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Reply mitchellbravo, November 11th, 2013, 1:54 pm

In a twist that absolutely NO ONE predicted!


Anyway. Still looking fairly abysmal, but I made a few discoveries while working on this page so hopefully I won't make the same mistakes over again. Some day I'll fix the bottom panel as well.

Personally I'm still feeling rotten a good amount of the time, periods of contentment or even optimism cropping up occasionally, and then casually rolling away. I've kind of resigned myself to the fact that 2013 has been a really rough year, and will just let the bad mojo flow until New Year's, since I can't really fight it. Gotta figure out my place in the world, and figure out a plan to get there, et cetera, et cetera.


To end on a non-pitiful note, here's a few comics I have on my to-read list, one of which I need to catch up with and two I haven't had the pleasure of reading yet. Perhaps you all can beat me there.

No Scrying - School Spirit - Magipunk


Reply TheSilverLeague, November 13th, 2013, 11:20 am

Joesph has red eyes...he's secretly a devil and this comic is secretly NOT a slice of life but rather a supernatural suspense thriller/horror!

Reply mitchellbravo, November 13th, 2013, 12:51 pm


too much copper in the water turns thine eyes to pennies

Reply TheSilverLeague, November 13th, 2013, 1:04 pm

@mitchellbravo: Well...if he wasn't already now he will have reason he can offer his 2 cents, lol.

Reply Oly-RRR, July 28th, 2014, 5:49 pm

Joseph, I begin suspecting an ulterior motive for making Eddie go hiking...

Gosh, it sounds like 2013 sucked for a lot of people. :/ Mine was without deaths and unemployment though, just friendship stuff that affected me more than it should have. On the upside it taught me more about people and relationships, I guess.

Reply mitchellbravo, July 28th, 2014, 6:14 pm

@Oly-RRR: Well belated anti-2013 cheers! Sorry to hear about that. I've been there as well, where you feel like you're making too much a deal of something (and just want to stop thinking about the people) but at the same time feel justified somewhat so you kinda just stay feeling awful until the persons in question are really truly not an issue anymore X( Now THAT is a personal "autobiographical" theme that gets squeezed into this comic probably more often than is healthy...

Reply Oly-RRR, July 28th, 2014, 7:03 pm

@mitchellbravo: Aw yeah, it's what I tell myself a lot "Well, this sucked but it can make good comics material! LETS GO VENT THROUGH FICTIONAL PEOPLE-"

A lot of it is still in scripts instead of pages but this awful dialogue happened as a result - http://copstories.smackjeeves.com/comics/1986027/50-shades-of-cray-1/ and that was fun to work on, so there's that. It was silly of me to draw two pages that should be a part of the plot eventually but I wasn't exactly productive around that time so I indulged myself in whatever worked. That and it's a sort of bridge between The Finger and the upcoming story about Quinton.

So yeah, I guess most writers do it in some way, fiction having roots in life and all.

Reply mitchellbravo, July 28th, 2014, 8:03 pm

@Oly-RRR: I think it's neat that you went and did the pages even knowing that you'd be redoing them sometime later on. And I love Llane's perpetual scowl as well!

Like I mentioned before in one comment, my story seems to blossom almost subconsciously in the hours, even minutes right before I'm about to fall asleep. Just last night, with very little prompting and with it playing out so naturally in my head, I envisioned the scene that will show the first time Eddie ever drank. Part of me really wants to just draw it out now and then I can run it later when I want to place it in, but it's timeliness is so far off that I wonder if I'd just be better sitting on it so as not to be un-proud of it by the time I get there, you know? I guess we'll wait and see :P Either way the thing now is I need to start getting pages out faster so I can get to these damned chapters that have all these delicious flashbacks in them XD

Reply Oly-RRR, July 28th, 2014, 9:18 pm

@mitchellbravo: Awww, I think of my story when I'm falling asleep too! :D Though it's often not specific plot points but mundane stuff and when I end up accidentally thinking of something important I can't sleep anymore.

But oooh, this sounds great! I was wondering about Eddie getting drunk for the first time because during the recent arc everyone was all "not AGAIN!" so it's obvious they knew what was coming! And considering they are just out of high school it's not like they had much time to learn the pattern no matter when they started drinking so it must have been something memorable nearly every time. (Is it cruel that I enjoyed that arc a lot? It's not much fun in real life but SO FUN in fiction.)

