Okay, so I've swallowed my cowardice and I'm just going to go ahead and ask you what your honest opinion is here. I realize not a lot has happened in Bone Realm plotwise so far, but a couple chapters are up. I know a lot of things are messed up in the comic, but I guess I'd still like to hear it from you guys. My main concerns so far:
1) I can't seem to fix on a style, mainly for backgrounds. I absolutely hate backgrounds. I pretty much draw the characters the same way everytime, but the backgrounds change almost every page. The hard thing about this is I'm not sure I WANT the style to remain fixed. I love the feeling of just letting the comic sort of draw itself, but I'd still like some advice on how to handle the backgrounds.
2) Page One (the one with the skeleton running in the desert) is a godawful piece of crap. I intend to redraw it, eventually.
3) I don't want the plot to be obvious or cliche or whatever, but am I maybe overdoing it? Is it too obtuse? Basically I feel like nothing has been revealed, but things have been inferred by sight or conversation. The main crisis hasn't happened yet, so I guess what I'm asking is, am I doing a good job of introducing these characters?
4) My drawing style involves hundreds, sometimes thousands, of lines per page. Am I completely INSANE? I keep asking myself if I should just simplify everything, but then I don't want my style to feel too much like a Mignola ("Hellboy") knockoff.
Okay where to start...firstly I know I rarely ever comment but I DO read Bone Realm every update and I love it to death, so I seriously don't feel right critiquing you, but heres I go.
While your entire comic is painstakingly put together I would agree that your weakest element is your backgrounds, throughout the course of the comic I never really see any kind of establishing shot to demonstrate a bigger picture on just what this place is, it's just assumed they exist in some vaguely defined wasteland, and even if that is the case we're still only assuming this. I find the softness of your backgrounds to be a nice companion to the hard edges and lines of your characters, but consider simple shapes contrasting detailed ones (characters) instead of the sort of blurry background against the sharp characters.. Also maybe look into symbolism in environments, you have a lot of potential fun playing with those rock structures (distant single pillar for loneliness, isolation, Closer stronger single tower for fortitude and constitution, etc etc)
But seriously? If you just ignored everything I said and kept doing your thing your comic would still kick 15 flavours of ass.
I personally love the insane level of detail you put in, so while your art is up to you, I would like to see it continue.
All I have to say at this point is that I wish I could draw with your patience. How much time do you spend on a page on average? I really like the insane details you put into everything. If you can keep doing that, keep doing that.
And about the backgrounds...I really like the way you've been doing it, it's always interesting. At least, that's how I feel. And the plot is pretty good so far. So yup. That's what I have to say. I don't know why I wasn't subscribed yet (I fixed that just now), I've been enjoying your comic since it started :D
From reading Bone Realm, I surmised that Aevel is an otherworldly creature made of flesh, prophesied to visit the realm of bones by that BIZARRE giant skull. I think the author chose it to be an awful word, subliminally conjuring evil in the readers' mind.
Micah, I really enjoyed the art and story so far, although I agree that the blurry backgrounds on that one page didn't mesh with what you had already established.
One thing that confused me was on page 14 when Paladin said "... by your light." IMO, ellipsis is meant to be a continuation from a previous word balloon, but I couldn't locate his previous dialog. I didn't understand that part.
I hate backgrounds too, there mostly unimportant to the main story and wherever possible, I try and make them nice and dark so you can't really see what's back there. Micah, your gloomy backgrounds are in keeping with your story. Maybe just a hint of old ruins behind the characters now and then, keep them vague, let the viewers imagination fill in the details...will someone stop me here, I'm trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about..