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JP and comics (long rant)...

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 12, 2009, 8:14 AM
This is something I've been wanting to get off my chest for a while.

Most of my near and dear friends on DeviantART believe that I should be drawing comics. Some say it's in my blood, others say comics are the only real way an artist like me can really express my ideas. Indeed, I've been trying to draw comics all my life. But I rarely refer to myself as a comic artist; I like to think of myself as a character designer and storyteller. And I have never worked a comic book to completion in my life (e.g., fully colored, inked and lettered) though I have tried countless times.

Comics are damn hard.

And the thing is, when I finally gather up the nerve to sit down and work on drawing comics, interesting things happen. If the page view counter is to be believed, October 2008 was the month in which I received the most visits/views last year. That happened to be the month where I was uploading nothing but comic pages from my first WCL chapter. But if comments and favorites are any kind of measure as to how appealing my art is to the masses, my comic pages are the worst things I do. It's like people are waiting with bated breath to see what kinds of comics I'll ultimately whip out, and then they leave disappointed when it happens.

I'd like to say that comments and favorites shouldn't matter, but the fact is, the whole reason I upload my art is to show it off. If I didn't care what others thought of it, I'd keep it to myself. I gauge the reactions and the crits (if any) to see what I can do to make my stuff better, and to see if my stuff will impress people. If I'm doing something that no one likes, it's hard for me to like it myself. If what I'm showing is turning people off, then it makes me feel like maybe it's not the right thing to be doing...that maybe it's a waste of my time and energy. I like everything I draw, at least, everything I feel comfortable with uploading (there's quite a bit of stuff I don't upload), and because of that, I'm a poor judge of what my best stuff is. Thus, I look to see what others like and agree with.

I find it a little disturbing that Friday - Suzy Q by Dualmask has more favorites than WCL 1:1 by Dualmask. Not that either of those images is what I'd call 'bad' but given the level of effort and energy I put into the comic page, I expected more.

Is it wrong? Don't tell me you don't get thrilled when a piece of yours gets a lot of favorites. Even an uber-popular deviant has images that get thousands of favorites while others get only hundreds. It feels good to know you've created something that really appeals to the masses. That's how it is for me. And when I do something that doesn't appeal to people (e.g., my comic pages), it makes me wonder why I'm bothering with them. After all, I'd like to sell my art someday. It may never happen, but it's worth a try. But I've got written story excerpts in my NiaBlack gallery that have more favorites than some of my comic pages.

I think if I'm going to make any kind of a name for myself, it's probably not going to be with comics. Not because I don't want to, not even because I lack the skill, but because at my age I feel like I need to be more realistic with what I should be doing with my art (and writing). Even if the skill to draw attractive comics is inside me somewhere, I don't know if I have the patience that it will take for me to get it together.

I ran across the work of :iconpyroglyphics1: and I saw he did a comic cover-esque image for a friend of his who expresses his super hero character through written novels, with images preceding every chapter. I don't know how successful that kind of work is, but it seems to be a lot more my speed than drawing sequential comics. When I try to draw comics, I can feel that I am not doing my best art. It almost feels like I'm holding myself back for no reason, and that's why when I consider a page done, I feel like it's not my best work. It's all the concessions I make for storytelling purposes. The cheap backgrounds, the use of black...

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I just need more practice.

So what I hope to do is keep myself focused enough to finish this prelude chapter to the Nia Black graphic novel series in comic form, and see what the general reaction will be to it once it's completed. To be honest, I haven't put in the serious effort that comics need, so maybe it's just a hurdle I need to overcome.

But I keep thinking that Nia Black can be a big, powerful franchise one day if I can take my own ego out of it and let others in, others who might want to (and have the skill to) draw sequential comics for me, based on the story I've written. If I don't have the skill to do it visually, it's better for me to accept that and find an artist (or artists) who do. And at the very least, I can do covers since I love pinups so much.

JP

  • Reading: Sherlock Holmes - A Sign of Four
  • Watching: Max Payne
  • Playing: Oblivion and Suikoden
  • Drinking: Coffee
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:iconricardoredway:
ricardoredway Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
comics aren't for everyone.especially not art "show offs".maybe the page for novels idea is better, but just for the record favourites are all dependent on tastes and timing.not necessarily subject matter."simple and fun seem to catch favourite clicks" plus fan art and hot babes plus colorful energetic scenes etc.if you just want faves then forget comics and do pin ups
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, I didn't want to make it sound like all I care about is favorites, because that isn't the case. It's a matter of perception. I'd rather get people telling me that the stuff looks like crap than for it to simply be ignored...at least I'd know what the deal was. But when I upload comic pages, they get very little attention. There can only be one reason for that--they're not appealing. So I need to figure out why that is. Is it because comics in general don't stand out, or is it just because I'm doing them poorly?

