Well it was nice to have the feedback while it lasted; I guess it was only a matter of time before the deconstructive side came out.
Our names weren't just pulled out of hat or thrown together at random. They all have a meaning behind them that isn't necessary to explain in the comics. Most of the planned characters on the list from here on out are not based on anybody real, but they are all set to have normal names, Charlie, Iris, ect.
Just because you don't know why I chose the names doesn't mean they were random.
And as for the ‘enter or be gay’, the joke wasn't "Ha you're gay". The point of an inside joke is that there are several parts of the joke that aren't clear to you, thus only those with the rest of the information get it.
And as for me having said my hardware is my excuse for a shitty site, that's not what I'm saying at all. I said I plan on updating the site, however it will take time. The hardware is why it will take time to update. The hardware I'm using has a 7 inch touch screen, which I use to make all the original sketches using the stylus. This is a big benefit, rather than a hindrance. On the downfall it makes the typing and coding difficult. But it does speed along the art side of the process, however as I’ve learned from you all, that is something I need to spend more time on. My goal at first was to use the same art for the comics as what would be seen in the episodes. However, since it’s going to be a while before I can have my animations online, I’ll need to update the art of the comics.
The site's (the site itself) major downfalls are poor planning and a lack of experience, this being the first site I've ever developed or designed. Considering it's done with no prior knowledge of any of the systems I used, and without any training other than stumbling through the program, I'm happy with my initial results. Do I think it could use improvement? Absolutely, tons of it; and I'm more than willing to put in the time, effort, and money it's going to take to get it up to par. But that doesn't mean I'm not happy with my initial results. I took an idea and I followed through with it until I've completed it. I still have a great deal to learn, and this website is my motivation to grow as an artist and an animator.
As far as my comics are concerned, I agree, I need to put more time and effort into them. The writing is not something that can or will be changed. Every comic is based on an actual event or conversation. The way it's written is the way it's spoken.
The cast includes more than the two characters, but we've yet to branch into them. I have a total of about 30 fully designed characters all waiting to be introduced. They make up the core background characters, from a sporting shop owner to fast food clerks, and even a Bigfoot like character. With only 5 or so comics the main focus is going to be on the 2 main characters first.
And as for the Goron comic, I'll remove it. It was a stupid idea to put that up without explaining the background to that comic. That will need to be worked into an episode, as it's too long to explain in comic form. Hopefully we'll be able to put some more animations online soon, and that will help flesh out the characters more.
The animations that are up I will not apologize for. I love them both and they are both funny. And before you point out how conceited that sounds, I had nothing to do with them other than posting them on the site and being a big fan of them. What I see in them is potential to take Klim’s animation, comedy, and directing skills he’s displayed in flash (granted these aren’t even close to his best), and use my art with them. I believe it’s going to be very successful, especially with the script we’ve worked on. The full episodes are really the first thing all 4 cast members are going to be fully involved in.
For now this is a hobby, and one I'm having fun with. Considering this is very early in development, and that this is in no means meant to be competition for any major comic chain out there, I'm happy with my results. People who haven't set their standards so high have enjoyed our comics and our site. I've had lots of positive feedback elsewhere, and some great advice, especially here. The nothing held back approach to criticism was, at first, discouraging. And I'll admit that it's very difficult to not get defensive about it, especially in the much more instigating remarks, but as a whole I've taken some great advice from you guys so thank you.
I’ve modified the first post because eventually if this topic goes on, I’ll either get defensive about it as the advice goes from helpful to rants of hatred, or I’ll take too much of the comments to heart and give up. Neither of which is an outcome I want. I really appreciate the advice from all of you, as well as the critique, both the helpful and the mocking.
PS: Also thank you for the comments and criticism of my other drawings. I have never had an art class or anything, so I'm very much looking forward to finally going to college and taking my first art lessons. Having the few compliments and the criticism is very helpful.
However ... your site. I have a number of very important issues to raise:
1) It's flash. This makes it instantly annoying. Don't get me wrong, I'm a flash developer by profession, so i love the program. BUT making a whole site in flash is in 98% of cases a bad baaaad idea. Your site is one of them. The animations of everything moving in and out of the screen means that it takes fucking ages to get to any actual content. It also looks like it's running at 12 frames per second which is just ridiculous.
2) The buttons don't actually work, or at least the ones to go to different comics at least. I didn't look through the site deeply enough to see if any others don't work.
3) Can you name a single successful webcomic that has a flashonly website? I know I can't.
And as far as successful flash only sites, check out homestarrunner.com.
I'm pretty new to flash and have found several other programs such as Quark and illustrator very fun to use as well. I enjoy design and I have decided to go back to school for graphic arts.
While I know Flash is not ideal, it is what I have to work with until I get through a few years of school. I'm not looking to become rich and famous. I'm looking for feedback I can use, and yours was certainly a help for the design side.
As for the buttons, in the 2,200 people that have been there since last week, your's is the first complaint I've heard of something not working, however I did update last night and wont have viewer information until tomorrow, so I'll be looking into that to determine why they may or may not be working.
Thanks for the feedback.
PS: Yes I'm at 12 FPS. I forgot to change that. In your professional opinion, what FPS works best?
That right there is the problem. Flash isn't used to produce websites (except in rare, often stupid instances), it's used to produce content. Yes, Flash is powerful, and so is a shotgun, but if you point a shotgun at your face things aren't going to go down the way you want them to. Learning how to properly use something that powerful can result in some amazing things, but it takes a little while to really learn it. I would suggest changing the layout to good old fasion XHTML and CSS, otherwise people are going to be put off by your site. Here, here's a list:
1. Get rid of the enter part. Everyone hates those.
2. Stop using Flash (on the site, don't stop learning it)
3. If you don't already know how to use HTML and CSS you need to learn and apply it.
4. Use a title other than "comics"
5. Don't use any of the colors you're using now
6. Go to http://www.w3schools.com/
7. Don't let me catch you using tables to seperate content
Edit: Marcozz, what the hell? You need to make your sig fit 80x500.
I have every intention of learning HTML and CSS, as well as anything else I can get my hands on. I'm starting my basic school this coming school year at my local college, and will be transferring to the Art Institute possibly next year.
And as for the enter part, it's saving space for an intro movie, however I think you're right about that. I think I'll take it down for now and let the rest run through to new straight away.
It's very funny how those who are more technically inclined HATE flash websites, but every average computer user I find loves the look of it and feels it stands out from other boring sites. I'll try to find some middle ground the more I learn.
For now I'll have to make the content worth coming to the site, and when I'm ready and have learned more, I'll be ready for XHTML and CSS.
PS: Thanks for the links, I think it would be great to get a jump start on my school work before I even get to the campus. :-)
PPS: I'm glad you like the comic MarcozZ!
Pell Mell is offensive? Do you know what Pell Mell even means? Maybe there was some kind of misunderstanding.
Learn how to draw...
I'm no da Vinci, but I'm not a bad artist.
You could try "constructive criticism". And if you're going to say "Think of something original" please reference what exactly you're talking about, because I don't know if you mean the site, the artwork style, the jokes, etc.
What you did was be rude. I'm happy to have criticism, but please actually have a point instead of just being rude.
I think he was referring to the "enter or be gay" title. Either that or the garish speech bubble.
See, those are good sketches, but I can't say I like the actual comic's art very much. Hooded eyes, very similar facial arrangements for each character... and the flash website is a bit of an obstacle, as mentioned.
My critique? Either learn how to do web design, or use a CMS that does it for you.
Also, his "learn to draw" comment was very valid. I'm sure it's not the nicest thing to hear, but I suggest you get used to harsh criticism. Not everyone's going to take the time to write out an essay why they liked/disliked your comic - it was just a gut reaction, and I'm going to have to agree with him. The art isn't very appealing to me, and it really doesn't look like you put too much time or thought into it, and it doesn't really help that the main characters are two dudes that play video games and say stupid stuff (one of which actually looks like a very early Tycho). That's just cliche - and the writing sounds pretty forced, like they're reading their lines off a script or something. Very unnatural diologue.
You're right, you're not bad, so why doesn't your comic reflect that?
The "Your mom" joke I actually liked but the rest of it blends in with every other comic on the net. And the dude with the two tone hair is waaay to reminiscent of Tycho. I'ld change that up at least, even if you don't change the direction of the comic. (Which I personally would because, like I said, it looks like every other web comic)
Take some more time with your comics. They look rushed. Spend as much time on your comics as you did on that other stuff you posted.
