New Member and Hopefully soon to be successful Web Comic maker.

Zig-NoffZig-Noff Registered User
edited July 2012 in Artist's Corner
Hello all, Nice to meet everyone here, and hopefully I can get some help as a new starting Web Comic designer. I'm looking for various ways to try and make a successful professional job out of it. I really enjoy what I have been doing with this comic, and I hope other do to. I am trying to hit as many places as I can to get as much attention as I can.

Here is my series known as Hate the Player, the series concept is somewhat original taking on idea's from series known as Quantum Leap and Tron, the basic overall story is a real jerk known as M.C. (play on words for Main Character), A game magazine reviewer who gets sent into the computer world by Beans, a use to be game developer who got fired due to MC, and was forced be a game magazine editor because of it. MC is force to run through the various game world generations as the main hero, as he progresses events take a turn and the whole adventure becomes far more then what was meant to be.

http://hatetheplayer.thewebcomic.com/

Please be kind, and give understanding to the first couple of pages as the art wen through several changes and adjustments, but I believe it's doing good now, please if you would give helpful positive criticism, and I will do everything to take into account your feed back and make this the best series I can that plays on humor from various sources, such as old school games, cartoons and just common sense mixing with 4th wall anime issues. Negative feedback and criticism that is more like trolling is not wanted, or helpful. Please be mature.

One of the things I am working on adding is Ad to help with some income, I would like to know of any various sites that is best to work with, I am considering Google Adsense, but the requirements and rules worry me due to the series having some foul language from time to time. Any other ideas and websites to add will be helpful, I have plans already for the future of the series, plans are already underway for products and such plush dolls and sucd, along with that will be game reviews.

Edit: Also I forgot to mention, the comic has over 20+ comics posted, 50+ drawn, and just about to hit 100 written :), I don't know what out there is considered the point of becoming a serious professional, but I will work hard to make it happen :)

Thanks you in advance for everything, and if you would like any guest comics or mention of series, or even some criticism from me I will do my best to respond and be as helpful and active as I can. :) Also pardon my grammar, I know it stinks :P

Zig-Noff on

Posts

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Hey zig!

    You've got to post some strips in with your post, otherwise this is considered sitewhoring, You might want to look through the rules and such, because trolling is already well against forum policy. You can always look around at other threads and see what kind of responses people get on their work.

    Post some of your most recent strips and Im sure the forumers would love to give you some crits.

  • Zig-NoffZig-Noff Registered User
    edited July 2012
    Hmm, ok, sorry that wasn't my intention, let me see I hate to give something in the middle of the series, since the series has a progressive story, thank you for the information, I still have a lot to learn, and I am trying my best. I figured the best choice would be a link to the site, but if I need to post some pictures let me see what I can come up with. Thanks Again Iruka :)



    Hmm how does one post an image on here exactly? I'm afraid I don't understand the image post button :P?


    Like this?

    e1b39e573b7J0.jpg

    Zig-Noff on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I went through the strips, The humor is not really for me (pretty low brow, not really my deal) but if that's your thing I'm sure there's an audience out there for it. A couple of points on the writing:

    -I realize that this is actually one continuous plot, but since you are writing/displaying each page in a more punchline single strip format, it would benefit you a lot to really trim the dialog down. You are trying to cram ten jokes in every word bubble, dont. you want to pace it out better than that.

    -Your cruel player/narrator dude can be more disembodied after you establish him, if hes barely going to change his expression, we dont need to see him.

    -Okay so the jokes. To some degree they aren't for me, which I already admitted, but they could be better. You have mostly slapstick, which lends itself to alot of visuals and very little talking. I mean, look at looney tunes, The japes are short, the animation is timeless, its all about seeing those motions through, as goofy as they are. Plus their banter feels like two 13 year olds fighting, way too on the nose. "now thats comedy" and "for the win" are not really helping you.


    The art is not actually so bad. You are trying different angles and not really copy-pasting too much which is a good start. If you are using a tablet and photoshop, you should probably try to get a handle on some pressure variation so that you can have some different line widths, and also try to steady your hand so the lines arent so wiggly. Your word bubbles/font choice needs a lot of work as well.

    These may help:
    tumblr_m5emx0CPua1qzm1pso1_1280.jpg
    tumblr_m5emx0CPua1qzm1pso2_1280.jpg




  • Zig-NoffZig-Noff Registered User
    edited July 2012
    Thank you, for your criticism, a few things on those subjects.


    Well the Font is the most highly recommend in terms of Font out there for web comics, I found known as LetterOMatic, as for the word bubbles I will try a bit better, I proceed to make a shape base to draw around, I like to give the bubbles a more hand drawn look to them. Makes them feel a bit more personal and part of the art, I will do my best to follow as many of these anti mistakes as I can, I don't agree with some, and some are just in avoidable at times I have found. The Cross over for example had to be done at times to fit in art, or so space is not wasted, or to even make sure the items are read correctly. I mean I could number them, but I think that would be bad.

    As for the amount of text, I try to get the heavy text out of the way, some is needed for plot a elements, you will see a lot of panels late that have hardly any text in them, but I have noticed some series have been 3 times more text heavy and still been successful, examples, A web comic "Order of the Stick" insanely text heavy, to the point that the end punch line is worthless, because most just grow tired of reading so much, but it has become popular enough to get a 1.5 million donation from kickstarter, Gold Digger comic series that has just needless amounts of text that mostly pointless, and Battle Angle Alita, not nearly as bad, but all of which is important to building the world they exist in, all very popular and successful.

