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FIGHT 2
ifelldownthestairs at 7:16PM, May 1, 2010
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We thought this one went from boring to pointlessly offensive, with only strong illustration to back it up. WHATCHOO THANK, NIGRAZ??

Edit- This thread has been locked due to it becoming incredibly, painfully, lame.
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
http://www.drunkduck.com/i_fell_down_the_stairs
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 10:54PM, May 14, 2010
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Hark invited me to write a counterpost to the review, even if probably only the reviewers and the author would read it, so here it is.

1. Too much details crammed into the art:
That's my art style. Or rather the deficiencies of my art style. I admire artwork with heavy shading which implies detail without drawing it. It looks good and it saves the artist time. It's a skill that's harder than it looks.

2. Nothing much happens:
A few dozen pages is too short to really get a mood-heavy story going. If I drew faster and with more dedication, so that the story is 200 pages now… then the story would be somewhere, and the pacing would feel better.

For those who think the story should already be going at page 50, I disagree. The most important thing is characterization. No matter how epic a storyline is, it's useless if we don't care about the characters.

For FIGHT and FIGHT2, I purposefully trimmed off all of the “epic storyline” elements, leaving only the characters. You can make a play out of FIGHT2 on an empty Broadway stage, while for a “heavy epic” story you would need elaborate stage sets.

The setting does matter, though. I make environments that I enjoy drawing and looking at, mainly natural environs.

Basically, people have told me FIGHT/FIGHT2 is kind of like Lost, in that you're watching it to figure out what's happening yourself, or not even try to figure it out but just watching the characters deal with it. I never watched Lost, and my comics started before Lost ever aired. But the analogy applies.

3. Her dialogue is harder to decipher:
Well, it's authentic Late Middle English. I read and re-read the entire 1000 pages of Le Morte D'Arthur in order to write it. Admittedly, in the beginning I'm clumsy with it. But later on (in my script), I get much better at it, so she sounds more natural even though it's still LM English.

People who don't always agree with me, have told me that it does give her a very authentic feel that you cannot get with comic-book Middle English (when Thor says “thou” but the rest of the sentence is modern).

It's monotonous; there's no setup:
You're in a wilderness survival situation (like in a plane crash), you have amnesia, and you get attacked by well-armed criminals. That is the setup. Sorry but I don't know how to write more exciting than that. Just because you don't know these characters' life stories, and you don't get a wall-o'-text explaining the world history, doesn't take away the drama happening right now, that could happen to anyone in RL.

LOL oral sex WTF:
I ran it by my peoples, who definitely don't always agree with me. Some love it (no they're not otakus or porn-addicts), some are surprised but didn't see any plot failing with it.

It's certainly not very explicit; I don't really show anything. Perhaps the thought of it breaks you out of story immersion, regardless whether it seems realistic or not. That I can see happening, but that's not the failing of my story or characters.

Nuada is not a heroic character. Nor does he automatically know how to do things the “right” or “appropriate” way, regardless his intentions. He has no plot armour for reader likeability.

The girl ranges from unconsciousness to seizures/convulsions. I like to draw her pretty, but no one else had told me she looks like she's enjoying “the treatment.”

Is it fan service? The main intention is to jolt readers out of their comfort zone. I don't want their brains to lapse into a vegetative state, like when watching commercials, or when reading too many comics.

Talking about menstruation:
Female readers and friends had found no problem with it. Or agreeing that the subject is not taboo, certainly not during a survival situation.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 7:50AM, May 15, 2010
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1- The art
I liked the art. While at times it was hard to tell what what happening, overall we were pretty positive on this aspect.

2- Nothing Much Happens
To be honest, I don't think the comic really succeeded in setting up the characters. I did get an idea of their personality, but because I don't really know who they are, where they are or where they are going, I cant really get behind them or their adventures.
They are literally just people wandering around in an empty (all be it very well drawn) wilderness.
I couldn't get into the story because it felt like there really wasn't any story.


3- Her dialogue is harder to decipher.
The problem wasn't so much that she was hard to understand (though that was a factor) more just that she sounded silly. Really silly.
Real middle ages English would be almost impossible for modern readers to understand. This just reads more like modern English with silly “ye olde” nonsense thrown in. You were trying to get away from Thor style speech, but I feel like that's sort of what you've ended up with (all be is Thor speech that is a bit harder to understand).

4- Its monotonous; there's no set up
It is possible to give exposition and explanation without walls of text.
Also, the whole “I have no memory and I am lost in a wilderness” seemed to be treated pretty casually by the characters (possibly because you've been writing about characters in these types of situations for a while so you are taking it for granted.) I didn't feel like I got any insight into what this type of situation would be like.

5- LOL oral sex WTF
This sequence just felt embarrassing.
Fan service is cringe inducing at the best of times, but here it just served to pull us right out of the story.
If you wanted to put me out of my comfort zone, yes you did that. But I don't think that is a good thing. The scene felt weird, out of place and uncomfortable.
I don't see what it added to the story and it gave off a weird fetish/sleazy vibe that hadn't appeared in the story until then.

6- Talking about menstruation
The problem here was how wildly out of place her mention of this was.
She just suddenly turns to the man and starts talking about her period.
It felt rather like an attempt to make the character have female sounding dialogue but just done horribly badly.
Other then the fact that I don't especially want to know about the characters bodily functions (if the man has a crafty wank, is he going to announce that to her and the audience?) it felt random and out of place.
She didn't even try to be subtle with something like “where are the rags I had with me?”
She just flat out says they are “for her monthly bleeding” which really felt like just very poor dialogue.
This, combined with the “oral sex” sequence and the fact he had to take off all her clothes, started to give things a childish, school boy tone.
“Hee hee! Girls have lady parts and peroids and you can have sex with them! Hee hee!”

Thanks for commenting on the forum, I hope that clarified what we were getting at.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 11:55AM, May 15, 2010
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harkovast
2- Nothing Much Happens
To be honest, I don't think the comic really succeeded in setting up the characters. I did get an idea of their personality, but because I don't really know who they are, where they are or where they are going, I cant really get behind them or their adventures.
They are literally just people wandering around in an empty (all be it very well drawn) wilderness.
I couldn't get into the story because it felt like there really wasn't any story.
Different strokes for different folks. I usually use quite a few ppl for soundboarding; they all had no problems empathizing with characters who they couldn't place right off the bat (as you know, the characters are from mostly obscure franchises). Their names and jobs don't matter; it about the personality and the gradual getting-to-know.

Yes, they are literally just ppl wandering in an empty wilderness. That's the stories of both F1 and F2 at the outset. And Lost is just plane crash survivors on a deserted island, at the outset. And No Exit is just 4 people trapped in a hotel room where nothing happens.

The story is what those characters make of that situation. And it's not about quickly discovering the underlying reasons for that situation and being wowed by how innovative it is; it's about being along for the ride.

3- Her dialogue is harder to decipher.
The problem wasn't so much that she was hard to understand (though that was a factor) more just that she sounded silly. Really silly.
Real middle ages English would be almost impossible for modern readers to understand. This just reads more like modern English with silly “ye olde” nonsense thrown in. You were trying to get away from Thor style speech, but I feel like that's sort of what you've ended up with (all be is Thor speech that is a bit harder to understand).
If you think she sounds silly, then I don't think you'd be able to stomach reading Le Morte D'Arthur, because that is my bible/dictionary for writing her speech.
ME of the Canterbury Tales variety is impossible to understand. BUT, Le Morte D'Arthur has been translated into contemporary English spelling, but still retaining a lot of the ME grammar.