Can't really know for sure, but I'd hate to spend the next 10-15 years drawing comics only to realize I could have been using my energy for more lucrative things.
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:iconricardoredway:
ricardoredway Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009
i don't think they are ignored but a page is just the initial stage of the comic. a comic is judged by the complete package so expecting a lot of feedback on a finger instead of feedback on the entire body is kind of silly to me. story and plot presentation is everything if the story doesn't continuously go some where the reader won't be intrigued.that's why drawing comics are so hard.you have to keep maintaining constant deadlines and quality.
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:iconwbd:
wbd Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
For some reason, comics get fewer faves and views on Deviantart. The problem is that if someone wants to build interest in their original characters, then they need something like a comic (or if they win the lottery, an animated series). Something of a Catch-22.

I think the biggest problem is that Deviantart has changed, and maybe it isn't the place that it once was. The change that is the strongest is how it seems like very few people browse nowadays. When I first got here, it felt like there were more random browsers and visitors.

The other challenge is building up enough pages to have enough story readable immediately when someone comes buy to look. When you reach that critical mass of pages (say, enough for an issue), that's when you need to look for some places to promote what you've done. Before that, it'll be hard as people won't have enough story to draw them in.

So, I can understand your frustration- I think I feel it, too. But on the other hand, I think you're just a short ways away from a good breakthrough- you just need to keep it up a bit longer. The only thing I can think of is this- find a good rhythm to get into when drawing comics- a pace that doesn't feel too forced or too slow, but one that you feel happy with.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
You're right. I've judged the situation far too quickly. I should know better too...the whole reason the first chapter of my book goes the way it does is because I understand that a simple action sequence is a great way to draw readers/viewers in to a story that they otherwise might not read. The comic I'm working on is based on that same action sequence, but I haven't actually gotten to the action part yet. Once I've done it, I'll have a great visual series to go along with the introductory sequence in my book, and that will be a great way to promote my product.

I figure if I can get a good pace going, like you said, and just keep pumping out pages, then things will get better, I think. I'll get better, viewership will get better, everything will get better. Maybe.
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:iconwbd:
wbd Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
It will get better, but you've gotta be patient, and you have to have confidence in your abilities. Once you've got that first batch done, you need to shift gears a bit and discover your promotional strengths- because that's where the next challenge will lie.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Ah, yes...marketing and promotion...that's the really scary part!
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:iconwbd:
wbd Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
When thinking about it, don't forget the 4 Ps- Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. There should be some good sites that have free info on marketing if you need them, too.

Have you checked out any sites that like to talk about webcomics, or comics in general (and are receptive to links)? I'm not convinced that advertising works, but maybe a bit of money (the same as the ad cost) to the right person could get a review or coverage of your work which would bring more attention than an ad.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I've thought about that, but I keep telling myself it's a good idea to actually have a product to sell before I start trying to sell it. ^^; First things first. :nod: When I get the comic at a state of completion, then the time will come to start pushing it. I'm not even sure I want to do print or web publishing yet.
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:icongarypope:
GaryPope Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Everybody said everything already, so I'll just say :iconhulkdaddyg: is awesome! So is :iconniablack: :innocent:
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, those two cats are really amazing folks! :D
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:iconcharmingcrobat:
CharmingCrobat Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ignore your favs. There's millions of people looking for random things on DA. For example you might have typed in 'skater chick' ffor the frist one and just 'WCL' for the other one. Well now you've got a hundred or so random kids looking up for something to do with skatebording and then BAM you've got 50+ favs and 3 comments. See what I mean? That's why I don't like uploading cannon fan-art. If it's half way decent it'll get more favs than anything in your whole gallary. Example, my Harley pin up has 15 favs. And the one I worked the hardest on, Jane Austin, has maybe 3? Oppions of the masses my dear. Sheep will flock before thinking it through. Did that make any sense? I'm really tired and kinda rambly, sorry if I threw you off.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I understand what you mean. I wasn't basing my feelings just on favorites per se, but rather the attention. I would love it if the same number of people who critiqued my pinups for any reason would say something about my comics, something that helps me improve or at least encourages me to continue. But based on what I see, people just...don't...care. I'm not sure that's really the case, but that's what it looks like. Thus, it's hard to stay motivated. I could draw comics that no one cares about, or I could draw pinups that people love...and associate them with my writing to kind of force-feed that into my viewers at the same time and get decent results.

