One idea: if the mods feel there isn't enough new thread posting going on, why don't they spend their brainpower coming up with some new threads themselves? Lead by example--and if your thread ideas are good enough you won't have to shut down other peoples' threads to do it. Yes, creating a really good new thread may take some time, effort, and inspiration; what I see now is a really good thread or two having been shut down, and you celebrating the mindless spam froth that has erupted in the vacuum.
Kyo:Well no, popularity is not a problem, catch-all threads are the problem.
Here's an incredibly unbiased opinion of my girlfriend aka Cruella (oh no the secret is out)
[08:55:22] Cruella: I like that the topics now are more focused on your interests
I mean we have a bunch of threads in the med avenue, more than we've had in a day in years.
Most of the new threads in MA are more or less attempts to spawn a new Venting thread, despite their claims to the contrary--even the one you yourself started.
Don't over-police the forum. Don't shut down threads unless they're abusive, misplaced, or duplicates. Don't introduce confusing new abstract rules on what can and can't be posted. Don't spend so much time obsessing over your own forum.
The thing about something like the Venting thread is that it creates a relaxed atmosphere in which otherwise tiny, inconsequential things can be discussed--things that really don't merit a new thread. If something meatier actually grows out of that discussion, that's great, but you can't bemoan the fact that it doesn't have its own thread because it never would have come up in the first place if the casual chat thread hadn't existed. The casual chat threads are in fact great tools and great inventions, and there's got to be a better way to encourage non-spam, useful new thread posting (none of which I see in impressive quantity in this post-crackdown outpouring) than by shutting down other threads.
Also, see my suggestion above about bolding thread titles if you didn't see it before--I edited it in rather late.
I think you're overthinking it. Those mega-threads existed because they were fun and handy; they were reasonably categorized to a certain type or flavor of post, so if I was into that I could just subscribe to that one thread and have a convenient single thing to check for updates when I was in the mood for that kind of thing, with the assurance that, because it was so popular, there would almost always be some new material of the type I wanted waiting there for me.
I never felt they were intimidating, in fact it feels less intimidating (as you note elsewhere) to post in an existing thread than it does to post an entirely new thread.
Popular threads are fun; there are plenty of forums with mega-threads similar to those and they help shape the unique identity of the forum--I see that type of thread as almost vital to creating a unique forum, in fact, at least one that otherwise follows the usual forum shape and form.
I used to follow the "Venting" thread regularly, and I imagine that if I had been up to now I would be sort of bothered by it getting shut down. Does this set a precedent for automatic shut-down if a thread gets too popular? Are you going to shut down the rather popular "Unrelated Art" thread? Because that's the one I still actually pop into once in a while from my "Your Updates" page. If that went away I would just...not bother reading any threads much really, aside from once in a blue moon when one catches my eye as I pass through the CF front page, like this one did; I certainly wouldn't spend any time scanning the forum indices for alternatives.
(Note: the forum index pages are rather hard to scan quickly; suggest putting thread titles in bold like other forums do (phpBB, vBulletin), at least the unread ones.)
Does editing your latest page shortly after uploading it still knock your comic off the CF front front page? Because that a downer.
It would be nice if new pages defaulted to the highest numbered chapter.
I know it's under "Info & Settings" in the management screen, but I change my avatar fairly often and for some reason it always seems like a tiny hassle to have to track down the link for it in there.
Hm I guess that's about it. Oh well aside from the old thing about the "Your updates" page not knowing if you've already seen comments you looked at when just browsing your comic rather than clicking the link from the "Your updates" page.
The font definitely has line and letter spacing problems: it needs less space between the lines and more space between the letters. If you're using something like Photoshop to do the lettering then those should be easy enough to adjust in the Font Tool's parameters. And the colon is awkward and looks too much like an "i"--your "lotion:" looks like "lotioni." Hm and come to think of it, things like the tight curls on the "e" are a little hard to read. You might want to check somewhere like dafont.com and see if you can find a handwriting-style font that handles these things better.
Sinclair Gray:This is all great advice but here's one I haven't seen yet.
When it comes to drawing Manga or whatever style you choose go study a Professional's work. Copy poses for practice or to even use in your own work. When you do this you are unlocking how they did it.
