Silly question because I'm curious (or perhaps because I've had too much caffeine this morning), but do you guys look at or read your old pages? Personally, I sort of get this dreaded feeling when I look at my old pages because either the art or writing makes me cringe. I have this sort of "out of sight, out of mind" mentality. Once I publish it online, I don't bother looking back at it except to go back and reference character designs or plot points. This got me thinking, will I ever truly be happy/proud of my comic or of only the current pages I'm working on? Ah, the struggles of being an artist...
So what about you guys? Do you look at your old pages, or would you rather forget they ever existed :'D?
To remind myself of artistic style needed once in a while, this is a page layout matter more than anything else in reasoning. Plus also to remind myself of character design if I haven't drawn the character in a long time and I didn't make a reference piece.
Edit: Some times I have a hidden layer containing color information. That is another reason I look back on older pages. To open them up and uncover the additional information.
I tend to avoid doing so for the reason that's been said in almost every post so far: cringe. I've been at this for too long, and looking back, I can always spot a myriad of things that could be better (even just a little). In a way, that's a good thing because it means I'm more conscious of the problems now, but it also makes reading my old work very unpleasant.
It always bears a mention that an artist is their own worst critic, and that readers may not even notice some of the crap we fret over. There's definitely a level-off point where you settle into your style and old work stops feeling like garbage, but that's hard to reach and requires consistent practice to maintain.
I only know because my most recent story doesn't make me cringe. Much.
For me to "cringe", we'd have to go back to my pre-web work. I drew just over 3 full issues of what is now SwordCat Princess when I was 15. It is pretty much unrepentant crap.
As for anything I've published online, I'm pretty happy with pretty much most of it. There's definitely some cleanup that needs doing -- dialogue edit here, redrawn face there -- but I strive pretty damn hard for a moderately professional-looking webcomic.
For me it's a mix of cringe and pride. When I reread I see ALL my flaws, but also things I do like. Sometimes I get in a bit of a slump where I lack motivation to work on my comic. At times like that, I find it often helps to do a reread to get myself back into the mood.
The comic itself is not in color. New page every Tuesday! Also on DeviantArt
Oh god the cringe :'D I was looking to table at a convention in a couple of months and someone suggested printing chapter one to have handy there. Can...Can I not? M-maybe we can just skip over that...xD
It does make me feel pretty good about how much I've improved though. There's a few early bits I'm still fairly happy with, but I kinda worry that the early art might scare people off sometimes. And I figure a year from now I'll think the same about the current page I'm working on, or at least I hope so, because that'll mean I'm still improving.
Yeah, sometimes I whip out my folder and read my old comics.
The art on it may be terrible but I usually catch myself laughing at the jokes unironically and getting invested in the story even though I know exactly what's going to happen. Some more than others though, some of my older stuff was completely and totally half assed because I had a cooler idea and just rushed it to the finish so I could start.
Like Tibbittz though, this is all my pre-web stuff. Anything I put online I'm mostly satisfied with since I held it to some kinda standard. Which is a blessing and a curse since it really holds up production most (all) of the time.
Bryfang:Like Tibbittz though, this is all my pre-web stuff. Anything I put online I'm mostly satisfied with since I held it to some kinda standard. Which is a blessing and a curse since it really holds up production most (all) of the time.
Standards can really hold production hostage, yes. I spent all last week working on my newest page, but I couldn't possibly finish it in time -- digitally inking a skyscraper facade blueprint for multiple scaled use on this and future pages, drawing a classic motorcycle for the first time ever (and wanting it not to SUCK)... yeah.
Quality's such a drag, man. I don't miss how horrible my oldest pre-web pages are, but I do miss how much more fun they were to do.
Respheal:Oh god the cringe :'D I was looking to table at a convention in a couple of months and someone suggested printing chapter one to have handy there. Can...Can I not? M-maybe we can just skip over that...xD
I was thinking about getting a table at a con later this year too, and I was debating on printing up some ashcans of my prologue or the first chapter, but I feel the same way! Oh, what to do....
I'm currently uploading old pages on Tapastic, and it's been difficult for me to look at some of the art. I guess it's good that we can see our mistakes and grow from them though :) It certainly makes me wonder how I'll feel a year from now on the pages I'm currently working on that I'm super excited about.
I actually made it a point to put up a comic from the early 2000's (http://kungfurabbit.thecomicseries.com/)that I rebooted in the late 2000's so that people could see the improvement. Of course that means they get to see how bad it used to be.
@sketchdoll, I'm kind of like you where i forget about a page almost as soon as I post it. Recently, though, I looked at an old page and was shocked at the difference in art quality! My lines were not good at all when I started, hahaha. I feel like I should redraw the first...40 pages sometimes lol
@bryant, it's so awesome when your old jokes and writing still draw you in. Despite old art, it's hard for me not to reread my whole comic if I get started on earlier pages!
Yeah, I do. Most of the time I get this mixed feeling of "what was I thinking when I drew that this way" and "hahaha this is better than I remember it".
Strangely enough, lately I've been looking through some of my really old art, which made me cringe pretty horribly back then, and I'm not finding it that bad? I find some of those pieces actually okay now. But back then I was deep into self-loathing and now I seem to have turned into my own fangirl #1, so I'm thinking that whether I find something I draw good or bad probably depends way more on what's going on in my head than on the actual quality of the thing. I'm really not qualified to judge my own stuff xD
Oh yes. I look through my comic frequently. I have done so for reference and/or consistency, to re-examine what's there and make sure I didn't "drop" anything, to reacquaint myself with the story, to show it to others (I have them all printed out), to simply re-enjoy it... so...all the time.
Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't cringe at viewing at old pages? Personally I don't see a difference in the quality or have any other qualms. I've been at it for a year and a few months (longer if you include the time it took me to work up a buffer), and I haven't missed an update each week. I've also been using this drawing style 'forever', so I'm pretty familiar with it. Sure, I've cringed at past art in my life, to be sure, even in this same style. Just not in the comic. I've also noticed improvement over the years, too, so I think I'm just at a comfort zone.
I don't really see how one can make a narrative comic and NOT have to go back through pages.
I'll read through every now and then to remind myself of what the pacing looks like, or to find a specific color swatch I need (I color pick directly off pages like a Godless heathen), but don't tend to re-read through it often or anything. My old pages, while absolutely bad in a lot of ways don't tend to make me cringe so much as remind me that I am improving. Do I regret certain decisions made earlier on? Yeah. Do I find the art earlier on hard to look at? Yup. Is that first font literally making my eyes melt out of my skull? Absolutely.
But all in all the fact this stuff stands out so much is just proof I'm getting better, and the comic is getting better as a result. (I'd hope, at least the art looks nicer)
Plus it's just kinda neat to look at the pages and go "Wow I made all that" even if every page isn't exactly a stellar artistic achievement.
Add one to the ranks of using previous pages for color palettes and such.
Aside from that, usually once at the end of a chapter or near the end of a chapter I will re-read at least that chapter, and a few times I have read through the entire thing to make sure that things are holding up the way I want or the pacing is doing what I want it to.
At risk of getting too 'real', I have also sometimes read through it when the hopelessness and despair start to settle in, in order to remind me how far I've come and how I could never forgive myself if I stopped now.