I usually decide that if it's something far-off I'll have to re-draw or might edit I can as well draw it now while I feel like it but there's a couple of flashbacks (why are they so fun?!) I itch to do but keep sitting on because that should come up after a couple dozen pages so it'd be both too early to re-draw and already wonky-looking for me. But there's different reasoning for each case and I'm sure you know best! :]

Reply mitchellbravo, July 28th, 2014, 10:17 pm

@Oly-RRR: Hahahaha yes!! Often I daydream things that realistically would fit nowhere into the canon story... but surprisingly often I'll hit onto something that with the change of a few details becomes a fundamental character propeller :P

Hahahahahhaa I'm glad you liked that arc, I adored getting a chance to write it!! Eddie's "problem drinking" is going to be a recurring plot when he goes away to college- spoilers a bit I guess but perhaps they'll still be interesting when I get to handling them :P There's also the tricky issue of prohibition, but as we discussed before it's not like that really stopped people, lol.

That sounds like a really good idea, actually. There's already been a few scenes where I'm excited to draw them for years but by the time I get to them I'm kinda like "meh." I suppose to satisfy the urge to draw it without running whatever ambiguous risks I seem to be perceiving I could always just do a thumb/rough sketchup so that when the time comes I just need to make the real thing.

I don't know what it is about flashbacks that's so appealing! I guess since we seem to both really like character-based stories, it's fascinating to see a character the way they used to be and say "Ohhh, THAT'S why they're like that these days" or "How'd they get from THAT to THIS?"

Reply Oly-RRR, July 28th, 2014, 10:45 pm

@mitchellbravo: I think developing characters and stories in general is more like going in sort of wiggly lines than straightforward!

Ooh, roughs are a good idea! I do it sometimes, like the thing I was re-thumbnailing yesterday was originally thumbnailed almost a year ago - I really need to get faster at everything. X| But on the upside I learned to handle wide shots better in this year so hopefully in the end it will look better than it could have.

And yeah, it's definitely interesting how characters (or their situations or both) change! That can explain it! :D

Reply mitchellbravo, July 28th, 2014, 10:57 pm

@Oly-RRR: Yay wide shot improvement!! I was getting called out by a few different readers and reviewers with regard to my overuse of closeup/tight shots, so a few months ago I went through and evaluated just how often I was using a close-up versus a medium shot versus an expo/long shot... the results were pretty sobering and I vowed to start turning that around. I can get into wide shots now, but there's still a big part of them that's unintuitive to me and I'm trying to get used to naturally envisioning them as part of my work!

Reply Oly-RRR, July 29th, 2014, 12:13 am

@mitchellbravo: I think a lot of comic artists gravitate towards close-ups (I'm no exception) and everything is usually better in moderation!

I got some really good advice on "camera" movement recently and I'm trying to apply it! One of my vices seems to be drawing scenes from above instead of keeping the viewer "among" the characters - it works well sometimes but I really should stop going for it every time I need to draw a detailed background. This is one of the reasons why pencilling current page took so long - I was sketching the background and going "d'oh!" over and over. Other things stem from me having training in illustration but being self-taught when it comes to storyboarding - I often go for something that makes sense as a standalone illustration in a book but is a lousy (or at least lazy) decision for storyboards. So yeah, I guess art in general is often about developing habits and then trying to break half of them. :P

Reply mitchellbravo, July 29th, 2014, 10:37 am

@Oly-RRR: Oh yeah, I did notice that you like to use that angle! To be fair it's a great angle for being able to fit facial expressions and body language into the same panel. I have somewhat of a film background so I inadvertently find myself adhering to a lot of those rules- however, the trick is that while a lot of them help, some aren't necessary, and there are guidelines that are unique to comics that you don't have to deal with when creating a moving picture.

Hahaha I think you're right. I've noticed when I see many inexperienced artists on this site and elsewhere, there tend to be a few bad habits that spring up *immediately* and don't get broken down until much later. On the one hand I feel I ought to correct them, on the other hand some of those habits are shortcuts around concepts that are difficult to grasp without either in-depth study or just years of finding it out through practice, and if taking a few early shortcuts gets artists just plain *drawing,* they'll be more likely to get those years of finding it out through practice (and at least will have a body of work accomplished, instead of people who are so scared to make a mistake they hardly commit anything to paper despite having the technical knowledge available :( )

Reply Oly-RRR, July 29th, 2014, 4:56 pm

@mitchellbravo: Definitely - on both accounts!

My thesis advisor was a pretty good teacher and a nice person but she was big fan of re-drawing stuff until you get a picture completely right so I got to see first-hand that this way doesn't quite work - you might get significant improvement with the second try but after that you just get similar pictures with different minor errors and it's much more productive to move on and draw more new stuff. Though I guess ideally it's a combo of drawing a lot without being scared of mistakes and being able to look back and analyse those mistakes - too many people keep drawing the same floating heads on blank background for years and then wonder why they are not improving much...

