Reviews

Without Moonlight review
Genejoke at 1:41PM, Nov. 8, 2011
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We mostly liked it but it did get a fair bit of criticism, do you agree?  Spout off.
Genejoke at 7:16AM, Nov. 9, 2011
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In regards to the dialogue Tantz had this to say.
I think the dialogue issue stems from the fact that they speak like Greeks (rather than Americans or British) culturally/syntax wise. It can make the whole feel awkward but I want to convey the feel of Greek speech- they speak bluntly, there are dramatic peaks, and they absolutely blab :P The brit types will sound completely different and so will the non-mook nazis and germans :) 
Also I should mention that I did cut some of my praise of the art, mostly about the backgrounds and how it really conveyed the feel of greece… then it occurred to me I've never been to greece and it seemed stupid. But it looks right based on pictures, films I have seen and time spent in turkey, which isn't THAT far away.  
Tantz Aerine at 7:25AM, Nov. 9, 2011
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You should have more faith in not being attacked for praising people :P 
 
usedbooks at 8:02AM, Nov. 9, 2011
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I just want to say something in regards to the characterizations of the antagonists. It occurred to me as well that it could feel like stereotyping in the few scenes we've seen of some of the nazis, but the fact is there really are SOME people who think like that. And if this was not a historically set comic with references to real factions, we would not view the parts necessarily as representatives of a whole but rather as individual “bad guys” with their own warped views of the world.

I believe the story is not into its true meat yet. There are already some hints of the variety of different personalities (some deeper and more sympathetic) on the opposition. I don't believe it is necessarily written as an us vs them homogenized enemy and heterogenized ally kind of story. I just have the feeling that the character development on both sides is still in very early stages. It's hard to have the same kinds of bad guys and good guys in a historical work as one would have in complete fiction without having such critical analysis of the portrayal – not of characters but of GROUPS of people. I wouldn't dare attempt such a story myself.

But I know Tantz is well-researched and adept at character development, so I'm anxious to see how the cast develops on both/all sides. We have barely even met the main antagonist yet (if we have at all… I think we have) or seen the almost inevitable weak links or even traitors among the protagonists. I'm anticipating quite a lot of all of that, being acquainted with Tantz's style. Until then, I'm willing to accept characters as individuals instead of representatives of entire groups or nations. (If it does turn out to be just one long, bitter political rant, I'll be disappointed.)
Genejoke at 8:05AM, Nov. 9, 2011
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hah, yeah being negative is often easier.
The dialogue issue needed mentioning as you have given a good reason for it.  people can argue about realism versus readability all they like but you made a decision as an author and seem to stand by it.
Genejoke at 8:09AM, Nov. 9, 2011
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 It occurred to me as well that it could feel like stereotyping in the few scenes we've seen of some of the nazis, but the fact is there really are SOME people who think like that.
Well said, I was trying to work out how to out that point across but you've done it better.  I think it is sometimes hard to believe that people can be sucked in by  such logic but it happens all the time everywhere.
Tantz Aerine at 8:24AM, Nov. 9, 2011
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Used Books: Yes, you are very right- the story is not into its ‘meat’ yet. Basically up to capter 3 we are still just setting up the stakes and nothing more. 

Also- NO character in the comic is a representative of groups of people, let alone whole ethnic groups. But they are representatives of types of personalities and an average of people's behavior as historically accounted for. 

Yes, there are about two or three main villains, and several antagonists (we have barely met any resistance people and none of the nazis/germans) and believe me we have already met one of them. It's just a villain that knows how to hide very well. 

Genejoke: eh, my decision as author is not that devastating- the readability I think is fine. It just doesn't feel normal native speaker interaction, because it isn't it's greek speaker interaction ;) 

I again have to repeat- I have been very careful in depicting Nazi policies and behaviors, and kept it strictly historically substantiated (across historians, greek and non greek alike) as average, regular and not exceptional or singular. 

