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McD comics (plus art... Some NSFW)

McDMcD Registered User regular
edited June 2013 in Artist's Corner
Hey! Me and my brother have been making comics (with him on writing duties, me on art) and I was looking to get some feedback on them... I feel like I've been hitting a bit of a wall lately and getting some fresh eyes would really help. Anyway, I'm just gonna post a variety of stuff, recent and less so to get some overall thoughts. I'll post the first page from each story and spoiler the rest so that the post isn't a mile and a half long.

This one was done around new year, totally digitally (it's also quite heavy on the text, which is something we've worked on):
NYEPage01.jpg
NYEPage02.jpg
NYEPage03.jpg
NYEPage04.jpg

This one's also totally digital, but I think it needs a mid-tone or something:
BirdCavePage01.jpg
BirdCavePage02.jpg
BirdCavePage03.jpg
BirdCavePage04.jpg

The most recent story we've done, which is a bit of a parody on old games propaganda ads. This first page is definitely the weakest. I foolishly drew it at A4 size... Colour's also something I need to work on:

CaptMax_GlassHouses_Page01.jpg
CaptMax_GlassHouses_Page02.jpg
CaptMax_GlassHouses_Page03.jpg
CaptMax_GlassHouses_Page041.jpg
CaptMax_GlassHouses_Page05.jpg

Goal-wise, I'd love to get my work up to a standard where it could get published in some form, but I know it's a long path... I hope this isn't too much of an overload! Thanks so much if you've made it this far!

Cheers!

McD

McD on

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    Newest page! This is the start of an origin story for a character we've already done some stuff with. Just finished colouring it earlier on today... Colour's still a really tough one for me and it takes ages, even for results such as these... It'd be great to get some feedback, though :)

    Conall_Page01.jpg

    Also, my brother just finished getting all the gubbins on our site sorted! It's got all of our other pages to date up there. If anyone has any feedback on the site itself, that'd also be awesome.

    Thanks!

    McD

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    franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    The first comic had me reading pretty hard, you could throw a book my way with that writing, and I would just keep going.

    The "birds" short was quality, but I thought about how the man could see anything while I was reading (cause it was pitch black)

    I like your art style, it matches the writing well. Like I said, I'm particularly fond of the New Years comic.

    What kind of critique are you looking to get? The level of polish you bring to your work suggests everything is deliberate, so it's hard to add to it IMHO.
    If you don't have fancy fonts, or hand letters you will be advised on them soon, but as far as I can tell you should already be published.

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    Wow, thanks so much for that! A lot of the time I don't have the most confidence when it comes to my work, so getting a comment like that really means a lot. I'll definitely pass the sentiment about the writing along to my brother as well. The darkness in the cave is a very good point, I should have given him a wee torch or something... That would have been useful for showing the contours of the cave and might have been more visually interesting.

    As far as critique goes, it's really anything people can think to comment on... If there's anything I can do to improve composition, specific areas where inking/colouring needs work (for instance, I feel like the hair on panel 3 of the latest page just looks like a brown lump at the moment), things that don't read as well as they should, that kind of stuff. I actually bought one or two Blambot fonts to help with lettering, but that's definitely an area I need to work on as well... Still not 100% sure how to get the best out of them. The idea of lettering by hand is really daunting, my handwriting's fucking terrible!

    Thanks again!

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    franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    its terrible hand writers that produce the best lettering.

    it would be easy to instruct you on anatomy, but not in the context of your story telling. if you changed styles from panel to panel then i would point it out, but you have an Art Spiegelman thing going on that makes it hard to point out mistakes. the writing is what seems to matter the most.

    if you wouldnt mind showing us some life drawing, we might be able to help you out some more.

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    That's interesting... Maybe for the next story I'll suck it up and give the hand lettering a try... I love looking at pages by guys like James Stokoe and Jarrett Williams when they've done the lettering straight onto the board, so it's worth a shot!

