I need improvement, review Tukk & Rol?

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I need improvement, review Tukk & Rol?

Postby Tukk&Rol » December 24th, 2017, 6:42 pm

Howdy everyone!
I want to improve my comic, and to do that, I would appreciate multiple perspectives on what I could do to improve. Whether its by art, story, or even how I do the font, everything is fair game! I will not shoot down any criticisms, nor try to defend it in anyway, so hit me with your best shot! I genuinely want to improve, and this is the best way to do it.
Here's the comic: http://tukk-rol.smackjeeves.com/ (Or just click on my signature)
Have a great day, and thank you for your opinions!
Last edited by Tukk&Rol on December 26th, 2017, 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I need improvement, review Tukk & Rol?

Postby knorq » December 25th, 2017, 3:55 am

Hi there!
I'm curious what aspects of your comic you're most interested in improving. Are you looking for feedback on art? storyline? dialogue? page layout? etc. It'd be helpful as a reviewer to have a more specific idea what you'd like to hear about. :)
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Re: I need improvement, review Tukk & Rol?

Postby hogan29 » December 25th, 2017, 4:50 pm

You requested an in-depth critique, and I aim to do just this for you! I'd like to describe what I liked, and then provide suggestions for improvement. This will be wrapped up with a generalized summary. :)

What I Liked

COLORING. Coloring a comic can be a time-consuming task. If you are doing this as a hobby, the standard of what is "acceptable" is set by the artist. If you believe the coloring meets your standard - and you do not intent to market, sell, or present the work to anyone else but yourself and friends, that is all that can be really said. But if you are desiring a professional / marketable standard of coloring and rendering -- please see the below section for Suggestions for Improvement.

STORY TELLING. Tukk & Rol seems to be a glance into the lives of youngsters coming of age from High School or Middle School. I think that this work is written by or for individuals of that age group. The content of the story seems to capture the creativity of youth, the tightness and sweetness of youthful friendship and antics, and also seems to capture that delicate period of our lives when we had sleep-overs, had parties with our friends, and life was relatively carefree. It does a good job of drawing up those memories and situations. If that was the goal - it has been met very well!

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT / DESIGN. I feel like the characters seem to portray people we knew from our youth - when we were in school. The older brooding sister. The quirky, intriguing friends we inevitably made or discovered while as we navigated between classes between bells and lunch periods. I think that wrapping this with a bit of RPG fantasy is an interesting twist - albeit cliche.

Suggestions for Improvement

STORY DIRECTION / SCRIPT / DEVELOPMENT As I read through the story, I sort of started to get the feeling that the story is meandering. Much like how High School has students follow a set schedule - right up until everyone graduates and is turned loose - I feel like the story does sort of the same thing. It is following a pattern or pacing that seems to follow the day-to-day lives of school students - without really implying or suggesting of what direction the story is going in. The very first page seems to suggest that Tukk wants to grow up to be a warrior - and that his father is already a warrior. Though I have not seeing much development beyond the characters doing what friends and students do. They behave and interact in cliche, predictable fashion - like one would expect if they were to time travel back to High School and re-live several days. SUGGESTION It might be a nice idea to consider the story going in a direction that is not just about high school. Or the story might be about these students, but perhaps breaks away from the familiarity or normalcy of day-to-day. Anyone who is above that age range may enjoy the novelty of High School for a short period of time - only to realize that it is kind of repetitive. Are the characters going to go somewhere else? Is there another location, a world, or another situation they will get into that might compel them to move beyond being students? How will these characters develop from children into adults? What is the difference between being and adult and a teenager? In general - where is the story going?

To help with that - I think that a fleshed out script and perhaps thumb nails would be beneficial. Have a beginning and an end to the story that may or may not be flexible. This can make things helpful to portray a specific message to the audience. Some may suggest "forgetting all that" and just "following your heart." However, doing so can often lead an author or an artist to write themselves into a corner - creating situations that seemed dramatic for "a cliff-hanger," but then Cop Out because they did not know how to resolve a situation or story in a satisfying way. Such as killing a beloved character - only to have them be resurrected in the next chapter. Or having something happen that is suppose to shock the audience, only for the event becoming a dud as "everything is okay" one page later. Plan out your work, have an idea what direction it is going in, and have an idea of how you want your audience to feel or think. Are you trying to make them feel a certain emotion or consider a certain perspective?

LAYOUTS. Most of your work is very linear in page layout. If this is just as a hobby, that works! But if you are intending to have this printed or used at a professional level, I would suggest you adopt a certain page layout and formating - with defined and consistent measurements. I am currently using a program called Clip Studio Paint Pro (Formerly Manga Studio) which provides automatic page sizing, bleed, and crop points. If you intend to get your work printed, pick a printing size and lay out - and then sketch appropriate sized paneling for those pages. Going back to thumb-nails, it also helps to draw thumb nails (small, micro-versions of entire pages) all drawn out for a chapter. That means doing (approximately / estimated) 32 pages per chapter. The number of pages per chapter can vary - some Graphic Novels are absurdly long or super short between chapters or acts. But what this also forces you to be very selective about the paneling and content of those pages; you suddenly have a "page budget."