Again, it's different strokes for different folks. I don't really target less-patient or less-literate readers. I realized I don't have to, after reading cerebral yet action/sex-packed classics like Ghost In The Shell. (The manga meanders all over complicated topics, unlike the movie which sticks to a clearer theme.)

However, I have had a young reader who had a hard time understanding her, but was determined to try.

However, as I said, I got much more fluent with ME as my script went on.

4- Its monotonous; there's no set up
It is possible to give exposition and explanation without walls of text.
Also, the whole “I have no memory and I am lost in a wilderness” seemed to be treated pretty casually by the characters (possibly because you've been writing about characters in these types of situations for a while so you are taking it for granted.) I didn't feel like I got any insight into what this type of situation would be like.
That's why F2 is the companion piece to F1. In F1, I dealt extensively with how characters would initially react to the situation. In F2, it is made clear that we encounter these characters after they've already spent a few weeks in their current situation, so they're not all surprise-shock-confusion-etc. Nor do I need to re-do the entire pondering-over-the-mysterious-message thing.

This way I don't need to retread old ground.

5- LOL oral sex WTF
This sequence just felt embarrassing.
Fan service is cringe inducing at the best of times, but here it just served to pull us right out of the story.
If you wanted to put me out of my comfort zone, yes you did that. But I don't think that is a good thing. The scene felt weird, out of place and uncomfortable.
I don't see what it added to the story and it gave off a weird fetish/sleazy vibe that hadn't appeared in the story until then.
Again, different strokes blah. I knew this scene was a bit iffy, and I ran it by all my editors. People who I consider good writers and editors. Reactions range from positive to neutral, but never negative or “it's forced.”

It was supposed to be uncomfortable and weird. Without it, much of the emotional impact would be lost. Readers take grave injuries for granted, when it comes to comics.

You have to also take the character into account. Nuada is NOT a hero. I don't mean he's a villain. I mean that he's not invulnerable to embarrassing himself. He's not “presentable.” He's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern.

(Ofc, I'm not saying I'm such a great playwright. I'm listing famous works as my inspirations.)

6- Talking about menstruation
The problem here was how wildly out of place her mention of this was.
She just suddenly turns to the man and starts talking about her period.
It felt rather like an attempt to make the character have female sounding dialogue but just done horribly badly.
Other then the fact that I don't especially want to know about the characters bodily functions (if the man has a crafty wank, is he going to announce that to her and the audience?) it felt random and out of place.
She didn't even try to be subtle with something like “where are the rags I had with me?”
She just flat out says they are “for her monthly bleeding” which really felt like just very poor dialogue.
The mention is entirely natural. They're in a survival situation where every piece of scrap gets used for something. So mentioning that they're all bloody (from injuries, he assumed), he used them to light fires. Under the circumstances, ofc she'd say they're for raggin'.

Again, the character has to be taken into account. The girl is extremely blunt, regarding everything. It makes what she intentionally hides, stand out all the more. (I really need to finish the current chapter…)

Reader reaction to it has been positive. But I don't measure success by DD reader reaction; they tend to give you an inflated view. I measure it by my editors; half of them are female.

Basically, I enjoyed the different viewpoint of the review. But I already know that my stories are not universal. Intentionally. If I wanted universality, I'd use mainstream rather than obscure characters, I'd just draw an Ultimate Fight of Ultimate Destiny, and I'd just use comic books for Middle English reference and be done with it.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
ifelldownthestairs at 6:02AM, May 16, 2010
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oh man… i always get to these things way later than hark does! but in any case, i'll try and dive in.

mlai
Different strokes for different folks. I usually use quite a few ppl for soundboarding; they all had no problems empathizing with characters who they couldn't place right off the bat (as you know, the characters are from mostly obscure franchises). Their names and jobs don't matter; it about the personality and the gradual getting-to-know.

Yes, they are literally just ppl wandering in an empty wilderness. That's the stories of both F1 and F2 at the outset. And Lost is just plane crash survivors on a deserted island, at the outset. And No Exit is just 4 people trapped in a hotel room where nothing happens.

The story is what those characters make of that situation. And it's not about quickly discovering the underlying reasons for that situation and being wowed by how innovative it is; it's about being along for the ride.

this is precisely the issue - we've gotten to know them, but what is there to know, really? she's a chick who speaks in an antiquated fashion, and he's into her but nervous. that's about all i got from that. i will admit - it was totally bad ass when he switched over into berserker mode, but aside from that, there's scarcely any depth to either of them. while i can appreciate that the aim isn't to show how they got where they are but show how they plan to deal with it - i don't think we've really been shown any resolve from the characters whatsoever.

mlai
If you think she sounds silly, then I don't think you'd be able to stomach reading Le Morte D'Arthur, because that is my bible/dictionary for writing her speech.
ME of the Canterbury Tales variety is impossible to understand. BUT, Le Morte D'Arthur has been translated into contemporary English spelling, but still retaining a lot of the ME grammar.

Again, it's different strokes for different folks. I don't really target less-patient or less-literate readers. I realized I don't have to, after reading cerebral yet action/sex-packed classics like Ghost In The Shell. (The manga meanders all over complicated topics, unlike the movie which sticks to a clearer theme.)

However, I have had a young reader who had a hard time understanding her, but was determined to try.

However, as I said, I got much more fluent with ME as my script went on.

see, this is not a matter of failing to reach impatient or illiterate readers, it's just a matter of getting your point across a little too much. we GET that she's from a different time! the things she talks about, the values she holds, hell, the way she's DRESSED lets us know quite sufficiently where she's from! most comics, movies, stories, etc. with a person from that time period will give a character from that era a manner of speaking reminiscent of their respective era, but very rarely a complete overhaul as you have. commendable indeed, but - and much as the likewise commendable art - it's just too much. we already get the point. the reader already understands that she is from a certain period, so to make her speak that way, to the extreme that she does, and in such an exaggerated fashion, just makes it seem like a gimmick. it feels like an extreme overcomplication where it really isn't necessary.

mlai
That's why F2 is the companion piece to F1. In F1, I dealt extensively with how characters would initially react to the situation. In F2, it is made clear that we encounter these characters after they've already spent a few weeks in their current situation, so they're not all surprise-shock-confusion-etc. Nor do I need to re-do the entire pondering-over-the-mysterious-message thing.

This way I don't need to retread old ground.

to repeat what hark said - listening to the characters, you'd have no idea that they were in such a peculiar situation! their dialogue and delivery is soooo banal, particularly their banter. as you yourself point out, we don't have to learn about their situation through their dialogue, but we do need to learn about them, and we really don't.

mlai
Again, different strokes blah. I knew this scene was a bit iffy, and I ran it by all my editors. People who I consider good writers and editors. Reactions range from positive to neutral, but never negative or “it's forced.”

It was supposed to be uncomfortable and weird. Without it, much of the emotional impact would be lost. Readers take grave injuries for granted, when it comes to comics.

You have to also take the character into account. Nuada is NOT a hero. I don't mean he's a villain. I mean that he's not invulnerable to embarrassing himself. He's not “presentable.” He's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern.

