Last Scene In Chapter 1

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thirdeyeh
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Last Scene In Chapter 1

Post by thirdeyeh » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:52 pm

Well its been awhile since I posted in this section, but I wanted to share the last scene of chapter 1 in my comic in its entirety because I'm really interested in getting feedback on it. It's a scene that I think really came out better in some ways than I expected, but I know there's more that could be done to strengthen it. I appreciate it,

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andrew fulton
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Post by andrew fulton » Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:08 pm

I think it's interesting that this is the 'last scene' of chapter one. It seems like this would be a perfectly good beginning - I am not sure what would go before this that wouldn't detract from the 'mysterious opening'.
I think you have done a great job of not being overly melodramatic, you have kept it nice and subtle. I think your drawing has helped a lot here, the kinda scratchy look is good, and I like the almost-painterly look of some of the backgrounds, especially the first bit.
Sometimes it might go a little too far that way, sometimes it seems a little wooden and stiff - maybe something to do with some of the words. Some of the language seems a little stilted and unnatural. "This makes me sad, as it did your wife". Some of them just sound a little too awkward, like maybe you are trying a little too hard to be dramatic or something? I don't know.
I am not sure I like the font you used for the lettering, I would go for something standard and simple, and keep all the text the same size - it seemed to jump around a bit for no apparent reason.

Does Mr McCleary always wear that hat, or is it just for the funeral? It's crazy big.

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LetsMeetUpInParadise240
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Post by LetsMeetUpInParadise240 » Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:59 am

Very cinematic. Very nice. :D
Remember to breathe.....

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MG
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Post by MG » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:10 pm

I second everything said above. Except the hat comment. I love that hat.

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neil
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Post by neil » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:17 pm

Well, at least he doesn't need an umbrella.

I want to know what's in that box!

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thirdeyeh
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Post by thirdeyeh » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:21 pm

Thank you both of you!
andrew fulton wrote: Does Mr McCleary always wear that hat, or is it just for the funeral? It's crazy big.
Lol! yeah it is kinda big isn't it? Well, its kind of an Indiana Jones thing. I wanted him to become connected to wearing a hat like that so I carried it into that last scene. He won't always have a hat on though.

As for your other thoughts.

FONT: This is something a few people have brought up. I feel very strongly about the font I've chosen that I think it works well with the story. But it's been brought up a few times and may warrant a look. What I really want to do is create my own font and I may well do that soon.

DIALOG: It does feel jilted at some points, but I feel like that is entirely the character I want Thomas to be. He has a very formal, rigid nature to him. I actually cut a huge section of dialog for him because I felt it really went over the edge and ultimately didn't help the story any. Virgil and George almost write themselves because their so different they just feed off of one another. I try very hard though to not think about my wording too much, but let the characters speak through the construct I have framed them in. It's something I'm working on, but hopefully something that's getting better. If you want to read bad dialog read my first screenplay! But yeah I can see where it feels that way and I'll consider it more. I feel there's a lot of redundancy in the dialog more than anything. Just poor grammar. Someone needs to send Thomas back to school.

Your thoughts on this being the beginning scene in place of the four page beginning I have currently in place is a pretty astute observation. It would work very well. However, I think if you take this scene and put it before everything else, we'd miss a lot of the setup I've tried to lay in place throughout the first chapter as far as character and plot are concerned. For instance we wouldn't know who George was yet, or what the saying Lights into the dark means, or anything else. I like think of the whole first chapter as one big setup. Th placing of the elements isn't so much the point yet, just that they're all there. I also think it's important to set your story up very quickly which I think worked better with the first four pages rather than a 16 page scene.
neil wrote: I want to know what's in that box!
Me too! :lol:
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Gunwhale
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Post by Gunwhale » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:44 pm

I like your perspective and layering, as well as your use of blacks. I'd say overall the dialogue and pacing is pretty good, but I do have one hang up. The panel where Thomas grabs the umbrella looks rigid compared to the panels before and after it, and to me, it breaks up the flow.

