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27th Dec 2018, 2:38 AM #1
buffylove

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Yeah, really good. Definitely the most visually exciting movie of the year for me. Crazy how beautiful it was and everything they did. I wasn't as gung ho about the story. Parts were fun, but parts were way too familiar. It only really hits stride when the first "other" Spider-Man appears, which I'd guess is a 1/2 hour in? And I didn't like the 3rd act much. In a lot of ways I think Spidey is better with smaller stories. But overall it had so much awesomeness. You really could feel a lot of love for comics in what they did and everything they pulled together. DEF RECOMMEND!
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Result in thread: Blank art cards?
1st Dec 2018, 11:49 PM #2
buffylove

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Timelapse11:Is this the kind of thing you're looking for?

10 A5 Blank cards


Yeah, that's the right idea. I'd think they'd be cheap as hell since but they all seem to be around $6 for 10. Which is crazy since I can get a pack of 10 thank you cards for $1 at the dollar store. But thanks, at least now I have an idea of what to look for.
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Result in thread: Blank art cards?
"Blank greeting cards?", 1st Dec 2018, 9:37 AM #3
buffylove

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Does anyone know a good (cheap) place to get black greeting cards. Ones where the cover is blank so you can draw on them, not just blank on the inside. Or the names of some brands. I can't even seem to describe them right to search Amazon or eBay for them.

Thanks!
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9th Apr 2018, 6:01 PM #4
buffylove

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What do you want to change about your art?

Your question sounds like someone who feels blocked and frustrated. Really, your art is great. Better than a lot of stuff published by the mid-range companies. Any regular reader would see it and think it's fantastic. So I think it's more about what you want to do and where you want your art to go.

The one main point I'd make is that it seems like with the biggest names in comics, you can look at their art and in one panel know it's them. Sam Kieth, Jim Lee, Skottie Young, Darwyn Cooke, Humberto Ramos, etc. You look at a piece and you it's them. I'm not sure I get that feeling from yours. It's like you just haven't pushed it as far as you could. It makes me think of Dustin Nguyen who started pushing his art more or how Todd Nauck's art has evolved since his days doing TEEN TITANS GO!

One thing I'd definitely work on is the lettering. In that first panel all the balloons should be pushed higher into the darker spaces above. Use them to help really show the size of the room instead of breaking it up. In the other panels try to push the balloons against the borders or even have them overlap the borders. Anything to give a little more room. Even cutting out stuff like the "Look, they..." which is just there for rhythm but you don't really need since it gets a pause by putting it in its own balloon.

But I love your art. You can draw for me anytime :)

--Paul
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31st Mar 2018, 6:01 PM #5
buffylove

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The other thing to consider is who your audience is. If the people who want to commission you are college students there's only so much money they have to spend. If the people are adults with good jobs, then they can pay a lot more. That's why a 5-star restaurant can charge $10 for a cup of coffee (or more) while McDonald's charges $1. Different customers, different expectations. Know your customers and what you can get them to spend.

Ironically, studies have been done where people insist the $10 coffee tastes better than the $1 even if they are the exact same coffee. What people pay influences their sense of value, so charging more might make people like your art more!

Another way to go about it is to figure out the people who have lots of money to spend on art and figure out a way to market directly to them. I knew someone who did realistic art and their big money maker was going to hrose shows and drawing commissions of people's animals. They charged 10X what they could anywhere else because it was an audience that had money to spend.

But really the price of goods is rarely solely about how "good" the item is. Lots of things determine what someone will pay for an item. So if you aren't getting commissions at the level you want, there might be other solutions than lowering your prices.

Good luck!
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31st Mar 2018, 3:58 AM #6
buffylove

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ImNowBoared:So, I was fleshing out the story of my comic and was very tempted to follow a story template called the Hero's Journey.