But I have to ask- what do you think the political angle is on this comic? >:)
 
last edited on Nov. 9, 2011 8:26AM
Abt_Nihil at 11:19AM, Nov. 9, 2011
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I have to say, I'm not satisfied with this review at all. I've been reading Without Moonlight, as well as the (prose) short stories Tantz posted on her dA site, and if there’s one thing I can say about her, it’s that she’s an excellent storyteller. But that aspect was never even mentioned; instead, the review consisted mainly of dealing with (debatable) stand-alone issues. In my opinion, talking about anatomy, angles and wording as stand-alone issues, instead of how they serve the storytelling, indicates a grave misunderstanding of what comics are or should be. I have found that her art choices support the way she tells her story, and in a much better way than many comparable comics. If you look at other comics with, say better anatomy, you will still find that most aren’t as efficient in using their means to tell their story.

NickyP's generally favorable points seemed to mostly be justified by the fact that he has personal ties to the story’s historical and geographical setting. That's interesting, but I’d have expected this review to additionally present some reasons why someone who doesn’t share these personal reasons might still like the comic. Basically, the only one who offered objective critique was Mike, and I disagreed with him for the most part. I think Genejoke shouldn’t just have lessened the impact of some of Mike's points, but actually countered them. It's not that I’m not okay with Mike speaking his opinion. It’s that there were two reviewers who liked the comic better, but didn't defend it as efficiently as Mike attacked it. For me, that made the whole review pretty jarring to read.

As for some specific points:

As usedbooks has pointed out, and as Tantz conceded, the story is still in the early stages, and I always took the lack of character development as a promise of what's to come.

Her art is more on the cartoony side, and thus sacrifices realistic anatomy for energy and expression. There's nothing wrong with that. While it is true that, as an artist, knowing anatomy well is better than not knowing it well, there's no need for a comic to be anatomically correct per se. I appreciate her character art, and her backgrounds are simply gorgeous.

I didn't perceive her dialogue as lacking at all. If I understood correctly, Mike’s point was that it was somehow stilted or unnatural…? He didn’t give examples, so all I can say is that Tantz’s wording is precise and her vocabulary extensive. Obviously, the more precise and “academic” your language gets, the more stilted it might seem… I’d have to reread the comic to say more about that; all I can say for now is the dialogue didn’t bother me when I first read it.

The “color-coding” is a more or less idiosyncratic convention of this comic, and I believe the author is justified in requiring the reader to get acquainted with a convention like this one. Any reader, in turn, is free to not want to get acquainted with it :p Reading a comic for a review is different from reading it for one’s enjoyment, so I can understand why you'd want to save yourself some effort, but personally, I do respect works that ask a bit more from their reader. And, well, minding color-coding dialogue isn't that much to ask!

I afford myself the luxury of not adding anything substantial to the discussion about how the Nazis are depicted. I guess it’s not required of every lowly Nazi soldier to share the Nazi ideology, but you shouldn't be surprised if some of them actually do, right?

Apart from his specific reasons, I found Mike's review to be unnecessarily derogatory. No matter whether you like what Tantz does or not, I don't see why anything she does should be called “absolutely terrible” or “hideous”. And I didn't feel like his advising her to take a creative writing course was in particularly good spirits either. I'm not familiar with his work, but judging from his attitude, I'd expect his comic to read like a collaboration between Shakespeare and Leonardo Da Vinci.
last edited on Nov. 9, 2011 12:47PM
Genejoke at 12:41PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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A lot to reply to there, I'm not in a position to address it all right now but the failings on this review are mine.  Many things I missed out or took as a given, a lot of the story telling elements are excellent, or seem to be as the story hasn't gotten that far over all.  Mikes comment about the opening is mostly valid, I disagreed about the dialogue ruining it but didn't expand on the good points.  I also could have asked NickyP to elaborate on some of his positives as well as adding more of my own.
In regards to dialogue (again)
 I can say is that Tantz’s wording is precise and her vocabulary extensive. Obviously, the more precise and “academic” your language gets, the more stilted it might seem
While I appreciate what you are saying I disagree that it doesn't affect the dialogue, but it is minor little things.  For me the issue comes from a combination of factors that make it harder to read.  the font, the transparency of the bubbles and so on.    
Art.  Look at the seconf post about something I cut from the review.  Beyond that, yes the slightly cartoony style doesn't require perfect anatomy.  However there are some panels where it stands out.  It doesn't ruin the comic but I think we would have failed if we didn't mention it.  I quite like the art but the whole thing could look a little sharper.  Black line art would help.  compare these.