I ought to have that macroed.
Is that...is that MS Comic Sans?
I demand serifs!
And more cowbell, dammit!
But honestly, your website design gave me eye herpes.
We can hang the cowbell on the serifs.
1) You're a liar.
2) You think copying someone elses work is equal to drawing.
3) You're just really, really bad at producing art on a computer.
I mean, come on. I probebly sound like a jackass, but just look. Look at the arm of that biker. Look at everyones hands. Look at the lamps. Look at the tranny's torso. The hair. The shoes. The random lineweights. All of these things lead one to conclude you are not a good artist, as you claim.
Beyond all that, since there are successful comics with bad art (purposefully or not), the jokes you've presented are not funny. They're not really even jokes. It's something I say to my roomate while we are doing something stupid. And in general practice, "something I said to my friend whilst we did something stupid" does not make for a good comic.
Now a natural reaction of yours might be, "well I'm not trying to write a comic to make you laugh, I'm trying to do blah blah blah." If you really want to make a pictorial journal of things you said to your buddy that you thought were funny, I don't see the point of bringing it here.
In conclusion, I think you are a begining artist, who doesn't have a grasp on things like anatomy and form, who took an art class where he copied some pictures he liked in an attempt to pick up shading/texture, saw a comic on PA, thought "I'm a genius and hillarious, I can do that too!" got together with your friends, and started making a comic that only you 4 will enjoy. Maybe your friends and family too, if only because they can look at it and say "hey I know that guy! This must be funny!"
Oh, and the first thing I thought when I saw your two main characters, before I read any explanations or dialogue, was that they were blatant PA ripoffs. Maybe it's just coincidence that you look like the PA characters in real life; I don't know. But posting it here, on a PA forum, certainly is suspect with hair like that.
yourpencil sketches are sorta nice..but your comic looks like crap. sorry.
- Don't use Flash to make comics. Use pencil and then ink with Photoshop.
- Learn web design. The gradients and everything don't even look very good. You might not have many complaints, but not a lot of people know what they're talking about. It can look better, that's kind of just the end of it and there's no excuse. Also, the Homestar Runner site is good, and designed well. There's a difference.
- Learn anatomy, draw from life, get good at all that, then develop your style and work on comics. This is pretty generic "Hey, I'm gonna do a web comic!" art. I understand, we all go through it in the beginning, but eventually you'll get what we're talking about.
- The art you showed us wasn't bad, but it was fairly mediocre. The portrait looks great at a glance, but it's certainly not perfect. It was obviously referenced from a photo. I'm not going to critique the other two. You still need to work on other kinds of art beside these web comics.
With regards to your other drawings: they do not change the fact that your cartoon art looks like formless garbage. Considering the discrepancy in quality, I have a sneaking suspicion that you're simply painstakingly imitating (and in the third one, probably tracing) someone else's artwork. And that demonstrates nothing about your talent, nor will it teach you anything.
The website is awful. The design is awful. The colours are awful. Comic Sans is awful. The flash is awful, completely unnecessary, and horribly bloated. Throw it all away, and put together something nice and minimalistic without the shiny textures, pointless animations, or crappy fonts.
EDIT: I forgot to mention the writing. To be brief, it is just as awful as everything else.
maybe you should try to work on improving the quality of one part...like the comic itself for instance.
the speech bubbles and text all seem kind of like they were thrown together and the end result looks pretty sloppy.
Sizzy pretty much nailed everything I was going to come in an say. Not only is it blatently obvious you are "inspired" by Penny-Arcade from the character designs to the websites colors, but it's pretty clear you're putting the cart before the horse as far as production goes.
Honestly, your ideas for your comic/cartoons sounds insipid. Why do all of the characters have such dumb names? Visually nothing suggests a reason for this other than perhaps they are otaku freaks who think its cool. When designing a character or even crafting a story you have to consider even the smallest things. When I wrote the main character to my works, I gave him a slightly uncommon first name and a painfully plain, most common last name you can think of. This doubles as both a verbal cue to his characters disposition (being prone to manic/depressive swings), but it also served as an homage to one of my favorite writer's and favorite literary characters (both who share the same last name).
