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Dart Zaidyer
10-21-2011, 08:12 PM
Some of you might remember that I draw comics now and then. I'd like to do that more often!
Now, we all know a good few of us on Talking Time are quality comics dudes. But I hope that somewhere in your busy life can be a little place where you take a moment to see what ol' Zaidyer is up to next.

Let me start this thread by showing you one of my recent updates that I think might just brighten your day. I feel like we've all been in this situation at least once, don't you? (http://www.nightofthemeteor.com/20111019-survival/)

dtsund
10-22-2011, 07:58 PM
The problem with that comic is that while the joke itself is solid, it was very badly overtold. The best humor lets the audience work out some of the details of why what's going on is funny.

Imagine if this Penny Arcade (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/05/07) strip had a fourth panel, in which Tycho walked away and said "Yeah, that's going to fool me." Conversely, recall the time in the Webcomics thread where it was showed that CAD actually becomes funny sometimes if you remove all but the first and last panels.

Try looking at the second panel of what you have there, and going straight to the last one. If the second panel established that they were on a desert island, and if the last one had the bloody hand more obviously drawn (say, by having him clutch his bleeding hand instead of the cat), that itself would be a decent comic. This is a rather extreme reduction, but I think my point gets across.

As I see it, there are two ways this joke could've been told well. One is something like what I said above; it's funny because the reader gets to imagine what led to that bloody hand. Bonus points if you can somehow just strongly imply that he's thinking of Minecraft without saying it outright. The other would've been showing the guy standing in front of the tree, winding up for a serious punch... and ending it right there. Let the reader imagine what comes next.

tl;dr: This comic would've been over twice as funny if it had only half the panels.

Dart Zaidyer
10-22-2011, 11:02 PM
Well, if you think that one lays it on too thick, how does this one grab you?

Toot toot!
... ... ... (http://www.nightofthemeteor.com/20111021-happy-birthday/)

dtsund
10-23-2011, 10:28 AM
Well, if you think that one lays it on too thick, how does this one grab you?

Toot toot!
... ... ... (http://www.nightofthemeteor.com/20111021-happy-birthday/)

Better!

Dart Zaidyer
11-22-2011, 08:21 AM
Today begins a story that's sure to end well! (http://www.nightofthemeteor.com/20111122-eddie/)*

*May not actually end well at all.

Dart Zaidyer
08-14-2014, 11:33 AM
Who reads my comics? You read my comics! if your name is "Red Silvers"

Would you believe the iPad can pinch-hit for a legitimate art tool? It seems incredible, but I managed to borrow one and scribble on it with a dumb stylus that has a rubber nib the size of a used crayon. It took a couple hours, but the result only required a few tiny adjustments in Photoshop, and now I'm posting it for you!

Today I lay out my deepest, most desperate fear. (http://www.nightofthemeteor.com/20140814-art/)

Please read it, oh good grief

Dart Zaidyer
08-19-2014, 05:12 PM
NOBODY READS MY COMICS (http://www.nightofthemeteor.com/20140819-the-secret-to-success/)

I WONDER WHY

(please help)

Guild
08-19-2014, 10:07 PM
It takes 10,000 hours to become proficient! You're obviously enthusiastic about this pursuit, that's enough to carry you through hell.

Because when you're in hell, keep going, as Churchill once said.

Your style is interesting, keep coming up with ideas. I heard a lot of comic strip artists carry a book of notes for when absurd scenarios pop up. When I did a short midlife foray into webcomics I found myself doing the same thing, and it really does help come up with good comics.

For example, my President Cat series was quite popular with the nine or ten people I showed it to. In it, an image of a newspaper with a headline like BALL OF STRING THREATENS EARTH was in the first panel, in the second was President Kitten, who would meow or mew or something, then in the third panel was a newspaper with a headline like PRESIDENT CAT GOES INTO SPACE, SAVES EARTH. It was the repeition of the formula that got attention, not the silly joke, but the silly joke was the engine. I think it's all about finding your voice maybe.

Warg
08-20-2014, 04:30 AM
I guess I oughta start with this question, because right now, it seems like you're not enjoying this endeavor at all.

What are your motivations for making comics?

Excitemike
08-20-2014, 07:43 AM
For real, if I want to see someone beat themselves up I can dig up my Best of Backyard Wrestling tapes. It's ok to grapple with darker themes but the three panel strip is maybe noy the best format for that.

Guild
08-20-2014, 12:14 PM
...unless you could mabe turn THAT into your shtick, make the most cringe-worthy and uncomfortable comics you possibly can, like madhair but take out the funny parts, just make it so absolutely black and unredeeming that you hit some kind of niche.

