Kiki - A prototype of a webcomic, still in infancy - NSFW too

GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
edited September 2012 in Artist's Corner
Ey! First post here. I've lurked the forums a few times but never registered. I'm trying to find the right forums that work as a good idea wall. Most of what I post to my tumblr or to art threads on /co/ get no replies. So we'll see.

I'm a huge fan of that 90s generation of cartoons like Batman:TAS, Ninja Turtles and Darkwing Duck, which had no problem being a monster-of-the-week type deal. What was cool about them was that the parents could unironically enjoy it too. They had to get over the initial absurd premise, though. And I think that's what makes it fun. Liking a series for one thing despite what it SEEMS to be.

Getting to the point. I want to make a superhero story set in an island nation, and the herione is a casual nudist beach bunny who stumbles upon an ancient pirate's magical bandanna in a coastal grotto. So her power is invincibility (the kind where you still get knocked around due to issues of weight, but never suffer a scratch from it), and her 'Gotham' is a fictional world's equivalent of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Anyway, here's my first go at what the comic would look like.
tumblr_m9w9y2qCb81rq0vjho1_1280.jpg
The current 9-panel layout, and the style of text bubbles will NOT be carrying over. That line-less style and the bright popping colors would be, however. That's Mondo Bot from Samurai Jack btw. Not canon with what I've got planned or anything; Just an archetype baddie to build a draft with.

I'm interested in hearing the initial, unabashed MENTAL reaction to this idea. Like, how it strikes you personally, instead of how it would seem 'proper' to respond. I want this comic to be about nudity the same way the Cosby Show was about race; IE, it wasn't really. I'm a big admirer of how The Meek handled nudity. My goal is that after time, no one even talks about the fact that Kiki is naked during her adventures. I've gotten the opinions from a lot of my guy friends, and they dig it, but I'm really interested in how this strikes the ladies. I've come across a couple that are really chill with it, and that lifts my spirits. I mean, it's their toes I'm sort of stepping on to make this happen. I want to hear the dynamic social consensus from the opposite side of the fence from the one that I'm on. If it's not gratuitous, is it cool? Where's the line that makes it gratuitous?--Have I already crossed it, maybe? There will be a fair share of naked dudes walking around the place. It's a clothes-optional island nation after all. According to the setting, it's a thing that's been around for awhile.

ANYWAY. Any response is better than no response. Silence is the only thing that discourages me. It's good to meet you, PA forums.

GreenGear on

Posts

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    The Meek still addresses nudity within the context of the comic, not all the characters are alright with it. I'd be sure to try and establish normalcy early on, as in, show that public spaces have naked people in it before just having one chick running around naked.

    I really like the style, I wouldn't be too rigid with the panel structure.

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    First gut reaction: I thought Samus' suit disapeared off of her and she was suddenly nude.

    Once I realized this was not a Metroid comic I put it together, but mentally it was a bit of a grinding gear shift. Could use a better establishing shot and fix all of that. I did really like the breakup on the sixth panel and the fancy "shit." Could use more of that, a comic of this style can benefit greatly through simply varying size and placement of panels.

    Welcome to the AC!

  • GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
    edited September 2012
    I'm glad you guys liked the same things about it that I liked to make! But didn't either of you see the part where I said the panel placement was for this prototype only? lol. I'm not one for the Watchmen/Killing Joke panel style, but it makes for a great mapping method to test the OTHER comic crafting skills. I didn't want to be juggling too many learning curves at once on the first go.

    I'm glad that's been like the only complaint across the board! I have a really good feeling about this now. :'D

    This is from a little farther back. As another test, I drew Kiki fighting Super Macho Man. A similar character might be to Kiki what Bonesaw was to Spiderman.
    tumblr_m9gabhiuWo1rq0vjho2_1280.jpg

    GreenGear on
  • Muse Among MenMuse Among Men Suburban Bunny Princess? Its time for a new shtick Registered User regular
    I think that so long as you establish early on (as Iruka said) that people on the island just happen to saunter about in the nude like its no big deal then . . . not much of a big deal. As a lady, I'd still be a bit concerned about how the women would be portrayed as compared to the guys. If the majority of the nude characters are hot women while the guys get to go around in actual clothes I wouldn't be too keen. Try to create a sense of parity between the genders in that respect. And even if you do that, it would still be possible for the art to ogle on the girls more than the guys, or to have them posed in a sexy/uncomfortable/unrealistic manner that isn't seen with the male characters (which ends up bringing attention back to the fact that she's nude, which you say you are trying to avoid). So stay away from cheesecake-pinup poses. The art you've posted so far seems fine.