Reply mitchellbravo, July 29th, 2014, 5:16 pm

@Oly-RRR: Yeah that's definitely true as well. Practice with no guidance doesn't really get anybody anywhere. It's tough because I tend to speak from personal experience where I haven't had any formal training, but over the years have received a lot of useful and thankfully non-sugar-coated feedback that's managed to seep in, not to mention avidly reading critiques of other people's comics as well. I forget that not everyone's as lucky as I am to a) have people I can trust to give me that feedback b) have started with enough vague potential skill that my first critiques weren't soul-crushing and discouraging.

That's a good point about the second time improving on the first, but past that point the results are kinda give-and-take. I sometimes hit a roadblock where I keep erasing and redrawing whatever given thing, and have learned that sometimes instead of forcing it, I need to just find a more creative/dynamic angle or focus or whatever and leave that particular inability to be tackled another day.

Reply Oly-RRR, July 29th, 2014, 6:37 pm

@mitchellbravo: Definitely, it's important to choose who to listen to wisely - some people can teach you how to become a better artist in your own way, others just say "this is ugly, draw some -insert whatever style they like-". I didn't upload art online till I was 18 or older and sometimes I think I missed something there but all in all it's good to get to some kind of skill before being exposed to larger audiences.

Yeah, I find that sometimes it's best to not force things too! But speaking of erasing I was so glad when I recently noticed that I used to go through like one eraser every week or two around my freshman year and now my erasers outlive several graphite pencils in a row.

Reply mitchellbravo, July 29th, 2014, 11:08 pm

@Oly-RRR: I never had anything online until I was 18 either, actually! I think it was probably better for me... I was very much all about *mah styyyle* and I think that there would have been a greater chance of me finding an internet hugbox that encouraged bad habits than getting helpful instruction from the get-go.

Oh nice, good for you! :D It's neat when you can find a metric like that that tells you in scientific terms that you're improving in some way. Like when I realized that coloring a page now takes me an hour or two when it used to take WAY more, I knew I had figured out a better system for selecting and using colors.

Reply Oly-RRR, July 30th, 2014, 1:25 am

@mitchellbravo: Hah, now that I think of it I was at least a bit like that too - like I said, took a while to learn figure out which changes are useful and which are just a matter of tastes differing. Like I know at a later point I was going in a sort of noodley-exaggerated-anatomy direction and I can think of a few people who pull off that style well and it's not that I don't like it, I just realised I wanted to do something different myself. So there was a weird point when some of my watchers were saying "that's so nicely exaggerated!" and I was thinking "damn, that is so anatomically wrong..." I guess stuff like that gets redefined with time for each artist and it's good to not get too sure of our styles and be ready to change things (it's a tiny example but I changed my views on drawing/not drawing nails of cartoon people a few times over the years and each time I seemed to have some kind of reasoning - now I got to the stage of "draw them in close-ups, don't draw them in the background" TOOK ME SOME BLOODY LONG TIME).

And ooh, that's great! Definitely, learning stuff makes us faster (after initially making us slower when we are just starting to learn it). :D

Reply mitchellbravo, July 30th, 2014, 3:26 pm

@Oly-RRR: Hahaha the noodly thing was something I also tried pre-Loud Era- it worked for the gag comics I was doing, but it wasn't particularly well-informed and was built upon an undeveloped understanding of anatomy and "comedic" avoidance of having to learn how to do it. Lol at the fingernails!!! I had the same problem with teeth!! You may have noticed that in the first two chapters or so, characters pretty much just had undefined teeth with a few lines here or there to add depth, then in chapter 3 I went on this stint where *EVERYONES TEETH HAD TO BE OUTLINED ALL THE TIME.* It was like, I figured that some of my characters (like Frank) have spaces between some of their teeth, and wouldn't it be horrible and incosistent if i only drew lines between their teeth and not literally everybody's no matter how close or far they are supposed to be from the reader? Then, like you, I figured it out- they just get more detail if they're up close but for the most part they don't need that much pains-taking XD

Reply Oly-RRR, July 30th, 2014, 4:00 pm

@mitchellbravo: Ha, yeah, teeth are similar that way! I like drawing them outlined unless the character is very far because I just like drawing wonky teeth but varying amount of detail depending on how close the character is seems like a very reasonable approach in general.

Reply mitchellbravo, July 30th, 2014, 4:31 pm

@Oly-RRR: Honestly a lot of my characters chroninstically should have worse teeth than they do XD I need to start being a bit more consistent about that. I usually remember to yellow'em a bit at least.

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