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Result in thread: Should I redo chapter 1?
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14th May 2013, 7:50 PM #61
Kupocake

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Prophetseries:
Yeah I am doing it for fun. I was just in conflict what I should do. Haha Should I just continue and as I go on not reveal anymore stuff until the appropriate timing and such?


I vote for revising your later chapters/pages to make sure that it's working, and just keep going without redoing earlier work. I'm constantly fixing my thumbnails and adjusting my script, and I'm sure a lot of comic makers out there do that too.
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Result in thread: Should I redo chapter 1?
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14th May 2013, 7:10 PM #62
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The dialogue is a bit stiff, but I think the bigger problem is that you're revealing too much in such a short time frame.

HOWEVER, I truly believe that once you start something, you should not go back and redo old stuff. If you're doing comics for fun, part of the fun is learning your strengths, weaknesses, and improving on them next time around. There's a lot of stuff in my first chapter that I want to redo because I know I can do them better now, but other than minor spelling fixes, I have made a choice not to fix them. I see it like a journey of improvement, and if I keep redoing my older work, I won't be able to progress with the story.
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13th May 2013, 5:49 PM #63
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There is definitely an improvement in inking style compared to your older strips. Your lines are cleaner and smoother.

However, there are a lot of draftsmanship issues. What I'm going to say should be taken with a grain of salt if you're comfortable with how your work looks and don't want to change it over some person's opinion.

You're definitely pushing for a style, but it's an imposed style without understanding its limitations. Additionally, the comic is suffering from symbol-syndrome, which is when the artist draws various parts of the body like symbols as opposed to actual parts that are formed onto the body. This strip, fourth panel, is an example of what I mean by that. That mouth is completely detached from the face. If I were to imagine that figure from another angle, with still that pose, I'd see some kind of weird face-mask instead of a jaw. Going through the strips, I can see this happens a lot.

To explain "drawing symbols" further, it's the difference between drawing a curved line because that's what a smiling mouth kind of looks like as opposed to a mouth that actually follows the contour of the face, pushing the cheeks upward which helps the lower eyelids raise a little. The reason why I bring this up in particular is that, when you're trying to go for certain expressions, things like mouths extending past the faceline loses the impact of the emotion because it no longer resembles the expression that it's trying to depict.

As a demonstration, I decided to redraw that expression from the page I linked to.

Image: http://i.imgur.com/SWlHYlT.png

Image: http://i.imgur.com/FgPHLgz.jpg


Obviously, my version is definitely a different style, but I tried to keep in mind a few things: when you're yelling at someone with your eyes closed, I can feel my eyes compressing because my eyebrows are furrowed and I can feel the strain of my jaw muscles. And when I'm drawing it, I keep in mind that I'm drawing a skull, and when a mouth is open, the teeth should align to where the skull is underneath all that flesh as opposed to a straight white area that represents the teeth. As a result, the character looks like she's yelling.

Now, I'm not saying that you should follow my lead, nor am I saying how I draw is the end-all, be-all, but when you're drawing in a much more simplified, more stylized style, it's actually more difficult to express what I was saying in the paragraph above. That's the danger of going into a style like the one in Mediocre Mind's; you actually have to be a really freaking good draftsman to pull off something like that well.

Here's what I recommend if you want to get better at your draftsmanship, specifically for your comic: try to draw 3-dimensionally. Cylinders, as opposed to rounded rectangles. Spheres, as opposed to circles. Cubes, as opposed to squares. And when you draw these cylinders, spheres, and cubes, draw it like you're drawing glass, and keep in mind how something would wrap around it, like a soda can with a label on it. It takes a lot of drawing to understand this completely, but it's well worth it. Additionally, try drawing from life. Sketch in a cafe sometime, draw some people standing around waiting for their coffee. Draftsmanship and perspective is the art of putting a 3-dimensional object (a character) on a 2-dimensional space (paper).

