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How to Launch a New Comic

Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
edited June 2009 in Artist's Corner
Hi,

I'm new to the forum but I've been a fan of Penny Arcade for some time. It's been one of the things that's inspire me to have a ago at my own comic.

I was after getting some feedback and any insight into marketing a new comic, online and in the paper.

Also, Is it good enough? An artist is aways bias about his work and some construtive feedback would be greatly appreciated

Thanks for any help given.

Tris

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Little-Horror on
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Posts

  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Y'know sometimes I almost hope that new comics will be alarmingly rubbish so I can laugh at them.....Cest la vie......I'm too drunk to read this right now, but the art looks pretty good.

    Mustang on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Mustang wrote: »
    Y'know sometimes I almost hope that new comics will be alarmingly rubbish so I can laugh at them.....Cest la vie......I'm too drunk to read this right now, but the art looks pretty good.

    Thanks... I think? I'll wait for you to swap your beer goggles for your real glasses. Let me know if it's ok in a sober state. :P

    Little-Horror on
  • AlienMastermindAlienMastermind Registered User
    edited June 2009
    This is solid stuff. The jokes are good. If you need some publicity, however, you can always submit to www.isitfunnytoday.com .

    It got my comic out there, and generates some traffic, and gives you feedback whenever you release a comic.

    I like these, but I'm REALLY a sucker for the Universal monsters. :)

    (You should add a Creature from the Black Lagoon. Fish Jokes = COMEDY GOLD.)

    AlienMastermind on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    This is solid stuff. The jokes are good. If you need some publicity, however, you can always submit to www.isitfunnytoday.com .

    It got my comic out there, and generates some traffic, and gives you feedback whenever you release a comic.

    I like these, but I'm REALLY a sucker for the Universal monsters. :)

    (You should add a Creature from the Black Lagoon. Fish Jokes = COMEDY GOLD.)

    Thanks, I'll bare that in mind! I'm a way off being ready for launch. At present with my current work I can manage a couple a week and I think I need 30 or 40 to start with. It's also the amount roughly needed to submit stuff to the syndicates. Monster from the Black lagoon! Like the way your thinking with the fishy jokes. :P

    Little-Horror on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    P.S Updated the image thread to include a new strip, hope you like it.

    Little-Horror on
  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Mustang wrote: »
    Y'know sometimes I almost hope that new comics will be alarmingly rubbish so I can laugh at them.....Cest la vie......I'm too drunk to read this right now, but the art looks pretty good.

    Thanks... I think? I'll wait for you to swap your beer goggles for your real glasses. Let me know if it's ok in a sober state. :P

    Mustang is like the forum asshole. All he does is get drunk and then shit on other peoples' art. Ignore him.

    Metalbourne on
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm really more of a dick than an asshole, but ignoring me should be high on your list of things to do while you are here.

    Anyway as I said before I like the art, but the text is killing me, it's a little wordy at times and is definately too small. With comics you need to be instantly drawn in, small wordy comics and I'm instantly turned off. Plus using solely black and white exasperates the issue because it's harder to define the text, so yeah, it's something you should look at. But still, it's pretty good for a newspaper type comic.

    Mustang on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Mustang wrote: »
    I'm really more of a dick than an asshole, but ignoring me should be high on your list of things to do while you are here.

    Anyway as I said before I like the art, but the text is killing me, it's a little wordy at times and is definately too small. With comics you need to be instantly drawn in, small wordy comics and I'm instantly turned off. Plus using solely black and white exasperates the issue because it's harder to define the text, so yeah, it's something you should look at. But still, it's pretty good for a newspaper type comic.

    Pretty constructive and helpful so I'll rerserve judgement on exactly how much of a dick you are. Your right, although the first objective with this is daily print publication so Black and White fits. I'll be coloring these up as well but after I've got a strong collection of strips, 30/40 or so.

