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What do you think thus far?

It's good. I'll continue reading it. 0.4 40.0% [ 4 ]
Not a fan of it. 0 0.0% [ 0 ]
It's too soon to tell. 0.3 30.0% [ 3 ]
Gold. 0.3 30.0% [ 3 ]
Total Votes:[ 10 ]
1
celestrialdarkmoon's avatar

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Hello fellows. I wanted to let everyone know of my new full-color webcomic series, 'Messenger.' It started back on Monday, September 2, but I wanted to give it time and get the first scene up before posting about it on here.

Feel free to comment, chat, or give constructive critiques to me.


There will be one page updated every Monday.

Link: http://messenger.thecomicseries.com

You can also follow the story and see other updates on my DA: http://celestrialdarkmoon.deviantart.com/
Tantei Haibara's avatar

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Alicia your art has gotten a million times better since high school.

I adore this <3
celestrialdarkmoon's avatar

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Tantei Haibara
Alicia your art has gotten a million times better since high school.

I adore this <3


Aww, thank you! smile
celestrialdarkmoon's avatar

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Zaki and Asad have made the trek across the desert and at last entered the forest.
StkNavi's avatar

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celestrialdarkmoon
Hello fellows. I wanted to let everyone know of my new full-color webcomic series, 'Messenger.' It started back on Monday, September 2, but I wanted to give it time and get the first scene up before posting about it on here.

Feel free to comment, chat, or give constructive critiques to me.


There will be one page updated every Monday.

Link: http://messenger.thecomicseries.com

You can also follow the story and see other updates on my DA: http://celestrialdarkmoon.deviantart.com/


A very solid start, you have a beautiful setting and are hitting the ground running which is always good for generating interest and intrigue. I have no doubt that your quality will improve over time as long as your enthusiasm remains constant. Page layouts are very neat and speech bubbles are neat, clear and with good font.

Continue doing your best smile I expect much success for your future biggrin
celestrialdarkmoon's avatar

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StkNavi
A very solid start, you have a beautiful setting and are hitting the ground running which is always good for generating interest and intrigue. I have no doubt that your quality will improve over time as long as your enthusiasm remains constant. Page layouts are very neat and speech bubbles are neat, clear and with good font.

Continue doing your best smile I expect much success for your future biggrin


Thank you very much. I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the story thus far.

I'm very glad that the font is working out. I spent a lot of time picking one, wanting to have one that would both visually fit the feel of the comic as well as have a bit of a hand-written quality to its look.
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

The setting looks interesting and I like the effort you're putting into the designs and artwork in general. However, there are some problems I want to point out, though only the first one is really major:

1. There is way too much telling instead of showing. Let the reader find things out on their own! Give them hints, and let them connect the dots. That makes any story more interesting.

You start off with an infodump that tells us nothing that we need to know before the story. All that information can be conveyed easily in the story itself. The worst thing is that you DO convey all that information in the dialogue of the first few pages, which makes it all redundant. The only thing the opening dump has that isn't in the dialogue is the monarch's name and position, which could both be worked easily into the dialogue, if they're even necessary.

Emil then goes into a big dialogue-dump about how perfect Zaki is. It's boring to read, and it just makes Zaki boring as a character. I think something short and cryptic (just enough info to give us an idea of what Emil believes about Zaki) would have been better as Emil's explanation for why he's sending a trainee. Again, let the reader discover how kind and honest Zaki is! Show us his personality instead of telling us about it.

And lastly, we get an infodump about the battlefield. Now, I love world-building and world details like that, but even if that battle is very important to the plot, the reader doesn't want to know yet. Once again, let the reader guess. Zaki knows about the battle. Asad knows about the battle. There is no logical reason Zaki would keep blabbing about it once it's established what he's looking at. He might wonder about the bodies once they get closer, but a big info-dump chat like that just feels unnatural, and because the reader is not yet invested in the characters and the setting this early on (because you haven't shown us anything interesting, you're still just telling us things), the reader isn't likely to remember the information about the battle.


2. The one thing you should have explained, you didn't: Why is a messenger even necessary if Asad is going? It's obvious that Zaki's social skills are relevant, but it's his job as a messenger that's emphasised. I am guessing it's because messengers have diplomatic skills and diplomatic status that gives them access to leaders that Asad does not, but that seems like a world detail that should be at least mentioned a little bit, for example "Asad will get you to [dude's palace?] safely, and you can do your job from that point on."

