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AnnVole's avatar

Nightlife Comic 4

By AnnVole
Here is a rough draft of a webcomic I am drawing writen by Den Whitton. Please comment on how the over all style can be improved as I am doing the planning for the other strips right now.

This comic is about a bar/pub in Austrailia for bats and dragons (with lots of marsupials and other animals for patrons too).
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© 2005 - 2021 AnnVole
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Alex-the-Lion's avatar
not a flying fox then
AnnVole's avatar
David is supposed to be a type of flying fox (Spectacled Flying-fox, Pteropus conspicillatus) but the other two characters are a vampire bat (Angela) and an insect-eating bat common to Australia (Saccolaimus genus for Jackie... the bat who feels all hot)
artemisio's avatar
I think you have a good base for comic, but you should keep a couple of things in mind. First the baloons then the drawings: when you organize the panels, think first about the space you need for the baloons, usually at the top of the panel. And second, keep in mind the perspective: background are bitches i know :cry: if you can't find a satisfing perspective tutorial, i suggest you this book: [link]
it's awsomlicious :D
AnnVole's avatar
hehe, I actually borrowed that very book from the library but neglected to read it. I will have to get it again and actually use it. I am building a model of the bar and some puppets of the characters and using a digital camera to make images of the characters and (on a different digital layer) the background. From that point I will draw over the image using a graphite-like digital painting thing with my graphics tablet. With some cut-and-paste added to the mix, I should be able to make very awesome art. As for the text bubbles, I was trying a way of moving your view from panel to panel but it might not work. I might put the text on one side and use digital text so I can make multi-language versions of the comic without changing the art. Thank you for looking at this and commenting!
toonbat's avatar
But does she give you a glass of orange juice and a cookie afterwards?
AnnVole's avatar
hehe, that would be Dave the Bartender's job... unless he was the blood donor (spoiler alert)
Color-By-Numbers's avatar
this is such a cute idea!!!!!

seriously, your art is so cute and i love the concept of the comic, its really cute! :)
vso's avatar
bats and dragon? You is a vole....gonna end up a side dish....just kidding! Love this!
Dudymas's avatar
Man... I just recently thought to myself "Sheeesh! I never got back to commenting up stuff for anne!" and ran over here to give whatever shots I can at whatever.

Lessseeeeee. Hmmm... I must admit, I believe you take your time with lines by the looks of this. Lots of careful curves and a lot more careful shadings or two. The texturing is awfully nice and the characters are good because you are rather consistent between frames with their face structure and everything. I'd say that the only thing I noticed there is that in the middle/background pane the younger bat fellow's eyes are different (though no too significantly) from the last two panes. I like the perspective... it's not too daunting or distracting, but gives a good view. Atmosphere is something to think about with darkening and adding more contrast, but that's purely the personality of how you do your art and not really important. I would suggest first off that you try to do less linework in pencil, try only being scratchy and very light with that, then use a dipping pen (oh man, am I ever biased on this subject... forgive me... but I loooove dipping pens because they allow a great deal of line control and everything for me) to finalize your lines. If you do linework anything like what I do, with a little practice, you'll find it easier to vary line width and go a lot faster because it can be hard to do untextured and uniform lines with pencil. Pens excel at that. Then you can use your computer for shading if you have a stylus. Still... never forget pencils..... they can be the best backbone ever for getting a good sketch started, but the uniformity of the lines in this comes from the fact that it is HARD to get pencil linework consistent without dutifully picking out weights for each and avoiding trying to vary pressure. It's much easier on you and the pencils to just vary weights, but it also causes problems with rubbing too. Pencils have their place. In my opinion, pens also have theirs, and it's important to play around with um. But ah yes... I'm heavily biased here and I'm not speaking from as much experience as I'd have hoped for.

So yeah. with that hopefully comes the critique at hand: many of the characters need more uniformity in their lines. Like the two characters in the middle/background pane are well layed out and everything, and the expressions are fine, but you prolly should get a charcoal, 4B/6B pencil/graphite, or a pen and smooth and equalize everything. Usually that helps the eye glide across the page without seeing details that are not in fact supposed to be details. Mind you, once again... this is all my opinion and side of this. Attacking the problem of getting a comic done in a timely manner is not something I've ever imagined, and so ink or linework may not be something you have time for. In that case, you can always use the posterize function in a photo program after scanning ;-)

I should say yet again... I like your consistency and the views that you do are unique perspectives and if you can keep both those up, that's all that's really necessary for gluing it all together. The style that you render things in will sometimes make for a pickier/looser audience, but it's not a big deal if you enjoy your style.
DingoPatagonico's avatar
BTech's avatar
Yay, aussie settings :XD:

Nice crowd scene there, it must be hard to fit all those characters around each other during the drawing (especially if you make ooooone mistake, and then you try to erase it and it slips and .... yeah, im still scarred from the last time i tried to draw more than 2 people in one scene :lol:)
AnnVole's avatar
I drew the bar tables first then added a bunch of characters then used that to place them behind the stuff in front. The key tool here is a "light table" which is a table with "sign white" plastic for the surface which lets light through and I have flouresent lights under it. I can then see through several layers of paper. Light tables are usually used for animation but adding lots of different stuff to a single drawing and doing the layout is so much easier this way.
shyal-malkes's avatar
well, I like it, few people these days have detailed shaded, solid (usually going a bit abstract) pictures that are black and white, usually if they go for detailed and solid they also go for all the colors and shadows and blends and fancy stuff I can't even Identify yet. if this were a webcomic I'd seriously consider making it one of my common rivisits.
AnnVole's avatar
I am having a hard time finding any art by others that is anything like what I have in my head. I like to see "grit" or texture to the areas but at the same time there is little shading so it is much like "animation cel" style with areas of the same colour (easier that way). I intend to make them colour but only subtle colours as sepia tones or pastels so they will be close to black and white. I figure that is how night animals see the world being that they do have colour cones but they have a much higher level of black and white sensing rods so it is like us in a dark room, everything goes mostly black and white.

Some "texture" can be found on this artists black and white stuff:
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