    Some anatomy instruction in any capacity would be fantastic too, I can definitely post some relatively recent life drawing. In fact, I'll do that right... NOW

    tumblr_mkwc5jD9Dh1ruv3lgo1_500.jpgtumblr_mkwc5jD9Dh1ruv3lgo2_1280.jpg
    tumblr_mkwc5jD9Dh1ruv3lgo3_500.jpg
    tumblr_mkwc5jD9Dh1ruv3lgo5_1280.jpg
    tumblr_mnze52aLW21ruv3lgo4_500.jpg
    tumblr_mkwb5vSvRB1ruv3lgo4_500.jpg
    tumblr_mnze52aLW21ruv3lgo3_500.jpg

    I haven't been in about a month or so, though... Whoops...

    Thanks!

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    edited June 2013
    New page! This one's a bit more racy than my usual stuff, but it's all in the best possible taste... I guess! Also took the opportunity to try something a bit different with the colouring, since it's all druggy. Any crit is welcome as always! Cheers!

    http://www.comicbru.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Conall_Page02.jpg

    Iruka on
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    linked that one. We can do tasteful nudity but we cant do tasteful intercourse since its technically a 13 and up forum.

    Nice stuff in here though.

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    Crap! Sorry about that... I was gonna spoiler it, but I wasn't sure if the NSFW in the title covered it! Apologies!

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Its cool, dude.

    One thing I noticed now that I'm in here again, is that your life drawings have some really nice soft curves. The girls in your first comic have pretty hard edge faces, not that every girl face has to be soft and smoothed over, but they have some pretty hard chins. Maybe experiment with your comic style, if you aren't attached to it, you could probably get some interesting stuff if you are a little less classic about your approach.

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    Thanks, I'm totally in favour of experimenting, I'll try to work those elements in : ) It's a bit of a struggle for me to get a feminine look to characters (chunky hands are also a habit). That's an interesting point about trying to push things away from the classic approach a little... I'll definitely bear that in mind.

    Cheers!

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    New page, which features less nudity and sexy times (oh, well...)! I feel like this one's a bit of a mixed bag and since it's keeping in style with the rest of the story, I haven't been able to experiment as much as Iruka suggested, but I'm gonna be doing another story alongside this one that should feature something a bit different character-wise. Cheers!

    Conall_Page03LetteringTemplate.jpg

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    Latest page! Another one I feel like is a bit of a mixed bag, the perspective on that last panel is a bit screwy... But there's a couple of things I'm happy with. Thinking about inking the pages digitally after this story's done, since inking with the brush is pretty time consuming. Anyways, if anyone has any feedback, that'd be great! Cheers!

    Conall_Page04.jpg

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    So, I could REALLY use some feedback on this... Since there's a couple of comic conventions coming up around my part of the woods, me and my brother were discussing ways to try and get some eyes pointed towards our comic. At first we thought about getting some business cards made, but people can lose those and whatnot, so we figured we'd print off some small comics (4 pages at A5) to hand out when people are queueing for a signing or a panel or something. The thinking being that that not only gets the word out about the site, but also gives people something to read while they're waiting! Now, is this a good idea, or would it just be a nuisance for people? We've come up with a short story and I've roughed out the pages, so if you guys could let me know what you think about the idea of handing these things out as well as any feedback about the comic itself (art, writing, anything at all) that woud be awesome!

    Keep in mind these are VERY rough... Also, some of the dialogue is written as though it were being spoken in a Glasgow accent, so I've spoilered translations below each of the pages if anyone has trouble with that! Cheers!

    vrXTFlC.jpg
    Och! Bloody thing isn't working!
    DgjqEmb.jpg
    7Lf6f3S.jpg
    Panel 3: Aw, you're a star, hen! It's good to know there's still honest folk about!
    Panel 4: Let me give you something to say thanks. Tell you what, I'll half it with you!
    ujUuLGd.jpg

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    I'm glad no one took exception to the idea of handing these things out! I'm gonna just progress with those and hopefully try and implement Iruka's feedback. In the mean time, here's the final page of that story we were working on, I've also spoilered the inks if anyone's interested. Any feedback would be fantastic. Cheers!
    Conall_Page05.jpg
    tumblr_mpjc2gtW8h1sqckqjo1_1280.jpg

