Comic 6 - Descended 5

30th Dec 2009, 12:34 AM in Arc 0
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Descended 5
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Bree 30th Dec 2009, 12:34 AM edit delete
The alt-text for this one was something which I considered adding to the comic, be it in two extra panels or as a replacement to the text I actually did put in, but I figured that this comic was already 150% normal length and that the dialog I had worked better for the comic, so I kept it.

Anyway, apologies for the length of things; this comic being longer is a result of the art evolution; previously, the first 10 panels were all shown in a single double-width panel. Granted, it didn’t give QUITE the same amount of info, but it gave most of it. And also granted, the 12 panels here have taken some elements from the panels which followed the first panel, but still, you get the idea; the art upgrade caused this to be significantly more fleshed out than it was before. For the better, in my opinion.

Also, for the record, things will be slightly longer than originally planned. The original comic3 (which this is the beginning of) was a single comic. In my initial new script, I broke it into two comics. However, I’ve now broken the first of those comics into two comics, so that means the original comic3 can be anywhere from 3-4 comics long, now, rather than the originally planned 2.

So that *slightly* delays my ‘new content’ release, by a week or two, but nothing serious.

As for details in the comic…I wish I could take credit for designing the background, but really, I can’t. I struggled for two days thinking of what a dungeon would look like, but ended up scrapping everything I designed, so I gave up, googled it, and found a few good images to trace the shape of a dungeon in. I found some which matched my image perfectly, and decided to use ‘em as to avoid me wasting the whole week on the background. I feel bad about it, so I should at least link to the original, here.

But hey, at least I didn’t use copy and paste! And I only used the reference image for the first two panels. After that, I got the hang of things and was able to work from what I already had, adjusting the angles as necessary.

Also, you’ll note Sanik’s shoes changed colors—this was necessary, because his shoes were the same exact color as the background. (Oops. :P) To add some contrast, I lightened them up, slightly decreased the B, and then slightly increased the R and G to give it a slight yellow tint, and I think the end result is better.

What do you think of the magical effects I have? I kinda like them, but as I’m the one who created them, my opinion is a little bit biased. :P Oh, and by the way—I’m not sure this is conveyed well, but that ball which is used in the Hover spell acts sorta like the stereotypical flying shield type of propulsion does…except, instead of the ball itself being the hoverboard (or hoverdisk), it is the source of a strong updraft, which lifts the user a few inches above it, more or less.

Basically, it creates an invisible flat surface and acts similar to a gyroscope—granting the user limited flight, which offers great mobility. I don’t think I captured it fairly well (especially not in panel 4, where I was having trouble thinking of a good stance so went all lazy-leg :P), but essentially, the idea was that it would give the user significant maneuverability, without having to devote both hands to it. One hand needs to be kept concentrated on it, but not both. (I guess it’s sort-of like an Iron Man suit in that regard—the hand acts as a flight stabilizer, and as long as that hand is in place, you can pull off crazy air stunts.)

Further Sanik fact: beyond the lazy legs in panel four, I think that I also messed up on his head—it seems too small. The proportions seem correct, but it just looks microscopic for some reason—probably a combination of the angle and the relatively small size of Sanik in that panel compared to normal.

Another fun fact—this is the first comic I did which I started without a comic version of my script. Obviously, I have a script, but it’s typed; this is the first time I’ve gone into the comic relying on it, though. Didn’t have the comic version ‘til after I had already completed panel 1.

Anyway, here it is. (Did you enjoy the explosive arrow? That was a complete throw-it-in; I couldn’t draw a good arrowhead in the script, but I noticed the arrowhead I did draw looked like it was the kind which could pack explosives—I wanted the demons behind to show concern that they might end up with an arrow in their head, but I though them showing a far more immediate concern would be far better, and also explain why M didn’t need a whole lot more help than M did. So, putting all that together and remembering that Tyra’s cast page mentioned she has various different types of arrows, it resulted in this.)

As for the character art…I think I’ve probably wasted at least half an hour (if not an hour or two) simply staring at it, jaw metaphorically dropping, and thinking, “…I drew that?!?”

In the best sense of that sentence possible; I kept on staring and staring, awe-struck at what I had done, like no time before. The script was amazing, the execution felt perfect, for the first time, I felt as if I had done things as they should have been done.

Of course, things aren’t perfect; I made plenty of mistakes. For starters, Sanik (his face, at the very least) was drawn extremely badly in panel 2 (and panel 3—the face in 3 is actually worse than 2), as (facing the same problem as Argus in the previous comic) he ended up facing the opposite way of his normal, and that rendered drawing said perspective impossible for me. I know it CAN be done; I just don’t know how. (Speaking of which, I have absolutely no clue why drawing some characters facing right feels more natural than drawing other characters facing right, who feel better facing left.)

