Comic 3 - Descended 2

29th Dec 2009, 1:34 AM in Arc 0
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Descended 2
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Bree 29th Dec 2009, 1:34 AM edit delete
OLD AUTHOR'S COMMENT: (Content reflects date.)
Descended1--An Adventurer is You! :P

Right. So, let me explain. Now, this is essentially I suppose a sprite comic, borderlining simple art style. I make all of the sprites, and then reuse them for everything. It's cheap, but it works. If you've read the character/about pages, then you'll know what this comic is telling the story of, of the planet Soano, and a few of the "heroes" there.
I give the official sources of inspiration as the four, but keep in mind, I have other influences--Order of the Stick, the OotS-inspired Anti-Heroes, and Goblins, mainly. (Heck, I've never even read D&D rules before. All I know of simply comes from what I pick up online, really. Doesn't matter, as this is MY own world, where the rules are that I make. ;))

The characters in this comic--for the most part--will be rather genre savvy (Argus calls out the Trope Term Four is Death by name), and rather conscious of their world. I'll try to keep the fourth wall in tact for as long as possible, but as inevitable with this kind of comic, it'll probably be broken eventually. :/

Now, you might be wondering about a few things. Why is the speech bubble red for Argus? Well, he's evil, of course. Why is Davos's speech bubble black? I'm blatantly stealing from Anti-Heroes (itself stealing from OotS) the undead-equals-black-speech bubble rule. :P

Why the poor picture quality? 'Cause I write in Paint, which uses BMP, the ONLY common format NOT allowed on ComicFury, for some reason I don't understand. So, I convert to JPEG. UPDATE: Now fixed, as I'm using PNGs instead. Much cleaner.

Why the stick figures? I wanted something in the gap between the text.
Why the red boxes of text? I like that narrative style.
Why the reused and recolored sprites for different characters? It's just how I imagined them, okay? Alright, so maybe not 100%, but close enough. And in some cases, there is justification. I have three styles of armor: robes, leather, and plate; the reused sprites help distinguish the differences between them.

Why do some of the sprites in the last panels look funny? Well, by default, I have the characters facing right. When I have to make them face left, they look odd.

And, finally,
Why no scenery?

By Lorithia, it takes FOREVER! Now, even if I copy and pasted scenery from every single panel, I still have to draw it once! And, believe me, it's harder than you think, unless you've done it before. I sure was caught by surprise. What scenery I try to add often fails, and if it DOESN'T fail, then it'll still take a long time.

I know the time I made this comic, so I can always edit it and upload it again with the scenery. But I've found that I can do one or two of these a day without the scenery--adding it in, and--like College--these will probably take weeks to months each. I don't want that.

If someone requests scenery, I will edit the comic the request is in to have scenery added in. Otherwise, I won't do it, unless I've got a serious case of Writers' Block. And with the material I have planned, I doubt that'll happen for rather some time. (Seriously, I've planned weeks ahead.)

So, want scenery?

-Brian, Author/Artist.

EDIT: Alright, so this is a new, updated version. What's different? Not much. I corrected a typo or two, and I made the speech patterns a little more clear. A few lines of dialog were altered to make them seem more natural and less lame. (Davos's comment on the villagers.) I added in Nathan's swords, and corrected the two flipped eyes which were problems. Other than that, about the same.
(Converted from BMP to PNG, this is how it looked originally, and due to JPEG, this is what was shown.)
Bree 6th Aug 2012, 6:36 PM edit delete
New Author’s Note: If I could switch the order of comments so that this newer note was on top, I would. If I was less sentimental, I might delete the above comment altogether. But since I like preserving the past, you'll have to scroll through it, sadly. My apologies. It referred to this image, which was originally the very first page on the comic.

But that's in the past. Let's talk about what's here! For...what little value can be placed on that.

This comic definitely felt weaker than my last. It was closer to the script than the first one was, but I feel for the worse. The only thing I really changed was using sprites instead of stick figures (because I like to keep them in the comic), but the result was that the dialog in there was haphazard. :/

I messed up a little on Aria, Argus's head is slightly too large in panel 2, his shoulders don't line up in panel 6, but worst, I completely botched those last two panels. That is not how I envisioned Sanik and Kinas looking. (So bad!) Not consistent, half-finished, and look half-hearted, and I know they'll need redesigns for future comics. (For instance, no daggers.)

