Sister Kiteria vs. Ozias Krane

Sister Kiteria vs. Ozias Krane

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317 points
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Crit level: No preference

51.8%
340 points
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Crit level: In-depth critique preferred



Critiques & Comments
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Happy June 19th! -Reecer6
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247 comments
# 15   Posted: May 1 2019, 09:13 PM
Aaaaah, I loved both of these! Both have such excellent art and engaging story!!!!!

Yarn, every time I see you're art, I'm like, "This is so dang good, it can't possibly get any better," AND THEN IT DOES. You are an unstoppable tsunami of improvement!!!

Inky, I really love your particular realistic and illustrate-y style, and you've pumped out so much of it in this comic!! The thriller-ness of it is super fun, even if it ends a smidgen suddenly, and some of the compositions don't really give any empty space for the eye to rest.

InkyBrain
Artist
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29 comments
# 14   Posted: Apr 28 2019, 10:31 PM
ArtsandGoodies:

Inkybrain: Your art is amazing, In particular love the way you drew Kiteria's face in this. All the details you put in were amazing and all the pages are a treat. The only part i don't think works too well is in page 6 where he throws the restrainer, we don't quite see the motion of him throwing and the way he was holding it in panel 3 doesn't seem to be a good way to throw an object, but this is a minor art nitpick in an otherwise great comic artwise.
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Thanks for your critique! I actually meant to go for more of a toss/flick motion, as if the device needs to land the correct way, but I do agree the setup wasn't enough to make that clear. As for the dialogue- I know I've got a lot of work to do on that, but at least I didn't get any comments annoyed with the font itself this time! LOL. Anywho, aside from rushing it near the end there, I tried to pack too much into a single page. I don't really like a lot of open, empty space but as a result I left little room to breathe AND the dialogue got mashed together.

I will however, have to disagree with you regarding Ozias's speak of demons and the puns that followed- they are demons, a trait I hope I made obvious from the very beginning of the comic. That being said, I wish I'd added some of the original dialogue regarding how he'd arrived at being chased by the Gerecht in the first place; he sold them the "dud" weapons. I think that might've made the story a little more clear, but I opted to end it with his offer as I really wanted to show that kind of gray area in Ozias's neutral status.

For everyone else so far:
Thank you for all the comments and critiques! I'm definitely going to work on variations of my lines, as to not lose the focal point while still applying the amount of detail I genuinely like for my art and comics. In addition, I'll be fiercely studying a lot of indie comics for that dialogue and sound effect use, to prepare myself for the next comic/battle!

ArtsandGoodies
Think Tank
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200 comments
# 13   Posted: Apr 28 2019, 08:08 PM
Yarn: This story was great and I love the text panel implementation you did in this. I was a little tripped up on the name your price panel because they switch orientations there but that is a minor gripe and i overall really enjoyed this comic. Your traditional art is always a treat. I do have one story question that isn't an issue here but may be something you can bring up in future comics. Who is she taking contracts from? Since she only respects those of the faith is there someone from the church issuing this contract for her and does she take other ones from them?

Inkybrain: Your art is amazing, In particular love the way you drew Kiteria's face in this. All the details you put in were amazing and all the pages are a treat. The only part i don't think works too well is in page 6 where he throws the restrainer, we don't quite see the motion of him throwing and the way he was holding it in panel 3 doesn't seem to be a good way to throw an object, but this is a minor art nitpick in an otherwise great comic artwise.
I do however have a couple story crits as well. the first one and more minor one, he made a lot of hell and devil puns before he knew she was religious it seemed a little off since they didn't have any previous history and felt a bit like using knowledge of the character before Ozias could know. The other critique is I feel there is overuse of all caps. the amount it was used to emphasize words diluted it's emphasis and gave the dialogue a weird flow in my inner voice were the voices stop too many times because of the words of all caps. In particular page 6 I think is the biggest example of overuse, When you try to emphasize as many things as you did in this it makes the moments of emphasis sound less like important ones and more like inflections. like "release me NOW." would have worked better if it had an exclamation point instead of all caps.
There is also the issue where you use it both to emphasize the emotion of a sentence as well as titles like "Grectht" and the "the glitch". I think those titles should have been italicized or bolded to emphasize they're difference over all the other times capitalization is used for emotion of words. the different reasons for emphasis I think should be identified differently.
But this was an awesome comic and I look forward to seeing more of your stuff.