    I don't have to many text heavy episodes, either just where it is important, or helpful to the punchline joke, which I have had to do some without one to move the story along, which appears much later in the series. I also think it's very unfair to try and compare a single frame web comic to fully animated cartoons, of course they can have less words and more animation, they are completely different forms of media. It's unfair to try and compare them in such terms.

    As for the punchline at the end of every page, I noticed form reading dozens of web comics, like 8bit theater, and order of the stick as examples, that that is a constant trend of them, as do numerous others do, both those are rather successful I noticed, I like the idea of always trying to make the person laugh at the end of a comic, maybe it because I grew up loving old Garfield comics and such (Shrugs)

    With Beans, I don't want to remove him, cause then it feels odd not to have him as he is meant to be important there, he will be more heavily involved, and I don't want a disembodied voice hanging around, and he only is in the screen when he speaks, as the series goes on he will be more important, and he will have more expression on the outside, once "The MAN" the major villian is involved he will be seen in his world more often, to disconnect him from the audience I think would hurt :(. Just my thoughts though.

    I don't really notice the the 10 or more jokes in one bubble thing, I'm afraid I don't see what you mean on that sorry, the bantering between them is SUPPOSED to be that of a couple of immature children arguing, me and my co author see that as a standing point for the banter between them, each is supposed to believe is the most mature one, but really they both are immature. While Beans IS Mature, it's just how those around them bring other down to there level and that's what MC does, brings a brilliant mature man to his level, I'm sorry you consider the humor "low brow" for your taste, I really enjoyed the humor I brought into it, and many of the jokes are humorous in there approach, as long as you can just enjoy them for their immature silly nature.

    Hell, look how far Simpsons and South Park has gotten on it :P

    As for the line width, I really can't stand pressure variations as I want the art work to have a constant look to it, and width pressure set ups, it can cause massive issues with the art work, I honestly hate it :P, as for wiggly, well, that's just my unsteady hand, I have always tried my hardest to fix that, and I wish I could stop it, but it happens, hopefully, I will get better, but I have drawn for over 20 years, and still never got over it.

    I will do my best to take all your criticism under advisement, and do my best to improve on what I can though, thanks again.

    Zig-Noff on
  • Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    My criticisms, in addition to what Iruka said.

    -You can cut out 2 of those panels easily
    -If you cut out panels 4 and 5, and took away all narration and dialogue, the joke would be more direct and funny. As it is, out of context, it just isn't that effective or interesting. If you must, you can get the point across with much more brevity.
    -Generally the art is OK, but you need to work on line widths, because the thick lines are taking away from the features of the characters.

    Criticism of your criticism-taking

    Iruka gave you valid, quality criticisms about what's not working with your comic and you gave an exhaustive list of excuses with 1 or 2 concessions. The purpose of this forum is mostly for artists who want to improve and share their art, emphasis on improve. Don't expect asspats unless you are very good or improving, and definitely don't try to shrug off user's criticisms, because you won't improve if you think everything is great already (it very rarely is).

    Red_Arremer on
  • FANTOMASFANTOMAS Flan ArgentavisRegistered User regular
    -Generally the art is OK, but you need to work on line widths, because the thick lines are taking away from the features of the characters.

    We may be looking at diferent things here. From the image posted in this thread, I can say the art needs a LOT of work. To be consistent with myself, I have to say this isnt "art" by any means or under any light or sircumstance, this are doodles wich lack the most basic of concepts and/or resources to any kind of ilustration. It sounds hard, but its the way it is.

    1- The lines are shaky, you can train your hand to work better, by making a lot of long lines in paper, straight lines, curve lines, and LONG, at least 1mt. Learn to draw with your wrist, with your elbow and with your shoulder, and then you will see that having shaky lines is not an innate incurable condition, its just lack of practice and lazyness on your side.

    2- Line widght, or line weight. There are no excuses for not using this resource, if you are not using it, you are doing it wrong. Theres no wiggle room for this, its as absolute as it sounds, you dont seem to be using any line widght diference, and that is WRONG.

    3- After some practice with points 1 and 2 (and other things too) you should take back your characters to the design stage, since you dont seem to have the proper tools right now to depict a properly compelling character, nor the writting hability to make the graphical depiction secondary or unnecesary.

    4- . Quoting you: "Negative feedback and criticism that is more like trolling is not wanted, or helpful. Please be mature. " Its not my intention to troll, but does this comes as negative criticism, because it is pointing out flaws in your work? Maybe I missed sarcasm in the thread title, but to really stand out amongst the billion of webcomics, you HAVE to take ALL the negative criticism, and use it to improve your work in all directions, exponentially.... a LOT.

  • Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    EDIT: NM

    Red_Arremer on
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    I was talking in webcomic terms, but from an overall "art" perspective, you're right.