Anyway, hope it all helps. I'm sorry I couldn't touch the writing, but I'm no expert on comedy strips, and art is something I understand better so I feel more comfortable talking about it.
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13th May 2013, 4:37 PM #64
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I spent 8 hours yesterday painting color cards (simple abstract semi-textured backgrounds) for all the scenes of my animated short while my partner was compositing everything. That's over 35 backgrounds, so I was churning out some 4-5 backgrounds every hour, with only one bathroom break. And I was using my wimpy-ass grandpa Wacom Graphire tablet that's the size of a Smurf.

Arrrrrrrrgh.
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12th May 2013, 8:14 AM #65
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The Great Gatsby. I came in with pretty low expectations because of all the crazy bad reviews, but I actually walked away pretty happy with the movie. It is definitely a Baz Luhrmann film, through-and-through, and if you expect this to be the next great American movie you will be severely disappointed. If you expect glitz, sex, and over-the-top anachronistic music choices, then you're in for a treat. The pacing was kind of awful though, but they hit all the major story points for the original book... just the tone is very very different.

If you liked the book, you might be a little disappointed with this film. If you just understand this as a Baz Luhrmann take on the novel, it is much more enjoyable.
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10th May 2013, 5:19 AM #66
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A Monster in Paris - Cute, but eh. Songs are catchy though. I feel like they could have cut out at least 3 characters and the plot and pacing probably would be a lot smoother. I do really like the visual style though, this is definitely a movie for visual development artists.

Surf's Up - Technically my second time watching it, and I think I appreciate it more now. It's a great story with really true surfer characters. It just suffers penguin syndrome in a year that had too many penguins.
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7th May 2013, 9:27 PM #67
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cheezyweezy:I haven't had much access to a wide variety of software. SAI takes a bit of getting used to but it's great to get good blending. one particular thing I like about it that photoshop lacks or I just have yet to figure out is that you can use a selection tool that's applied like a brush. Which I find to create a lot more freedom and less hassle when adjusting poses and porportions during the sketch stage.


Just select the regular lasso tool (click and hold on the tool palette for lasso). By default, the lasso tool is a polygonal one, but the regular lasso tool is actually drawing a selection as opposed to clicking around something. There's a lot of hidden stuff on Photoshop, you just have to mess around.

@donkeycorpse:

If you like digital inking, I find MangaStudio's pen tool superior to Photoshop's brushes in most ways. It's just a lot more responsive, easier to get extra thin and extra thick lines in one single brush stroke. If you've ever used a real Japanese G-Nib pen before, it feels so close to that, it's uncanny. I use it to ink all my comic pages.
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7th May 2013, 5:21 PM #68
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Bungy32:

This is mostly true. I wish the smoothing dynamic was more adjustable for brushes in PS. Unless I am missing something, this is just a toggle in the brush settings. In ArtRage and ArtStudio and Manga Studio it is a slider function, allowing you to set how much you want the stroke smoothed.

In most ways, the iPad ArtStudio app is a watered down (but still highly functional) version of PS. But the brush customization in ArtStudio is (I think) much better than in PS.


A friend told me that Photoshop CS6's brushes have worked out a lot of the kinks from previous Photoshop versions. Don't really know how true it is, but at work I am using Photoshop CS6 and I am surprised with how fast it loads up.

I think Photoshop is now available for the iPad?? Photoshop Express or something? Either way I heard right now it's not worth getting. Can't even name your layers. -grumbles-
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7th May 2013, 5:07 PM #69
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hoof:

sure - I just passed over the info regarding SAI for anyone interested, and because it is a favorite - I use this program for my inking [when I do that digitally], and my colouring, as I prefer airbrushing to painting or blocking

I fully agree - if you are going to integrate with Premiere and After Effects, then Photoshop is a 100% logical choice

The UI in manga Studio to me is dreadful; maybe it is just me - a friend of mine suggested i tried the japanese version it is based on, still not really any better - of course not being able to read japanese didn't help :):)

a lazy brush is one where the line rendering follows behind the pen with a speed determined element of inertia - faster you go the more inertia so you can really whip out a thin tail for example, but unless you've used one it's hard to describe all the advantages - not everyone likes them

it is my equivalent of your 'G Nib' dream.....