William_Duel
Community Manager
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920 comments
# 12   Posted: Apr 28 2019, 05:12 PM
Eymxil: Before I toss in my two cents, I'd just like to comment that I am not an artist. I read quite a number of comics, and my focus is more for story-telling. These thoughts are just personal opinions and notes from the perspective of a reader, and I think ultimately that each artist should develop and settle into the styles and choices of their preferences. They know their craft best.
 
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I just want to take a moment to say you have a wonderful perspective and insight.  I hope you'll continue to provide such indepth critiques because they are great and necessary.

William_Duel
Community Manager
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920 comments
# 11   Posted: Apr 27 2019, 08:37 AM
This was an excellent battle.  I did not think these two characters meshed as well as they did.  

Yarnwitch: I think this is your best written story to date.  A particular issue you've had in previous stories was difficulty connecting A to B.  Your character actions often did not match the buildup and it came off as jarring.  This one has no such issues.  There's a very clear path and the story pays off and does both characters justice.  

Inkybrain: What fantastic work.  It is really wonderful to see you back in the saddle.  The first page is to me the best page because of how eye popping and catching it is the very first moment you open the comic.  I admit to staring at it for a couple of minutes before deciding to move on because of how striking it is.  Which is excellent and definitely something artists strive for when you know that readers normally don't spend that much time on a page.  I want to ask about your process though as someone who is trying to figure out backgrounds and hasn't gotten there yet.  Do you use reference?  Underdrawings?  How do you go about designing the backgrounds or do you lift them from something?

Update: Ah I see you mention some of this in your own comments below!  But I'd still like to know more for my own notes!  What worked best for you?

      Edited Apr 27 2019,  08:41 AM by William_Duel

TheCydork
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14 comments
# 10   Posted: Apr 26 2019, 02:58 PM
Yarnwitch: I really loved how you laid the panels out! The black space just gives it a great feel, and the "when the angel of death asks to name your price" panel was just very clever. I'm not sure if I'm just being dumb though but, I actually wasn't aware you were trying to show several timelines until I read the comments. I thought it was just one, maybe that could be shown in a way other than different colours?

InkyBrain: Your style is soo aesthetically appealing, I could stare at a page forever to be honest haha. However I do agree with what other people have said about the detail - it's amazing but a bit much at times. It's certainly not messy-looking, but it can be busy or distracting, especially coupled with the speech bubbles that don't feel particularly in order to me.

InkyBrain
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29 comments
# 9   Posted: Apr 26 2019, 01:04 PM
Damn, you hit the nail on the head, G.Lo.
So we had originally decided on a 2-week challenge, 7 pages max. When the two weeks reached their deadline, we both realized there was a lot more we wanted to do (plus, I started a new job at full time on the last 5 days of the battle and was running thin on money during the transition so I had to take up commissions), and then there was a very sudden emergency and we were given a couple more days to recoup. Yarn and I can definitely relate when it comes to chaotic lives. So after another day, we were offered some recouping days and then were finally able to reach deadline the way we wanted.

At the 2-week point, I had about 3.5 pages of the 7 done (minus dialogue), at which point Yarn blessed me with a very generous extension. After which, I was able to catch up and at least complete the story, dialogue included, minus detailing on the last two pages. So the dialogue was DEFINITELY rushed, especially on the last pages. When I started to lay out the sound effects, I knew I had failed in one large area: motion effects. I was so caught up in the details, I failed to present motions with my lines outside of their general style, leaving some of the vehicles looking immobile and some panels appearing oddly stagnant.

