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My new webcomic, Late Night Cereal

PifmanPifman Registered User regular
Hey all, hoping for some feedback and critique on my first (and only) webcomic.

I've been working towards this for a long time and I finally launched my site today (success!). Since I value the AC's wisdom so much in this area, I've been very anxious to get my work up here. I don't think I realized how many hats I'd need to wear to get this comic rocking. Write joke, rewrite joke, edit joke, pace joke, sketch comic, letter comic, draw comic, color comic, publish comic. It's a lot of work, but I'm finding it super fun and challenging (in a good way). So let's get right down to it! Here are the comics I've posted so far, in the order I drew them, with some commentary:

001-New-Guy.jpg
I'm pretty proud of the subtlety of the joke here. This comic also made me realize just how hard it is to draw people walking. Maybe I should have cropped more of their bottom halves out? I guess it's that way because I only had so much space to work with horizontally (less room in my 4-panel comics, than my usual 3).

002-Summer-Camp1.jpg
Happy with this one overall. I created a brush in Photoshop that barely tapers because I liked the idea of having very solid, consistently thin lines like something you'd see in Garfield or FoxTrot. But I've since messed with some "sharper" brushes and I think it makes the comics feel a little livelier. More on that later.

003-New-Belt.jpg
Right around this time, it struck me just how many characters I might have to dream up. Which sounds extra scary because I apparently have no idea how to draw different hair styles. Right now the comic is one-off jokes with a non-continuous storyline and random characters only created to serve that single joke. I'm willing to change this approach but I'm not sure how. I love how Chainsawsuit and Three Word Phrase can get away with this because their characters are so generic, they all sort of look the same and are only punched up in a certain direction when the joke calls for it, ya know? Then you've got Penny Arcade wich has recurring characters, who have individual opinions and behaviors - but are making random one-off jokes... which happen to usually fall upon the same topic of video games. I have no idea what to do.

006-Grammy.jpg
I like the overall feel of this comic's coloring and delivery, but hate the final style of Chad Kroeger. Even though I think it looks like him, it looks like somebody else drew it. I can't put my finger on it, but it's not how I want my comic to look or feel. But that's the kind of stuff I'm hoping to get a better grasp of in this thread. I also switched to Ray Frenden's brush pack for PS (which is an awesome deal) in this comic. The inking brushes are pretty sensitive and can get too thick too fast. So I was happy I was able to keep some consistency here. Will keep using these and see where it leads me.

I know that more work posted = better thread, so I'll post some process shots for a couple of these:

Summer-Camp-sketch.jpg
As you can see, I was failing to understand just how to go about doing these underlying skeleton sketches. I pretty much drew everything twice. Which isn't the worst thing in the world, but failing to understand this step's goal: composition, proportions, shape, flow, etc... Right?

New-Belt-sketch.jpg
Moving a little more in the right direction. Sketch is getting a little looser and I'm not worrying about my lines being 100% perfect. Still a lot of room for improvement here though.

Grammy-sketch1.jpg
As you can see a little clearer in this sketch, I (try to) use the blue pencil as a rough outline for composition and head direction, etc. Then refine the characters on top of that with the red pencil. If I have to move something or rotate it, I'll do so with the usual PS tools. Then I lower the opacity a little and ink on a layer on top of that:

Grammy-sketch2.jpg

As you can probably tell I like to throw my text in there early on because I fail to understand how I could lay up the characters without knowing how much room is needed for the lettering. I'm going to have to go back and watch other comic artists approach to this, because I feel like they do the opposite: Do the initial composition like they don't give a fuck and toss the words in later, potentially covering any priceless artwork that lies beneath. I'm a bit scared to try that though. Oh, quick note. I'm working 100% digitally. Not only do I feel right going in this direction, I don't have much of a choice. I'm married with two kids and a fulltime job - so I don't exactly have time to make physical sketches and scan 'em in. Those red/blue pencils you see are from the brush pack I linked up above.


Here are my biggest concerns right now: I feel like I don't exactly have a "voice" yet. I mean, I look at the work here (and around the web) and there's just so much style! Look at how they draw ears! This person doesn't even put noses on their characters! Cool shading! Unique color scheme! Etc... And I can look at my work and realize it's very generic. I'm fine with just putting work out and growing for now, but I sure hope I can see what sticks and what direction to take my art. Advice here welcomed.

My second biggest concern is that I clearly don't know how to ANIMATE my characters. I went to school for Graphic Design and I get jealous of the over-the-top character designs and reactions people are able to get. So far my characters are very flat and very stiff. Any advice on pushing and stretching my characters is very welcome. Cartoons have no rules or limitations, why can't I animate them?

Thanks in advance!

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    And I plan on posting a story, with artwork, on how the Artist's Corner actually had a very direct effect on me going through with this comic! But I'll hold off for now, so we you can focus on my already-too-long OP.

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2013
    I'm not great at gag strips, so I don't really know how to critique your content. The jokes don't seem poorly constructed, but they aren't really landing for me either. I'm more of a long form narrative kind of person, so I'm useless in that area.

    The art is pretty safe, it has that penny-arcade/family guy/derivative of those feel to it. You have a handle on the basics of drawing and cartooning, so there aren't any major things that leap out as bad. Still though, without some super badass writing, you are going to have a webcomic that truly blends in with all the rest, and that's what you are feeling when you look back on your work.

    I have a few tips. Two of them are going to seem a little art-school hippy-ish, and the other two are just practical cartooning advice.

    1)Start an Inspiration folder

    If you aren't already doing this, I would start. Gather the things that inspire you and put them together. Concept artists have folders of environments, and pictures of nomadic tribes, and pretty feathers they saw. You need a folder of funny webcomics, comedy bits, and cartooning references. The whole breadth and width of your interests should be easy to get at somewhere.

    I use tumblr for this, personally, but also try to go to the museum every now and then, and regularly listen to podcasts. Take in a lot of media, It will help you have interesting things to say about the world.

    2)Try to work from every interest you have, even the weird ones (ESPECIALLY THE WEIRD ONES)

    I'm not saying you should necessarily make a gag strip about microbiology, if that's your thing, but the way to get away from "generic" and simple topics is to dig into yourself more. You will have a unique set of interests, if you explore deeper into them, you can find the corner of comedy and art that speaks to you the most. You find your voice by having something to talk about (Consume media) then you filter that through your personality and present it through your work.