    As for wordy... What I can I say! It's designed for the more intelligent reader :winky::lol:

    Thanks again, Tris

    Little-Horror on
  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    As for wordy... What I can I say! It's designed for the more intelligent reader :winky::lol:

    Yeah, smart doesn't work that way. If anything, throwing in more words is just a defense mechanism to hide how smart you aren't.

    The art of the comic has to strike a balance between words and pictures. Too much one way, and you have a hard to read book. Too much the other and you have a shitty painting.

    Metalbourne on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    As for wordy... What I can I say! It's designed for the more intelligent reader :winky::lol:

    Yeah, smart doesn't work that way. If anything, throwing in more words is just a defense mechanism to hide how smart you aren't.

    The art of the comic has to strike a balance between words and pictures. Too much one way, and you have a hard to read book. Too much the other and you have a shitty painting.

    Ok point taken, thanks...

    Although I think the reference of too wordy applies more to the first image which was in essence a test strip to see if the characters worked together. The second image with the gag sequences are a clearer indication of the final idea and the format I intend to use. I know it still needs a fair amount of work and the whole concept needs refining, so point taken for future reference. I suppose a gag by nature is short, snappy and high on visual comedy. This is what I intend to strive for.

    Little-Horror on
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Really really nice lines. Just don't go so crazy with the manga action lines because they are looking very overused and lazy. Your lines look great, so don't use that stuff when you could be illustrating the backgrounds.

    As for the comic itself, I'm not finding it very funny, but it's only the first few. You're going to have to work hard to make these characters seem like they have their own personalities because right now, they just seem like 3 identical monsters, even though they have good visual distinction.

    So far I think the third and fourth ones are best, and they also have the least dialoge so I would shoot for something in the word count of those, or less.

    earthwormadam on
  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    In the fourth panel of the first comic baby Frankenstein or whatever he is looks like he's hanged himself on the doorknob.

    Metalbourne on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Really really nice lines. Just don't go so crazy with the manga action lines because they are looking very overused and lazy. Your lines look great, so don't use that stuff when you could be illustrating the backgrounds.

    As for the comic itself, I'm not finding it very funny, but it's only the first few. You're going to have to work hard to make these characters seem like they have their own personalities because right now, they just seem like 3 identical monsters, even though they have good visual distinction.

    So far I think the third and fourth ones are best, and they also have the least dialoge so I would shoot for something in the word count of those, or less.


    Yeah I hate the manga lines! might rework them later. I've worked on a clear synopsis for each character defining personalities and traits. I guess it takes quite a few strips to properly start getting that across.

    Thanks again for the feedback... Constructive stuff like this is gold when you want to ge something just right!

    Quick Character Bio's

    Vinnie or Vincent. (Straight man)

    The Vampire character, this character is a multitude of inspirations mixed into one. I want him to be a wannabe (emphasis on the wannabe) Thespian, intellect and considers himself better than the rest... A point that is clearly not true and will hopefully create good comical insipration.

    Reference: Vincent Price, Brain (Pinky and the Brain) any over the top, slightly camp, lovie, darling old school actor.

    Clide:

    The wolfman. (sharp and cool comments)

    Leather jacket and comb at the ready. He's the reincarnation of James Dean, Elvis and the Fonz (Apologies... Not sure how to spell Fonz but I mean the fella outta Happy Days). So we're looking at an extremely layed back and cool attitude where making sure he looks good would outway impending death.

    Reference: James Dean, Elvis, Leather Jackets, grease, Harley's.

    Dudley:

    Hunchback ugly chap. (crazed and nasty)

    The black sheep (or the blackest sheep) of the bunch. He's always the first to dive in and create mayhem. He the equivelant of the stooped over man servant from traditional horror movies. He's over enthusiastic with anything that would be considered wrong. However.... He's a real hit with the ladies! I'm going to introduce a really beautiful but nasty femme fatal into the gags in the future. She's madly in love with him for his evil ways (and as a personal gag reference for the future... "So well hung!" as he swings from a noose with a smile on his face).

