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Automata Fan-Fic Comic

Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
edited August 2009 in Artist's Corner
Hey,

I put together a 5-page script for an Automata story. *DISCLAIMER*: I'm not actually an artist. I'm a writer, but my experience is that people would rather read a poorly-drawn comic than a well-written script. So, submitted for your reading enjoyment is my crudely drawn story. I hope you enjoy my version of the continuance of Regal and Carl's adventures...

D.jpg

Jim Gourley on

Posts

  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Before anyone asks where the rest is, I'll drop pages 2 and 3 later today, and wrap up the story tomorrow.

    Jim Gourley on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2009
    I was of the impression that they were private eyes, not badge carrying police officers.

    Also, if this is supposed to be following on from the last comic, Carl was the only one who fired his gun. Why would Regal have to visit a psychiatrist?

    Edit: Ok, I suppose he's a detective so yeah, but still. The whole second thing.

    Generally, so far it isn't really atmospherically anything like the original comics.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The visual heirachy is a little jumbled. It's fairly clear you're supposed to read the top left panel first, but my eye is drawn to reading the text box in the top right.

    Also, something you might want to note...

    Flay on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2009
    But using Impact is OK?

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The idea here is that Regal had a near-death experience in the line of duty. Now both he and Carl have to get cleared for duty by the mental health folks.

    Now, if they're PRIVATE detectives, I guess I messed up.

    Jim Gourley on
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    And now page two...

    C.jpg

    Jim Gourley on
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Just caught my error on the color of Gustav's last dialogue bubble. Sorry. Comic Sans is the least of my art problems, though.

    Jim Gourley on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2009
    As I say, the concept feels completely way off the mark.

    It feels like you've taken crime noir and turned it into buddy cop.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Szechuanosaurus,

    Your comments are noted, thanks for the feedback. However, I had a different perspective on the story. I'd say that in just the little material we've seen from Krahulik and Holkins that there's too expansive a setting to pigeonhole it either as crime noir or buddy cop, though it has elements of both. What I found was a compelling character drama and an ingenious sci-fi construct in which to investigate some of the darker tendencies in humanity.

    As a purely writing note, I didn't feel like it would be right (even in fan-fiction) to propose how the case itself progressed. Instead, I developed this as a "side-story" to explore some of the more unique items I teased out of the first and last pages. For example:

    - Regal is obviously concerned not only about Carl's physical well-being, but his treatment by others. He acts much like a big brother.
    - Carl is capable of emotion, and the extent to which he understates it only emphasizes his battle to contain them against oppression.
    - Carl also lies to Regal, ostensibly because he doesn't want Regal to stand up for him.
    - While Carl feels emotional pain, he apparently isn't bothered much by getting hit by a car.

    So, I found a great deal of "buddy cop" nestled in the "crime noir", but at the end of the day what it does is to explore the contours of an imbalanced and unjust world through the relationship between two "men" fighting for justice.

    And so I continue, with page 3.

    pg3%20copy.jpg

    Jim Gourley on
  • slacktronslacktron Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I can't speak to the story content, but your sketches seem to identify the characters, camera angle, and setting just fine. An artist should have no problem making finished ink and color out of this.

    I see you've been advised on the when and where to use Comic Sans, which always reminds me this Achewood strip.
    die_comic_sans_die.gif

    As for your lettering, the words are getting a little crowded in the corners. This is the classic problem of trying to fit a square peg (a block of text) in a round hole (elliptical speech bubbles). To give your paragraphs a bit more room to breathe without having your bubbles cover too much artwork, try to get both to give a little. That is, add line breaks to your paragraphs so they aren't a block so much as diamond-shaped: the first and last lines the shortest, the middle the longest.

    For instance, the bubble where the Dr. Gustav says, "You're familiar with the Mickelson diagnostic?" -- try breaking it down into:
    "You're familiar
    with the Mickelson
    diagonstic?"

    Your speech bubbles can give a little, too. Unless you want a perfectly elliptical shape to convey atmosphere -- exactly what the square bubbles of the automatons are doing -- you can deform them a bit yet retain the organic shape of human speech.

    Try this: in photoshop (you're using photoshop, right?), I'm assuming you're using the ellipse tool to make your bubbles. Once you've got the ellipse down, use the Convert Point Tool convanchor.gif (hidden under Pens) and click on the leftmost point on the ellipse.
    Now, drag that point upward, making the ellipse a bit more square.
    Then do the same with the rightmost point, but drag the point downward.

    That should give your text a bit more breathing room.

    Also, if you're going to be lettering, Blambot should be in your bookmarks.

    Hopefully, that will help your lettering become La Bella Lingua.

    slacktron on
    slacktron_zombie_fighter_sig.jpg
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Thanks for the critiques. Ironically, though, I was actually looking for someone to speak to the story content! :lol:

    I posted here because it seems the writer's forum isn't getting a lot of visits and I figured that art hounds on this forum would be of the sequential persuasion.

