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It originally started as a drawing exercise I gave myself, to make a point of keeping up sketching and inking practice. Also practice with page layouts and composition.

About 3 or 4 years ago, during an art jam, one of my friends was going through my stack of drawings and found a few of the inked pages. She said "Hey, you should add some dialogue and make this a comic."

So I did. Because: why not? It only took a few years to get my act together.

The art in the first chapter is damn old and kind of bad. Because it's from 3 years ago. :B
There are 3 chapters total, and I'm adding 1-2 pages per week. All drawn and inked on paper, toned and shaded digitally.

So here is an electrified computing button that will magically take you to my comic by activating its link-o-tron with your manual clicking arrow:
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WARNINGS:
Blood, foul language, violence, death, sadism, zombies(?), boobies!, artistic nonsense, Hans Bellmer quotes, dialogue written at 3AM after 8 cups of coffee.
Read at your own risk.

If you would like to drop a comment up here in this craziness; I am always looking for feedback and constructive criticism on any aspect of my work.

Because how can I improve if I don't know what's wrong with me? (A lot is.)
There isn't really much up to critique at this moment, so i'll give some general commentary.

I'm getting an "all style no substance" vibe from the first couple of pages. It's like, your comic really, desperately wants to be dark and give off that sort of mood and ambiance, but it just falls so very flat. The cliche "badass" dialog, the teenage goth kid outfits, the fact that everybody's hair/hats seem to be dramatically covering their eyes in almost every panel and the ridiculous weapons made me lose interest really fast.

It's just kind of too much. and not in a clever nod to any of those over done conventions either. It just seems like another redux of those same tired themes. The comic's tone sort of falls flat, and i'm not going to lie, I kind of smirked when I read all the quotes from Hans Bellmer. You're trying too hard to create a certain kind of atmosphere and it's making your comic into a stale bag of cliches with no interesting voice of its own.
Owari's avatar

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-2o
There isn't really much up to critique at this moment, so i'll give some general commentary.

I'm getting an "all style no substance" vibe from the first couple of pages. It's like, your comic really, desperately wants to be dark and give off that sort of mood and ambiance, but it just falls so very flat. The cliche "badass" dialog, the teenage goth kid outfits, the fact that everybody's hair/hats seem to be dramatically covering their eyes in almost every panel and the ridiculous weapons made me lose interest really fast.

It's just kind of too much. and not in a clever nod to any of those over done conventions either. It just seems like another redux of those same tired themes. The comic's tone sort of falls flat, and i'm not going to lie, I kind of smirked when I read all the quotes from Hans Bellmer. You're trying too hard to create a certain kind of atmosphere and it's making your comic into a stale bag of cliches with no interesting voice of its own.


Awesome! Thanks!
Seriously; all I get from my friends is "I like it; it's good smile " ... which is no help to me at all.

I understand the style vs substance issue; the comic was originally drawn without a story, just a bunch of random pages I drew as inking practice. :X

(and I was a goth all through high school and university... I've been in fashion rehab but it's going slowly and is sadly reflected in my older art.)

Did you have anything constructive to add, or just the criticism for now? smile
I only looked at a few pages, but artwise it's fantastic.
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I'm not totally sure I agree with the 'style and no substance' verdict. You obviously have an aesthetic and narrative style you're going for and you're nailing it pretty much on the head. It's not my preferred kind of aesthetic or story, personally, but you should easily find a happy audience with it as it comes across as pretty polished and your inking is really nice.

I would say to steer well clear of the photo backgrounds, however. They jar with your art and will forever be perceived as the lazy option for environment drawing.
Owari
-2o
There isn't really much up to critique at this moment, so i'll give some general commentary.

I'm getting an "all style no substance" vibe from the first couple of pages. It's like, your comic really, desperately wants to be dark and give off that sort of mood and ambiance, but it just falls so very flat. The cliche "badass" dialog, the teenage goth kid outfits, the fact that everybody's hair/hats seem to be dramatically covering their eyes in almost every panel and the ridiculous weapons made me lose interest really fast.

It's just kind of too much. and not in a clever nod to any of those over done conventions either. It just seems like another redux of those same tired themes. The comic's tone sort of falls flat, and i'm not going to lie, I kind of smirked when I read all the quotes from Hans Bellmer. You're trying too hard to create a certain kind of atmosphere and it's making your comic into a stale bag of cliches with no interesting voice of its own.


Awesome! Thanks!
Seriously; all I get from my friends is "I like it; it's good smile " ... which is no help to me at all.

I understand the style vs substance issue; the comic was originally drawn without a story, just a bunch of random pages I drew as inking practice. :X

(and I was a goth all through high school and university... I've been in fashion rehab but it's going slowly and is sadly reflected in my older art.)