When the emergency occurred, we both agreed to stop drawing until we had decided what to do with the battle, and that's when the staff went ahead and posted the new deadline, which was awesome. So we began again! I opted to focus on adding details to the last 2 pages, as that is by far my strength, focusing on some stylistic choices like the hatching (which I intend to practice with more of for cleaner looks).

Overall, I sacrificed some details on Page 4, feeling like the dialogue itself supported enough of what was going on to be able to focus details my gratuitous need for detail elsewhere. The cars in fact were pretty easy for me- it was creating backgrounds that I struggled with creatively. I had to look up a LOT of references, as well as force myself not to go overboard.

I actually purchased a set of professional-grade, digital comic pages set at 600 resolution which I used for this. Zooming in to 100% was a nightmare, so I avoided that at all cost. The set included a thumbnails page, which ended up being incredibly useful during the time constraint, as I was able to copy/paste those onto the full pages and draw over them. Originally, I was just recreating the page by reference (stupid), and that explains why a single page would take me nearly two entire days of 12+hrs of drawing. Dumb.

As for the story, I took a LOT of feedback from my old Frank and Emmelia comics to ensure I actually presented some personality and motivation. But I also didn't want things to be too obvious, either. As a personal preference, I can't stand dialogue that tells the characters plans, like some kind of cheesy 70s villain. So I reeeeeeeeeeeally tried to lay it out without giving too much away as I intend to have a lot of recurring characters and themes.

It was fun! Stressful sometimes, but I still enjoyed every second of it!

Yarnwitch; Forreal girl I am OBSESSED with the mood you conveyed through your style. You did so well at portraying the part of Ozias that feels like life can become monotonous, especially once you've seen so many versions of your own life. The little twist was really clever, and I sat back wondering if Kiteria was in this reality, deciding of her own volition not to kill Ozias, or if perhaps she's on her way to do it with just a little more time. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer!

I was also a little confused by the narration. I suppose one just /expects/ the comic will be written in the point of view of their own character, but you made the creative choice of flipping that. After speaking with you, I knew Kiteria doesn't curse, so from the get-go I was aware that this was not her speaking.

The dabs of color were probably my favorite part, especially the blue of his eyes and the yellow themes of Kiteria's presence. It was an excellent contrast. And I wont lie, I ADORED the panel with him in full gear, it threw me back to my TRON days which is actually how Ozias came to be- I don't know if you knew that, but I was giddy as a school girl over it!

I can't imagine how difficult it is to translate actual traditional medium to digital, I haven't done that since high school- but especially for something as soft and delicate as watercolor. So whatever you pulled off translated really well, and I at least can't tell that any quality there was lost. Girl, you ROCKED it. Thank you so much for breaking my long overdue finished battle cherry- lord knows that needed to happen!!!!

G.Lo
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94 comments
# 8   Posted: Apr 26 2019, 08:08 AM
Yarn:
Firstly, the setup and the watercolor work you've done flows soooo well together. The watercolors give off a dream-like vibe which I feel works well with the story you've told. I really liked how you played up the timeline aspect that Oz is dealing with, and again the pacing and watercolors really pull together that sort of disoriented-from-so-much-timeline-hopping feel.

I did feel like I had to read a few times to clearly understand what was going on, and really get into the story. Maybe a little too dream like? It sort of felt like I was trying to go through someone's fractured memory. I think the first page may be a little too fragmented, and the lack of backgrounds makes it difficult to interpret. I don't know if that's because of the format you choose with the long.. web comic format (idk what that's called lol).The second page sets the stage waaaay more clearly, but it seemed to portray your standard comic page layout. So maybe there's some more practice needed in the scrolly web comic format.

Visually though, this is so lovely, and I hope to see more comics from ya!


Inky:
LOOK. AT. THEM. DEETS. MMMF. I can definitely see you enjoy them details, which is great because it's given so much life to your world. Also, way to be a trooper and dishing out all those cars lol.

Where I adore the amount of love you've put in each panel, I agree with Eymxil in that sometimes there's a bit too much detail, and the focus point is lost. Some examples I can point out are Page 1 panel 2- it took me a minute to realize it was the demons in the car, because all I could focus on was the city which isn't supposed to be the point of that panel. The last panel on page 7 was difficult to decipher as well- the speech balloons didn't seem to be thought out very well and cover an interestingly laid out panel.

Speaking of panel layouts, there are really aggressive angles that you pulled off and I absolutely adore, but I do feel like some of the speech bubbles were more of an afterthought and didn't integrate well. Not sure if that was because of time restraints or what- this was a ton of work for two weeks!

I like the majority of your FX fonts EXCEPT the gunshot ones. It's probably personal preference, but I just don't feel like they encompass the sound very well and I feel like the gun fight would have been even more dynamic with better FX font.

But aside from that, heckin amazing job. I can't wait to see more battles from you!

Eymxil
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2 comments
# 7   Posted: Apr 26 2019, 06:26 AM
Wow. Okay. Yeah. I am /so/ sorry. I am a dumb girl. Between Kiteria being your character, and a difference in terminology (the use of timelines versus the use of worlds as I know Inky to refer to them) I thought the narrator was Kiteria. But reading it again without the lens of knowing what I know about Ozias and his storyline, it is actually quite apparent that he is the narrator. I am /so/ sorry. That actually does change some key points I picked out from your work, and I will actually go edit the critique now. Again. I'm so sorry I didn't pick up on that.

yarnwitch
Think Tank
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277 comments
# 6   Posted: Apr 26 2019, 03:04 AM
Something that might be worth mentioning is that the narrator in my comic is Oz, i don't know if that changes your critique, Eymxil.

Eymxil
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2 comments
# 5   Posted: Apr 25 2019, 09:56 PM
Before I toss in my two cents, I'd just like to comment that I am not an artist. I read quite a number of comics, and my focus is more for story-telling. These thoughts are just personal opinions and notes from the perspective of a reader, and I think ultimately that each artist should develop and settle into the styles and choices of their preferences. They know their craft best.

Yarnwitch;;

To start, I loved the medium of watercolor. I've seen very few comics that use watercolors for their medium, and the use of a simple color scheme made it all the more gorgeous. I think one of the best examples though of how colors added to the narrative were in the panels that flashed between the different timelines. Especially because the same colors weren't used with as quite a heavy emphasis in later panels, helping to tie them in to those individual timelines. Visually, that's a very clever way of conveying world-building to the audience without having to use exposition. When used correctly, exposition is very useful, but used in excess, I feel that it alienates the audience from the world we're meant to be immersed in.

Adding more to your use of colors (because it is perhaps my favorite quality here), I think you managed a very good balance of using colors. It felt harmonious. There wasn't too much of it, and honestly I do have a weakness for a certain taste of simplicity.

One other shining moment of your creativity I found was in the "I lied." panel. That was, I feel, one of your more unique moments in the comic. It brought together the character's narratives and the character's actions. It told us that he was lying, but the words were incorporated into the visuals which is, what I personally think, comics are all about.

That's visuals covered (and visuals I think are where you're strongest), so I'd like to get into the story-telling aspect of your work. I think you've set up for a very interesting story for Kiteria and Ozias without giving away too much of it at once. I am left curious as to not only the characters themselves, but also the people that each of them interacts with and their ulterior motives. For example, from Ozias referencing to it as 'their' curious it opens the question of who else is Kiteria tied to? In a longer work, this would be an encouragement to continue reading her story not just to the next page but in the whole of it, and the fact that I'm interested in more than simply Kiteria (interested in the world, in its characters) I think is a good mark for story-telling.

One thing I do think might need work though in relation to the story-telling is the pace. I'm not familiar with watercolors. I don't know how much time and effort is required to complete a comic done in watercolors, so I don't know if your pace is limited by your medium, but personally for as much good set-up as you did throughout the comic, it did feel more like set-up than it did like story. As a reader, I didn't get as much as I could have either visually or in terms of story despite there being a good amount of content here. Now, I'm a dumb girl and in a prior version of this critique I talk about balancing narration with visuals, but this isn't quite the same area for potential improvement as I originally thought it was knowing that it's Ozias that is the narrator rather than Kiteria. There is, obviously, a better balance between the narrator's inner voice and the visuals that are presented.

Where I do see a shift in balancing narration with visuals is towards the end of the work when Ozias discusses Kiteria accepting his offer and picking up the ammo. I think you have a really good base for building on your story-telling skills, but the overall feel of this work was that it felt more like a synopsis at certain times and less like a story. Part of that ties in to using telling rather than showing. Just to be clear, you're storytelling isn't bad, and this could just be a point of personal preference. As a reader, I tend to prefer and examine works that can immerse me into the stories' moments rather than informing me of the things that happen. It makes it more, I don't know, present? But this is good because you've given us events, you've given us a hook. There is substance here.

My other critique is in terms of the pages themselves. I'm not familiar with how comics are laid out here, but being a stranger to Enter Void works, I found myself a little thrown going from a long, single page that included most of the work to the second page and last scene that took up less than a third of the page previously. On the one hand, I can see how it brings emphasis to the finality of the scene, but I don't think it was necessary when considering that that type of layout sets a reader up to look for more content. I think the flow of your work could really benefit from either dividing it up into more pages rather than one long page, one short page or using a single, long page. But that's just pages. I think you did a very good job otherwise in terms of the layout and design! Like, the layout was just amazing. I loved the name your price panel. I really think you could be amazing at balancing visuals and narrative.

Again, all personal thoughts, and it could easily be that your intended audience is going to prefer your style as is. I do think it is very unique, and I think you did a wonderful job! There was quite a lot to love in the visuals of your work.

Inkybrain;;

The first thing that becomes very apparent about your work is the amount of detail and care that went into your visuals. There is so much to praise in the quality of your visuals. The world we were immersed in was immediately so real, so consuming because the amount of work you placed in the surroundings. Because that is what a world is, there are focal points but at no point in time does a world itself stop being as detailed as what we choose to put our attention to. So immediate kudos for that.

But then the other problem with that is that things can be come too-detailed and our attention doesn't know where to go first. It's an excellent tool when used correctly, but we didn't necessarily need that overwhelming feeling in this particular work, and you did a very good job of not falling into that for the most part. One of the best examples is in the bottom panel of the first page when we're shown Kiteria. Even though we're only shown her backside, our attention is immediately drawn to her because of how detailed she is compared to the backdrop of the city. In some panels it feels like there is too much of a good thing. I don't need to have my hand held through each panel just to be clear, but I think proper use of the amount of detail would help me to keep my bearings.

On the note of visuals and focus, I wanted to discuss your use of grays. I think you did a beautiful job with this, and it especially shows in that same aforementioned panel where whites were used to naturally bring our attention to Kiteria with the rest of the scene being in grays. I think you just have an excellent understanding of how to use gray scale, and that is especially important because it is a black-and-white comic.

One other tool I think you made good use of was designing your pages so that certain images POPPED. Like with his motorcycle on the first page. It adds a lot of character to the pages themselves, and I know, as a reader, which scenes I should be considering as the most significant. And, you did a very good job of not using that tool to excess. In excess it cheapens which scenes or which moments are supposed to be attention-grabbing. My one thing though would be that I'd suggest that if you're going to do it, it should be done in full. More specifically, I'm talking about the sixth page where he's shown to be standing in the doorway. I, personally, think it looked a little off with his hand being laid out over a panel, but then his leg doesn't do the same in a lower panel.