See how that's a lot of forsight into something that won't *ever* be brought up in the story? You have to consider every design element of a character, the world they inhabit and the story they help unfold. As it stands, I take one look at your character designs that feel too much like cheap knock offs; trip over their painfully goofy names all on top of an ignorant title page--and if only I could invent an engine that ran off of the sheer amount of me not caring--and I have zero interest to check back.
Milk is good so os doog si kliM
Anyway, I notice the pencil drawings you posted are from '03, '04, and '01. This is in fact 2007. You don't have any more recent work of this type to share? I ask because in terms of skill growth you could be leaps and bounds ahead of those right now. BUT since you aren't sharing them I will assume that you haven't done much art making in the last few years. I applaud the sketches because I recognize exactly the images they came from and that shows a decent skill for 'seeing'. but to really understand what your seeing you need to practice. just like the posters before me said. This will help you in every aspect of your work, and if you are bent on using the computer in the future, learning the hand methods first will make that better too.
In terms of your comics and site, I think some work should be done here too. It seems to me like a lot more planning should've gone in before it went live. All of it feels unfinished to me. I think the flash takes too long, and it is very very reminiscent of PA. It's almost like you haven't made your own site, you've made your own version of PA, and I don't really mean that in a good way.
Anyways that's all I have time to muse on right now.
Abunai, I would LOVE to show how much I've improved since 2003 (I was in my senior year of High School then) however I dont have a scanner and much of my new work is on much larger paper.
I haven't created much artwork since 03, but since I got back I have found that I am actually much better in control of my hands and my eye for shading. In fact the two realism drawings I've done this year have both won a couple of awards. I've definitely improved since then. And I'm glad you can recognize what they were from. I did draw them without the reference in front of me so I had to rely on my memory. If they even ring a bell of what they were supposed to represent, then I'm happy. I've learned a lot since then and, as far as realism goes, I draw a great deal of things from my imagination now rather than from an actual model or memory of something real.
The comics I'll admit I rushed through, especially on props and backgrounds because I hate doing them. However, I do have a new artist on staff who is amazing with props and backgrounds, and I do plan on updating the website out of Flash to XHTML and CSS, however that will take me some time since I'm working on a Samsung Q1 (7 inch screen with no physical keyboard).
The advice on here has been invaluable and I appreciate it! I can't wait to repost a new subject once the first animation comes out. The animation is really the main driving goal of the site, not the web comics, although they are important. They are why people would continue going to my site, and I need to spend a lot more time on them. I do not treat them as real art. I have a few more comics lined up, but I'm going to go back and touch those up a bit.
As far as my characters looking like Penny Arcades characters, the only one I can think of would be Nets, the blond one, who is said to look like Tycho (I think more like one of those Dragon Ball Z guys... I'm suprised that didn't come up). All the characters actually look like their real life counter parts, however I do have an older version of Nets that looks more like I did in high school, so I'll probably revert to that.
I have no plans of quitting, nor am I discouraged in anyway. I am looking forward to our next comic, and I can't wait to get back to school to start learning more of the technical side. I'll get to XHTML and CSS when I can, but for now, the flash will have to do. I'll try to tweak the site to make it run faster, and I'll try to get rid of the tables too. ;-)
Thanks again everyone, I probably won't be back on here for a while. I've got comics to make, things to learn, ect.
PS: Sorry about the offensive title. The "Enter or be Gay" thing. That was an inside joke during development with a friend of mine, and I forgot to change it. I'll try to remember how I set it in the first place to change it back to, "Welcome to Pell Mell"... or actually I'll probably get rid of the entrance page altogether...
No one is trying to discourage you, all of the brutally honest opinions are based on the countless crap like yours that we have seen before. So we're telling you what is wrong with your comic, bottom line, and to improve it those are the areas to focus.
As for the characters... seriously... It's Tycho. You say they are based off of your real life counter parts, let's see some pics?
And lastly, inside joke or not, writing "Enter or Be Gay" is pretty stupid. I'm not above gay jokes, but they pretty much have to be something more clever than just "You're gay--HAHAHA".
that is so totally funny you should post this online it will be the next PA
You and Grifter both... you and Grifter both...
Hey! I'm not gay! You sucked my dick!