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"I promise I'm not as mean as my comic", 27th Nov 2010, 8:54 PM #1
Meghasissues

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Thought I'd get out there and do some critiques. I know I'm a little new to this site and Damn Hipsters isn't exactly the jewel of webcomics but I love webcomics enough to want to make them into a force to be reckoned with.

A few things to start out with:
Yes, my comic is mean I am not. Unless you're mean to me I'm going to always find something that you do well to help you move in the right direction.

I'm not going to sugar coat it. If your drawing isn't up to par I'll tell you what needs the most help and how to get it up to what you want it to be. I'm not going to dis things because of personal preferences if your anatomy is off, or something is just hard to read I'm going to point it out cause your comic will be better for it not cause I think I'm all that. Same with storytelling. If something doesn't make sense or is boring your audience I'm going to tell you about it.

Even though I'm a newbie on this site I've been doing webcomics for 4 years and self publishing for 2. If you want to review me back I'll send you the info and we'll do a swap. I'm a senior majoring in sequential art so I know what teachers and pros will pick out in your work. I hate my school. I don't think it's made me a better artist only a better editor so please no "you're just an art school elitist" I only bring up that I'm a student cause I end up getting a little technical sometimes and people get weirded out.

So after that anyone still up for reviews? It's a saturday and I'm tired of drawing

LIST:
ZnS- DONE
Laktolad- DONE (for now)
mushroom go- DONE
organized mess- DONE
the other grey meat- DONE
gsicd- DONE
climax comics- DONE (for now)
-jennifers show---(Reading through archive this one will be later than the others but I'll get to it eventually)
experiMENTAL theatre- DONE (for now)
plasma-man- DONE
mildly amusing- DONE
little bunny-DONE
xawu- DONE
appleburger- DONE
gallery of freaks- DONE
sunday smash- DONE
jackit and friends- DONE
the way of the metagamer- DONE
leakage- DONE
antarctic broadcasting- DONE

-something is killing the children
-awkward moments
-them's the breaks
-project omega
-naive
-space brothers
-Dungeon crawlers
I'm a little slow since I am reading the entire archive for almost every review
27th Nov 2010, 9:50 PM #2
FPB
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Why, go ahead and critique ZnS. I have very low readership and I must learn how to improve my comic to gather more readers. Ignore the last page, it's more or less an intermission.
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27th Nov 2010, 9:50 PM #3
hedgehogboy5

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I'd love a review if you can.
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27th Nov 2010, 9:53 PM #4
Morgenstern
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Hit me. Just came back from a month hiatus and am ready to get my proverbial face ripped off.

www.mushroomgo.thecomicseries.com
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27th Nov 2010, 9:53 PM #5
Call Me Bob
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Organized Mess isn't exactly the Holy Grail either, but I'd love a review.

Also: I your comic is good, don't be so hard on yourself.

Also: I liked making fun of hipsters before it was cool.
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27th Nov 2010, 9:54 PM #6
Magravan
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I'd be interested in a review, please.
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The last human risks life and limb brains to save the intelligent zombies responsible for destroying humanity. Completed 300 page story with 15 page epilogue. PG13
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27th Nov 2010, 9:57 PM #7
MatthewJA
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Me please! GSICD, in my sig.
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27th Nov 2010, 10:00 PM #8
donboody

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memememememememe!
"Zeus and Sons", 27th Nov 2010, 10:26 PM #9
Meghasissues

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Ok to start out with I got to pg 29 before I realized that I needed to stop for a bit and get back to you.

Just from what I've seen I love the concept and I think that it has a lot of potential. It's cute quirky and relatable for the internet age. Your art is pretty clean and the characters are very uniform which is nice cause you can always tell who is who no matter how long ago they were introduced. I also like that you've researched your subject a lot which is something you don't see a lot in smaller webcomics.

Ok now for how to turn it up a notch. The art is good but after awhile it gets a little repetitive. You're using the same angles and shot in almost every panel. Not only is this making the comic look boring when it's really not it's making a problem with your word balloons. If you pull out a bit on some shot you'll have more negative space to work in all the text you want without crowding your image or cutting off information. Pulling in and out will also add another layer to your art and create tension where you need it even though this is a happy go lucky sort of comic. That's the main thing you need to work on for now. Other than that I'd say plan out how your characters work into their backgrounds a little more. Your backgrounds are good and show just enough detail to make us understand where we are and what they're like but in a good majority of the pages it looks as if you planned out what you wanted to see around the character instead of what would actually be around them. If they're in rooms that are commonly used and will reoccur try drawing out the floor plan of that space so you can keep it uniform too.

The scripting is cute and makes everything easily understandable if you know a little bit of greek mythology. It's you've got internet humor down which makes this comic something that readers want to come back to. The only thing that gets a little lost is for people that don't know greek mythology (such as who all the muses are and what they do) you're giving them enough to know what's going on but not quite enough information to get the joke of you modernizing them. A simple way to fix this is either as a filler comic or part of the character page draw out a line up of all the muses (just an example you can do this with the titans, the main gods, so on and so forth) and just write under them who they are and what their station is. It'll help out the people who didn't go beyond what they learned in school and will make it read a lot clearer.