You only have 32 pages to put an immense amount of information into before the chapter ends - and you are limited by what can and cannot go into those pages. This means that it would be unwise to spend seven pages having a character stare at a wall without doing or saying much of anything without advancing the plot. Unless the specific purpose of those seven pages is to emphasize the monotony of that character staring wordlessly at a blank wall - those pages are wasted. This means the artist much learn to creatively transition between scenes, create scenes, and present and / or describe their characters within a condensed amount of time. A good book that covers bunch of this: Scott Mcclouds Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels.

DRAWING SKILL / PERSPECTIVE. Another significant issue that I would like to point out is that your characters come across as pretty awkward. I can tell that effort is taken to draw them in perspective and in a number of dynamic or dramatic poses. You have also taken effort to attempt to draw scenes in perspective. However, I would suggest that you still need to work on these skills!

In terms of drawing characters, I would suggest you draw "design sheets" for each character. For each one of those characters, try to do at least four or five drawings of the characters that is at the proper height, dimensions, and from multiple perspectives - that means different head, body, and facial angles. Try drawing them in a variety of costumes as well to see what does and does not work on them. If you are frustrated with your own art style -- what I would suggest if maybe finding an artist that you really enjoy reading and then studty the ever living crap out of them. Look at their characters, try sketching and drawing in that style - but try to avoid tracing or copying them exactly. Then move on to another artist or another style that you like - and try to adapt or learn to drawn in that style. Learn to draw hands, feet, and different facial expressions. A good way to 'practice' this is to find yourself a timed speed drawing program (there's several online!) that forces you to draw an image within a very condensed amount of time. Then practice a few sessions in which you work on one or two sketches that you liked for a lengthy period of time - say five minutes to an hour. As you sketch and doodle, you may notice that drawing gets much much easier as you go along. A good Youtuber you could look up would be the KNKL Show by Kienan Lafferty. He has hours of tutorials on sketching, learning drawing techniques, and cleaning up rough sketches.

PERSPECTIVE. Perspective is one of the most difficult skills to pull off. Some artists don't even bother with it - and just "wing it" without anyone really noticing. Their backgrounds or subject matter is so unusual or stylized that perspective wasn't really a point that mattered to their audience. But perspective can also create a sense of depth or immersion that pulls in viewers and "grounds" them into a scene. Sometimes perspective can be a little 'off' and the artist can get away with it by very carefully hiding a vanishing point with a body part - or obscuring stilted or poorly drawn thighs or legs with a piece of background. However, when backgrounds are not drawn properly and incorrect attempts at perspective are very obvious to see - it shows very painfully. Such is the case with your comic, friend. I am not trying to discourage you - nor am I claiming that I am a master of perspective by any means. However, if one does try to use perspective - two point or three point - and it is so close and so clearly placed into the scene - it is hard not to notice. What I could recommend or suggestion ... is trying to give your scenes or panels a more dynamic take on perspective. Showing a room from the upper corner, looking down. Or from the foot of a character. Or drawn close to them. I have seen that you have done this several times. But I think one of the weakest points right now for Tukk & Rol is the page layouts, perspective, and the panel designs in general. There are many tutorials, guides, and books on drawing in perspective. Several art programs even include tools that immensely help with perspective drawing, too!

PAGE FLOW. Several of the sources I have already cited touch upon effective "flow" of a comic page, how to avoid panels clashing, and how to effectively arrange the placement and sequence of panels, characters, scenes, and dialogue. Try this this link here: http://comicbookgraphicdesign.com/wp-co ... l-flow.jpg Do you see how the characters "look" in the direction the audiences eyes are meant to flow in? Or how a hand might 'point' or gesture in a direction that subtly guides the eyes of the audience? Those are 'clues' or 'ques' for the reader to follow - without the artist overtly having to draw "arrows" or "notes" to avoid confusion. If you have to draw an "arrow" to point what direction the reader needs to go - there's problems. An effectively drawn / laid-out page uses the characters, dialogue bubble placement, or the scene itself to move the reader's eyes along the page. I'm not a master of this - but I try!


Over-all, I think it's a plucky fun comic! I would not consider it professional grade by any means at the moment - but your coloring is looking clean and you have captured an essence of youth - a period of many of our lives - within these pages. It was a fun read! Though it was very rough -- and I felt like the story is kind of meandering or does not serve a purpose or 'meaning' as to why I ought to read it. It made me think about my friends and old days - but I did not really finish reading the comic with any compelling emotional or psychological reason to continue with the story... It isn't bad - it just kind of wanders at the moment for me! :s

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed and I hope this was helpful! I'd be more than happy to continue reading or providing any insights / additional thoughts at your request. :)

Have a great day!
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Re: I need improvement, review Tukk & Rol?

Postby Tukk&Rol » December 26th, 2017, 1:04 am

Thank you so much Hogan! I really appreciate the in-depth critique! I can agree the story is slow, maybe I should cut out some stuff I plan in the future.
Also thank you for the resources! I actually subscribed to the KNKL show on Youtube just a few days ago, are you watching me? Haha just kidding.
I also greatly appreciate the art tips! While I am doing this as a hobby for the moment, I plan to put as much as I can into this going forward. Thanks again, and I hope to improve in more than just the ways you mentioned!
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