Ok that is not a good idea. Listen to Mike and Warg.

The thing you guys might not know abouty artists is that we tend to speak through our medium, this is one of those comics Zaid can show friends but shouldn't publish on his site. Actually it's one of the ones you never show, you just do it to get it out of your system sorta dealy and then quietly put it somewhere to agonize or laugh about years later.

You don't want to be known for this particular tone I think Zaid, and your art is great and you have established characters with personalities, that's good enough imo for continuing if you really love this stuff. CONSISTENT funny will come later, you're just starting out IMO, like me with graphic design.

Well I dunno shit, I just wa hoping to talk you through the art depression which is my oldest, dearest friend whom I battle semi-monthly.

Dart Zaidyer
09-02-2014, 05:11 AM
I learned a thing. Several, in fact. (http://www.nightofthemeteor.com/comic/the-rules-of-good-comics/)

True story: I started drawing comics in 1997 and webcomics in 2005, but have fallen down the Art Hole so often that this is what it's come to.

Somebody stop me before I start doing every page in oil paints and only put out like one a month if you're lucky, or maybe I'll invent the biggest hit in webcomics in years only to go insane and stop updating completely and rapidly lose readers until "When It's Done™" happens.

TK Flash
09-02-2014, 08:09 AM
Given how close this came to your post in Sprite's thread, the content of that post, and the content of your comics (most of which I've read), I get the distinct impression that you're feeling small and inferior. If I'm wrong, feel free to ignore the rest of this post.

Your comics always sound like a cry for attention. When I see them, though, I'm reminded of the time you berated the Super Talking Time Bros team for not coming together to form a crack indie team with you at the helm. It's like you're expecting praise and recognition for everything you do, and when responses don't meet your expectations, you lash out. Probably mostly at yourself, but very rarely at others. It shows in your posts.

Just what is it that you want from us? You've received stern advice and you've received coddling. You've been praised and you've been torn down. Your Zelda spriteset got picked up by that community enthusiastically, right? Your Mario fangames are probably the most popular ones online. I think you need to stop beating yourself up over your weaknesses and play more to your strengths. The lack of replies here should put it quite plainly that webcomics aren't one of those strengths. Your cry for recognition won't go answered. Can't you think of a more valuable use of your time?

Dart Zaidyer
09-02-2014, 04:41 PM
Your comics always sound like a cry for attention. When I see them, though, I'm reminded of the time you berated the Super Talking Time Bros team for not coming together to form a crack indie team with you at the helm. It's like you're expecting praise and recognition for everything you do, and when responses don't meet your expectations, you lash out. Probably mostly at yourself, but very rarely at others. It shows in your posts.

Just what is it that you want from us? You've received stern advice and you've received coddling. You've been praised and you've been torn down. Your Zelda spriteset got picked up by that community enthusiastically, right? Your Mario fangames are probably the most popular ones online. I think you need to stop beating yourself up over your weaknesses and play more to your strengths. The lack of replies here should put it quite plainly that webcomics aren't one of those strengths. Your cry for recognition won't go answered. Can't you think of a more valuable use of your time?

Wise words, TK Flash. They make me think hard.

My webcomics long game has always been to use them as a vehicle for writing. Jim and Fluffy obviously isn't working because none of that has happened. No matter how hard I try, it will never be Whomp and it's barely even Garfield. A new direction is clearly needed. I once started in on one, but I lost my nerve, because I was afraid that maybe you're right, and webcomics just aren't my game.
That would hurt me really bad because a long time ago I wanted nothing more than a career in comics. If you look up my posts in the Penny Arcade Strip Search thread, you might be able to guess that I try to know a lot about the rules of webcomics and how to do them. I've been invested in that dream since the very first comic I ever drew.

Recently I wrote six pages of an ongoing arc wherein a supervillain opens a retail store and starts hiring ordinary people. In the interests of saving myself like twelve hours of work against the tepid response I've gotten far, I'll post my script here so everyone can evaluate it based purely on the writing and the pacing that shows through it.

TK Flash
09-02-2014, 06:00 PM
I don't think it's that interesting of an idea, and the execution is all talking heads. The comical setup makes me expect there will be a comical payoff and then there's no punchline. It feels like you're not able to get across what makes the idea amusing to you.

Also, I think Whomp is a pretty low hurdle to shoot for. The art is good and the jokes can be pretty funny but it makes you feel so bad reading that comic.

Guild
09-04-2014, 01:35 PM
I have to agree with TK, I think the pacing is the problem, the characterizations are obviously thought-out and you're clearly planning to go somewhere with all this.

