Winner: Samurai-Sky | MagistelleDue to IRL circumstances the final entry of AATR was largely left incomplete.
In order to be constructive, this critique will be as limited to the content that was provided as possible.
“Giant monsters overtaking the real? Ehhhh.” /wobbly hand
“Final Opponent using their collective worth of comic entry in panel form as an attack? Honestly pretty neato.”
Using the opponent’s own panels and enlarging a drawing was super clever. Splitting up and enlarging the gutters between the panels was also clever, but left some of the judges doing additional read throughs to figure out where one of the parties were due to the lack of backgrounds on Mags’ side. This is probably due to the state of the pages towards the end.
As expected, the entertainment value suffered due to lack of finish. However, had there been two entries to compare it likely would have been quite the battle due to...
Overall there appeared to be a significant jump from where the story started, the direction it appeared to be going and where it ended up. The elements pointing to a Sentient Real and a potential conflict or confrontation with it appeared to be dropped in favor of accommodating Chuudle’s main plotline and theme. The combination of Sky and Mags abilities and Chuudles story managed to combine into something unique despite the dropped story elements feeling a little cliche.
The narrative with Sam and Yuki could have been interesting but felt like it actually suffered big time from the sandwich between the mandatory cameos. It was hard to keep the new primary thread of the story and gauge what had the most weight. The rallying of artists to fight monsters felt like an excuse to draw everyone, though admittedly, it was a cute concept, but it sat almost completely apart from the core exchange with two adversaries who were locked away from everyone else.
Adding every contestant is an extremely risky idea in an OCT. It not only costs a lot of time and effort, but also it runs the risk of having everyone come off shallow. Fortunately, Sky and Mags actually managed to give everyone not only a fair amount of spotlight, but also make their interactions feel organic and genuine, and that is definitely worthy of praise.
It would have been challenging to judge a more focused entry vs this grand finale, especially due to the fact that at least within the context of round 5 itself, the concept of the epic gathering flowed relatively well and didn’t feel as tacked on as it could have.
Although the entry remained relatively coherent for the most part considering its unfinished state, there were some places where even if it was finished, it still would have been somewhat confusing visually, and if not confusing, could have been improved upon with less cramped formatting. The panels where Sky and Mags reach into the border space to grab hands and tug the teams into the same location WAS pretty dope though.
There are several shots that are pretty fun in their composition, such as the overhead view of Sky heading in for the kick on Sam and several of the combat panels. This is obviously difficult to judge because of the finish, and that very same factor is one that really hurt the cameo portions of the comics. While the writing for the different artists and character teams felt true to their personality, they felt like they had no real direction or weight, and a lot of it became panels where figures were jumbled together that required a bit of careful effort to parse and identify. It forced the reader to slow down the most during the cameos just to try and follow the action, which is pretty rough because it wasn’t where the focus should have been.
There was just enough to demonstrate that the intent was clearly there and that carries some merit, but had it been finished, character composition (expression, posing, demeanor) would have been key to getting the most out of group shots with the bit of context each were given.
A very ambitious effort story-wise to fit in every contestant in some shape or form. It was very impressive how the team kept adding to the variety of ways they managed to break the fourth wall. Though the story did not come across as particularly original at its conceptual core, it was filled with good humor that did not completely break the narrative and was even enhanced by the aforementioned breaking of the fourth wall and the portrayals of all contestants.