(Ofc, I'm not saying I'm such a great playwright. I'm listing famous works as my inspirations.)

it was uncomfortable and weird, but i hardly understand why this was a good thing! i mean i understand where you're coming from, pushing your readers can be a really good thing, but… this was totally forced! it's clear as day what you were trying to suggest, and there was absolutely no call for it whatsoever. didn't fit with his nervous character, didn't make the least bit of sense, and most importantly it didn't relate to the story AT ALL. much like…

mlai
The mention is entirely natural. They're in a survival situation where every piece of scrap gets used for something. So mentioning that they're all bloody (from injuries, he assumed), he used them to light fires. Under the circumstances, ofc she'd say they're for raggin'.

Again, the character has to be taken into account. The girl is extremely blunt, regarding everything. It makes what she intentionally hides, stand out all the more. (I really need to finish the current chapter…)

Reader reaction to it has been positive. But I don't measure success by DD reader reaction; they tend to give you an inflated view. I measure it by my editors; half of them are female.

no, it isn't natural. at all. there are LOTS of stories about survival in the wild that don't cover basic bodily functions, but the very very few of them bring up issues like that always have a REASON. there is no reason for it AT ALL! it's not the fact that you mentioned menstruation, but rather what it brings to the story. does it contribute anything? is there a point? seemingly, no, and that's the issue. WHY is this brought up? for a quick blip in a conversation, and nothing more. it does nothing to enrich the conversation (much less the comic), and coming after that incredibly awkward last sequence, it really just looks weird.

i'm glad that you enjoyed the differing review hark and i gave, and i hope that you took our positive points to heart as much as the negative (while overly done, the art is truly flat out amazing). but there are just so many points that don't fit! the art is spectacular, but the detail is to such an extreme that it actually defeats its own purpose at times by obscuring itself. the premise is really cool, but we're treated to such scant storytelling that the characters are little more to us than mere stock characters. you're clearly a talented artist, but your work is being severely weighed down by these factors.

as hark has pointed out in the past, it's really really cool to have a civilized discussion about our opinion over a comic, and i'm glad you were willing to start one!
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
http://www.drunkduck.com/i_fell_down_the_stairs
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
JustNoPoint at 8:16PM, May 16, 2010
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I'd like to chime in one thing I disagree with the most. That's the menstruation thing. I don't think any media shows you realistic aspects of characters in these situations. So it's nice to see it happen at times.

It also made for a bit of comedic relief from Nuada when he realized what she meant.
It helps to keep you in mind that these are “realistic” people.

Pretty much no small talk is ever really needed. I like small talk. And in a situation like this it didn't seem unnatural. Now if they go trying to find new stuff and mlai shows the characters testing absorbency, etc… that might be a tad forced/much.

Wait, wasn't that in the script too? O_O
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 12:21AM, May 17, 2010
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ifelldownthestairs
this is precisely the issue - we've gotten to know them, but what is there to know, really…
I'm not sure how else to show depth and to elucidate character, other than showing the characters naturally. They're not going to give a speech on what they plan to do. Keep in mind about 2 days of comic-book time has passed.

As I said, if I'm more dedicated about drawing this, the story would have progressed more. Rest assured, they're not going to just live a quiet hermit life on the mountain for the next 10 chapters or what have you, and not deal with the situation. I just haven't gotten there. Wilderness survival comes first.

I really do feel like drawing again, finally. But there's just a lot on my RL plate atm.

see, this is not a matter of failing to reach impatient or illiterate readers, it's just a matter of getting your point across a little too much. we GET that she's from a different time…
There's 2 main reasons why it's done.

(1) Her language adds the strongest sense to her character/background. It is necessary: we read medieval/fantasy/time-travel comics all the time, we take that sort of thing for granted. My co-artist was also like WTF-is-this at first. But he then agreed that it really helps hit home that she's “foreign”, after reading both language versions (the ME, and the original script where I wrote her in ordinary English).

(2) I read Le Morte D'Arthur, despite how repetitive and boring it is, because I like the language. It was fun to read the language. I feel that after I got fluent with it (in the script), her ME is intrinsically poetic, and not hard to understand.

to repeat what hark said - listening to the characters, you'd have no idea that they were in such a peculiar situation!
I repeat, I did not need to retread old ground that I already covered in Fight ONE. This is Fight TWO.

their dialogue and delivery is soooo banal, particularly their banter. as you yourself point out, we don't have to learn about their situation through their dialogue, but we do need to learn about them, and we really don't.
That's pretty much your opinion without substantiation. I've had different opinions, and not from “fans”.

Because you don't offer any objective reasons (same with Hark), I can only conclude that my style of storytelling is unconventional for your personal taste.

…there was absolutely no call for it whatsoever. didn't fit with his nervous character, didn't make the least bit of sense, and most importantly it didn't relate to the story AT ALL.
Perhaps you never had to strip a woman to treat her injuries. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Sure, I purposely made him use his teeth, but it made sense within the context of the events. He is not just a “nervous character”. Perhaps you missed all the “monster” imagery that I slaved over in that chapter, because you couldn't get over the implied nakedness.

The entire chapter was supposed to be wholly uncomfortable and weird, and not just for the implied sexuality parts (which add to the whole of it).

no, it isn't natural. at all. there are LOTS of stories about survival in the wild that don't cover basic bodily functions, but the very very few of them bring up issues like that always have a REASON. there is no reason for it AT ALL!
Did you read the comics pages? Or what I just wrote in my previous post??? Also, what's the big deal? Is it a taboo subject for you? It isn't, for her.

does it contribute anything? is there a point? seemingly, no, and that's the issue.
1. Humor. Maybe you didn't laugh, but others did.
2. It emphasizes her bluntness or lack of “shame” regarding womanly issues. This is repeated throughout the entire story.

the art is spectacular, but the detail is to such an extreme that it actually defeats its own purpose at times by obscuring itself.
I know which panels you may be talking about. As I said, it's a skill (that I'm deficient in) to place swathes of solid black on a page. I've always worked on that.

we're treated to such scant storytelling that the characters are little more to us than mere stock characters.
I do agree that the story is slow to start, but I feel that during this slow time readers really gain a sense of the characters. If you feel they're shallow, you and Hark are in the minority.

I still get the sense that you two confuse character background (his job, his ethnicity, his family, etc) with character (his personality).

you're clearly a talented artist, but your work is being severely weighed down by these factors.
You have not managed to convince me of anything, unfortunately. And it's not because I'm stubborn. If you ask my editors or my readers, they'll tell you that I often change big/little things (A LOT) based on suggestions that I feel are valid. I've changed entire chapters and entire characters based on suggestions/crits.

The reason I think the review's criticism is invalid for F2 (other than the art details thing, which I have always worked on since I grew beyond DBZ), is:

1. Everything said is an opinion or generalization. While I like hearing different opinions, I can't agree if I am not convinced by objective points.

2. I get the feeling that my story simply isn't to your taste, which I can understand.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 12:34AM, May 17, 2010
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Let me just add that FIGHT (one) might be more up you and Hark's alley. That comic was written more conventionally, and more pulp. That's because I had/have a co-writer in that one. Someone who likes Marvel comics.

It was my intention to write something with a different feel and target audience, for F2.

JustNoPoint
And in a situation like this it didn't seem unnatural. Now if they go trying to find new stuff and mlai shows the characters testing absorbency, etc… that might be a tad forced/much.

Wait, wasn't that in the script too? O_O
No. ; /

Now, that would be banal. It had never even occured to me. ;p

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 2:31PM, May 18, 2010
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Okay, I have to call you on a logical fallacy in your argument, Mlai.

Appealing to the fact that a majority of people agree with you does not make something true (there are plenty of very popular webcomics that are freakin' dreadful…not naming names…).
But even if it did prove you right, you cant actually prove that a majority agree with you.
You can only prove that a majority of people WHO COMMENT agree with you.

So what you are really saying is that “A majority of people who enjoy reading FIGHT 2 think that FIGHT 2 doesn't have shallow characters.”
And I would agree that this is probably the case.
It is not the same as saying that the majority of people agree with you.
The nature of DD is that people who don't like your comic or your characters will simply not bother to comment and move on to something else.
There is no way you can support the idea that we are a minority, unless you are some how polling the people who look at FIGHT 2.

Now you also seem to be making an appeal to the idea that people should read FIGHT 1 in order to have a better understanding of FIGHT 2. This makes sense from the point of view of sequel, but we were only asked to review FIGHT 2 and when we review a comic we are not going to go and track down other comics by the same author first. If you ask for a review of something, that is all we are going to review, so if there is something else people need to read to understand it, maybe it shouldn't be put out as a comic on its own, but just added as additional chapters onto FIGHT 1?

You also suggest that we only like things written “more conventionally”. This seems an odd implication that seems to try to side step the points we raised by implying we simply don't appreciate your style of comic.
The large manga battle scene in your comic seemed reasonably conventional (for manga battle scenes. That isn't a criticism, but I wouldn't call anything that was happening “unconventional”.
Our problems with making a scene of helping and injured woman look like oral sex were not because this was “unconventional”….its because it was a bad stylistic choice that crowbarred fan service into what had previously been a serious and dramatic moment! I've talked to you about it now and I STILL don't really get why you wanted to do this.
What does sex have to do with this scene?
How does this show that the male character is not heroic? This doesn't seem related to the sleazy way you drew it.
If you wanted to make him not seem heroic, you could have shown him hesitating to help her and contemplating running away, or one of a hundred other ways this scene could have been handled.
How does him being a monster relate to him being drawn like he is eating pussy? I don't see the connection or what this symbolism is supposed to mean.
To make him seem animal like or monstrous you could have shown him tearing her clothing with his teeth.
Instead you went for showing him burying his face in her crotch. This was, I would suggest, a poor choice.
When I saw this page, I felt I was learning something about the author (something I didn't really want to know!) rather then learning about this man's state of mind. Unless you were implying he was thinking of sex at the time, in which case….ewwwww!

All reviews are subjective, since the appreciation of art is a subjective thing.
If you are happy with your comic as it is, then keep going as you are. You are, after all, the captain of your own destiny.
To say “this scene does not work and seems out of place” is an impossible point to prove because, for another person, the scene might work. It clearly works well for you, and your opinion is as valid as mine or Kev's (well, at least as valid as Kev's anyway…)

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 4:04PM, May 19, 2010
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harkovast
Appealing to the fact that a majority of people agree with you does not make something true…
I had emphasized that I did not base my conclusion on the reaction of DD readers, but on the reaction of friends acting as editors. These friends are themselves hobby writers/artists, and also act as good editors who can be objective. I had made significant changes to plot/characters based on their suggestions, when I found their reasoning valid.

Now you also seem to be making an appeal to the idea that people should read FIGHT 1 in order to have a better understanding of FIGHT 2…
It's called F2 for a reason. If you didn't realize it's a semi-sequel, then I just informed you. What else can be said about that?

It's not an “appeal.” I do have readers who read F2 first, then F1 much later. But if it's a problem for you, then just read F1 sooner rather than later. If you want.

You also suggest that we only like things written “more conventionally”… The large manga battle scene in your comic seemed reasonably conventional
You're taking a previous discussion out of context. I was talking about the presentation of the overall plot, and the pacing. Not the fight scene.

Our problems with making a scene of helping and injured woman look like oral sex were not because this was “unconventional”….What does sex have to do with this scene? Unless you were implying he was thinking of sex at the time, in which case….ewwwww!
It all goes towards showing the ambivalence of character, and also the mix of feelings and motivations (both crass and noble) that Nuada has towards the girl.

To allow him to treat her injuries straight up, would be giving him hero points. He is not allowed hero points. Instead we see his monstrous aspect, which he himself fears. But that's not enough. I know how insensitive readers can be. Therefore he must also be shown seemingly violating the girl's dignity.

If you think EWWWW about Nuada, instead of “Oh he's a good guy.” Then my job is accomplished. This was accomplished for my editors (2 of whom are women), who did not automatically associate the pages with me being a pervert who wants to rape injured women. I can understand that for you, it breaks you out of your reader immersion and think about the author's sexual deviancy. As I said, not to your taste.

So yeah, I'll keep going as I am. Because you haven't managed to convince me, not because I never change anything big.

I understand that your review comic is intrinsically meant to be more sensationalistic and opinionated, than objective and academic. I had fun reading it. But it also means that your opinions in that comic (whose reasoning you carried thru in all your posts) aren't really basis for objective change.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
DrLuck at 7:57PM, May 19, 2010
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I decided to just read it and tell you what I thought personally since you keep arguing about this.

I really enjoy the artwork, first off. Very well done. I'm not having any real issues about the details. You may want to put a slightly thicker line around characters so they stick out more compared to the background, but that's about it. Where I do get messed up, though, is some staging stuff:

http://www.drunkduck.com/FIGHT_2/index.php?p=293985

I'm not quite sure what's going on. I'm presuming he tripped? Show the in-between gesture of when he trips and before he hits the ground to make this more solid. Also, how did the guy get in front of him on the next page when he's behind him on this page? Stuff like that every so often throughout the comic trips me up, especially during fighting scenes, which is a shame since it seems to have a lot of cool stuff going on. Where'd he get the shield here? http://www.drunkduck.com/FIGHT_2/index.php?p=383571

I really enjoy the character designs you have. I can tell them apart and they look pretty sweet, especially the really big guy with the fur.

The stutter guy kind of throws me off. How much time takes place between him meeting the girl and him going nuts? He seems to adore the girl overnight from the comic, truly worrying about her so much after just meeting her. Though I think it's a slower pace to get to know the characters, that part comes far too fast for me.

In regards to the girl's speech: I'm going to agree that it's too much. I get what you're trying to do, with having her talk like her time period, but I can't take it seriously. I'm not having issues so much with understanding it (though I can understand how someone could have issues with it), it's just over-the-top for me. You're trying so hard that it comes off as trying too hard. A lot of times I opted to just skip her dialog for that very reason.

Personally, I would suggest her speaking in very proper English if anything. That way, her speech doesn't seem over-the-top, yet still shows the tone of the character and still gives her that intelligent sorta feel. That way, your audience is more likely to think of her in that respect rather than going, “Oh God, I get you're from old times. Stop talking like that already.”

Eating pussy thing: What the hell is this? I was pretty into the story until that happened. I thought it was gonna be some awkward night when they're camping from what I read about, not when he's dragging her along and worrying if she's okay. For someone who before showed levels of caring very deeply for her, he sure is into raping her orally and more interested in eating her out more than getting her some actual medical help. It doesn't come off as, “He's not a hero, here's him doing something bad,” it comes off as completely out of character from what I've seen of this guy.

You're definitely throwing me off, but I think it's the most god awful thing you've done in this entire comic. I would've probably been fine with the comic until I got to that. It had action, adventure, then suddenly he's eating her out while she's bleeding from a leg wound. It raises far more questions than answers, completely derails everything going on in the story, and I honestly can't read past this part. It was just so bad that I can't take the rest of it seriously anymore.