    If you are worried about what kinds of poses to avoid take a look at a tumblr solely dedicated to finding ridiculous, gratuitous comic book depictions of women: http://eschergirls.tumblr.com/

    They don't just showcase bad art, they break down why the artwork is bad: why the pose is ridiculous (like the infamous "tits AND ass pose"), how it is that her boobs are defying the laws of gravity etc. Sometimes the more artistically inclined bog followers will redraw the artwork in question to make it more realistic and less demeaning and mid-boggling.

    Cultures round the world have adapted to hot climates. In some places they don't disrobe much, and wear long flowing clothes that breath and block sunlight. In others the people wear considerably less. It is worth mentioning that the people of these lands are typically darker skinned. Lighter skinned people like your heroine are going to need things like sunblock! And sunhats, sunglasses and parasols, and probably flip-flops. Not kidding! If you are gonna go with a silly premise you may as well add in little realistic touches like that to really sell it, also it is funny to think of people walking around nude but still walking around with little parasols and flipflops. You may as well look into the culture of the nudist colonies that do exist. For example: in public spaces they bring sarongs (wrapped around at the hip or waist) or towels with them to sit on as a matter of health and hygiene. So have your characters doing the same.

  • GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
    edited September 2012
    I think that so long as you establish early on (as Iruka said) that people on the island just happen to saunter about in the nude like its no big deal then . . . not much of a big deal. As a lady, I'd still be a bit concerned about how the women would be portrayed as compared to the guys. If the majority of the nude characters are hot women while the guys get to go around in actual clothes I wouldn't be too keen. Try to create a sense of parity between the genders in that respect. And even if you do that, it would still be possible for the art to ogle on the girls more than the guys, or to have them posed in a sexy/uncomfortable/unrealistic manner that isn't seen with the male characters (which ends up bringing attention back to the fact that she's nude, which you say you are trying to avoid). So stay away from cheesecake-pinup poses. The art you've posted so far seems fine.
    I'm conflicted about how I'm going to portray dudes. I'm going to have a fair share of scrawny/dumpy looking men and women. To me it's always going to be about how mundane it all is. Like, the attention I'd give to an elbow, I'd give to a dude's bollocks, or a woman's labia. It's not really sculpted by a master jeweler. It just IS. And it's okay to ogle that too. Imperfections are their own fun. But yeah, drawing dicks is going to be the trickiest part by far.
    If you are worried about what kinds of poses to avoid take a look at a tumblr solely dedicated to finding ridiculous, gratuitous comic book depictions of women: http://eschergirls.tumblr.com/
    They don't just showcase bad art, they break down why the artwork is bad: why the pose is ridiculous (like the infamous "tits AND ass pose"), how it is that her boobs are defying the laws of gravity etc. Sometimes the more artistically inclined bog followers will redraw the artwork in question to make it more realistic and less demeaning and mid-boggling.
    I'm positive that you are the kind of person I'm making this comic for. We hate all the same things. :'D Those kinds of pinups are among the least interesting things I can possibly imagine. It's so anachronistic. If we still have pinups like these, shouldn't we have those door-to-door salesmen in striped suits and flat straw hats trying to sell us a handy dandy ultra vacuum cleaner with their cajun hot charisma, oily mustache and micro-machine-man tempo? GAH. Yes. I hate that shit. And I hate other guys that assure me I should like it, along with any instance of lesbianism. Yeah, lesbians. Whoop dee DOO. 6_9

    If I ever draw gravity-defying boobs, I apologize in advance. It's purely because I haven't had the hours with them that you've had. I mean, I'm never QUITE sure where they graft to the skin. Or what they look like during extreme stress. I'm keeping Kiki at a B cup for many, many reasons.
    Cultures round the world have adapted to hot climates. In some places they don't disrobe much, and wear long flowing clothes that breath and block sunlight. In others the people wear considerably less. It is worth mentioning that the people of these lands are typically darker skinned. Lighter skinned people like your heroine are going to need things like sunblock! And sunhats, sunglasses and parasols, and probably flip-flops. Not kidding! If you are gonna go with a silly premise you may as well add in little realistic touches like that to really sell it, also it is funny to think of people walking around nude but still walking around with little parasols and flipflops. You may as well look into the culture of the nudist colonies that do exist. For example: in public spaces they bring sarongs (wrapped around at the hip or waist) or towels with them to sit on as a matter of health and hygiene. So have your characters doing the same.
    SARONGS!! YES. I knew there was something I was missing. But I didn't know the name, so I was lost. I needed that. lol. For awhile there I thought they just brought along traditional towels. And yeah, parasols, big googly sunglasses, and straw hats. I am not opposed to these classy things. Kiki runs with a nomadic beach bum type of crowd. Not dirtpoor hippies, but... Well, I'm not even sure how I should pigeonhole this one. lol. Also I'm not sure I'll be a stickler for tans. I won't skirt around the issue of tropical community vs skin tone or anything, but I can't say there will be many scenes showing the application of sunblock.--No, I take that back, actually. I'll totally do that for scene transitions where I want people immediately to know where we've jumped.
    And have you ever put sunblock on just because of the way it smells? s:

