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looking for portfolio site help (pg6)

brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
edited December 2013 in Artist's Corner
Hey Guys,

it's been a while since I had a thread around here for my work, and since I am trying out some new things with color I thought I might start a new one.

I have been working in diffrent media and trying to tighten up my comic, but I want to get better all around, writing and art. I am looking for any and all crits, let 'em fly.

First up are some paintings:

RSDTheFight1.jpg

RSDTheRise1.jpg

Rawr.jpg

WhoInvitedBombMan.jpg

Invasion.jpg

HipHopBot-2.jpg

DrKill-A-MarivsTheFryDaddy3000.jpg

Here are just some stuff I drew by hand and then colored digitally:

Monkcopy-1.jpg

TomWaits1copy.jpg

old.jpg

CharlesMingus-1.jpg

And last but not least here are some more recent comics:

ButtJesterisntbad.jpg

SaulRapist.jpg

BabyMusic-1.jpg

NewYears.jpg

I would really like to know what you tend to like more vs. what you don't like at all. I would like to improve overall but if i can focus on one thing that would be great.

brokecracker on
sig2-1.jpg
ScrumYummy
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Posts

  • ChillyChilly Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I enjoy the hell out of the decades of music for the bebes! Class act right there!

  • NicNic Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I always thought you seemed like a cool dude, ever since I drew your picture for the Sketch-a-Forumer thread, and this cements it for me. Very clever stuff!
    I really like your colors, and the one of giant Cthulhu-Zoidberg vs Super Robot filled with Molten Metal/Cosmic Waste is fantastic! I also like the robot masters one.
    And the freestylin' robot with the hip/hop switch, because that's just plain awesome.
    Spoiler:

  • edited January 2010
    I really liked the pacing and setup of your last two comics, particularly.

    chevy.jpgsteve.jpgmartin.jpg
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Thanks Everyone!

    I have been working on pacing and delivery of the comics. I have a bad habit of beating the reader of the head with the joke, been working on that...

    Most of the paintings are fresh from a Robot Art Show that opened this weekend. Friend of mine and I decided it was time to get off our asses and put together a themed show and I do love robots.

    I have been working in mainly pastel colors because I don't see a lot of them, in comics or otherwise. I like the bright cartoony feel they have. I am trying to lean away from comic that are shock value, non sequiturs or dick and fart jokes. Nedroid had been a huge influence recently.

    But really, what do you not like? I know there is a lot I need to learn about form and color, but where does it show up most? Any coloring bad habits you see me starting that I should nip in the butt?

    p.s. I also could use tips on photographing my paintings, the dark purple on with the bright blue starman looks really bad in that pic. Oh yea, the Octopus Robot painting is called "Dr. Kill-A-Mari vs. The Fry Daddy 3000"

    sig2-1.jpg
  • NicNic Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The one main thing that jumps out at me is that you use a gradient pattern for the stairs in that one comic. Don't do that.

    And (although it works quite well for the one about the rapist, and it's drawn pretty well) copying and pasting art is really noticeable. Don't be afraid to show scenes from different angles!

    This is a webcomic convention that's hard to break, so I don't really expect you to, but a lot of your panel setups are "Dude stands on left, we see his from his chest upward, and is talking to dudette on right, same deal."

    Again, I won't fault you for sticking to a webcomic convention like that, but remember you don't have to limit yourself to two inch panels!
    Experiment and stuff, and don't be afraid to use reference from life or comic books for panel setup.

    Those are all the suggestions I can really think of, but I think you're off to a great start, so keep practicing!

    Also that's an amazing title!

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Okay... New comic today.

    I tried some new angles, just slight tilts, but crawl before you walk right? I also tried some different shaped panels. I hate it when comics have funky shaped panels for no reason so I tried to use them to help the flow of the comic. No Gradients, No Cut and Paste (I knew that was a cheap move before. That is the only time I have done it, I don't know why I thought I could get away with it...)

    Let me know what you think!

    Jesuswaitercopy.jpg

    sig2-1.jpg
  • NicNic Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Wow, I didn't expect you to put it all into practice so quickly. I like it, but maybe shorten the gap between that first panel and the others.
    The timing of "but I'm not black" was awesome, didn't see it coming.

    I'm sure there're books on panel placement and things like that if you really want to work on panel setup and things, but I don't know of any offhand.