Do you mean pressure/tilt sensitivity? Because Photoshop definitely has that. It has that actually on all its brush settings, but by default they are turned off. Once again, Photoshop's brushes are just insanely customizable and you can make a brush out of pretty much anything. Just a lot of people don't have the patience to learn the ropes of the program, and I will admit Photoshop has a crazy learning curve, but I've been using that program for 8-9 years, so it's pretty much second nature to me at this point.

Also Actions. Photoshop's Actions have made my life so much easier. I can color flats for an entire page in less than 10 minutes thanks to Actions.

However, the pressure/tilt sensitivity on Manga Studio definitely surpasses Photoshop's, which is why I use it for inking because it runs smoother. I've customized Manga Studio to some extent so that I have a very simple workflow. So, I don't really think about the UI anymore.
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7th May 2013, 4:41 PM #70
Kupocake

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hoof:

on my 32bit win7 the max memory allocation for SAI is 2048MB which gives 5776 pix by 5776 pix which at 300dpi is 19.25 inches by 19.25 inches - either of the 5776 pix values can be increased up to 10,000pix if the other is reduced accordingly [ie 10,000 by 3220] without memory issues

on 64bit win7 the max memory allocation increases to 4096MB

in both cases the computer memory is 4GB [although 32bit win7 only 'sees' 3.5GB of course]

so far I have had no print issues, outside of it only being RGB; no CMYK support

it's unfair to say it's just for fun - it is a dedicated tool, very simple to use for line art and colouring, with a 'lazy brush' [does PS actually have this] and a very effective water brush and air brush that are much better for painting - photoshop is not a painting tool - I even prefer the airbrush to corel painter

yes I like it

but I still do need photoshop, because SAI will only do those two things: lineart and painting - if you don't want to hi/lo light with airbrush but use gradients, sai doesn't have them; it also doesn't have a fullset of layer blend modes - it does have clip layers that are PS compatible

I like xara too for vector work - but i use the [paid for] windows version.. the linux version is about 5 years old now and no longer officially supported by xara..

I really do not like manga studio - to me it is cumbersome and slow - but I understand the new version just recently released is better



Never claimed to be a Sai expert, just information from what people told me/their own frustrations with being unable to make a nice print of their Sai paintings. Although, I think it's a little sad that its developers dropped updates on Sai entirely due to piracy.

I'm not exactly sure what a "lazy brush" is, but I use a bunch of custom brushes that I tweak further to give exactly the texture I want (anywhere from digital watercolor look to charcoal to pencil). Photoshop takes a lot more to work at to get exactly the settings you want, but once you find the golden brush, it's pretty much irreplaceable.

The big reason I like Photoshop over a lot of other programs is that it's a really versatile, solid workhorse and integrates well with other Adobe programs. As someone who uses Premiere and AfterEffects pretty often, it's nice to just transition the files I'm working on from one program to another.

Manga Studio starts up pretty quickly for me, I don't see how it's cumbersome or slow. The UI could be better, but since I use it exclusively for inking, it's not a huge deal to navigate. And that G Nib pen is like working with a dream.
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7th May 2013, 3:45 PM #71
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Photoshop. Definitely Photoshop.
I've found CS6 to be really excellent but I just don't have the money to shell out an upgrade. Really smooth, nice interface. I've drawn pretty much everything on Photoshop, from comic pages to figure drawings to full-out paintings.

The only thing that I prefer over Photoshop for one aspect is Manga Studio, which I use exclusively for inking.

Can't really use Sai because I'm a Mac user, but from what I know about it, it's a great application for drawing for fun, not so much if you want to make a print out of it because it has a much lower DPI resolution than Photoshop. FireAlpaca is probably my favorite freeware though.
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7th May 2013, 2:59 AM #72
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I'm just gonna stick with my old crappy CS3 and not-as-old CS5.5 and be done with it.
I can see it as something really worthwhile if I'm constantly upgrading my programs every year AND I use every program in the suite, but I don't.

Definitely a better option for big companies/studios. Not-so-good for the money-tight individual.
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6th May 2013, 3:35 PM #73
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Lady is gonna fall over if she keeps standing that way! I'm in a bit of a rush so I can't do a drawover, but her left leg is too angled for her to be standing like that comfortably. Make her left leg stand more straight so that if we were able to see her feet, her left foot would be directly below where about her left shoulder is.