Ok. Sorry that was long. If I missed anything or you want to discuss something with me let me know and I'll go back to it.
"ok", 27th Nov 2010, 10:34 PM #10
jenffer
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ok do jenffers show for me you pick wich one
"Lakto-Lad", 27th Nov 2010, 10:46 PM #11
Meghasissues

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There's not much to go on here yet so it's hard for me to do much about your storytelling or anything other than the art and the way it's presented for now so I apologize for that beforehand. When you get more up I'll go over more.

For starters. I read through all of the story first and it did seem fairly familiar... I don't know his powers yet but I'm already led to see him as a milk-based spiderman just because of the way the story starts out. I'm not sure if you're going for a parody of spiderman or something all original yet but if you're going for parody push it further whenever something happens over exaggerate it so it reads as being almost comical (think the tick he's still a super hero but everything he does is even crazier and all of his motions are far more extreme since he's not meant to be serious but is a parody of the genre). If you're not going for parody you need to watch where you're going with your story so people don't associate it with something you don't want it to be.

Your art is rough. I'm not going to pick at that since I know other people in here have probably touched on that before. As I said with ZnS the you need to vary the shot in your panels. When I look at one of your pages all I'm seeing right now is heads. Try working on pulling back and showing who the people are through body language. Act out what you want to do before you draw it so you know how a person would move or react in that situation. You mention tracing in one of your author comments? What are you tracing in here? Are you pencilling, scanning in the comics, and then tracing over the pencils in photoshop? You're going way too far for something that's not actually helping the drawings if that's what you're doing. If you have them in a dark enough pencil or ink them traditionally you can scan them in and then just play with the contrast or threshold it to get a nice clean black line to work with when coloring. I did enjoy seeing a few backgrounds in there to help tell the story but then they just disappeared and never came back. All we saw was a grey gradient void. Is he on against a grey wall, is he in space, is he on the floor, what the hell is going on? Throw some backgrounds back into it or vary the colors and textures so we can tell the difference.

And now for the nitpicking at art. Sorry I had to do this. I went through your whole comic and I was worried that your story wasn't going to be strong enough to bring in readers because right now your art is not strong enough to do that. Then I see the older Lakto-Lad on your first page. What happened? Did you switch artists or did you put more time into it? That is the type of art your story needs and deserves. Having that up next to the rest of it just makes us wonder what's going on and why aren't you drawing everything like that to begin with.

You've got a lot that you need to work out with your artist and talk through but just from the first few pages it looks like you've planned out what you want and you know how you're going to get there. Just tighten everything up and you can do it.
27th Nov 2010, 11:05 PM #12
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"I promise I'm not as mean as my comic"

Well, that kind of takes the fun out of it...

I'd volunteer, but it's so early in my run that it would be hard to review since you can't tell where it's going yet.
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27th Nov 2010, 11:08 PM #13
Meghasissues

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-3-:"I promise I'm not as mean as my comic"

Well, that kind of takes the fun out of it...

I'd volunteer, but it's so early in my run that it would be hard to review since you can't tell where it's going yet.


i'm going to do yours anyway... since i've kinda been following it since i joined.
27th Nov 2010, 11:43 PM #14
Meghasissues

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Morgenstern:Hit me. Just came back from a month hiatus and am ready to get my proverbial face ripped off.

www.mushroomgo.thecomicseries.com


Yours is oozing so much potential I'm drowning in it. You've got a good storyline. You're actually using underdrawings the way you're supposed to which is making your characters move and look right anatomically. You've got backgrounds in almost every panel. You've got a ton going for you.

The big thing that's holding you back is you're rough

Not saying that in a bad way. The sketchy style you're using (drawing in a thicker pencil scanning it straight in and then just darkening it up till you get black lines i'm guessing) is working for you. It's keeping your comic fun and giving it a slightly gritty feel which seems to be what you're going for from the miller-esque internal monologues that Go uses all the time. This style works for you and it looks good for the most part but you really need to erase your guidelines whether it's before you scan or when you're coloring you need to clean it up just a little bit to make it look more professional. I like that I can tell you're using underdrawings but I can tell that and like it without seeing all the circles you used to make the character. just erase the ones that aren't part of the final outline and your comic will look like you're ready to publish. The other thing that can take your art to the next level is going to be the hard part especially with the way I think you're scanning things in. You need to vary your line weight to show what's in the foreground and what's in the background. Right now all of your backgrounds have the exact same line weight as your characters no matter how close they are to objects in the room. You need to use thinner lines as you go back in space. Try not to go much thicker than what you already have for things close to the front of the panel since any thicker and you'll begin to look a little too bulky. The simple backgrounds work for you and I like how you're keeping them uniform and they don't just randomly disappear. If you're going to include any more detail in the shots of the outside would try going with the less is more and even though you want to have more things going back in space to show where the horizon is and that it's very wide and open just show little indicators such as sketched silhouettes further back. Right now in the world shots your world looks smaller than it should because everything is really big and close up.