But I've come to terms with the fact that I've probably judged the situation too quickly. I can't say for certain that I'm going to focus 100% on comics from now on, but I'm not going to give up at least until I have a complete issue.

And I feel the same way about fan art. I rarely do it because it just doesn't interest me. I'd probably be more popular if I did, but I don't do what I do for popularity. I can't. I've tried to force myself to draw fan art under the pretense of improvement but I couldn't stay focused. I just don't care as much about mainstream, pre-owned characters. I mean, I'll watch a Batman movie or read a Witchblade comic any day, but don't ask me to draw them seriously...I won't be interested. And I guess I should be grateful that I built up the level of viewership and "popularity" (I use that term loosely since it's just the internet) that I have on this site, given how little fan art I do.
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:iconcharmingcrobat:
CharmingCrobat Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well I love doing fan art. I have a ton of it, inculding a VERY nice Batgirl. But I just perfer not to post too much of it. Maybe in time I will.

Hmmm. I think pinups get more attention the comics because people are too lazy to read the comic and think about the meaning behind it when it takes 2 seconds to look at a pin up and go, 'hot, fav!'
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Well, I don't have anyone to show my art off to in my RL inner circle so I figure I upload virtually everything I do that's worthwhile. Of course, there's a lot of stuff I draw that isn't quite so worthwhile. Online or off, I just can't really be bothered with fan art unless it's a character I REALLY like (preferably female) AND if I'm in the mood to take time away from my personal projects for it. That's rarely the case.
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:iconcharmingcrobat:
CharmingCrobat Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nothing wrong with that. ^_^ I'm married to my DM, so needless to say, yay nerdyness! David loves seeing anything I do. And my father-in-law is artistic and likes to see things I've done as well.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
My wife likes the fact that I draw, but she's not too fond of what I choose to draw. She actually prefers my writing to my art. Go figure.
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:iconcharmingcrobat:
CharmingCrobat Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
David writes. I have a few poems published, and I'm working on abook so I NEVER post writeing here. Maybe you wife can see your creativty better in your words?
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:iconhells-blood:
Hells-Blood Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Here's my two cents, so it's only natural that you get more fav's for pin ups than sequentials but their are reasons for that. First being you're accustom to pin ups, most of your art gallery is pinups and the art is all they have to judge there. With a page they have to judge art, story telling, page layout, colors, perspective, not to mention if the actual story is any good! So I say don't worry about the favs and keep in mind that there's plenty of people making a living in comicbooks and a very few can do all of the above. To do comic books it truly does take a village if you know what I mean. You my friend might not be good at all of the above but you're definitely good at more than one of those skills.
Oh and if producing a whole book isn't your speed then web comics is another option as you can move at your pace brotha', later DM.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for your insight. I think I just started thinking too much again...too much thinking and not enough doing. I really need to stop that...then again when I'm on my 9-to-5, thinking is really the only thing I can do because nothing else keeps me busy.

At any rate, I'm not stopping, yet anyway. And I am producing my current comic in landscape mode so webcomics might just be the way to go.
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:iconscruffyronin:
scruffyronin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional General Artist
I can relate.

I know how hard it is to be at your 30's, with a family to support and still trying to learn things that other people already mastered. It's an uphill battle but it's something you always answer to because you love comics AND you love to draw. And I have no idea what other people who loves COMICS and DRAWING wish to do than make comics themselves.

I have a few personal observations, if you don't mind...

You really have to give yourself a break.

Over-analyzing your potential at a very early stage will get you nowhere and nowhere won't make you happy. You've already begun, and pardon my corny analogy but it's like already having the number of the "Girl of your Dreams" and your at home still thinking whether calling her is the right thing to do.

Find the balance between pushing yourself to improvement but with the patience to forgive yourself for the failures and the little encouragement to pat yourself on the back for your victories. This can keep you focused and motivated for the days to come.

One thing I realized in my own journey was that the only wall standing between the artist I am now and the artist I want to be is complacency and apprehension.

