A comic- with animation!

thornbirdthornbird Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Artist's Corner
Hi, I made a webcomic. I know, how droll. So I spiced it up with some ANIMATION! One problem, I've only animated a few times before, so I'm still very much learning how. As such, I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Thanks!
This is the first two pages as a comic:
And here is those same two pages as an animation! (I put it in spoilers so hopefully it doesn't start before you click

For the third page, I only put animations in two panels. The original looks like this:
Where the final two panels are animated as:

One thing I'm really curious about is if I gave the reader enough time to read the text in the first animation. If people are having trouble reading it, I could make it longer. Another important question, does the animation make it better? I think it helps in the third case, because I'm showing a movement, but for the first two pages, is it better just as a normal comic? Thanks!

thornbird on


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    Spectre-xSpectre-x Rating: AWESOME YESRegistered User regular
    Is that Batman? If so, it's not a very good Batman. Not because the art's bad, it's actually pretty decent, but because he's lacking a lot of elements of Batman's design.

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    thornbirdthornbird Registered User regular
    Not batman, it's an original character that's kind of a parody of him, that's why they look similar. I made him simpler so he would be easier to draw/animate.

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    Spectre-xSpectre-x Rating: AWESOME YESRegistered User regular
    They look identical except for the utility belt and logo. I mean, go ahead with that if you want to, but I'm sure you could come up with a more oroginal parody design as opposed to just Batman minus the logo and belt. That's not even really parody, it's just confusing, and I don't think you want to distract your readers.

    As for the animation, it's pretty decent. But again, it's important to not distract your readers. Putting in a whole bunch of animation might do that. Your first two pages, I think, don't really need animation. Your art is pretty decent at conveying motion and impact and whatnot on its own, and those two pages could easily be compressed into one page with two panels. That would flow better, too. The punch animation in the last page, ehhhh, I think you could do without that. The way it's looped is kind of distracting and the speed makes it difficult to really tell what's going on. I mean obviously the thing's getting punched, but a lot of detail is lost because it goes by a bit too fast. The last panel with him shaking his hand is fine, though.

    Since all of this stuff is going to be looped, it makes the most sense to use animation for actions that actually get repeated a bunch. If you still want to use the others, you should maybe look into adding play buttons, so the reader can look at your animations according to their own pace.

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    Faded_SneakersFaded_Sneakers City of AngelsRegistered User regular
    Just a thought for you. There is a huge and yet significant difference between a parody and copyright infringement. One part lies in the extensiveness of the use of the image in question and part of it lies in the image itself as to whether it is recognizable, confusing or can in any way reflect upon the original product. This is a HUGE HUGE simplification here.

    My point is that Marvel sued Liefeld over the Fighting American which they said was too much like Captain America. And Marvel won.

    Your Batman-not-batman character is not "Unique" as you alledge because it is obviously Batman-not-batman. For a parody such as something like Mad Magazine used to do (old reference I know) they could get away with it because it was for a specific short duration of a single story. In your case if this is a long term project that may end up being something you try to market you are going to run into some issues if DC takes notice of you.

    As a reader and audience member it is also not interesting and frankly kind of a turn off to see someone not put in the time and effort to design something that us actually their own creation.

    Just a couple thoughts.

    Instagram: fadedsneakers
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    thornbirdthornbird Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback. It seems that the character design is really dragging down the rest of the comic. I hadn't considered the more esoteric problems of the comic which is why I posted it here, to learn about things like that. I'll definitely change the character design.
    Also, I think parody may have been the wrong word. Characterwise the not batman is nothing like batman. The comparison to batman is that he has no real superpowers. Batman overcomes this hurdle pretty easily, whereas this character is always working twice as hard for an outcome half as good as other more gifted superheroes.
    @Spec Yeah I agree about the first two pages, I had thought that maybe I should start with an animation to let readers know to expect animation mixed in, but when I was done with it, I kinda liked it better just as a comic, just needed reassurance. I'll try it out as a two panel page after I iron out the character design issues.
    @Faded I am more of a hobbyist so I had not considered the issues you put forth both legally and aesthetically, but now that you have brought them to my attention I will work on fixing them.

