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Hi. I'm the writer of ZUKAHNAUT, a comic published weekly at zukahnaut.com. I'm also the colourist, inker, and letterer.

I've been planning this comic for years ( created the character and started writing the story in 1998 ), but just started it last month. More because I got tired of waiting for my skills to be where I wanted them to be than because I felt I was "ready" to do it. That, and realized that in order to actually go through with producing the pages week after week, I had to involve someone else. Hence why I am not the penciler. Funny enough, that's pretty much the only thing other than writing I had any real practice with.

What I'm looking for is feedback on what I'm doing with the pencils I get from the artist, specifically the colouring. Right now I'm jut doing one layer of flat colour with a layer of shading over top, and that's it. I know there's certainly another way of doing it that would better compliment the art style, but I'd love some insight from people who know more than I.

I know my inking is crap, but I'm working on improving that by varying line weights and working towards smoother lines and curves. Any other comments are welcome in that field.

Lettering is completely new to me. I've been learning and improving as I go. If you see dumb mistakes, please point them out to me. I may have addressed it; it may have still stayed right off my radar up 'til now.

Any help and feedback you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
SerpentMage724's avatar

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I don't know much more than you do about lettering, so I'll not say anything on that front.
The coloring though. That I do know something about. I would recommend a different brush for some parts. Instead of only using a brush with a soft edge, try using one that has a hard edge as well, especially for the skin. Looking at your comic, I would guess you use the grey layer on top of the flats? You could also try using a darker shade. Add black and take away some white. I wish I could explain that better. : Please ask me if you need clarification.
SerpentMage724
I don't know much more than you do about lettering, so I'll not say anything on that front.
The coloring though. That I do know something about. I would recommend a different brush for some parts. Instead of only using a brush with a soft edge, try using one that has a hard edge as well, especially for the skin. Looking at your comic, I would guess you use the grey layer on top of the flats? You could also try using a darker shade. Add black and take away some white. I wish I could explain that better. : Please ask me if you need clarification.


I think I get what you're driving at. Just started work on page 11; I'll do some experimenting.

Thank you very much for the advice!
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First of all, I really love the concept of the comic and am curious to see where it's gonna go. It's so refreshing to see something we can read from left to right and even more so to see a different type of main character!

I have a few points I thought could use some improvement.

On the first few pages you use red text on a green background. While I understand the idea behind it, those two colors are pretty jarring next to each other, and make reading it unpleasant. Color theory plays an important role in setting tone and mood in artwork, but I don't think your text balloons are the place to use this. So I suggest to 'tone it down' (haha, don't mind me). Either by making the background darker or lighter green, and the text darker or lighter red. Play around with saturation for a bit and see what turns out best.

For lettering, I feel the text should be just a little smaller and more centered. Try to keep even white space around your lettering to create some space in your text balloons. This is a very nice resource for comic lettering, btw: http://www.blambot.com/grammar.shtml

As for shading. Personally I'm not a big fan of this type of shading, simply because it makes everything look so messy. Your shading on the characters itself is fairly alright, and you've improved a bit towards the end (it looks less messy and more deliberate there). However you're still a bit messy in shading the surroundings, for instance, the third panel on your final page. Shading there seems a bit random. However, I really like the way your've made the shadows on the grass in pages 8-10. It helps set the mood really well. So kudos to you.

What I would recommend for shading: the advice SerpentMage gave you is a good one. Vary in your use of brushes. Secondly, try adding an extra layer of shade within the shade. Not too much, just enough to give some additional depth to certain things.

And maybe experience a bit with highlights. I find it always brings out an extra bit of roundness and depth because a highlight contrasts with the shade, which is fun. <3

Finally, try adding a bit of extra texture to large background set pieces. For instance, this page, final panel. The background is red. And while I know that is because it's a house, there's no indiciation in the panel itself that it's so. Adding a bit of texture isn't too hard, just draw in a few bricks here and there. It'll add some flavour without swamping you with work. (No need to do the entire wall. Heh.)

Good luck!
SSJ Girl
First of all, I really love the concept of the comic and am curious to see where it's gonna go. It's so refreshing to see something we can read from left to right and even more so to see a different type of main character!

I have a few points I thought could use some improvement.

On the first few pages you use red text on a green background. While I understand the idea behind it, those two colors are pretty jarring next to each other, and make reading it unpleasant. Color theory plays an important role in setting tone and mood in artwork, but I don't think your text balloons are the place to use this. So I suggest to 'tone it down' (haha, don't mind me). Either by making the background darker or lighter green, and the text darker or lighter red. Play around with saturation for a bit and see what turns out best.

For lettering, I feel the text should be just a little smaller and more centered. Try to keep even white space around your lettering to create some space in your text balloons. This is a very nice resource for comic lettering, btw: http://www.blambot.com/grammar.shtml

As for shading. Personally I'm not a big fan of this type of shading, simply because it makes everything look so messy. Your shading on the characters itself is fairly alright, and you've improved a bit towards the end (it looks less messy and more deliberate there). However you're still a bit messy in shading the surroundings, for instance, the third panel on your final page. Shading there seems a bit random. However, I really like the way your've made the shadows on the grass in pages 8-10. It helps set the mood really well. So kudos to you.

What I would recommend for shading: the advice SerpentMage gave you is a good one. Vary in your use of brushes. Secondly, try adding an extra layer of shade within the shade. Not too much, just enough to give some additional depth to certain things.

And maybe experience a bit with highlights. I find it always brings out an extra bit of roundness and depth because a highlight contrasts with the shade, which is fun. <3

Finally, try adding a bit of extra texture to large background set pieces. For instance, this page, final panel. The background is red. And while I know that is because it's a house, there's no indiciation in the panel itself that it's so. Adding a bit of texture isn't too hard, just draw in a few bricks here and there. It'll add some flavour without swamping you with work. (No need to do the entire wall. Heh.)

Good luck!


Some very good advice here that I will be taking to heart in the future. Thank you kindly!

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