Octopus Attack

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JakeKalsbeek
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Octopus Attack

Post by JakeKalsbeek » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:58 pm

I've been hanging around the flight forums for a bit commenting every once in a while and I've finally plucked up the courage to show my own art. I did this short story just to work on my sequential storytelling skills. What do you guys think? What isn't working? What is working? What can I do better? Don't hold back. I'm really looking forward to what the comic ninjas of the flight forums think.

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willmj
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Post by willmj » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:57 pm

Love your squid! This works well... what happens next?

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Og
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Post by Og » Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:38 am

Hi, Jake!

Your storytelling is very well done - easy to read and follow, very clear. Good pacing, cute idea.

I know you're asking about your storytelling, but I would humbly suggest you work on your Art just a bit - vary your line thickness, and add areas of black for contrast, to get the characters to pop off the page a bit more.

If I may be so bold, here's an example of what I mean:
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I think you're off to a good start, though, and I'm eager to watch your skills develop as you go.

Cheers, and good luck!
ImageImage

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andrew fulton
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Post by andrew fulton » Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:12 am

I think it's neat, a funny idea.
Couple things that bother me a little -
I am not entirely sure I am sold on the 'grab' from the octopus, it maybe needs a little more 'pop' or something. Breaking the panel border is good, maybe even just pushing the angle a little more.
The other thing is he looks a little too comfy when he reaches up to flick the switch. I probably would have left the head out completely and just had the arm coming up in the second panel.

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JakeKalsbeek
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Post by JakeKalsbeek » Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:53 am

Thanks for all the great comments and suggestions guys.

Og- You're right about those blacks. That looks much better. Thanks for showing and how its done.

Andrew- Having his head stick out more is a great idea. Then it might look like he's being strangled as he goes down. That's a great way to push my original idea even further.

I'll post the changes soon.

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JakeKalsbeek
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Post by JakeKalsbeek » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:40 am

Here's what I did with all your suggestions. I decided that Andrew's suggestions about the impact of the octopus grab really required a complete redrawing of the entire comic to get it right so I just tried to make the best of what I had. Also Andrew's comments about the panel where he flicks on the garbage disposal would require me to pull back the camera and break the rhythm of slowly pulling in. That might still be the best way to go but again it would require me redraw the entire comic to keep a consistent flow. Or maybe that flow isn't as important as I think. Either way I decided that having a tentacle wrapped around his head might be a nice compromise even if it isn't the best solution.

Thanks for all your help!

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andrew fulton
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Post by andrew fulton » Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:03 pm

Sorry Jake, didn't mean to go suggesting things that would mean more work, that was just inconsiderate of me.
It's looking a lot better, the lines and blacks make it look more confident.
I still would remove the head completely from the panel where he flips the switch - a moment where it looks like he has gone for good, then the arm pops up and flips the switch.

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Og
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Post by Og » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:18 pm

It's much improved. See how that black shirt helps him pop out of that tentacled mess? Bravo. Ditto the new varied line thicknesses. Much more polished and interesting to the Eye.

I do agree with Andrew that something is not quite right in panels 7 and 8. He suggests removing the head altogether so you think he's gone down the drain. I am not sure I'd go that far, but I do think now that you've added the tentacles, the hand reaching for the switch is harder to read. Not impossible, but harder.

There are probably 100 ways to solve the problem in panels 7 and 8, so I'll just leave it up to your sensibilities whether you redraw the panel, go for super closeup, erase some of the extraneous lines, cheat the arm in front of the faucet, or maybe just leave it like it is and move on to a new comic, full of the knowledge that your storytelling is off to a great start.

I'll shut up now.

Roll on.
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JakeKalsbeek
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Post by JakeKalsbeek » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:09 pm

Here's the latest of my sequential exercises. I tried my best to incorporate all the lessons I learned from my first exercise. I finished this one over a month ago and I think I can now see some weaknesses. But I want know if I'm reading it the same way a fresh pair of eyes would. It will be interesting to hear what people say. Like last time don't hold back in your critiques. If you don't understand something or think something isn't working let me know.

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andrew fulton
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Post by andrew fulton » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:56 am

the drawing in this one is a lot more confident, and it is a funny little strip - I like it.
Initially i thought the guy was starting to get nauseous rather than hungry. Maybe make more of the icecreams the other people are eating, even just shifting his eyes in the first panel so he is looking right at what the other guy is eating. You could probably do away with the wallet gag, I am not sure it adds a lot of value and replace it with a couple of panels emphasising the food.
I like the way you broke out of the panel borders in the second row, it adds some dynamism, but maybe look at the poses in the second panel there, it could be a lot stronger. Have a look at people in animation that talk about 'lines of action',this kind of stuff.
I think the last panel is great, with the little plop of icecream left on the ground, it's funny. Nice one.

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andrewwales
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Post by andrewwales » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:20 am

I love your comics. I think you did well incorporating the criticism to make the first one better. I'm not sure he always needs a black tshirt. That's a lot of black.

The second one was hilarious. Do I read it right that his "stomach monster" ate the fat guy? It's not entirely clear. Maybe showing more of the fat guy as he goes in.

Keep up the good work!

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JakeKalsbeek
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Post by JakeKalsbeek » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:38 pm

Yeah the Andrews always got good things to say! The funny thing about the ice cream on the ground was I just drew it there with out thinking. It wasn't till I was looking at my thumbnail that I realized the irony it created.

Andrew F- Yeah the wallet gag shouldn't have been included now that I think about it. You are so right about that second panel on the bottom row. Having just graduated from Animation Mentor in September I think I really dropped the ball there. If this was an animated short that panel would be the golden pose so if I got that panel across better I think the whole strip would read much better. At the very least it would have been much stronger to have the big guys arm stretched out. And having the big guy coming out of the panel would probably help the line of action too.

Andrew W- Thanks for the encouragement. You read it right. I think if I incorporated some of Andrew F's suggestions that would help clear things up a bit.

I don't plan to make the changes on this one. Please don't think I'm ungrateful. I loved your guys suggestions. I'm going to move on to the next exercise and try to keep these things in mind as I work. Next time I really want to focus more on that key panel. Having clear and easy to understand comics can be so hard!

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andrewwales
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Post by andrewwales » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:14 am

I like getting feedback myself. Not to go back and change comics I've already made so much as to apply the suggestions in future comics.

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JakeKalsbeek
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Post by JakeKalsbeek » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:11 pm

Here's my latest sequential doodle. I've really learned a lot so far. I've been thumbnailing out a longer comic where I can put all the things I've learned here to work. I'm planing to start drawing in January but till then I'll work on these exercises. Thanks for all the comments so far!

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willmj
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Post by willmj » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:35 am

I like the double reading of this story... Who's the baddy? Is she with the the man or the monkey?... Is she fickle?... or loyal? Really great Jake... I'll be pondering that today :D

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