Monday, May 26, 2008

It is done

Well, The Beast is complete.

In keeping with my usual personal critiquing style, I now hate it. Not completely, but mostly. There are some things I really like, certain panels, even entire layouts, work really well. But, all I can see are the mistakes, things I need to work on. I won't list them, lest I seem like I'm begging for a compliment. I'm really just looking at this as a sketch, a second draft, or at least just practice.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Please rip this apart. Discussion topics:

1) is this story good enough for me to re-work with better (slower) artwork? If no, why not?
2) are there any pages where the layout just doesn't work; what would make it work?
3) are there any pages/imagery that works well; if so, why?
4) even if the story is worth doing again, should I just move onto the next story
5) who the heck is going to write the next story

So, we left at page twenty-five, so it would be best to start there.

There is also a cover now. I wanted to do a cover, but it was a challenge to create interest without revealing the twist.

I would like to thank Blambot for the free comic fonts. I' debating whether I should actually buy a font from them. If I wait until I complete a work I like when it's done, I might never get one...
Listening to while posting: "Concrete Jungle" by The Specials


AndreZero said...

when did she get bitten/scratched? I like the end. Has a very John Carpenter's The Thing feel to it.

Becca said...

Great cover! I love the dynamic colors and the clouds are just awesome!

Hypatia said...

Very nice! I liked it!...So when do we get our copies!...

Will you do a back cover (next issue on "Obscure Tales..."bhhhaaaahaaaa!

Dean Wormer said...


If you're looking for comments from somebody who could compare your artwork to other working comics artists I think Swinebread is a better asset.

My comments come as an amateur reader of comics.

I liked the story. I'm a sucker for werewolf tales. Nightstalker, X-files and all that. No need to explain the mythology with those things and you can jump right into the story.

Most of the action flowed logically. I don't like those wtf moments in comics where you're trying to figure out what happened because the action in the frame, or in the artists head, doesn't translate to the next frame. It jars you out of the story.

I was just reading Fall of Cthulhu last night and they had a transition like that from page to page to the extent I kept checking to see if I'd missed pages or they'd stuck together.

Overall I think it's better than half of the stuff you find in the comic stores that people are actually getting paid for.

Count me in the vote for keeping the story and reworking the art you think needs improvement then run with it, babe.

Thanks for sharing that whole process. I've really enjoyed reading it.



Don Snabulus said...

I've got a friend who has written a few novels and short story collections. They are original and interesting and unpublished.

He seems to think he needs to keep reworking them and reworking them in order to create the "great American classic novel." If he dies before he finishes, I am just going to clean them up and publish the damn things.

The point is that you've got a great story worthy of print. Obviously, the time crunch affected your art work about 2/3 through, but the dialog is close to being ready.

This might be a good launch into an indy title with some fleshing out of the art work into the same detail as the first part. I think you should publish it in some form even with a few flaws and start on the next project, sequel or otherwise, and keep it all going.

"Perfect" is exceedingly rare, but "Great" and its sidekick "Good" are both worth sharing too. The more you draw, the better you get.

Arkonbey said...

AndreZero: even she doesn't know!

Becca: Thanks. I must have tested a half-dozen colors for the plane

Hypatia: Nobody gets any copies until I take the time to make the art better (and I haven't got another story yet, so no back cover!)

Dean: nice critique (it also helps that you liked it). Your comment:"My comments come as an amateur reader of comics." That doesn't make you less qualified, but perhaps more. At least in the design world, we sometimes 'design for designers' and ignore the end viewer. Glad you liked the werewolf aspect. Not enough werewolf stories if you ask me. (btw: post-as-letter, interesting)
Snab:I'm glad you thought the story was pretty good. The only reason I will only re-draw if the story is really strong is because I have a habit of re-working and re-working the art and I NEVER like it, so I never really go anywhere. Tell your friend to get off his ass and find an agent.

Swinebread said...

I liked the end and of course I want to see the story continued. Please

Some suggestions:

The werewolf needs to look more consistent from frame to frame. Sometimes he doesn’t look exactly like a werewolf and other times he’s spot on. Also make sure he’s always evil looking there’s couple of shots were he looks too cute. Save the Cute werewolf for Pidge.

The manga zip lines are vey well done, you’ve done your homework there. Maybe you’ve got some natural talent for that style and so you might experiment with adapting more of the manga element into your work at least in the way action is rendered. In some sense your leaning that way.

Find a way to use the blacks I like your stuff when you can work more of that in. Maybe more of the blood should be black?

The pacing is excellent especially with the action sequences. A storyboard could easily be made out of this for a real scene, I feel it’s that good.

On the last page the third panel, the panel should be in the same relative position on the page as it is in the second and third panels

Just a few things I noticed, but then I’m no artist…

Swinebread said...

Arkonbey - I was thinking of one more thing as I reread the comic. Look for more dynamic shots of your characters. Try to get away from the straight on eye level view as much as you can. Sometimes look for ways to show other parts of the characters besides their faces or not show them at all to contrast with the dialog. You did this affectively on the page with the clipboard.

A filmmaker told me once that a great experiment is to create a scene that tells you who the character is without actually showing them. That might be useful exercise to try.