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    Red RaevynRed Raevyn because I only take Bubble Baths Registered User regular
    I'm no layout guru, but I'm not a fan of the first and last pages of the handout. There's a lot of white space, and text that's pure utility taking up space. If it's saying something totally predictable (but useful, don't get me wrong) I don't think it needs to be so big. You could do more than I have with the first page, moving the first panel up and putting a smaller wide panel beneath it, or expanding the first panel so there is more art on the page. I also think it'd be good to give people a taste of your other comics, since you've got a wide range of comics going on; some select panels from other comics may be a good idea on the last page.

    tumblr_mpmhozwmLX1s9cildo1_400.jpg
    .
    tumblr_mpmhozwmLX1s9cildo2_400.jpg

    Your stacked "comic bru" is a nice size, like a DC/Dark Horse/whatever logo, so I'd use it like that in a corner. On the other hand, I noticed that it has the big .com on it in the last page, but not on the first. You may want to make that consistent, or on the last page just write it out as a horizontal URL instead of the block, so you have that .com with it to make it explicit.

    PS random aside, I always want to say "Nice comic, bru!" when I see it.

    12 hours later - I was trying to find this post to edit it and realized I never hit post reply. Whoops! Anyway, if you made it 30 monetary units you could still keep the tearing joke (three bills, he gives one and rips a second) and you could call it... the three tenners. :D

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    MyGfsDogMyGfsDog Registered User regular
    That witch/goblin woman thing in the comic page above is quite disgusting (in a good way). And I like the use of texture in your work, in general. You a fan a Jeff Smith? I think I see some influence there.

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    @RedRaevyn, thanks so much for the feedback, dude! I tried fiddling with the front page layout, but I couldn't get anything that looked right, so I've added like a panel around the lettering. That advice for the last page is spot on! I've done almost exactly that for it in fact... Haha! Dinghyed the three tenners joke, I'm sorry to say... Maybe for the next story, though!

    @MyGfsDog, cheers, dude! Disgusting was definitely what we were going for there ; ) I haven't read too much of Jeff Smith's work, I'm thoroughly ashamed to admit... But he's someone I definitely need to get onto! I read a little bit of Bone and Rasl and those parts were great!

    Ugh... There's been a bit of a cock-up with the prints of the comics, sadly.... Mostly my fault, but I think they share some of the blame, too... They ended up printing them at A4 per page as opposed to A5... It was totally an error in communication, but still. I don't know how we're going to get on with handing these things out, who's going to want to carry an A4 comic around with them? I'll post some pictures and stuff tomorrow!

    McD on
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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    Jesus, the last week's been mental! SO, basically, I'm not used to getting prints done... Here's what the confusion resulted in:

    9324096156_717b38fcb6_o.jpg

    Totally my fault, really... I should have been more on the ball, but at least I've learned a lesson. Never mind! We spoke to the good folks that run the Glasgow Comic Con and they said they'd happily put the comics in the free bags they give out at the door, which meant that the bigger size made them the biggest thing in there! Result! I don't think we've seen much of an increase in traffic, but hey, early days... Here's the final story:
    9321372337_cfc590dd44_o.jpg

    9321373497_5ec1ba0de2_o.jpg

    9324165916_0dc9e28b65_o.jpg

    9321372727_dddce0f899_o.jpg

    I also finished a page for the site, which is the start of a new story. I'l probably edit this since I switched off the layer with the shadow on the weights... Also, apparently the strong-girl needs to have tattoos... It's not been a good week for me paying attention!

    MelissaCircus_Page01.jpg

    Also did a slightly more detailed version of the circus poster:

    tumblr_mq7afx7Pht1sqckqjo1_1280.jpg

    Any feedback would be great. Cheers!

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    transatlanticalientransatlanticalien Registered User regular
    Ahhhh I really like the comics with Abi and Yvonne!
    The new story looks really promising too! One thing I would say is that personally I'd connect the two bubbles in the fourth panel since the second is more like it's adding on to the first, rather than being a separate thought in and of itself. I don't know, that's just how I'd see it personally but we may digress

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    Thanks! Yeah, people do seem to like those comics the best... Maybe we should try doing a longer story with them or something.

    Ah, yeah, I see what you mean about that fourth panel... I think the main reason I split it up that way was that I had a lot of blank space in those areas, so it was more of a compositional thing. I'm gonna be editing the page though, so I'll try connecting them up somehow and see how it works... Cheers!