    Annnndddd. Unrelated detective birds.
    tumblr_m7gx6oGHLG1rq0vjho8_1280.png

    GreenGear on
  • GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
    tumblr_m9znooVAm21rq0vjho1_1280.jpg
    Practiced some waves today. The drawings of Kiki herself are rather weak, though.

  • GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
    edited September 2012
    tumblr_ma6267cqJW1rq0vjho1_1280.jpg

    This guy is Gyro Grove, a gadget-based superhero who had retired from hero-work 5 years before Kiki found her magic bandanna. In her adolescent years she followed his awesome media spectacle, and it inspired her to take up surfing, as well as use her superpowers for good, and not selfish personal stuff. A little later into the story, Gyro Grove comes back. He seems to have gone rogue, but there's bound to be more to it, in Kiki's eyes.

    I like making the mechanical stuff seem legit. Especially in that steampunk-level of high tech/low tech. This foldable metal arm shoots out of this metal shell backpack to reveal a gyrocopter (which is his secondary means of flight aside from the "sky shoe" jet board, which his froglike footwear magnetizes to.) I had a lot of fun trying to make the human-copter thing look a little different from Inspector Gadget's style.

    But it's always those ideas that I bury in there that I never get feedback from.

    GreenGear on
  • TPSouTPSou Registered User regular
    I'm not a good artist or anything but in that last one not being able to see the guy's right arm made me think instinctively that the copter thing was his arm. It wasn't until I read your description that I looked back and realised it just looks like he doesn't have an arm.

  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    I've just thought. Even in a nudist colony, I can't imagine anyone surfing naked. Just way too much potential for pain. Even nudist chefs wear aprons man...

    Draw an egg.
  • GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
    edited September 2012
    Halen wrote: »
    I've just thought. Even in a nudist colony, I can't imagine anyone surfing naked. Just way too much potential for pain. Even nudist chefs wear aprons man...
    This is where I draw the "it's fantasy" line. The answer is that there is no answer.
    TPSou wrote: »
    I'm not a good artist or anything but in that last one not being able to see the guy's right arm made me think instinctively that the copter thing was his arm. It wasn't until I read your description that I looked back and realised it just looks like he doesn't have an arm.
    You got me, actually. It's just concept art, but there was originally an arm there. The rough sketch wasn't defined well enough, and I could tell the finished arm would look like a train wreck, so I BAILED.

    But yeah, I wanted to make the gyrocopter and jetboard clearer to myself, and that's the main reason for this pic.

    GreenGear on
  • GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
    edited September 2012
    More imagery of the mythos, where the pic is hopefully self explaining.

    0063ouroboros3.jpg
    Dr.Darkmatter is obsessed with the nature of negatives. Anti-gravity, anti-light. He revels in the twisted reflection of things. His contrarian nature is the world record-holder for causing a head to fly into a desk the fastest.
    Dr.Unorthodox is constantly in open mode. His colleagues have observed that they've never seen him sleeping or even take a single bathroom break. So many questions no one is willing to ask. Questions as important as "What science field is he in?"
    Dr.Droid has OCD's OCD. Blueprints for a blueprint-mapping robot, to build an even better blueprint-mapping robot. A device on his desk that constantly straightens and recurls a single paperclip in perfect symmetrical harmony. You can set your watch to his next panic attack.--And why not? He does.
    Dr.Tabbycat is an insufferable pollyanna, morbidly fascinated in one's psychic reaction to context wrought by the 5 senses. With enough data-crunching, one can manufacture a 10 by 10 by 10 foot square room of preordained sights, sounds and smells to cause just about any response. This science odyssey all started with a tray of chocolate chip cookies; Which she believes is mightier than the pen, AND sword.

