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Webcomic and Website crits (Trouble Ticket Comic)

amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
edited February 2010 in Artist's Corner
I posted here like a year and a half ago, but I can't find the thread anymore, so I made a new one. If that's the wrong way to do it, then I apologize in advance.

In April 2008 I started up a blog/podcast with the idea of doing a webcomic. I made a few strips and displayed them here but it needed a LOT of work, so I took some time off, worked on it, and launched the site again in October. It's a little more polished now, but I know it still needs some work. I've managed to get 50 comics in the archive, worked on the site layout a bit more, and I feel it's ready to present again.

I'm looking for crits on everything from the comic to site design. I know there's probably a lot that needs to be done. I'll start with a few comics from the beginning, when it was black and white, and then show some from about #38 onward, where I went to color.

Early Stuff

Spoiler:


After I learned how to use photoshop a little better
Spoiler:


After I added color to the mix

Spoiler:

And as a special BONUS, the guest strip my wife (who is a much better artist than me) did while I was away at a friends bachelor party... (seriously, this was the first comic she ever drew, and the first time ever using a scanner, or photoshop, or coloring anything on a computer)

Spoiler:

My new year's resolution is to actually work up the nerve to post my stuff here, and get crits, and hopefully make a better comic that people want to read.

Thanks!

edit: one thing I forgot to mention was the technical aspects. Site is running wordpress with studiopress and the stripshow comic plugin. Also, I know absolutely nothing about photoshop. I have a friend who was super generous and gave me his copy of PS CS3 when he upgraded, and I have that, but I really have no clue how to use it for anything other than basic tasks. I got the How to Make Webcomics book when it came out and I'm using Brad Guigar's 14 step comic scanning and editing process to produce the finished work. I'd love some PS pointers on how to make the colors look better, or good reference tutorials, etc.

Thanks again

amateurhour on
Here's what I do...
The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic

Posts

  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Here's one of my latest comics wherein I tried to change up the colors a little. I'm still having some kind of problem between drawing and scanning in the work, but I don't know what it is. Also, where did I go wrong in panel 3? How could it have been displayed differently, something about it just feels off.

    2010-02-10.jpg

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    edited February 2010
    The problem might be that his gun hand is coming out of his eye socket.

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    DarrenMAC on Xbox Live | deviantART | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Why does he care so much that he won't watch the Blu-Ray? Pistol whipping is hitting someone with the gun, not firing it, correct? Beard guy looks more angry than scared in last panel. Copyright info does not need to be as big as the character text. It is not a focal point. Second to last balloon tail suggests character has turned into a robot? Glasses drawn inconsistently in first panel.

    signature-sir.png
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    NibCrom wrote: »
    Why does he care so much that he won't watch the Blu-Ray?

    I just needed a setup so that the comic wasn't "hey man, want to play mass effect 2 to set up this mass effect 2 joke?" I see what you're saying though. My writing needs a lot of work.

    NibCrom wrote: »
    Pistol whipping is hitting someone with the gun, not firing it, correct?

    It does, but in mass effect the red and blue options are never exactly matched to what happens on screen. Also, I didn't know how to pull it off in three panels, unless the third panel was just the guy on the right getting pistol whipped, and I just realized that would have been better.

    NibCrom wrote: »
    Beard guy looks more angry than scared in last panel.

    Yeah, that's partially the fault of my lineart, and partially because I colored the hair and eyebrows differently so you can't tell now that his eyebrow is arched downwards. Not really sure how I should fix that. Opacity on the eyebrow, or hair?
    NibCrom wrote: »
    Copyright info does not need to be as big as the character text. It is not a focal point.

    Thanks a lot of this. I didn't realize how badly I was doing it until now. I'll fix that in future comics. Would it be better going between the panel borders or should it stay below the comic.

    NibCrom wrote: »
    Second to last balloon tail suggests character has turned into a robot?

    I thought it would come off as angry. Is there a better way to do an angry balloon tail? Or do I just not bother with it?
    NibCrom wrote: »
    Glasses drawn inconsistently in first panel.

    Thanks, just noticed the ear frames, going to try to actually fix that on this comic in PS. Just the ear frame or something else?

    Thank you for all of the feedback Nib. That was helpful

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • edited February 2010
    For pistol-whipping in the third panel, he could just be holding the barrel of the gun with the handle sticking out the top toward the head of the second character. I think that would imply the threat of a pistol-whipping pretty effectively.

    Check out this tut for some comic lettering guidelines.

    chevy.jpgsteve.jpgmartin.jpg
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Thanks, that tutorial will help.

    Seriously though, I'm a photoshop idiot. Case in point, my first thirty or so comics, I don't have good masters of, aside from rescanning the original art, and they all ended up as one flattened layer. Is there a good tutorial you can recommend for scanning line art, and also, if I am going to hand draw the comic, what types of pen do you recommend? I'm using a strathmore 11 X 14 bristol board with micron pens currently.

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • edited February 2010
    Scanning line art is pretty easy. Set your scanner to black & white mode at 300dpi and give 'er. Then you can just use the pencil tool to clean up the misc. dots.

    When you save, make sure you save one at full resolution as a .psd so it saves your layer information and then shrink it down and save a copy as .jpg or .png or whatever. I use the GIMP instead of PS, but the principle is the same.

    chevy.jpgsteve.jpgmartin.jpg
  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    edited February 2010
    11x14" is probably overkill for a simple 3 panel comic. The 9x12" pads of Bristol paper will be easier to scan.

    I used the micron pens for years and they work well but for the past 5 years or so I've switched to the PITT artist pens:

    0059502000000-ST-01-Pen-Tips.jpg

    I just prefer the quality of the ink and they seem to last a bit longer.

    forum_sig
    DarrenMAC on Xbox Live | deviantART | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook
  • Guy BellGuy Bell Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Actually, it's better to scan it in as grayscale and then convert to rgb when you color.

  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    DMAC wrote: »
    11x14" is probably overkill for a simple 3 panel comic. The 9x12" pads of Bristol paper will be easier to scan.

    I don't deny that it would be easier to scan, but I draw really large. I'll give it a try though and see if I can just shrink the panels to 3.5 inches instead of 4.

    I need to just learn to use my wacom, but it's difficult

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Guy Bell wrote: »
    Actually, it's better to scan it in as grayscale and then convert to rgb when you color.

    Depends on who you ask.

    signature-sir.png
  • Guy BellGuy Bell Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Try it. When you scan in Black and white or line art mode you get a high contrast image, probably with jaggies. Great if you have a lot of text but bad in most other circumstances. If you scan in grayscale mode or even color mode it captures all the subtle line work but your large black areas may look a little faded out. You fix this with your levels. Anyway, this is what works best for me. This disadvantage is that you just increased your file size by 8.

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