The HERO'S JOURNEY really is something that came out of a book called HERO OF THE THOUSAND FACES by Joseph Campbell. Campbell was not a writer. He studied comparative mythology. He wasn't interested in writing stories, but in seeing various common elements to different mythologies from around the world. These common elements he put together to talk about "The Hero's Journey", which he thought reflected elements basic to humanity and all of our own personal journeys. George Lucas was interested in it and used these ideas to help hone STAR WARS. When SW became a huge hit, everyone in Hollywood started looked to Campbell to try to help them create the next SW. Obviously, none of them did.

So it isn't meant to be some sort of paint-by-numbers method of story telling. There are a few places that really try to lay out beat-for-beat what you should write, but personally I would ignore all of them. I would think of the parts of the templates as "tricks". You know how artists have tons of tricks for doing things that they get to make cool YouTube videos about? Painting water or using shadows or finding gestures. Whatever. Well, writers have tricks too and all these different things are great tricks to have for when you are working on a story and can't figure out what to do. So beats like "Meeting the Goddess" might really help your story...or maybe you don't need it at all. One of my favorites is "The Villains Regroup" from Blake Snyder's SAVE THE CAT. This is a beat where the villains, after the hero has succeeded in part of his goal, figure out a way to knock him back. This is great if you tend to focus too much on the protagonist and don't think of the antagonist. It also can make stories feel richer by putting more of a back-and-forth struggle to the story.

There are two exceptions of this that I'm familiar with:

DAN HARMON'S STORY CIRCLE -- this was a format that Dan Harmon came up with which is a simplification of the Joseph Campbell work. It reduces it down to eight beats. It's interesting because it was meant to be used specifically with tv shows where the characters could not change much from episode to episode, and yet change is what we look for as an audience to feel like something has happened and what we saw was meaningful. Harmon used the story circle to create the illusion of change (a change that is internal and feels meaningful although it might not be). It's work checking it. He uses it for almost every episode of RICK AND MORTY, so clearly it can be useful.

The other, that I know of, is a concept called sequencing. This isn't so much about story beats as it is a way to break down a larger story into smaller segments that each have a beginning/middle/end and then will build over the course of the story. I know professional screenwriters who swear by it, although I don't particularly like it. Again, this is more about giving you to break down a larger work into 8-12 smaller segments so that the overall story will have momentum.

A lot of the rest (that I know of) really is about ways to break down a larger work into smaller segments. You can get tons of variations of these reading film books. Movie writers tend to obsess about structure. Ultimately most are variations of basic movie structure: three acts, with the first act broken in half and the second act broken in half, with some minor beats in the middle of things. Some of ti might be useful for an ongoing story. Some of it won't (since it is based on a movie script being 100-120 pages).

I think it's good to read about all of it and hear he different techniques people use. Especially how they came up with solutions to problems in their stories. It let's use build a bunch of possible problem solvers for you to use in your own work instead of spending days with writer's block hoping the solution will pop into your head.

But you don't have to have any of them. Stephen King doesn't outline and he's done okay for himself.

--Paul
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Result in thread: search forums?
"search forums?", 9th Mar 2018, 6:56 AM #7
buffylove

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Is there a way to search the forums? I know there have beena ton of threads about lettering and programs but I can't find them just scrolling and can't find a search feature.

** EDIT -- Nevermind. I just saw the other thread about this.
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4th Jan 2018, 1:48 AM #8
buffylove

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I can't seem to access the Topwebcomic site. Anyone else having that problem?
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1st Jan 2018, 11:41 PM #9
buffylove

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Since we are obviously talking about fiction, you can make anything happen you want. It seems all really complicated and I don't get why you need all that stuff. If there's time travel/alternate reality than all the space ship people are automatically in the new reality. Is the idea that they know the universe has changed? You can find a way to do that without them being stuck around a black hole. Or you could just have the alternate universe come from an effect of them swirling around the black hole itself.