    The webcomic medium doesn't excuse poor/lazy art and I take exception to this, both personally and on behalf of Delilah Dirk, Dresden Codak, Lackadaisy, Cucumber Quest, Freakangels, The Meek, Alpha Flag, PvP, Penny Arcade & about 1000 other comics slaved over by pros and amateurs alike. Just because the accessibility of webcomics allows for people to draw whatever in Paint and call it a day doesn't mean that's a viable route to distinguishing yourself and finding eventual success, and even comics that don't rely on their art, like OoTS and xkcd, have clean consistent styles and lean heavily on their knockout writing, something I think also needs considerable work, here. There is no excuse for anyone to rest on their laurels and stop working on improve because they're working in webcomics.

    I do agree with you on this front, though:
    Iruka gave you valid, quality criticisms about what's not working with your comic and you gave an exhaustive list of excuses with 1 or 2 concessions. The purpose of this forum is mostly for artists who want to improve and share their art, emphasis on improve. Don't expect asspats unless you are very good or improving, and definitely don't try to shrug off user's criticisms, because you won't improve if you think everything is great already (it very rarely is).

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    squidbunny wrote: »
    I was talking in webcomic terms, but from an overall "art" perspective, you're right.

    The webcomic medium doesn't excuse poor/lazy art and I take exception to this, both personally and on behalf of Delilah Dirk, Dresden Codak, Lackadaisy, Cucumber Quest, Freakangels, The Meek, Alpha Flag, PvP, Penny Arcade & about 1000 other comics slaved over by pros and amateurs alike. Just because the accessibility of webcomics allows for people to draw whatever in Paint and call it a day doesn't mean that's a viable route to distinguishing yourself and finding eventual success, and even comics that don't rely on their art, like OoTS and xkcd, have clean consistent styles and lean heavily on their knockout writing, something I think also needs considerable work, here. There is no excuse for anyone to rest on their laurels and stop working on improve because they're working in webcomics.

    I do agree with you on this front, though:
    Iruka gave you valid, quality criticisms about what's not working with your comic and you gave an exhaustive list of excuses with 1 or 2 concessions. The purpose of this forum is mostly for artists who want to improve and share their art, emphasis on improve. Don't expect asspats unless you are very good or improving, and definitely don't try to shrug off user's criticisms, because you won't improve if you think everything is great already (it very rarely is).

    Agh sorry man. When I think (successful) "webcomic" I automatically think of something which might not have the best art, but the jokes are stellar. When the art becomes good enough I eventually just think "Oh, a comic that is on the internet LOL". I realize my definition was stupid now, and was lowering the bar for what a webcomic should be. Post edited, my apologies.

    Red_Arremer on
  • GrifterGrifter BermudaModerator mod
    I'd suggest to stop drawing the speech bubbles yourself. Use a ellipse tool or some kind of template. Blambot had a good set of balloon templates but they don't seem to have them on their website now. Here's a good article from them about word balloons, though.

    http://www.balloontales.com/tips/balloon/index.html

    As for the artwork, you need to clean up a lot of it. I see a lot of sloppy line work in there. For instance, the eye of the bald narrator. Why isn't the line work cleaned up there? It just comes across as sloppy, lazy, and makes you look like a complete amateur. I would expect somebody who has been drawing for 20 years to be more mindful of that kind of simple detail.

    It looks like this was created with a mouse instead of a tablet. I may be wrong on that point but that's the way that it looks to me. While there's nothing wrong with using a mouse, if you really want to provide a more professional look in a digital medium, you'll want to invest in a Wacom tablet and spend a lot of time learning to use it effectively. It will help your digital drawing considerably.

  • Zig-NoffZig-Noff Registered User
    Ok, well where to begin here, thank you for your thoughts and opinions, I will do my best to take into consideration what everyone has said, but I think I have another few things to point out. Now some can consider what I am about to say to be EXCUSES, BUT please try to understand a few things, from the point I am trying to explain it from.

    Alright so first off the art in general, I see a lot of people using other web comics as examples, but let's not forget, a number of these web comics mention started out in the beginning with art worse, or on par with mine, and just as many problems, Penny-Arcade and PVP are a fine example. A number of the other listed ones, honestly in MY opinion have various issues and art problems themselves, but BESIDES that they DID get better, none of them started perfect, and they all evolved, weither from criticism or not, they DID improve over time.

    Let's not also forget that some that STARTED with good artwork, may to be there first works, it may be there 3rd or 4th attempt at this, just pointing out examples, it MAY seem like I'm making excuses, I am not, I am just pointing out that these things most be looked at in a very different angled when comparing such things.

    Let me give an example, everyone who is pointing out there hate for the line work have any of you bother to look at anymore then the first one I posted?, If not then again another point of not being fair on the criticism, but let me explain, that page is only the second page of an art shift and tool change over, it was the start of changing the basic tools I used from Manga Studio, and I had just switched to Photoshop, I am still working many of the kinks out of the line work and such, one is the major issue of the jaggedness in the lines when drawing them, no matter how straight I draw it ends up with a jagged look to it.

    Now let's skip ahead about 40 drawn pages, 20 weeks later after getting more practice with the tools and program and figuring more out, now I won't promise the artwork looking drastically better, BUT it is looking better, cleaner, and while some problems still exist, like the jaggedness of the lines is still present and the line is still slightly shaky, but it is getting somewhat better. The next thing to consider, you believe the art is poor, or simple, HOWEVER, I should point out the artwork designs and such are designed in a very simple, easy to draw, and for a purpose, and the major reason is the artwork is supposed to represent the simple look of the game graphics era, as MC moves through the generations, the art will see more improvements, of detail, shading, and coloring, that is part of the appeal of the comic also. Which I should have pointed out and explained.