    Jim Gourley on
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    More importantly, the rules of Writer's Block expressly prohibit fanfic. Apologies.

    Quoth on
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Well, there ya go :winky::whistle:

    Jim Gourley on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    my experience is that people would rather read a poorly-drawn comic than a well-written script.

    Really?

    MagicToaster on
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Just so that I'm not totally useless, I have a question: would handing this to an artist do more harm than good? Would a typical artist want a little more creative leeway, perhaps? I know some comic scripts are more detailed than others, and some artists prefer more direction, but this seems slightly excessive to me. I am quite willing to be corrected if my impression is incorrect.

    Quoth on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2009
    I was under the impression that they were indeed, private detectives. I guess I figure this is why carl is antagonized by "those badges". In general, I think the mark you missed is Detective Regal's character, who've you've made sort of talky and ornery, when in gabes rendition he really has few choice words. The guy you have here feels way different to me, over the top.

    In general, I don't find this to be very expanding of the world that gabe did, you seem pretty focused on the fact that humans and robots are different, which has already been established.

    Iruka on
  • slacktronslacktron Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Quoth wrote: »
    Just so that I'm not totally useless, I have a question: would handing this to an artist do more harm than good? Would a typical artist want a little more creative leeway, perhaps? I know some comic scripts are more detailed than others, and some artists prefer more direction, but this seems slightly excessive to me. I am quite willing to be corrected if my impression is incorrect.

    This is a terrific question that deserves its own thread. But would it go in here, the Writer's Block, or Graphic Violence?

    slacktron on
    slacktron_zombie_fighter_sig.jpg
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    slacktron wrote: »
    Quoth wrote: »
    Just so that I'm not totally useless, I have a question: would handing this to an artist do more harm than good? Would a typical artist want a little more creative leeway, perhaps? I know some comic scripts are more detailed than others, and some artists prefer more direction, but this seems slightly excessive to me. I am quite willing to be corrected if my impression is incorrect.

    This is a terrific question that deserves its own thread. But would it go in here, the Writer's Block, or Graphic Violence?

    I don't know but I guess I'll ask in the chat thread? I'm leaning towards here because it's directed at artists specifically.

    Quoth on
  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    quoth you could also ask it in my thread in GV for the project

    since you know I have artists taking scripts to draw

    The Lovely Bastard on
    7656367.jpg
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Regarding the good script/bad comic debate, the answer is yes. I tried for a long time to get critiques on my writing at other comics-related forums. It always ended in one of two ways:

    1) No one looked at what I was putting out because they were all much more interested in trying to have the snarkiest insult about someone else's poorly-written stuff. I got to the point where I "watched the weather" for indications of flame wars. If one was going on, I knew not to even bother posting that week.

    2) Someone used my post to say something like "gee, this isn't half as bad as the stuff (some other guy) wrote last week". In short order, a flame war ensued. No one said anything remotely constructive about what the thread was initially posted for. In effect, I was hijacked.

    Let me say that the critique I've received on my three pages of cave drawings here is better than anything I ever got on the stuff I posted at those writer's forums, and I appreciate it.

    Jim Gourley on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Jimmy, how many forums did showcase this on before Penny-Arcade? If you showcase a written script on an art forum full of kids, are you really expecting anyone to sit through it and give you solid feedback? Part of being successful is knowing who to show your work to.

    MagicToaster on
  • SonicSonic Absentee Landlord Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The term "Fan Fiction" is generally viewed in a negative light for a good reason. 99.9999% of it is awful. If you don't want yours to be lumped in with that percentage I'm afraid you're going to need to take this all back to formula. Automata is extremely clear in it's film noir origins of which private detectives are a staple. That should have been pretty obvious. Since these characters have no business getting checkups at the station that kind of throws what you have so far in the crapper wouldn't you say? And the way Regal is written here I'm just waiting for him to exclaim, "I'm too old for this shit!" before being called to the chief's office for a disciplinary talk. My opinion is that you need to rethink your whole approach to this.

    Also Drop. The. Comic Sans.

    Sonic on
  • srsizzysrsizzy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    my experience is that people would rather read a poorly-drawn comic than a well-written script.
    No. This obviously isn't true when I looked at the art, didn't even want to read the post, and definitely wasn't about to read the comic. The reason people are more likely to RESPOND to poor art is because it's much easier than having to READ poor writing.

    If you want writing critiques, look for writing forums. If you want real critiques, take writing classes. With the amount of time reading and writing take, it's not a practical form to discuss online, especially since it's much more difficult to read shitty writing than to look at a shitty picture.