    One comic/graphic novel I can recommend- partly because it's awesome, but also because the panels are thoughtfully laid out even though the artwork is heavily stylized -is the Scott Pilgrim series. Check out the previews on that page, or buy 'em.

    I wish I could be more helpful in the coloring department, but check out the tutorial thread, there's bound to be helpful stuff there. In the meantime keep it up!

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Wow, I never noticed how close my other panels were! I tried to space them a little better, I spread them all apart just a little to give the panels some space. I left the "I'm not Black" panel close to the other one because I like the pacing there:

    jesus-waiter-copy.jpg

    I have read the Scott Pilgrim books, they are awesome! A friend lent me all of them a few months ago and I burned through them in like two weeks. I really like his style and energy he conveys so effortlessly. I will try to study his panels and put more action in my comics and see how I do...

    it might be longer between posts next time but I will still be reading the replies. Thanks for your interest Nic...

    sig2-1.jpg
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Thanks for the posts so far everyone, I never get a lot of interest in my threads and I am thankful for the thoughts.

    I don't know if people think I'm so bad they don't bother to reply or they just find my stuff boring. I'm not here to fish for complements, but any response is nice.

    A friend of mine just asked for me to participate in a local comic collection. It's just a six page short, but it should force me out of my comfort zone and give me a chance to work on panel layout and put in more action. I will post progress on them...

    sig2-1.jpg
  • ChillyChilly Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I love the writing in you comics Broke, probably the biggest thing that strikes me though is that if you pass over the entire comic quickly, you notice a lot of color variation, but it still comes off as a bit plain. I think the biggest thing that would kind of fill out your panels is if there were some sort of simple background in them. A picture on the wall in one panel, a small stand or bookshelf in another, to at least let you know that they are *somewhere* instead of floating in a nice color.

    Take your Saul the Rapist comic, you have a static background there, but it is the most visually interesting. I'm not saying to do full backgrounds for each panel, because I don't think that would fit the nice little style you have going. Just a little something in your larger panels, a window here or a second booth in the background if they are at a restaurant.

    Also, I love the Applebees Jesus strip, but it's odd that the kid knows to be shocked when he mentioned black Jesus, most kids would look quizzically at their parents while the parent freaked out.

    I like your paintings a whole lot as well, they manage to be very visually interesting because of colors and situations.

  • GrennGrenn Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Really liking the comic strips Broke -- I think 'Start Quitting' is my favourite. I love the hand drawn-ness of them and I think the colour is working so far, in as much as you are reigning in the pallette to keep everything cohesive.

    Only thing I'm not keen on so much are the gradients in the Saul the Rapist strip. In fact I found that one slightly confusing, specifically what order do the panels go in. I like the punchline though.

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Thanks everyone!

    Your right, Chilly. I am goning to try something different with backgrounds:

    sample1.jpg

    I need to work on my panel layout more, I'm going to try and tumbnail out full pages before penciling...

    Thanks Grenn! I keep re-reading the "saul rapist" one, and now even I get confused about the flow... I don't think I will be using long panels again for a while. I think the spacing of the word ballons in the last panel make it read weird anyway...

    sig2-1.jpg
  • ChillyChilly Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I like the first panel redone there, very much. A step in the right direction in my opinion.

  • NicNic Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I agree, very nice touch!

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    New Comic: now with fresh background scent!

    Cravingscopy.jpg

    I worked on some new angles and a simple background. Trying to keep the same look while adding depth.

    Wha'do'ya' think?

    sig2-1.jpg
  • edited January 2010
    I like the things on the menu as well as more activity in the background. The last line feels a little awkward and might work better as "You know, I'm the one who's supposed to get cravings" but that might not fit well.

    Your lettering is also really good. Did you have to specifically practice it or has it just come out of your natural handwriting habits?

    chevy.jpgsteve.jpgmartin.jpg
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    your comics are pretty stiff and lifeless compared to the energy seen in your grandmaster flashbot and zoidberg pics.

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm not crazy about the joke in the last one, but wanted to burn one out with a background.

    Nixon: Thanks, I think you are probably the only person in the world who likes my handwriting. I guess I just started printing in all caps (when I would hand write stuff) around high school (ugh, ten year reunion this year). I hate cursive, I would just rather print anyway. If your like handwriting you should check out Guy Bell's thread, his shit is bananas.