    But example, here is one of the NEWEST drawn pages, MC may still be rough, but that would be because his whole physic and appearence has changed, and I must learn to drawn him correctly in his new body. The previous page is like 12, this is 50, it's a huge jump from then and now. This page won't post till the end of sept. so your getting an early preview.

    14da1e285BxXs.jpg


    Let's continue on with the whole line work and weight thing and the pressure, I'm sure that many of the people who are drawing these other ones, do many things, as for me I have tried many of the line weight pressure programs and I will tell you, they all turned out inconsistent and ugly, I like the way the thicker line work here comes out, it gives a nice constant line weight to the drawings and the thickness feels best at this level I tried many different levels with this, and I found this was the most comfortable and looked the best with the character designs, which to point out, the character designs have gone through over 4 changes since they first started of going back to the drawing board redoing them, and trying to find something unique, original, simple and enjoyable to draw, this is what I came up with, and I will stick with it. Sorry, it's a stubborn streak which may hurt me later, but it is my choice.

    Now I mention I have 20 years of practice, but I should have been clear, I have 20 years of practice with pencil, and paper, and character designs focused around unique correct anatomy anime based characters, going from 20 years of that style of art, to something like this in only a couple of months is quite something in my thoughts, just magically coming up with a new style overall is not easy, and still needs much practice, also working on a pentop laptop, with no texture, or resistance, it is a tough transformation.

    Now lastly let me point out the whole thing about the panels and the jokes, and humor and the writing, No offense, but no this joke would have lost much with the less panels, I will use combined panels, when it helps the joke, but the general 6 panel set up, has work very well for me in writing almost 100 episodes, the jokes work well, and the layout and way the jokes work are perfect with this set up most the time, the point here the amount of text I have used, has always had a point, and never been needless babble, as much as you say it is, it's not, if the text isn't explaining something important about the characters and the world they exist in, it is used to build into a joke, or punch line. Many series do this, let me point out again OotS, which has a overload of text, more the necessary, and how anyone can say his writing is "Stellar" has not read a series with TRUE stellar writing like Oda's Anime series One Piece.

    OotS's writing is bland extremely, a borderlines on boring/tedious/useless, many I know who have read it, skip much of the text when it get insanely long winded, many times his writing has nothing to do with the story, or leading into a joke, it's just mindless babble there to be mindless babble and padding, and that is a poor way to do writing in my thoughts. It's the same problem with Gold Digger, it is insanely text heavy, it talks alot, but truly says little, as most doesn't help with character/world development or importance, and it's just there to be there.

    As for the bubbles, I believe using generic bubbles templates would remove more of the personal art touch that I have with the series, and the hand drawn bubbles feel more personal, example, cucumber quest sure as hell doesn't use templates it seems, and I think it's a valid point that must be made.

    So with last saying, I can't agree with many things, and I don't believe most are getting the direction I am trying to come from with the humor and story telling, the major point OF the humor is make fun of the the various odd or questionable scenario, put them into a scenario in which conflict with many real world elements, or common sense issues, etc.

    I'm sorry it may be stubborn of me, or it may seem like excuses, but most are not, I believe before negative bashing, which is what this feels like to me many times, and doesn't truly feel like positive criticism, and I don't believe one can be a critic of something until they truly understand everything from all angles, and I don't believe everyone here does, and I am sorry I should have given some better information on this, an I might have to make sure to provide more information in my description.

    Thanks for the opinions, and I will try my best to take what I can from this, and improve my series the best I can.

  • FANTOMASFANTOMAS Flan ArgentavisRegistered User regular
    okay, I read your whole post and I have to make some stuff clear for you.

    1- The art sucks, its not a "design", it simply sucks and it needs a lot of work, start accepting that or be doomed to draw like shit for the rest of your life.

    2- We "get it", whatever is there to get, we do. And as criticism stated, we are not convinced. You didnt created a master piece with so many layers that most forumers simply cant decode, we have seen this exact comic 100 times before in this forum, trust us, we have.

    3- I really think you have a huge problem accepting criticism.

    4- Anatomically correct manga? I told you to draw long lines, but if you have 20 years of drawing experience that was the dumbest advice I could ever give to an already experienced artist, so please post some of your work so people in the forum know "where you are", and the whole direction of the criticism can be aimed at more specific things about your comic per-se instead of jumping at your neck for the drawing style.

    5- The forum is known for its tough love, but its still love, even if things sound hard, everyone here wants everyone else to improve as much as possible.

    Peas
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    It's increasingly clear you're not looking for criticism to help you improve: you're looking for ass-patting and validation of lazy decisions you feel obligated to stick by because you're 40 pages into something. You're not going to find that here. Your wrongheaded defensiveness is offputting & we're not impressed by your claim to 20 years' experience drawing "unique correct anatomy anime based characters" -- a clusterfuck of heaped oxymoron if I ever heard one.

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Zig-Noff wrote: »
    I'm sorry it may be stubborn of me, or it may seem like excuses, but most are not, I believe before negative bashing, which is what this feels like to me many times, and doesn't truly feel like positive criticism, and I don't believe one can be a critic of something until they truly understand everything from all angles, and I don't believe everyone here does, and I am sorry I should have given some better information on this, an I might have to make sure to provide more information in my description.

