and start getting some pages pencilled. You can always revise the characters as the story progresses---in fact, it's happened to pretty much every comic character in the history of the medium.
As always, just my two cents.
Here they are, plus an updated Eddie.
...I went overboard on Artie, didn't I?
Bah, I REALLY need to hurry up and draw Django. Wanna know something confusing? Parrot's feet. How the hell do those back toes work? They look broken!
Last edited by Psychotime; August 15th, 2012 at 05:28 PM.
Yep, made some changes again.
You eve draw something a certain way, then look back after a month or two and say "why did I do it that way?" Well that's what happened with Patty's face.
Input's always good, but I personally think that at this point Vet works the way I think that she should. She stands out as a human among a bunch of funny animals, and she's still cartoony, just not to some of the extremes like Patty.
Django's a little less bland, but probably needs fixing again. For some reason his shoulders read weird at first glance.
Last edited by Psychotime; October 8th, 2012 at 11:17 AM.
I think Patty's face is an improvement here.
But are you ever going to start the actual comic or are we going to be looking at some perfect iteration of these character designs when we're old and gray? All long-running comics change somewhat in design as the artist draws hundreds of panels, there's really no reason to overthink something that's probably going to get lost on page 120 when it's 2am and you're really freaking tired of drawing it that way.
I'm still in the research stage. I've gotta read up on things like cults (particularly Pana Wave, which might be difficult to find good sources of in English), the Mafia and mobsters in general (around and before Capone's fall), pro baseball, boxing, and the chemistry of explosives, which are things I want to use in the story.
I'm cowardly, but I also don't like to rush too soon before I've got all of my concepts down. The second I start it, I have to commit to any concrete ideas I put down, and given how much things have changed from the more thought I put into it, I know I'd regret starting too soon.
I personally think that it's never good to stick with your first idea on anything.
The character designs are a different matter (though the previous thing still applies). And they're quicker to do and get critique on.
Last edited by Psychotime; October 12th, 2012 at 10:18 PM.