Did you have anything constructive to add, or just the criticism for now? smile


That was constructive. But i'll elaborate. I see you like a certain aesthetic, there is nothing wrong with that. But you need to look into the specifics. You like gothic architecture, grave yards? cool, it's time to do some research. The purpose of this research is to get your mind filled with as many new ideas as you can, so your darkened grave yard looks like something that came from you, something you created.

Right now it looks like a copy of a copy. I feel like i've read this story before, like i've seen these characters. Hell, even look at things that don't catch your fancy, so you can further inform your stylistic decisions. You can make your characters look different without making them look like they fell out of an ad for hottopic.

Good luck.
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-2o
You can make your characters look different without making them look like they fell out of an ad for hottopic.


......hate to nit-pick, but I think "an ad for Heavy Red or Hell Bunny" would have been a more appropriate aesthetic comparison than Hot Topic. :X
Hot Topic is Mall-Goth, ie, bondage pants and t-shirts, mini dresses, etc. My characters costumes are a little more along the lines of Neo-Victorian and Decadent.


ETA:
I'm sorry for sounding snappy. >.<
It was just that the rest of the artists in my art jam group spotted my visual references to Edward Gorey and picked up on the story being based on 12th century folklore right away. So I was a little surprised that you overlooked those elements completely and told me to "do research."
Again... sorry for sounding like a b***h in my comments. Totally not intentional. >_<;
Owari
-2o
You can make your characters look different without making them look like they fell out of an ad for hottopic.


......hate to nit-pick, but I think "an ad for Heavy Red or Hell Bunny" would have been a more appropriate aesthetic comparison than Hot Topic. :X
Hot Topic is Mall-Goth, ie, bondage pants and t-shirts, mini dresses, etc. My characters costumes are a little more along the lines of Neo-Victorian and Decadent.


ETA:
I'm sorry for sounding snappy. >.<
It was just that the rest of the artists in my art jam group spotted my visual references to Edward Gorey and picked up on the story being based on 12th century folklore right away. So I was a little surprised that you overlooked those elements completely and told me to "do research."
Again... sorry for sounding like a b***h in my comments. Totally not intentional. >_<;


Not going to lie, I don't pay enough attention to fashion to appreciate the difference, but duly noted just the same. And you sounded a bit passive aggressive, but no water under the bridge and all that.

I think a lot of your problem is execution. When they are standing in the cemetery, they are posing like they are in a cheesy action flick or superhero comic. They are spouting one liners and being badass. These things read more "action comic with gothic aesthetic" than they do anything else. And there's nothing wrong with that if that's what you want. but I don't think that's what you are going for.

It just sort of looks incidental that they are in there "neo-victorian/decadent" get ups. They could be in jeans and t-shirts and it would be more or less the same. The style pretty much "sits" on top, that is, it doesn't particularly contribute to the mood in any real sense. Your art jam group might have seen 12th century folklore, but I am certainly not, and i'm confused where those elements would even be.

Edit: I just noticed we both customized the same template on smackjeeves. It took me six hours to do less than you. I'm hopeless at html.
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I love it! The artwork is great, and i hope the plot is a juicy one!
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Echoing what others have said, you definitely have an aesthetic going on and the style seems mostly consistent. Your art is clean and, for the most part, clear. That said, it feels a bit superficial.

For example, the architecture strikes me as a little inconsistent. It seems just a little too modern, especially if they are wearing outfits anywhere near resembling Victorian fashion. I'd suggest going for tall, imposing buildings and sharp angles.

But more than that, I kept asking myself, "why do I care?"... I see a fellow that trips and gets a knife in his foot. Ouch, painful. But I don't even know who this kid is or if he's supposed to be one of the good guys. Why is he running around at night? Who are the people attacking him and why? Etc.

The basic premise is okay, but it hasn't been told properly. You need to learn to exaggerate more. In order for us, the audience, to care about him, we need to connect to this guy in some way. We need to see his face and his vulnerability. We need to see his pain and fear. We can't do that if we never see the tears in his eyes or his defiant grimace (whatever you're going for).

Another problem I'm noticing is that you're doing a bit too much telling when you should be showing. You're relying heavily on dialogue instead of other tools. Some biggies that you are not using to your advantage are dramatic lighting, perspective, and facial expression. It also wouldn't hurt to study up on silhouettes and character design. Ideally, a character should be recognizable by their shadow alone. Right now the characters seem just a bit cookie cutter. Play with different facial structures and body types.

Another really important suggestion I have is to look at other comics that have successfully employed a gothic motif. Look at Hellsing and other vampire stories for inspiration. Horror stories work, too! Take notes on what they are doing well. Use that to build yourself a visual database.

Essentially, though... you've got your work cut out for you. Read, research, study, and keep working on your art skills. I'm sure you'll get where you want to be if you keep at it.

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