    3) Study Cartooning by copying it

    Master copies aren't just for oil painters. If you try to draw a frame from a golden age looney tune, from construction lines to inking, You will find some answers to your questions. Get looser, sketch a lot outside of your comic, and don't let other web comics be your only influence.

    4)Dont only draw with your tablet

    For the comic process, keeping it all digital is probably fine, but don't let this be the only drawing you ever do. You'll learn new and different things with a brush, pencil, and markers. Keep experimenting, it will benefit you in the long run.

    Iruka on
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  • Pifman wrote: »
    My second biggest concern is that I clearly don't know how to ANIMATE my characters. I went to school for Graphic Design and I get jealous of the over-the-top character designs and reactions people are able to get. So far my characters are very flat and very stiff. Any advice on pushing and stretching my characters is very welcome. Cartoons have no rules or limitations, why can't I animate them?

    On this subject, probably the best resource I could suggest would be this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Drawn-Life-Classes-Stanchfield-Lectures/dp/0240810961/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

    It's basically a compilation of 20 years of handout notes for Disney Animation's gesture life drawing classes, and it's all about getting the most from your poses, pushing the pose for greater impact and readability.

    It's not a character design book and it doesn't really deal with style- in fact, most of the drawings in it are little more than scribbles- but the point of them is that they get straight to the heart of what's actually important in describing an action, rather than dealing with surface concerns.

    (Although you sort of have to be prepared for the fact that it wasn't written to be a book- it was written to be read one handout at a time, and then you'd go draw for 3 hours working on that single principle in class...condensing it all together is great, but if you try to just sit down and plow through it cover to cover, there's just too much information there to retain or put into practice all at once. If you want to get the most out of it, you need to put it down and go do some drawing every other page.)

    MuddyParasolninjaitapeslinger
  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    Hey, welcome to the forum. This is probably going to be similar to Iruka's comments only in a slightly different vocabulary, so bare with me if I sound like a broken record player...

    I liked the boy scouts comic, but thats the only one. I agree with Iruka, they certainly don't seem lacking in effort, and it's good to read that you're rewriting and also making those adjustments to your line. But they don't strike me. They feel sort of like amalgamations of other's work, Harry Partridge and Three Word Phrase. It feels like you're replicating something that you found funny or endearing. I don't know how to address this very clearly. There are a few things you said that I thought might inhibit growth of your own voice...
    Pifman wrote: »
    This comic also made me realize just how hard it is to draw people walking. Maybe I should have cropped more of their bottom halves out? I guess it's that way because I only had so much space to work with horizontally (less room in my 4-panel comics, than my usual 3).

    Don't crop because you can't draw it, draw it until you can draw it. Draw it to the best of your ability, leave it alone, look at some other people's work, look at videos of people walking, go out on the street and watch people walk and sketch it as they go by, and then come back to yours and criticize it yourself. Draw it again, and again. Flip it horizontally, draw it again that way, flip it back. Just keep drawing it until its perfect and don't settle for less. God forbid you pull a rob liefeld and hide feet behind giant guns.
    Walking is a beautiful act and it can be drawn beautifully, just keep at it.

    You dont have the time to draw by hand because you can't scan it up? Not everything needs to be online! Drawing, cartoons or anything, does not equate to feeding content to your audience. Maybe it is, I don't know we're all different and gross and hideously human in our own ways. I would advise holding off on the content feeding until you have a less generic, simple comic, or atleast until you have an audience.

    But drawing by hand is widening your skill set. And its also a matter of unconscious doodling, filling a whole page with characters, beasts or maybe enviroments, personally I can't do that on the computer, I think it relates to the physical page, an empty book. But its important to do this because its allowing your unconscious mind to come out on the page, which you may find gives rise to much more intimate and personal expression than making a perfect 4 panel gag comic, which is confined to what you think a gag strip is supposed to be, or what makes people laugh. Sometimes, it is best to just draw with a pencil, without worrying about the final outcome. A lot of great comic artists have found their niche or their passion through this process, don't be afraid to go down any road either, fucked up sex comics are expression too.

    Drawing by hand also leads to drawing from life. If you want to ANIMATE characters then you gotta draw whats animated and not whats on the internet or in a comic book. A lot of expression in a characters face or body language comes from learning how the body moves and acts.

    I hope this helps! aburrrrr

  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    1)Start an Inspiration folder

    If you aren't already doing this, I would start. Gather the things that inspire you and put them together. [...] Take in a lot of media, It will help you have interesting things to say about the world.
    I've started one, but there's not much in it. I will add more to it right away and continue to do so as I go along.

    Iruka wrote: »
    2)Try to work from every interest you have, even the weird ones (ESPECIALLY THE WEIRD ONES)

    [...] the way to get away from "generic" and simple topics is to dig into yourself more. You will have a unique set of interests, if you explore deeper into them, you can find the corner of comedy and art that speaks to you the most. You find your voice by having something to talk about (Consume media) then you filter that through your personality and present it through your work.
    This actually comes through to me very well. I remember reading an article on WIRED about Penny Arcade and they pointed out a comic that read like a different language to most people, but in reality, it hit home with their core audience. I've always preferred music that didn't try to cater to the masses, so it makes sense that I do the same with comics. Write about what I know and my audience will find me. I actually take in a lot of media and pop culture. I think that will show over time. I've got about 150 rough ideas/jokes written (some are very rough and some are finished) and I mostly grabbed random, broad jokes for my first few.

    Actually, here's a comic that I'll be running next Friday. I picked this one mostly because I wanted to see if I could capture the third panel that I saw in my head:

    Tiny-Wings-sketch1.jpg
    Tiny-Wings-sketch2.jpg
    004-Tiny-Wings.jpg

    I actually enjoy the fact that not everyone is going to get that joke. But the people who do will hopefully be able to relate to it. I'm going to focus on moving more in this direction but I'll admit I don't know what topics to focus on. I'm a computer-using, tech-savvy, Graphic Designer in Marketing and Dad to two by day. I do know that I don't want to make a "this is something my kid said" comic. I don't care about other people's kids and I don't expect people to care about mine.

