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so as the title says, i'm wondering if i could get some critique on my comic. i'm kinda worried about the pacing so far and the repetitiveness in the story. i guess the characters could be better too. not sure how much you guys can judge since i'm only forty pages in (forty-one probably tomorrow) but any help would be good! oh, and here's a wip of page 41:

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oh, and i'm in the process of editing some pages and the website, so some things are gonna change later.
SpazMeister's avatar

Rainbow Pusher

I got about halfway through your current pages before I kind of gave up. You look like you have the beginnings of a very interesting story, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what story it is. I get that the kids were trying to bring back someone from the dead, but beyond that it gets very confusing to me.

The glasses kid appears to be bipolar with a different personality every panel. Because he was hearing voices and taking medication later, I assume he might actually have some sort of disorder, but it's impossible to tell what was intentional and what was bad pacing. Before seeing him taking meds, I thought it was all due to inconsistent story-telling on the writer's part. There has be some way to better explain this to your audience before they've gone through about 20 or so pages. (maybe another character comment's on his erratic behavior?)

Also I don't understand the sequence explaining why the eyepatch kid is being blackmailed into raising the dead. How can he even raise the dead? All I understood was something about eyepatch kid having psychotic tendencies and glasses kid somehow magically knows this.

And regarding the scene where glasses kid talks to the dead child; it took me about 2 pages to even realize the change in setting. Another couple pages to come to the conclusion that dead child was actually murdered by glasses child. I'm still not sure if that was the case since it made absolutely no impact and that seems to be the type of point that should have a bit of umpf - it's a plot twist isn't it? (seems like the type of thing that would be).

In conclusion regarding the story:
you're pacing is very off. I think you might be trying to get through the scenes too quickly. What you really need is to slow down and explain the story clearly- remember that the audience has no idea about all the story background that you've already got all laid out in your head. Take time to explain things so even a child could understand the flow (ok, maybe not so simplistic as would take a young child to understand, but you hopefully get my point). Particularly things that should be making an impact on the reader - be sure to give it enough time. Don't just zoom through it in two tiny panels.

In this case, some differentiation in panel sizes might be useful (as I seem to recall a lot of your panels were generally of the same size throughout all the pages). Important points might be illustrated in huge panels to really get across the idea that this information is something the readers should pay attention to.

You appear to have a promising story here, please make it so that I can actually understand it even though it isn't my brainchild.

Artwise: You should probably look into differentiating character's more. It's a common mistake for many amateur cartoonists (myself included) that all our characters look nearly identical because they have the same basic facial structure with maybe different hair lengths and accessories. This contributes to much confusion on the reader's part - particularly when some of those accessory differences aren't exactly very obvious.
SpazMeister

Wow. Thank you so much for the critique, I really, really appreciate it!

Going on about the glasses kid, he does have some ambiguous disorder and a crappy personality. And since the story takes place in his perspective (at least for this chapter) the story is supposed skewed and confusing. So it's poorly executed on my part and I should have made it more clear in the beginning.

And about the eyepatch kid and the glasses kid, the glasses kid does go out of his way to find information about people but makes up or exaggerate every other detail. So, the eyepatch kid isn't that sociopathic, but he does have some tendencies. And the glasses kid's blackmailing is stupid and ineffective, but why the eyepatch kid is helping him will be explained later on.

Ahh, and yeah the scene with the dead kid. It wasn't meant to be a plot twist, so I knew it wouldn't have too much impact. Though, the more I think about it the transition and the raising from the dead part was confusing and more worldbuilding could've done. I was trying to avoid an infodump but it went against me. Woops.

Ohhhh man, and I had no idea the characters looked so much alike. I knew some do resemble each other, but I've been trying to push myself out of same face/body syndrome. So I can try and work with the character designs some more.

Again, thanks! Sorry the long response. u u
I hope this doesn't count as bumping since I have some new content and more questions about this webcomicking stuff I'm doing. @_@ There's no point in making a new thread since it's related to this comic and this is a slow forum...so...yeah.

Pacing and writing aside, I was wondering if I can get some critique about the pages and art (you can ignore pages 1-10 since they're more older pages). I've been experimenting more with perspectives so I can get out of my comfort zone of drawing bust shots. And I dunno, I've been staying in my safe zone with panels but I'm not exactly sure how to be make then ~*exciting*~. I'm going to redo the earlier pages, so any advice would be great! :>

Here's a wip of page 47:

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Miramelle's avatar

Friendly Heckler

Definitely improving on the art front - it's nice to see stuff besides talking heads. Your characters are getting easier to tell apart, which is good, although Quinn and the blue-eyed kid are pretty similar when standing together.
Did Quinn have an eyepatch for a reason in the early pages?
Actually, keeping track of who is who in terms of names was challenging on the first run-through. Took me a few tries to work out that 'Ruley' is a last name.

One thing that bugged me was the speech bubbles- when there's more than two characters, it's hard to tell which floating bubble belongs to who. Making the tails more obvious, or giving each person a different font, color or speech bubble design would help differentiate them.
Speaking as a text geek, the spacing is a little wonky, like so:
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It's good that you're using smaller text for the asides, but often you need more space between the lines ("useless" and "we aren't" ) to improve readability, flow and pacing. It's not shown here, but whenever you see T's and g's overlapping, there's a problem. The background speech bubble's spacing is good.

There's other little margin stuff, like in these panels:
User Image
You could use a little more space between the text and the edge of the panel. This goes for some of the speech bubbles (such as "going" hitting the edge in the first image), though it's less common there. This doesn't apply to the crazy red text, as making that all wonky is clearly an intentional (and effective) choice.
If you're concerned about paneling, I would look at comics like Hanna Is Not A Boy's Name, the Coyote sections of Gunnerkrigg Court, and action sequences in Our Intrepid Crew for some inventive paneling inspiration.
I really like the trippy Lyle-monster from the early pages, especially page 15, and the little things like the text on the side of the medicine bottle. Overall, good show!
Miramelle


Thank you so much for the critique! n n I really appreciate it.

Yeah, Quinn was wearing an eyepatch. In the earlier pages I showed a flashback of him with his natural hair color and without him wearing the eyepatch thingy...so he's just wearing it to wear it. He just has this thing for doing stupid stuff for reaction or trying to be ~*different*~. That could've been more clear when I look back on it.

And I noticed the lettering was kinda off......but tbh, I didn't pay that much attention to it (woops). So I'll keep that in mind and I'll fix the older pages whenever I get the chance. Same with the speech bubbles, since I realized how messed up they can look sometimes, bleh.

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