Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Changing a character's design Mid-comic.
Erase Alpha at 8:58AM, March 10, 2010
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Okay, to keep things simple, I need to change a character's design. What's the best way to do it while keeping a coherent story? Just change it, if there's a large enough time period between the appearances of the character. Or have other characters comment on it so it doesn't seem strange? And I'm talking about a main character here, so it's harder to do.
The artist formerly known as diana_m

Hands up, B**ches.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:22PM
The Gravekeeper at 9:20AM, March 10, 2010
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If you're just doing a wardrobe change, then just make it obvious that they simply changed their clothes. If it's something like a species or gender change, save it for another arc. That'd need quite a bit of explaining that'd probably just slow down and put your current arc out of focus. If it's a physical change like them putting/losing weight, growing taller, etc., then do it gradually. That'll make it seem more natural.

If you're doing an full art shift, it is better to save it until after the arc is finished for the sake of a feeling of continuity, but there are cases where the art shift can be done mid-arc.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:14PM
Erase Alpha at 12:18PM, March 10, 2010
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Well,it's a haircut that is a pain in the ass to draw and doesn't look that good.
The artist formerly known as diana_m

Hands up, B**ches.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:22PM
Darth Mongoose at 1:41PM, March 10, 2010
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Ahh, haircuts aren't so bad. Possible ways to do it:

1. If the character hasn't appeared for a while, then on their next appearance give them the new haircut and throw in a line about “Oh, you got a haitcut?” or “Hey, I like your hair” or “Like my new look?” kind of thing, and be sure somebody says their name, just to remind the readers it's them, just with different hair.

2. Have some kind of an incident that causes their hair to get cut. (Very manga, hahaha!) perhaps it gets trapped in a door, or gum gets stuck in it, or they have a strange mood and hack it off. Depends on the tone of the comic really, and the character.

3. As a stopgap, if you're in the middle of a storyarc, you could always have them say “ugh, my hair's annoying me today!” and pulling out a hairband, giving themselves a ponytail. Most girls with long hair carry a band around (I know I do) in case it gets in the way! A bandanna or hairband can give your character a quick hairstyle change until you can work in a trip to the hairdressers or whatever.

4. Make a while strip or storyarc about them getting a haircut. The webcomic ‘Gunnerkrigg Court’ actually did this. There was a chapter all about the heroines getting their hair cut!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Erase Alpha at 1:51PM, March 10, 2010
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joined: 11-1-2009
Ok,thanks a lot! I think I'm going with option one since I found a panel in my storyboard in which i can fit it into XD
The artist formerly known as diana_m

Hands up, B**ches.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:22PM

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