And there's the other thing I mentioned to you before about not learning and doing everything at once. You have to put things in order. You have to pick that one Fighting Game Character to master first so at least you got one character that can qualify in a Tourney. Sure, it's tempting and FUN to try and master the other characters' moves but it ruins the objective and will leave you average overall.


Don't give up so soon, it can be done.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for chiming in. Believe it or not, I was hoping to hear from you because I know you can relate. Seeing what you've managed to accomplish while being in a similar situation to my own tells me that, though it will take longer, it's something I probably need to keep pressing forward with if I want to have something worthwhile.

That's why, even in the midst of my rant, I'm still working on my comic. I lifted my pencil to type that entry and I went right back to it after I was done.

I spent the last several years debating as to whether or not the graphic novel was even worth the effort, trying and failing many times. I know now that, that's not even the real point. I can't get it off my mind, I keep thinking about it, so I need to do it, and even if it doesn't turn out that well, doing it will be more than accomplishment enough.

I needed to rant to get my thoughts in black and white, but I haven't made any concrete decisions. I never do, even when I say I do.
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:iconscruffyronin:
scruffyronin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional General Artist
"Seeing what you've managed to accomplish while being in a similar situation to my own tells me that, though it will take longer"

Skill is just a matter of how many serious hours you put into it. I'm 34, you're 31. If you'll draw for 3 years like your life depended on it, I'm positive you can do better when you reach my age because man, I got ADD, I'm lazy and I'm colorblind, it ain't rocket-science to get to where I am haha!
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Then that is what I shall do! :w00t: Because maybe my life does depend on it...I'm going to go insane if I spend another minute not moving forward in my art the way I want to!

But hey, don't get it twisted...you're the man. ADD and all. :)
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:iconjmk1999:
jmk1999 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009   Digital Artist
from what i've noticed, unless it's a super popular character or artist (say a pro for example), doing a comic PAGE and expecting it to get more favs than a pinup is pretty ridiculous... especially if it's an on-going thing. if it's a single page comic and a little joke or something, then it's more likely going to be enjoyed. people don't want to have to keep reading and faving an on-going thing. sample pages are fine... go ahead and post them. but also make sure you got information and what have you about the comic, when it's coming out, if it's already out, where to buy it, etc. i've noticed popular artists usually will put up a single page that's very dynamic or they'll put up a pinup from that comic. take *AdamWarren for example. he'll only put up sample pages that are fun and don't need to be thought into too much... otherwise, he'll put up his covers and pinup pages. but anyway, that's all just my opinion. you should feel lucky to be pretty popular regardless. i mean, you got *daggerpoint visiting your page on a regular basis... i love his work, but i doubt he even knows who i am. lol... anyway, yeah, i'm sure it feels good to be recognized for your sketches and stuff with less effort, but comic pages are just really tough to pitch on an art community without asking for serious critique or something.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Well, for the record, :icondaggerpoint: and I have known each other since long before either of us was considered "popular" on this site. ;) We go way back, he just took off like a rocket while I plodded forward like a snail. But I am grateful for the small slice of popularity I seem to have picked up here.

And yeah, you're right. Comics don't get the kind of attention that pinups do, but I figured the effort I put into my page would be appreciated a bit more than a rough sketch that I did in the span of an hour. Part of my problem is motivation. I think I'd just dig it if the same folks who say they want to know more about my characters and stories actually came out of the woodwork and said something when I go forward with it. But like I said, it feels like people are anticipating my comics, and then saying 'meh' when I actually do them. But it very well could be that they're waiting for me to finish. And I don't exactly have a great track record for finishing things.

But you made me think of something. Your comment about Adam Warren is right on. It's not the pages themselves, it's what the pages are showing. I went through my gallery and found that I did a comic sequence that got a bit more attention than most of my comics [link] and I realized it was because of what the pages presented.

Even if the pages I've uploaded were done by a pro, a scene of two men talking just isn't that interesting. But an intense fight scene or something humorous would invariably draw more attention, and I already know I'm much better at displaying action than conversation.