BR is much clearer in both line art and text and it makes it an easier read.
Abt_Nihil at 12:59PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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Yeah, I see your point, and I do agree on that one. I think it's a matter of contrast, and darker lineart is one way to solve it. But I also think that Tantz doesn't work with different degrees of saturation as much as she could. So the backgrounds are often similarly saturated as the foregrounds. It would be interesting to see her increase the contrast between foregrounds and backgrounds by working more with light/dark and saturation.
Tantz Aerine at 1:28PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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I have to say something here- the first chapter's first pages do have lineart that could be (and should be) in higher contrast. At the time for various reasons I didn't see it. If you compare the latest pages (from chapter two) you will see the lineart is almost black.
 
I can't help though thinking that probably the whole development of my style, and how it gets better over practice, wasn't even considered. This style I am using for WM is something I'm developing and improving over time. But yet you kept focusing on my initial flaws rather than the tangent of my improvement of my technique.

I definitely have begun altering the background-foreground saturation, playing to get it to where I actually like it and, in the same time, to avoid having my characters look like they are cut outs on a watercolor painting… but now I wonder if anyone took the time to check. Also- on the transparency of the bubbles: the later ones are nearly 100% opaque (I use a 97% opaque layer) - thus that problem has been corrected ALREADY. Why wasn't that even taken into consideration?   

I will go to the extreme here and say that if you look at Herge's art when he began to write Tintin to when he perfected it several years later, reviewing Tintin and trashing his early inking, anatomy or figures would be a …moot point. I am definitely not Herge, but in the same token it would have been nice to see an appreciation of my effort to self improve rather than have errors I'm already working on or have corrected be griped at so much.
But hey, it makes for good drama after all ;) 
 
last edited on Nov. 9, 2011 2:16PM
Genejoke at 2:36PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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Yes the speech bubble thing is fixed. somehow I didn't really notice it though.
The improvements have been on going but there hasn't been any massive jump in quality just a steady improvement, the mark of a fairly developed artist.  Worth noting, yes.
It's also worth mentioning that som of the action is done very well.  This springs to mind.
Tantz Aerine at 2:57PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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You say that about the steady improvement like it's a bad thing- but thank you. :) 
I can't help though be a tad more griping and say too bad nobody who doesn't bother reading this forum will see these notable comments on my work XD Man, was this review …unfortunate. :P
 
Genejoke at 3:02PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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Not a bad thing at all just less obvious.
Tantz Aerine at 3:06PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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You missed my actual point but I won't press it any longer, it's not an important thing, this whole review isssue, after all.
 
NickyP at 5:56PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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I admit that I do have somewhat of an ethnic bias in this review, and Abt Nihil's criticisms are very valid. The point I was trying to convey (but I guess failed to) was how faithful the comic stayed to history. There were a good number of pages that made me stop reading and say, “hey, my grandpa told me about that!” Or, “wow, my grandmothers classmate told me she did the same thing when she was a kid!” And again, while it may be a sign of bias, those points really stood out for me. Every good story, comic or otherwise, has a way of sucking you into its' world once you relate to it. If anything I was just sucked in before everyone else, simply because I have personal experience with the story.
 
