HA Town Hall

Design & Consistency
Brad at 8:48AM, Jan. 16, 2010
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You've got an Artists topic, Writers topic, aswell as Team Building, Villains, Stories & Storylines, Page Assignments, and Recommended Reading topics too! But one thing that always kind of bugged me as a reader of Heroes United, was the inconsistency of the design elements. And by that I'm talking about the lettering, the foot notes, the page sizes and aspect ratio, and the color schemes.

Now the color scheme is arguable, along with things like the thickness of lines, panel style (straight lines, wobbly, rounded corners, etc.) and page margins. These things are all based on the particular artist's own style. However, I feel like the lettering, word bubble styles and changing page sizes really hurt the reader the most.

Have you guys considered writing a style guide detailing what the dos and don'ts of doing art for Heroes Alliance? Maybe Abt_Nihil or someone should be the main letterer and everyone just submits the art. The page sizes, though, would have to be stated somewhere and abided by the artist.

Obviously, I'm in no position to impose regulations, since I am mostly a reader and rarely contribute. But, when I do contribute, I struggle with these things and last time just copied what Nepath or literacysuks1 were doing. :)
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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Abt_Nihil at 12:14PM, Jan. 16, 2010
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You're absolutely right, I had intended to post some consistency guidelines but always got side-tracked.

For now I'll just say that the ratio of page height to width should be something close to 1.5 : 1 (that's the classic comic book aspect ratio), and double page spreads would be 1.5 : 2, accordingly. Best resolution for a single page (for eventual printing) would be 3150 x 2100 pixels.

As for lettering, how about we all just use smack attack from blambot.com? That seems like a pretty decent comic book font to me. Maybe not the most original one, but… well, I'm open to suggestions. If someone has problems with lettering, I can do it for them.

I should add that I won't strictly enforce consistency rules if someone has a good reason to break them.

EDIT:

If you want to get your own HA logo:, write “Heroes Alliance” (only “H” and “A” are capitals) using the “newsflash” font from blambot.com, then tweak the perspective (transform in Photoshop) to make it look similar to the webcomic logo. Use a bright/saturated yellow (exact values in RGB are 255/253/68) and a completely black BG (or black outlines). Voilà! :P
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Sebastian_Sandberg at 4:44PM, Jan. 16, 2010
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Well, I can't do anything about how the word bubbles will look, that's the only thing I'm going to put my foot down at. XD
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Abt_Nihil at 5:44AM, Jan. 19, 2010
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Seb: How's that? XP

Also, I edited my post above.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Sebastian_Sandberg at 11:05AM, Jan. 19, 2010
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Because I LIKE working with squares and smooth selection edits. XD And it takes forever for me to open another program to letter a finished page in, so I'd rather skip that step.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Abt_Nihil at 5:41AM, Jan. 20, 2010
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That shouldn't be a problem. I don't wanna end up as a dictator in my own fascist speech bubble state.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Sebastian_Sandberg at 5:07AM, Jan. 22, 2010
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But seriously, this is the only top priority update we get? lol!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Sebastian_Sandberg at 9:37AM, Jan. 27, 2010
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Question: We have a font, but what size should the font be in in different situations, speech bubbles, recaps, etc?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Abt_Nihil at 11:47AM, Jan. 27, 2010
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Gosh… if I knew :P Depends on in which size you're lettering the page… at the “print size” (2100 x 3150 pixels, 300 dpi) I'm using 7 or 8 for normal text, I think. For anything else I'd rather switch fonts than change sizes. I'm not sure if we should have a norm for every situation…

Suggestions?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
fukujinzuke at 2:44PM, Jan. 27, 2010
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Maybe we can just set the minimum size of the “standard font” smack attack, and leave the other end of the spectrum open? (i.e. absolute minimum font size = 7)
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Sebastian_Sandberg at 4:31AM, Jan. 29, 2010
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Sounds wise, Fuku. Let's go with that! If there are no objections, of course. Anyone?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Abt_Nihil at 11:18AM, March 20, 2010
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I added a “tutorial” for the HA logo to my first post in this thread.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
SympleSymon at 7:13AM, April 21, 2010
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Here's a link for the free downloadable link to the font that appears in the RELIK-suit's captions (the +++Red on Black+++ ones):

http://www.urbanfonts.com/fonts/Armor_Piercing.htm

Enjoy!

Dave
Retake - What happens when a movie star goes from portraying a hero on the silverscreen to becoming one in real-life? Nothing good…

http://www.drunkduck.com/Retake
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Abt_Nihil at 6:32AM, April 7, 2011
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For anyone who's interested, here's a quick improvised

“Tutorial on how to divide your scripts into pages and panels”

It was propmted by our discussion here.

Some general rules:

- Pick a number which you think represents a realistic amount of panels per page. For me, it's 6.

- Establishing shots, complicated panels with lots of detail and panels with a WOW-factor (“splash panels”) will take up more space. Subtract 1 (or if the panels are especially detailed or should have an exceptional WOW-factor, even 2, 3 or more) from the number you picked.

- Panels are “beats”, that is, they serve pacing reasons. That is why action scenes need more panels (basically, every single action might require an individual panel), while “slow” scenes can be told in fewer panels. But this is pretty subjective, and depends on the artist. You will find that in old US comics (pre-70s), action scenes require much less panels. That is why to many readers today, they seem slow-moving. Manga, on the other hand, will often require many more panels to tell a scene. This is your personal choice, but remember that it influences the way the comic is read.

- However, what happens in a panel does NOT happen in a single moment. Panels aren't divided up by “moments”. Rather, the first thing that is read in a panel is the first thing that happens, the second thing that's read happens slightly after, etc. That is why you can have one entire sequence in one panel, if it makes sense to do so!

- The amount of text you put into a panel makes the panel larger! Text needs negative space, and you don't want to clutter important artwork with text.

- Also remember that pages are visual units, and should be treated as such. Thus, consider whether the page has a panel that the reader's attention should be directed to. If so, it'll probably be a splash panel. Also, it's good to consider what panel to end a page on. Cliffhangers are obvious options, so readers want to turn the page!


I'll take a page from Macattack's script as an example. You'll find my additions in red. Maybe you can figure out which rule I applied in which case? Remember: This is only one of many valid options, but it's based on my personal experience, so it's a schematic that would very likely work for me (“very likely” meaning that actually drawing the page might prompt changes).

PAGE TWO

Panel 1:
*Imp looking really bored in a museum room with a giant Atlas statue*
Imp: Okay… we’ve been here for hours now and still nothing? I mean I’ll take anything here! A smash, an alarm…
Panel 2:
*Wireless blur goes by with force carried satellite*
Imp: *flat expression* A satellite being stolen by a guy with super speed…
Panel 3:
*Azumorph stretching arms toward blur*
Azmph: Don’t worry guys I’ve got this one
Panel 4:
*Wireless gets thrown backwards (think running into elastic bands type effect) Imp turns into trampoline where Wireless is about to land*
Imp: Nice catch, but it’s more fun when you use a little imagination
*Comet Kid catching flying satellite*
CK: Careful guys! No point stopping the bad guy if we break everything doing it!
Panel 5:
*Wireless gets up off the ground*
Wrlss: Ah… so you’re this enemy I’ve heard so much about. I was wondering when you all would show up. Cute trick. You actually caught me off guard. I’ll warn you though, that kind of thing usually only happens once!
Panel 6:
*Wireless takes off superspeed*
Additional page #1
Panel 1:
Virtus: *Keeping up with Wireless* Good speed. This is almost a workout for me. Now wouldn’t it be better if we all just talked things out?
Panel 2:
*Wireless shoots force bolt to knock Virtus off Balance*
Panel 3:
Virtus: Why does that never work?
Panel 4:
Vora: Listen! I Really don’t want to hurt you but it’s really hard to keep track of you when you keep moving around like this!
*Vora causes Gail winds to blow down Wireless who skids across the floor*
Panel 5:
Vora: Azumorph! Now!
Azmph: *extending arms again* Way ahead of you!
Panel 6:
Wireless: *still a little woozy* Oh no! Not again you don’t
Panel 7:
*Wireless spins at super speed causing a tornado effect catching Azumorph’s arms. Eventually Azumorph is dragged in surprised…
Additional page #2:
Panel 1:
…and thrown through the sky into Vora.
Panel 2:
Vora goes flying back crashing into the globe on Atlas statue…
Panel 3:
…and falls down beneath it just as the arms on Atlas begin to break off.
Panel 4:
Vora looks up dazed but terrified, perhaps a hero or two cries out.
Panel 5:
Globe stops just before hitting her being held up by Wireless’ force powers.
Panel 6:
Globe is then moved off to the side and placed down gently away from Vora.*
Panel 7:
Vora: Did he just… save me?
Virtus: Well this is curious indeed…
Panel 8:
Imp: *turning around* Alright bub! You’ve got some explaining to do… first of all who…
Panel 9:
*Wireless and Satellite are missing* OH YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!


Note: The third page ended up with 9 panels, which is a bit much. If I'd find that I couldn't squeeze that many panels onto a page (which nevertheless is a possibility in this case, since we're dealing with a frantic sequence that might only require small panels showcasing one action each), I'd think about solving this graphically (like by playing with panel layouts, dissolving panel borders and the like - you'll find that's something I do pretty often on my comics). Or I'd go back and change the page division. That is why it's convenient to have one artist do all of these pages, so they can switch the number of panels per page around.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:16AM
Macattack at 5:12PM, Feb. 2, 2012
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Hey all! I was just curious if anyone had designed a type of soldier in the US for dealing with super heroes. At a certain point in the Wireless storyline there's going to be a MAPLE meets the US army scene and as I'm trying to match Wireless to the HA Universe I'd love to use a predesigned Special US Army corp.
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If no one has one I'll make something up, but I enjoy incorporating other people's stuff. Makes the universe seem more real
Abt_Nihil at 3:02AM, Feb. 4, 2012
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Hmmm… I don't think so. At least I don't remember…
Escutcheon at 7:12PM, Sept. 26, 2012
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I wasn't really sure where to put this, but I think it's sort of a matter of consistency.
In terms of HUverse, how does it work mechanically? I know we have technological superheroes, the time period seems to be five minutes in the future, there seems to be some relevance of magic, and the history seems to be at least mostly close to the real life history.
One thing I'm wondering here is- I don't know if what I have can fit in- I'll explain.
Dueling Heroes is set in 1982 Cetacion City (and its surrounding area- maybe a county worth), which is on the Eastern Seaboard in the Mid Atlantic. Why so vague? Because it's not on any map. It's not somewhere you'll ever find. It's cut off from the world, but neither side knows that it's there/been cut off. Even though it's the present/near future outside, time moves incredibly slow in the city. Magic from the very leylines of the earth have collided, creating a field within that defies the natural law.
The rules the city set up are thus: If you have something that gives you reason to be in the city, you may just find yourself there. Otherwise, you may never find it.
If one knew where it was, in theory, perhaps the barrier could be pierced briefly- though I'm still working on how that would WORK.
I have characters I would LOVE to put in HA but am currently having difficulty figuring out how to make it work. Are these things compatible?
(I hope so.)
Abt_Nihil at 9:57AM, Oct. 5, 2012
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I'm probably not the ultimate authority on continuity issues, since I'd always bend continuity a bit if it serves the story. Other HA contributors might disagree. But I think what we can all agree on is that HA's primary aim is to serve the interests of its contributors, and to try to find ways to integrate characters into the HUniverse, even if it might sound difficult at first. Sometimes it just doesn't work out; but that shouldn't stop us from trying. If you have an idea, all of us together will try to make it work.
JimHarbor at 1:40PM, Oct. 29, 2012
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So like what Fawcett city was in DC Comics? Cool. I figure it'd be in some vauge 1980s timewarp and then have the rest of the world would be the same 2010-ish tech level.
In other news, how about Logo Designs? if we want to pitch a story with unique Logo concepts would we post them here?
Abt_Nihil at 8:38AM, Oct. 31, 2012
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JimHarbor wrote:
In other news, how about Logo Designs? if we want to pitch a story with unique Logo concepts would we post them here?
I guess you could do that :-)
JimHarbor at 8:03PM, March 5, 2013
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Anyone knwo what staes Patriot City and New Roscoe are in? Trying to work on timezones.

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