And, I know I'm jumping back, but one other thing I would suggest is that since you're using sound effects, I think it would've been very useful to see either a sound effect or some type of motion line for when the helmet actually began to dismantle itself. Personally, I was given a pause when we were shown that page because I didn't connect the dialogue to the scene that that was his helmet being removed. I thought the design had just changed on the fly (but then again I'm kind of a dumb girl sometimes so that might be a problem that only I had). I love the use of the sound effects, by the way! It feels very true to form of traditional comics which seems to be the aesthetic that you're aiming for. And, with the use of black-and-white and gray scale, the sound effects didn't feel gaudy.

The most chaotic page was the page where Kiteria killed the demons, but, I mean, that would be the point, wouldn't it? It's complete chaos and madness in there, so the chaos of the page, the amount of detail, the amount of /it/ I think did a very good job of conveying the tone/mood of the scene. I especially loved the use of the blood pooling over the frames on top of that so that the chaos and the violence is front and center.

But one of my favorite things, and a perfect example of bringing together visuals and narrative, is how you chose to use dialogue. I loved the use of capitalization for significant words because not only have you found a way to build character and help us get to learn the characters through the dialogue itself, but we as an audience knew what different words had a personal significance to the characters. I know I'm rambling, but I honestly just love how you used that to develop the characters. Like, knowing Kiteria's hyper fixation in sin, on holiness. It tells us so much about her character in...not quite subtle, but less obvious than exposition manner. I know more about these characters, but I don't know everything, and in terms of story-telling it's good that I don't know everything within just the first seven pages of a work.

One other point that I picked out in the comic was the suddenness of Ozias' appearance in the later pages. I noticed when I went back that in the panel after Kiteria leaves, he seems to look at his wrist. I think, maybe, at a watch of some sort? I'm not entirely certain. But if it is a watch I think that does leave us at a pretty solid point with his character in that scene to then connect that he follows Kiteria, however, it was difficult to tell. To make his sudden appearance not quite so jolting (and I mean jolting more in the sense of I don't know when this happened) I think a panel where the watch was more obvious or a panel that shows us starting his bike again would have worked better. I know at that point that he's not staying in that particular scene, and so when he does enter again I can connect those two moments. I don't know. It was just a small thing that took me out of the present narrative briefly.

You had fun. It's beautiful. In terms of story-telling, your pacing was good. I feel like I was given actual story, and an incentive to continue reading to know more about Ozias and about Kiteria. Your character design was beautiful and unique, I never felt like you suffered from same face syndrome. I've been going on for way too long, so I'm actually going to stop here because I could sit here waxing poetry about your work and yarnwtich's for hours if I was allowed to. I feel like I still didn't say everything I wanted to, but the short and dirty of it is that this was a truly gorgeous work in terms of narrative and visuals.

Edit;; I'm a dumb girl.

      Edited Apr 26 2019,  08:37 AM by Eymxil

yarnwitch
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277 comments
# 4   Posted: Apr 25 2019, 01:13 PM
ITS UPPPPPP!
I am now aware that one of my layers shifted and the image and text overlap in a bad way. Sorry for that!
I still feel like this is some of my best writing so far. Its at least moody to me! Let me know what you think!

      Edited Apr 25 2019,  01:15 PM by yarnwitch

Astro Sean
Approval Committee
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316 comments
# 3   Posted: Mar 31 2019, 06:22 AM
FUCK YES

yarnwitch
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277 comments
# 2   Posted: Mar 31 2019, 04:42 AM
*vibrates excitedly*

JCee
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358 comments
# 1   Posted: Mar 30 2019, 11:57 PM
ALL THE HYYYYYPPPEE

Can't WAIT for this one!

Comic Details -

 
Drawing Time: 2 weeks
Ended: May 1st, 2019
Votes Cast: 15
Page Views: 633
Winner: InkyBrain
 

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