    Manon: I hope I can add a little more energy and charisma into this six page story I am starting next week. It is for a horror anthology, so it will force me out of my comfort zone. I don't want it to look like my regular comics, I don't think they would fit that theme very well...

    sig2-1.jpg
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    page one for the horror comic:

    Page1copy.jpg

    sig2-1.jpg
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
  • Faded_SneakersFaded_Sneakers Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I like what you got going but the truck is kinda bothering me in the Bank robber comic.

    The first panel of the first page is fine but in the second panel of the first page and the last panel of the second page I think the straight lines used on the truck distract from the rest of the artwork.

    My analogy would me when you see a cartoon that clearly is mixing 2D and 3D elements. The contrast can be kind of jarring.

    Your perspectives are fine and the composition is okay, its just the style difference that sets the truck aside and almost makes you think clip art.

    If you rounded the corners thereby softening the edges I think this might help the truck fit into the scenes better and feel more like one of the characters as opposed to something clearly "apart" from the characters in the scenes.

    EDIT:

    It may also be the level of detail on the truck. Everything else has details left out but on the truck you have shading and the corners are all lined in and the vent and the logo etc. If you took these out and made it almost like a negative space drawing like the nature and people in the scenes it may also help.

    I like the grey scale work by the way. Id like to see more comic artists work in greys. Frankly I always thought people have a tendency to capture moods more naturally in greys then they do when they try to capture the moods in colors.

    Nothing to see here.
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Whoa, long time no post, work has cracked down on internet security so I can no longer freely surf the tubes.

    Faded, Yea, I totally get what you are saying there. I will try and soften up the truck a bit. Make the angles a little less sharp, "Put some hair in the gate" as Tom Waits would say.

    Thanks for the comments!

    I have some new strips, I got interviewed by a local monthly entertainment mag about the art show and comics and have been getting some traffic from them on my site so I thought I would do a strip about it:
    Interview.jpg

    and another random one:
    GaGa.jpg

    sig2-1.jpg
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Haha, these a pretty funny Broke. Tee hee

  • edited February 2010
    Congratulations on the interview!

    chevy.jpgsteve.jpgmartin.jpg
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Thanks errryone!

    The interview was a little weird, I guess the editor is friends with one of my friends on facebook. I didn't think that anyone I didn't know had read it.

    anywho, here is a new one:

    Haircut.jpg

    sig2-1.jpg
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Hey all, been gone for a while with the wife and I getting ready for the baby. I feel like I have progressed a little and here are a few of some recent strips, let me know what I can improve.

    50degreescopy.jpg

    Allergiescopy.jpg

    Slothcopy.jpg

    Monster.jpg

    Smokin.jpg

    And a flyer for a local roller derby team:

    Flyersmallercopy.jpg


    Any feedback would be welcome. On an unrelated note, damn there seems to be a lot of fresh meat around here!

    sig2-1.jpg
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I still find most of your comic work very stiff with little to no expression apparent. Your bright, solid colors aren't helping your compositions either.

    However, I did laugh out loud at the sloth falling from the tree.

    s'good to see you posting again, mang.

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Word, I always am glad to get honest advice.

    I have been working on the static poses, like in the Allergies comic. What would you suggest specifically to break up the "very stiff" and "no expression" -ness.

    sig2-1.jpg
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    More so than anything else, I would suggest that you try to make some silent comics- no dialog or captions, and try to really push yourself in what narrative you can tell with visuals only.

    Also, quick gesture studies, specifically the type of gestures covered in Natural Way to Draw.

    As for other books, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way has a really good section on expressiveness. I think there's a pdf of that linked around somewhere. And, Eisner's Expressive Anatomy is pretty good. It was put together posthumously, and feels kind of disjointed, but it's got some really helpful parts in it.

    I still struggle with expressiveness in mine, I really try to push it when I'm thinking about it.

    Your roller derby poster is successful in that aspect.

  • earthwormadamearthwormadam Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Pretty cool, I dig the simplicity of these. They seem like they could be in the sunday funnies, and from the newspaper I just read that could be a good or bad thing I guess.

    I do agree with manon that the saturation of somethings could be toned down, especially the backgrounds, which are jarring in a few places. (like in the second to last panel of the "tattletail" strip. Still amusing though, as it was probably one of the best of the bunch. Hip hop sloth was pretty great.

    A lot of your stuff seems like it falls into the webcomic journal kinda category, like the "what he's smoking" one. It's really just an observation of daily life set up in an amusing way.