You've convinced me to stick it out. I feel better about pressing on and seeing how the reaction grows when I get to the action sequences in my current comic.
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:iconjmk1999:
jmk1999 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009   Digital Artist
cool, good to hear i helped! :) also, i wouldn't worry too much about inserting dialogue. as you showed on those pages, the dialogue isn't necessary to bring people in. often times an illustrator will post without the dialogue on their pages. it's kind of a way to make you go "hmm, i wonder what's happening here..." but yes, action sequences and dynamic imagery are definitely more appealing. maybe that's why the sketch you did of my OC was more popular. it was not just a single pinup, but a dynamic piece as well. also, it was quite different from many of your pinups. just some things to think about. ;)
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Well, what can I say...the fact that your character was a skateboarder really inspired me. I hadn't drawn a character riding a board in decades...it was like a blast from the past. :D I'm definitely going to draw her again someday.
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:iconjmk1999:
jmk1999 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009   Digital Artist
cool, i look forward to it! ^^
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:iconpoisonremedy:
PoisonRemedy Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
You've hit on a few things I myself get worried about with comics. Either nobody really likes comics as much as they make out, or people just don't really have any frame of reference so stay shtumm about them. Most of the comic feedback I get comes solely from other comic artists, people who normally rabidly feed my inbox full suddenly go silent when I upload a comic.

Honestly, I love comics more than pin-up the more I do them, but yeah, they're a shitload of work. Therefore motivating myself to get one done round work is harder than pin-ups. And it's not a little frustrating to upload one and then get ignored for it.

It's also quantity...you can get a lot of pinups done in the time it takes to generate one comic page, and 5 pinups'll probably inevitably generate you more traffic than one single comic deviation, as people who don't like pinup A might still plump for pinups C and D. You make a 6 page comic and people hate the characters, they'll only ever look at page 1.

Still. Appeal isn't everything. The most important thing I think is to work out what you want and then also what kind of artist you want to be seen as and balance the two. Easier said than done I know, and as soon as I find a hard fast answer I'll give it to you, but the two of us might well be into our 'golden years' by then xDD.

Also sometimes people'll surprise you. While I don't think it necessarily won me any new fans, the reaction I got to my semi-recent first part of 'She Preaches Mayhem' was pretty exciting and overwhelming.

I would say, mix it up and do both when the mood takes you. No point shutting any doors at this point in our lives.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, it's like I said to :iconjonkin:, I will certainly dabble in comics here and there (I certainly wouldn't have enjoyed my *GotBeef entries as much if they were single pinups) but as far as what I want to define me as an artist, I know that sequentials aren't it.

When I draw pinups, I keep thinking about what more I can add to make it look good, satisfied all the way. With comics, I keep looking for what I can do to get past something, to get away with something, to hide something I don't do very well, and that leads me to think I'm cheating, almost...doing lackluster work for the sake of storytelling.

For instance, I'm working on the third page of my Nia Black graphic novel right now. This page has been a hurdle for me for years. It's a simple scene where a guy goes from the lobby of a building to the third floor via a stairway, and yet I've been struggling with it for as long as this story of mine has existed. I finally found a way to get past it that doesn't look...horrible, but I'm not impressed with it. It's a very flat, 'git ur dun' layout. But I figure if I force myself past it, I can get to the fun parts of the comic (Nia's first appearance) that much faster.

Still, having to go with a banal side view because I can't do any better is one of the reasons why I don't enjoy drawing comics, even though I can't stop. I'm a perfectionist, and that's bad when you don't know how to make things perfect. :o
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:iconjonkin:
JonKin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I feel you on trying to appeal to the masses with your creations. I'm always in that struggle myself. You are dead on about the pageviews and faves; to a point, the primary reason we draw is for the enjoyment and the expression it provides, but it's nice to recieve comments and faves for the stuff we do. Honestly, I don't get that many faves and comments. I get on average 3 faves and 2 comments per pic, and I'm grateful for the little bit that I do get. The thing that gets to be sometimes is when I put a lot of effort into a pic and gets no faves and barely any comments, but a popular deviant can put up a black and white sketch and get more views, comments and faves in an hour than my most viewed pic (with only had 500 and so views since Sept 2008). Now I feel like I'm bitchin', but it's a little discouraging. I usually have to get over my own jealously and tell myself to try harder.

I think that Nia Black could be a great IP, and that a callaboration with another artist would be the ticket. After all, comics are first and foremost a visual medium. If the art isn't a reader's cup f tea, then they won't buy it no matter how good the story may be.

BTW, at least you TRY to do comic pages. I haven't even ATTEMPTed to draw one in 10 years! :D
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
That's the thing about me. I have like zero confidence in my comic drawing abilities, and yet I can't stop trying to draw them. (And for the record, I know they're not THAT bad...I've just seen a lot better.) It's almost as if I'm addicted to something that I know is messing me up, but can't stop doing it.

