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Forum > Critique > True beauty is so painful [critiquing and making an ass of myself]
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"True beauty is so painful [critiquing and making an ass of myself]", 13 days ago, 3:17 PM #1
kevintheradioguy

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Registration date: 5th Feb 2019
So, yeah, I'm rather harsh, tbh, so if it's not your thing you might not want to post here.

I tend to think I know a thing or two about narration, working in game industry over the games with heavy emphasis on it, so if you'd like some critiques, you should:

● leave a link to your comic
● add a general description of what you're trying to do with it
● expect sarcasm
● avoid doing that you're a very special snowflake who cannot take the "composition sucks, man" like an adult

I will:
● read the first chapter (unless you want to have a look at another chapter - then mention, please)
● give you the general impression
● point out the obvious flaws and suggest how to get rid of them
● add examples/references
● probably be an asshole about it
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13 days ago, 3:35 PM #2
AngryRob
your least favorite rob
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Location: inside your heart
You’re stealing my gig, man!

Fuck it, one good turn deserves another. Please critique chapter 4 of LKS. It’s a punk rock superhero epic with robots and aliens and stuff.

LKS4
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13 days ago, 3:42 PM #3
MK_Wizard

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Because I like you and I can laugh at my own roasts and even laugh at how dreadful the first chapter is drawn, go on and laugh with me. Anything you tell me about, I've probably said it first. I don't think I'm a special snowflake. However, I am a snowflake who enjoys what she does and has long since learned her style is not for everyone.

And it's cool with me ;)

It is an adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde, but it is more lighthearted and more mystery themed. Come at me, bro.

PS: For the record, my the only favour I have to ask is not to bring up the lack of backgrounds. I know they are not there in the beginning and I know that stinks, but I have heard that criticism to death please. Thanks.
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13 days ago, 3:46 PM #4
scribbloid

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Registration date: 1st Oct 2018
If you want to, I would be very grateful if you roasted my Comic>

http://starsea.thecomicseries.com/
I know the english sucks and the drawings are awfully inconsistent, because I am just a hobbyist, but i guess there are a lot of flaws in this Comic i dont even see myself, so if you pointed some of them out it would be very nice.
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"AngryRob and Love Kills Slowly", 12 days ago, 6:32 PM #5
kevintheradioguy

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AngryRob:You’re stealing my gig, man!

Fuck it, one good turn deserves another. Please critique chapter 4 of LKS. It’s a punk rock superhero epic with robots and aliens and stuff.

LKS4


Okay, so, first thing's first, I realise that you probably get a lot of praise for the art quality, and for a good reason. It's really high, and you do great job with backgrounds an motion. However, I'd say you also have a major flaw in it, specifically because of the amount of detail you have. You see, since there are no colours thrown into it (which I don't say you should do), and both the surroundings and the characters are of the same quality, it all oozes into a mush. Characters look like parts of the background, and they are not emphasised as characters should be. With colouring, this could be fought using more vibrant colours for character, and more faded for backgrounds, or adding DoF bot the backgrounds. A very easy thing to get rid of this mush, is to make linearts for the backgrounds thinner so less emphasis are given to them, while highlighting with heavier lines the characters and objects they interact with. Alternatively, throwing the shades of grey for the backgrounds, kind of breaking them into grounds (foreground, background, middleground, etc.).
For instance, look at this page.

You might notice that in the shorts where there is our main character and the background, the lines are thicker, richer for the character, and thinner for backgrounds, although either are drawn with decent details. It is important to draw the reader's attention to what is important. Sometimes, this is not the character, but most times it is. For example, in a scene where, say, a couple of main characters attack someone and accidentally kill them, and while they talk, the reader might notice that there is a police badge fallen out of the body's pocket - that badge should have more detail, as an important plot point, and the characters would be drawn not as detailed as in not to draw attention from "they killed a cop - this is bad" fact. Be it as it may, less fat for the backgrounds would do the pages much good.
In this regard, the beach scene is good, because the water is hatched, while the characters are not - and it makes it look much, much better. You clearly see what's going on, and don't have to spend time to "search" for a character and understand what they do.