Really, for fiction purposes the question is what is the core story you want to tell. All the black hole/time travel/alternate universe stuff should just be the background decoration that lets you tell the story you want to tell. If that story is compelling and dramatic enough the audience won't really care how you get there. If it isn't compelling...well, then you have bigger problems than explaining the mechanics of your alternate universe.
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1st Jan 2018, 6:45 AM #10
buffylove

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swamp:Well, my characters are currently 12, but that's certainly not the target audience, and I'm finally enough pages in to be interested in how my comic reads to people.
So far I would be especially interested to know (not things you have to comment on, just what I think I need the most)

(I'm not as interested in art critique because I feel like I see my current flaws there rather glaringly, while the writing I'm never sure where it needs a fix. I also am aware my slow upates are a problem)
Thank you for the offer and have a great new years


Okay, since there weren't many requests, and since it's New Year's Eve and I have nothing else to do except my own writing (no life! no friends! Yea!), I figure I'll knock these two critiques out and close the thread.

First up is RETHE by spidar

First, there are a lot of positives to your comic. I really like your art. You said you weren't interested in an art critique, but I'm starting there anyway because I'm typing and you can't stop me! Your panels, your shot selection, the flow...all the real story telling with art is really solid. The coloring is a simple style -- mainly flats with some shading or highlights -- but it works with the line art and the colors you pick always feel right. The only problem I had was the inks felt a bit sloppy. I really wish the line work was tighter. But if you got the inks tighter and bumped the shading up a small touch I feel like it would be close to indy-pro level. The other stuff -- your shot selection, your panel choices, your character designs, your cartooning and facial expressions -- all of those are really solid. Just bump up some of the art a touch and it'd be ready.

Now the writing...which isn't all bad. However, it's really fast. I almost felt like I was reading fan fiction, something for people who had already read some Avatar Harry Potter/Last Airbender/Star Wars sort of "magic powers need training" world and you were just riffing off that. Because you really don't explain anything. Almost ever. It's like you just think the reader will know about this world already, but...and I'm saying this in bold face because I want to make sure you see it...in fact, the reader does not know anything about your world at all.

So this kid is a shaper. Or trying to be a shaper. Which is...something? It involves floating stuff? I really have no idea. You've never told us anything. I got the sense there were other magics (disciplines?) than shaping, and at one point you referenced colors (red vs gray, I think), but I didn't really understand what they meant because you never told us anything about the world.

Compare this to HARRY POTTER. We see Harry is miserable in the real world, living under the stairs. He gets an invitation to go become a wizard. We see him more from the normal world into the magical world. We hear about the four houses and how each is different, if for not other reason than some kids are jerks. We also learn more about the school and realize it runs basically like a normal boarding school except they teach magic. So there are classes and tests and rules, etc. Here...well, there are classes and tests, but it's hard to say it's like a normal school. Is there just one class? Just one test? Weren't there supposed to be ten students with him? I only remember 3-4 students and I'm not sure they all are in the same group as him. Are they totally isolated from everyone else? Or do they mingle and go outside?

Let me give you an important reason why: ANTICIPATION. Anticipation happens when the reader can see something is going to happen before it happens. It gives you that tingly, uneasy feeling. It can make the reader hopeful (is he going to kiss her?), it can make them uneasy (don't eat that sandwich...someone put mud on it!), it can make the scared (don't go in there...it's a trap!). However they can only anticipate if you give them enough information to predict what is going to happen. And in a story like this, where lots of things are different from the real world, you need to tell us enough about these differences for us to understand.

Beyond that I don't really have much to say. The story has enough similarities to other magic school stories that I kind of get it, but I also kind of don't. By around page 30 I started to lose interest. I just didn't understand enough about this world and these characters to be engaged. Really none of the characters are fleshed out well. The main character seems nice and obviously has a power that is different and not controlled. The other characters I don't feel like I know at all. I recognize them, but it's like someone you saw at the grocery store. What you want to do is have them talk about HOPE and FEAR. Hope is what will make them happy. Fear is what they are afraid will go wrong. Someone wants to become a shaper so they can help their parents earn money. They are afriad if they fail, their parents will lose their house. Someone wants to become a shaper to prove to their parents they are special. They are afraid their parents don't really love them.

