The eyes! The eyes!

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Postby Stig Hemmer on Mon Aug 20, 2001 12:49 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Friggin' Cornflakes:
<B>Awhile back I was inspired by Avalon to try my hand at my own webcomic.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>A few pieces of advice from a experienced comic <I>reader</I>:<P>1) The story is the important thing. Good writing can carry bad art, but good art cannot carry bad writing. (Unless you are making pr0n, of course)<P>2) Make it possible to tell the characters apart. Josh has stated that he planned this before starting drawing. It shows.<P>3) Put some work into facial expressions and body language. It is better to overdo than underdo them. If you feel you fail at this, consider using anime conventions. (floating sweat drop etc)<P>4) Show the strip to somebody who will be critical. Do <B>not</B> explain what is going on to them before they have had a chance to say "I don't get it."<P>5) Don't give up. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/smile.gif"><P>------------------
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Postby Josh Phillips on Mon Aug 20, 2001 1:08 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stig Hemmer:
<B><P>1) The story is the important thing. Good writing can carry bad art, but good art cannot carry bad writing. (Unless you are making pr0n, of course)</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
<P>As true as this is, a webcomic's success pretty much requires decent art as well. Art is what draws a reader in, and story is what keeps them there. So Stig is correct that good writing will keep your strip alive, but good art is an unfortunate necessety. The great thing, though, is that art naturally improves over time, so if you're not happy with it now, that's no excuse to stop drawing.
<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>2) Make it possible to tell the characters apart. Josh has stated that he planned this before starting drawing. It shows.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
<P>I said that? I certainly didn't succeed for about a year. ;-) But there are two kinds of differences you have to accentuate: appearance and personality. Physical differences are easy, personality differences are the killer. They all can't be smart-alecky/cynical types; you have to have some "straight men" too. Make them talk different, give them different fashion senses, give some of them personality quirks or visual habits, etc.<P>
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>4) Show the strip to somebody who will be critical. Do not</B> explain what is going on to them before they have had a chance to say "I don't get it."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
<P>Then it's important not to be disheartened by negative comments... I showed Avalon strip 1:1 to a friend of mine, and he said "I don't get it." I suppose I could've scrapped it, but I decided to go with it anyway and use it as a stepping stone to improved work. But either way, you just have to recognize what isn't working and improve on it.<P>Not only giving advice without being asked, but exploiting *others'* advice,
JOSH.<P>------------------
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Postby ZeroMax on Mon Aug 20, 2001 1:09 am

EYES!? Anyway, I love the way Josh draws side views and half-views. The front view of the face is not as good looking but still works fine.<P>Stig's info is very helpful to all you guys wanting to start a comic of your own. Listen to him.
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Postby ZeroMax on Mon Aug 20, 2001 1:12 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Josh Phillips:
<B>
I said that? I certainly didn't succeed for about a year. ;-) But there are two kinds of differences you have to accentuate: appearance and personality. Physical differences are easy, personality differences are the killer. They all can't be smart-alecky/cynical types; you have to have some "straight men" too. Make them talk different, give them different fashion senses, give some of them personality quirks or visual habits, etc.
</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>True, I have to admit for a while it was hard to tell Joe from, well, anyone other than Ryan(glasses) and people with different colored hair. And yet for some reason, I still can't seem to place Alison as a main character.<P>
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Postby Stig Hemmer on Mon Aug 20, 2001 5:22 am

/me worships Josh from a safe distance.<P>Your story writing skills is what keeps us coming back to this strip, but your drawings are getting better and better too!<P>Today I would like to direct everybodys attention to Joshes way of drawing eyes.<P>Read the last fews strips again and look closely at how much he is able to express using just the eyes.<P>Now, Josh and eyes go back a long way. Even his first strips were good in this respect, if a bit overdone. (Better overdone than underdone!)<P>In the beginning it was mostly a matter of wellplaced eyebrows, but now Josh has graduated to more advanced techniques... lately he has been experiementing with the, um, "eye frames"(?). The results speak for themselves.<P>What is next? Eye colours changing with the mood of the person?<P>------------------
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Postby Josh Phillips on Mon Aug 20, 2001 7:49 am

Heh... this is funny because I spent at *least* 15 minutes on Ceilidh's eyes (eye?) in the 3rd panel. I must've worn down half an eraser.<P>Thanks. :-)<P>JOSH.<P>------------------
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Postby Ursine on Mon Aug 20, 2001 8:34 am

Josh, my best buddy is a syndicated cartoonist whos been at it for - oh, gosh, twelve years? And the art he's doing now is *SO* much better than his first stuff - you too. I compare the early days of AVALON when your style was unsure, rougher and more anime-ish in a more derivative style - to the present - and it's blindingly obvious how much you've improved. A **lot**. <P>I thought (artistically-wise) that you handled this particular sequence (such as Ceilidh's eyes) beautifully.
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Postby Friggin' Cornflakes on Mon Aug 20, 2001 9:29 am

Just a quick thought...<P>Awhile back I was inspired by Avalon to try my hand at my own webcomic. This was when I discovered Avalon, and other Keenspot Comics. Not to put down Josh in any way, but I felt that Keenspot had a policy of "If you can draw it, you can post it." And now I know it's true because there are a lot of webcomics that don't deserve space (If you can find the one that rips of Sam & Max Hit the Road, kudos to you). Don't get me wrong, Avalon is definately in the top #3 for me.<P>Well, things didn't go so well for my first sketches and attempts at characters. I'm not an artist, I never was. At best I can churn out a character's profile from head to shoulders in an hour. (My biggest problem is keeping proportions the same throughout the pic.)<P>I have to agree with what's been said here. The Avalon characters in the first two months were a bit skewed. All is forgiven, of course. Especially since every comic after the first two months have been incredibly consistant. I have tried what Josh has done, and I can verify that it takes more that pencil and paper to produce these characters.<P>That's enough kissing ass for now, methinks.<P>------------------
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