Let the Bashing begin(x
Hey MT, im new here, then again im not o.O but I have been working on a little project I hope to go far with, and so far... I have 4 and a half pages done haha. WIP and I was hoping to post here, and get your opinions and insight on what I can do to better this comic, and better myself as an artist. Thankyou.
Cool looking comic; however there are two things I think are warranting work and an area you may want to review. The first thing I notice is that the designs are very reminiscent of Naruto, and I’m not sure if this was intentional or not. That isn’t inherently bad, just thought I would point it out since you may want to look into the character designs and try developing unique features for each character to break free from that niche.
I notice that the poses have little to no planar perspective, by which I mean, I cannot really tell which direction in space they are actually placed. It as it they are all posed straight at the metaphorical camera, and only the joints move on an axis but are without proper depth. I think this illusion is partially being generated by the block colouring you have got going on, maybe you could look into screen tones to apply some minor shadows or something, or when you are in the gestural phase really make sure to indicate the wrapping lines of the limbs and indicate foreshortening/overlapping appropriately. My last point is that you may want to look into panelling theory, however I cannot elaborate since I don't know much myself about it :/
I understand completely. Thankyou for your comment, and I was wondering if you had any references I could look into to help my positioning and perspective. Thats been getting on my nerves alot, and Im going to start practicing more on environment and depth. Im not exactly pleased with how its turning out so far due to this, and so far I have been just using character designs that I have felt comfortable messing around with. Im still drawing up characters and Clothing, and alot of background research has gone into this as well, but I see where you can get that this looks like naruto. Ill get it fixed haha.
I Think, something that might help.. is tilting the scene.. Ive read vagabond, and the artwork is unbelievable. But most of the scenes are tilted when viewing multiple people in one area, and mine sort of has this, straight flat look. Im not really sure what you mean about panelling theory, but Ill look it up. Paneling has been getting on my nerves a bit :P Thankyou for your insight!
Eh... "tilting" the scene? ... ????
I'm not sure what you mean by this, however I did notice something... all your panels are static. Meaning, they're all in their nice little 3/4 ratio boxes, rigid and without inovation. It looks like you pulled your panels from a computer template. I might suggest trying to vary panel sizes and shapes to better fit the image. Page one and two aren't so bad, but page three on the panels sort of... devolve. I don't know, this could be just me. I know that when I do pages the panels frustrate me to no end, thus I sort of pay more attention to them than others might.
The one thing that really bugged me here was the text. While I'm not saying one can't be original, just pick up five different (translated) manga and look at the text. There is something called an industry standard. Generally, the font for comic text here in the US is something that looks a bit like comic sans. With manga it looks like a cross between Ariel and Comic Sans. That being said, DO NOT use comic sans or ariel in your lettering! Use a custom font that matches the standars for "comic" lettering. That is: Someting without tails (sans) but with "rounded" edges, in all caps. You should have standard type face, a "bold" typeface (when emphasis is needed in dialogue) and an italic type face. You can design these yourself on illustrator or photoshop, but it does require some time and skill. There are myriads of tutorials on youtube for that though. If you dont have Ill/PS, than you can pay a small fee and download a royalty font that you can use for all your lettering needs. It's faster that way. Or, if all else fails you could just letter by hand. This is more time-intensive though. If worse comes to worse, just use comic sans. (Don't tell anyone I just told you that though. :cat_dead: All caps though.... remember all caps.
Problem two with the lettering is that it is much too small. And you seem to cram a lot into the balloons when things could be reworded for easier reading. Remember, white space is gold. Balloon one on page one bugged me the most. I know they read up to down in Japan but this is original english manga... Absolutely NO vertical text!!! (Please and thankyou, that is. ;) ) All of what I mentioned distracts from the reading itself, and the reader tends to skip over the balloons completely.
Anyways, that's my thoughts on the lettering.
As for the characters resembling Naruto... yes, they do. To a great degree. Maybe it's just that Michio and his two pals seem to look very similar to a very famous other trio...
It could also be the hair and costuming. The pants/jackets look like you pulled them straight from Kishimoto's sketchbook. But you know, defining your own style comes with time and practice. I wouldn't worry about it too much just yet. Try and seek out originality. Read more widely to get a sense of different styles. Draw from life, etc. etc.
I don't know what to say about the "planar perspective" thing except that Demon is right. Right now, you have you characters and then odd, strangely flattened backgrounds drawn in behind them. Perspective, perspective, perspective. Don't have the figures just standing there, surrounded by a background/random scenery, have them INTERACT and "live" in a real world.
For example: in panel two of page one your guy is just standing there, with a tree behind him. Wouldn't it have been cooler if you would have drawn him leaning up against the tree? Or perhaps stalking in the shadow of the tree? Round things out. Bland background are bland. I know it takes a lot more time... but try and keep your characters grounded in a real world.
I know you're just starting and wouldn't advise maybe say, nitpicking over everything. But those are my two cents worth anyways, I hope I could help.
BTW... where's the rest of page five!?!?
Just as a note on the fonts, the one you'll see most frequently in translated manga is "Wild Words", but it's a paid-for font that I think runs at about $149. I won't say it hasn't been pirated, but Blambot (as mentioned in MT's own tutorial on typesetting) has some pretty good free alternatives. Anime Ace in particular is a pretty close match for Wild Words.
Thankyou for the advice guys. Ive been sketching alot, back to the drawing board(x Ill post some pictures soon, but I agree that it looks to much like naruto. It pisses me off as well, took me hours and hours drawing and redrawing frames and such. But I know that I can make this into a better thing, and Ill just develop my own style. Very pissed at myself(x knowing i can do better than this.
Ill look into getting different fonts i wasnt happy with the way it looked anyways. It was to small to read as you said, and I felt like it was way crowded :P Im pretty young to be doing this as well, I still have tons to learn and thanks for enlightening. Foolish mistake to do the vertical text(x But you only learn success through failure. Thanks ton so far to those who commented. Ill have sketches ive been doing up soon, hopefully they'll have a better look to them.
Ah, don't be too hard on yourself. I woulnd't call all these "failures," more like "trial and error." You always get a second chance with art, that's the good thing. (Well, most of the time anyways. I have some horror stories. O_o )
As for the Naruto thing, I'm going to reiterate this once again: This is your first try at your own manga. Go easy on yourself.
In other words, don't berate yourself for copying (mostly inadvertantly, I'm thinking?) someone else's style. Instead, use this as a spring board and oppurtunity to branch out and challenge yourself.
You are you're own worst critic. If you don't allow yourself some grace, then... I don't know... something really bad will happen. (*Wags some sort of sage advice in your face*)
Also, @Gaff, thanks for the info. I had no idea what it was called. Heh. I personally use something very similar to Anime Ace though, as I found that was closest to "the look." What do you use?
Personally, I've been using Crimefighter - it's pretty nice.
Ooh, it does look nice... although a little too thin for my tastes.
(BTW, nice scratch-out there. As a kid I had a friend whose mom would go through all his books with a black sharpie and they looked something like that. You could hold them up to the light though and read *gasp* "darn" and "heck" beneath the black. xD)
Sorry for spammin your thread, Godspeed