Every time I think about just going ahead and adding pinups to my written book (and future books), I see a well done comic page by the likes of Adam Warren or someone from UDON and I keep thinking that with practice, I can do work like that myself. And then whenever I start drawing comics, the confidence plummets. It's a strange thing. I didn't use to worry about it this much, not when I was younger.

I think it's important to come to terms with what you want out of your art. You haven't done comics in ages...maybe that's not your calling. I'm a retard because I keep thinking it is, then that it isn't, then that it is, isn't...ad nauseum. If you come to exact terms with the kind of art you like to do and practice, I'm sure your audience will expand in time.
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:iconjonkin:
JonKin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm, that's some serious food for thought. I then to gravate toward my own creations, with the occasional well-known comic character. The thing about me is that I keep telling people that my dream is to write and draw my own graphic novel, but do I do any thing to further that dream? NO! Instend, I usually draw characters to see how popular they are with people or fan art. I know that I'm a decent artist, but I see guys that whom are simply phenomional, and get encourage to draw something awesome. My problem is that once I upload something, I wish for that vindication, those comments and faves that lets me feel that I am a good artist. When they don't come, then I start second-guessing myself, and wondering what I did wrong. Then I get over it and the cycle continue.

I do need to find out what is it that I want to do with my art., After all, I haven't brought a comic in a while, or even tried to do a comic page, so maybe I need to do something else with it, like pin-ups, or advertising.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I was thinking along the lines of something similar. I like comics, but I gravitate toward pinups, character designs and artistic nude photography more than anything, and that reflects what I like to draw most. I don't even buy comics that often; the last time I spent money on a comic book was when I bought Adam Warren's Empowered Vol.2 (when it was new--he's up to volume 5 now if that's any indication). To that end, when I draw a pin up, it usually gets a decent response. But when I get people telling me they want to see comics, I react accordingly. And then I draw said comics, and they get very little attention.

I get to wondering, why is it when I draw comics I feel like I'm pushing people away from my gallery, rather than drawing people toward it? It's not that I do it all just to be a popular deviant per se, but it feels better to know people like what I do, rather than struggle to draw something again and again for it to get ignored.

Plus, the one solid, complete, purchasable thing I've created in my life thus far wasn't a comic or any kind of art book, it was a written novel. Obviously, my heart was more into that than anything I've created before, or since. I ask myself if it would be better if I explored writing further, because I know I'm good at it and I enjoy it.

I feel like it's time to be more honest with myself. I may have some skill with drawing comics, but it's not my calling. It's fun to mess around with every now and then, but it can't be my creative focus.

Sooner or later, one has to keep it real.
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:iconjonkin:
JonKin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I feel ya. I recall Brian Michael Bendis said something similar; he was a decent artist, but they were better artists out there and he stuck to writing. If you think that writing is more your bag, then I say go for it. You could write a Nia Black novel and design your own covers. Me personally, I like creating characters and stories. I just have a hard time connecting them to a plot of sort.

Life's funny like that. Just because you are good at something doesn't mean that it's your calling.I need to find my calling in life as well.
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:icondw-deathwish:
DW-DeathWisH Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Wow JP u got some heavy feelings bro! good and bad thnx for sharing i read it all....i also understand it all to well! ive tackled many of projects and sequential art is soooo much harder then pinup and not nearly as fun though the storytellin part is a fun challenge...my only reaction to this is pick one thing you wanna do the most and go at it strong to make it in the art world or just keep playing around with different things and have fun and keep it all a hobby with lots of perks!

...oh and how did u make the rainbow effect on suzy Q?
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for reading it all. It's really just a rant-- I don't expect anyone to help me decide anything, I just wanted to get it off my chest, like I said. I don't know what the deal is. Maybe I need to try a different creation method. Maybe the digital inking thing isn't working out for my comics; maybe people like my penciling better. Who knows.

Anyway, about the Suzy Q drawing, that's an easy effect. In Photoshop, scan your drawing in, put a transparent layer above it, set it to Overlay (or is it Screen? I can't remember specifically...) and then do a linear gradient with the colors you want. For that one, I used one of Photoshop's presets, I think. Choose a blending mode that only affects the line art, not the white surrounding the drawing, and you're done.
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:icondw-deathwish:
DW-DeathWisH Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
thnx alot! once again your wisdom is appreciated!!
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