You need to talk to people who are NOT your editors when you think of doing stuff like this. Get a third party and pitch the idea to them, someone who is not a known fan of your work and who will give an honest opinion. Your editors are not helping you whatsoever here.

Overall: great artwork, fairly average for the story and characters, but that pussy eating page made me want to stop dead.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 5:35AM, May 20, 2010
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DrLuck
I decided to just read it and tell you what I thought personally
Coolness.

You may want to put a slightly thicker line around characters so they stick out more compared to the background, but that's about it.
Yup.

I'm not quite sure what's going on. I'm presuming he tripped?
Edbang drew that. I guess he should have drawn an inset panel of the guy's foot tripping on a rock. I can see what you mean.

Where'd he get the shield here?
Ha, that requires a bit of observation on the reader's part. That “shield” is the ammo drum's lid that popped off on the previous page. Most readers got that.

How much time takes place between him meeting the girl and him going nuts? He seems to adore the girl overnight from the comic, truly worrying about her so much after just meeting her. Though I think it's a slower pace to get to know the characters, that part comes far too fast for me.
Well, I did devote the entirety of chapter 2 to why he liked her “overnight.” How much time… it was around 24 hours.
I think some consideration of the setting is also in order. If you're a “survivor” and you finally met another “survivor” who you can get along with, you're going to care about preserving that.

In regards to the girl's speech: I'm going to agree that it's too much… I'm not having issues so much with understanding it
Excellent! I like hearing that! xD
That's always my biggest worry for these early chapters.

it's just over-the-top for me. You're trying so hard that it comes off as trying too hard.
Well then it's just a difference in perspective for us. The entirety of Le Morte D'arthur is that. Yet ppl still read it. Or, for example, ever tried to read Paradise Lost? Or heck, any Shakespeare?

Ofc I'm not saying I'm anywhere near that level. But because I appreciate that sort of thing, I try to sneak a bit of that into my comics.

That way, her speech doesn't seem over-the-top, yet still shows the tone of the character and still gives her that intelligent sorta feel. That way, your audience is more likely to think of her in that respect rather than going, “Oh God, I get you're from old times. Stop talking like that already.”
I don't see how I'm “trying too hard”, when this is exactly how ppl speak and write in those days. And I'm not writing a foreign language; high school students read those books for class. I get what you're saying, but I guess I'm catering to readers who read those books for class, and then later also read them for pleasure.

Eating pussy thing: What the hell is this?
I have a question. Do you really think he's eating pussy, or are you just saying that to make yourself sound forceful on the internet?

Because if you're misreading the scene that much, then I basically put you in the “ignored” box right now.

For someone who before showed levels of caring very deeply for her, he sure is into raping her orally and more interested in eating her out more than getting her some actual medical help.
It really sounds like you misread the scene completely, therefore making everything you say henceforth, invalid.

Yes I purposely drew the scene awkwardly. But it seems you only glanced at the page for 5 seconds and got a complete misconception of it.

It raises far more questions than answers, completely derails everything going on in the story, and I honestly can't read past this part. It was just so bad that I can't take the rest of it seriously anymore.
Your loss, if you're dismissing my comic based on mistaken comprehension on your part.

You need to talk to people who are NOT your editors when you think of doing stuff like this. Get a third party and pitch the idea to them, someone who is not a known fan of your work and who will give an honest opinion. Your editors are not helping you whatsoever here.
I'd say the lack-of-help comes from a reader who decided to formulate the strongest opinion in his post based on what he comprehended the least. It's not even an opinion from you; you obviously glanced at the pictures, didn't even read ANY of the text bubbles, and stopped reading right there because you got an idea into your head.

Overall: great artwork, fairly average for the story and characters, but that pussy eating page made me want to stop dead.
Uh… it didn't “make you want to.” It did make you stop dead. That's the only way to explain your misconception.

Right now, I'm not sure if you're just morally opposed to “misplaced fanservice” like Hark, or if you just feel the “fanservice” contradicts the man's character to the point of character derailment. Hark I disagree with but at least I knew where he was coming from. You, just didn't read.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 4:34PM, May 21, 2010
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Mlai, you seem to be falling back on questioning the integrity of the people who criticise you, rather then answering their criticisms.
You accuse me and Kev of not being “objective” and just wanting to be sensational, and now you accuse Dr Luck of not under standing the scene.

If a scene in your comic is a poorly conceived and offensive idea, how exactly could that be proved objectively? There is no such thing as an objective opinion on art, so demanding we give you objective evidence is meaningless.

If you are discounting all opinions on here as objective, unproven or ignorant when they disagree with you, I am kinda confused why you are persisting with the debate. I get the feeling there isn't anything anyone could possibly say to make you think anything in your comic is a bad idea or needs improvement. You have disagreed with every single criticism that has been made so far.

To turn the question around, what do YOU think is wrong with your comic?
Assuming you don't consider it perfect, do you have any thing that you DO think needs improvement?

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
ifelldownthestairs at 4:34PM, May 21, 2010
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mlai
I'm not sure how else to show depth and to elucidate character, other than showing the characters naturally. They're not going to give a speech on what they plan to do. Keep in mind about 2 days of comic-book time has passed.

As I said, if I'm more dedicated about drawing this, the story would have progressed more. Rest assured, they're not going to just live a quiet hermit life on the mountain for the next 10 chapters or what have you, and not deal with the situation. I just haven't gotten there. Wilderness survival comes first.

mlai
Well, I did devote the entirety of chapter 2 to why he liked her “overnight.” How much time… it was around 24 hours.
I think some consideration of the setting is also in order. If you're a “survivor” and you finally met another “survivor” who you can get along with, you're going to care about preserving that.

This is saying in defense of the fact that not a whole lot is going on, that they're more worried about survival in the wilderness. I don't necessarily agree with that, but I can see where you're coming from. But then, in defense of the idea of him falling for her a bit quickly, you say that it's because they're surviving together? For a day?? You just said that their focus is on survival, and that you haven't gotten to how they're really going to progress past that.

And again, I know that we're basically talking in circles at this point, but… what misreading is there to be made with the um.. injured leg bit? Basically he said “My arm is fucked up. Oh well, GUESS IT'S TIME TO PULL HER PANTIES OFF WITH MY TEETH.”
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
http://www.drunkduck.com/i_fell_down_the_stairs
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 10:48PM, May 22, 2010
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Mlai, you seem to be falling back on questioning the integrity of the people who criticise you… you accuse Dr Luck of not under standing the scene.
There is a difference between disagreeing with a scene (you and Ifell), and completely not understanding a scene.

This is not mockery. You read his post, and tell me whether or not it sounds like he didn't even read the text on that page. Whether you think the scene is plausible or forced, is irrelevant; he honestly thought the man is trying to rape the girl.

There is no such thing as an objective opinion on art, so demanding we give you objective evidence is meaningless.
There is more to a deep review/critique than just deciding you're going to do it. You can write a review full of jokes and sarcasm, and it's funny to read, and that's fine. But on that token, I am free to discount it completely, even after I enjoyed the joking.

Here is the discussion on your review with 1 of my editors. I want to point to his/her writing as an example of someone who knows how to offer a deeper, valid review. It's a positive opinion here, but this also proves that I don't have fanboy editors – I have thoughtful editors who can actually provide literary reasoning on why something is good/bad. Reasoning beyond “I don't like it” or “blatant sex is blatant.”

AFAIC, opinions like the below carry much more weight than this thread. If it was he/she who offered me a negative opinion on the scene, I'd consider it much more.

Chat
Editor: haha You have to love sexual hangups of those people though.

me: Yeah, this guy obviously didn't even read the page. He was pretty rational until that point.

Editor: I thought that the scene did 2 things. 1 is what you are mentioning the most. Taking away hero points and putting him in an awkward situation. But the biggest is the explicit look of sex. Which they are saying OMG about. But that is key to the mentality readers should have when these characters are interacting from now on. Like they have had this intense intimate moment.

me: What do you mean?

Editor: To me the 2 seem like they are already lovers. Even without being lovers. That scene really evokes that feeling on the reader's mind. I guess unless they just have sex hangups lol

me: Ah, yes, the encounter had changed the dynamics of the relationship. But the best thing about it is that it's completely one-way.

Editor: And during the “not sex” Nuada resisted his inner demons. “I will not allow you to tentacle rape her!!!” :P
Basically he fought himself as well. And chose her over himself.

me: LOL yeah. See, I have the right editors. The fanboy editor cannot say this. Only the true editor can give an intelligent reason.

Editor: I'm sure there are a lot more pure, non-sexual ways the scene could have been handled. But they wouldn't make the next scenes near as uncomfortable for the readers and Nuada.

me: Yep.

Editor: When they wake up to each other “the next morning” several days later :P

me: Yep, adding the sexual tension (for him).

Editor: There's an old saying. “Sex changes everything.” He already had sexual tension for her. But now the audience feels it even more.

me: And it's not the normal, “clean” type of sexual tension. Which is exactly what I want.

him falling for her a bit quickly, you say that it's because they're surviving together? For a day?? You just said that their focus is on survival,
I think you're reading my comic too quickly, and therefore not absorbing everything that was said/thought?

Here are the major instances when Nuada thought about his opinion/impression of Chase:

1. In ch.2, he exposits to the reader that he feels lost (in many ways), but she exudes an aura of certainty and confidence that makes him feel at ease.

2. In ch.3, we learn that he's been a criminal gopher for the past few weeks, helping the other 2 men prey on survivors that they find. The reader should get that he's trying to make a fresh start, by following someone who he felt gave him a new direction.

3. In ch.3, after she gives him the cold shoulder, he starts thinking about leaving her company and going back to the other 2.

This is more than “wow she's so hot, I'll risk my life for her!” Added to the above, are the factors of comraderie in survival and against common adversaries, which often lead to quick intense bonds (or quick intense conflicts).

what misreading is there to be made with the um.. injured leg bit?
Read Luck's words more carefully. It's not a matter of him disagreeing with my scene.

Basically he said “My arm is fucked up. Oh well, GUESS IT'S TIME TO PULL HER PANTIES OFF WITH MY TEETH.”
Exactly. Luck didn't even get that much!

You have disagreed with every single criticism that has been made so far.
Do you see why I discount your opinions as fluff? Untrue blanket statements like the above. I had agreed with the art criticism. I had agreed that the beginning of my comic (basically everything so far) is paced slowly. Objective critiquers don't make up things in order to try to win an argument.

To turn the question around, what do YOU think is wrong with your comic?
Assuming you don't consider it perfect, do you have any thing that you DO think needs improvement?
I had written the script years ago, and yet I'm still editing the script sporadically. This shows I don't think the script is perfect.

Just with the latest chapter, 1 of the reasons I stopped short of finishing it is because I felt the whole chapter was kind of boring. I got some jokes in there, and I showed new characters, but it meandered and there weren't any truly exciting moments.

However, recently I finally came up with an exciting addition for the end of the chapter. I can't wait to draw it! But there's just 1 more RL thing I have to do first.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
DrLuck at 5:48PM, May 23, 2010
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Oral sex on an unconscious girl isn't considered rape? Well, I'll be. I don't know about you, but if I woke up and found a guy eating me out, I'd be very willing to call the cops on that one.

Edit: If it adds to my argument about waking up to being eaten out, I'm a girl too, for that perspective.

Additional information from: http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=12412

"Rape: Forced sexual intercourse; sexual assault; sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor. Rape may be heterosexual (involving members of opposite sexes) or homosexual (involving members of the same sex). Rape involves insertion of an erect penis or an inanimate object into the female vagina or the male anus. Legal definitions of rape may also include forced oral sex and other sexual acts."

By definition, that man is raping that girl.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 2:51AM, May 24, 2010
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DrLuck
Oral sex on an unconscious girl isn't considered rape? Well, I'll be. I don't know about you, but if I woke up and found a guy eating me out, I'd be very willing to call the cops on that one…. By definition, that man is raping that girl.
I don't care if you're a man, a woman, or a greased pelican. You're continuing to demonstrate gross ignorance of the scene in my comic. By everything you've said so far, and by your silence on my earlier question, I am led to even more certain belief that you simply glanced at the pictures on that page, didn't read any of the words, and didn't continue reading. In that case, you have nothing more to contribute to that subject, as everything you have said so far is sorely misinformed.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
DrLuck at 8:08AM, May 24, 2010
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If he's just trying getting the pants off, then you as an artist should've drawn that better. What the hell are you doing drawing his mouth on her cooch? Pants wrap around, man. There's no reason for his mouth to be where it is on that page. How can you blame anyone for thinking that's oral? I still think it's oral, because there are better ways of getting pants off. Getting it from the thigh, perhaps? If this guy really cares for the girl, he probably would've tried to avoid such a place.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 1:48AM, May 25, 2010
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Oh, finally read the page, did you?

Ofc I wanted the sexual innuendo. I wanted that in the interpersonal dynamic. However for you to go all OMG RAPE is wrong because there is no sexual assault there – it's all innuendo.

His mouth is not on her “cooch.” Her pants are still ON. His upper lip merely fell higher than the waist of her pants, but his teeth, lower lip, etc, are on her pants. This is not implied, this is clearly drawn: In the next panel, you see him taking down the pants, which means her pants are still on while he was trying to wrap his teeth around it.

I guess you didn't read the page, after all.

If this guy really cares for the girl, he probably would've tried to avoid such a place.
Do you know how fast a person dies from a femoral artery bleed? How fast a person can have irreversible brain damage (shorter than time to death)? He had less than several minutes to work with, while he can hardly see straight, and he's not trained as a paramedic… and you want him to think about where best to put his teeth?

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 6:32PM, May 25, 2010
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Mlai, I hate to question your motives, but the oral sex scene seemed more like an excuse for some rather questionable fan service rather then an insight into the characters.
It seemed like a very contrived set up.
“One arm is disabled, his other arm goes suddenly numb and then only way to help her is to remove her trousers.”
Seems like you went to fairly great lengths to set up “he shoves his face in her crotch.”
You are making seemingly serious arguments “do you know how fast someone dies from a femoral artery bleed” etc, for what is basically an ridiculous situation.
Again, the list of steps that led to a situation where the only way to save a girls life is to shove your face in her crotch makes the scene at worst offensive and at best laughable.
No doubt you have heard of hundreds of real life survival situations where vigorous oral sex has saved lives, but I somehow think these type of things don't really come up much.