TL;DR: Even if I weren't “biased” to the story, I still enjoyed it. I related to the characters, the drama is gripping and real, and the coloring/shading fits the time period. Speaking as a non-artist, law major layman, I think it's a good comic. 
last edited on Nov. 9, 2011 5:58PM
El Cid at 6:41PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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Sorry for being so late to the party, but I still think the characterization was very much unnecessarily grotesque. Yes, I know, it's entirely possible that you could just happen to run into one of the few retards who truly does eat, breathe, and crap Nazi propaganda all day. Sure. But since this is fiction, and as an author you have complete control over the story, it was the AUTHOR'S DECISION to put that character there, and put those thoughts in his head, shortly after the Nazis are shown torturing a young Greek boy. I'm sorry, but you don't get to just shrug and say “golly gee that's just how the story fell together.” Those were the author's creative decisions, and she's welcome to them, but she needs to own up to them. This comic dehumanizes the Nazis in exactly the same way that Nazi propaganda dehumanized people, and while that may give some readers a giddy sense of cosmic justice, it's not intellectually interesting or particularly thoughtful writing.
 
Where Tantz gets into trouble, I think, is where she uses a thought bubble instead of having the character say those insipid things. Like, I could believe somebody saying those lines, because people say some stupid things for all types of stupid reasons. But when you invade a character's mind, and put words into their head, it's something else entirely and you are making a very specific statement about that character as a person (and yes, by association it does reflect on the other Nazi soldiers as well, and Tantz is smart enough to know that). And no, I don't need to read any SS pamphlets to understand how people thought back then. People thought back then the same way they do now, and the same way they did a thousand years ago, and the same way they did as cavemen. The characterization doesn't work for any living human being, only a cartoon villain. And likewise, the Nazis themselves were not terribly unique compared to any of the other countless marauding hordes throughout history and across the continents, including Greece. So sorry, but I don't buy that this is a special case where one-dimensional cartoon villain characterizations are somehow accurate, even though I know it's very much in vogue to think such about history's latest group of “safe” pariahs. Unfortunately, when you take the easy route like this, it doesn't do justice to the source material and weakens the comic overall.
 
And by all means, I'm not saying you can't put truly wretched characters in a story. You just have to have a better motivation for them being that way than “that's just how those people are,” which is a cop out. A prime example of doing it right, I think, would be the character Amon Göth from Schindler's List. Sure, he was a monster in all kinds of ways, but it was pretty clear he was a severely damaged human being, and if he weren't wearing an SS uniform, he'd probably be off torturing kittens somewhere. The man is so psychologically broken that you almost feel sorry for him at times, though like any rabid dog he does ultimately need to be put down. But the point is, despite the truly horrific acts he commits, you appreciate him as a human being, albeit a rotten one through and through.
last edited on Nov. 9, 2011 6:43PM
El Cid at 6:49PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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@Tantz Aerien: Also, I don't think the review was unfortunate; you got some constructive feedback from readers, which you're free to apply or disregard, along with some extra publicity. It was a win-win for you, so cheer up!
Tantz Aerine at 7:21PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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El Cid: Whoa… 
Ok let's back up a second and calm down. First off, I have actually heard first person accounts depicting this very scene. Nazi soldiers asked why they did what they did simply saidthat was their personal belief. Unfortunately that personal belief does manifest into thought, I don't understand why you find this a caricatured one-dimensional version of anything. The nazi is not a real person because he thinks the way he does? I actually know why he's motivatedto think the way he does- and I know his backstory. Actually the particular guy is one of the milder nazi types, since he actually does NOT harm the kid nor is he particularly interested in being sadistic or bloodthirsty to her. He even letsher banter with him. There's nothing there making him anything else than a racist regurgitating propaganda in his head.

Frankly I can't but think you have some sort of personal issue about this that bothers you. Saying something is entirely different from thinking something, and actually DOING what you say you or what you think you'd like to do are entirely different, RADICALLY different things. You are very aghasst of my maltreatment of the smoking nazi because I allow his thoughts to be visible and you accuse me of cartooning an entire group when actually objectively the guy is not behaving in any glaringly inhumane way. He's simply guarding a truck and if he was really applying the propaganda he is thinking, he'd have made a far better job of guarding the truck rather than pausing to mess with the little native kid.