And while I loved using the sprites (note that I made a bad decision here, too--a relic of the original comic. I used their sprites pre-art-evolution rather than post-art-evolution, because that's what I did in the original, making it yet another mistake), their usage in this comic (aside from Nathan) was not intentional. A time crunch played a part in it, but said time crunch mainly existed because of the larger problem, a shortcoming in my artistic skills; I never figured out how to pull it off.

Mainly because I suck at perspective. I couldn't figure it out. I tried. I really did. But in the end, nothing, no matter what I did, was working. (Heck, even in the script I couldn't figure it out!) Every idea on how to fix it when applied simply didn't work. Sprites were my compromise. Nathan was going to be a sprite for the punchline, so others being sprites I figured no harm. (Even now, though, the perspective's off.) I wasted HOURS on it, on making things (like a failed worm's-eye-view) work.

Adding insult to injury, I copy-pasted. I've no shame in copy-pasting sprites; that's kinda the point of using them. But I copy-pasted the stairs in the last background from one panel and flipped to the other. I’ll admit, that was laziness, as I just didn’t feel like drawing that thing again. Like I said, the last panel was an extreme pain. I’m not satisfied with it at all, but there’s not a lot more I can really do with it. All I can really say is that I’ll make it up to you when I’m showing the fighting inside the dungeon. Those who have seen my script like what they’ve seen, so I imagine it’ll be far more impressive than this.

Soyeah, at least for this comic...weaker script, weaker art, weaker execution, weaker result. But, hey, you win some, you lose some. And it’s not all bad. I’ve gotten Davos’s appearance fairly nailed down (other than the arm with his weapon), something I was having trouble with. I like Argus’s monologue, and he is quite expressive. I’ll get better. (Hopefully, anyway.)

And, ARG! I forgot to put my name and date on there AGAIN! >_<
Just for the record, it's 8/6/12.
Also, for a double-sized version of this comic (to help you see it more clearly), you can look here.


MatthewJA 6th Aug 2012, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
still an improvement
Bree 6th Aug 2012, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
Over the original, I suppose so, but still...the last two panels. The lack of clear details in the monologue. The lack of consistent text size in said monologue. (In hindsight, the top half of panel 3 should be higher up, as that'd have left more room for the text in the bottom half of panel 3. Ah, well. I can always come back some day in the future and fix it.)

In the last comic, I felt like I got more right than I did wrong. Significantly more right than I did wrong. This comic...well, I don't feel like there's more wrong than right, but it's a lot closer to 50/50. That's a worrying trend. :P
LazyRanger 7th Aug 2012, 12:27 AM edit delete reply
By the way, one of the things which I was planning on putting in my author's comment but which I didn't because it slipped my mind (and I was already late on posting the author's comment :P) is the positioning of Sanik's and Kinas's hands. It's a small detail, not very noticeable because I have trouble drawing hands (in particular, my thumbs and my pinkies look too similar :P), but their hands are positioned in ways which reflect their alignment--Kinas's thumbs are up, which mean that his palms are also up--he's extending his image in the same way which was once shown on the "A God Am I" page. (It's since been replaced, but it was similar to this.)

Sanik's thumbs are pointed down, which means his palms are as well. What this represents is the classic hero dismissal. It's quite the common gesture. You know, flicking your hand outward? It's normally used to express stubbornness of some kind or another, like a refusal to do a task, a commitment to defeat the evil, you get the idea. It's generally done with only one hand, but in this case for the first panel, it's double.

Another detail on their hands is that they're both wearing rings on their right ring fingers. (It's not on their left since neither is married. :P) Sanik's is a Wing Ring, Kinas's is a Darkness Ring.

They've been part of the characters' designs since day one, but it's something I never got to draw until now. Their basic function has always been that Sanik's ring gives him access to non-standard offensive Wind Magic (Air Barrage is not a Wind Mage spell, for instance), and Kinas's ring gives him access to non-standard offensive Darkness Magic.