I do love that this isn't the comic about talking heads... but at the same time dynamic scenes look very stiff. I re-read the pages that have fights and chases in them, and they look like missing motion lines (do not mistake for action lines), as if the sketch of a character is nothing but a stick figure with no arches - just the sticks.
A thing I've learned too late was that... in comics, no matter how realistic you go, you should always go for exaggeration. Twist and arch things somewhat more than natural to make it look more dynamic. And the genre of the comic itself only supports this overexaggeration!

Hard time distinguishing between some characters, tbh. I know it's a stylistic choice, however, when they have similar hair colour and figures I cannot really tell who's who. More unique features, maybe? Longer noses, squarer jaws, smaller boobs?

I also found it somewhat difficult to read the font most of the times. For the edge-heavy font it clearly is too small. That being said, due to certain levels of blur of the images, it looks like they were significantly scaled (at least some of them, or half of the panels). If you don't want to change the font/size, it might be better readable if the pages were slightly bigger. Of course, for this some adjustments to the site layout should be made. But perhaps it's worth it.

Overall impression: on one hand, I do love the ironic take on the superhero theme. everyone's an asshole. I don't like any of the characters. And it's great! There is this show, I think it's called "Darkness", aired in Netflix, made in Germany. It did not get good critical acclaim mostly because there were no good characters in them. There is this guy who's a great dude, but he raped that girl as a teen. There's this great cop who loves his family, but he kills a little boy in cold blood to save his son. There's this preppy nice lady, but she got married to her sweetheart by lies and blackmail. And they say it's bad, and there is no character to root for... but that is what makes it great! They are people, real people, flawed people. I did not much care about the main sci-fi mystery plot as much as I cared for the drama behind these flawed people and layers upon layers of lies they've built. Such a Hollywood way of doing things: placing labels "good guy", "bad guy", "love interest", "comic relief" on characters - it's so fucking dull! And it's enjoyable to see a webcomic where everyone's an asshole. It is also nice to see how all the stories presented in the chapter are connected, as well as the chapter telling a very... let's say separate story. I did not need to read the entire thing to understand who was who and what is going on. In a way. Because...
On the other hand, what is going on? I don't get it. Things unravel both fast and slow. Fast in a way that you jump right into the story, but it doesn't have any thrill to it - and that's a slow part. I don't get to enjoy a fight, because it's half-a-page long, I don't get to be nervous because of a chase, because it's half-a-page long, I don't get to empathise with a broken heart character, because their relationships were half-a-page long. There is no heat, and thus - no stakes, and it looks like half of the comic was cut in post-production. I'd love to see a more extensive shootout in a comic shop. I'd love to see a longer chase scene. I'd love to see more brooding over a girl, and more nice things out romantic rival did for said girl to make her fall for him. Now, I realize that many of these thins is a mocking of the tropes we see in media, but there's a good time and place for everything. To mock the trope you need to establish it in your comic. Remember this thing? This scene is hilarious. But why? Because it's an adventure film and such fights are the norm: we see a lot of them, so such a quick and pretty obvious conclusion is funny. If that is what yo go for: the brutal reality of real fights, they should really be in contrast to something. At the moment, the pacing looks akin to the one in "Suicide Squad", where it looks like there's a lot of action, but it smudged over the film in such an even layer that it's just boring to watch. In the comic, I'd cut some speech bubbles in favour of adding more exiting scenes, this being a superhero (or more like supervillain?) comic and all.
Is it good? Yes, absolutely. Good quality, well-drawn, no flood of text like you usually see in comics - I was ready to go with the law of dialogues "120 symbols in a cue" when I created this thread, but the first experience did not need it. You do very good with keeping dialogue short and to the point. It's also quite fun. Not the "cracking me up" fun, but "nodding in approval" fun. Would I read it? Pro-o-obably, not. For that last "evenly smudged" point. Just when you get excited about something cool happening, it's over. I don't think I can take a lot of that. I want that bread, you know?