What I don't understand is why you don't seem to take into account the OTHER nazi in the block that actually DISOBEYED A VALID ORDER to kill everything running and actually opted not to shoot a kid- a greek kid he's been told is vermin by the way? Why is that not balancing in your book, when actually he could be far more penalized by his superiors for his actions? Or alternatively, if he feels safe he won't be penalized for not shooting a kid, why doesn't that make you think that nazi officers are fine with not shooting kids when issuing orders of ‘kill anyone trying to escape’? Just saying.

Also, you think I make an us and them setting? There is a greek collaborator- no, TWO, already presented, who callusly and coldly in pure nazi manner kill their own compatriots; at least the nazis are belligerent to an entirely different nation. Why do you not think this perhaps ‘reflects’ and colors the greeks too?

I am smart enough to know what I am doing, and that this is a tender matter for all europeans at least- and I do expect my readers to be smart enough to know that when a character is presented, he reflects of course propaganda he's saturated in, but he also reflects his own personality. Just like when my German good guy characters hit the scene (who are pretty patriotic themselves), they will be reflecting their personality and their acculturation, rather than coloring an entire group- all the while wearing the nazi uniform.

The way I see it, is that for some reason you took that particular thought bubble too personally, and went blind to all the rest of the canvas I have been painting. I can't help that of course. But it is quite untrue to claim that I treated the nazis as especially bloodthirsty (and stupid- they are not stupid, by the way, they are just not used yet to considering kids as threats) when actually the bad guys with the most on-stage kills (induced and encouraged) are greek collaborators. 
 
last edited on Nov. 9, 2011 7:43PM
Tantz Aerine at 7:33PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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El Cid wrote:
@Tantz Aerien: Also, I don't think the review was unfortunate; you got some constructive feedback from readers, which you're free to apply or disregard, along with some extra publicity. It was a win-win for you, so cheer up!
Well, obviously what I think constitutes a review (and I have reviewed for Lite Bites and other sites) and what you think constitutes a review are entirely different things. I love cool objectivity, and as such I felt I should point out that this review (as opposedto others) unfortunately needs more work in my opinion to be considered ‘constructive’ or even ‘rounded’. 
But it was a win win of course- because I got this forum thread, and several insights I wouldn't have otherwise had. As for cheering up, I wasn't feeling blue. ;) 
 
Tantz Aerine at 7:50PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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Oh, as an afterthought, El Cid: You say in the opening scene there are nazis torturing a young greek boy. Why do you say that? I never show the torturer, and the font is blue- i.e. the torturer is speaking greek. 

Point is: You assume too much too soon. This IS a mystery espionage story.

Lastly: When introducing a setting, and before you can go into the important, branching off differences, you must set the setting. Like it or not, that was the setting back then. And while the Holy Inquisition was just as nazi, this is a historical story about WWII in Greece, and I have the footage and accounts to prove what I display is not my nefarious plan to badmouth the nazis or turn them into cartoon villains. I chose an average behavior of nazi footsoldier, complete with the thought process that was hammered in said footsoldier- and his motivationto think what he did when he did was, actually very human guilt: how else won't he feel bad about kicking away a bone thin kid? People need defense mechanisms to put up with orders and traumatic things they are orderedto be part of.

Now, how many nazi uniform-totting Germans actually step up to their ‘ideology’ is a matter we will see when REAL stakes actually hit the scene, and not the shooing of a runt that someone might even do as a prank.  
 
last edited on Nov. 9, 2011 8:02PM
El Cid at 8:18PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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Well, it's very good that you know the entire backstory of all your characters and that you understand exactly why they do what they do and think what they think, but your readers do not. And regardless of where you're lifting the account from, it didn't ring true for me, and should not require explanation beyond what's in the comic itself. And no, I don't have a “personal issue” about anything, but it is the first human interaction with the Nazi characters and it did color the way I viewed the rest of the comic. It struck me as very bad writing. That was, and remains, my personal impression. I don't think anyone is going to say it was particularly good writing, but apparently to you there was nothing wrong with it. *shrugs* Oh well. Your comic. You seem to have a lot of confidence in what you're doing, and of course no one but you knows where you're going with this, so my concerns may be completely unfounded.
El Cid at 8:28PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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Tantz Aerine wrote:
…Like it or not, that was the setting back then. And while the Holy Inquisition was just as nazi, this is a historical story about WWII in Greece, and I have the footage and accounts to prove what I display is not my nefarious plan to badmouth the nazis or turn them into cartoon villains.
 
