Train Girl

Pages of sequential work. Show off your latest comic work or talk about the craft.

Train Girl

Postby SGEdwards on Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:42 pm

Train Girl Website/Full Comic

This is our first attempt at something like this, so I guess we're looking for much more general feedback to start with, rather than specific feedback, like: is it even close to something anyone would be interested in reading at all - that kind of thing.

There are about 20 or so pages available at the moment, with more on the way, so I'll just show a couple out of sequence. Yes the story does go places eventually. One of the earliest pieces of feedback we got was from a friend who thought it was going to be a standard action comic, when really it's much more a "human/relationship drama" comic with a few flashes of action and a supernatural slant. More Scott Pilgrim than X-Men, if that makes any sense.

Image

Image

Image

Honest feedback is highly appreciated. Thanks for your time.
SGEdwards
Citizen
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:01 pm
Location: Hobart, TAS

Re: Train Girl

Postby AndreiB on Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:00 pm

Jesus christ, you excel at architectural drawing. I am loving these cityscapes. Great grasp of perspective as well - well done!
I am interested in seeing where this girl's life is going, so the writing has endeared me to the protagonist fairly well.

My biggest gripe is the lack of polish on the emotions - especially where the manga techniques come in. It seems a bit disjointed. I'd recommend getting a page or three and getting your characters and test different emotions for the characters - base them off real photos of people smiling, frowning, shouting to get that realism going. You don't need to resort to manga emotions - Scott Pilgrim handles this well because the characters eyes are 50% of their heads. You don't have this. Try going for simple realism instead.

I also dislike the font - it doesn't seem clean and it's not tight enough. I'd recommend a conventional comic font. The current font seems to drain emotion out of it. Experiment with caps and no caps, see what works. Don't be scared to bold or italic words that are meant to be emphasised more.

In those medium to close shots, I'd encourage you to alter line thickness to make the characters more 3D and make the closeups more endearing - especially in scenes where you don't have those awesome backgrounds coming in.

Overall, I think this is great and I want more.
Writer and illustrator of Dead by Thirty.
User avatar
AndreiB
Superhero
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Melbourne.

Re: Train Girl

Postby Ian T on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:36 am

Hi S. Gerry and Nicholas,

First up, I can't see your names on my screen without highlighting them, as they're hidden behind the artwork on my tiny screen.

You guys are really reaching and, in many cases, you've got there, and in others, it's clearly developing fast.

However... and please don't be upset with me giving actual criticisms (if your work wasn't this good already, I probably wouldn't bother :)).

Try to loosen up the figure of the main girl a bit. If you've got someone who can model for some sketches it might help - clothes and all, the wrinkles, the weight and movement of the figure, and her facial expressions. Most importantly try to keep her proportions - head/body ratio, limb length - as consistent as possible. It ain't easy, but the eye quickly rejects the authenticity of even slightly inconsistent figures. This girl needs to be more relaxed in her postures :).

A mirror is always good when doing facial expressions - animators swear by this approach!

What I like is that you're experimenting! The sense of place is fantastic - I love those loosely drawn, but sufficiently detailed, buildings and architectural settings - truly evocative. Make sure you keep the figures obeying the same rules as the perspectives, such as on page 10 - her body is almost straight up and down when compared to the lines of the buildings, rather than following them to the disappearing point.

Vary your distance, medium and closeup shots on the page. For the most part, this is pretty good, but the second panel on the inside cover falls particularly flat, even though I kind of get what you're trying to do with the white space.

Some solid blacks won't hurt either.

Don't always go for almond shaped eyes, as they go round and differ from each other considerably at three-quarter face. You can't spend too much effort on getting eyes just right - they're everything to the onpage "life" of characters, in my opinion.

I agree with Andrei about the font. Lettering has to be consistent with the linework in the art, and this is small and annoying. Also, don't use Capital 'I's that have a top and bottom on them when they're within the word, only for the word "I" in self-reference - this might mean using lower-case, even though it's appearing as upper-case, if you get what I mean.

The writing is sound, nicely balanced between character and plot driven passages and I like that there's room for the illustrator to really breath. This is all clearly establishing stuff so far, and it's easy to relate to this character.