    Iruka wrote: »
    3) Study Cartooning by copying it

    Master copies aren't just for oil painters. If you try to draw a frame from a golden age looney tune, from construction lines to inking, You will find some answers to your questions. Get looser, sketch a lot outside of your comic, and don't let other web comics be your only influence.
    Thanks for these words. I think I'm subconsciously scared to look and learn so directly from others' work. I feel like once I draw mouths the way "they" draw them, my brain will just default to that - but I guess I just need to look at many different styles and go with what feels right. I like the idea of looking at older cartoons for expressions and style - and I think the book Angel of Bacon suggested goes nicely with this comment. I read Scott McCloud's 'Making Comics' recently but it more so focuses on pacing and composition, etc. At least that's what I took from it. I need to draw more!

    Iruka wrote: »
    4)Dont only draw with your tablet

    For the comic process, keeping it all digital is probably fine, but don't let this be the only drawing you ever do...
    Although I should've been a little more clear, I was assuming this advice was going to come. Yes, I want to keep my actual comic creation purely digital, but I'm open to sketching in a physical sketchbook. I say "open to" because I know I NEED to do this (Draw every day! Sketch! Doodle! Draw!) but I'm currently not. I bought a Moleskin and some pencils awhile back, but I found that I was far to careful with my drawings. My brain wants everything that comes out my pencil to be a complete, polished product.

    I will do this and post them to either the [DOODLE] thread or this thread. Probably this thread, yeah? Thanks for all the great advice Iruka.

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  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    Pifman wrote: »
    ...I'm open to sketching in a physical sketchbook. I say "open to" because I know I NEED to do this (Draw every day! Sketch! Doodle! Draw!) but I'm currently not. I bought a Moleskin and some pencils awhile back, but I found that I was far to careful with my drawings. My brain wants everything that comes out my pencil to be a complete, polished product.

    Get involved.

    I took a long break from drawing. When I was drawing regularly I don't even think that regularly was the best way to describe how often I drew, and it was never anything that challenged me or took me out of my comfort zone. Now, I'm in a class at my local community college (just to fill some time cuz I was bored) I draw at the local studios at weekend sessions when I'm not working, and I have a few friends that draw, and we bring a small sketch book when we go out for coffee.

    My point is, if you can find some external push you'll find that drawing every day is something that will happen habitually. Keep it up and good luck :D

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    Pifman wrote: »
    My second biggest concern is that I clearly don't know how to ANIMATE my characters. I went to school for Graphic Design and I get jealous of the over-the-top character designs and reactions people are able to get. So far my characters are very flat and very stiff. Any advice on pushing and stretching my characters is very welcome. Cartoons have no rules or limitations, why can't I animate them?
    On this subject, probably the best resource I could suggest would be this book: Amazon Book Link [...] it's all about getting the most from your poses, pushing the pose for greater impact and readability. [...] but the point of them is that they get straight to the heart of what's actually important in describing an action, rather than dealing with surface concerns.
    I've quoted the parts of your post that I feel are the big takeaways... or the big takeaways from the book, yes? I think you hit the nail on the head with what I need to work on - "straight to the heart of what's actually important in describing an action, rather than dealing with surface concerns."

    It may sound like an excuse, but I honestly think a part of what's holding me back from sketching faster (and more often) are my tools. Like I said earlier, I have a Moleskin sketchbook, but I was surprised to find how SMOOTH the pages were! There's no tooth (is that the right word?). Combine that with a (usually) dull pencil and it makes for a very bad experience. It's like trying to draw on a magazine with a dull colored pencil. I know that probably sounds like an excuse, but I'd much more prefer a scratchier experience. Anyone know of a paper/sketchbook that would work better? I could start by buying a pencil sharpener :P

    I sketched last night and will post some work when I have a couple pages worth.

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  • I'm not a fan of Moleskines either- too thick, waxy smooth and a bit too fancy-pants/expensive for my tastes; it's no good for learning if you're too afraid of fucking up your precious pristine fashionably cool sketchbook.

    I prefer cheap/medium-priced books with a lot of pages and a medium/fine tooth to them (because the terms of "fine/medium/coarse" have no universally agreed upon standard, when I go to an art store I'll lay my palm flat on the a page and run my hand down it to check the texture). Spiral bound (so you can lay it flat) and tear-out pages (so you can scan in pages easily) are a plus. The Canson XL sketchbooks seem to be a pretty decent on balance. (Stay away from no-name 'sketchbooks' you might find in an office supply store, which are often so extremely coarse as to be totally useless, in my experience.)



    That said, blaming your sketchbook pretty much is an excuse, and I'm not going to let you use that excuse.

    Grab a bunch of paper out of your printer and toss it on a clipboard and draw on that.
    Do it right now.
    Boom.
    Problem solved.

    One of the first things I did when moved out on my own was to buy a big 5000 sheet box of standard printer paper, just so I'd never have an excuse that I had nothing to draw with. It's not the best material, no- but it's a cheap way to cut your teeth on doing a lot of drawing. This is especially important when trying to do the kind of quick gesture drawing practice you'll need to be doing to break the stiff characters habit, which will burn through pages at an extraordinarily quick rate. (Certainly when moving, I've had to throw out multiple garbage bags full of old drawings done on random materials; if you're staying in practice, these things can easily start to pile up.)

    It's a hell of a lot better to do a lot of drawing with mediocre materials, than to do little drawing with the best stuff on the market.

    You can see this in art school- the people with the fanciest, nicest kit will almost invariably be getting alive when it comes to quality and progress by the people that seem to just draw on whatever's lying around. The former will be too timid to make necessary mistakes on their expensive sketchbooks and canvases and have a hard time making any progress as a result, while the latter draws on whatever simply because they are drawing all the time, and would soon run out of money and hold back their own progress if they were too picky and choosy about these things.

    This is a long way of saying don't play Goldilocks with your materials. Oh it's too smooth, oh it's too rough, oh when ever will I find the just right materials for me.
    You can play that game when you go to the art supply store and are actually in the active process of picking things out; but outside of the store, don't let that be an excuse for not drawing. That's a losing proposition.



    But also yeah go buy a pencil sharpener.
    (But in the meantime use a pen if your pencil isn't sharp enough.)

    SpaceMooseMuddyParasoltapeslingermelting_doll
  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Thanks for the posts ninjai and AoB. I've read 'em and re-read 'em. Will post some replies and sketches when I have more time. For now, here's the latest comic to go up. Disclaimer: I drew it and set it up for auto-post before even making this thread. So none of the advice given here has been applied in any sort of way.