Your editors comments that “they were already having a relationship without having one” don't really connect with me. The two characters really didn't seem to have much chemistry. If there was meant to be a budding romance there, it didn't really come through, she just seemed annoyed with him most of the time. is he trying to imply that her agressive manner was because she was seccretly wanting to be taken? That does sound like its swaying in a slightly “rape fantasy” direction. “The woman acts like she doesn't like you, that means she secretly wants you to take her, cause thats what women really want! The dirty sluts!” See how this starts to seem a bit sleazy?

Again though, your argument seems to hinge on criticising your critics rather then answering them. You think our review is trivial, sarcastic and not carefully thought out seemingly because it disagrees with you and we think some things that you like in your comic simply don't work.
Our opinion is inherrently subjective, but to act as if it is trivial or not based on having paid attention is quite wrong. We read all of your archive and discussed it at great length. We simply reached different conclusions to the ones you wanted us to reach.

I would say my key point is this-

If people read your comic and come away with the wrong conclusions, it seems weird that you blame the reader for not appreciating it, rather then your comic for failing to convey its message to us effectively.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 11:33PM, May 25, 2010
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I don't think anything new will come out of this, unless a new person speaks up and says something informed. I'll just answer your post here.

harkovast
I hate to question your motives, but the oral sex scene seemed more like an excuse for some rather questionable fan service rather then an insight into the characters. It seemed like a very contrived set up.
Ofc there's sexual innuendo. Ofc there's double entendre. Ofc it's intentional. I didn't make him use his teeth by accident.

Whether or not you think the double entendre is clever/cool, or immersion-breaking, is up to your subjective opinion. But I am not saying that it's so subtle that you weren't supposed to notice, or that it happens all the time IRL.

You were supposed to notice. It was supposed to give you pause and/or discomfort. You want to think it's pure fan service, that's your opinion. There are many elements in that chapter that are uncomfortable or grotesque. The “deviant” sexual element is one of them.

IMO, people with sexual hangups will immediately fall out of immersion and question the author's morality, rather than notice that the sexual element is uncomfortable for a reason, and that the entire chapter was constructed to elicit reader discomfort.

No doubt you have heard of hundreds of real life survival situations where vigorous oral sex has saved lives
How many times do I have to repeat that there is a layer of thick outer pants between her skin and his mouth?

Yes the innuendo is obvious; I drew it that way intentionally. Just like I made him hallucinate about his mechanical arm intentionally. But there is NO oral sex/rape, just like there aren't actually snakes and worms creeping out of his arm.

Repeating something misinformed over and over, does not make you right.

The two characters really didn't seem to have much chemistry.
That's your opinion, that you're just throwing out.

If there was meant to be a budding romance there, it didn't really come through, she just seemed annoyed with him most of the time.
Right, because we all love to have cozy fireside chats with people who irritate us, and we all risk our own lives to try to save people who annoy us.

You say you read the whole thing, and I believe you… but it seems you absorb nothing. She was annoyed with him for all of one afternoon, because she believed him to be a criminal. But before and after that, she was always cordial with him. But somehow all that got past you.

Maybe you have trouble differentiating between humor scenes of annoyance with genuine plot-relevant annoyance?

is he trying to imply that her agressive manner was because she was seccretly wanting to be taken? That does sound like its swaying in a slightly “rape fantasy” direction. “The woman acts like she doesn't like you, that means she secretly wants you to take her, cause thats what women really want! The dirty sluts!”
*Slowly backs away from Harkovast…

Again though, your argument seems to hinge on criticising your critics rather then answering them.
Because you guys often don't know how to give a balanced, informed opinion. 50% of my time has actually been spent on trying to enlighten you guys on how to be objective reviewers/critiquers, but I don't think it'll sink in. You probably disagree with me. Whatever.

You think our review is trivial, sarcastic and not carefully thought out seemingly because it disagrees with you and we think some things that you like in your comic simply don't work.
I'll repeat again: I have changed/edited/added/removed entire characters and entire chapters based on editor feedback.

Our opinion is inherrently subjective, but to act as if it is trivial or not based on having paid attention is quite wrong.
You throw up strawman arguments and repeat misinformed statements, and you expect me to take you seriously, as in changing my comics based on your opinions? Shirley you can't be serious.

If people read your comic and come away with the wrong conclusions, it seems weird that you blame the reader for not appreciating it, rather then your comic for failing to convey its message to us effectively.
And yet, many people (my editors and my readers) had no trouble understanding my message, including all the other plot elements that you and Luck failed to understand.

I don't automatically discount you because you disagree with me; in the past I had shown that I'm receptive to plot changes. I discount your opinions because they have not been presented credibly and objectively.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 2:19PM, May 29, 2010
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Wait…you are trying to enlighten US?
I think you've started to lose track of how this review process works!
I don't want to be rude, but you are coming across as kinda arrogant now mlai.
You have treated every criticism of your comic as entirely invalid and are not even open to the possibility that some elements of your comic don't work and now you are saying that the people you asked to review your comic are not open minded as you try to enlighten them on how to do reviews properly?
I really think this conversation has started to descend into farce.
So good luck with your comic. If your readers like it and you are happy with it, that's great. I wish you good luck with it , but I am not going to keep this conversation going any longer because its no longer serving any purpose.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
demontales at 1:47PM, May 31, 2010
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Putting the word editors in won't make you seem more important, just make you look like you want to look like it… I'm also starting to wonder why you wanted to be reviewed if you have such a low vision of Hark and Kev's work.

I must admit I haven't read the comic yet, so I can't say anything about the subject, and I am aware that I may seem here just to put fire on the debate, but I can't stay silent when I hear people say things like.

Mlai
But on that token, I am free to discount it completely, even after I enjoyed the joking.

No, they're opinion isn't subjective, as won't be mine after I read your comic(which still feels like a good one after all these critics, just didn't have the time to read it). Your opinion and those of your editors won't be either.

I understand that you have your reasons to place their ideas and opinions higher and to think they are more valid, but disclosing completely others doesn't seem so clever to me. Even though you don't target a mainstream audience, and most of your readership usually understands what's going on, there are always gonna be people not understanding, faithfull readers or newcomers. And if someone points out that something is hard to understand , whoeveer he/she is, especially in drawing, well it means other will too. And you can't simply say something around “well these guys understand, you just have to be brighter”. If you continue to think the reader is at fault, you won't improve, and keep narrowing your audience.

Well, Mlai, if you get to the end of this message, my point here was mostly to make you understand some points that made your argument hard to agree with. If you want to argue on that, fine, but since I know I may be only putting fire on the problems, I'm gonna go start to read FIGHT and FIGHT2 and possibly come back if I have other points to add more precisely on the subject.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
Salsa at 1:12PM, June 5, 2010
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I haven't read every post in this thread, but it seems that the main two points that keep cropping up are the pacing and the scene where the guy with the cybernetic arm is removing the girl's pants. I really can't say much on the pacing. I will however say that the scene that has everyone squicked out didn't come off that way to me until Hark mentioned it in the review. Yes, I agree with Mlai that this helped establish Nuada as an anti-hero, but Hark's comment made me think about how this could have been done differently. One, if Chase had been hit in a major artery, then the fastest way to get to the wound would have been to make the entry hol for the bullet bigger instead of having her pants removed. Two this wouldn't have lessened the impact that Nuada is not a hero. He's still doing something that could be seen as a prelude to rape, but you lose the squickiness of the way Mlai did it originally.

As for the characters, I know where Chase and the guy in the bear skin came from. Chase is Saber from Fate/Stay Night. She really is that unabashed in the anime. I never played the game it was based on though. The guy in the bear skin is a villian from Trigun. He really is that axe-crazy.

sorry about the semi-necropost. I just thought I'd put my two cents in.