You mean, you have footage of Nazi soldiers doing bad things to people? I don't believe you!
 
Seriously. I just don't think that “The Nazis are bad” is all that revolutionary of a message anymore. Call me jaded! I was hoping for something more than that!
 
Tantz Aerine wrote:
I chose an average behavior of nazi footsoldier, complete with the thought process that was hammered in said footsoldier- and his motivationto think what he did when he did was, actually very human guilt: how else won't he feel bad about kicking away a bone thin kid? People need defense mechanisms to put up with orders and traumatic things they are orderedto be part of.
 
My problem is, I don't believe people need any kind of special motivation or indoctrination to do that sort of thing, as they've been doing it since forever. If anything, I think it takes a good deal of social programming to make someone feel BAD about kicking away some bony kid! I think the idea that there was something especially wrong about X other group that enabled them to do such-and-such awful thing is mostly a defense mechanism people use to ignore the fact that they themselves are capable of doing the very same thing, and in most cases their ancestors have if you look back far enough.
Genejoke at 11:09PM, Nov. 9, 2011
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In regards to that scene with the indoctrinated Nazi and the cigarette, I think it would have worked better without some of the thought bubbles.  Less is more and all that.  That soldier is in it for no time at all and has very little bearing on the story as a whole.  Seeing him in uniform tells us nearly all we need to know, him laughing at the kids seeming stupidity would probably been enough without the thoughts about hitler being right and so on and so forth.
I think the idea that there was something especially wrong about X other group that enabled them to do such-and-such awful thing is mostly a defense mechanism people use to ignore the fact that they themselves are capable of doing the very same thing, and in most cases their ancestors have if you look back far enough.
 Yep, people are vicious dicks. 
Tantz, is there any criticism you think is valid?
last edited on Nov. 9, 2011 11:45PM
Tantz Aerine at 4:11AM, Nov. 10, 2011
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El Cid: Obviously you are missing the point- the particular thought process and behavior of the nazi fellow is, unfortunately, the documented average behavior of not only ‘dickish people’ but also ‘average people having joined or been raised within ranks of a certain positioning’ for that particular time period, and what may now look like badd writing to you at the time was considered a valid ideological and sociopolitical stance. For the whole ‘superior biology’ thing, the nazis even had ‘scientific’ proof to make their bigotry appear substantiated.
Therefore, what the guy is thinking there is actually (again: for that time period) the average thought process that he would have been raised to breathe, think, talk and all the other things you said. His thought process (for 1942) is not considered ‘much’ or ‘racist’ or even ‘unfounded’ according to assorted pro-nazi ‘experts’.

When I mentioned the Hitler Youth it wasn't idly or theoretically. If you didn't get drilled to think and talk FAR more than what that guy thinks and acts like, then you were whisked away as unpatriotic and a danger to Germany. So this guy (he's in his 20s) would have grown up with nazi rhetoric the way FYROM youth is raised to be fanatized about the Macedonian name issue and assorted arabian/eastern factions to think they are obliged bytheir religion to terror-bomb unsuspecting people in other countries. They are average people drilled into a certain very aggressive, very unelastic propaganda and script if you like, not monsters, and touching upon being brain washed.

You need further proof that the average common (NOT evil or monstrous) joe can end up being brutal, thinking brutal, and acting brutal without even realising it and without any ‘motivations’ or twisted childhood or certified mental pathology? Try reading about this experiment: The Stanford Prison Experiment I know it is disturbing but it explains how it is actually that the nazi guard thinks what he thinks. 

