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And then I realized I was making Mario Kart fan fiction (comic inking, etc. crits?)

Theodore FlooseveltTheodore Floosevelt W O R S H I PC A T G O DRegistered User regular
edited June 2010 in Artist's Corner
So I've recently been working on a fun little project with some friends that's sort of Mario Kart-as-Mortal Kombat, born of a weekend playing Mario Kart and watching Mortal Kombat. It was a "kool" weekend (eh, eh?)

The idea was to write bits for each character leading up to the kart tournament; while the others are writing prose, I figured it would be a good opportunity to try drawing a comic. Thing is, I'm really not a visual artist-- but I always wanted to try and create a comic. So: I came here, read some of the inking links in the tutorial thread, bought some pens and kinda winged it. Here are the first two pages:

Note: The overall tone is supposed to be pretty hammy and overly dramatic (hence things like toad's stubble/sunglasses, Lakitu smoking, the dialogue).


toadj.jpg

toadpage2.jpg


Thoughts? Is the action clear?

Some things I've noticed myself are the perspective getting wonky at times, and my not really knowing how to best represent folds in Toad's jacket.

Theodore Floosevelt on
02YsrWP.jpg
epochrypha is flash fiction concerning the mundane and all-important events of worlds I don’t yet know much about.

Posts

  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I had a really tough time following this. Toad seems to switch sides of the road. I had to stare at several panels to even make out what they were. I though the second panel was a close-up of the first panel, but it's not. You break the 180 rule several times. The whole geography and placement of the characters is extremely confusing. I would use some different line weights in close ups so we can tell what we're looking at. The shading looks completely random. And I don't think the large blocks of shading work for characters outside on a sunny day.

    Edit: And why is Lakitu's charity suspect? Toad asked for a ride and he got one. It's not like he offered him something out of the blue. And if Toad is going to a kart tournament, where is his vehicle? "If you've an interest in accompanying me." Does that mean if Toad is not interested in going to the Mushroom Kingdom that Lakitu is going elsewhere?

    signature-sir.png
  • Theodore FlooseveltTheodore Floosevelt W O R S H I P C A T G O DRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Thanks for the feedback, NibCrom
    You break the 180 rule several times . . . The shading looks completely random. And I don't think the large blocks of shading work for characters outside on a sunny day.

    I see that I broke it on the second page, in the first panel through to the fourth panel . . . and then that they're traveling to toward the left instead of toward the right, as they are on the first page. I was trying to use Lakitu's head and the shadows to give the shots some directional anchors, but perhaps that didn't turn out as well as I had hoped it would. Is this grievously bad/are there other instances that you're seeing?

    The dark shadows were also an attempt to give it some mo' color. Do you think the shadows themselves are a bad idea or is it because it's muddying the read?
    Toad seems to switch sides of the road.

    Between which panels? Or is this a side-effect of the 180-breaking?
    I would use some different line weights in close ups so we can tell what we're looking at.

    I tried to. Should I go even thicker on everything in close shots?

    I suppose a lot of the problem could just be that my drawing just isn't very good/clear yet.
    And why is Lakitu's charity suspect? Toad asked for a ride and he got one. It's not like he offered him something out of the blue. And if Toad is going to a kart tournament, where is his vehicle? "If you've an interest in accompanying me." Does that mean if Toad is not interested in going to the Mushroom Kingdom that Lakitu is going elsewhere?

    The hammy back-story is thus: About a year ago, Mario's celebrity became so great that he became more interested in Mario as a franchise. One of his products was a security system to protect Peach in his absence (customer testimonial: "Eets-a bowza proof!"). The system is installed in the castle, but in testing it, Toad discovers it's terribly ineffective. Mario challenges Bowser to attempt to, "Kidnap-a tha Peech! Suparstar Installation!" and then goes on vacation. Toad, nervous of what could occur, buys a gun. Bowser comes after Peach, the security system fails. Toad, eyes closed and shaking, guns Bowser down. He's pardoned, as Bowser is a "dick," but flees the kingdom anyway. He spends a year brooding, traveling, and growing to resent Mario for not dealing with Bowser permanently earlier.


    essentially: Toad's not walking directly to the tournament and doesn't have a kart yet, Lakitu's charity is suspect because he's a koopa and Toad killed Bowser, Lakitu's uncertain if Toad would accept his ride

    02YsrWP.jpg
    epochrypha is flash fiction concerning the mundane and all-important events of worlds I don’t yet know much about.
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    Are you intending to colour this? Because there's a lot of white space, and with the stark black shadows (the lighting is terribly inconsistent, by the way), it makes the eye jump everywhere. I have no idea where to look, there's no flow to the panels. Plus, the empty backgrounds contrast badly with the careful foregrounds.