    Thanks for the opinions, and I will try my best to take what I can from this, and improve my series the best I can.

    I'm usually a lurker here, but I feel the need to pop in and say this is entirely wrong in every way. Most of the people taking the time to post here are established, professional artists who produce amazing, sellable things. Rather than ignore you, they are taking time to give you an honest assessment of your work. This is a valuable thing. Your work is not professional level, even for stylized webcomics, and certainly doesn't show 20 years of studied drawing practice. Maybe you have doodled off and on a few times a year for 20 years, but this just isn't professional grade and you are hurting yourself to think it is.

    I'm not a pro artist, I'll be the first to tell you. But I have years and years in marketing and I am paid to know a good, sellable product from a bad one. What you have here is not sellable, not by the art or the writing.

    I tell you this not to hurt you or make you feel miserable about yourself, but to let you know that you need to improve substantially if you want to be a professional webcomicer and do this for a living. Right now, these you have posted here are comics and subject matter the entire internet has seen hundreds of thousands of times. You need:

    -An original and fresh take on these materials. Punchline is Machismo is a good example, taking video games(played out) and discussing masculinity within them (fresh). Find something that hasn't been done and focus on that.
    -Better art. Draw from life and do your comic. Make each one a LOT better than the last, experiment. A good source of reference for this are Gunnerkrigg Court and Questionable Content, both of which started with mediocre/bland in art and now are quite respectable (and successful because of it). What you have now will not attract viewers to read by the visuals.
    -Better writing. You need to practice comedy. There are formulas, there are reference books on how to build jokes. Buy them. Read them. Learn and practice writing, it is every bit as hard and focused as learning to draw. Writing comedy is not instinctive. You have to learn it, even the pros. Study existing comedy comics and see how they tick, take them apart and anyalize them like you would a book back in High School. What do they do and how do they do it?

    In your OP you posted that you wanted to know what a professional amount of comics is. Well, the answer is usually about 1000 comics or 2-3 years of solid writing if you are constantly improving and marketing. But if you produced 1000 of these, honestly I doubt you will have much of a reader base aside from your own personal circle of friends. This is perfectly fine if that is your goal, but it's not enough to monetize this and make a profit.

    Enc on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited July 2012
    First, I really want to stress that there has been no bashing here. Well except maybe fantomas alittle. Still, No one here wants you to be anything but successful, and critiques are hard for anyone to hear, but that does not make them invalid. You can always, always, always invent reasons to not do one thing or another. I know you keep saying you will take what we say into consideration, but make sure you actually take the time to step back and keep an open mind. We cannot force you to improve, we can only tell what we see.


    Secondly, we can only critique what you post. If you post old art, you cant be angry that we are basing our knowledge of your art on that. It is not inevitable that people improve, comics like PA have some old shitty drawings in their inventory, yes, but if Past gabe were to warp through time and post those comics here, he would get the exact same critiques. You don't get critiqued on what your art may look like in 5 years, you get critiqued on the art that we see now. The hope is that the advice propels you forward in such a way that when you look back, you cant even believe the skills and knowledge you've gained. It is remarkably and dangerously easy to improve at a snails pace. I have been drawing for 20 years as well, My least productive times are when I was stubborn, enamored with work, and completely rigid with what I considered to be "my choices and my style" I believe you have the capacity to be flexible and work hard, Dont let the easy route of "these people are mean/dont understand/I dont have to care about them" get in the way of you and the success of your comic.

    Thirdly, I think you may be overstating what we are telling you what you have to do. Line weight is a general term for variation. You can keep things generally thick but taper them off at key points to make sure you are retaining maximum legibility. Plenty of people do this with the illusion of one consistent thickness, look into Chris Ware. You can also do Your word bubbles by hand (I prefer to letter and word bubble by hand) but you should still consider spacing and text rules to make sure its not a chore for readers to read (especially if you are going to have comics that are on the wordy side). Everything being thrown at you is up to you to figure out how to tackle it, but there's absolutely nothing in this thread that you should not try to tackle head on.

    Iruka on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    I like to toss this in here from time to time when a new webcomic guy or girl starts a thread. This was the first comic I ever posted to the AC, and I was (politely) ripped apart for it.

    1.jpg

    Look at it, it's terrible, and honestly it's not really any worse than what you've got up there. There's glaring errors in the art style everywhere.

    After about 3 years of hard work and practice, and following the advice of people here, I can put out comics like this now.

    2012-03-26_050.jpg

    2012-01-24_047.jpg

    2012-01-12_046.jpg

    Hell, I've still got a lot of work ahead of me compared to some of the people here who have worked harder than I have or have just honest to God better born-in talent than I do. But I get better, every day I get better because I practice and I listen.

    Listen to what everyone is saying here and don't make excuses. Let them do paintovers on your comics and show you how to fix anatomy. Play around with their advice on line variation and brush settings (if digital). FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LISTEN TO THEIR WRITING ADVICE. They're not just helpful and talented (and often times professionally paid) artists, they're also potential readers and friends, and they're not out to chew your ass out because you're new.

    Don't be defensive, be open to fixing the problems with your art, and with work, you can improve and reach an audience that will love your work.

    I hope you stick around, take the advice, and get better. I like reading new comics online.

    Good luck!