    Reference: Any humpbacked servant you've seen in any steriotypical hammer house movie.

    Little-Horror on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    In the fourth panel of the first comic baby Frankenstein or whatever he is looks like he's hanged himself on the doorknob.


    LOL! :lol:

    It does now you mention it!

    Little-Horror on
  • Arden CaneloArden Canelo Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    You made me smile. Not lol. It was a pretty good smile though.

    Arden Canelo on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Thanks for all the feedback...I guess a smile is a good starting point! I'll work on the lol's!

    Another nearly finished so i'll post for feedback soon.

    Little-Horror on
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    yeah, I'm not finding it funny either. I also find the heavy text to bed daunting.

    Your art's good though, but your lettering needs serious work.

    Center align text within balloons.

    Maintain a "diamond" shape to your dialog in each balloon, where the center row is the widest and the most narrow rows are the top and bottom ones. You will often have to adjust your line breaks repeatedly to find the right breaks.

    Maintain consistent spacing around the text in each balloon. Rule of thumb, there should be just enough room around the text in each balloon to fit just the width occupied by an M or N in the font you are using.

    The tail should point towards the speaker's mouth. If you were to draw an invisible line through the tail, continuing the curve if any, it should intersect with the speaker's mouth. In many of yours it points to random parts of the speaker's head.

    Keep your balloon shapes consistent, and alter the shape only to better relate the balloon to the shape of the text within it. In many of your balloons, they "bow out" some on either side of the tail for no reason, also many of them may slant or tilt or are larger on one side, serving no purpose.

    Keep it up. I want to see more. I also want to see simple jokes that require less exposition/words/setup. I've no interest in reading things like character descriptions, bios, backgrounds. Everything I need to know about the characters should display itself in the comics.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    yeah, I'm not finding it funny either. I also find the heavy text to bed daunting.

    Your art's good though, but your lettering needs serious work.

    Center align text within balloons.

    Maintain a "diamond" shape to your dialog in each balloon, where the center row is the widest and the most narrow rows are the top and bottom ones. You will often have to adjust your line breaks repeatedly to find the right breaks.

    Maintain consistent spacing around the text in each balloon. Rule of thumb, there should be just enough room around the text in each balloon to fit just the width occupied by an M or N in the font you are using.

    The tail should point towards the speaker's mouth. If you were to draw an invisible line through the tail, continuing the curve if any, it should intersect with the speaker's mouth. In many of yours it points to random parts of the speaker's head.

    Keep your balloon shapes consistent, and alter the shape only to better relate the balloon to the shape of the text within it. In many of your balloons, they "bow out" some on either side of the tail for no reason, also many of them may slant or tilt or are larger on one side, serving no purpose.

    Keep it up. I want to see more. I also want to see simple jokes that require less exposition/words/setup. I've no interest in reading things like character descriptions, bios, backgrounds. Everything I need to know about the characters should display itself in the comics.

    Thanks for the heads up. I've lot's of experience in illustration but adding text balloons is relatively new to me. I'll take on board your sound advice.

    I realise people don't want bio's. It was more to explain the process I'm going through. The more I show and the more I explain my process, the more constructive feedback I'll get. I'm co-writing this with a few writers who'll get a credit and 30% if I'm ever in a position to sell this. I'll forward the feedback and see what we can collectively come up with.

    To further my question.... Can you elaborate on why your not finding it very funny? Is it the script, characters, style of illustration and design? Or a mix? (I'm not asking you to justify your coemment, I'd genuinely like some tips to make it funnier!)

    Thanks for taking time to look.

    Little-Horror on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2009
    First comic, fourth panel - 'sees' doesn't need an apostrophe.

    That's pretty much the only flaw I can see.

    Who do you perceive your target audience being?

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    First comic, fourth panel - 'sees' doesn't need an apostrophe.

    That's pretty much the only flaw I can see.

    Who do you perceive your target audience being?