Since the elements DO have SOME offensive spells, however, I decided that the rings needed an upgrade, so each ring has gained a unique attribute. Sanik's ring significantly reduces the cost of all wind magic he casts, to the point where lower-powered spells are free, meaning he can cast them indefinitely.

Kinas's ring has the ability to turn his illusions partially real, as the Darkness Reign branch does, only for free and permanently. (It seems weaker, but Kinas really got the better ring, since the ability to cast partially real illusions is incredibly powerful when used properly--and Kinas DOES know how!

It's because of this that the ability will probably not be appearing in the ComicFury RPG. Sure, it's part of his character, and I included it on his character sheet, but he's already one of the strongest characters in the party, and this would just be adding another way he'd become stronger.)
LazyRanger 7th Aug 2012, 12:48 AM edit delete reply
-DISCLAIMER: Character sheet I gave link to is no longer canonical. Elements of it have been incorporated into canon (keep in mind, the ComicFury RPG is basically what turned Kinas from one of my most obscure, least-defined characters into one of the characters I knew best of all; it also resulted in my third axis), but it itself is not canonical.

-Also, if you couldn't tell, the arms' positioning is what determines which side of the gauntlets on Sanik and Kinas's arms are showing. Since the gemed (and also, pointed) side is on the top, that means it only shows when the palms are down. This is why--despite them having identical (except for a palette swap) armguards--Kinas's never shows the gem side, and Sanik's shows the gem side except when he's pointing.

(Speaking of which, they were both originally supposed to be pointing their index fingers, but I didn't have the perspective down well enough to have confidence in it, and knew it'd take extra time, so went with the arm-out approach, as it delivers the same intent and was easier to draw.)

-Not a detail, but something I felt like rambling on. One of the things I miss about the sprite art is that it was easier to make them look like brothers. :P They were just palette swaps of each other. Now, they're different, which is mostly a good thing. (Divergent Character Evolution, I believe it's called. That, or Divergent Character Growth. Divergent's the first word, and Character's the second, with a third following it. :P)

But again, aside from their posture (mirrored fairly well. One of the things I actually like in the comic is how good the reflection is, given that I didn't use copy-paste for it and drew both of them separately) and their dialog, they don't have much which strongly says "brothers" to me. The belts, armor, leggings, and gauntlets all KINDA do, but not as much as I'd like. The light daggers woulda also been a good visual indicator to tell that--at the very least--the two are connected, but again, I forgot to draw them.

Oh, and I'd prefer their hairstyles to be more similar. And for their headbands to be more visible. The headbands are important details to their character, virtually invisible in the final image. :/ And again, serve as an indicator.

Their hair was originally the same, though Kinas's has since become a cross between Argus's and Sanik's--it was INTENDED to be MOSTLY the same as Sanik's (though it isn't, another failure on my part), just with a little bit of Argus thrown in, with half his eye (rather than most/all, as with Argus) covered.

Not that it's necessarily a *bad* thing that all three characters have different hairstyles; it's just that I wanted them to all be a lot closer to identical.

Oh, and I just realized my largest issue with Sanik's hairstyle--it's closer to how I imagined Nathan's hair, rather than Sanik's. Again, Sanik's should look more like Kinas's and Argus's. Nathan's hair shares the same sprite art (being a palette swap) of the three leaders, but his hair was never intended to be similar.
LazyRanger 8th Aug 2012, 3:52 PM edit delete reply
By the way, something I noticed on my desktop--the image looks *slightly* better than on my laptop. Still bad, but it gives me some hope. :P

Also, in the last panels, The Elementals and The Latens who aren't speaking are kinda blended into the background. Sanik and Kinas are semi-blended, but not nearly as much.
The person who stands out the most is Nathan, the person delivering the final line of the comic.

I like it, but it was completely and totally unintentional. :P
Emperorjon 7th Aug 2014, 4:37 AM edit delete reply
the mini versions of the adventurers are really cute :)
Bree 7th Aug 2014, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Thank you. :)

The mini versions were, basically, to make a VERY long story short, my attempt to make sprites in a chibi-ish style. Cute is one of the things I aimed for. ;)
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