Here's something to take note of next time you draw any sort of pose. When people stand, they rarely distribute their weight equally to both feet. Usually, one leg has less weight on it than the other. When one leg holds more weight than the other, that leg is usually standing very straight while the other leg with less weight on it is more relaxed. That's when you get angled hips and other sassy poses. And it's always a good idea to sketch out the full body, even when you're cutting off the legs in the final cropped drawing.
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6th May 2013, 12:19 AM #74
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donkeycorpse:

I am seeing them as distinct disciplines, in the same way that writing a film and directing a film are distinct disciplines and the same way that writing a recipe and following a recipe are distinct disciplines. I can’t see how they could not be seen as distinct disciplines.


...
Okay. I don't think you're 100% familiar with the screenwriting business. That's okay. I don't want to pretend like I know everything either, but I have screenwriter friends who've taken certain big shot screenwriting seminars as well as submitted their own work out to the industry.

Screenwriters have absolutely no control. None. Zero. Zilch. In fact, once the screenwriter sells their script to the studio, the director has free reign to butcher pretty much everything in the script. Do they follow it to some extent? Sure, maybe like... 25% of it if the screenwriter is lucky. Most scripts that make it to the big screen that are more or less intact happen because the director worked with the screenwriter very very closely, or are the director themselves too.

Also if we're going to work with the recipe + cooking metaphor, I highly doubt there was ever a recipe maker who didn't extensively test their recipe out first before sending it off in a cookbook.

donkeycorpse:

But do you have to be a brilliant, talented artist to evoke the same spirit as the writing? If the script is strong a mediocre artist just has to follow it to the letter and the end product will still be strong, because the basic ideas will come through. An exceptional, gifted comic artist will of course make the end product far stronger but that same gifted artist would not be able to save a poor script. A poor script will always result in a poor end product, in my opinion.


A poor writer will not make a good product. Neither will a poor artist. Think of it like making a toy design. A poor toy idea will not sell well, even if the plastic and design was of superior quality. At the same time, a great toy idea won't do well if it's made out of cheap flimsy breakable plastic. You need two to tango.

donkeycorpse:

Again, this is a very strong argument you’re making but who is ultimately in control here? Even the decision to allow the artist to loosely interpret the script is in the hands of the writer. In your example, as a writer, you have accessed the situation based on the artist’s abilities and decided that giving her more freedom will result in a better product. If you were working with a much weaker artist would you still work like this? Would this method still produce the results you’re after? Or would you reassess the situation and decide to work differently? Even if your answer is that you would abandon the project the writer is still in the driving seat. Your collaborator can take credit for the execution and accentuation of your story but as the writer you take credit for allowing her the freedom to do this. The artist always serves the writer, it’s the only way comics can work.


You brought up the movie industry earlier. Let's talk about that. The director will have in his hands about a hundred different scripts, bought by the studio from many different writers. But in the end, the director will choose only one script to work on and bring to life. And on top of that, once the director chooses the story, he will change everything about it to make it his own vision, right down to the characters, dialogue. Entire scenes may be removed. Things the writer loved about his script baby could be destroyed. Because the director is now in control and is using the script as a tool to further his own vision.

A writer's "control" is pretty much an illusion in the end, unless he's the artist too. It becomes less direction, more inspiration, at that point. And going back to comics, the ratio of writers to artists out there is like 10:1. Who's ultimately in control of their comic being made? Certainly not the writer.

donkeycorpse:

That is absolutely true but who decides when the “lush visual narrative” is required? And who decides when it isn’t required? The “melancholic dreary feel” means absolutely nothing if it isn’t in the context of a great story. It’s just nice art.


That falls more into artistic license. If you've ever worked with a bunch of artists on a life drawing session, they could all be drawing the same tree, but they will all choose to interpret it in whatever way they want. Some might focus on the amount of shadow the tree is giving. Some might focus on the colors. Some might focus on the texture of the bark and leaves. It's all the same tree, but the artist will choose what to emphasize. This metaphoric tree is pretty much what a writer's script is to an artist. Inspiration to bring forth a new creative vision.
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5th May 2013, 7:25 PM #75
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donkeycorpse:

That's a really great post, you argue that point really well, particularly the bit quoted above I think.