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    We actually posted this on the site Wednesday, but it's been a pretty crazy week... If you guys have any feedback, that would be awesome!

    MelissaCircus_Page02.jpg

    Also, I edited the lettering slightly after @transatlanticalien 's feedback, wondering if this helps the composition of that fourth panel:

    9380559258_d6a62ee505_o.jpg

    McD on
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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    After a month of trying to sort out life stuff, I've managed to kind of get back into the drawing groove again... Here's the latest page from the Melissa story, if you guys have any thoughts that would be awesome, as always:

    MelissaCircus_Page03.jpg

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    Red RaevynRed Raevyn because I only take Bubble Baths Registered User regular
    In the fourth panel, she isn't squared up with the diving board - if forward is noon she's facing 10 o'clock or so. In the last panel, it looks kind of strange to have the diving board abruptly end (without the tower etc). I think because it's such a clean end - maybe drawing in the rest and desaturating or otherwise fading it would work? I really like the penultimate panel's layout, but I think her right thumb has an extra bend in it. The second panel is nice too, good sense of height from the contrasting scales.

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    nocuddletimenocuddletime Registered User regular
    I really like the Melissa stuff. I don't think the comics are too wordy really. I suffer from the opposite problem of having way too little text and I feel obligated to drop in text boxes in here and there just to remind people it's a comic.

    93acff97bUk2g.gif
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    sharky tsharky t LondonRegistered User regular
    edited September 2013
    I really love the idea of having all these different short comics by you guys on the same site and returning to different characters. That's a great idea and really works well for webcomics, readers don't have to catch up with hundreds of pages of story and can just delve right in. Also, I imagine it will give you and your brother great experience writing and illustrating in different styles.

    I think you're art's getting stronger as well with how productive you've been. The simple colour palette of that last Melissa page works a lot better than the Abigail and Yvonne pages in the opening post and your lines are getting better too. One thing I might suggest is to try some different lettering to suit the different comics rather than using generic comic text for each one.

    Keep it up mate looking forward to seeing more!

    sharky t on
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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    @nocuddletime - Cheers, man. Yeah, My tendency is to always limit the wording, I'm definitely a big fan of "show, don't tell" when it comes to comics... I think that it can be tough getting the balance right, but as long as whatever's going on serves the story, it's all good.

    @sharky t - Thanks so much, dude. The idea to do short stories came about so that we didn't lock ourselves in too early... We're both still trying to figure out how to do this comicking stuff, so it's great to be able to just work on something for a few weeks then try something totally different if we're getting bored. Thanks for the comment on the linework too, I still feel like I'm struggling, but hopefully doing some master studies of amazing cartoonists and comic artists will be a big help. The lettering absolutely needs work, totally agree... Still need to try hand-lettering to vary things up...

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    So I made a couple of changes to the last page, which I think is an improvement, but I just realised I still need to fix her thumb...

    9835319684_e794cd4a7b_o.jpg

    And here's the new page, I feel like the last panel lets it down slightly, but it's definitely galvanised me to try and hand-letter the next story, even if it's digital. Any feedback would be great : )

    MelissaCircus_Page-04.jpg

    McD on
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    bombardierbombardier Moderator Mod Emeritus
    The comic is really good! The last few pages definitely stand out, too.

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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    Thanks so much @bombardier ! Yeah, I wound up spending more days (although probably not ACTUAL time) on them by accident since my living condition's kind of been in upheaval for the last couple of months. It's meant I get to have a fresh eye on the pages more often though, which helps to nab way more mistakes...

    Here's the cheery last page of the Melissa story:
    MelissaCircus_Page05.jpg

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    buffylovebuffylove Registered User regular
    Haven't had a chance to read the story, but you've got some fantastic art. The design and page layouts are great. It really looks top notch!

    New story -- DUMP SITE
    banner___book_with_title_close_up_resized_by_paul_a_newman-d6mcq5v.jpg
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    McDMcD Registered User regular
    @buffylove Thanks so much! That's awesome to hear : )

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    F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Very nice stuff! It reads well and I like the characters!

    F87 on
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    kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    I'm really enjoying these latest efforts, McD. I would say try to work on the eyes, I think there's more expressiveness you could get out there.

    Still, this gave me feels.

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