I though everyone, who was serious about being an artist, already did this. That was the first thing I thought of doing when I started learning how to draw comics. but, to be fair, I guess there may be people who never thought of doing this; and for them, this would be a great suggestion.
I think I'm serious about being an artist, but I don't do this--not the copying poses part, anyway. I *do* spend a lot of time hunting down art I like in order to study it, but I don't sit down and try to redraw it myself because it's never my goal to duplicate someone else's style. Instead, I spend my drawing time incorporating what I've seen and liked into my own artwork.
PrussianMoose:I see a lot of artists just getting into the comic medium that don't really know how to put life into their work. Creating the illusion of movement in a still piece is difficult and I would suggest looking at stills of cartoons, taking some time and learning how you can use (and abuse) motion blurs to create action and life.
I would strongly caution against using motion blurs; they are hard on the eyes and an obvious shortcut that is readily apparent to the reader. I'm not saying *never* use them but...yeah, mostly don't. Draw what you want the reader to see.
While I'm being an old man waving my cane from the porch, I'll also say in response to the talk about using reference that yes yes yes you should definitely collect reference images and build up a library of visual things to study and consult when in doubt over how something in the real world looks. However, constant reliance on reference images can become a crutch preventing you from developing your own creative drawing skill; I see this all the time now even in printed comic books from big publishers, where the art initially looks amazing, thanks to heavy use of reference, but it breaks down when the artist finally has to draw something for which they don't have a photo, like an extreme action pose, unusual perspective, etc; over-reliance on reference images leads to stiff, static images with a limited variety of characters and expressions. Look at an image for help, learn what you need to know from it, then set it aside and draw your own image.
PrussianMoose:Another huge thing is lettering, I am *awful* at lettering. But it is just ridiculously important to story telling. If you chose to letter by hand please take the time to make it legible and if you letter using other means pick a font that doesn't strain the eyes at small and large sizes. (If anyone has any hand lettering tips I would looooove to hear 'em, I really need creating consistent writing)
I don't hand-letter because...it is hard. And I have horrible handwriting. But one tip I've read before that did help me was to regard lettering as drawing, not writing; in other words, you're drawing figures that happen to be in the shape of letters, not just writing words. When we write by hand, we're basically using all kinds of shortcuts we've subconsciously taught ourselves in order to write faster, and end up with our own "handwriting" that usually bears little resemblance to the actual original letter forms we learned in school--so don't WRITE the letters, DRAW them.
Ah, I like that Channels tip for isolating the line art, that is faster than the silly way I was doing it. : P
For the horizontal flip thing, I use a mirror rather than holding it up to a light, I guess because the paper I use is pretty thick and anyway my light sources are pointing the wrong way.
I avoid using Threshold because it kind of reduces the resolution of your linework by like 2 to 4 times, in effect. : P But I use the Lasso Tool rather than the Paint Bucket for fills and I don't connect my lines neatly and yeah mine isn't really a time-efficient system. >_>
Hm in fact trying to get faster might not be the best thing to do at the start. I used to try to do pages really fast and it was definitely a quantity over quality thing in the end. This being the internet, nobody will look at your ten rushed pages, but they might look at your one page if you really did your best at it. You shouldn't spend forever on a single page or anything, but at any rate don't rush if you can help it. If something comes out less than great and you have time to redo it, then redo it.
Hum also I'm not so sure about trying to make your comic "professional looking," either. Make it the best you can and don't just copy what others do.
I guess I don't have any real clever little technical tips. But I would say
a) Try everything
b) Never stop trying to get better
Also I thinking finding comics you like and learning everything you can about them is good too, but that's more optional.
Rinkel:but putting them in a spoiler tag saves space and generally makes the thread easier for others to go through.
Personally I don't find that to be the case--it's much easier to keep hitting the Page Down key than it is to have to click the "Spoiler" button in a lot of tiny little posts just to see what's behind it.
I tend to think that the more complicated terminology you have to come up with to explain simple things, the more you lose people--which means that unless there's a really gripping reason (hint: there probably isn't) to make your readers learn a new time language, it might be best just to stick with the one they already know.
As for rules of sci-fi, e=mc² covers most of it for my own purposes. Although I've also made a deliberate choice to avoid real intelligent computers and aliens, because they tend to be distracting.