Read the first five pages of Bone and compare to this, Zaid. Are you writing a sitcomesque comic or are you writing a dynamic epic? Seinfeld always ends the same and starts with nothing changed. Adventure time follows generally this rule however there is character development and things change slightly over the seasons. Contrast to something like Game of Thrones in which yeah, everyone dies forever eventually and often unexpectedly (but rarely unpredictably).

So what I'm asking here is are you setting up Seinfeld or Adventure Time? They are two different types of stories, imo, and this one feels like you're trying to force the introduction a bit hard.

The pacing is also a bit slow in the beginning, you could shorten all of that to just two wordless panels, one of the villain looking extremely villainous as he does something mysterous and dangerous looking, such as building a bomb-looking device, then in the next panel he's selling said device and looking a bit bored because retail is the less thrilling aspect of his work. And then you merely have each character come in, ask for a job, the villain asks a quick question, they answer wrongly, he dismisses each one immediately. Bam, bam, bam, bam, all four are told to go home. Then later he's sitting by the phone scowling at a bunch of untaped boxes of inventory and he sighs and picks up the applications off the counter.

It's a different pacing and it doesn't try to shove PERSONALITY down anyone's throat, letting it reflect softly from echoes of the events of the plot rather than being, themselves, the apparent entire point of the whole story. And it lets your main villain guy expose his monologuing grandiosity in his own time, when the drama is high and the rambling is legitimately actually annoying and therefore hilarious, rather than using his rambles to belabor what is actually rather dry character establishment.

Just my opinion, I'm open to debate on any of this, I'm just painting with my emotions and general thoughts after reading the script twice over.

waterpot
09-04-2014, 01:58 PM
Arrrgggg Your first page is way better than mine

Dart Zaidyer
09-05-2014, 08:33 AM
While I attempt to clean up my website and reorganize everything, interested readers can check out Page 1, now fully drawn (http://www.nightofthemeteor.com/meteorwp/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/meteor2-supermart-01.png). A strong first page is essential for setting the tone and hooking the reader. I hope this new style and format is striking enough to live up to the image I've built in your head with the script.

Night of the Meteor is a clean break from Jim and Fluffy Do Nothing Hit the Road. I mean for it to be the real focus of the site.

Dart Zaidyer
09-09-2014, 06:25 PM
Now updating at nearly half the pace of Talking Time's latest webcomics darling!
Page 2, in which we cut to the chase and meet our main characters. (http://www.nightofthemeteor.com/comic/chapter-1-part-02/)

I suspect I may need a new thread for this.

Red Silvers
09-09-2014, 08:05 PM
Going broke is a respectable weakness.

Tefari
09-09-2014, 09:35 PM
This is significantly better than your previous! I'm interested to see where this is going, just don't fall into the trap of punchline trumps actual story development. Worry less about other projects TT and just focus on keeping this up.

Dart Zaidyer
09-15-2014, 03:48 PM
Now that you've got a taste of what I can really do, I'd like to take a moment to indulge myself.

I had a happy moment yesterday, the first clean break in the depression I've been battling for years now. I recalled a favorite character from a webcomic series I used to love creating. It's called SPACEDUST.
I first came up with it back in 2006, when Battlestar Galactica was the hot new sci-fi series on TV. What began as a straight parody of the maudlin edginess that defined the show turned into an excuse for me to have fun with a sci-fi setting. I threw everything I had at fleshing it out and managed to draw 30 pages (and wrote hundreds) before I ruined my life. It was gonna be the Best Thing, you guys.
I'd like to share with you the best installments from that original run. You can start here with Page 1 (http://www.spacedustcomics.com/comic/spacedust-tos-episode-01/).
Even as I understand the importance of moving on, part of me is holding out hope that I can rehabilitate this idea and get it rolling again.

Guild
09-16-2014, 11:42 AM
Spacedust
by Jason Acid

(that's how the title scans to me initially, it's a typographic problem)

Up until the dad got his finger broken by the robot which was ignored I was really onboard with this comic. Then the insanity of the dad triggered all kinds of negative associations for me being part of the craziest family humanity can produce and I stopped reading on the panel where it looks like the moustachioed man is watching him foam at the mouth and possibly die? and decides the best thing is to call the looney bin. I don't know why that killed it for me, probably I'm not the target audience or my tolerance for that kind of stuff requires more finesse on the part of the artist?

All that said, this is spectacular work, you should do what Sprite's doing and have a 5 month supply of them backlogged then release them one at a time on specific days at specific times. That will build readership.