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July 22nd, 2014 #1
Horror Comic: Wanting Criticism, Please.
These are the pages I have so far. I haven't added text to a lot of them as of yet. I'd really appreciate some input to how they are turning out, and how they can be better. If the story is followable, and if pages are consistent.
I'm truthfully considering redoing this page all together.
Ditto with this one. I was also going to add another page in between these two to show Nikolo playing loudly and give a better understanding to why his Mom snaps suddenly. Is another page necessary? I'm going to be doing flashbacks throughout the entire graphic novel. The past is a large part of the story as a whole.
I just finished redoing some panels on this one.
Does the mirror need a background? Is it obvious he's looking into the bathroom mirror?
I was going to add the bathroom in the background with white lines. Would that be too much? Is it better without a background?
Do you guys know what's happening in this page? Also, I do know I need to add her glasses, and the toning isn't completely finished but is in place. Does the toning look alright like this, or do I need to go back and add gradients?
Is my "villain" scary or derpy? Is it annoying that instead of the background being completely realistic it is in a fish eye's type of view to express dizziness at the current situation? I was going to add another page of a closeup of adult Nikolo's hand after this. It's not just blood on his hand. It's rotting with weird creatures nesting in the holes...however, I'm not sure that that is completely necessary to the storyline. Would that page add or subtract from the current flow? If I do add that page in, does the next page make sense since it is no longer focusing on his hand?
This page needs toning.
Am I becoming too obsessed with perfectionism by redoing pages? I was planning on having this reviewed at New York Comic Con. I just want it to be up to professional quality. What can I do to improve? Are these pages telling the story clearly? Are more pages necessary?
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Overall impression is that everything needs a lot of polish to get close to professional quality.
Page layout, story flow, composition of individual panels, perspective, anatomy, expressions, use of blacks, quality of line, foreground/background separation, lettering, overall readability... everything that matters needs more work.
It is not "perfectionism" to keep redoing pages, it is learning. Find ways to minimize rework - do more with thumbnails and sketches, less with ink. Plan everything you can, polish the layout and composition in rough pencils before going into detail. Develop a working process, then you won't need to redo finished pages.
Keep practicing. Keep reading. Keep looking at professional work and analyzing it.
July 22nd, 2014 #3
Thank you for the input. I do agree I should lay out pages more thoroughly during the thumbnails and sketches.
Can you be more specific? I understand what you're saying and that there is massive room for improvement, but how can these specific pages be improved? What do I have going for me?
July 22nd, 2014 #4Registered User
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Well, I've seen a lot worse web comics that became popular, so I don't see how you couldn't end up being really successful if you stick to it. There are tons of examples of web comic artists that end up improving their skill as they create their comic-- But, it's not the artwork that keeps people coming back! I mean, look at xkcd.com. Perfect example of an awesome comic with very little actual artistic stuff.
But, can you make money off of it? It's hard to say. I might buy it. I think it looks pretty good, and I like horror.
Honestly, I don't think it's bad at all. It looks pretty good. You might need to tighten things up, but as long as you're willing to promote your work for free, as web comic artists generally do to start out, I'm positive people will read them. I mean, I'd follow them for sure.
Just a thought.
I have no idea about the 'money-making' potential here, but I think ads on web comics do that for the artist.
July 22nd, 2014 #5
Thank you so much, MistyFeather! I really appreciate it! I've spent a really long time working on my skills to get them to even this level. I'm really glad you enjoy them!
I'm going to go to NYCC, and see what they say, but it will more than likely end up as a webcomic after that. I'll let you know when I put it up.
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July 23rd, 2014 #6
As I said, keep practicing, keep looking and keep reading. You need to develop your taste as much as you need to develop your technical skill, so looking at others' compositions and thinking what makes them work is very important.
Book recommendations: "Understanding Comics" and "Making Comics" by Scott McCloud, "Cartoon Animation" by Blair, "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth" by Loomis, "Framed Ink" by Mateu-Mestre, "Visual Literacy" by Wilde.
July 25th, 2014 #7
I'm working on my comic book story telling too, and I can tell when you add all the elements you need this is going to be a sick comic. Keep it up!
July 26th, 2014 #8Anything unrelated to elephants is irrelephant.
July 26th, 2014 #9
Well it was a little like " hey were on the same boat, you can do it!" kind of like a motivational compliment more then a critique. Did I do it wrong? No motivation allowed in the critique section? Sorry.
July 26th, 2014 #10
Is this the completed material in the order it would be used? If so, I feel like you need a lot more introduction. I can't really tell what's going on or who the characters are, and I had to look through the monster part a couple times before I caught the drift of how things were going down.
From an drawing standpoint, I think you have a strong start. Not quite professional yet, like arenhaus was saying, but I think that's mostly a matter of continued study, practice and honing more than anything, which will come with time. I can't really think of anything in particular you're doing 'wrong'. My only thought on this one is that your pages are a bit too busy for being black and white, so it's a little hard to see things (kind of like zebra cameoflage), esp the last page. I'm assuming you prefer b&w so you might try simplifying or reorganizing your drawings/layouts to make things clearer. However, I should note that I'm not a huge comic reader, and some of the more action intense (e.g. DC) comics are too busy for my eyes as well, so if people prefer that style then fine. Just something to think about.
July 28th, 2014 #11
No, I sincerely appreciate your comment. Thank you.
July 28th, 2014 #12
July 28th, 2014 #13
The first two pages are a flashback scene from when the main character (the guy with the black hair) was a child. I'm considering adding a page to clarify that he was playing with his toys, and then his Mom snapped at all the ruckus he was making. That was going to be a vertical two panel page with Nikolo (main character) on the left side playing, and his Mom on the other side getting progressively upset.
I finished the shading on that page. I know it's a bit confusing, and busy...but I was aiming to give the reader a chaotic feeling, sort of like anxiety? I do want it to be clear what's going on, but I also wanted it to be visually interesting.
This is the last page(WIP). I did realize it was a bit confusing and not nearly as clear as I intended...I'm trying to remedy that.
July 28th, 2014 #14