Things I’d Change About My Web Comic – Round One

Rav and Nash LinkMy new cartoon Rav and Nash is now updating three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Hosting is through Comic Fury, and searching is provided by Oh No Robot. Go check it out!

Just because it’s my cartoon doesn’t mean I don’t have my complaints. Hit the link for five things I’d change about my own cartoon (and things you should consider changing in your webcomic).

The first (and current) story arc is entitled “Hard Work”. Though a lot of work has been poured into the general process, there are a few things that I don’t like and want to change. Fortunately it’s my comic strip, so I can change them:

  • Facial details are lacking – I haven’t drawn up some necessary mouths, and am having to make due in certain scenes. Rav’s “grumpy” mouth is the default face, which doesn’t make a lot of sense in the context of the comic. Faces (mouths and eyes) should match the context of the scene, displaying the character’s emotion.
  • The comic is set in the town of “a grassy hill” – Pretty much every comic visits the “grassy hills” at some point. It’s a standard for a reason, but I’d like my characters to start visiting some nicer parts of their town. It”s hard to establish the town’s identity if all you see is the grassy knoll. Take time to draw
  • Text balloons *were* terrible – Text balloons were simply awful for the first few strips. I was using a one-size balloon with Arial font. Thankfully, I read through Web Comic Triage and fixed up my text bubbles. I created a resizable round text balloon, and am now using a font downloaded from Blambot. There are some finer points on that blog that I’ll have to incorporate in the future.
  • Character poses aren’t utilizing a line of action – I’m trying to learn how to incorporate line of action into my drawings. With on-paper drawings, line of action is possible to implement in your drawings. It takes practice, but once you adjust your drawing style you’ll be glad you did.
    Unfortunately, line of action is harder to incorporate into Flash characters. Although arms and legs bend easily (and are easy to set up with motion tweening), the body does not easily bend. This is more difficult than Flash’s blunt tools can handle – manual tweening may be the best option. Remember: characters that cannot fully bend look stiff and lifeless.
  • Each comic is drawn at the same angle – No dynamic scenes…yet. It’s frustrating posing characters without the ability to spin them around the Y axis (giving a 3D effect) or the Z axis (a simple rotation on the drawing). Creating a personality-filled town will make dynamic angles more challenging, as each scene will need to exist along each Y axis rotation I want to have. But, as both of these elements are worth working toward, this is an effort that must be exercised.

If you’re starting your own web comic, you should work to avoid these pitfalls. I know I am! Dynamic poses and line of action seem to be a lost art in today’s world of web comics – with notable exceptions, such as Scary Go Round. Make your comic a notable exception too!

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