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Author Topic: The Pitt of Despair  (Read 9497 times)

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jay-ell

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The Pitt of Despair
« on: November 24, 2009, 03:22:57 pm »

I may be taking my life in my hands here, but I wonder what you guys think of my brother-in-law's webcomic.

http://www.pod-comic.com/

He is just starting out and hoping to make a real living of it. It's a journal-style comic, but mainly because he's working on his art and also doing a set of mini-comics with his Characters, which he takes to Cons. So he uses his fictional storyline material for those and does the journal comic on the web.

To his credit, he has done a great job of meeting deadlines and sticking to his self-imposed schedule. And his art is improving by leaps and bounds. But he has a hard time finding a story to tell each week, and I think he is a much funnier person IRL than he appears to be in the comic.

I ask for your opinions and suggestions because I am in a position to Make Webcomics Better by offering your suggestions (carefully couched) to Gabe. As I said, he's just starting out (He has been publishing 3x/wk since February) and really wants to make a go of it. So please be honest. I will not direct him to this thread, but I may forward him your comments if they are useful and not mean.
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Choop

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 03:56:19 pm »

I may be taking my life in my hands here, but I wonder what you guys think of my brother-in-law's webcomic.

http://www.pod-comic.com/

i got a couple good chuckles out of the archive, not bad at all. he might want to run his dialogue through a word processor before he inks it (it's gynEcologist). i like the little recurring bits like ryan's face never being drawn, and the photo-comics.

also it takes balls to draw yourself -- even half-honestly -- in boxers, playing guitar hero. that was one of the better strips.
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bluemoon72

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 04:56:25 pm »

i got a couple good chuckles out of the archive, not bad at all. he might want to run his dialogue through a word processor before he inks it (it's gynEcologist). i like the little recurring bits like ryan's face never being drawn, and the photo-comics.

also it takes balls to draw yourself -- even half-honestly -- in boxers, playing guitar hero. that was one of the better strips.

Agreed on the word processor; on comic 2 I nearly stopped reading because of the THREE errors in panel 2 alone.  *shudder* However, grammarcuntism aside, I like it. I'm drawn in, the art is good, I want to read more.  Thumbs up.  (or should I say, "Thumms up?")
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jay-ell

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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 05:00:24 pm »

I have mentioned the grammar/spelling issue to him before. I will bring it up again.

Any other comments/suggestions? I just poked through the archives and realized anew how much better his art has gotten in the last 8 months. It is pretty awesome.
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dejavroom

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 05:07:16 pm »

Actually, I feel like the only useful comment I can make regards the art: It seems his style and technique are on the verge of coalescing into something more personal, drifting away from what I feel is a pretty standard cartoonesque template - so - doodle, dude, doodle away like there's no tomorrow.

Actually actually I just checked the first strips and yes, he's quite the bounder, eh.


(as in, a guy who leaps a lot)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 05:14:45 pm by dejavroom »
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jaydub

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 07:50:31 pm »

As opposed to a cad, one assumes.
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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 08:38:50 pm »

I just poked through the archives and realized anew how much better his art has gotten in the last 8 months. It is pretty awesome.
I like the art in the earlier strips better. Relatively simple line drawings will almost always trump all that shading and stuff in my opinion. I mean, if you're gonna go that route (really intricate), you have to be really great at it to make it work and even then it usually comes off as unnecessary. You can get away with a lot more without dampening the product if you tone it down. It seems like he's going out of his way to make things more difficult for himself and the end result doesn't really justify it. More work, less quality.

As for the humor, I'm just not a fan of that genre. That's not his fault.
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KeithHernandez

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 09:10:49 pm »

I don't really, uh, understand where the humor is.
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bluemoon72

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 09:28:23 pm »

I don't really, uh, understand where the humor is.

It's there!  It's gentle, somewhat self-effacing, occasionally ironic humor.  I like it.  And I like his art, whether it's the clean lines or the more shaded style.  (Or, it could just be that in the strip with his photo I found him awfully damn cute.) 