    And if you want to be a good writer, come up with your own ideas.

    srsizzy on
    BRO LET ME GET REAL WITH YOU AND SAY THAT MY FINGERS ARE PREPPED AND HOT LIKE THE SURFACE OF THE SUN TO BRING RADICAL BEATS SO SMOOTH THE SHIT WILL BE MEDICINAL-GRADE TRIPNASTY MAKING ALL BRAINWAVES ROLL ON THE SURFACE OF A BALLS-FEISTY NEURAL RAINBOW CRACKA-LACKIN' YOUR PERCEPTION OF THE HERE-NOW SPACE-TIME SITUATION THAT ALL OF LIFE BE JAMMED UP IN THROUGH THE UNIVERSAL FLOW BEATS
  • winter_combat_knightwinter_combat_knight Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Though the drawings are a little crude, i do like the look of them because your mistakes are consistant, meaning you get away with it. If you had have drawn 1 image really well, and another really wrong, then there would be issues. But this works. As for the layout, i agree with Flay. There needs to be a hierarchy of information and relationships between the illustrations and text. The first one is ok, but the second one i had trouble reading. Try playing around with the layouts a little. do you have photoshop? Perhaps cut/crop images to different layers, change the order and layout of text. Test it by handing it to a mate and see if it works. *thumbs up. Keep practicing!

    winter_combat_knight on
  • MindsackMindsack Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Regal does seem whiny, ornery and aggravated, unlike the regal we saw in automata. And they were P.I.'s, I don't think cops could get away with abusing a detective on the force. So...yeah. I do like the idea of a different Automata story, not continuing from the comic.

    The art leaves much to be desired but it does do the trick. Your perspective, proportions and structure all read correctly. Regal's eyes are always tightly closed, like the sun is shining directly into his eyes 100% of the time. Which it shouldn't be.

    Mindsack on
    (''''\('-_-')/'''') rawr http://gabrielmolina.tumblr.com
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Thanks for the continued critiques. I hope Regal's attitude becomes a little clearer here, but the comments have alerted me to watch how strongly I develop dialogue in the future.

    With regard to the responses on writing forums, I've never understood why but art forums are normally much more constructive. I think it's because the flaws in someone's art are typically immediately evident. What the person is asking for is a means to correct them. Writing forums require people to take time to read and think, which, why bother when you can flame someone? Kidding... in a serious way.

    On Regal's "squintiness", I thought from the fact that he squinted a great deal in the dark in Gabe's artwork demonstrated a tip of the hat to the old Dick Tracy comics of the 30's. The nose kind of made that an open and shut case.

    When it comes to the contention that they're private detectives, I'm enjoying the question now. "Uniform" isn't a term reserved only for gumshoe use. Detectives on regular police forces use it all the time. And I found the original confrontation with the beat cops to be that much more provocative on the basis that they would harass a "fellow" officer on the grounds of race. Assuming that they wouldn't do such a thing is as naive as thinking white officers in the LAPD would never harass a black officer just because he's "one of theirs". Probably the strongest indication to me that these guys are cops is that they're working on a string of murders. Where's the profit in that for a couple of private eyes?

    This is an overtly racist world, where everyone knows they're racist and yet in many respects thinks it's okay. That's why I took the liberty of saying Regal "pissed off the wrong people" to get a robot for a partner and got assigned a case involving robots. It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it. Why not send the guy that arrested the chief's kid for drunk and disorderly? The intent was thus not to make Regal "whiny", but a guy who's a bit jaded with the consequences of doing the right thing. He feels outcast by his "fellow" humans, and here he realizes that he's growing to like Carl a lot more because Carl is an honest guy.

    By contrast, here is page 4, where the story turns, and we realize that Carl has to walk a fine line in this world. While Regal can go in and vent his true feelings, do we believe anything Carl is saying? For as much discussion as there's been about Regal, I'm surprised no one mentioned just how much of an "Uncle Tom" Carl is playing out to be. I'm interested to know if by over-playing Regal I drowned out that aspect of Carl's plight.

    Enjoy.

    pg4.jpg

    Jim Gourley on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Man, that psychiatrist is very unprofessional!

    MagicToaster on
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Well, I'm invoking that "crime noir" element, where the "dame" is unabashedly attracted to the crusty, madison-wearing protagonist.

    Granted there's some suspension of disbelief there, but it's a 5-page story. I didn't have time for foreplay 8-)

    Jim Gourley on
  • Jim GourleyJim Gourley Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    And now for the last page. I hope at least herein the twist provides enough entertainment for it to be worth it. Thanks for the feedback.

    pg5.jpg

    Jim Gourley on
  • MindsackMindsack Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Yeah you're right, there are some panels where it is dark and Regal appears squinty, but its 50/50 at least, and there are some panels where his eyes, small as they may be, are wide open.

    Mindsack on
    (''''\('-_-')/'''') rawr http://gabrielmolina.tumblr.com
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