Reviews

Lugnor review
Genejoke at 12:34AM, Sept. 14, 2011
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We were harsh on this, no two ways about it.  As you may have seen from our posts we feel a little ambililant about that.  We feel Jerrie absolutely no ill will, he has coimmented on both our comics and always seem to be a really nice guy.  
The review came out pretty harsh in the end but it wasn't all bad, the action sequences are pretty cool, sure a little mindless but that is all down to personal taste.  I like mindless action :)
For me the main points are-
The art is unappealing, even though I can see some talent it doesn't work for me. It does somethings well though.  Jerrie doesn't shy away from tricky shots.  The colours are a little bright for my tastes. 
The concept is absolutley fine.
The characters are a bit bland and as Carmen points out in the review they often act more like teenage boys than women.
Advice.
Work more technically, use perspective lines/grids for backgrounds and cars or spaceships.
http://www.draw23.com/perspective
Work on anatomy, draw lots of female nudes, hard work I know :)  use a lot of references be they direct or female wrestlers.  I started with 3d art by downloading daz 3d for reference purposes, I just got carried away.
Do some pin ups of your characters, take your time and make them as good as you can.  then try to bring the whole comic up to that standard.
http://www.draw23.com/drawing-figure
last edited on Sept. 15, 2011 1:21AM
El Cid at 7:29AM, Sept. 15, 2011
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It's always tough doing a review like this. But if you just tell everybody “Hey, your comic's great! Keep doing what you're doing and have fun!” then there's really no point in doing a review in the first place. I hope Jerrie's not all pissed about it, but I sort of feel the same way as when we did that Crossing Death review. If you submit a comic for review, then you must be looking for some serious feedback, and that's what we gave. I think it might've looked like you and me were ganging up on him more than we were though, because I took most of our positive comments and gave them to Sparkles just because we didn't have all that much input from that end. That might've been a mistake.
 
I agree with you about the pinups. Probably the best way to learn the female form for something like this would be to look up some images of wrestling hotties (Trish Stratus comes immediately to mind) and try to draw your own version. But really, the art issues with this comic go way beyond just figure drawing. The perspective issues, the weak airbrushed single-tone highlights, the panel composition, the speech balloons… the list goes on. If Jerrie is interested in seriously improving his art skills and producing a visually appealing comic, I'd recommend professional art classes, like at an art school someplace, starting with the absolute basics. That is a big IF however, because he more or less draws these comics just for fun and may not be interested in making that kind of investment.
 
I don't really have much in the way of sweeping suggestions or advice. My impression is that Jerrie is more or less happy with his artwork. When someone is happy with what they're doing, they tend to not be interested in changing, so there's no point beating that dead horse any more. The only think I can think that might be improved is maybe injecting some more humor into the comic, and maybe going a bit further with the zaniness factor. If these comics were like way over-the-top sci-fi spoofsville, then people would be more receptive to them. I think they kind of walk a middle road between extremely out-there sci-fantasy and a grittier type of pulp sci-fi, but you might do better to just commit to one or the other.
 
Pros
 
You do go in-depth with the characters' backstories, which is good. In and of itself, that's not a substitute for real characterization, but you do a pretty good job of fleshing some of the characters out early in Tales of Lugnor. The characters in Lugnor Riders are a different story though (more of that in the cons section)!
 
I think the action sequences are well done, and pretty intense. This is your strong point and what really makes your comics worth following imo.
 
Cons
 
The art. I'll just leave it at that.
 
The characters, even the more well-developed ones, are basically cardboard cutout character types. They don't do much that surprises the reader, because they're not complex. I can't think of any of these characters outside the context of their function in the story. That's a bad thing. Especially in Lugnor Riders, the characters become single-minded brutes, and you've got your typical freeboter-type protagonist on a mission she's not really invested in… and it becomes difficult for the reader to get invested emotionally as well. I can see, at least, that you somehow instinctively sensed this, which is why the plot centers around rescuing an innocent girl, which is supposed to be one of those “Easy Street” ways to tug at the reader's heartstrings, but since we never get to know this girl beforehand, it doesn't work at all and comes off as a cheap plot device.
 
There's not nearly as much of a sense of fun about these comics as there should be. This is sort of an intangible, but it's definitely there. I think the comic could very much benefit from taking itself less seriously.
 
Um, I wanted to write more, but this has actually taken a bit longer than I thought it would and I gotta run. But, well, that's good for a start, at least!
Genejoke at 11:05AM, Sept. 15, 2011
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With the art even though it is being done for fun and even if he is happy with it, I can guarantee he would be happier when he noticed his level of improvement.  Personally I find the best way to improve but not sacrifice output is to pick one thing to improve at a time and work it, before long maintain that standard is easy as it becomes your… uh  standard.
Taking things back to basics and starting over sounds harsh but it can be good for getting rid of bad habits. 
shastab24 at 9:54PM, Sept. 15, 2011
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posts: 283
joined: 12-20-2007
I may have been soft on the comic because my only other review was Galzon, which I patently did not like yet still found some good things to say.  However, I am not used to webcomic art being very good (I tend to read comics with good art, but have learned to try and see the story and judge from there), so the art wasn't horrible to me.  If this were a printed comic, I would be more harsh, however.  Jerrie can improve, and I see how he can, but that's exactly what one can do on the web.
 
The story may have been a bit juvenile, but again, I was coming off reviewing Galzon.  Also, it seems like a pulpy story and works in that vein.  Granted, I will not favorite this comic, but that's in part because it's not long-term a story which will bring me back.  It's in part because I like superheroes (and despite one character having super powers, I don't call this a superhero comic) but also because it was just… a little off to me.
 