    007-Eat-Fresshh.jpg

    With that said, I felt more comfortable drawing this one. Looking back on it I like how 4-out-of-5 of the hands turned out (still a lot to learn!) but the conference table is clearly sitting too high.

    Pifman on
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  • EncEnc FloridaRegistered User regular
    ...what is this even trying to say.

    Aside from being vaguely racist, is there a message/joke/point here?

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  • EncEnc FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Alright, having read the blog entry and watched the video I sort of get the angle you are going for here. Problem is, your comic audience will not likely read your textblock or parse the video as they click through your archives. Instead this makes you look racist as the artist creating the intent, rather than being a commentary on the wonky add campaign. You really need to think about your comics as being stand alone in their own context. Yes, once established and holding a considerable audience you will be able to cross reference news posts with comics, but at first people will only look at your strip.

    And if this was the strip I saw while scrolling through your archives I likely wouldn't read another.

    In the context of the ad-campaign, I really think you are inserting more specific racism into your comic than was implied by the video as well. White rappers are full of wonky symbolism depending on how they are used, but rap culture is not specifically one ethnicity anymore. Your comic is suggesting something else entirely which, honestly, I'm finding a bit worse than the video.

    Enc on
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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    It seems like I've committed the similar mistake to Damon Lindelof and the finale of LOST. Whether or not the ending made sense and wasn't what most people thought, it's his fault for presenting it in a way that made it so easy for people to misunderstand. So really it's my fault for making some long-winded post that only ended up taking away from the comic.

    First of all, thanks for checking out the site. You probably aren't going to believe me, but the comic and the post have nothing to do with each other. They are not supposed to go hand-in-hand. The post does not explain the comic and the comic does not explain the episode of The Pitch. No joke, I actually wrote the comic around the term "M'Skeet Skeet" (something that just rolled off the tongue grabbing chips at my local Subway). It wasn't until the comic was written, drawn up and nearly posted when I thought about how it would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall for such marketing meetings, especially in one that's so out of touch. Then I thought, "It's like that show The Pitch that I watched last year! In fact, they literally did an episode about Subway and it featured some guy rapping." It only made sense that I'd post about it because of the similarities. But obviously in doing so, I gave the impression that you had to read my post in order to get the comic.

    The comic was meant to stand alone in the first place.

    I agree with you about that. I use to submit designs for Threadless and one thing that bugged me was just how many designs relied on knowing the design "name" in order to get the visual pun. I wanted to shake these people, "Nobody will see a design name when somebody is wearing it!" As for pigeon-holing rap culture or white rappers, again, that wasn't my intention. The rapper in that video wasn't in my mind at all when writing the comic.

    As for what this comic is about! And it coming off as vaguely racist... Well, that's the whole idea. Just because I make a comic about some old white men in a boardroom meeting being vaguely racist, doesn't mean that I too am sort of racist - just for writing it. If I wrote about somebody murdering another person in all sorts of sick and twisted ways, does that mean I condone murder? The joke is just to show how out of touch and racist some people can be (trust me, I live in the middle of nowhere, I see it a lot).

    But you know what? I've removed the post (kept the comic). Because I'm actually very very proud of the writing in this one (a reference to Yo! Mtv Raps!? C'mon!) but I'm not very proud of the long-winded post that resided below it, nor do most people care to read such boring drivel from some unknown webcomic. It's better without it! Thanks for the feedback.

    Pifman on
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  • MangoesMangoes Registered User regular
    The problem is, you're delivering a message with this comic, like it or not. And since there is no real subtext of "look how dumb these guys are", it comes off as being a reflection of your opinions rather than a poke at old racist white guys in a boardroom. It doesn't help that the subjects of the comic laugh at their own joke at the end, either. I ended up mad at the idea that these sorts of bigoted, insensitive people exist instead of tickled at the punchline (which, honestly, I didn't understand).

    Basically, I was mildly offended and a bit angry after reading it. And that's not really what I look for in a webcomic.

    But; this section isn't about the writing anyway. It's about the art, and you mentioned that you made this before you even started the thread, which leads me to the question: what are you trying to accomplish by sharing this outdated artwork? It's already posted, so you're not going to go back and change things. Do you want us to critique work that perhaps isn't a reflection of your current ability? That sounds like a waste of everyone's time.

    Enc
  • EncEnc FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Pifman wrote: »
    I actually wrote the comic around the term "M'Skeet Skeet" (something that just rolled off the tongue grabbing chips at my local Subway).

    The comic was meant to stand alone in the first place.

    As for what this comic is about! And it coming off as vaguely racist... Well, that's the whole idea. Just because I make a comic about some old white men in a boardroom meeting being vaguely racist, doesn't mean that I too am sort of racist - just for writing it. If I wrote about somebody murdering another person in all sorts of sick and twisted ways, does that mean I condone murder? The joke is just to show how out of touch and racist some people can be (trust me, I live in the middle of nowhere, I see it a lot).

    I've cut down your post into the relevant, non-exposition bits. I did read the rest.

    You've effectively lumped together a bunch terms that are unrelated to each aside from being associated in your mind as "black/Urban." Here is what we see: "Urban" as a watchword for "Black", a famous producer director (who is black), a type of jeans (created by a rap starlet), and two stereotypes of ethnic dialogue (one a "nonsense word you came up with"... that just so happens to be an actual term in hip-hop culture for ejaculation, one a reference to a hip-hop show from the 90s) with white people laughing at them. The joke conveyed by the comic is not the ridiculousness or social ills of the board members, but laughter at exploitation of these groups; specifically as "skeet-skeet" being a silly word and these terms being thrown in to Subway marketing being enough to increase sales on these populations.

    Removing the post honestly makes this worse. With the post you had some sort of context, without it you just have stand-alone offensiveness.Context is important, and right now there isn't context to support laughing at the board members, rather than the minority groups they (and you tangentially) are poking fun at in the comic. This sort of discussion is one you need to be very, very careful with as a new artist to ensure you build a catalog that people will come and see, and share with their friends. Unless you are trying for the LICD audience, this sort of subject might be one to steer away from during your early career.

    Enc on
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  • I think an additional problem here is that so far- setting aside the problem of racism specifically for a moment- you've got no established baseline in your comic of what constitutes 'normal' in your world, owing to having no consistent, recurring characters.