Oh, and his shoulder plates—I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to move with the arm, not stay in the same place, so of course, that’s angled completely wrong and should be in a matching angle with the arms.

And I forgot his dagger (again) in those panels, so I was out of practice for the time I did remember, in the last panel—it’s at the right angle, but it should be further up on the belt, with the guard being around where the belt is, not some number of pixels below. (It should be ~40 pixels further up and ~80 pixels further left on the double, which means 20/40 on the final product.)

Plus, there’s M—I don’t think I captured the androgynous feel, as androgyny is supposed to make it so that the character doesn’t appear to be either gender, and yet when I look at M I can sometimes see it one way, and sometimes see it another. (Oh, and in both cases, I think “M looks like a punk”, which is pretty much the opposite of what M’s actual personality is. :P)

And I accidentally got M’s staff hand drawn backwards in the panel where M gets hit; the thumb should be on the bottom, not the top. And as such, the thumb is what should be mostly hidden by the staff, with the fingers all visible. (I think—perspective, not my strong point, obviously.) Speaking of that panel, M’s chest was expanded out a little too much—both males and females have an expanded chest (for different reasons), but in neither case should it be by that much.

(In general…drawing three new characters is an absolute pain, which drained my time quite a lot. Sarge was easy enough; he felt easier than Sanik, in fact. But M? Absolute pain to draw once, yet alone, twice. To top it all off, I really wanted to cheat with the demons due to how much work would be involved. I kinda did, by using sprites for the "non-active" demons, and the demons I did draw were done in less than five minutes each, and they're all generic, with no specific features.)

But it felt like that it was overall on a whole ‘nother level of quality, beyond what I ever envisioned me being capable of making. I captured the scene as I envisioned it in my head pretty much perfectly—with The Elementals, no less! I was not expecting that at all. I expected to have made a trainwreck which felt halfhearted, yet this?

This felt as if I had poured my heart and soul into it, making the best quality I can make, that this was my top-notch work, and what I should always strive to meet (or even exceed, if I can).

My only hope is that people enjoy this comic as much as I enjoyed making it. On the previous weeks, I felt as if I was losing steam. For the first time, I now feel as if I’m picking up steam, and that things will only get better from here, rather than (as I was beginning to worry) worse.

(Granted, you had to wait for this due to me taking care of my dog, but hey, it only slowed me down a little bit.)
Bree 17th Sep 2012, 6:46 PM edit delete
Almost forgot.

Here's the double-sized version. There aren't any demons in there, since I put those in after I resized things, but it gives you a good look at the details I put into The Elementals, which (despite the fact that I know I have a long ways to go) I can't help but feel proud of.

EDIT: Caught a typo which had somehow managed to slip through my grasps.

Now, some typos I'll just not bother fixing, to help preserve the imperfection. However, this was one I couldn't. Somehow, I missed that I had typed "Tyram" when I meant "Tyra,", and as this is Tyra's first named appearance, I couldn't keep it, sorry.
Bree 22nd Jun 2013, 3:09 PM edit delete
So this is the last page using my old, artificial panel layout. The next page and all that follow it use a far more organic and natural panel layout, with pages which will be far easier to convert into print, if I ever decide to go that route.

Which means you're in for an art evolution if you keep on reading. I promised you I'd get better!


LazyBrian 17th Sep 2012, 10:55 PM edit delete reply
Of course, there are a lot of screwups I'm just now noticing. The typo (which caused me to re-upload the image with it fixed) among them. A major source of them is the demons--I forgot to put in the horns for the demon sprites M is facing, and I forgot to put the tails on the non-sprite demons in every panel except the first, where I remembered it.

Not to mention the imperfections on the demon commander. His sword-hand isn't quite right, his horns are too small, and rather than holding his trident above his head in a victory pose (the intention), he looks ready to throw it. To name just a few.

Oops. Ah, well. It's what I get for rushing. Small imperfections (like the text at the top; I underlined it, when I shouldn't have) are what this comic is made of. Would explain why I have virtually no visitors and zero commenters. :P
ThatPaintLover 8th Oct 2012, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
No, Brian.

The reasons why no one comments on your comics are:

A) You barely update your comics. If you'd put the time you use on writing comments about making up excuses (which are pointless since nobody reads them) into drawing your comic, you might actually make some process. Make a schedule and stick to it.