Edit: Mlai, dude. You volunteered to be reviewed. They gave you a pretty fair one in my opinion and saying that YOU'RE discounting it because it's subjective is probably on of the most arrogant jerkass moves you could pull. That's basically saying that because you don't agree with them that their opinin is invalid.
RAGE!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 2:28PM, June 8, 2010
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Salsa no need to apologise for posting. The whole concept of Necroposting seems ridiculous to me.
If you want to post your thoughts, you go for it! the age of a post means nothing to whether your reply is valid.

To be honest, the fact the characters are from other sources never really occurred to me as I read it. I didn't recognise them, so it wasn't a factor. If I had recognised them, I probably would have held that against the comic more, as using someone else's characters is pretty derivative.

One thing I have started to wonder….if the character's arms were so numb he could not use them to remove her trousers…how could he use them to heal her once he got her trousers off?
What the hell did he actually do to help her after all the sweating and grunting? I guess he put on he bandage with his teeth after sucking out the bullet.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
demontales at 5:11PM, June 8, 2010
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Since I finally got to read it after that angry posy I did, I can comment on the comic itself.

I agree with most people about the art, although I don't think the problem is necessarily too much details, but not enough contrast to distinguish the main elements in all these details.

I was lost at the beginning because I had totally no idea of what/who/when/how but after a while I didn't mind anymore because the action scenes were good. The way the girl from the other time speaks didn't bother me at all in the beginning, but more it went, more it started to bug me. However, this might be because I found it harder to understand. In general, I think this is a good comic, the only big thing that I didn't like is that it jumps from an atmosphere to another without warning. When one guy appear of nowhere and starts a fight, it's ok. But it kept happening, and then all of a sudden all was solve and the “heroes” are alone again. Maybe it's just my attention that wasn't always all there, but it seemed like that to me.

About the two polemics:

The fact that he tried to take off her pants with his mouth didn't bother me, the fact that it didn't seem possible bothered me. I'm sure he would have done better with his foot if he is a little flexible, but I'm not 100% sure there. With his teeth, he could probably only drag the body with him.

And for the “monthly” bleeding, I didn't care much, except that at the beginning I thought she was having her period and thinking that he just put his face there, which I didn't really want to think about. But other than that, I don't think it was a problem.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
mlai at 8:23PM, Oct. 6, 2010
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Ha ha, see HArk the prob with necroposting is the other participants may not read your reply. But whatev, I'll reply.

@ Demontales:

>> I'm also starting to wonder why you wanted to be reviewed if you have such a low vision of Hark and Kev's work.

I share something with a lot of arrogant artists: I like arguing ceaselessly about my work. If you think constant humility is a requisite for online authors, then you won't like me much.

It's not that I'm haughty all the time. It's just that in certain situations it comes out.

My impression of their critique is that their POV is narrower than those of most ppl, to the point where I have very little need to consider their POV. Very little, but not none.

For this case, what Hark has succeeded in doing is inspiring me to add another editor to F2, who happens to be a Bible Belt Christian American (but with a progressive mindset which I also admire to be critical).

>> disclosing completely others doesn't seem so clever to me.

In the past I have acted on criticisms from editors and readers in order to improve my comics, changing my script or the pages. My attitude toward Hark and IFDTS is individual-specific.

>> but not enough contrast to distinguish the main elements in all these details.

Yep I agree. As I get more comfortable with my new CG techniques, I'm going to address that.

>> The fact that he tried to take off her pants with his mouth didn't bother me, the fact that it didn't seem possible bothered me.

That I blame on the art not being clear. He needed 2 hands to pull them down, so he was using his teeth as the “other hand”. That's all he could come up with at that moment.

Thanks for reading!

@ Salsa:

Yes, I agree that is an equally valid way of doing the chapter, which would also be less icky to certain readers. But…

Character = Nuada isn't only “not a hero.” He's also a guy who does harbor “sinful thoughts” towards Chase. Which is why it subconsciously comes out in these under-stress actions. This is not a normally decent guy suddenly performing some out-of-character fanservice device. Rather this is part of his character, even if his conscious intentions are good.

I think this aspect gets lost because ppl see this and automatically assume it is out-of-character fanservice, because most out-of-character fanservice is like this.

Story = I knew this was close to hentai story elements when I drew it, but I felt that the alternative is worse: A standard field-medic scene which the readers are numb to. I don't want a “Oh ho hum, ofc the main hero won't die… I'll just mindlessly keep reading…”

I felt it better to insert something which causes ppl to have a reaction, whether it's “WTF yuck, hah I gotta see what happens next” or “LOL cool, hah I gotta see what happens next.”

Ofc there would be the ppl who go “WTF yuck, oh my immersion is so shattered, this comic isn't for me.” But I weighed the risks.

And lastly, 1 of my editors put it well. He said that this device has put a very weird sexual tension betw the 2 characters, for the readers. Now, when the readers see these two characters together, they can't *not* think of that controversial scene. It will be ever-present in their minds.

Basically, the ickiness contributes to the entire story afterwards. For the price of turning off a few readers.

>> I never played the game it was based on though.
Me neither. I did read the translated text files. It really is a great novel. I wish there would be a Western-audience-attuned live-action miniseries based on this novel; it'd be like a combination of Ghost, Time After Time, (dare I say it) Harry Potter, and Highlander.

That story could *really* sell in the Western audience as long as it's tweaked to cater to them. For example, get rid of the high school setting. That isn't important even in the original story.

Thanks for reading!

@ Hark:

>> If I had recognised them, I probably would have held that against the comic more, as using someone else's characters is pretty derivative.

One thing I have started to wonder….if the character's arms were so numb he could not use them to remove her trousers…how could he use them to heal her once he got her trousers off?
What the hell did he actually do to help her after all the sweating and grunting? I guess he put on he bandage with his teeth after sucking out the bullet.


And then you lament on how narrow-minded I am about you? Your reek of bias just like this.

Secondly it has always seemed as if you read every other page of my comic and then gave it a review. And I should value that opinion more than my editors'?

(1) Anyone who automatically assumes “using someone else's characters is derivative” is not my audience. Wow I guess Neil Gaiman is an unoriginal twit when he made League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which btw published way after I started Fight. He's writing about characters fleshed out by other authors, so lazy!

(2) Nuada reassembled his arm AFTER he pulled off her pants and realized that he can't treat her by normal first aid methods. The scene where he overcame his own fears in order to reassemble his arm took 2 pages.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 5:28AM, Dec. 15, 2010
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mlai, as I mentioned, I dont care about necroposting, but I dont know why you would want to reopen the debate.
You've made it pretty clear that you don't see anything wrong or mishandled in the sequences we didn't like, and you are increasingly dismissing all criticisms as coming from people who are too bias or from a narrow point of view.
I dont think there is any arguement that can be put to you at this point that you will even take seriously, let alone one that would change your mind.

If you are confident that your comic is working great just as it is, then more power to you I say! I don't get a comission if you listen to me.
You've got awesome editors who are really smart and give great addvice? Cool, you listen to them.
I get the impression you like your “editors” because they agree with you, but I am mainly basing that on how hostile you are to disenting views.

Its just starting to seem pointless to go back and forth when you aren't really interested in what you are being told anymore.

But I didn't enjoy the comic at all.
Offensive content or not…it is just really, really boring!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM

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