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • Spectre-xSpectre-x Registered User regular
    Zig-Noff wrote: »
    Ok, well where to begin here, thank you for your thoughts and opinions, I will do my best to take into consideration what everyone has said, but I think I have another few things to point out. Now some can consider what I am about to say to be EXCUSES, BUT please try to understand a few things, from the point I am trying to explain it from.

    Alright so first off the art in general, I see a lot of people using other web comics as examples, but let's not forget, a number of these web comics mention started out in the beginning with art worse, or on par with mine, and just as many problems, Penny-Arcade and PVP are a fine example. A number of the other listed ones, honestly in MY opinion have various issues and art problems themselves, but BESIDES that they DID get better, none of them started perfect, and they all evolved, weither from criticism or not, they DID improve over time.

    Let's not also forget that some that STARTED with good artwork, may to be there first works, it may be there 3rd or 4th attempt at this, just pointing out examples, it MAY seem like I'm making excuses, I am not, I am just pointing out that these things most be looked at in a very different angled when comparing such things.

    Let me give an example, everyone who is pointing out there hate for the line work have any of you bother to look at anymore then the first one I posted?, If not then again another point of not being fair on the criticism, but let me explain, that page is only the second page of an art shift and tool change over, it was the start of changing the basic tools I used from Manga Studio, and I had just switched to Photoshop, I am still working many of the kinks out of the line work and such, one is the major issue of the jaggedness in the lines when drawing them, no matter how straight I draw it ends up with a jagged look to it.

    Now let's skip ahead about 40 drawn pages, 20 weeks later after getting more practice with the tools and program and figuring more out, now I won't promise the artwork looking drastically better, BUT it is looking better, cleaner, and while some problems still exist, like the jaggedness of the lines is still present and the line is still slightly shaky, but it is getting somewhat better. The next thing to consider, you believe the art is poor, or simple, HOWEVER, I should point out the artwork designs and such are designed in a very simple, easy to draw, and for a purpose, and the major reason is the artwork is supposed to represent the simple look of the game graphics era, as MC moves through the generations, the art will see more improvements, of detail, shading, and coloring, that is part of the appeal of the comic also. Which I should have pointed out and explained.

    But example, here is one of the NEWEST drawn pages, MC may still be rough, but that would be because his whole physic and appearence has changed, and I must learn to drawn him correctly in his new body. The previous page is like 12, this is 50, it's a huge jump from then and now. This page won't post till the end of sept. so your getting an early preview.

    UGH


    Let's continue on with the whole line work and weight thing and the pressure, I'm sure that many of the people who are drawing these other ones, do many things, as for me I have tried many of the line weight pressure programs and I will tell you, they all turned out inconsistent and ugly, I like the way the thicker line work here comes out, it gives a nice constant line weight to the drawings and the thickness feels best at this level I tried many different levels with this, and I found this was the most comfortable and looked the best with the character designs, which to point out, the character designs have gone through over 4 changes since they first started of going back to the drawing board redoing them, and trying to find something unique, original, simple and enjoyable to draw, this is what I came up with, and I will stick with it. Sorry, it's a stubborn streak which may hurt me later, but it is my choice.

    Now I mention I have 20 years of practice, but I should have been clear, I have 20 years of practice with pencil, and paper, and character designs focused around unique correct anatomy anime based characters, going from 20 years of that style of art, to something like this in only a couple of months is quite something in my thoughts, just magically coming up with a new style overall is not easy, and still needs much practice, also working on a pentop laptop, with no texture, or resistance, it is a tough transformation.

    Now lastly let me point out the whole thing about the panels and the jokes, and humor and the writing, No offense, but no this joke would have lost much with the less panels, I will use combined panels, when it helps the joke, but the general 6 panel set up, has work very well for me in writing almost 100 episodes, the jokes work well, and the layout and way the jokes work are perfect with this set up most the time, the point here the amount of text I have used, has always had a point, and never been needless babble, as much as you say it is, it's not, if the text isn't explaining something important about the characters and the world they exist in, it is used to build into a joke, or punch line. Many series do this, let me point out again OotS, which has a overload of text, more the necessary, and how anyone can say his writing is "Stellar" has not read a series with TRUE stellar writing like Oda's Anime series One Piece.

    OotS's writing is bland extremely, a borderlines on boring/tedious/useless, many I know who have read it, skip much of the text when it get insanely long winded, many times his writing has nothing to do with the story, or leading into a joke, it's just mindless babble there to be mindless babble and padding, and that is a poor way to do writing in my thoughts. It's the same problem with Gold Digger, it is insanely text heavy, it talks alot, but truly says little, as most doesn't help with character/world development or importance, and it's just there to be there.

    As for the bubbles, I believe using generic bubbles templates would remove more of the personal art touch that I have with the series, and the hand drawn bubbles feel more personal, example, cucumber quest sure as hell doesn't use templates it seems, and I think it's a valid point that must be made.

    So with last saying, I can't agree with many things, and I don't believe most are getting the direction I am trying to come from with the humor and story telling, the major point OF the humor is make fun of the the various odd or questionable scenario, put them into a scenario in which conflict with many real world elements, or common sense issues, etc.