I'm still not entirely convinced though. A great artist certainly would effectively convery the old man coughing and do it in a way that fleshed out the scene and added to the atmosphere. However, if this was a significant mood-setting scene requiring that level of skill from the artist then the writer isn't doing his / her job properly. The sentence “The man coughed into his hands as the rain fell over his tired, cracked face. ‘I’m cold, Tom,’ he replies.” is bad writing because it isn’t telling the artist how to convey this.

I know you're just using this as an example, but a good writer would make it clear to the artist that this is a pivotal scene, even though not much is going on the surface. Looking at it another way, the writer may not have meant for the scene to be particularly significant, the text certainly doesn't imply this, in which case the artist has got it wrong . Understandably so, because the writer hasn't described the scene properly.

A great writer would be in total control of all this and the artist would simply do his / her bidding with all the skill at their disposal. My argument here is that a bad writer will not be able to direct a brilliant artist properly so the artist’s skill becomes a moot point. You could argue that the reverse is true as well but I would disagree. A mediocre artist would only make a mess of a brilliantly written story / script if they wilfully ignored elements of it. It might not end up as pretty but it wouldn’t matter if the significant story elements were still communicated.


I think you might be seeing writing and art as two very distinct disciplines. And in many ways, they are pretty different: prose is different from illustrations, no doubt. But writing for comics and drawing for comics actually cross over because the medium itself commands the use of both. If I may make a comparison to food, writing in comics is like having a great recipe (actual direction) while art in comics is like cooking the food itself (execution). You can have a great recipe but if your cooking skills are not up-to-par, it will come out mediocre. A potentially great recipe is only that, potential. The guest you're serving it to will only know that the dish was so-so in the end. And that same goes with comics; even if the writing is good, if the art does not evoke the same spirit and command that the writing had, the comic more-or-less fails.

Let me talk from the angle as the writer on another comic project. I am in control of the story and characters, but the artist will take my script and turn it into something amazing because I trust her creative input. Just because I have OCD panel-to-panel "let me describe every freaking detail and descriptive metaphor" writing does not mean I want her to follow my lead, and I stressed this to her. She is not my goon, my art-slave, or my comic genie that will do my bidding. She is a highly creative individual that has just as much ideas on how to accentuate the story as I do, and because she's in charge of the execution, I'm letting her have free reign with just some of my own input. And at the same time, when I'm writing, I constantly talk to her and ask her how she's feeling about how the story is going because I'm concerned about what she thinks. This is why you can't and shouldn't see art & writing as two completely different disciplines; the moment you see art as just some kind of machine to spit out your writing is the moment you're not writing a comic/graphic novel anymore, you're just writing something that just happens to have sequential pictures in it.

Also, I will argue that a good artist can take any bit of writing and transform it into a lush visual narrative. Ernest Hemingway's writing is not the most descriptive writer out there, but a good artist can evoke the melancholic dreary feel without any sort of panel-to-panel writing direction.

EDIT: Actually found a better example than Ernest Hemingway since this has an actual comic to it. This is Gavin Aung Than's take on Emily Dickinson. Good writing from the past and good art from the present combined into a beautiful comic.
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5th May 2013, 5:43 PM #76
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I'm just gonna leave this big rant I made back in January on my Tumblr.

On the forum I’ve been frequenting, there’s been a disturbing trend of people saying, “in comics, writing is much more important than artwork.” Or even, “who cares about the artwork, the story just has to be good.” To me, this point of view is not only ridiculous, it’s entirely poisonous if you are an aspiring comic creator.

Let me explain myself. As both the writer and artist for my own webcomic (and soon-to-be writer for another webcomic), I believe in the merits of both because of one important fact: comics are a visual narrative. Emphasis on visual. Emphasis on narrative. The very definition of comics entails the experience of writing and artwork together.