Edited to add:  Also, sometimes you don't need humor.  I teared up at this one, and that's just fine with me.  http://www.pod-comic.com/?p=313
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 09:34:36 pm by bluemoon72 »
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wombat

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2009, 09:37:15 pm »

The art creeps me out. If I saw those people walking towards me I would cross the street to avoid them. I give him high marks for how realistic that impression feels, but it has the unfortunate effect of making me not want to read the thing because I don't want to spend time with those people.
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bluemoon72

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 09:47:34 pm »

The art creeps me out. If I saw those people walking towards me I would cross the street to avoid them. I give him high marks for how realistic that impression feels, but it has the unfortunate effect of making me not want to read the thing because I don't want to spend time with those people.

How odd...it may be because I read so few webcomics, but I really like the art for the same reason I think you don't; its expressiveness.  I think the faces speak volumes, and they aren't all prettied up and fake.  It makes the stories more real, to me.
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Choop

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 09:52:19 pm »

i just hope the people he's drawing are really not attractive, and that they're flattered by the drawings of them, because yeesh they're not pretty people in the cartoons.
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littlefallsmets

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2009, 09:55:39 pm »

Can't say that the genre is my cup of tea but I dig the art style.

I guess that on some weird primodial basis, I think that if you're going to use drawings as your medium, you might as well explore it and do all the things with it that you couldn't do if you were taking pictures or making film or writing it down or something. Not that comics gotta be necessarily one thing or another but when it is just drawings of people doing more-or-less people things, it is pretty difficult for me to get into it.

Whether it is... exaggerated comedy or exaggerated action or fantasy or whatnot, it seems a waste of the medium's potential to just write straight realism with it. I feel the same about animation, too, when I see some kid's show and it is a bunch of things that actors could be doing except animated so that the people are part-animal or look animesque, there is difficulty getting drawn into it if you'll excuse the pun. Maybe it's just me.

To a synthesis of blue and Keith's points, though, I'll also say that the quite gentle humour and the sometimes not really going for humor is kind of at odds with the superexaggerated art style. You look at the line-work and the general design and you're thinking "this is going to be exaggerated and harsh in tone" and... y'know... it's actually these really kinda quiet explorations of a dude's life who just kinda wants to go to school and make a kid and stuff.

It often doesn't mesh, the story with the style, we'll say. The subject matter feels like it would be better complimented by either a minimalistic or a realistic art approach.
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jay-ell

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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2009, 09:58:34 pm »

Yeah, I acknowledge that this is not the kind of strip that is necessarily going to appeal to everyone here. I know that he takes a lot of inspiration from Tom Beland, not in terms of art style but in terms of the type of work he's doing. And I think he knows that journal comics are sort of what people do when they're not full of good jokes. He's young and has a lot of years ahead of him, and I get the sense that PoD is sort of a dry run for him to practice on until he gets a handle on his art and writing stylezz.

I think it's interesting that some of you like his current drawing style and some of you prefer the sparer style he started out with. I prefer the richer style, but then again, I know what these people look like IRL. I think that makes a difference, somehow.

Wombat, if it helps, his art style will probably be completely different in six months or so. Look at how Jeph Jaques' style has evolved.

Who else hates the art style? if more than half of you are put off by it, he should probably know that. He might not like it, but he'd want to know.

Edited to add: smets, that is very insightful. I will definitely pass that along as food for thought.
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bluemoon72

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The Pitt of Despair
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2009, 10:01:04 pm »

To a synthesis of blue and Keith's points, though, I'll also say that the quite gentle humour and the sometimes not really going for humor is kind of at odds with the superexaggerated art style. You look at the line-work and the general design and you're thinking "this is going to be exaggerated and harsh in tone" and... y'know... it's actually these really kinda quiet explorations of a dude's life who just kinda wants to go to school and make a kid and stuff.

It often doesn't mesh, the story with the style, we'll say. The subject matter feels like it would be better complimented by either a minimalistic or a realistic art approach.

Wow, that's a really good point.  This hadn't occurred to me, the contrast between art style and story style.  But I don't know, I think the artwork complements the story, such as this one:  http://www.pod-comic.com/?p=385  Love the perspective of the face in the mirror.
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