Karabear Comics Unlimited Review
El Cid at 11:54PM, May 23, 2012
posts: 1,275
joined: 5-4-2009
This was a weird review in that my opinion of the comic changed with every new page as we were reviewing it. When Karabear first came up on the chopping block, the only story posted at the time was the Tempore comic, and my overall impression was very negative. By the time me and Genejoke actually started reviewing it, Eiderdown's story was up, and I saw the series in a much more favorable light. I could see that it was actually going in the right direction. Now, after the review has already been completed, a third story has been posted, and I can see now that my earlier apprehensions about the series were mostly unfounded. Even Tempore; I'm starting to get a better feel for his character and his place in the Karabear universe.
I believe our review was, overall, a fair representation of how we felt about the comic. Had we done the review a month later, with the newer material taken into consideration, I suspect the review would have been more positive and less reserved in its praise. The series, I think, does have its unique charm, and this group of oddball superheroes does deserve its place amongst the Drunk Duck pantheon.
The biggest problem this series has is the artwork. And not just with regard to drawing skills. I don't know what (if any) software is being used to make this comic, but GIMP is free, so there's no need to have scribbly uneven panels and bad feathering where the colors meet the linework. The text is sometimes too small to read, and the font choices for speech and sound effects could be better. The speech balloons are okay, but they could be more professional looking (there are tutorials to be found online to help you out with this. Blambot used to have some good ones), and the space between lines of text within them should be reduced.
Even if you're not that great at drawing, you'll be surprised how much better your comic looks if you put just a little more effort into the other presentation aspects that don't require any drawing skill. Better coloring, better paneling, and better handling of text are things you can tackle right now. My advice would be to find some comics that you think do a good job with these aspects and start by trying to copy what they do and then tweak to taste from there. Your drawing skills should improve with time on their own.
In terms of the writing, I don't have any real criticisms. You've got your own identifiable style, your characters have a unique somewhat goofy charm about them; you seem to know what you're going for and I hope you keep going down the path you're already on! It was stated in the review that you should stick to character-driven plots and for the most part, I'll stand by that. But the action sequences can work, I think, if you don't play them too straight-faced. A little bit of camp can go a long way. Really, it's just a matter of playing up your strengths and blunting your weaknesses wherever possible. And figuring out who's likely to take interest in your comic and what it is of value that they get out of reading it.
In your case, the strengths of the comic are its highly eclectic cast of characters, and your writing. People who follow the comic are likely interested in how it handles GLBT themes, and in the more unconventional aspects of superhero-dom that get brought up. Your weaknesses are mainly in the visual presentation of the comic. I think your readership will for the most part forgive the bad art if the stories and characters remain interesting, and if you don't try too hard to pass this off as a conventional superhero series with conventional superhero plots. I don't think this comic can compete with other more traditional superhero comics on a head-to-head basis if it's playing by their rules. Karabear a good read when the characters are interacting, but whenever there's an action sequence I'm reminded of what better action comics I could be reading. So don't rely too heavily on traditional superhero cliches to win over an audience.
And, that should be enough. Keep up the good work!
El Cid at 11:55PM, May 23, 2012
posts: 1,275
joined: 5-4-2009
Hmm, not sure if I'm supposed to address that directly to the author or just like a third person general type thing. Ah, whatever!
Genejoke at 3:23PM, June 9, 2012
posts: 4,099
joined: 4-9-2010
Art suggestions…
El cid hit a nail on the head but there are two areas that once worked upon can improve art drastically.
Perspective and anatomy.
For anatomy this link may have some useful stuff for you.
Work on getting the body proportions more accurate, or at least consistant.  you'd be amazed at how much drawing a stick figure like skeleton and then fleshing it out can help.
For perspective.
It isn't much but it may help point you in the right direction.
Don't be afraid to use references.

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