02-23-2006, 10:28 PM
Here is a fantastic four page I worked on. This was my first page working from a real script. I'm not completely happy with it but still learning, I would really appreciate any constructive critiscism. Thank's in advance for any help you can share. It was a new set of challenges for me working multiple characters in to panels. I learned to respect those working on team books all the more after doing this one. I struggled with drawing small 1' heads etc.
Resizing to 600 pixel .Jpg loses some of the detail in the line work but I think you can see enough of it.
02-24-2006, 02:46 PM
This is a strong effort and pages are the most difficult to pull off successfully. I'll try to address some of the more obvious issues, and let others get into the finer points with you.
P-1, first off it took me forever to realize that the figure at the base of the image, which disappears into the solid blacks, isn't actually in the same room as the FF. I didn't initially understand that it's a film being watched by a bunch of government guys. You REALLY need to establish this, otherwise (as I did) the reader will make the assumption that they're all together in the same space. At first I thought the FF was standing behind a table, not until later did I figure out it was a movie screen. You have to establish early on where things are. It may not be the most dramatic or fun, but doing an establishing shot of the entire room, the table with the GI guys, the standing spokesman, and the screen on a wall that they're watching, will save you trouble later on from a storytelling point. At first this didn't make any sense to me, and felt like a scrap book of images. Only after I figured out the movie screen aspect of it, did it come together. Again, if you had given me that clearly in the opening shot, I'd have been with you thru the course of the page. To the man in the foreground getting lost in the shadows, sometimes you have to bend the rules a bit to make a panel read better. Not filling him in with solid black might have helped him pop. In the film, it looks like Reed is jumping in the air, but he's physically in front of Sue (who looks like she's modeling a 50s haircut) yet overall he's still smaller than Ben Grimm who is farther away. I not sure what their size relationships are and the angle only serves to confuse things more. The established perspective implies that Ben Grimm was already 10 feet tall before he was transformed.
P-2, the military guys, or whoever they are, seemed crammed into their chairs, like parents visiting a child's pre-school classroom. You have four white people in the FF, so making some of your GI guys of ethnic origin (i.e. black, latino, asian) would help establish some variety, as of now everyone looks almost identical. I'd suggest getting some catalogs or other references for the clothes. Practice drawing suits and collars more, even better do a search for military wear (if that's what these guys are supposed to be wearing). There's a knack to drawing a suit, but if you spend the time learning that, it will reward you later for years to come. Steve Rude told me once that if you can draw a person in a suit believably, then almost everything else you put on the figure will look right. Your drapery suffers because you have folds extending from various points on the body that they wouldn't really extend from. Additionally, I see that you have a tendency to make heads a bit too large for your figures, stay aware of that and try to correct in your drafting stages.
P-3, again the clothing hurts your figure work and although fun, the interior design of the ship really doesn't work. Look into some references of cockpits or the space shuttle to give your environments a more solid ring of truth. Currently it feels more like they're painted onto flat boards, like an old 1950s low-budget, sci-fi movie. That might have been fine 30 years ago, but people expect everything to look like it works now, by referencing it you'll save yourself some time, and it will visually work better. Your figure work is inconsistent in its proportions, the characters look a bit marionette like. Style isn't about how you make marks, it's about the consistency of the images. If you have a character with one arm longer than the other, that's fine, but it has to be maintained thru the page, if it changes from panel to panel? That's just bad drawing, not a style. Peanuts has a style, if it was drawn by Charles Schulz in the strip or Bill Melendez in the cartoon, it didn't matter- why? -because the "style" matched.
P-4, you have a general standing in front of a movie screen, so Reed isn't there, yet he's breaking the panel border? Huh? How do you justify that? If Reed's image would be cropped on film because of the frame of the camera, why does he break the border of the panel which is supposed to be a camera frame to begin with? It's not logical and you should either crop him, or reposition him deeper into the panel. The thing looks really odd to me, his arms are flapping about more like tentacles, but worse are different lengths. The surface structure of the Thing's body looks like he has boils rather than rocks for skin. The clothes again are very distracting and the drapery doesn't seem to be following the forms they're covering. Sue's face is a bit distracting in that it's not visually pleasing and she's supposed to be a hunney isn't she? Your facial expressions are odd, for Reed and Johnny seem shocked, but Sue seems more like a mom that's annoyed by a screaming baby at the mall. I'm not sure what the structure is behind them, if it's supposed to be a rocket, it doesn't appear as one. Right now it looks more like a garage door, and we need to know where they are and where they're coming from. Again you need to "establish" every change of scene by having the full amount of information in it. Don't assume that your audience knows the original story or knows what you're talking about. It may feel like you're rehashing old information, but you need to show enough to make things clear to a first time reader as well. Stuart Immonen did some similar "film" scenes with the Hulk during his run of that series. It's available in a TPB, so find that, it might help in showing options for how to approach this material.
Overall this is a strong, solid effort, but the problems outshine the energy and devotion. Push your camera placement and never under estimate the value of an establishing shot.
Good luck, keep at it!
02-24-2006, 03:33 PM
Thanks for taking the time to give me a solid crit.
Yeah Panel 1 is supposed to be a guy looking at a film projection.
I see your point about the perspective relation of the characters.
P-2. Thanks for the advice on suits, yeah drapery and clothing I have
a lot of work to do in those areas.
P-3. Yeah this was supposed to be another shot retelling there
origin etc. I agree I would never try to pass off mistakes as style.
P-4. Thanks so much for pointing out the mistake with Reed! I knew something
was off and I couldn't put my finger on it. I try to make intelligent choices
to everything I put in a panel but I guess that time I wasn't paying attention,
and ended up enjoying myself at the expense of clarity, good find.
Thanks for the advice on establishing shots, If the script leaves out a detail here or
there I guess I should be filling in the blanks to keep clarity.
02-24-2006, 03:34 PM
damn that's some feedback:D
First thing that pops out to me is that you need to work on perspective especially in the first panel
keep that pencil busy
02-24-2006, 04:13 PM
I can't add anything here. That's a wonderful critique.
02-27-2006, 10:18 AM
Good crtiques above.
I just wanted to add that you've got a really unique Style to your work that I dig. You know the things you need to work on so keep at it! Just don't lose that flair that defines your style!! :)
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