Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Re re rewrite
confusedsoul at 11:39AM, Dec. 29, 2008
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Not entirely certain if this is the right place for this topic, but oh well…


I've got a couple of comic running on Druckduck- a gag comic, an adventure one etc. Two of the ones I really want to invest some time into are Foxfire, an anthro ninja comic, and Andantino, which is a more gothicky-grief based one. Both of them require much more work than what I usually produce as I'm adamant I want each page to be as good as possible. I'm sick of producing sub-standard artwork.

As I'm sure the less than interesting descriptions haven't sold them, I'm working on the story for both. As real life has an unpleasant habit of intervening, I ended up spending more time writing them than drawing the pages, ending up with about 140 pages scripted for one and (erm) 8 for the other.

With all this time passed, I looked back at the art work I drew for them and my style had changed so much I had to completely redraw the images to prevent there being a massive quality jump. Not only that, I had someone proof read the pages and the overall response was “meh”. Sadly I agree with them. It's all a bit generic.


Anyone else left a comic for a hopelssly long time only to realise it all needs changing? :cry:
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
Skullbie at 12:10PM, Dec. 29, 2008
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Actually see if you can compress that 140 script page comic down to 80, I bet anything you can do it and have a very fast paced, interesting comic. Start at where the story is in the action and reveal the plot from flashbacks, whatever, etc. And remember the less panels you use the faster a scene goes, so use panel filled pages only for scenes you need to draw out.

…where was i? Oh yeah, your art skills are very good(in fox fire they are, but your pages take forever to load jeez), you'll find that most readers just get mad when you try to redo old pages instead of making new ones. I hate my old artwork with a passion but none of the readers care lol
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:46PM
mattchee at 1:56PM, Dec. 29, 2008
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Getting better is both a curse and a blessing. I think,especially when you've got a rigorous production schedule (y'know, like two pages a week, ha ha!), you start to improve without even really noticing it until you look back at what you've been doing.

Pretty much all of Ch 1 of Mastorism pretty much irks me to look at, and I'd like it to be of the same quality as my current pages, but– really– I would have to stop making new pages to make old pages, and by the time i was done with those, probably the newer pages will start to look like they need to be re-done– Then I would spend my whole life redoing the same dang pages forever!

aaahhhhh!

So I just have to tell myself to leave those old pages alone. If, by some WAY OFF CHANCE, that my newer pages get me a publication deal, and they want the style to appear more uniform– okay… maybe then. But for now, it would just be detrimental to me having a comic.

I kinda went off.

Anyway, its kinda cool, too, to see artists that you dig, how their styles change/improve/whatever over time…..
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
Senshuu at 8:28PM, Dec. 29, 2008
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I restarted Millennium. Actually only its first arc, part of the second, and prologue are rewritten (which are the only parts I ever got through in the first place lol), but after four years I realized I couldn't keep doing the comic the way it had been drawn and written, and that restarting it would be best. It needs to be big! All-color! Actually established! Not much changed about it script-wise except the prologue and certain little parts afterward, but style-wise all has changed.

Even now, the first pages of the new comic are different from how I draw right now, as I drew them all last year. () I'm slow, but I'll pick it up, and people will like it more. 8) It'll be my vision… hee.

There's a vast difference even between the last page of the old version and the first page of the new. I think it was worth it.

And almost everyone I know personally who does comics has restarted (or quit :() at least once, lol.

It's likely when/if I print Lovefeast it'll have a few prologue touchups, too.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
confusedsoul at 4:05AM, Jan. 1, 2009
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Skullbie
Actually see if you can compress that 140 script page comic down to 80, I bet anything you can do it and have a very fast paced, interesting comic.

The problem is the 140 page script isn't finished! It's one of those long running things. Or intended to be, when it gets started. But compressing it sound like a very good idea. It certainly needs some touching up.

Someone
…where was i? Oh yeah, your art skills are very good(in fox fire they are, but your pages take forever to load jeez), you'll find that most readers just get mad when you try to redo old pages instead of making new ones. I hate my old artwork with a passion but none of the readers care lol

Thanks, the long load is probably the PNG format I guess. I suppose it's a toss up between whether you feel the art work needs redoing or whether the readers mind.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
confusedsoul at 4:08AM, Jan. 1, 2009
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mattchee
Pretty much all of Ch 1 of Mastorism pretty much irks me to look at, and I'd like it to be of the same quality as my current pages, but– really– I would have to stop making new pages to make old pages, and by the time i was done with those, probably the newer pages will start to look like they need to be re-done– Then I would spend my whole life redoing the same dang pages forever!

0_0 That's a very good point. Like a horribly vicious circle of increasing quality.

Someone
Anyway, its kinda cool, too, to see artists that you dig, how their styles change/improve/whatever over time…..

Yeah, I like that too. I'm just less fond of it in my own work. Maybe I should try being more postiive.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
confusedsoul at 4:10AM, Jan. 1, 2009
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Senshuu
I restarted Millennium. Actually only its first arc, part of the second, and prologue are rewritten (which are the only parts I ever got through in the first place lol), but after four years I realized I couldn't keep doing the comic the way it had been drawn and written, and that restarting it would be best. It needs to be big! All-color! Actually established! Not much changed about it script-wise except the prologue and certain little parts afterward, but style-wise all has changed.

Even now, the first pages of the new comic are different from how I draw right now, as I drew them all last year. () I'm slow, but I'll pick it up, and people will like it more. 8) It'll be my vision… hee.

There's a vast difference even between the last page of the old version and the first page of the new. I think it was worth it.

And almost everyone I know personally who does comics has restarted (or quit :() at least once, lol.

It's likely when/if I print Lovefeast it'll have a few prologue touchups, too.

Probably best that I restart fairly early then. Thanks for the help guys!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
skoolmunkee at 8:38AM, Jan. 1, 2009
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confusedsoul
Thanks, the long load is probably the PNG format I guess. I suppose it's a toss up between whether you feel the art work needs redoing or whether the readers mind.

For images like Foxfire, you should probably be using JPG. PNG is more of a better format of gif than a universal type. You'll get a couple artifacts with jpg but everyone accepts that kind of thing on the internet. As it is your pages are about 1mb, you'll have a lucky fan who's willing to read through an archive when filesizes are that big. You really don't need to be going over 200 with the image size you've got.

Edit: Cripes, all your comics are using png. JPG is really the best format for ‘organic’ looking things where colors are blending or look smooth, png is meant more to preserve crisp digital art (like sprite comics). If you were hosting your own images you'd have stopped using png long ago :)
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:41PM
Senshuu at 4:23PM, Jan. 1, 2009
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I once read this comic that was all PNGs for an inexplicable reason - it was crisp black and white where every page could be a simple 50kb each if saved as GIF or JPG, but no, they were each huge 1M PNG files. I kept reading it because it was a comic I loved, but back when I had dial-up it was just frustrating having to wait a few minutes to read each and every page. If the comic were any less in quality of artwork or writing I'd have quit.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
confusedsoul at 9:29AM, Jan. 2, 2009
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skoolmunkee
confusedsoul
Thanks, the long load is probably the PNG format I guess. I suppose it's a toss up between whether you feel the art work needs redoing or whether the readers mind.

For images like Foxfire, you should probably be using JPG. PNG is more of a better format of gif than a universal type. You'll get a couple artifacts with jpg but everyone accepts that kind of thing on the internet. As it is your pages are about 1mb, you'll have a lucky fan who's willing to read through an archive when filesizes are that big. You really don't need to be going over 200 with the image size you've got.