    Penny-Arcade trade heavily on the 'let's exaggerate something by using ridiculous strawman characters' as part of it's humor- but part of why that works for them is they have Gabe and Tycho's characters which- while possessing some absurd, goofy traits themselves- generally reflect the feelings and worldview of the strip's audience. Having established identifiable baseline characters that can function as a straight man in a joke gives a contrast to the absurd strawman characters, and makes the joke effective. Having nothing but strawman characters weakens the joke, because the audience doesn't know if they are supposed to be absurd, or if this is supposed to constitute 'normal' behavior in the world you've established.

    Think of The Matrix for a sec- everyone runs around in these ridiculous all black leather and trenchcoat outfits that if you saw someone wearing them on the street, you'd be like, 'what the hell is with these guys?' But you as an audience member rolls with it, because there's nobody there contrasting those outfits vs. a more real-life normal outfit. You accept that as normal. If there was just one character that walked in to the Matrix world with a jeans and t-shirt and said, "Man, what the hell are you guys dressed up as? The S&M Gestapo?", instead of accepting those outfits as normal, you'd start to think that the main characters in the movie are actually kind of a bunch of fuckin' weirdos.

    Similarly, if you've got a strip where every single person in it is a racist motherfucker, there's little to establish that this is not the norm in the world you've established-and that ends up reflecting back upon yourself as the author, rather than being limited to those specific characters.

    If you had framed this comic with a panel with your lovable established main character looking at- whatever inspired this, I don't actually know what this strip is trying to make fun of- and said something like, "<whatever this strip is referring to>? Who comes up with this shit?" (well, maybe get some better dialogue than that, but you get the point) and then shifted to this board room setting where it shows you exaggerating upon the basic premise, I don't think you'd get quite as many complaints. (Though I'd caution that you're still playing with fire when you introduce a heavy subject like racism into a strip.)

    Moorkus
  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback Enc & Mangoes. Since reading your feedback, I've asked others (many in the creative field like advertising, freelance web & graphic design, marketing, etc.) to read the comic and give me honest feedback. They all got it and/or found it funny and none found it offensive. Maybe it depends on the crowd? So I'm ready to say, "Eh, it is what it is" and keep on truckin' towards better comics!

    I think Bacon actually touched upon the more important question here, and that's the... style/approach my comic will take. Is it a continuous storyline like PvP with a set of characters? Is it one-off, joke-a-day gags with random, generic characters like Chainsawsuit or Three Word Phrase? Or is it a set of known characters delivering mostly random, non-linear jokes like Penny Arcade or Whomp! (Note: I dont' mean to pigeon-hole these comics mentioned, I think you know what I mean).

    I've actually thought a LOT on this topic and I can seriously say that I don't know the answer yet. I do know that I don't want it to be a continuous, linear storyline. I'm not good at long-form writing and I don't want to go in that direction. I'm clearly going in the direction of random jokes, but can I pull that off with characters that are both not recurring and not super generic like Chainsawsuit? Some (great) comics do this, like Bizarro and many of the PBFs. I don't know. I struggle with this question. Maybe I need a few recurring characters to help ground my jokes? To help establish a norm?

    I know many of the webcomics debuted here in the AC already have this question answered. Personally, I'm very open to the idea of growing and changing as I go on. I don't need a homerun right out the gate and if I end up adding "characters" or changing my art style as time goes on, great. I'm expecting that to happen.

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  • MangoesMangoes Registered User regular
    Since reading your feedback, I've asked others (many in the creative field like advertising, freelance web & graphic design, marketing, etc.) to read the comic and give me honest feedback. They all got it and/or found it funny and none found it offensive. Maybe it depends on the crowd? So I'm ready to say, "Eh, it is what it is" and keep on truckin' towards better comics!
    Maybe I'm misreading this, but that quote really reads to me as: "My friends/I liked it, and I don't care what you think, so I'm not going to change anything!".

    I haven't really seen any application of the advice given in this thread so far. You seem to filter out what you disagree with, and that's definitely the wrong approach to absorbing feedback. If you don't trust the people trying to help you, you won't get anywhere fast.

    It would certainly help your case to post those sketches we've been waiting for. Or anything outside of comic work. Or even fresh comics, at the very least.

    TychoCelchuuuEnc
  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Mangoes: I had a reply written and I THOUGHT I had posted it (just about 20 minutes ago), but apparently it was only in Preview mode. So on the topic of "I'm going to find people on the internet that agree with me!" that's not what I meant. I meant that there was an even larger group who thought the opposite of the couple people who posted their (warranted) thoughts here. I'm not saying that I'm taking one side or the other, I'm just moving forward. No big deal. Like you said, the comic is up and I'm not going to change it anyways. I only posted it for context and more examples of where my art needs work. Here's what I meant to post this morning:

    Here's some sketching I did in my smoov and waxy Moleskin with my dull pencil lol. Will keep doing a lot more of this. I think I need to focus on one character and animate him in all sorts of different ways, instead of hopping to different characters.

    sketches-1.jpg

    And here's some BROODHOLLOW fanart I did. Not sure if I'm done with this, but I figured I'd post it here in the meantime.

    Broodhollow%20Fanart.jpg

    Pifman on
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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    As for new comics that I've actually (tried!) to apply some of the knowledge I've gained here so far (aside from the stuff I just posted above), here's one. It only has one frame that really applies, but I already feel like it's helped my workflow:

    Religion-sketch1.jpg

    I've been reading the "Mr. Doodle" that was linked to in another thread and am trying to get a better feel for the underlying shapes for bodies and heads.

    Religion-sketch2.jpg

    Further refining, and then inking:

    Religion-sketch3.jpg

    008-Religion.jpg

    The final colored version.

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  • MuddyParasolMuddyParasol Registered User regular
    Pifman wrote: »
    Since reading your feedback, I've asked others (many in the creative field like advertising, freelance web & graphic design, marketing, etc.) to read the comic and give me honest feedback. They all got it and/or found it funny and none found it offensive. Maybe it depends on the crowd?

    One word of warning when it comes to feedback from people you know, and this applies to both best friends and "just acquaintances". It's very difficult for people you know in real life to give truly honest feedback, even if they tried their best, they can't help but be biased. They are great for encuragement and whatever you do, don't stop showing them your work, encuragement is important, but always take any feedback they give you with a grain of salt.

    The strength of this forum is that we don't know you. We aren't biased, we aren't your best friend, we aren't your coworkers, we don't know anything about you but your art. This gives us the ability to be more honest than anyone else can.