    I'm sorry it may be stubborn of me, or it may seem like excuses, but most are not, I believe before negative bashing, which is what this feels like to me many times, and doesn't truly feel like positive criticism, and I don't believe one can be a critic of something until they truly understand everything from all angles, and I don't believe everyone here does, and I am sorry I should have given some better information on this, an I might have to make sure to provide more information in my description.

    Thanks for the opinions, and I will try my best to take what I can from this, and improve my series the best I can.

    Word to the wise: When speaking about something with an air of authority, make sure you actually know what you're talking about. This is in response to you talking about Order of the Stick and it being text-heavy with most of the text being nonsense. No, what you just said is nonsense. I can't really stand Order of the Stick because it don't really like the art and the characters bore me and its text-to-art ratio exists far beyond the border of my tolerance for that kind of stuff, in the hinterlands of TOO MANY WORDS NOT ENOUGH ART ARGH.

    BUT! Despite the fact that I don't like Order of the Stick, it's just that. I don't like it. I don't think it's bad, it's just not for me. It sets out to do a specific thing and it accomplishes that thing admirably, even though the thing it accomplishes is something I, personally, dislike. It has lots of text, but it's text with a purpose. The story is slow because there's lots of text, but that's not because the text has nothing to do with the story, it's because the whole thing is very decompressed. The text and dialogue and whatnot doesn't always further the plot, but it does further characterization and helps with world-building. That's very important in storytelling. Every character in OotS has its own distinct voice, and although they use those voices A LOT, it doesn't mean that this is a bad thing when part of the whole point is that these characters use those voices a lot. OotS is mainly a character-driven webcomic.

    You may think the writing is bland, and that's okay, but that doesn't mean it is, because that's just, like, your opinion, man. And even if it were bland, it doesn't really

    excuse

    what you're doing? I mean, sure, if Order of the Stick's writing is bland, fine, but how does that mean your comic is somehow not incredibly flawed, in lage part due to the writing? These things have nothing to do with each other. Just because something is bad doesn't mean something else that in some way could be said resembles the first thing is somehow less bad. If anything, a point could be made that, well, this one thing is bad and this other thing resembles this one thing, so it is also bad. I really don't know what you're getting at here. It's very confusing.

    Unless your point is that your writing is superior to Order of the Stick in which case hahahahahahaha, oh my god, no, it categorically is not, you big silly goof you, you cannot possibly seriously think that. Because while Order of the Stick has lots of text (that I don't even like, mind you), it has consistent characterization. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your comic also has this, since I'm certainly not going to bother reading more of it than what you've posted here, but Order of the Stick also has interesting characters with multiple facets to them. Facets I couldn't be bothered to actually think about since I, again, do not like the comic, but I can still recognize that these things are true. And your guys don't have that. And the writing is juvenile. It's funny because bad words! It's funny because poop! It's funny because you're using these beloved video game characters from child-friendly franchises and you're making them say profane things and isn't that juxtaposition hilarious? (the answer is no, it isn't, it's lazy and hacky and unoriginal and one-dimensional) That's all there is to it.

    There's no overarching story that I can see, except some guy is learning about videogames I guess? Going by the two strips I've seen you post, that is. And there's no real point to it. What I'm guessing is your audience already know about these games, since they're incredibly popular and famous and iconic even today, and the observations you're making are just, well, lame. They're dumb jokes everyone and their grandmother has already driven into the ground. Spectacularly. With like a huge big nuclear piledriver, like if a wrestling move made love to heavy construction equipment and the baby repeated all of these jokes a million times every day for thirty or so years until all of the comedy that could ever be contained in these "observations" has been destroyed so utterly that not even a single quark remains in this or any other universe, real or imagined, possible or impossible. The writing's terrible, is what I'm saying, and you saying that "oh this other text-heavy comic is bad!" doesn't change that at all. Yes, okay, you don't like this other comic. It also has text. That's good? Good for you. Yes it does. Your comic is still awful.

    Also how the fuck do you favourably compare yourself to Battle Angel Alita? Oh my god you don't know anything. You have no grasp of how text is used in storytelling at all. Oh my goodness.

    AND NOW THE ART

    it's also really bad. The thing you said about line width? You don't know what the fuck you're talking about. There's no variation in line width in your things. It looks terrible. It makes everything look messy and globby and jiggly at a distance and close up it's just boring. The mind slips off it. It's like ocular lubricant. No line width? Eye-searing colouts, too? No shading of any kind, no sense of depth or anything? Everything just shapes with no quirks of the art itself to help you make sense of the picture? Nope, sorry, moving on, us eyes can't be bothered to look at that.

    Oh, your previous attempts at varying line width have failed? It came out looking bad? All the time? Did you practice at all? Let me answer that for you: no, you didn't, you just gave up. It didn't look like what you wanted it to look like right away so you gave up. Did it look worse than what you've got now? Chances are, no, actually it didn't. Your work would at least look more organic if you even had shitty control over your line width, but it's completely uniform, same width for everything, no matter what. That looks bad, sorry bro. If you're not good at line width, well, either adopt a style that actually works with a uniform line width like Hergé's ligne claire or sack up and learn how to do line width. Line width. You're bad at it. Why? Because you didn't even bother to try. It's not the fault of the programs you use or of the idea of line width variation itself, no, you are to blame for your failure there.