Maybe it's just me, but when someone says "messenger" in a fantasy setting, I automatically think of someone whose job it is to brave treacherous journeys to deliver messeges, and to do so very quickly. The idea of a bodyguard seems both redundant (self-defense/survival should be a top priority skill even for trainee messengers) and counter-intuitive (a body guard is likely not trained like a messenger, and would slow the messenger down, but in your comic, Asad specifically says that Zaki will have to keep up).

Since the comic is only 14 pages in, however, I'd be willing to just go with it as long as the messenger's specific job is addressed later (but in the first chapter, preferable). The reason it bothers me is because we're treated to three major info-dumps, all about topics that are less relevant to the reader at this point in the comic than what Zaki's job is.


3. The all-knowing, kind monarch bothers me. Not because he's so great, but because his only defining trait so far is that he is a kind, all-knowing monarch, and his only purpose in the story/world seems to be to give Zaki his task, and to provide an infodump. Regardless of whether Emil is a major character or not, he should feel like a person with his own life and goals, not an NPC whose job it is to tell the reader things.


4. This is a minor one, but at first I thought Zaki and Emil were women. I don't know if that's important or not, but I thought I'd mention it. The long outer eyelashes that Zaki has are a near-universal "woman" marker in (western?) fiction.

I'm not really sure what it is about Emil that makes him look like a woman to me, but I think it's the combination of the pointed chin, large eyes, and high eyebrows. All of those features are found on men as well, but they are typically associated with women.


5. This is an even more minor issue, but I thought the sharp transition between desert and grassland/forest was jarring. Such sharp transitions really do happen IRL, but they're always accompanied by a geographical feature that causes them either via creating unique weather patterns or unique soil conditions, such as a ridge or a rift. When desert-grassland transitions on relatively flat terrain like in your comic, they're always more gradual. I think you could have used that gradual change to show time passing very effectively, too (if you wanted to; you could've also skipped it entirely, the point I want to make is you should not to show sandy desert and lush forest with no separation in the same panel unless you want it to look bizarre).


6. And the most nitpickiest minor nitpick of all: When you post non-pages as extras, I personally think you should move them out of the story after you post more pages. They're a nice little update to have when you're keeping up with a comic, but when you're binging on the comic, whether for the first time or a reread, they take you out of the story. I think you should get rid of the Halloween art, or at least move it to another page or something, so that it does not disrupt the flow of the comic.
celestrialdarkmoon's avatar

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Kyousouka
The setting looks interesting and I like the effort you're putting into the designs and artwork in general. However, there are some problems I want to point out, though only the first one is really major:



Thank you very much for your input. Those are all issues I will keep in mind as I continue the story.


On the last issue, that is something that also bugs me. I'm almost thinking that the comicfury site is on a chronological runner; though I do wish it would show pages in occurrence with the archive setup. Definitely a site layout that I'm hoping has a plan B that I just haven't found yet.
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

celestrialdarkmoon
Kyousouka
The setting looks interesting and I like the effort you're putting into the designs and artwork in general. However, there are some problems I want to point out, though only the first one is really major:



Thank you very much for your input. Those are all issues I will keep in mind as I continue the story.


On the last issue, that is something that also bugs me. I'm almost thinking that the comicfury site is on a chronological runner; though I do wish it would show pages in occurrence with the archive setup. Definitely a site layout that I'm hoping has a plan B that I just haven't found yet.

I haven't used Comic Fury, but a popular solution on Smackjeeves, which I believe has a similar setup, is to simply remove those pages from the comic proper, upload them somewhere else, and keep an extra page that has links to them. Another popular solution is to move them to the beginning of the comic (by creating a 0th chapter or changing the date), but I do not recommend this as it will mean new readers will be greeted by a bunch of random art instead of the comic.

Personally, I just post such artwork in my author comments instead of making it a separate update, that way I don't have to make any changes. In my experience most readers care more about pages (i.e. the story) than extra art anyway, and "extra" updates like that do more harm than good. Of course, that depends on your specific audience.
celestrialdarkmoon's avatar

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Kyousouka
I haven't used Comic Fury, but a popular solution on Smackjeeves, which I believe has a similar setup, is to simply remove those pages from the comic proper, upload them somewhere else, and keep an extra page that has links to them. Another popular solution is to move them to the beginning of the comic (by creating a 0th chapter or changing the date), but I do not recommend this as it will mean new readers will be greeted by a bunch of random art instead of the comic.

Personally, I just post such artwork in my author comments instead of making it a separate update, that way I don't have to make any changes. In my experience most readers care more about pages (i.e. the story) than extra art anyway, and "extra" updates like that do more harm than good. Of course, that depends on your specific audience.


Thank you again for more input. This gives me a lot to think on. I don't want to do anything rash, so I'll work out different ideas, then go from there.

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