    Lucious Ouroboros Jr., heir to a multi-billion dollar corporate dynasty. He is, if nothing else, a remorseless self-involved sociopath. He has fingers in many different soups. Four prolific mad scientists; One homework assignment: "Delete" the bandanna'd beach bunny. No reason given to them.

    This is how I most prefer to draw new characters for the first time. In some sort of extreme context. When I try to start a new character through a height chart or something, it has a way of feeling too sterile, and never comes out right.

    GreenGear on
  • KochikensKochikens Registered User regular
    GreenGear wrote: »
    Halen wrote: »
    I've just thought. Even in a nudist colony, I can't imagine anyone surfing naked. Just way too much potential for pain. Even nudist chefs wear aprons man...
    This is where I draw the "it's fantasy" line. The answer is that there is no answer.



    This is what makes the whole thing seem really skeezy and just blatant nudity for the sake of nudity in a kind of really objectifying way.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah..... I mean, personally I don't really have anything against nudity for the sake of nudity. If naked ladies is what you want to go for then you dont need reasons. Considering that you want it to be more than that, I'd recommend not leaving anything to "the fantasy line" If you really want people to feel like this is a liberated comic that they can read for the story and "hey so what if it has boobs" then take your world building all the way.


    Really think critically about when they have clothes, when they dont, all of the who why and where details. Like you said you aren't going to worry so much about dealing with tans, Why? What does that save you other than a little story building effort? If you see the flawed logic you have to address it either with the tone/genre (over the top style ridiculous and it doesn't matter) or fix it within the universe. If its a glaring hole your readers will just assume you didn't think about it. Its best to at least have an answer for yourself.

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2012
    Also you've got boobs but no nipples or pubic hair. (Ok sometimes nipples, but often not). This seems like a super-sanitized version of 'naked' - it's Barbie naked, not human naked. Along with the stuff the other guys have raised, it's basically just provoking all sorts of questions that have nothing at all to do with the comic or the story. By your own stated aims, that's the opposite of what you want to be happening - instead of people going "oh they're nude, so what", they're going to be obsessively focussing on the nudity because so much of it doesn't make sense.

    tynic on
    squidbunnybrokecrackerKochikens
  • Stacy HStacy H Registered User
    My first thought was not the nudity it was "No ink lines, I like it" lol. Maybe my priorities are a bit backwards, oh well. I feel not using lines can be risky but I think you pull it off well here. Nudity is good, my comic has it, lots of comics have it, it's cool. I'm glad you decided not to use those word balloons, I found it was the most distracting thing about the page and threw off the great job you did on the art.

  • GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
    edited September 2012
    Kochikens wrote: »
    GreenGear wrote: »
    Halen wrote: »
    I've just thought. Even in a nudist colony, I can't imagine anyone surfing naked. Just way too much potential for pain. Even nudist chefs wear aprons man...
    This is where I draw the "it's fantasy" line. The answer is that there is no answer.
    This is what makes the whole thing seem really skeezy and just blatant nudity for the sake of nudity in a kind of really objectifying way.
    What I didn't say was that I've never heard someone like, say, Eddie Aikau, wearing a wetsuit for when he surfed. And to me it seems like a weird thing to single out as removing the suspension of disbelief. Is a layer of neoprene on the skin a huge dealbreaker? You'll notice she also clung to the board like a spider-monkey as it skimmed across a vertical wall of water without it peeling off and causing wipeout. I mean, isn't THAT impossible? It's like nitpicking to impugn my "real" motives; That I'll stop at nothing to keep this girl naked. I'll bear all things in mind as they come to light. I'm not opposed to changes that make sense. But at the end of the day, when it comes to things as niche as this, I implore you to chant the MST3K mantra.

    Just repeat to yourself "It's just a show, I should really just relax."

