Sorry, but I really don't think the whole piano thing would work.
If you can read this whole post, and still think a piano comic is a good idea, you have way to much time on your hands.
The way I see it, a comic only needs to convey three things in the art of its characters: Who it is, what it is, what its doing, and how it feels. Look at Dilbert; he looks almost, but not entirely, unlike a human. Yet it remains one of the most popular comics in the world. Why?
1. You know its Dilbert when you look at him. He's always the same tube-headed, ball-haired, mouthless potato-shaped figure. So, consistency counts more than anything in my book. You want to be recognizable.
2. You get the vague idea he's probably human, most likely male. That's all you need. Many comics, you only know the character's not human. That's enough, too.
3. When Dilbert has a screwdriver in his hand, he's tinkering with hardware. When he sits in front of computer-shaped lumps, he's typing. That's all you really care about; the dialogue takes care of the rest.
4. You can tell, mostly through glasses and body language, how he feels. (okay, so not so well with Dilbert, but I'm not changing my example now.)
So, we've established that the art in a comic actually requires relatively little. (Don't believe me still? Read GPF, Mayberry Melonpool, Little Gamers, Boxjam... in all, the artistic *realism* is... questionable.)
So, why not pianos? You could tell what they were, and it would be easy enough to create recognisable, distinguishable characters, but conveying action and emotion would be near impossible. At the very least, it would require "animating" the pianos, flexing them into human-like body language poses. If I could do that, I would just draw the people. When I say all I can draw is inanimate objects, I mean it. If you want them sentient, they are no longer inanimate, yesh?
I know, I know, I'm taking this a little to literally and a bit to seriously, but I think this is characteristic of most of the budding comic - artists I've seen. They think if they can't draw a picture-perfect (or at least Manga-perfect) person, they can't do a comic. Not true. I would reccomend to most (and yes, to Litho, too, despite my previous high-praises) that they tone down the quality and detail. It actually starts to get in the way. The flow of the word ballons is actually more important than the character's poses to enjoying a comic, so until the two can 'get along', just focus on the dialogue.
This is what makes some comics (IMHO, like MegaTokyo and, of course, SJ) fun to read. Look at Today's comic.
In panel two, half the thing is a world balloon. The other half is very small and undetailed characters. But, we know them by shape and color, and we can see very clear body language, especially in everybody's favorite over-expressive 'roo. Detail isn't unimportant, but expression and recognition is more important. So, to re-iterate; if I could draw an expressive piano, well, I could and would draw and expressive person!
(Oh, yeah, I'm on a ranting roll! <:)
Now take a look at this comic
, by Litho (deepest apologies Litho, I really do love your work, but I needed someone to pick on, and you involuntarily volunteered. I actually had to nit-pick a bit to find an example of what I'm talking about.) The comic is in four main panels. The first is alright. If the characters were on the other side of each other, it would be easier to read, but let that go. Meanwhile, in panels 2 and 3, which are next to each other, we have three word balloons, meant to be read (if numbered left-to-right) 2-3-1. This would be fine, except balloon 1 comes from panel one, but is meant to be read last. Kinda confusing. The vertical offset of the balloons helps, but the vertical-before-horizontal rule of reading word balloons only applies within a single panel. If 2 and 3 were a single panel, it would make more sense, but for the obvious change of distance perspective between the two. Panel 4 takes some work to associate balloons with characters, but it's less important what order they're read in, so again, let that go. I could probably start typing gibberish at this point, this is truly a rediculously long post. 'specially for someone with only 2 other posts to his name. Yet, I press on. This also brings up simplicity of dialogue. Dialogue needs to be as minimalist as possible. You are still working in a graphic medium. Whatever can be portrayed by body language alone, should be. Work on the scrips, make them exactly what you think you would hear, but with as little back-and-forth banter as possible (it's a headache to follow), trying to keep as few characters talking per panel as possible. Piro, of Megatokyo fame, often mentioned in his rant about fine-tuning the dialogue of a comic *after* posting! He's very dedicated to the creation of the best possible wording for his characters, making his comic a joy to read (yeah, I know, it dosn't hurt that it looks incredible, too.)
So, if you didn't already, you now know the *real* reason I don't draw a webcomic. I'm really just a critic at heart! >:)
"Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast."
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