STUPID TIDBITS TIME!


This really looked like a shot to the neck, but at the same time...
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Idk what you see, but I see a giant glowing ass!
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Good way to hold a gun to break your wrist and your face!
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Pet peeve of using fonts for drawings instead of doing it by hand:
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It looks very artificial. I'm not the best artist out there, but I usually kind of line over the text letters so it looks more organic.
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12 days ago, 6:54 PM #6
swamp
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You willing to look at scripts? If so, I could use every eye I can get.
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"MK_Wizard MK's Jekyll and Hyde", 12 days ago, 8:14 PM #7
kevintheradioguy

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swamp:You willing to look at scripts? If so, I could use every eye I can get.


Yep! Might just take a little bit more time to read through a script.



Merged Doublepost:

MK_Wizard:Because I like you and I can laugh at my own roasts and even laugh at how dreadful the first chapter is drawn, go on and laugh with me. Anything you tell me about, I've probably said it first. I don't think I'm a special snowflake. However, I am a snowflake who enjoys what she does and has long since learned her style is not for everyone.

And it's cool with me ;)

It is an adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde, but it is more lighthearted and more mystery themed. Come at me, bro.

PS: For the record, my the only favour I have to ask is not to bring up the lack of backgrounds. I know they are not there in the beginning and I know that stinks, but I have heard that criticism to death please. Thanks.




Okay, let's start with the lack of backgrounds, dot dot dot

It's been a very long time since I read "Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", so I might not remember... no, I absolutely do not remember most of the characters of the book. In fact, my only memory is about the cane a.k.a. murder weapon that lead to the conclusion. Maybe this is better, as I am sure most people that inhabit the Internet are by no means familiar with the story - only film legacies.

A'ight, so, seriously? I'd like to start with an art style. The comic opened on the last page while I promised to read the first, so I can see that it improves overtime, but from what I saw in the first chapter, it really is very limp. I'm not talking about big heads on a small body, as I realize this is the part of a ccartoony stylization, but proportions and limbs often have different sizes on the same page - something I see all too often among people who draw without a proper sketch. And a proper sketch is a stick figury one, without any detils yet. Probably can be just a spine, limbs, and ovals for head, hands, and feet. Speaking of stylization, I am not sure what you're going for there. How do I put it?..
...when you stylize art, you generally have a certain direction. You want to make it toony and exaggerated: one would expect consistency in the weight. A more or less realistic body with a giant head looks just weird. It' just one stylized element on a character, not a stylized character. One would expect for him to have organic proportions within that style, for example, large hands and feet. Something like this, you know?

At the moment, it looks more like poorly drawn attempt on realism, rather a carton take. And it really does lack sketching. Lanyon looks like a giant in a small box the first time we meet him: a thing so easily adjusted. Like, his head alone is almost the same size as the diver's body. Unless you wanted him to be a giant - then go for it!

It's very stiff on emotions, you know? When our main character doesn't get the job, he expresses a genuine-looking smile, for example. Which you would, given the situation he's in. However! this is a comic for a reader, not for another character in the comic. And the reader has to see the disappointment. A forced smile. Perhaps some background or colouring effect as well to show that he's hurt. In the current state it looks like he is relieved not to get the job, and his sudden disappointment looks as if coming out of the blue. Of course, you did make it clear that he was excited via text (and text only) in the beginning, but... for fuck's sake, man... show - don't tell!
And you don't have to be realistic as well. Look at this screencap from the Simpsons: you can make a smile forced even then by making it extra wide, while having empty, slightly shifted glare.