    I pinky promise this is not just my vehicle to cleverly add to the mountain of existing thinly veiled softcore porn action comics out there. It's one of my goals to prove that a dude can be trusted with content like this. As far as surfing goes I must politely disagree. I think that particular girl will be okay on those particular waves.
    Iruka wrote: »
    Really think critically about when they have clothes, when they dont, all of the who why and where details. Like you said you aren't going to worry so much about dealing with tans, Why? What does that save you other than a little story building effort?
    But.. In the same breath that I said I wouldn't, I took it back and said I would. D:
    tynic wrote: »
    Also you've got boobs but no nipples or pubic hair. (Ok sometimes nipples, but often not).
    I take it you're referring to the boxing, surfing, Lucius pages. They're that way because they're incomplete. I don't plan to skirt around pubic hair or nipples. In complete versions, nothing will be blocked, put out of frame or left undetailed solely for the purpose of being "tasteful," which I think is a loaded word with shakey personal preferences involved. Nothing will be off limits.
    Stacy H wrote: »
    My first thought was not the nudity it was "No ink lines, I like it" lol. Maybe my priorities are a bit backwards, oh well. I feel not using lines can be risky but I think you pull it off well here.
    It's risky as hell. Every background set against the foreground is a new challenge with different rules. Always time-consuming to figure out the remedy. One thing I might do when I really have to cop out is give them outlines as they would with normal lineart, but have the outlines be a darker version of the color within.
    Stacy H wrote: »
    I'm glad you decided not to use those word balloons, I found it was the most distracting thing about the page and threw off the great job you did on the art.
    Wait. I'm glad I got your opinion on the text bubbles, but I think the only reason I got that opinion is because you're under the impression I've gotten rid of them. And I'm not sure where that comes from. o_o

    GreenGear on
  • Stacy HStacy H Registered User
    Oh I just thought you were going to switch up the style of the word balloons, like instead of hand drawing them maybe use an elliptical tool

  • GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
    Stacy H wrote: »
    Oh I just thought you were going to switch up the style of the word balloons, like instead of hand drawing them maybe use an elliptical tool
    Oh the bubbles themselves will be drawn. Just... better than they are right now. The text itself will not be. I'm really no fan of the circle tool. Makes it look too manufactured to me.

  • Stacy HStacy H Registered User
    I can see where you're coming from with that. If you tighten them up nicely hand drawing them could give it a nice personal touch.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Let me reconstruct my comment.

    You need to go deeper into this than the casual application of sunblock as a transition tool. For what you want, there should probably be some pretty heavy world building going on, and it sounds like you are still on the fairly superficial side of things (as in what the world looks like, what the characters look like, basic bios and snippets of info) For the kind of universe you are trying to build, it be more interesting if you really dug deep into the cultural meaning of what you are implicating with the nudity, and have a game plan on how you are going to display that through the narrative.

    For instance, I'm not really sure why you wouldn't be drawing the pubic hair and nipples now, if you plan to in the future. Now is the time to start figuring out how you want to stylize those details. Don't wait until you are "doing the comic for real" Start pushing the art now. You have some skills, so don't perpetually put off when you are going to "do it" you need to just do it. Start working on the scenes that aren't just your main girl, and post them! You will get more informed feedback from us that way. We are visual people, we crit on what we see.

  • GreenGearGreenGear Registered User
    Iruka wrote: »
    For instance, I'm not really sure why you wouldn't be drawing the pubic hair and nipples now, if you plan to in the future.
    I do that to WIPs so I can post them to imageshack and link to my friends, or in art threads on /co/. So they won't take them down or ban me. I think it's ridiculous, and that I shouldn't have to do it. The first image I posted in this thread actually got me a 24 hour ban on /co/. I'm not kidding. Those two pink circles in the 3rd panel. All it took was one bitter douche to report me, and rules stated that I had to get punished for it.

    It's a good example of the ideas I'm fighting against. That I'd have to remove the pink circles to post it in certain places and not in another. That it all depends on how puritan the host is, or how puritan their sponsors are. I dream of a day where these taboos are gone. Obviously when I host my own site, the arbitrary rules are mine to ignore. But for now I gotta play ball.
    For the kind of universe you are trying to build, it be more interesting if you really dug deep into the cultural meaning of what you are implicating with the nudity, and have a game plan on how you are going to display that through the narrative.
    Now I really hope you mean that. Because I do have a whole google doc for this stuff, and plenty of open mode sketches of backstory and supplementary characters. An island city founded on the mythology of old pirates and spiritual surfer culture. But the tl;dr of it all tends to bother people, and I'll get NO response whatsoever after pouring my heart out. The dead silence is the only thing that really gets to me. It's extremely demotivating. I could compile a big matrix of exposition here if you'd like. One person listening makes it worth it.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Go ahead and post it, I cant promise you I'll read all of it, but I can at least give you some ideas of where your world needs work. Try to summarize where you can, its actually a good idea. If you can explain the plot in 20 sentences you can explain it in 10.

    These forums have an 13+older clause that makes some nudity less kosher than others. I wouldn't be upset at the management for following the standard of affairs.

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