    I'm aiming for a mainstream audience. I started far more graphic with the gore, the chracters smoked etc,etc... I've toned it down with the objective of getting this into some mainstream puplications and newspapers.

    Little-Horror on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    light-weight.jpg

    Next one! feedback welcome

    Little-Horror on
  • RenegadeSilenceRenegadeSilence Registered User
    edited June 2009
    It might be just me but I think that comic would be more effective without the fourth panel.

    RenegadeSilence on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    It might be just me but I think that comic would be more effective without the fourth panel.


    Agreed! after looking at it!

    light-weight2.jpg

    Thanks!

    Little-Horror on
  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    You get a lot of Kudos for doing that. I've been posting here for six years and you might be the first person to ever pare down his comic when it was suggested it might be better with fewer panels.

    Metalbourne on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    You get a lot of Kudos for doing that. I've been posting here for six years and you might be the first person to ever pare down his comic when it was suggested it might be better with fewer panels.

    LOL! Not really... But thanks.

    It's so obviously better without the extra panel! I want what's best for the comic, not my pride.

    Little-Horror on
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    agreed. is better without the fourth panel.

    The balloons are looking better. I think the diamond shapes could be stronger with shorter top and bottom lines. This covers what I was saying earlier in more depth. (It also suggest bolding emphasis words to help pull the reader's eye through the text, which I agree with.)

    You should probably cut the tails of the balloons down by half. Generally, covering half the distance between the balloon and the character's mouth is common.

    Here's some good resources on lettering:

    Balloon Tales' tutorials section

    Blambot's Grammar and Tradition

    Also, I wasn't finding them funny because I wasn't reading them. Walls of text are too daunting to me in a comic such as then. Economic writing and efficient lettering can solve this. Even in this comic, you have two big bricks of text setting up the punchline and the lettering in the punchline is so strong that it caused me to read it first. Therefore, as I was reading it, I'm thinking the whole time, "I wonder how we get to 'Rock n roooollll, woooo"

    You could try something like:

    "[strike]Hey Vincent,[/strike] You better slow down. You know how you get after [strike]more than[/strike] two glasses of wine."

    "Oh please, in the centuries I've been alive [strike]you don't[/strike] I think I've learned how to handle my drink."

    You could also break large bricks of text into smaller connected balloons, connected at points where a pause in the reading would be intended for the reader (in place of a comma or between sentences usually) using either connecting tails or butting two balloons into each other, both shown here.

    Here's another post I did to show what breaking up the balloons can do to help readability:
    Stplmstr wrote: »
    Manon- Hit me up with the draw over, you seem to really not be a fan of how I did it so it would be intresting to see your take on it, I am looking forward to it :)
    talkingrobot3.jpg

    Here you go, dude. It increases both the readability and accessibility of it pretty drastically. Even though mine has the exact same number of words and takes up significantly larger space, it looks like less to read to the reader. Also, by breaking up the balloons, I'm pulling the reader's eye through the panel. Before, in that entire row of five panels, the reader's eye was never brought below the top 20%.

    My lettering methods are heavily inspired by Stan Sakai. His lettering is superb, extremely accessible, and easy to read.

    Then in the third panel, there's two major problems:

    There's way too much white space in that rock n roll balloon. This is what brought my eye to it before everything else. It's like seeing a wound or some other equally repulsive feature on a person, it draws the eye like a magnet. I think this could be corrected, (and the effect that you are going for would be enhanced) by using an emphasis lettering technique such as the one shown here under "Outlining words."

    The other is that I should be reading the narration box first, therefore it should be on the left hand side of the panel. Also, butt it up against the panel border so you don't have that small rim of background showing through.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Thanks again for the heads up! I'm in work at the moment so I'll respond properly later when i've properly reviewed the links.

    Little-Horror on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Ok.... How can I work when you send me gold like this! Think I've just waisted half a reem of paper printing out all this stuff. Thanks again! You'll see the difference when I get round to posting the next strip.