I am pretty confident in what I do, that's true. And actually, I could point out that presenting the average nazi behavior and thought in the first average nazi guard is the normal way to go because sheer probability says that you'd meet an average nazi and not a monster nor a saint. That's all.

Also- the whole villain cartooniness you mention was the issue I wanted to address- in that there's nothing cartoony about what is depicted.Actually to be entirely honest, I didn't havethe heart to draw what was the actual treatment average nazis had been ordered to do in Occupied Greece (I even have the particular regiment orders complete with file numbers) as the standard practice (not the extreme). You obviously are not aware of these, nor of the actual happenings, and it probably is easier to think it as cartoon villainy. 
Oh and about the indoctrination thing you mention about people generally acting bad: I don't think you're being objective here. Yes people are racist still, and are pranking bony kids still, and do horrible things to each other still. But it's entirely different a percentage of people that do it when the whole ‘nasty side’ becomes part of your overt social policy, rather than something people refer you to psychologists for. Surely you can grasp that. 
 
last edited on Nov. 10, 2011 4:31AM
Tantz Aerine at 4:24AM, Nov. 10, 2011
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Tantz, is there any criticism you think is valid?
 
Of course. I do need to further finetune the saturation/contrast to make the pages crisper. I do need to keep working on my anatomy, though I don't think it's anything close to ‘terrible’ or ‘bad’. 

The balloon arrangement is also something I keep and need to keep focusing on.
As for the other ‘criticisms’ they were often contradicting each other, or about things I'd already corrected well before the review, or they failed to explain the ‘hideousness’ so I can't really comment on them in any valid manner.

That's why I said the whole review was disappointing- there are few, if any, pointers for improvement, the bashing taking place does not include any real pointer/help/explanation why it is taking place, and a good part of what I'm being criticized on can be chalked up to not really taking the time to notice if it is still valid, or at all valid.

Even the little gripe of Nicky P as to when the opening scene is taking place (inthe past or future) is immediately cleared up when on the first panel of the first scene it says that this next scene happens “a week earlier”.I.e. the torture scene is in the future, and we've rewinded to see how the ‘young boy’ ended up being tortured- certainly not out of sheer sick sadistic pleasure, but as a means to an end.
 
last edited on Nov. 10, 2011 4:29AM
Genejoke at 5:42AM, Nov. 10, 2011
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I think part of the problem for me was that I don't have strong feelings either way on it.  Mike clearly wasn't so impressed and Nicky loved it.  I am thinking that I should have asked El cid to get involved with the review, however I didn't want to put too much on him as he has done a lot for me already.  Even though El cid has stated he had a similar opinion to Mikemacdee we tend to discuss things more than I did on this review.  Which would probably have led to a different review.
Advisories…
I still think you could tighten the dialogue, even though you have explained much of it I still think it could be more natural in places.  Not a major issue though.
The visual story telling could be improved a little.  This page is one that mike macdee mentioned and I cut from the review, I probably shouldn't have.  His point was that the kid startled the soldier and the soldier doesn't shoot him and turns his back on him.  
An extra panel or two showing the soldiers reaction may have helped.

I think more solid line art would help, the darker lines are better than early on but there is still room for improvement.
Obviously better anotomy, or more practice masking it wouldn't hurt.
better perspective on figures, foreshortening and such like.
The layouts could use a little more pop but are certainly functional, this is somethign I need to improve as well.  I look at the work of el cid and abt_nihil as good examples yet still i can't seem to get the same effect.
Funny I have a better head for reviewing it now than I did doing the actual review…
last edited on Nov. 10, 2011 5:44AM
Tantz Aerine at 5:46AM, Nov. 10, 2011
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Might have helped with what? What did he mention it as a specimen of? Where did you feel the dialogue was not ‘tight’ enough? 
See what I mean? That's the sort of stuff that was left out. And that aside, it was at times plainly rude and unfair in value judgement, as if there was special care taken to attack rather than give feedback. And the ‘little things’, the ‘not big deal’ things were not indicated as such. I'd have much preferred El Cid's nazi objection rather than this rather imbalanced sum.
Like I also told you in PQ- the review is just unfortunate on several levels, especially presentation within the text and manner of feedback giving, as well as its quality.
 
last edited on Nov. 10, 2011 5:51AM
Tantz Aerine at 6:31AM, Nov. 10, 2011
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I just noticed the writing under the page.

