m3nace draws in tiny boxes

m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
edited September 2015 in Artist's Corner
edit: fuck it, I'm spoilering this because of h-scroll rape. Newer stuff near the bottom.
So yeah, I made a comic called It's About Time. I've gotten to the point where just looking at it makes me confused, you know the feeling, and I need you guys to give me some criticism.
Here it is:
It's About Time











I've also contemplated if I should add an epilogue page to clarify, four panels like this:
panel 1 - same image as last panel on page 11, except zoomed out and you see another timemachine lying on the table
panel 2 - main character hands over the package to the kid that hands it over to him in the past
panel 3 - older version of main character standing on a corner with the door to his past self's apartment in the background, he's about to press the button
panel 4 - same as panel 3 except old version of main character has disappeared and you can see the kid and his past self in the background, the kid goes "like your brother I guess"

edit: oh, and seeing how English is my second language the writing may be a little wonky in some places, so err, if you could be my editors that'd be great...

m3nace on


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Spoiler tags are dumb, menace. The thread is for you, you are allowed to display your work outright.

    I cant believe this has no comments because its totally cool. I just don't think I caught everything. visually though, I think you are doing cool shit with heavy blacks, and that is not an easy thing to really get right. Awesome dude.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Okay, unspoilered. Anyways, the main thing I'm wondering about whether people get when reading it, is
    whether they get that the time machine he got in the first place was created by himself in the future, after long years of hard work
    . And thanks!

  • bombardierbombardier Moderator mod
    edited March 2013
    This is really well done! I like the story a lot. I think the biggest area for improvement would be line variation. The realistic style doesn't go well with line that has all the same thickness, especially when you use a lot of solid black shading. Some panels it's really good, but the ones with really flat lighting it's more noticeable (like the abandoned workshop).

    bombardier on
  • Red RaevynRed Raevyn because I only take Bubble Baths Registered User regular
    No, definitely no additional epilogue page. I've always hated seeing them, because it spoils the fun of figuring it out yourself and it also feels a little condescending. The current last page, the hint about his brother, etc, all make it clear. Some people may need to think about it or wait a little, but there is nothing wrong with that. "Aha!" moments are wonderful.

    I think a comma would help here in at the start of the first page, I had to read it three or four times...
    .. marvelling over the ice that had
    gathered on his window when he he noticed something about
    the way the ice scattered across the surface."
    Because I thought it was saying ice had gathered on his window due to his noticing something, which doesn't make sense. I think this is more clear:
    .. marvelling over the ice that had
    gathered on his window, when he he noticed something about
    the way the ice scattered across the surface."
    Also, just one L in marveling.

    The second panel of page 2 is confusing, there isn't much form or shape. In contrast I really like the next panel, so I think panel could use some detail to make it look more like the side of a ship instead of two color patches with white windows floating around.

    End of page 3,
    If just I hadn't been born in the wrong place, I thought
    "If I just" is the common phrasing, though you could keep this structure by replacing "just" with "only" e.g. "If only I hadn't been..." To me saying "If I just" is more colloquial and "If only I" sounds more proper. Which to use will depend on how you want the character to sound.

    On page 5, the big "KLIK" text-panels on either side of the center panel - I didn't realize they were text until my third read-through. I may have been reading too quickly, but the roundness of the L and the very fullness of the Ks made it take a second to resolve. That may well just be me, though.

    Same page, this guy's face seems strangely droopy on his left side? I'm at work so I just did a quick facelift with paint.net to show you what I mean.

    I really like the comic, it made me think and told an interesting story without being too long. Great work.

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    I REALLY enjoyed this! I the story telling aspect of it is a bit disorienting, but giving the subject matter it seems fitting and perfect. I read through it a few times to make sure I caught everything and enjoyed it a bit more each time.

    Giving the way time travel generally seems to confuse a lot of people it couldn't hurt to add the epilogue with the panels you mentioned.

    As far as the art, I think everything works the best when you are working with the limited palette of colors, like the cool blue and black pages, or the sepia tones of the first page. Sometimes the skin tones just looked a bit too harsh or flat.

    But overall bravo man, this is really amazing!

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Thanks guys, and thanks a lot @ Red Raevyn for being my impromptu editor!
    It seems the question of whether to add the epilogue page or not is split 50/50 so far.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Also, should I keep the 6th panel on page 5? It's supposed to depict a cowboy discovering that his gone has disappeared, however it's not entirely essential to the story in that it could be left out and people would fill out the whole about how he got the gun. I've been thinking of replacing that panel, as well as the two KLIK text-panels and just making them all into one big 'KLIK'.

  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    m3nace wrote: »
    Also, should I keep the 6th panel on page 5? It's supposed to depict a cowboy discovering that his gone has disappeared, however it's not entirely essential to the story in that it could be left out and people would fill out the whole about how he got the gun. I've been thinking of replacing that panel, as well as the two KLIK text-panels and just making them all into one big 'KLIK'.

    Yeah, that was going to be one of my main recommendations. It's funny, but I had to read it twice, to figure out what was going on.

    Here's a few more thoughts I had.

    Page 2, Panel 3; Compress the lettering from Panel 4 into this panel, making it, "Into infinite space." It works better with the panel's art, where we see the character surrounded by all this empty, bleak darkness. I think that'd make the FWOMP SFX of Panel 4 work better too, by making it stand by itself. It ends the page in a clean, visual way.

    Page 4, Panel 2; The lettering in that word balloon feels really cramped.

    Page 4, Panel 4; Lettering in this balloon almost feels like it has too much space. If you shrank the lettering a bit though, it could give it the feel that he's sort of trailing off, his voice going quieter as he finishes his thought.

    Page 4, Panel 8; I really love how you dropped out the spotted blacks here, signalling the scene change. I actually think it would have been really effective to keep that up, doing Page 5 the same way. You could take it even further, making the protagonist's visit to Cavor's workshop, all in sepia tone. Essentially using the change in color palette, to clearly signal each time there's a time-jump.

    Page 6, Panel 7; I feel like this would be more effective, if the blueprints on the floor were lightened to a more visible shade of blue. I didn't really notice them, on my first read-through. I really like how you used them on Page 10, with the protagonist sitting among piles of bright, crumpled blueprints. It adds this sort of dreamlike quality to their presence.

    In any case, it's a good comic, with a great title. Those are just some things I noticed, that you may want to look at.

    Munch on
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    That's pretty sick M3nace. It's about time you started a thread. ;) Looking forward to more comics from you!

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Making this thread into my official portfolio building thread(TM)
    I'm doing some world building right now (as you may have noticed from the doodle thread), so anyways here's the scenario:
    In an alternate future, the USSR lives on and the space race is far from over. Three soviet cosmonauts (a scientist, a heavy machine gunner and a team leader) are sent to a remote research and mining facility on the dark side of the moon, to investigate the disappearance of the facility’s entire crew. Upon their arrival they discover that the crew has been killed in various horrendous manners and meanwhile, the facilities have been overrun by strange mutant creatures. Eventually the cosmonauts find the culprit behind all this chaos, it is the decapitated doghead from Dr.Sergei S. Bryukhonenko’s famous “Experiments In The Revival of Organisms”. The dog’s head was held alive by the scientists of the facilities, and somehow the dog’s brain got connected to the internal computer systems of the facilities, prompting it to go on a wild rampage to get revenge on the people that gave it such a terrible existence.

    Taskforce leader:

    We3 inspired dogbot madness: Laika's brother is back with a vengeance

    edit: and the environments I've been posting in the doodle thread:

    (I'm in the middle of opening this one up to the left right now, as Cyber suggested, it's doing wonders)

    m3nace on
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
  • Red RaevynRed Raevyn because I only take Bubble Baths Registered User regular
    Are the dogbot thrusters supposed to move the entire robot, or just his arms? Being near the axes makes sense for the former, but for moving the arms (standing and lifting with arms, or punching) you'd want the thrusters out near the hands. Longer lever and all that. Nice environments!

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Yeah that makes sense. If I get time I'll redraw the arms, if else I'll just repurpose them to move the whole robot, those are terribly small wheels after all.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    A biodome, or whatever you'd call one of them indoor jungles in a space station.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Retro is in, right?

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Cover for a comic I'll be posting soon.
    Does it read well?

  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    The bird silhouette doesn't read that way immediately since you're only seeing the eyes and tail feathers. Maybe if the bird's talons were gripping the arrow or if you had the head turned in profile.

  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    I agree with DMAC. It initially read as a hooded figure to me. Adding a more iconic bird detail may help (beak, open wing, etc). Also, is the arrow meant to symbolize a stock exchange or financial chart? It feels that way on first glace.

    My indie mobile gaming studio: Elder Aeons
    Our first game is now available for free on Google Play: Frontier: Isle of the Seven Gods
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    The arrow is meant to imply some sort of "progress". I see the problem, because the arrow in and of itself doesn't appear in the comic at all actually, the story is about progress though. Not sure if I should make the arrow into a lightning instead, because Zeus plays a role in the story somewhat. And I'm working on fixing the bird silhouette, thanks for the crit.

    m3nace on
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Made two different versions, one for each of @DMAC 's suggestions and made the arrow a lightning bolt.

    m3nace on
  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    Hmmm... maybe something to break up the black on black of the bird against the background? Using the dark blue from the bottom strip as a gradient fading down from the bird's head? I'm finding that with it scaled down like this, that outline becomes really faint.

  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    Or maybe a subtle art deco "sunburst" with the dark blue in the background?

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I like the one on the left, the in profile reads nicely. Could use a bit more definition from the background though (sunburst idea sounds fun).

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Comme ca?

  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    Was thinking something more like this:


    Also, part of the problem (for me) is that my monitor here at work is super dark so I brightened it up a bit.

  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Needs more contrast. You could change the background color so it's not the same color as the bird's silhouette.

    Lightning bolt leads the viewers eye off the page. Doesn't enhance the design. It might work if it went from top left to bottom right and there was a focal point in the lower right corner.

    Is the title Prometheus? My immediate thought is the recent Ridley Scott movie.

    What's the significance of KD-2125?

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    The title is Prometheus as in the Greek titan Prometheus. My story is a retelling of that myth. KD-2125 is my application number for a school which I'm currently applying to, this thing being the project.
    I think I've got my background, ty DMAC.
    I'm partial about turning the lightning bolt the other way, I would have to flip the bird around too and I'd like it to face in the reading direction. Opinions?

    m3nace on
  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    I think up and to the right works better than down and left would.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Seeing it now, DMAC's burst has a bit too much wonkyness between the angles of the burst and the buildings in the inner vignette to me.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Alright, here it is:
    Prometheus: The God and The Machine

    preface (to avoid confusion with the annoying Ridley Scott who has virtually patented the name): Prometheus
    In Greek mythology, Prometheus (Greek: Προμηθεύς, pronounced [promɛːtʰeús]) is a Titan, culture hero, and trickster figure who is credited with the creation of man from clay and the theft of fire for human use, an act that enabled progress and civilization. Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, sentenced the Titan to eternal torment for his transgression. The immortal Prometheus was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, which would then grow back to be eaten again the next day.






    post reading questions:
    Did you get the twist? (that he ends up shooting/having shot himself)

    Did the last page make sense when you read it the first time? Did it seem like he was looking for his past self?

    How about the beginning, was it confusing? Should I make it more clear that he was about to present timetravel to humanity?

    m3nace on
  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    Got the twist first time, definitely makes sense. Beginning was perfect, but it did need your preface to make sense.

    That glass shard panel is fucking brilliant.

    Oh, I just noticed, the panel that says "not this.. he must stop it" - you can see his wrists but no device (sleeves are rolled up) :)

    Draw an egg.
  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    I would turn that preface into an actual page. I can see your Mignola influence, he usually has nice prefaces to the myths he is using, whether it is on a black page with a small centered drawing and nice font or through a conversation with local/old woman. If you need to write the text above the comic, it should probably be in there.
    Is the time machine meant to disappear and reappear? It looks like a mistake.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Oh shit, yeah I always forget the little things. Thanks, now I see I forgot to add it a whole bunch of places.

  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Also the clock isn't in the first lecture hall scene, would probably be a good prop to remember as it features prominently later in the second.
    EDIT: Third last panel says "very wel prometheus"

    I'd also suggest balancing all the text a little better. There are several moments when it scraps the edges of speech bubbles/boxes. I'm not sure whether its best to center the writing, box it, or keep it to the left like you've done. I suppose it can change, I'd suggest the type of vertical narrow panels you have at the end to have centered text.

    Your style is pretty consistent. Though I think that Prometheus on the fourth panel on the fourth page doesn't fit. Though I suppose it could be argued that it has dramatic importance, he himself might have started to break apart and abstract as a result of this weird time travelling conundrum. But I don't think thats what you were going for, it wasn't immediately apparent nor is there progression in the next panels of this happening.

    As to your questions which I didn't see before.
    I got it pretty clearly. I always feel these twist stories are sort of streamlined narratives, the bare essentials and the fact you're telling all this in five pages is pretty good. I didn't get the time travel part until he said time travel. I don't know if its important to hint at that earlier or not. I don't know how you'd do it....newspaper headlines in the crowd? some cryptic narration about time in the first page? eh, What did other people think?

    I'd like to know if anyone else was confused on the first page by the second dialogue box, I read it as a continuation of Zeus' dialogue. I understood that the change from dark grey to light grey was indicating a change in character, but it sounded like the same voice in my head, the way the sentence was structured.

    Lewis Rice on
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Fuckin hell...
    edit: also, I had already made a little preface page thing although I didn't bother translating it, it looks like this:

    m3nace on
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    m3nace, these comic projects you have been posting are fan-fucking-tastic. They beautifully illustrate something I have never seen, which is the power of comics to portray a short story medium as effectively as possible. Both stories you posted are brilliant and I don't think that they could be told in any other medium. People often talk about the power of comics as a story telling medium but you rarely see it. My hat is off to you sir.

    Red Raevyn
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    My hat is off to you sir.
    Allow me to express my sincerest gratitude @brokecracker . That truly means a lot to me, now if only I could get an idea that did not involve time travel then I should count myself happy.
    And I should also like to grant a tip of my hat to you Lewis for your magnificent critique. It is always a good thing to know the nature of one's shortcomings, when one has been staring himself ever more blind in those pages, with each passing day.
    edit: also, I went in and had this printed today as a small comic, I shall post the results in the morning.

    m3nace on
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    I did another small funnypage:
    here's the previous one (unrelated) for anyone wondering
    edit: it's meant for print, not as a webcomic. It can sometimes be hard to look at crosshatching on a monitor...
    and if anyone is better at latin than google translate go ahead, the title is supposed to read "death eternal"

    m3nace on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    m3ance its like you were always meant to make comics forever.

    <3 You have to do November with me and @mynt

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Shit yeah I will. Is there like a reminder email thing you can set up for that? Because I always forget when the day comes around.

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