B) No one will think that your comic is good if you don't think so. I've waded through a good part of your archives of comments and ramblings that mostly deal with how flawed your comic is. Again: instead of complaining focus on making your comic the way you like it.

C) Your comic's story is hard to follow. You have a lot of characters, yet none of them have been properly introduced yet. It would also be rather helpful to know something about the world the characters live in and what are the goals of all these characters?

These are some of the reasons as to why your comic is not popular, the main reason being updating, or rather lack of them. Just keep working on your comic and the rest will follow. Even I get new visitors each day and you're better an artist than I am!
Bree 10th Oct 2012, 10:26 PM edit delete reply
Thanks for the criticism, even if it's stuff I mostly already know. :P I love to hear it, anyway, since it's rather inspiring. (You'll see what it inspired in just a sec. :P)

Believe it or not, I do have an update schedule: every Monday at 6:00 PM, PST. I'm just bad at keeping it. :P

The reason is that I simply don't have the time. (I know, I can make some time, but not enough--see below.) Each panel takes me 2-4 hours. Multiply that by (right now) an average of 12, and you get 24-48 hours require per week to get a single update done.
Believe me, I want to put in that time, but it simply doesn't exist. :P It may not sound like a lot, but working 8 hours a day, it'd take me 6 days to make the comic, with one day reserved for emergencies and edits. Just one liiiiiiiiiittle problem......
...I don't have even close to that much time every day to work on my webcomic. :P I don't even have that much time free; I have life, and life conquers internet. (As much as I wish it didn't. :P)

Simply put, I don't have enough time free. I'm averaging 4-6 hours, but that's only when I stay up late and get up early, depriving me of a great deal of sleep. That time might be enough to make a comic...if it weren't for ComicFury time.

Why not cut back on ComicFury stuff and focus on my webcomic? Well, the thing is...the way I see it, my webcomic's my project. I'm doing it for me. For me to get the story out of my head, to create the World of Soano RPG, to have a webcomic that gives me stability, to have webcomic experience, to have art and scriptwriting experience, and so on.

What I do on the forums and for other webcomics means a whole lot more than that. It's done for the sake of others, for the community, and to me, that's more important.
For instance, the Character Tournament. It wouldn't happen if I was working on my webcomic. (Especially not considering how much of a logistical nightmare it is. :P)

I could theoretically give it up...but that's not a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Keep in mind, I am willing to make sacrifices, and have done so. I've made more than I'm willing to admit, in fact, just to get myself this far, and I know I'll make more further down the line.
I've given up running, swimming, have lost weight (sounds good, 'til you realize I'm underweight already :P), am getting less sleep, have stopped playing games for the most part, have given up browsing TVTropes (yes, it IS possible :P), talking on chatzy...the list goes on.

If I selfishly gave up the community (probably the main thing allowing me to keep my humanity, mind you), I'd be able to do my webcomic, sure, but I'd also become a reclusive isolated SOB. :P
I don't want to do that. It'd compromise who I am too much, and would bring harm to others.

So, really, time-wise, I'm screwed. :P
I can sacrifice the quality of the webcomic to some extent, of course. Despite the appearance that I'm unwilling to do so, you wouldn't see me being hard on myself for mistakes if I wasn't already willing to make that sacrifice. :P (If I was unwilling to sacrifice the quality, the mistakes'd be fixed before the comic went live.)

The key phrase is "to some extent". Under my current time constraints (which have put my real life under incredible stress), I'd be doing heavy-copy-paste, have either no backgrounds, traced backgrounds, or copy-paste backgrounds, have zero attention to detail and an inability to modify the script, and in general...a huge mess. :P
The end result'd be worse than the sprite art. :P

That's not something I'm willing to do. It crosses a line. If I resorted to such tactics, I'd legitimately hate what I was doing and quit. I know it may sound like I already hate my work (judging by your commentary, I probably came off as incredibly whiny :P), but truthfully, I love what I do and wouldn't be doing it otherwise.
(My comments are meant to sound like, "I coulda done this better, but oh well, will make sure to pay attention next time!")

Believe me, I know my comic is not entirely a piece of junk. :P It has some good in it (no matter how small it may be :P), but I know I'm still an amateur with a LOT I need to improve on, and comments like yours drive me to do so. :D

I may not be entirely satisfied with the end result, but I am thrilled that I actually get anything done at all. :P
Updates (despite my alleged schedule) may be sporadic, but sporadic is a heck of a lot better than the "not at all" I had for over two years. :P

Basically, I know I can only go up from here. I've come a long way already, but there's still a ton to get done, and to improve on.

