House of the Muses graphic novel miniseries

Prism Comics/Pink Kryptonite review: House of the Muses 2
houseofmuses at 6:58AM, Aug. 21, 2008
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OUCH!

I just received word this morning about a Prism Comics review of House of the Muses #2. Megan Parker aka Elf Girl, on loan to Prism from Pink Kryptonite via her editor Jonostarsmore, did a critical evaluation of the series on a technical standpoint, which is cool with me. It's the “Love it/Hate it” tone that is a little disappointing. I thought I'd laid out HOM #2 better than that.

“House of the Muses is the graphic novel version of the writings of Sappho and Alkaios, which follows a Spartan woman named Dika and her life and loves in one of the earliest lesbian soap operas. Pam Harrison, the writer and illustrator has taken the ancient writings and given them new life.

”The story is told from a standpoint of an older Dika looking back on her life. As such, the story is told in vivid detail, capturing the full essence of her experiences. Even if there were not pictures to go along, the reader could imagine it well enough…..

“There are problems, however, with the layout and the text….”

Read more: http://prismcomics.org/display.php?id=1612

The article was cross-posted on Pink Kryptonite, where comments from readers are being posted on Elf Girl's review:
http://www.pinkkryptonite.com/2008/08/the_quality_of_sappho_is_not_h.html

Anyone who has seen the previews to HOM #3 knows that I am already breaking from “traditional” comics layouts (really, there is only so far one can go in comic layout, but I guess I'll have to try). But, y'know, as the rest of you artists know, there really is no such thing as bad publicity, so I'll take the advice from this review and make subsequent issues of House of the Muses better and better.

Thanks for all your support!!!

Check out my other forum at http://www.drunkduck.com/community/view_topic.php?tid=44564&cid=225
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:20AM
MGH at 5:55PM, Aug. 21, 2008
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Dear Pam…

I should say upfront that reviews on anything bore me to death and I rarely read any reviews on anything, so my take on this is influenced by my lack of reviews' experience. I should also add that, because of my job, I accurately avoid talking as if I knew everything. Rather, I do my best to remember that I know close to nothing, so whenever I come up with my own ideas, I make sure to explicitly say “In my opinion” or such. So, if reviewers express themselves by spouting dogmas as it seems to be the case here, I wouldn't know it. If, instead, each all-encompassing statement is implied to mean “This is solely the reviewer's opinion”, sorry, I wouldn't know that either.

For these reasons, I found the general tone of the review irritating. Sentences like “There are problems with the layout and the text” or “The story can become a little dry” are stated as if they were absolute truths. I believe it would be much more productive (and courteous) to rephrase by adding the dear old “In my opinion”, as these are purely the reviewer's impressions.

PERSONALLY, I agree with the reviewer about the story being a little difficult to follow at the beginning of book #1. However, to me the difficulty was in the introduction of plenty of characters at the same time and a little wordiness. I don't see anything dry in HOM. I think it's a well-articulated story whose pace has picked up nicely a long time ago. The reviewer has skipped parts here and there, oh well… I haven't glanced over anything. I've read the entire graphic novel word by word, looking forward to each update.

As far as the graphics, sorry, I completely disagree with the reviewer. I find your technique incredibly innovating, with a use of 3D graphics absolutely unseen in comics (to me, they mostly look like they were taken from the Sims, completely static and expressionless). In fact, I am so in love with your artistry that I joined DD just to compliment you and actually learn a thing or two about it (as you know, since I've been bombarding you with questions for a while, now :) ). I find the expressions of the characters absolutely alive and unique, and each panel looks so dynamic and full of gorgeous details, I catch myself staring at them several times during my reading.

Finally, the layout and the text bits. I haven't noticed any balloons pointing nowhere, so I'd be happy if anyone could let me know where this happened. I simply don't recall it. But as far as the text on transparent boxes, I thought that was pretty cool. I can read it perfectly well, and it gives me the idea that the narrator (the older Dika) is blending in with her tale, which makes the story even more unique and innovative. It's a perfect representation of a voice from the past in contrast to the “present day” (solid) word balloons of the characters.

At any rate, these are just my 2 cents.

MGH
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:20AM
houseofmuses at 8:53AM, Aug. 25, 2008
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posts: 156
joined: 4-4-2008
I've been chatting off and on with ElfGirl today with reports of how House of the Muses has been doing since her review.
It's going absolutely great, and she had this to say:

ElfGirl
That's great! I'm glad it's doing well! :)
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:20AM
houseofmuses at 10:53AM, Aug. 26, 2008
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posts: 156
joined: 4-4-2008
MGH
…I haven't noticed any balloons pointing nowhere, so I'd be happy if anyone could let me know where this happened. I simply don't recall it.
MGH

Um….yeah. On page 7, panel 3, it looks like Timas' boobs are talking. My partner pointed that out to me… :P



That's a fun trick…I should take that show on the road. :P
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:20AM
MGH at 5:25PM, Aug. 27, 2008
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posts: 2
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Well, I may be picky, but then what about the balloon at the bottom right? Would you say it looks like it's her elbow speaking? No, it's just Tima speaking. And what about the one pointing at Dika's fingernail? It's obvious it's Dika talking :) The boob thing is funny, but then again, it's not that the balloon is pointing at the wrong character, like Elf Girl says. It's pointing at a specific body area that is so much under our scrutiny, it can't go unnoticed, and the image makes us laugh :) (it certainly made me laugh)
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:20AM
houseofmuses at 7:19PM, Aug. 27, 2008
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posts: 156
joined: 4-4-2008
Hey, at least I CAN laugh at myself. :D
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:20AM

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