Edit: Cripes, all your comics are using png. JPG is really the best format for ‘organic’ looking things where colors are blending or look smooth, png is meant more to preserve crisp digital art (like sprite comics). If you were hosting your own images you'd have stopped using png long ago :)

I stopped using JPEG a few weeks after starting on DD because I hated how “pixellated” everything started to look. I hadn't considered the load time on other people's computers with the images, that might be something to ask my readers about. I'll try comparing two files of the same image.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
confusedsoul at 11:03AM, Jan. 2, 2009
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I read in another topic that Microsoft paint really screws the image quality when files are saved as JPEG on it. Whether it's true or not I don't know, but if it is it presents a problem for me as it's the program I use to put text in (GIMP reads the font files as having errors in, although they seem to work fine elsewhere).

Is that true? It would be useful to know, otherwise I'll have to find a way around that. Suppose I could mooch off of my uni's photoshop facilities, but I don't know.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
Aurora Borealis at 12:52PM, Jan. 2, 2009
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confusedsoul
I read in another topic that Microsoft paint really screws the image quality when files are saved as JPEG on it. Whether it's true or not I don't know, but if it is it presents a problem for me as it's the program I use to put text in (GIMP reads the font files as having errors in, although they seem to work fine elsewhere).

Is that true? It would be useful to know, otherwise I'll have to find a way around that. Suppose I could mooch off of my uni's photoshop facilities, but I don't know.
Put the font in using paint, save to png and then convert these in gimp to jpg. Just don't set the maximum compression. My pages are 790x1200 and none of them ever went above 500kb (and it's only the heavily textured that reach 400+).
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
skoolmunkee at 3:22AM, Jan. 3, 2009
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Just about every other image editor out there is better than Paint when it comes to file types. :) Yeah, just try to use GIMP to convert the image once it's done. That might work better for you since there's no font files for gimp to read.

As bandwidth becomes cheaper people are minding file size less and less- but it's useful to remember that even in countries like Australia, some areas are still without steady internet access. It's only in the US and Europe that people have the expectation that everyone has broadband, and even then I know several people still using dial-up because it's cheaper. Even with broadband, files of 1mb can take about 1 minute to load depending on how busy the network is, etc.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:41PM
CharleyHorse at 8:57AM, Jan. 3, 2009
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Also confusedsoul, you should be aware that GIMP is always being updated. Whatever problem you once had with its handling of fonts, that is probably not what would happen today.

Here's my methodology for using GIMP. After dialoging and word ballooning I save everything in the GIMP format and THEN I flatten and reduce my work to a 750 pixels width page WITHOUT SAVING AGAIN in the GIMP format. Then I DO SAVE that work in the jpeg format, AND the version of GIMP that I use today allows me to see save-quality depending on the compression ratio I select for the JPEG.

Check out the latest pages of lettering on my strip. The art itself may be dreck but the lettering looks fine! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
confusedsoul at 3:13PM, Jan. 3, 2009
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CharleyHorse
Also confusedsoul, you should be aware that GIMP is always being updated. Whatever problem you once had with its handling of fonts, that is probably not what would happen today.

Here's my methodology for using GIMP. After dialoging and word ballooning I save everything in the GIMP format and THEN I flatten and reduce my work to a 750 pixels width page WITHOUT SAVING AGAIN in the GIMP format. Then I DO SAVE that work in the jpeg format, AND the version of GIMP that I use today allows me to see save-quality depending on the compression ratio I select for the JPEG.

Check out the latest pages of lettering on my strip. The art itself may be dreck but the lettering looks fine! :)

I hadn't updated GIMP for some time (there were at least two upgraded versions since I last checked) but I got the most recent one and… it still isn't reading the files. The error code is normally something like this-

Invalid UTF-8 data in file ‘C:\WINDOWS\Fonts\comic.ttf’.

I'm guessing that UTF is another type of font file, but none of the ones either downloaded or with the computer appear to come in that form. I guess the longer route of hand drawn bubbles with MS Paint text and GIMP file conversion seems the most likely option.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
CharleyHorse at 5:56PM, Jan. 3, 2009
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Yeah that's way outside my expertise. There might be someone in one of the GIMP forums that can help you with that, but it hardly seems worth the effort. What I am saying is that there is Paint.net and other excellent free graphics programs that can work just as well as The GIMP and probably be less hostile.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM

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