    I do like the organic nature of some of your linework, although it's a pity you seem to have rushed or half-assed quite a lot of it. If you're not intending to colour, I would suggest perhaps putting more background details into the panel layouts, or giving them a tighter crop and eliminating white space, as (IMO) that kind of thin fluidity is perfectly suited to really fine, intricate linework (provided the form and lighting are properly structured - NibCrom's totally right about the shading).

    edit: just read your reply, sorry. Shadows aren't just there to break up the lines, they give form and dimensionality to the drawn objects. Some of your objects have shadows, some don't, the placement is arbitrary and so are the depth/values. So it's really confusing to look at, and in some ways makes things look flatter.

  • JohnTWMJohnTWM Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Honestly, I didn't have a lot of the problems nibcrom did when reading this.

    I didn't realize there was a strict '180 rule', but I could see how this might cause confusion.

    As for the crit of Lakitu's dialogue, I think it is fine as it is, but you might consider putting an ellipsis at the end of the "if you've an interest in accompanying me." Because what he is really saying is "If you have an interest in accompanying me, I can offer you a ride." The sentence as it is is incomplete, but the second half is intended to be inferred from the context. Thus an ellipsis is appropriate.

    Also they are so right about the shadows. They are very inconsistent. Although, as for the intensity of the shadows, I don't know that they are strictly wrong because in the desert (which this is right?) shadows do tend to be pretty intense, especially if the sun is fairly low as it appears to be here.

  • Theodore FlooseveltTheodore Floosevelt W O R S H I P C A T G O DRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    tynic: I was indeed originally planning on coloring it. Then I realized I don't actually know how to. I would still like to, I just don't really . . . I don't think I know where to start with coloring. Being that it's my first comic attempt, I thought it would be in my best interests to try and press forward than take a huge amount of time on each page, partly because I don't really know what's working yet. But I'll go back and put some more time in the backgrounds, see if I can make them work better; I think they're sparse partly because I don't know what to put in them. Oy!


    John: Good point, that'd be better as an ellipsis.

    I'll try and get more of a handle on the shadows. The sun in the comics is supposed to be like an SMB3 angry sun--literally fifty or sixty feet up in the air. Like in the second to last panel, they're driving directly under (and then passing) it. Not that that's an excuse for wonky shadows.

    02YsrWP.jpg
    epochrypha is flash fiction concerning the mundane and all-important events of worlds I don’t yet know much about.
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
  • Theodore FlooseveltTheodore Floosevelt W O R S H I P C A T G O DRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    ahhhh, I am seeing it now. I totally glossed over the slighter directions implied, like the first page's second panel and the second page's last. I think I was hoping the road/footprints would be enough to keep things aligned. Thanks for the play-by-play!

    Helpful stuff, all a y'all

    02YsrWP.jpg
    epochrypha is flash fiction concerning the mundane and all-important events of worlds I don’t yet know much about.
  • Faded_SneakersFaded_Sneakers Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I dont want to repeat anything but here are my 2 cents.

    Its been many years since Ive played Mario Kart and if you hadnt mentioned that in your post I would not have known that was what was going on. I may have figured it out when Koopa entered the scene etc, but right off the bat purely on a visual basis its not where my mind went.

    I also had a heck of a time telling what was going on. Especially when you labeled one guy "A Different Koopa." I freaked out and thought I missed some joke or plot element and then sighed and got frustrated.

    I think what is the issue here is you have an idea for several panels that you want to draw because they interest you and are having a difficult time transitioning or setting up the panels around those few you have in mind. I think thats the reason there is a confusing flow.

    Its like youre saying "I need 1] Shot of mushrrom guy on the road, 2] Koopa driving up, 3] Blowing smoke out, 4] driving away." So youre going in knowing you need these panels and are struggling to get the panels around them in sequence so that is flow naturally and makes sense.

    My suggestion would be doing a lot of thumbnails before starting on your final draft. And by thumbnails I dont mean planing out the page, I mean planning out the panels. Really fast sketches of the panels you need to make the story work. One after the other for example on seperate note cards. this way you can look at all the panels you want to do and see if they make sense. And if they do then at that time you plan out your page to accomodate those panels how you like them.

    Not sure any of that made sense but it is hellishly hot out and I think a hot ait bubble just poped out of my ear hole.

    I like where youre going here. Keep it up and post more as you go along. Love to see where this all goes.

    Nothing to see here.
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