Now, I’m probably getting a few cries of, “but story IS more important than anything!” Story IS important, don’t get me wrong, but all stories require a medium for it to be told on. If you’re telling a ghost story around a campfire, you need to pick up on your audiences’ vibes to scare them. If you’re putting the story in a novel, you need to be able to conjure full imagery through merely your words. If you’re doing a story in a comic, you need to be able to tell that story through art. A well-told story is only as good as how it’s told, and if you choose comics as that medium, it would be foolish to ignore its art aspect.

Put it this way. If I were to write a poem, I need to be good with words. I would need to be able to skillfully arrange words around so that the final product not only conveys my idea, it sounds great when read out loud. At its most simplified definition, poetry is a craft of writing words while keeping in mind the phonetics of word combinations.

Comics are no different; to make a great comic, you need to be able to construct a story with a sequence of visuals. Let’s say I’m writing a noir story, and this sentence comes up: “The man coughed into his hands as the rain fell over his tired, cracked face. ‘I’m cold, Tom,’ he replies.” works fine in writing, but you would need a pretty good artist to convey not only the action and description of an old man coughing, but the melancholic mood of the scene as well. If the art simply told the story, as in the art only showed an old guy coughing with some rain on him, the reader will get the gist of the scene and move on. But if the artwork fleshed out this scene, if the artwork crafted a psychological portrait of this dying old man, it could immerse the readers into this comic and help them engage in that world.

I will clarify one more thing, since I’m sure many people think I have a bias towards artwork. Beautiful artwork still needs a great story. A brilliant, engaging speaker is meaningless without an equally profound message. The point of storytelling is to tell a story, regardless of medium. A comic with great artwork can still stand as a lovely piece of illustration, but it needs a story to continually engage its readers. After all, what people remember when they flip through the last page and close the book is the story in the end. But as I said before, to tell that story well, you need good visuals to back it up.

Writing and artwork has been compared to a pair of dancers before, which is a great metaphor. Both of these dancers need to be in sync with each other to give a great performance. If one is much more skilled than the other, or if one tries to outdo the other, the performance is most likely going to be a disaster in the end.

Comics isn’t 30% art, 70% writing. Nor is it 60% art, 40% writing. It’s 50/50.
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4th May 2013, 9:10 PM #77
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On the topic of CAPTCHAs being a hassle, I think that if this spambot problem persists, I don't see anything wrong with using a CAPTCHA if it means stopping hundreds (and possibly thousands) of fake bots that are using thecomicseries.com to legitimize their shit. Is it a little annoying? Sure, but it would really freaking suck if "thecomicseries.com" becomes synonymous with spam amongst internet filters. :/
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4th May 2013, 7:18 PM #78
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I have a thing for 1960s America. Vietnam War, tons of civil rights movements (African-American, Chicano, feminism, gay, etc.), anti-communism craze, hippies, deliciously funky fashion, and some of the best music of the century. Detectives might be associated with Victorian England and crime noir with the 1940s, but I have yet to see a really good mystery comic taking place in the 1960s.
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Result in thread: Animation help
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1st May 2013, 11:39 PM #79
Kupocake

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Registration date: 14th Mar 2012
Location: S. California
Robotwin.com:Watching many cartoons you can see how they made their inbetweens as simple blurs and the characters always move in the blink of an eye. Hmm, maybe that would be easier than Flash?

I love how they exaggerate the faces to match vowels & consonants.
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I think you'll really like these blogs. :)
www.penciltestdepot.com/
penciltests.tumblr.com/tags
livlily.blogspot.com/
animationsmears.tumblr.com/
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Result in thread: Motivation?
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1st May 2013, 11:30 PM #80
Kupocake

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My motivation, besides the usual "I just want to improve/tell a good story" answer, is a bit cheesy.

Comics have helped me through a lot of rough patches in my life. When I'd have a really bad day or life is just going downhill at every moment, I could turn to comics and escape from shit. To top it off, making stories up have also helped me through some really bad depression and uncertainty. So, in turn, I want to help others by making comics so that other people can smile and forget about the crap in their lives, just as reading comics have helped me. I write and draw to entertain people because it makes me happy when people are enjoying themselves.
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