New Minicomic: Grasshopper

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Jeff Chapman
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New Minicomic: Grasshopper

Post by Jeff Chapman » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:00 pm

Hi everyone,

This is my first comic that I've posted here. I started drawing this comic at 6:00 last Wednesday morning, drew for good portions of the day, went to bed at 4:00AM and woke up at 7:00 Thursday morning. I worked on it until 10:00 when I had to get ready to go teach. I got home at 3:40 and managed to hammer out 4 super super rough last pages, scan everything, lay it out and print out 20 copies by 7:00PM. Of course I laid it out wrong so the middle pages in the comic were out of order, and I didn't have a cover. We'll just say this: mistakes were made. :)

One of these days I'll redo the last four pages. But until then, here's the comic:

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Thanks for any help & feedback y'all can give me!

Yours,

Jeff

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pH
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Post by pH » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:13 am

This is a perfect demonstration of how simple artwork and a good story can make a great comic.

The first part is easy to identify with, but not particularly original, yet at the same time it sets the stage for the wonderful twist at the end.

Good job!
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willmj
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Post by willmj » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:16 am

Oh my... came in from a nutty day trying to get a lizard lady to dance and then I read your comic... beautiful... suddenly dancing lizard ladies don't seem that important... thank you![/list]

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Harry Myland (IV)
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Post by Harry Myland (IV) » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:37 am

pH wrote:This is a perfect demonstration of how simple artwork and a good story can make a great comic.
Agreed. Very nice job, Mr. Chapman!
NOMAD TOFU (updates M/W/F... it's about a goofy nomad who causes disaster everywhere he goes.)

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Og
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Post by Og » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:24 pm

Very compelling storytelling. Kudos!
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Jeff Chapman
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Post by Jeff Chapman » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:21 pm

Thanks so much, everyone! It's definitely reaffirming to hear your nice thoughts. I'm really glad people like the storytelling! Any suggestions for what I could do to make it (or future comics) stronger?

Again, thanks for the kind words!

Jeff

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Og
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Post by Og » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:31 pm

Jeff Chapman wrote:Any suggestions for what I could do to make it (or future comics) stronger?
I'm sure many will disagree with me, but I would suggest you work to improve your draftsmanship. Yes, the simplicity of your lines and the strength and originality of your story worked well. But I think you could improve your drawing skills and get some visual impact to support your literary strength.

Of course, that's my preference. I'm one of those artists that tends to value visual impact over the other attributes of comics, and I know there is a whole other school of thought that feels that artistic emphasis is dead wrong.

As always, my advice is free, and probably worth the price.

Main thing: just don't stop. You've got something here.
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Jeff Chapman
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Post by Jeff Chapman » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:13 am

Og wrote:
Jeff Chapman wrote:Any suggestions for what I could do to make it (or future comics) stronger?
I'm sure many will disagree with me, but I would suggest you work to improve your draftsmanship. Yes, the simplicity of your lines and the strength and originality of your story worked well. But I think you could improve your drawing skills and get some visual impact to support your literary strength.

Of course, that's my preference. I'm one of those artists that tends to value visual impact over the other attributes of comics, and I know there is a whole other school of thought that feels that artistic emphasis is dead wrong.
I actually agree with you 100%, Og. My first response to a comic is always art-first. I have a hard time with stories that don't appeal to me aesthetically, no matter how great the stories are. I love the gracefulness of Herge or Alex Raymond or Milton Caniff. But I also really like the spontaneous line of Baudoin and Joann Sfar. And the expressiveness of the brush strokes in Hugo Pratt and Craig Thompson.

I do need to work on my draftsmanship. If I'd spent more than 36 hours it would probably be stronger (I hope), but that is irrelevant, really. I just need to keep working on improving with each comic.

In other words, take two sketchbooks and call me in the summer. :) Will do.

Jeff

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Sanaril
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Post by Sanaril » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:31 pm

I have a thing with balloon tails going right into people's mouths, it's kind of annoying and overkill, it's obvious enough who's talking if you just point the tail at their mouth.
Other than that it's an interesting story- why a canoeing accident? That's one I haven't heard of.

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Jeff Chapman
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Post by Jeff Chapman » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:59 pm

Yeah. It's kind of a Craig Thompsonian conceit, isn't it. I hoped it conveyed a piece of dialogue that was being played closer to the hand. I wanted it to feel a little more quiet or a little more intimate.

But it is weird choice. You're right. Maybe I'll revisit it. :)

Jeff

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Ashwara
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Post by Ashwara » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:53 pm

I really liked it, man. It was a good story. I like how it seemed like such a normal story and then such a simple thing as promises had such an effect.

I'd like to see it again with more time spent on it (especially the last four pages, ha ha), although I do like the simple style.

Can I ask, what caused you to crank this out s quickly?

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Jeff Chapman
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Post by Jeff Chapman » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:53 pm

Thank you! So much. I like the idea of the normal that all of a sudden becomes implausible.

As for the schedule, I'm part of a Ph.D. creative writing program and we have a monthly reading series. For a long time I've been creating a minicomic twice a year, once in October and once in February. I should work ahead, since I know it's coming, but I never really do. In this case I seriously, seriously procrastinated. But I have a hard deadline because I have to have them printed, stapled, cut by 7:00, when the reading starts.

:)

jeff

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Tmara
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Post by Tmara » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:58 pm

I loved the ending, with the promises and the weird results. At first I though that in comparison the beginning was quite long and uninteresting. But reading it for the second time it seemed just right. I'm looking forward to more of your stories! Why do you make these only twice a year? ^^

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