Improvements can definitely be made in the lettering.  Whole pages are illegible, and I may have missed important points in them.  A standard font and size should be used throughout (with exceptions only being made in rare circumstances) and it would be good to go back and post something at the bottom of the problematic hand-written ones saying what was said (or a complete re-letter, which can be difficult by the nature of the lettering on those pages).  As well, I am disappointed that the only LGBT characters are villains.  They seem to be there for fanservice oner anything else and, while I know that a pulpy style loves action and tittilation, it would be nice to flesh out the villains beyond “they kiss so they must be in love”.  A great villain is one with layers.
 
 
 
My initial submission to the review also included my character Just Plum Awesome and I know why he was not in the actual review, I miss his inclusion, because I think he could have worked as a fun counterpart with the frat-boy attitude of “ooh, there's blood and boobs and girls kissing–what's not to like?” which, while not my own mentality, would have maybe helped balance the review between positive and negative feedback (and kept Sparkle from seeming oddly out of the fold).  But I look forward to reviewing more (and will weigh pros and cons more heavily next time).
jerrie at 12:21AM, Sept. 16, 2011
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I know the art isn't the greatest, but I thought that maybe there would be something that you would like.my action scenes are brain dead?The dialouge is inane?all the women act like teenage boys?I only have one female character that acted like a teenage guy(at least i THOUGHT i did) and I made her that way on purpose, as a character flaw i wanted to explore with her later in the series.i guess i wasn't expecting you to hate everything in the comic. i was hoping you might find something in it enjoyable…i thought at least El Cid would, cause i notice he reads it. I kind of thought he didn't like the art, but maybe he liked the story or characters or something. wow I wasn't prepared at all for this.I guess i really shouldn't complain about the review. your entilted to your opinion. I know more than anybody i'm not a good artist. But i was hoping at least there was some good story.
Genejoke at 12:26AM, Sept. 16, 2011
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We did play with the idea of including other characters but it would have gotten too crowded.  in retrospect we could have made this a longer review and covered more of the positives.
It is hard with webcomics as you don't have to hold them to a proffesional standard but at the same time you need to cater for what people will find appealling.  Some readers do hold webcomics up to a proffesional standard and I feel sorry for them as they miss some absolute gems. 
Genejoke at 12:44AM, Sept. 16, 2011
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I like the “brain dead” action, is there any other kind?
As to the rest of your comment, I think we must have come across too harsh. 
Art wise you have some talent that is clear, it just needs developing.
Character and story wise there are things to like, I quite like the setting and the story is okay but not enough to draw me in fully.  I wanted to like it more than I actually did.  With the characters i never really felt much attachment to them.  
It's all close but no cigar for me.  Even so I have decided to favourote them and to see how you get on.
And in regards to action sequences, El cid did have this to say, you may have missed it.  
I think the action sequences are well done, and pretty intense. This is your strong point and what really makes your comics worth following imo. 
El Cid at 6:58AM, Sept. 16, 2011
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@Jerrie:
 
Just to be clear, “we” didn't hate EVERYTHING in your comic. When I wrote the review (and you can blame much of the final dialogue on me, because I finalized it), I tried to give each character his or her own voice. The review was mostly critical, but not entirely. Sparkles loved your comic. Dan was disappointed in it, and wanted to use his limited time in the review to address areas where you can improve. Carmen hates your comic, like with the burning intensity of a thousand suns. I tried to incorporate that in how I wrote the review.
 
A lot can get lost in translation with a review like this. First of all, you shouldn't associate the characters too closely with their respective creators. All three of us, Genejoke, Shasta, and I, had our say about the comic, and then I took all of the discussion notes and shuffled it together into something that sounds like a real dialogue between opinionated people. Most of the positive comments got given to Sparkles, because Shasta was overall very positive on your comic, but some of that stuff actually came from Genejoke and I. We made a concerted decision that our characters would be the more critical of the three, even though it might slightly skew the opinions of the creators themselves. I also think I might have given some of my lines to Genejoke's character, and Carmen may have used some of Genejoke's. I say “might,” because my organizational skills are terrible.
 
Also, I tried where possible to keep the reviewers in character (sorry, I couldn't find a reference for Sparkles' personality), and Carmen tends not to mince words. I also figured she would probably hate your comic a lot more than I do, because let's face it, it's not a chick comic and that's something that needs to be represented in the review. You'll notice, from the author's comments (which I wrote), and from my comments here that I very much like the action sequences in your comics, and Carmen even admits that they're pretty rad, but then she ties it back in with the fact that it just adds to her impression that the comic is not very cerebral. Which it isn't, and it's not supposed to be. But that's important to her. Um, that may or may not make “normal person” sense, but it makes sense to me. I have a very shambolic writing process.
 
Sorry if the review left you with a bad taste in your mouth. It's not our intention to offend, but a review has to be critical and honest, or else it's of absolutely no use to the artist or to potential readers, and it discredits the reviewers as well. I think Genejoke might be right that we should have maybe stretched it out a bit longer and found a way to pad the review with more praise. But honestly, I think it was a fairly accurate representation of the discussion notes, which were about two-thirds critical and a third positive.
jerrie at 8:39AM, Sept. 16, 2011
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posts: 25
joined: 7-14-2007
Honest opinions is what i was looking for. Thanks for giving me your review. I love the comics you do, and i was very interested in what your opinion was about mine. What i need to be doing is thanking you guys for taking the time to read it and comment, and not complaining. It was really cool seeing Carmen as one of the reviewers.If you're not honest about how you feel, the review is no good.

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