I can see why you used two panels for opening the umbrella, but I would see if it would work in one panel if possible, or at least relax Thomas' pose in that first panel. Other than that, I like it.
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JakeKalsbeek
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Post by JakeKalsbeek » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:23 pm

I like the pacing of this, the first four pages flow nicely. It has a very sad and lonely feel to it. The composition of the second page seems a little bit odd to me. Why is the priest in the center of the shot? It seems like you want your reader to focus on the priest. Yet in the previous panel on page 1 and in the rest of this section of the story you clearly made Mr. McCleary the center of attention. Is the priest important to the story later on?

The only other comment I have is to beware of the flash back. I'm not saying this use of a flashback is bad but it seems like most storytellers try not to use them unless the story screams for it. I think the main reason for this is it tends to interrupt the flow of the story and can confuse the reader.

Keep it up I'm interested in seeing what happens next.

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Josh-Ulrich
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Post by Josh-Ulrich » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:37 pm

I have to agree about the panel where Thomas grabs the umbrella. It's crazy stiff. He looks like a paper doll man lol. I would consider a different composition all together. You are already fighting the fact that his clothing is pretty much solid black, with no highlights or shadow areas. When He is facing head on like that, the figure reeeeeeally flattens out. You may consider throwing a layer on top of those blacks and spotting in some highlights to give the figure back some of it's form.

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andrewwales
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Post by andrewwales » Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:26 am

I agree that it's very cinematic, but also that the black kind of flatten out without any highlights in them. Cool drawing.

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thirdeyeh
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Post by thirdeyeh » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:57 pm

Great crits guys. Thank you!

I have never been happy with that panel showing Thomas grabbing the umbrela and its lazy not to fix it. I shall try to do that here soon and repost. Thanks for that. He does look like a paper doll.

The placement of the priest in the center wasn't really something I put much thought in other than I guess I wanted to give a good panaramic of the funeral and I felt the priest would give the best focal point and hammer home the story better. But its a good observation that he dominates... Hmmmm.....

I'm gonna work on a font here in the next week or so and I'll see if that helps the text look better. I dunno.

I'm glad to see that the pacing works well. I really wanted this scene to feel solemn. We tend to rush thorugh reading a comic and I fight really hard to slow my reader down. Do I do a good job of that?
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andrew fulton
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Post by andrew fulton » Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:11 am

thirdeyeh wrote: I feel very strongly about the font I've chosen that I think it works well with the story.
Sure, that's cool, I don't hate it or anything, I do think though there are a few jumps in size that are a bit distracting. Like when he says "I come to offer you something" it's much bigger than the previous panels, makes it seems like he's talking louder.
thirdeyeh wrote:It does feel jilted at some points, but I feel like that is entirely the character I want Thomas to be. He has a very formal, rigid nature to him.
I can see that. It's hard thing to get right, I guess. Not that I would really know much about it, most of the stories I draw are silent. -_-

thirdeyeh wrote: For instance we wouldn't know who George was yet, or what the saying Lights into the dark means, or anything else.
I don't think it hurt not knowing either of those things when I read it, but you have obviously thought about the story you are telling.

thirdeyeh wrote: I'm glad to see that the pacing works well. I really wanted this scene to feel solemn. We tend to rush thorugh reading a comic and I fight really hard to slow my reader down. Do I do a good job of that?
Sure. I slowed right down. Even, y'know, thought about what I was reading. A couple of things, like those little pairs of panels, like when he turns his head or the other guy picks up the box again, and the long horizontal panels really help to stretch out the pace.

I am looking over the strip again and have started thinking about Eddie Campbell. Partly his drawing, the scratchy pen and ink and painterly textures in the backgrounds, but also the way he paces and stages a scene. I think you could get a lot from studying the way he does things, if you haven't already.

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thirdeyeh
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Post by thirdeyeh » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:44 pm

I think all of your crits are great.

I want to hear this stuff. I'm finding myself thinking, man, I slacked off on that and these astute eyes have caught me. You're all keeping me honest and I appreciate it immensely.

Thomas is a character that in my head is that overly dramatic guider character. He thinks so highly of himself and his work that it permeates his very presence. I want his dialog to work right and looking back over it, it does feel too formal, too much. I dunno.

The thoughts on flashbacks are great. I have been struggling so badly with chapter 2 of this book in writing it because I feel like I have to stick two flashback into this and now I'm thinking that I shouldn't do it unless it's important. Which is really freeing in writing it.

As for the font. I'm so looking forward to creating my own font soon. I want something that fits my hand writing.
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