    Our feedback won't always be spot on of course (still keep that grain of salt handy), but it will be honest.
    Pifman wrote: »
    keep on truckin' towards better comics!

    That's the spirit, keep on working. There's potential here. Hard work will pay off.

  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    Yeah, seriously man. I disagree vehemently with every piece of feedback I get on here. Every time. But I do what they say and every single time it turns out they're right and I'm an idiot.

    Draw an egg.
  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Halen wrote: »
    Yeah, seriously man. I disagree vehemently with every piece of feedback I get on here. Every time. But I do what they say and every single time it turns out they're right and I'm an idiot.


    @pifman I may just be arguing semantics, though I don't think anything that bacon said has to do with style, but rather with tone. I think the best way to explain this is to have you watch this I have the url copied for the specific time you're supposed to watch. This is the most consise explanation of tone that I can think of.

    You only have to watch like a minute and a half, but don't keep reading til you watched, otherwise what I'm saying probably won't make sense.

    Tone in comics works very much the same way, it lets the audience know what to expect. It's how something like cyanide and happiness can be funny even though it's often dark and demented. Like bacon said, there's nothing about the tone in your subway comic that says "haha look at these fools" because there's nothing to let us know that their behavior isn't normal. Instead the tone says "I'm making a socio-political statement about my views".

    There is a way to tell the joke that you're trying to tell, you just have to go about it a little differently. Here's a practical excercise that I learned in theater. The teacher was trying to explain to someone how tone of voice changes the audience interpretation of a line (much the same way with tone in comics) Say the following sentence OUT LOUD, each time changing the word that you put emphasis on. "I never said she stole my money." The sentence's meaning changes each time, so it's important to know what the emphasis is, otherwise people will get the wrong impression.

    All that to say, I don't feel that the tone has anything directly to do with the style of your comic. You can have any style, with any kind of plot, just figure out the tone.

    ninjai on
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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    Thanks for that ninjai. Maybe my use of the word "style" was the wrong word to use. I think I meant, "approach." But still, that doesn't touch on the important topic of tone. I actually love the RedLetter Media videos, but haven't seen that one for Episode III which you posted, not that I would've thought to apply it to my comics anyways! It really is something I'm going to have to figure out. I'm having a hard time figuring if I need to address it on a large scale and just apply a similar tone across ALL of my comics, or if I am able to keep individual comics with a lot of variety and solidify the tone in each one. Both sound hard (but important) ha.

    Anyways, in an effort to post more recent work which has been made since creating this thread (like the last Religion comic posted above), here's another new one that won't go up for another week or so:

    Jazz-sketch1.jpg
    Jazz-sketch2.jpg
    Jazz-sketch3.jpg
    009-Jazz.jpg

    I'd like to focus more on my art progress in this thread, but I feel like I keep coming up to the same problems. It's hard for me to tell because I'm so close to the work (both the writing and the art), but I feel like this comic, although I'm very proud of it, would be funny if it were a known character in a continuous storyline. But standing completely alone, it just feels like it's not a universal joke or gag. I feel like I definitely do have some that can safely stand alone, but ones like this I don't know what to do with?

    Thankfully I look at things like this: You HAVE to suck before you're great at something. Guitar, singing, drawing, writing, joke delivery, etc... So if I suck right now, I can at least be happy that I'm in the learning phase and things should only get better with time!

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  • JohnTWMJohnTWM Registered User regular
    I feel like we keep coming around to the writing more than the art in this thread, which makes me wonder whether or not this would be more suited for the writers block, but either way i'll try to address both.

    I think you are right, this joke was actually amusing, but it fell short of hilarious, because it's without any context. While it is a creative way of excusing poor schoolwork, this joke is something that we have seen before. On it's basic level, it's creative-but-poor-performing student attempts to smooth talk teacher and fails. But if this was a recurring character, while the joke would still not be hilarious (unless perhaps it simultaneously referenced other funny strips from the past) it would serve to inform us about the character. As it is though it's just an amusing strip.

    For the art, I honestly don't know how to critique you. In its current form, it's solid. Good use of gesture/expression, decent color. The staging (i know there is a better term but it escapes me) could be a little more varied/dramatic, and the lighting could be a bit more complex, but unless you want to commit to posting a lot more non-strip related material I don't know how much we can advise you on those things, they should naturally develope as you do the strip, as long as you are conscious of them as something to work toward (which you should be since we have already mentioned it).

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    JohnTWM wrote: »
    I feel like we keep coming around to the writing more than the art in this thread, which makes me wonder whether or not this would be more suited for the writers block...


    Well there is a wealth of knowledge to be had in both places. A lot of people here know a lot about what makes a good comic.

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  • EncEnc FloridaRegistered User regular
    You may also want to make the connection between "one person found it offensive" and "I am in a marketing based occupation where I have to appeal to the largest audience in a ridiculously concentrated time frame to hope to make a little money back 3-10 years down the line of consistent performance." If you are driving off an entire ethnicity and those sympathetic towards it (which, unless you live in Dixie, is a very large population here) you are likely hurting your business model. Again, there are ways to go around that (or exploit being terrible as your selling strategy as with LICD), but you do need to think of your audience before your draw and write.

    Who are you targeting with this comic? Gaming Culture (Penny-Arcade, PP)? Assholes and racists (LCID)? Folks who like slice of life (Johnny Wander)? History/Fiction nerds (Kate Beaton)? Folks who are deaf? Feminists? Indy Music Lovers? Guys who like it when Ninjas and Dunebuggies are in something together? Folklore buffs? Sci-Fi fanatics? HP Lovecraftian mythos fans? Etc. etc.

    For all of these I can think of two or three comics specifically targeting an audience. Audience is key to making a meaningful webcomic because you need to know who you are writing for and why. You can very easily ignore this, be an excellent artists someday, and still be unheard of with your comic if you don't know who you are writing for and, more importantly, how to sell it to them.

    TLDR: Work on your audience focus as much as your art and your writing.

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    Thanks for the words fellas. I'm going to read and reread them a few times before fully absorbing them, then think through the problem and see if I can't come up with a solution.