More time available (I'm trying to get some! :P), faster art (working on it! ...Unfortunately, slow and steady isn't winning the race :P), better art (I was recently inspired), all with what little resources I have.
(I'd probably be whipping 2-3 comics out per week at the current quality of the comic if I had a tablet. And at once-a-week, the only limit I'd have is on my understanding of perspective. :P But nope! Don't have that. Just my laptop mousepad. :P)

And of course, the story. It's problematic for two reasons right now, as you've mentioned. The characters and about pages are meant to help, but they're incomplete (lacking a great amount of info) works-in-progress that are messy, disorganized, and hard to read.
(The Extras page helps a little bit, as it's got links to ALL the extra pages, outdated AND current, so far.)
Of course, any tips you'd have for making them more navigatable would be most welcome. :P

The other problem for readers is, of course, that I'm not far into the story. How many comics give you the setting and characters' backstories within the first six pages? :P (If my comic were an anime...I'd be through maybe three minutes of an episode. And probably including the intro song. :P)

The further in we go, obviously the easier it'll be to grasp the setting. My webcomic's still just a baby in its infancy. It has a long way to go in all aspects, story-wise included.
(And trust me, I WILL be continuing.)

But, hey, as much as I like to joke about it (and it is mostly a joke), I'm not actually that concerned about viewers. (Never really liked webcomics which were obsessed with ploys to get more readers. :P) Readers, subscribers, and comments are all nice things. I notice them, so when I see things that make me happy (such as a comment), it motivates me greatly (as you have), so I thank you once more for the comment, but...honestly...

If so much as a single person leaves my webcomic feeling better than before, I've accomplished more than I ever coulda originally hoped for. :P

...And with luck, it won't be because they're thinking, "Thank Gods I'm not that bad." :P
ThatPaintLover 11th Oct 2012, 6:30 PM edit delete reply
The time you need to draw a new page is pretty much the same amount as I need to draw a new page, and I have a life too. :) I completely understand if you don´t want to sacrifice everything for the sake of your comic. I can see you have other projects going on (I'm looking forward to the Character Battle game!). I just thought that not having any readers or commenters bothered you greatly, so I voiced out the truth. You're the most verbal (I'm not sure if that's the word I'm looking for, but you know what I mean) person I've ever met and I find it amazing how you can write entire walls of text for seemingly no reason. I've come to think that it's just a way for you to make mental notes or something to keep track of things. :P

If your webcomic is a baby, then mine would be the blink in the milkman's eye, both art-wise and story-wise. My comic will consist of five arcs or sagas that all have twenty or so chapters, the later arcs probably being way longer than that. With that said, I'll be working on the comic for years to come. On top of that I'm teasing myself with extra work (I must be a masochist). I'm planning to color the comic, improve some of the earlier pages and apply some of the ideas on them that might interest you as well. You see, the problem with character bios and pages explaining the world and story of the webcomic is that people rarely bother to check them out, unless they are already fans of said comic.

So here's what I'm going to do: I'll put some text on top of each page that reveal more about the characters and the world they live in as the people read on. This way they won't have to stop reading the comic and click on something else to find out who's who. Also a little extra text on each page doesn't make the readers feel as if they are being force fed a lot of info at the same time. I'm also asking a friend to redesign my webcomic pages (I'm all thumbs when it comes to coding). That's also something you might want to do if you're having trouble organizing your stuff.

But, hey, if you like comments so much, maybe we can do each other a favor and comment on each other's webcomics every now and then (I already subscribed to your comic so I'll know when you post something new). :)
Bree 11th Oct 2012, 6:54 PM edit delete reply
Yup, I'm one of the most verbose people on the internet. :P
(Kinda ironic, as you'd never guess it by meeting me in person, where I barely speak at all. :P)

I'm not sure I could put text on the top of each page which gives a little bit on the characters and the world.
Maybe take a FableII Loading-Screen inspired quote at the top of each page, but that's about as much as I can squeeze in. :P

I could post character sheets, though. That's something which wouldn't take much time to draw and is something I've been wanting to do for some time. Sprite art, "portrait" shot, body shot, and basically everything on their character sheets, with a bit of their personality and past along with general role.

Thanks for the idea, and I'll definitely be leaving comments on your webcomic! ;)
Eggie 18th Oct 2016, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
I really like how clearly laid out this fight is! And all the character's personalities coming through! :) Aaa!
pulkit1012 20th Oct 2016, 1:51 AM edit delete reply
I like it, only thing that could make it easier for you would be not making full figures for every panel. Maybe just faces or busts in some.
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