My suggestion would be to pick a tv show or movie you like that deals with something similar and really pay attention to how they explain things. Usually either they will explain something before something happens (okay, now down those stairs are dragons so we have to be ready for them) or they explain it after it happens (that attack on those dragons didn't work. They must be protected by a spell.) Often scenes will have moments where they do both -- they explain what just happened and set up the next sequence (the dragon exploded, but it melted the lock covering the treasure. Now we have to use a metal spell to open the lock!) Pay attention to how much they actually explain.

You are almost always better off explaining too much than too little. If you explain too much you can always pull back some and the reader will be fine. However, if you aren't explaining enough either the reader will be lost or the events happening to your character just won't have any meaning or impact. (Wait, casting that spell is supposed to be really hard? I didn't know that!)

Good luck!

One more critique coming up....

Merged Doublepost:

kyrinthekid:I’m down for one of these, want to see what to improve before my third chapter.


Well, I tried to get through the comic but it just didn't work for me. It felt too much like a gaming comic based on Pokemon or something like that. After 30 pages there had been a lot of action and some jokes, but I didn't feel like I knew the characters or had a sense of the world. I might just be too old (or too old and too Western). I could see my nephews reading it when they were 8 and liking it, but there just wasn't enough there for me to talk about.

I will say I loved the colors. They were really striking and even beautiful. The art itself seemed solid (although not a style I particularly like). Good angles and good cartooning. But it was definitely the coloring that set it apart the most for me.

Good luck.

And with the I'm going to close the thread. It looks like I'll be doing an all new graphic novel and really should be working on writing that anyway. Thanks for participating. Maybe I'll do this again over the summer.

And Happy New Year everyone!

--Paul
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"A couple critiques over the holidays...", 29th Dec 2017, 11:00 PM #11
buffylove

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So I'm in LA away from family and figured I might as well do a few critiques, since that's something my broke wallet can afford to give and something webcomicers seem to enjoy getting.

I've done this before where I gave pretty detailed critiques. Not sure that I'll do that this time. Also I won't go in order. I'll do whatever comic looks coolest when I start. I'm not a gamer so anything game related probably isn't going to happen.

I'm also not the optimist-cheerleader type. These are going to be critiques, not reviews. I.e. it's not just stuff I liked or didn't like, but a discussion about writing and dramatic structure. They'll probably focus on stuff I think needs to be better. That's just how I think when I'm doing these. I'm not reading to enjoy as a fan. I'll be reading like an editor to see how they are put together and can they be better.

Also, to be clear, I'm older. I.e. not 20's. So if your comic is aimed at high schoolers then I'm probably not the person to read it (unless you've got MEAN GIRLS level stuff going on).

With all that said, anyone who is still interested sign up and maybe I'll get to the first one later tonight. Everyone is welcome, even people I have given critiques to, although if I gave a critique to you before please let me know so I focus on the newer stuff and don't just go over what I already talked about again.

And Happy New Year everyone!

--Paul
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Result in thread: the blank page problem
29th Dec 2017, 2:47 AM #12
buffylove

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I have a huge file of art from artists I love. Whenever I feel blah, I just pick an artist, find a piece I really like and draw that, trying both to learn from it and to find places to put my own touches on it. Right now I'm big of Dustin Nguyen. He has an amazing variety of work and his watercolor stuff just knocks me out.
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22nd Dec 2017, 6:52 PM #13
buffylove

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Jean_Q_Citizen:Same here. I also feel like any time I'm in public and hear people laughing, they're laughing at me. 90% of the time I've trusted people, they've turned out to be assholes.


This. Humanity sucks and my big Christmas wish is that all of them would die. But not really, except kind of sort of.

And my constant and total lack of success doesn't allow me to have imposter syndrome. With me it's more like assumed failure. Why work on a script if I'm not going to be able to get someone to read it? Why send pitches to companies if they are just going to ignore them? That's why I did my own webcomic -- because I had absolutely no faith anyone would ever publish anything I wrote.