    I like the simple shapes you've employed but I'd like to see you get a little crazier with line weight, and just more experimental with lines in general. You've got a good grasp on thicker closer to the viewer and thinner further away, but besides that everything is extremely uniform and a bit dull. Just try to liven it up some.

    I like the roller derby flier, but the figures just aren't exaggerated enough, and it comes off kinda weak. Also the whole layout of it could have used some more work and thought. The panels and the text aren't doing anything to convey the excitement that the art is.

    sig2.jpg
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Thanks Manon, I will try out some silent comics. I have done that before, but it has been a long time. I own a copy of Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art I will bust that out and check out some of those other books too. I need to drag my sketch book to the mall or library to do some gestures.

    Earthwormadam, thanks for the advice, I will try and play around with linework and tone down the super saturated colors. Funny you should say that about Sunday Funnies:

    OtherPeoplesStrips2.jpg

    I guess I have never said it before, but I feel like Newspaper Comics were my favorite medium of comic art growing up. Sure I read X-men and Spiderman and all that superhero bullshit, but I was way more obsessed with Peanuts, Outland, Foxtrot, Calvin & Hobbes and Rose is Rose back when Pat Brady still drew it. I bought the collected versions of them and drew and redrew other peoples characters when I was a kid. I feel like I have been chasing that most of my artistic life, doing strips for college papers and local magazines. I mean that is essentially what my comic is like, a journal/newspaper strip that I do twice a week.

    While I love Newspaper strips, I know it is a dying medium: Newspaper circulation is down, comics.com and gocomics.com seem to run everything, and even existing strips are hurting creatively. The problem I find with most of the strips, they start out funny, they develope their characters into archtypes (think wizard of oz: one stupid, one scared, one coward) and let the comedy tropes begin! So I am trying to avoid the whole "You have to be a constant reader to get the jokes" vibe.

    Another problem is, what the fuck do I do with it? I have a standing relationship with a couple of local magazines where they pick what they want to run off my website as long as they credit me and put up the URL when they run it. Other than that, I have no idea what else to do besides keep plugging away and hope to get a following. I have gotten a few graphic design gigs from viewers, so that is good. I know Grenn is pretty good with the marketing side of art, so maybe he has some sound advice.

    sig2-1.jpg
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    you're pretty far from it quality wise now, but once you get up there, you could start the horrendous fight for syndication and mediocrity.

    I'd say in the last 10 years, the only good new comics I've seen to come out of the newspapers have been Get Fuzzy and Boondocks, so it will most assuredly be an uphill battle.
    Spoiler:

  • Boston House PartyBoston House Party Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    One thing that's kinda bugging me in the strip is the weird lack of contraction when the characters are talking. you use 'there is' instead of 'there's', 'I am' instead of 'I'm'. It feels unnatural and stilted and takes me out of the comic.

  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    also, I think an overhaul in your character designs can help with expressiveness. The views on the John K. blogs seem to be varying here, but I've found it to be a wealth of information and an enjoyable read.

    http://johnkcurriculum.blogspot.com/

    http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Put me on the side that digs John K's blogs. That seems like a great resource so long as you take it with a grain of salt. The man really seems to have an archive of a brain. I work at a NBC affiliate and we have a hand-drawn NBC Peacock drawn by him on the wall that I stare at for too long at a time. I'll check out the blogs a little more when I get off work.


    BHP, I can see how that would bother people. I will, er, I'll try and mix it up.

    Edit: yea, Get Fuzzy and Boondocks are good. Our local paper doesn't run Boondocks, so I have to read it online. Zits is okay, Pearls For Swine can be awesome, annnnd that is all I can think of. I don't think I am at a level where I could submit, but it would be nice to get where that is an option.

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  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy the sloth comic :)

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Thanks Lyrium! Everyone seems to like him, I think he will have to show up from time to time.

    Here is a strip where I tried to use almost no text, telling the story with expression. I know it isn't really funny, it's just more of an exercise. I also messed around with line weight, I'm not sure to what degree of sucess:

    EmptyWallet.jpg

    let me know what you all think.

    sig2-1.jpg
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    you still have practically no variation in the lineweight.

    also, I think it would work better if you removed panel 4 and added a panel before the last one, showing the wallet resting on his back.

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Tried something a little different to practice lineweight, also tried to mix up my coloring process. I put it in the doodle thread but might as well repost here. Let me know if this is any better:

    SadMancopy.jpg

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