Same thig with this monstrosity

The body language is very important too in supporting your emotion. Sorry for butchering the image, but, for example... how much cooler this would be if you just made him droopier here? And it's a profile shots: profile shots are always extremely flat, but this flatness can be used good to show the shape, figure, silhouette - call it whatever you like. Silhouette usage can be very powerful.

For better emotion I would suggest acting classes. Even if these are short "preview" ones you'll find online. And I mean the theatre stage where exaggeration is better than being realistic. Exaggerated emotions are often much better than subtle ones, unless there's a specific reason to make it subtle, such as subverting expectations for the readers.

You do a good thing with establishing characters' personalities. It's easy to get a grasp on who is what in it right from the start. I'd comment that they are very one-dimensional, doing exactly what you'd expect them to do, was it not said that the comic should be light-hearted, and in that sense I perceived it as more comedic or lowered rating. Kid-friendly.

I also absolutely approve of the approach of making the main character more cartoonish in his features, less realistic than the rest. I have done it myself, and it greatly helps with narration and empathy to the hero. The more abstract the hero is, the easier it is to empathise with him. Out brain does not perceive him as a stranger, and we can much easier put ourselves into his own shoes. I think Scott McCloud made a great research regarding it in one of his books, which I do recommend on reading. They help a whole lot to understand how comic readers work.

Dialogues are rather good, albeit sometimes they are boring to go through. Too much talking is never a good thing, and I am sure that many thing could have been shown instead of spoken about.

Some tidbits.

Did he just got slapped right into a bed? Kinky...
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Okay, this looks creepy, and I will be happy to never see it ever again. Henry has to see a doctor, CLEARLY. I won't make any comments about historical accuracy there. But I want to. I really, really want to.
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Nothing funny to say here, but this is probably my favourite panel.
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9 days ago, 1:41 PM #8
MK_Wizard

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Thank you for the deep critique. I will take what I need from it and I thank you for your time. I enjoyed the feedback. Stay cool, friend.

Merged Doublepost:

PS: About Dr. Jekyll's physique, he's perfectly healthy and in fact, he is athletic. He's just naturally skinny and in the very "unsexy" way. There are actually people like this in real life who are perfectly healthy. Just like you have people who are just naturally big, some people are naturally thin. He's not sick or nothing. Just... not sexy.
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9 days ago, 2:06 PM #9
TheHiddenElephant
not a slice of pizza
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It may be a little clunky to do this, but here's The Wide Ocean. Important thing to note: I had no faith in my ability to plan out chapters, so the first 100 pages are all effectively it, though as of now I've only posted 96 of them. Also, I know about the pacing and the art evolution.
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9 days ago, 3:05 PM #10
mightguy15

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Registration date: 24th Sep 2018
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Momma aint raised no snowflake:

Basically, I am opting for a shonen approach for this comic. I plan to have it be at least 175 chapters long, no longer than 200. I just want a short, shonen story about a human who kicks ass in a world full of demons, despite having no powers.

I didnt get very far, but Im still going at it and have pages planed to be released this week.

The artwork for the begginning parts are kinda crude, I started this comic in 2009, my first ever webcomic attempt. I then joined the army and neglected it untill recently. Basically, its about a famous martial artist who accedentally slept with an underage girl and now everyone hates him. So he gets a bitter outlook of humanity, but is then bitten by a monster that gave him superpowers, and now he must choose how he will use them.





I understand the plight of these may be a bit generic, I am not really aiming to be super original, I pretty much just want to establish a typicall shonen manga inspired by the manga I enjoy now and back when I was a kid.

Give me your dankest, spankest critiques you got, I promise I wont cry :P



Also, since no one brought this up, holy crap you are in the game industry......thats my dream job haha. Are you an art designer or programmer? Any advice for breaking into the industry?
Today, 2:45 AM #11
GusCammisa

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Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Just what the doctor ordered. I and The Concord Initiative await your judgement:

Tapas is all in all more convenient.
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