    In the meantime, I've fixed the BROODHOLLOW fan art (link was broken) about 10 posts up. Was hoping to get a thumbs up/down on the lighting/shading, which isn't going to happen with a broken link! I'm toying with the idea of adding shading to my comics, but right now it doesn't make sense to me. I don't necessarily want the "best" look, I want the funniest look. I already think my art generally looks too clean and safe, so polishing it even more might be going in the wrong direction? Plus I don't have a ton of time (see OP) to make these. Plus I feel like my comics aren't good enough yet to warrant proper shading (I'm not saying polished/shaded comics can't be funny! I'm just trying to get my priorities straight). So for now, I've decided on flat colors.

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    Update time. Heeding Angel of Bacon's advice, I went out and got a Canson sketchbook. I looked at several, but they really are nice. Bigger pages, more pages, more tooth, tear-out-perfs, spiral bound. Awesome, thanks for that AoB.

    canson-sketchbook.jpg

    I've been getting my feet wet and trying to push myself to draw more and more. I'm still not hitting it EVERY day, but obviously that's the goal. Very close to buying that Disney Drawn to Life book on Amazon, so I'm sure that'll help give me exercises or goals. Right now, it's just random shit:

    sketches-3.jpg
    sketches-4.jpg
    sketches-5.jpg
    sketches-6.jpg


    As for new comics, I FEEL like I'm going in the right direction. I don't think my style is unique enough yet, but at least I can tell why my first few are worse. Anyways here are some process shots from my newest three:

    Twitter-101-sketch1.jpg
    Twitter-101-sketch2.jpg
    Twitter-101-sketch3.jpg
    Twitter-101-sketch4.jpg
    010-Twitter-101.jpg

    Slow-Dogs-sketch1.jpg
    Slow-Dogs-sketch2.jpg
    Slow-Dogs-sketch3.jpg
    Slow-Dogs-sketch4.jpg
    011-Slow-Dogs.jpg

    No-Woman-sketch1.jpg
    No-Woman-sketch2.jpg
    No-Woman-sketch3.jpg
    No-Woman-sketch4.jpg
    012-No-Woman.jpg

    I could talk a bit about the delivery and coloring in these, but maybe it's best to just put them up on their own for now.

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  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    I honestly don't understand any of those comics.

    Draw an egg.
  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    Haha! Wow.

    Maybe I'll just stick to video game humor like everyone else :?

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Comedy is hard, You don't have to give up, but maybe you should try a different type of story telling. I would read and seek out advice on writing and stand-up, because right now that area is falling way short.

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    Enc
  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    I think my biggest takeaway from this thread is that if I need to focus on anything - art/coloring or writing/delivery/tone - it's the writing/delivery/tone. Considering this is the Artist's Corner and almost this entire thread is about the tone/delivery/writing/etc.. I get the vibe that my art is at least good enough to deliver the jokes I'm attempting (BUT CAN, AND SHOULD, IMPROVE).

    I love this forum, but I feel like a magician trying to fool other magicians, not a regular audience. There's a pretty big difference (and I should know, I grew up as a magician! LOL). You guys know so many webcomics inside and out. I feel like I'd have to bring something crazy unique in order to show you some angle of comedy that isn't already being done right now. Sorry, now I'm just thinking out loud. I think my biggest problem is that I wanted to start my webcomic, in fear of never starting, and then find my voice and angle as I went. So I guess I always knew it wouldn't be perfect right out the gate. It's just a little tough to hear somebody not even understanding several of your comics.

    I won't give up. I knew this thread would be hard, but I just didn't realize it'd be hard in this way. Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm soaking it all in.

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  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    As for jokes, try to edit each one down to its core.

    What is the set up, what is the punchline, what is the tag (if you decide to add one).

    Ask yourself "How is this going to come across to the average reader in my audience, what needs to be there so they get it?" (the "my audience" part is key. You don't want to talk down to them, but you also what them to feel like they're in the know.)

    Then work on the joke. Sometimes something as simple as changing "The Fridge" to "A Fridge" can make a comic more funny.

    See this Antics comic

    2009-08-12.jpg

    Now, I have a bigger question for you. How attached to the name of your comic are you?

    Because it sounds a hell of a lot like another webcomic "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal" which is, to my knowledge, one of the more popular webcomics around. You probably want to be as unique as you possibly can, and if someone sees your comic and then goes "I really liked that comic, what was the name of it? 'Something Sometime Cereal?'" they probably aren't going to find you again.

    edit: and a simple way to fix The Skeet-Skeet comic. Have the guy listening to the pitch look horrified in the last panel. That shows you realize the comic is offensive and the joke is that the guy pitching the food idea is a racist, not that you are racist and think those things are inherently funny because "lol black people"

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    Then work on the joke. Sometimes something as simple as changing "The Fridge" to "A Fridge" can make a comic more funny.
    I think this is very well put and something I need to keep in mind when I think I'm finished with a joke. Can it be tweaked to read funnier?
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    Now, I have a bigger question for you. How attached to the name of your comic are you?

    Because it sounds a hell of a lot like another webcomic "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal" which is, to my knowledge, one of the more popular webcomics around. You probably want to be as unique as you possibly can, and if someone sees your comic and then goes "I really liked that comic, what was the name of it? 'Something Sometime Cereal?'" they probably aren't going to find you again.
    Yeah this kills me. I'm somewhat knowledgable on popular webcomics and have been to SMBC a couple times before, long ago - it never really hit home with me so I never bookmarked it or anything. Then after working on a name of my own for a very long time (it's the exact name I wanted for various reasons), I somehow came across SMBC again and thought, "Ah fuck no." One has morning, one has night, both have cereal. I really don't know what to do about this. Other than both being webcomics, they seem to be very different (both the comic writing/art and the site style aside from the Blue backgrounds).

    I know it's probably easy to think I should change it, but boy, what a hellish process it is to get it all setup and going - essentially start over (domain, logo, twitter handle, G+ page, etc.). I think I'll take this question more seriously if my site ever gains traction.

    Pifman on
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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    I feel like the balance I'm currently struggling with is over-explanation and "I don't get it" humor. Right now I'm trying to see what I can get away without being too abstract.

    Please read the following comic...

    013%20Fly-1.jpg

    Did you get it? Were any of the panels confusing as to what was going on? Now here's one that helps "sell" the idea a little more...

    Spoiler:

    And as much as I like how the "CRAASSHHH" looks, I've very comfortable with leaving it out, if I can get away with it. Your thoughts? Lastly, has this type of joke been done to death? I know of the old "fly bugging the orchestra conductor and wackiness ensues" but hopefully this is a fresh enough take?