    Little-Horror on
  • Creambun 007Creambun 007 Registered User
    edited June 2009
    A funny alternate ending to that comic would be "four minutes later"

    You see Vinnie in his resting position, flat on his face (out cold), the table is in two pieces on either side of him, and he's got the traffic cone on his head. Basically it's the last panel without the speech bubble, and just a second or two after the fact, so everything has come to a stop.

    Creambun 007 on
    Diggity.
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    A funny alternate ending to that comic would be "four minutes later"

    You see Vinnie in his resting position, flat on his face (out cold), the table is in two pieces on either side of him, and he's got the traffic cone on his head. Basically it's the last panel without the speech bubble, and just a second or two after the fact, so everything has come to a stop.


    OOOh tough one! Nope! Still preffer the three panel alternative. Although it does mess up my four panel rule.

    I was thinking of something similar with a huge ! Insread of the text.

    Little-Horror on
  • Creambun 007Creambun 007 Registered User
    edited June 2009
    My apologies, I should have mentioned this would be the final third panel. I'll whip up something to make it a bit clearer.

    Creambun 007 on
    Diggity.
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    My apologies, I should have mentioned this would be the final third panel. I'll whip up something to make it a bit clearer.


    Ahhh ok! Got you! I'll have a play and see if it works. Still leaning towards the original third panel though. I think the image is stronger. Unless.... I chqnge the text from "four minutes later" to "one sip later"?

    Little-Horror on
  • Creambun 007Creambun 007 Registered User
    edited June 2009
    That would certainly make the traffic cone more ludicrous.

    Creambun 007 on
    Diggity.
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    A funny alternate ending to that comic would be "four minutes later"

    You see Vinnie in his resting position, flat on his face (out cold), the table is in two pieces on either side of him, and he's got the traffic cone on his head. Basically it's the last panel without the speech bubble, and just a second or two after the fact, so everything has come to a stop.

    i disagree. the fact that he's going all willy nilly is more visually interesting than passed out, also more all-ages freindly.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • Creambun 007Creambun 007 Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Here we go. You may be right about the alternative being more all-ages friendly, but I find this version moi hilariouso.

    little_horrors_edit.png

    Creambun 007 on
    Diggity.
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Is it just me or is there a weird optical illusion going on there that makes the panels look crooked?

    Also, that works much better.

    Mustang on
  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    haha i love the bart simpson vibe that the wolfman gives off. if bart simpson and the fonz had a kid, that wolfman would be it. also, yes mustange, i see the illusion as well.

    i love these comics, you're very talented. I just wanted to say that, in my eyes, the panel where the table has fallen over doesn't read as a "fallen over table". when it caught my eye before i thought he must've gotten a platter from the same place he got a pylon.

    that's my only crit though; great stuff, i look forward to seeing more!

    mully on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Here we go. You may be right about the alternative being more all-ages friendly, but I find this version moi hilariouso.

    little_horrors_edit.png

    It's better in some ways. But I need to think of the target audience. It's a tough call when we live in such a PC world. Thanks for taking the time to show your take on this but I think the other one works better for the masses.

    Little-Horror on
  • Little-HorrorLittle-Horror Registered User
    edited June 2009
    mully wrote: »
    haha i love the bart simpson vibe that the wolfman gives off. if bart simpson and the fonz had a kid, that wolfman would be it. also, yes mustange, i see the illusion as well.

    i love these comics, you're very talented. I just wanted to say that, in my eyes, the panel where the table has fallen over doesn't read as a "fallen over table". when it caught my eye before i thought he must've gotten a platter from the same place he got a pylon.

    that's my only crit though; great stuff, i look forward to seeing more!

    Your right about the table. I'm going to rework it later, add some shadow and the wine bottle so there's more of a connection between the frames. Thanks

    Little-Horror on
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Looking back over the comic, in panel 3 the wine glass is like 30% its original size.

    ManonvonSuperock on
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