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Here are some pages from my comic/webcomic project "The Outworlder" (he's the guy in black).  I know my cityscape needs a lot of work.  Any other feedback would be much appreciated.  Thank you.




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Ok I am reading through your webcomic and the idea looks ok. But heres my suggestions and questions.

What comics/graphic novels are you using as influences and inspiration for story and artstyle?

There are some story plot holes, no offense. But I can help you with that if you like.

Use thicker outlines for your characters to make them stand out better from the backgrounds.

Add detailed textures to the clothes of the characters and the skin of the aliens, background/forgrounds, floors/ground, objects and don't have them being random wavy lines. Make them more detailed so they look more realistic.

The lighted windows on your cityscapes or background buildings should be smaller the farther away they are from your characters.

I hope these suggestions help! :)
I suggest you purchase these two excellent books on comic book storytelling:
Making Comics by Scott McCloud Harper Publishing
Comics & Sequential Art by Will Eisner Poorhouse Press
David, thank you for all the helpful suggestions. I know my writing is as amaturish as my artwork. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated in either regard.

I can't really say what influenced it. A buddy and I came up with the characters in 1992. At the time we were both reading a bunch of X-Men and Image titles. I was also reading Batman, Flash, Superman, Spider-Man, Quasar, the Ultraverse, and others I can't remember anymore. When I came up with the story in 1998 I had not read comics for about 5 years, so I suppose it must have still been influenced by those 1990-93 comics I read heavily.

I am hoping to re-edit and re-illustrate the origin, and hopefully improve on it. My 7 year old son really wants daddy to "make a real comic." I figure if I re-do it and submit it for POD, at least he can have a copy of daddy's "real comic."

I will look into those books you mentioned, Ralph. Thank you for the suggestions.
I agree with Ralph. I also have Making Comics by Scott McCloud and it's VERY useful in how to tell a story properly, creating body language and emotion on your characters, and trying to find the style right for you. It helped to improve my storytelling techniques and even introduced me to quite a few comics that helped me even more since a lot of photos taken from different comics and graphic novels are used. Every comic artist should have this book. And getting Scott's other book "Understanding Comics" would help too.
Michael- I think that's so cool that your main goal is to have a comic for your son! That's so awesome.

And just think, if you're going to even one for him, i'm sure his friends would like copies- so this could be a cool ministry for you!

Scott McCloud books are great (his comics he's done are, too...)

my artistic advice is find artists you like and then study what you like about them- put that into your bag of tricks and continue onto some others to study! consider your pacing in writing, the end goal of the story, and each panel. there are some neat page/story telling techniques- which you'll learn about in books like McClouds.
Micheal, Check out my blog post on the main page, "22Panels That Always Work!"
Also, practice, practice, practice!
Daniel Conner said:
my artistic advice is find artists you like and then study what you like about them- put that into your bag of tricks and continue onto some others to study! consider your pacing in writing, the end goal of the story, and each panel. there are some neat page/story telling techniques- which you'll learn about in books like McClouds.

I like artists of varying styles. Sergio Cariello is great on the Lone Ranger book (and I really like the Action Bible previews I've seen as well). I also really like Scott Wegener of Atomic Robo. I always like Alex Ross' photolike paintings. Craig Rousseau is good too. Golden Age stuff like Will Eisner, Jerry Robinson, Bill Everett, Paul Gustavson. Lots of different styles.
Buzz Dixon said:
Lemme suggest How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way as an excellent starting point.

Thanks, I'll check that one out too. I actually can't believe I haven't already bought that book. I've always thought about it.
Steve Shipley said:
Micheal, Check out my blog post on the main page, "22Panels That Always Work!"
Also, practice, practice, practice!

I actually already looked at that before you replied. Very interesting. Thanks.
Hi Michael,

I thought I would join the fray.

Well your doing some things right:

1) You're actually producing. Many people talk and produce nothing. You can't learn unless you try.
2) You're willing to learn - by soliciting feedback and then applying what you learn.

The books mentioned look into them definitely. How to Draw the Marvel Way - excellent starting point. (I would contend that it's actually how to draw Marvel comics circa the 60's or 70's. At least the principles...a shame how so few artists use them.) You don't need to learn the style - but the principles yes.

Making Comics by Scott McCloud Harper Publishing - another fantastic starting point.

Comics & Sequential Art by Will Eisner Poorhouse Press - Great book, but possibly too advanced at this stage. Gets a lot into Meta Pages and Acting.

Commentary on approach:
What you should do is take a crash course life-drawing class - and if that's not available to you then get: "The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards - cheap and will help you learn very quickly.

Other possible books - please don't be offended by the titles - they have some really really really good info for the starting artist is called: Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes (this book helped even me, even after being an artist for years) OR her other book titled: Drawing for Older Children and Teens A Creative Method for Adult...

My two rules for drawing:
1) Draw what you see not what you know.
2) LOOK. The longer you look at something, analyze and observe it before you start drawing it, then the better your drawing will be. Reference material is your friend.

There are a bucket load of techniques that exist - but you need to start at the fundamentals.

A couple things to keep in mind:

1. To make a real comic book you don't necessarily need to be able to draw like DC or Marvel. You can end up creating a stylized approach like Jimmy Corrigan, Bone, Scrooge McDuck, or Scott Pilgrim.

2. That said, knowing fundamentals will help you dramatically. Concentrate more on the fundamentals and not on your style. Your style will innately show up over time all by itself without you even really trying. The reason a lot of stylists have a style is because they know how already draw realistically and they know how to break it.

If you learn your fundamentals, you can then apply any type of "style" depending on what sort of mood you're in that day.

3. Work on creating form, weight, depth of field and perspective.

4. Work on your observational skills. Really, really really look at things. For long periods of time. Then try to draw them.

5. To mix things up a bit do really fast gesture studies of family members, or if you take your kid to the park, take the sketch book with you and draw really fast scribbles of what you see.

6. Keep things clear and simple. You're already doing that so keep it up.

7. Don't stop creating sequences. The only way you'll learn how to space things in a frame or on a page is if you keep doing what your doing. However, learning the fundamentals of form, weight, anatomy and perspective will help immensely.

Keep it up. Draw anything and everything. Forward ho.
Thanks for the advice. I've always liked the "draw what you see, not what you know" lesson. I learned it in kindergarten when my people had one ear and everyone else's had two, and when everyone's sky was at the top of the paper but mine touched the grass. The kids made fun of me, be the teacher gave us all that advice. Thanks for the tips, and for bringing back that memory.
Based on everyone's recommendations, I found a copy of Scott McCloud's "Making Comics" during a family trip over the weekend. I'm only about 40 pages in and there's already a wealth of information there. Thanks for the recommendation guys. Next I'll have to look for the Marvel book.

As an aside - A comic book about how to make comics? Genius!


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