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    JohnGamesJohnGames Registered User regular
    I enjoy comics that use a spark of animation from time to time. However, once it's added I just want more! Perhaps on comics with animation add in the details such as the monitor and blinking lights of the surrounding, it always makes me feel like it's a real world.

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    Spectre-xSpectre-x Rating: AWESOME YESRegistered User regular
    Might I recommend you check out Zac Gorman's stuff at magicalgametime.com/ and zacgorman.com/

    Those are pretty good examples of how you can use animation to enhance your comics without it becomign distracting or excessive and awkward.

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    NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    I know i'm 31 and shouldn't think like i'm 15, but that last animation....all i see is masturbation. Pure unadulterated batman crank yanking.

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    thornbirdthornbird Registered User regular
    haha, I had not noticed that before.

    I did a couple different looks last night. I think they are visually different than batman.
    For comparison, this is a picture of Batman that sums him up pretty well:

    For the head:
    I think a ski mask look is generic enough that it can't really be claimed as exclusively one character, is visually different than batman and suits the characters back story. Any thoughts?

    For the body:
    A few different color schemes, I don't have a strong opinion on which is best, I'll probably stick with the same color scheme unless there are objections. I kept the same glove and boots, I figure that that's a pretty standard layout for superheroes, also he doesn't have the underwear on the outside, utility belt (although I may put a fanny pack on him) or spurs on his arms. Any objections?

    @Spectre-x Yeah, I've seen his work before, it's pretty good. I can definitely add more stuff like that, it's probably the lowest hanging fruit of animation. Part of the reason I added animation was because I thought it looked cool, but the other reason was that I thought it would be a fun challenge. So I'd like to keep doing some key animation in it. Right now I'm only using gifs that I make in photoshop, so starting on command is kinda tricky. There is a chance I could use css to displace an image so the animation only happens on mouseover but I've never seen how it works with animated gifs and best case scenario, the gif is always going so you will probably pop into the middle of an animation when you activate it...

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    thornbirdthornbird Registered User regular
    Here is the new character design with a couple more pages:

    I put a couple simple background animations in:

    I also tried putting the first two pages together, but I think it's too crowded:

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    thornbirdthornbird Registered User regular
    Here are some more pages and animations:
    The second panel animated:
    Animated version of page:

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    squaresquare Cockbutt TurinRegistered User regular
    Everything looks fine for me, but those lens flares are so damn 2000.

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    SaintElmosWireSaintElmosWire Registered User regular
    That panel where he's jumping away from the explosion is great. Really feel the motion. More of that!

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    The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    my only problem is in a single panel

    1. No one says "meh"
    2. No one makes a noise like that with a clenched fist

    it's a small problem yes, but hand gestures are a thing you gotta keep an eye on

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    GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    I liked that comment about hitting back at the door when you accidentally smack into it, it's so true haha

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    thornbirdthornbird Registered User regular
    @TheLovelyBastard I was trying to draw him examining his nails, a gesture that looks remarkably similar to a fist from that angle. Would this panel be an improvement?
    Here are some more pages:

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    LemonsLemons Registered User regular
    I still can't stand the main character...his design is just sooooo close to batman's that he feels like a ripoff.

    If he's an "amateur superhero" then I would think more on that. He wouldn't have a super slick suit with that molded rubber headpiece. And even if he did just go to a really great costume store and buy a batman costume that idea is boring as fuck.

    To me he looks like batman's underachieving cousin, which might be okay if you actually embrace that angle instead of pretending like he's a unique character. He may have a different personality than batman, but in terms of design he's a batman knockoff.

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    thornbirdthornbird Registered User regular
    @Lemons How about a palette swap?
    Also, would it help to know that I don't plan on making this character the center of the comic?

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    The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited March 2012

    the best way to get the effect of looking at his nails with little regard to what's going on would be to turn his face away from the action

    since he has no face, your best bet is to have him either standing off to a corner or with his back to the action, kinda looking over his shoulder at what's going on

    it'd also add some impact to the surprise attack a few panels later. just getting whacked in the back without even caring

    I still don't like the meh, but it has become so standard of a thing I can't say it is necessarily wrong, I just wish you'd find something better for it.

    The Lovely Bastard on
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