    Your characters are neither original nor unique. Simple and enjoyable to draw, maybe, but not simple and enjoyable to look at. The lack of variation with the lines makes them difficult to look at, even. You've gone through four different designs already? That's great, if only that wasn't completely meaningless in every way. It doesn't matter how many designs you go through, so long as the one you end up with is good. These ones aren't. They really aren't. They're generic and difficult to parse and boring and hard to look at because of how sloppy and amateurish everything looks.

    You've had 20 years of practice but you literally do not show any of it in these comics. If you actually do know how to draw, use what you know to enhance these comics. If you have any actualy knowledge of anatomy and proportion, apply that knowledge. Justbecause this is supposed to be cartoony or whatever doesn't mean that the rules suddenly don't apply. Fucking construct your characters. Make the consistent and identifiable. That's the whole point of learning the basics. It gives you tools you can use in any situation, artistically. Many of the world's greatest cartoonists actually know how to draw "properly", and they apply that knowledge to their work. When you know how things work, you ca experiment with how to bend the rules, so to speak. You know how to emphasize various elements to make something as cartoony as you want while still having the design work as a whole. But none of that knowledge is apparent in your work.

    If you do have that knowledge, apply it. I hoenstly doubt you actually do posess that knowledge and skill, though, because it's like riding a bike. It comes naturally after a while. What I think you've done for 20 years is just draw. Not practice, just draw. They're not the same thing. If you practice you actively work to get better. If you just draw, you might eventually end up with a style that doesn't look half bad, but because you never actually thought about what went into it that makes it look good, you don't know how to translate that quality to a radically different style. So my advice (and the advice of others) would be to, you know, practice. Think about your work. Think about it critically, I mean. Accept that you might be flawed in more ways than you think (going by your posts, holy shit, yes, you are, seriously, dude). Work to overcome your many, many, significant shortcomings.

    I actually agree with you about the speech bubbles. Using templates here wouldn't look good. It wouldn't fit with the rest of the art and it'd make the whole thing look even worse. However, that doesn't mean that they're not fucking terrible as they are now, because they are. They crowd the text (of which there is far too many per speech bubble, also)/ They're inconsistent and blobby and sloppy and pushed off into the corner so you gotta make an effort to skirt the edges of the picture as opposed to letting your eye flow across the panels naturally and even then they suffocate the art. You know you can draw speech bubbles by hand and not have them look awful, right? You know you can plan where they should go on a page and actually make them big enough. A good idea might be to put the text in first and then draw a bubble around it, so you can make sure that everything actually fits nicely. That's all people are suggesting. Just take a little more time and care making the speech bubbles. They seriously don't look good right now. If you're happy with them? Okay, that's fine, just know that you are literally the only person ever to have lived or ever to live who feels that way about them. They look bad. FACT. You can disagree, sure, but you'd be wrong to do so. Sorry.

    The main issue here, however, doesn't have anything to do with your comic. Well, it does, but it's only tangentially related, really. The main issue here is that you don't know how to take criticism. Some of it may seem harsh, sure, especially mine, because you raised my ire with your wilful ignorance, but people are really only trying to help you. And you don't let them do that. You dismiss their arguments with your excuses, and that's what they are. Excuses. You like the way your comic is, you've put a lot of work into it, and these strangers on an internet webforumajigger have the gall to tell you that you're not doing something right? And they give you suggestions that take effort? How DARE they, am I right? You disagree with them because you don't want to put in too much effort. Lots of webcomics started out bad! They got better eventually! Yes! Do you know why, though? Do you know why those got better eventually? Because the people making those comics weren't satisfied with starting out poorly. They worked hard to improve their work. They practised. They didn't sit back and yawn and tell everyone who was trying to help them to kindly go fuck themselves because hey, they're statisfied right now and things are bound to get better eventually. No, they worked hard to make their art better. They tried new things. They didn't make up excuses to keep doing the things they had always been doing. They went outside of their comfort zone.

    This is a thing that applies to your situation, I think: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

    Maybe not completely, but I think it's an important factor here, along with just laziness.

    It's important to note that everyone here really is just trying to help you improve. It's what the forum is for. You might not like our attitude, but hey! You reap what you sow, brother, and you've sowed a lot of jerkiness. Still, despite your terrible attitude everyone is still just trying to help you make your comic better. But you ofer only excuses. Oh, you intended this, oh, but you prefer that, oh, so and such work in your mind at least. That's all well and good that it work's in your mind's eye, in the deepest cockles of your soul's heart, but you are the only person who can see that. Everyone else is forced to rely on their own senses and experiences and they just don't have your appreciation for this thing because they didn't make it themselves. They are the audience. If they audience doesn't like something, is that their fault? Sometimes, if the audience is really dumb! But this audience is really smart. Practically everyone here knows a lot about art and giving out constructive criticism and taking constructive criticism and it would BLOW YOUR FUCKING MIND if you saw how much some of the people* posting in THIS VERY THREAD have improved over the years due to the advice given by other people in THIS VERY THREAD.

    So chances are that hey, maybe we're worth listening to? Just a thought. Seriously, cut it out with the fucking excuses. They're terrible and none of them make any sense and you're coming off as kind of an arrogant goose.

    You can thank @squidbunny for alerting me to this thread, by the way

    *SOME of the people, obviously, not all. Don't let amateurhour discourage you.**

    **I kid***

    ***or do I?

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    My job is to discourage people so I can slowly lower the bar until I've got a successful job as a cartoonist.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
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