The problem you mentioned in the comments about making a space read dark without getting too dark to see is a very common one. Try thinking more about where your light sources are in a room and play up the shadows more. If they're in a dark building with very little light build up the shadows you normally use more and then build around where your light is. even if you want to show all of the room try adding more shadows in the corners further away from your characters and build back towards them. Whether or not they have a light source if you show them less shadowed than the area they're in it'll make them pop out and not get lost even though the room will look darker. You did a good job on the shadows on page 29 but try pushing it even further to show that the area really is dark and spooky. Add another layer to the shadows and you'll have it.

Your storytelling is good and you catch readers on the first and last page which is what you want to do. Your only failing in your writing is that you're getting too wordy. You want to tell the reader so much that you're overdoing it. You know what you want to say but try to say it in less words. In the monologue pages your text is getting hard to read cause there is so much of it and it's not following the right way.

27th Nov 2010, 11:48 PM #15
Tezcatlipoca

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The reviews which you have so far provided seem to be quite exhaustive indeed, and I shall therefore submit The Incredible and Awe Inspiring Serial Adventures of the Amazing Plasma-Man for you to add to your list, should you be so inclined.
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27th Nov 2010, 11:50 PM #16
MatthewJA
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Meg does have issues... if her issues are BEING TOO AWESOME!
These reviews are very in depth! And I'm nearly up!
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"Organized Mess", 28th Nov 2010, 4:13 AM #17
Meghasissues

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Call Me Bob:Organized Mess isn't exactly the Holy Grail either, but I'd love a review.

Also: I your comic is good, don't be so hard on yourself.

Also: I liked making fun of hipsters before it was cool.


Ok, I really want to like you and I really want to say things that make you feel like flowery sugar filled unicorn babies are prancing around your head.

Instead um....

I get the whole stick figure thing. I'm not against stick figures in any way shape or form. Getting that out of the way the thing that broke this for me is that I could tell you're way too heavily influenced by Cyanide and Happiness. Even the different types of stick figures you show are all very very similar to the stick figure designs of the explosm guys. The reason that some stick figure comics are wildly popular despite the lack of "art" is that their writing holds the comic up. XKCD works cause it's smart, Cyanide and Happiness cause it's ewwww hahaha funny, and surly queen cause it's life but always entertaining. The reason they're successful and stand out is because they're all different and aren't trying to be each other.
You need to find what is you. Not what you think is going to make people like you.

If you're different and keep what you want to be clear you'll always find an audience. If you're trying too hard to be someone else then it's going to be hard to find an audience that will keep coming back because hey they can always find something else just like you.

Ok sorry for getting a little ranty there... something positive... PUPPIES

As for the art. I like that you keep it consistent. The background is usually the same color which unifies everything. There are two established characters that are different from anyone else showing up which is very nice to see in a stick figure comic. Is this MS paint or where you going for a style thing? It's not really working. if the circles are too choppy it just looks messy like you don't care enough to even craft a stick figure which is a major turn off for first time readers. Here's a secret I found out that I always find hilarious. You know how XKCD always looks nicely plotted out even though it's a stick figure comic? They pencil everything out before they ink it just so they get it the way they want. Even though it's something you wouldn't think is necessary for something so simple it shows in their work that they put enough effort into it to make it look good.

You also need to resize so your comics are visible without scrolling.

and for one final positivity break... maru jumping into boxes

The reason I pointed out so much style wise and art wise was leading up to this. Right now your writing isn't quite good enough to support it. Yes the jokes are funny most of the time but usually they are just missing the mark for being truly hilarious. A nice way to see if the joke actually hits the mark isn't to try it out on your friend but to try it out on your mom. If she gets it and laughs then it'll usually hit a pretty wide audience and be successful.

and just cause i felt the need to:

PUN- the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.

IDIOM- an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one's head, or from the general grammatical rules of a language, as the table round for the round table, and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of like characteristics.

OXYMORON- a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”

i hate to be hard on for this but watching you trying to make proper puns and english jokes was like watching alanis morissette explain irony.

I'm sorry I was mean I'll draw you a puppy later.

28th Nov 2010, 4:25 AM #18
donboody

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Meghasissues:
and just cause i felt the need to:

PUN- the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.

IDIOM- an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one's head, or from the general grammatical rules of a language, as the table round for the round table, and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of like characteristics.

OXYMORON- a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”




They should sticky this list on the homepage of every webcomic-hosting site ever.
28th Nov 2010, 4:33 AM #19
Realn

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Hey when the opportunity presents itself I wouldn't mind hearing your opinion on the state of my comic since I could use some kicks in the pants over there.
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28th Nov 2010, 4:35 AM #20
Missy!

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Do mine at some point, please?
It's very experimental and doesn't have much to it. :/
I just like seeing what people think.
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Forum > Critique > I promise I'm not as mean as my comic
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