A sudden boost in hits alerted me to the fact that my comics are being discussed on the Something Awful forum to-day, which I love--and I hesitate to acknowledge I've read--because I instantly get a boatload of critique with no mind for sparing my feelings. I feel a weird glee at all the people talking about how much better my artwork could be. Though the fact that it's accompanied by positive comments regarding my writing probably does a lot to soothe my ego.
But I actually wanted to get involved with this discussion. The trouble is, apparently it costs money or something to register at the Something Awful forums, and I can't afford it right now. I'm not going to knock the forum for it--it actually seems to've created an abnormally civil atmosphere for an internet forum. I see rmg is involved in the discussion, and if you could refer people on the forum to this post, rmg, I'd greatly appreciate it.
To people wondering about how I draw the comic, as one person guessed, I do indeed pencil and ink on paper and colour on the computer--I use a shareware version of Paint Shop Pro 5 I've had since 1998. As for quality of the artwork, partly I think it's a matter of taste, but I've always been dissatisfied with it myself, particularly when I see gorgeous comics like The Phoenix Requiem. Though, on the other hand, I do dislike the airbrushed look of a lot of modern comics colouring. Matter of taste, again.
Someone criticised the panels that feature blank, solid colour backgrounds--For one thing, I personally rather like them because they allow me potential to express energy and mood in another way, but they're also something borne of necessity. I work on 9x12 pieces of sketchbook paper with 0.5 millimetre tip pens. I don't have the resources to obtain a better set up, and if I did, working with larger pages would slow me down and I think the pace at which I produce the comic is an important component to the flow--my philosophy on art and writing is greatly influenced by Jack Kerouac, though I do a lot more editing than he really believed in.
That being said--to the person who wished Boschen and Nesuko would be redone with better art--I would have absolutely no objection to any artist who wishes to do this, provided none of the writing, blocking, or scenery was modified without consulting me. I'd also suggest attention to facial expressions is the single most important thing as far as art for my comics goes.
A poster named Reiley commented; "The coloring is elementary at best, as details like highlights and shadows in the hair seem to be applied arbitrarily and do not accurately describe the roundness of the head nor the shape and volume of hair, and the two-step shadow gradient under brown-hair's chin and only under her chin stands out as being particularly odd."
To which I'd respond, two dimensional cartoon art invariably employs an impressionist take on the three dimensional world. That's why we still have anime in a world where cgi exists. I make creative decisions regarding the lighting and shape that don't always correspond to reality, partly based on my aesthetic ideals and needs for a particular scene, and partly based on my imperfect conception of the world. In a way, I think the value of art is in transcribing the artist's delusions for all to see. It's one of the things that sets us apart from cameras--though cameras are certainly capable of rendering a point of view.
But, again, I know I'm not the best artist on the internet. As for the difference between the shadows under Venia's and Wircelia's chins, I will say that it seemed to me it'd be slightly darker under Venia's chin because there's more hair framing her face than Wircelia's. That doesn't mean I'm "right", it's just how I see things, and I don't think anyone's "wrong" for disliking it.
Anyway, if anyone from the forum finds their way here, thank you for reading, I appreciate the comments, and I'm glad if you enjoyed my work.
Tweets of last night;
Dollhouse might be Vertigo the series.
Jefferson Memorial has mutants.
Half pencilled page is all Friday carries.
Winter length wrought by team of consultants.
I think the groundhog is outsourcing--this after he took a bailout. The mutants in the Jefferson Memorial is a Fallout 3 reference because I was playing it at Tim's house last night.
Dollhouse as Vertigo is a discussion I've sort of already had elsewhere--last night's episode isn't as good as the sixth episode with Patton Oswalt, but it was a fun jumbling of the playing field, actually. Still rooting for this show.
But I'd much rather talk about something the excellent Ana Marie Cox twittered a few minutes ago; "An article bemoaning the movies with less-than-evil vampires, because that's obv the first step to them WINNING: http://is.gd/pj7C ?"
This is a National Review article, so it's an insight into the right-wing position on romantic vampire media. It's rather impressive when someone's xenophobia carries over to fictional creatures, but the general thrust of Tony Woodlief's argument is that we can't forget that people are good and vampires are evil. I wish I could direct him and anyone reading this to Peter Straub's excellent introduction to this edition of Dracula because Straub discussed far more eloquently the Victorian fear of sexuality that inhabits the book than I ever could. Tony Woodlief's article tosses aside the whole idea that there was anything having to do with sexual hangups in the Victorian psyche without even beginning to support his argument, never mind the book's clear view of Jonathon Harker's infidelity with the vampire women, or the novel's reflection of a Victorian xenophobia that regarded Eastern Europe as sexually amoral.
I've never read Twilight and I haven't seen the movie--though I hear it's soon to be Rifftraxed and I'm looking forward to it with great eagerness. But it sounds like Woodlief's criticism of the book is merely a retread of the old argument against the romanticism of the "bad boy". Heaven forbid kids grow up thinking some bad people are redeemable--but Woodlief also misses the point that the bad boys in fluff tend to be anything but. They wear leather jackets and are a bit sullen maybe, but usually the world around the standard bad boy goes out of its way to act stupid whenever he's around, thereby giving the reader and/or avatar protagonist the position of being the only one who can see how good the boy is on the inside. Actual bad boys usually have the actual world against them, so these works of fiction aren't going to do a great deal to lobotomise young girls who aren't lobotomised already.