Yes, I agree with all these things- I don't really like solid black lines though. I much rather prefer to go about it tweaking the way I color the foreground vs the background.

Panels: I go about it the european way- simple squares. It isn't the most exciting thing in comic making but I do want to have a traditional feel to it. There is also more reason why I don't let the characters break out of the panels or give odd panel shapes- let's say as a stylistic choice.

I'd like to have read both the things people appreciate in my art and like and enjoy it, as well as things I should look to further improve. I didn't get that, but at least the thread is interesting.  

(formatting text in these forums is a hassle) 
 
last edited on Nov. 10, 2011 6:38AM
El Cid at 7:18AM, Nov. 10, 2011
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Tantz Aerine wrote:
El Cid: Obviously you are missing the point- the particular thought process and behavior of the nazi fellow is, unfortunately, the documented average behavior of…
  
Obviously you're still missing the point that if you have to write huge blocks of text explaining what should have been communicated in the comic, then the comic failed at its job. And the fact that you're basing your characterizations on historical “average behaviors” is actually just you justifying your use of stereotypes rather than an understanding of human psychology, which I consider lazy writing. You apparently do not think so. That's fine. You don't need to convince me.
 
Tantz Aerine wrote:
You need further proof that the average common (NOT evil or monstrous) joe can end up being brutal, thinking brutal, and acting brutal without even realising it and without any ‘motivations’…
  
No, I don't need any further proof, as that was the very point I was making earlier (and yes, I'm very much aware of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment). My issue was that when you make the characters' evil seem more a direct result of their political affiliation (Nazism), rather than the universal human condition, it reads like a cop out, at best. You don't believe you have committed this error. Again, that's fine, and you don't need to convince me. It's the impression I got and I've made you aware of it.
Tantz Aerine wrote:
Also- the whole villain cartooniness you mention was the issue I wanted to address- in that there's nothing cartoony about what is depicted.
  
What is depicted in and of itself is not cartoony; it's the way it is portrayed by you which definitely struck me as caricature. Maybe some other writer could have pulled it off more effectively, leaving out the silly thought balloons for starters.
Tantz Aerine wrote:
Actually to be entirely honest, I didn't havethe heart to draw what was the actual treatment average nazis had been ordered to do in Occupied Greece (I even have the particular regiment orders complete with file numbers) as the standard practice (not the extreme). You obviously are not aware of these, nor of the actual happenings, and it probably is easier to think it as cartoon villainy.
  
I don't believe anything I've written here suggests I'm not aware that the Nazis committed tons of atrocious things, so there's no need to insult me, Tantz. Get over yourself. No one's questioning your historical accuracy with regards to events; it's your failure at depicting the human element of it that was my issue.
 
Tantz Aerine wrote:
Oh and about the indoctrination thing you mention about people generally acting bad: I don't think you're being objective here. Yes people are racist still, and are pranking bony kids still, and do horrible things to each other still. But it's entirely different a percentage of people that do it when the whole ‘nasty side’ becomes part of your overt social policy, rather than something people refer you to psychologists for. Surely you can grasp that. 
  
“Not being objective?” You just made that whole spiel up to explain why it's okay for you to write cardboard characters of people you don't like, and I'm “not being objective?” Again, seriously, get over yourself. It still sounds like you're trying to find an excuse for treating the Nazis as a “special case” rather than using them to explore the universal human experience. You apparently don't accept that criticism as valid. That's fine. You don't have to accept it, and you're not going to convince me that it is invalid. All I can say is that if you're happy with your creative process and your results, go ahead and keep doing what you've been doing, and have fun with it.

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