Still trying to get past it, because all it does is guarantee failure. Like if you don't ask a girl out then you will never get a date with her. (Of course, you also won't be accused of harassment, but that's a different mental phobia.) So I know I need to reach out more, but man is it tough.

Luckily there's drinking, though, right...
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9th Dec 2017, 2:54 AM #14
buffylove

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Pretty much anyone who reads or responds to this isn't someone you should listen too. This is like the very definition of procrastination. :)
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Result in thread: Lettering programs?
29th Nov 2017, 6:22 AM #15
buffylove

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Robotwin.com:@Buffylove, Todd Klein wrote a nice tutorial on balloon placement here:
http://kleinletters.com/BalloonPlacement.html


Thanks. Will check this out tonight!
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Result in thread: Lettering programs?
28th Nov 2017, 1:08 AM #16
buffylove

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JuicyGrey:@buffylove Short guide for long stories. Write very sketchy overall. Divide it into important points, like starting, middle points and ending.


Thanks but this is about the lettering. Maybe I'll add a post to explain more what I mean...

Merged Doublepost:

So here's my question about lettering. Here's a page from my story THE IMMORTAL VIKING along with the script for the page (if you compare with the published version you can see I changed the text a bit, most notably making it all 1st person...it's nice getting that extra chance at revision!). How would you letter it? Where would you place the text? Are the any rules other than avoid overlapping and try to form a Z to lead the reader? Obviously lettering is a skill so there can be better and worse, but how do you learn how to improve text-placement?

Of course info about LETTERING PROGRAMS is also appreciated.

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Result in thread: Lettering programs?
27th Nov 2017, 11:41 PM #17
buffylove

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joeyballast:I'm looking forward to more in the Book of Lies (if you're still working on it).


It's continuing. I took a break when my dad got sick and I had to help him out. Since then, I've been doing some longer stories and trying to figure out exactly what I want to do. I feel ready for something bigger, but whether that means grouping stories into themes/anthologies or tackling GN's or even an ongoing series I haven't decided. I just don't want to start with shorts again and then stop because I don't really know what it is I want to do.
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Result in thread: Lettering programs?
27th Nov 2017, 6:39 PM #18
buffylove

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I'm mainly just using the basic default that Comic Life uses. I'm more interested in placement of letters. Since I'm not the artist I can't plan ahead. And since the lettering is the last step, it's what I end up obsessing over the most. How to get the best flow, to keep the feel of the page, to squeeze the most emotion out of it. Surprisingly, I can't find many articles about lettering by people who aren't also the artist, so I feel like I'm making up my own rules. Which is cool, but makes me wonder what I might be missing.
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Result in thread: Lettering programs?
"Lettering programs?", 27th Nov 2017, 5:29 PM #19
buffylove

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Yes, another thread about lettering because I can't seem to find the old ones...

So what do you use for lettering? I'm using Comic Life, and while I like it I just got a new computer and figured before I buy it again I might as well see what else people are using. Are there any solid free programs? I'm a writer, not an artist so a lot of the programs artists might be used to, I don't know anything about (which is why I liked Comic Life...it's pretty amazingly simple to work).

And while we're on lettering, any tips for improving lettering? Anything you did that you think especially helped make your lettering look better?
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24th Nov 2017, 4:28 AM #20
buffylove

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That's legal jargon. Just because it isn't classified as stealing doesn't mean it is not less illegal...it just means it is illegal under a different name. Just like drowning and stabbing are technically different, but they are both wrong.

Really all the "it's okay because" arguments are crap. All you have to do is turn them around and apply them to yourself. If you make a webcomic and put in the time and work to build it up, can another artist start selling their fan art posters, etc, without your permission? Can a writer start writing stories with your characters and sell them without your permission? Could an animator take your art, animate it and sell the movie without your permission?

Just because companies turn a blind eye doesn't mean it's okay. Just because people buy it doesn't mean it's okay. Bottom line, if you don't want people to treat you like that -- taking your work and selling it, using it without permission, etc -- then you shouldn't be doing it to other people.
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