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    To be totally honest with you, I would be less attached to the project. I don't mean that to be discouraging, but I feel like you have a lot of factors that say to me that you are putting all your eggs in one basket, and that basket is pretty small and similar to an already way more popular basket.

    The problem with assuming you can fix things when your site gains more traction is that its a bit of a catch 22. You'll gain more readers if you are doing something interesting and original, but you'll never going to do that if you are waiting for more readers before you take that issue seriously. Don't wait, the time to make massive changes and overhauls is now.

    You cant be afraid of changing what isnt working, you will be stuck on multiple levels if you do. Dropping this comic may be out of the scope of your interest, but you will have to push comic making a ton to get past where you are. While writing is a huge factor, I wouldn't think it as a totally separate entity from your art. Push both, break out of the gag strip format so that you aren't just practicing the same tired methods, and find something unique to bring to the table.

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  • earthwormadamearthwormadam Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Def don't need the CRASH there at all. Though I still don't believe you need 6 panels to tell that joke.

    I think one of your bigger probs right now is stagnant overused frames. Redbox comic for example, may have benifited from 3'rd angle, just showing what movies are offered on the screen. This would help remove the monotonous nature of having 2 identical angles for 2 and 3, plus you wouldn't need the word bubbles.

    Bob Marley strip same thing. Panel 1, some guy digging a grave but can't tell who. Panel 2, Oh, it's Bob Marley. Panel 3, It's Bob Marley telling a joke. Storyboarding is the most important phase, and some more time spent here could have led to a more diverse set of angles to sell the joke. If you just used panel two and had him say "no woman, no cry" You have accomplished everything your 3 panel comic did, in one panel. So if you want a proper buildup to that panel, I would try something along these lines to be more effective

    Panel 1: Cemetary from wide angle with gate ajar
    Panel 2: Creepy man shoveling grave in shadow singing "nooo woman"
    Panel 3: Close up reveal of Marley's face finishing the lyric

    You're art is good, and so is your coloring. I feel like you need to mix up your initial planning phases, and only move ahead when you feel like you have a solid joke, with panels that lead up to it using varying angles that build up to something in the last panel.

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Thanks, earthwormadam. I ran the version without the "CRASH" and I think it's better for it. Now that it's done and been out there for awhile, I realize the overall joke isn't as "edgy" as I would have liked it to be. Yeah it implies a plane crashed, but it just doesn't give the darker vibe I'm going for. Oh well.

    As for your Redbox comments, basically you mean how Penny Arcade will sometimes deliver jokes via showing over Gabe's shoulder and allowing the viewer to read the posts on a message board, for example. Yeah? Instead of simply listing the movie titles like I did, sort of reward the viewer by letting them read the movie titles on the screen themselves. I think I could benefit and learn how to have better panel variety if I pay better attention to The Trenches now that Mary Cagle is drawing it (that is, a traditional webcomic drawn by somebody who can't help but draw each frame in a unique and dynamic way).

    Plus, I've printed out Wally Wood's 22 Panels that Always Work!! and put it right on my desk where I work. Which I found via another AC thread. I personally think it applies better to longform, or traditional comics, but it couldn't hurt to learn from it and apply it in a way that works.

    I hate explaining jokes, but I think I might need to explain at least what I was going for in my Bob Marley comic. Some people got it right away and found it funny. Others didn't have a clue (including Halen up above), which means I didn't do a good enough job of delivering it. What it was supposed to show is that Bob Marley was so sick of his woman crying all the time (the song repeats the lyric "No woman no cry") that he just murdered her to shut her up. I could have shown female feet of a body lying down, but I figured the dug grave is enough to imply that he's burying a dead body. Then his face in the third panel was supposed to "sell" the idea that his actions were devious, and that he was saying those words to himself, not singing them.

    But! I still think your suggestions could've improved the comic. The first shot could have been more of an establishing shot (and still not reveal who it is digging the grave yet, which I think is important) and he could have said the "No woman" line in the 2nd panel. But I don't think a graveyard would make sense if he's trying to hide a body. And now I realize that maybe you thought he was digging UP a body? Again, I should have done a better job of delivering this one. Sorry for the lengthy reply. Thanks for the feedback.

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    The biggest issue I'm trying to address right now is trying my damnedest to understand the various styles of webcomics, and apply the proper one to my comic. Here's what my brain is capable of categorizing (with examples):

    I'm sure there are more, but those are the obvious approaches that I know of. After much thought (thanks mostly to THIS thread), I've decided to go with (or stick to?) the Gag-a-day style. Well, is it still considered gag-a-day when I'm only doing one or two a week? Is that even the right name for what I'm trying to do? Feel free to educate/correct me on this.

    When I first started writing my comics (I have tons of half-baked ideas in my Google Drive), I really didn't have a firm grasp of these different styles, and therefor ended up writing many that fit more of a PA-style. Which meant a lot of my comics had lines in the first panel is if the characters were picking up on a conversation from a different comic. Clearly, this isn't going to work if I intend for every individual comic to stand alone and not rely on character knowledge. I do realize that I'll still be able to deliver many of the same jokes, but I'll have to re-jigger the lines to make some work.

    With all of that fresh on my mind, here's what I came up with for this week:

    014-Fellas_V2.jpg

    You'll be happy to know that I actually finished this one up, only to go back and edit the delivery in order to sell the joke in a much better way. The original actually had the seahorses a bit bigger in the 1st panel, and in the 2nd panel he was saying, "Ignore them. They'll get what's coming to them." Which I think is a little too obvious and gives away the "twist" ending too much. Yeah it didn't explicitly say that they themselves are going to kill them, but at least the new "karma" wording IMPLIES that they're going to ignore them (and it isn't until you read the 3rd panel that you realize what he was ACTUALLY implying in the 2nd panel). Also, I made them smaller in the first panel to make them look even more weak and innocent.

    I've actually gone back and sorted my finished comics into two categories. Ones I THINK I've successfully delivered as individual standalone comics and the rest that come off as if I'm building up characters or something (I'll post all regardless of if they were funny or not).

    Successful as Standalone Comics:
    Spoiler:

    Standalone failures (read as character-driven comics):
    Spoiler:

    If I really am going to continue striving towards achieving this style of comic (instead of introducing characters), am I at least on the right track in understanding the difference between the two approaches? P.S. Sorry you all have to see these comics over and over. If anything, it helps to get all of this out of my head and laid out.

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