All in all, it's authentic, it's interesting and it's likeable. Don't get caught up in trying too much to emulate other work that you love, because this story is already heading in its own direction, and it'd be awful if that got bogged down with it becoming overly derivative of something else.

Really nice work - keep doing it!

Cheers,

Ian T.
User avatar
Ian T
Super Genius
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:59 pm
Location: The Foothills of Confusion

Re: Train Girl

Postby J Marc on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:33 am

I enjoyed this, the story flowed well from page to page. I think your street scenes are very attractive and really help to ground the comic, give it a sense of place. Great stuff! I could see the Scott Pilgrim influences quickly (also a dash of Street Angel) and could see what you were reaching for, but they fell a bit flat for me and also, I don't think you needed them. The story was keeping me reading regardless. As you continue the story you'll move away from your influences and develop your own way of telling gags, showing emotions, etc. All of these are good reasons to keep drawing it! The romance subplot (I presume that's where it's going!) didn't work for me, though that's probably just personal taste, it's often that way for me when it's a female protagonist. O'Malley's 'Lost at Sea' had a similar effect on me. How do you write this, by the way? Moore-style full script, Pekar-style thumbnails, a bit of both, or something else?
User avatar
J Marc
Superhero
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:40 am

Re: Train Girl

Postby SGEdwards on Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:22 pm

Thanks for the feedback so far, we really appreciate the constructive criticism, it's exactly what we need at this stage from people with more experience with this type of thing.

AndreiB wrote:I also dislike the font - it doesn't seem clean and it's not tight enough. I'd recommend a conventional comic font. The current font seems to drain emotion out of it. Experiment with caps and no caps, see what works. Don't be scared to bold or italic words that are meant to be emphasised more.


Cheers for all the points - the font's one we didn't even think of - we might need to experiment with some different ones.

Ian T wrote:However... and please don't be upset with me giving actual criticisms (if your work wasn't this good already, I probably wouldn't bother :)).


Would never get upset - this is exactly what we need, so don't be afraid to lay it on us!

J Marc wrote:I enjoyed this, the story flowed well from page to page. I think your street scenes are very attractive and really help to ground the comic, give it a sense of place. Great stuff! I could see the Scott Pilgrim influences quickly (also a dash of Street Angel) and could see what you were reaching for, but they fell a bit flat for me and also, I don't think you needed them. The story was keeping me reading regardless. As you continue the story you'll move away from your influences and develop your own way of telling gags, showing emotions, etc. All of these are good reasons to keep drawing it! The romance subplot (I presume that's where it's going!) didn't work for me, though that's probably just personal taste, it's often that way for me when it's a female protagonist. O'Malley's 'Lost at Sea' had a similar effect on me. How do you write this, by the way? Moore-style full script, Pekar-style thumbnails, a bit of both, or something else?


The story goes off in all different places. Yeah, most of what we have so far is just establishing characters and a world for them to exist in, which was one of the hardest things to grapple with in writing it - do you try and throw as much as possible out there early and hook the reader, then worry about development and tone later, or commit to the actual tale and let it grow on the reader organically. I decided to just let the story grow, so
I guess a lot of the subplots that you see, without trying to give too much away or sound too pretentious, might end up taking unexpected turns, because they all help give a grounding to the main character and the journey she will eventually take.

As for writing style - it's adapted from a far, far darker story I was working on - only trains, demons, a slayer, and the protagonists journey are really the same, but the tone was completely changed, as well as genders and secondary characters - so I wrote it for Nick (the artist) as almost a film script, with each panel described in detail and pages laid out. But then I realised I really should leave room for the artist's imagination, so I re-wrote it with only a genereal description of what happens on each page instead, but still kept the film-style dialogue and all the character motivations in.

So I don't really know what that style would be called. Never really written a comic script for someone else to draw before. Interesting experience so far.

Thanks for all your feedback. All the art notes have been passed on to Nick as well. We genuinely appreciate the honest and constructive criticism you guys have given us. Thank you.
SGEdwards
Citizen
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:01 pm
Location: Hobart, TAS


Return to Sequentials

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest