Fawn Nightingale vs. Gossamer Swan

Fawn Nightingale vs. Gossamer Swan

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Crit level: No preference

by JCee

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Crit level: No preference

Critiques & Comments
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Think Tank
# 14   Posted: Jul 9 2018, 12:02 AM
Desi: this was a really good first attempt at horror In particular you really nailed the color changes making for a good contrast. Even without the contrast the creepy pallet works very good on it's own and can work by itself as well. I do also really like how you had Swan get shot, it was a nice surprise of violence and doing even more extreme stuff in the future will be cool to see coming from you and pleasantly surprising and unnerving.
However the pacing was a bit off in this. Actually it may more so be the choice of panel focus rather than the pacing. Like on Page 14, the panel showing the assassins is the smallest one yet they are supposed to be an oppressive force that swan and fawn are hiding from. Like the steps should be surrounding them and nearly crushing them, of if you had like multiple huge panels of those steps surrounding smaller panels of Swan and Fawn it have have gotten the point across better. You often like having your characters be big and infocus but you should work on some layouts were the characters are oppressed and trapped by the area they're in. That will help give a bigger sense of dread.
Along with composition you need to get more wild with your layout. besides a couple mult-image pages like the one on page 11 and the one panel break on page 13 everything else is just squares and rectangles, which is easy to read and comprehend. Which is uninteresting and not something you want for a horror comic. You should at least have some panels with diagonals to give a better sense of action going on throughout the page. On top of that you should try even more experimental layouts that completely mess with the page. Basically everything should be unnerving and not feel samey in your comic, even the panels.

Jay: Your art is amazing and you have such an amazing ability with this cyanotype style that I always enjoy seeing it. Also the story was pretty cute as well with both characters being well done.

# 13   Posted: Jul 7 2018, 01:31 AM
@JAY: I don't really have much to say here in comparison BUT I do have some things I do want to mention.

ART WISE; As always, your art is on point. I really like your rendition of Sir Nightingale, appearing as young and pampered as I imagined him to be, and Swan looks as gorgeous as ever. Fawn on the other hand, comes off as more unnerving than cute. I understand it's a situation of "drawing a character younger than they're really are to emphasize how childish they are" but there are moments I forgot she's supposed to be 15, not 8. However, this is more of a nitpick if anything.

WRITING WISE; I do very much dig you using the chance to bring up another side of Fawn's character that hasn't been explored as of this comic. Considering the various of assassination attempts Fawn's been through her entire life, it makes sense for her to be paranoid and wary underneath all the sugary cute face she continously shows, especially if someone like Swan appears strict and unfriendly. While I know you added the last page as a last minute decision to give the comic a more clear conclusion, I do feel it would've been good enough if you had ended the story at page 6. It gives a clear enough fact that Swan is not as cold as she seems and that she's quite a heroic person and the addition with the 7th page feels rather redundant.


# 12   Posted: Jul 7 2018, 01:30 AM
WRITING WISE; I'm gonna be quite honest, I don't really dig the story here. The premise is simple enough: Swan accepts a babysitting gig from the Nightingales when they go on a trip, suddenly danger happens and Swan has to protect Fawn from getting killed, they survive the night and the parents come home with their daughter safe and sound, thanking Swan for her hard work and sending her on her way. While I have no issue with the premise here (other than being a pretty generic plot), there are other thing that I DO have issue with.

PAGE COUNT: This comic could've been easily condensed into a far less amount of pages, which in return could allow you to focus on other parts of the comic that could use some retouching such as the backgrounds, lettering and such. As Croco have mentioned, certain details such as Swan's inner thoughts/comments don't need to entirely addressed unless they're absolutely vital to the plot such as the threats to Swan if something had happened to Fawn and such. Small actions such as Swan sitting down or running to hide under the bed don't have to be entirely depicted. The thing about comics is that you're easily able to handwave certain actions with the implication it was done offscreen as such, so that it doesn't feel you're dragging the plot along and won't add up to such a ridiculous page count.  
Another part I have to address were the uses of splash pages in this comic. While I can understand the use of the first splash page to address the amount of time it took for the intruders to run and leave the premise, the second splash page felt completely unnecessary. I could see you wanted to depict Fawn's reaction to the new member of the family but it could've been easily condensed with the page introducing Detroit, which could've possibly show his own reaction to seeing Fawn.

CHARACTER WRITING: While Fawn and her family seem pretty alright for the most part (though Lady Nightingale's sudden mood swing in threatening Swan with Fawn's safety is pretty questionable), I do have a major issue with how Swan was being portrayed in this comic as in, she feels very...off and one note. She's meant to be a superhero and a motherly character but I didn't feel any of that from this portrayal. While I can understand being thrown off guard with was supposed to be a simple babysitting gag actually being a temporary bodyguard situation, I find it hard she'd go cower in a bathroom and lament her choices after being threatened by Lady Nightingale. When the tensions are getting high and Swan is suddenly shot in the leg (which I find it pretty hard to believe that she didn't bleed to death during the entire raid despite being shot in the knee by what appears to be a sniper rifle), I don't believe she'd be ready to face off the large crowd of intruders before suddenly getting cold feet and hide under the bed with Fawn. Swan's a pretty powerful character and I felt she could've very easily taken out all the intruders had she been given the chance to (after all, the Slyph mode look isn't just there for show!).
Another issue I have but very small in comparison in to how Swan was handled was the introduction of Detroit. I don't know if it was your intention of not but the comic felt like a very long intro comic for Detroit to make and appearance but even so, his introduction felt very underwhelming. He's meant to be a pernament bodyground for Fawn is what I'm understanding but when I first read through the comic, I initially thought he was just new playmate for Fawn. In this case, I feel it might've been a lot more appropiate to show off Detroit's new role through his actions than just stating it. Having him jump in and help Swan fight off the intruders would've been a much more impactful and establish his role a lil' better.

INTRUDERS' EASY SURRENDER?: No explanation is needed to explain just why were the intruders targeting Fawn since its already been established everyone and their mother is targeting the poor girl but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head as to why the intruders gave up so easily. If it was because they realize how outmatched they were from Swan's (and maybe Detroit's) powers, I'd understand but from what I've read in the comic, Swan was in clear view of the intruders when she went and hid under the bed so why didn't anyone go in right after her? Even if no one had seen her, why didn't they go in and search the room completely? Assuming these guys are merciless and professional hitmen, it feels very idiotic of them to not go and search every possible hiding place in the house (let's be fair, hiding under the bed is a very obvious place to hide in). I was half expecting for one of them to wait till Swan and Fawn to come out from under the bed before jumping them.


# 11   Posted: Jul 7 2018, 01:30 AM
I'm splitting my comment into 3 parts cause I have a lot to say.

@DESI: I apologize in advance if I come as horribly blunt and harsh.  

ART WISE; it's nice to see some differentiation between your color schemes. Keeping your usual pink, sugary colors but switching to a more cooler and darker color scheme the moment the scene becomes more tense and sinister. It's most certainly quite a step up compared to your earlier comics and I give you props for that.

However, I don't feel the same towards your current art style and actually prefer the older style. I'm not a big fan of the whole chibified look to the point I can't really differentiate between who's an adult and who's a child without the height difference to communicate that and that without the different eye shapes and outfits to differentiate the characters from each other, most of the characters practically look the same. While I understand you wish to keep with the cute, chibi aesthetic with your comics, it wouldn't hurt to play outside your comfort zone a bit and experiment with different facial/body shapes in your style outside the whole generic round head and skinny body shape.

The others have already mentioned the whole ordeal with the backgrounds and sparkles so I don't wanna go too deep into that more than I should but I do want to add that the sparkles were very distacting and feels out of place with the rather plain looking backgrounds. Not only that, as the others have mentioned, they feel even more out of place when the cooler/darker colors start coming out. Things don't tend to sparkle in dark environments and since its when the story starts heading towards dark territory, it could hint at the change of tone if they just suddenly drop as if to say "its gonna get dark from here, folks".


Global Moderator
# 10   Posted: Jul 6 2018, 07:07 PM
Desi: did Swan KNOW she was going for a babysitting job? thats a little unclear lol. I love the colours! the switch from light to dark was amazing. i do agree for the darker, more sinister scenes, the sparkles probably dont work as well for the mood, though i love them in the brighter happy scenes. The weird little inkboi kidnappers may have been more intimidating without the sparkles (cute, tho lol). Youve got a style to the way you do backgrounds that i dont dislike but they seem to get a bit flattened out, maybe its the odd perspective or the way you do shadows, but Swan summoning her wind in the kitchen looked like a stage backdrop, though i did want to add that the gun on page nine is like super well drawn lol good job. The inkbois just leaving at the end even though the place was surrounded with helicopters seemed a bit anticlimactic. but finally, AYY THERES DETROIT! i know youve been looking forward to introducing him. ill reserve judgement on that later but i hope you'll explain in time why hes staying with the Nightingales. I look forward to what youre planning for him!

JAY: you draw such a cute Fawn!!! I love the backgrounds and your use of spotblacks and greytone, felt very full and the characters fit well into the space. This is really good, I actually have nothing real to crit lol this is just an all around good comic!

Approval Committee
# 9   Posted: Jul 6 2018, 05:07 PM
desi, first of all CUTE and fun comic. to me it looks like you put a lot of your time into the rendering, which is not a bad thing. your colors and shading on the characters is great. your bgs and linework however are lacking, imo. I think it's very apparent in your first establishing shot. the castle, road, clouds, etc all have the same line weight and color and it really flattens out the image. there's also shading on the.. sky? rainbow? and it looks like a flat backdrop.
another thing I would be aware of is tangents! I see a lot of characters bumped up right against panel borders. I would also agree with the comment about sparkles. use them selectively so they have more impact!
page 15 I had no idea what I was looking at, the bed was pretty abstract. last crit, I would say I think this could have been condensed. as mentioned by others I really want to see you quality go up in other areas of your work! imo decreasing page count would grant you that. the tonal shifts in your comic work great though and I think you nailed the creepy vibe. I'm curious who they are and why they want this poor girl dead! and, really great comic overall for just two weeks!!

jaykat I thought this was really sweet! I spy a few little mishaps in anatomy and line work that have already been mentioned, but overall it feels very consistent. I do like the monochrome color! it gives it a very chilly vibe, which I think fits for a big empty studio in a winter castle. nice work!

Community Manager
# 8   Posted: Jul 5 2018, 04:52 PM
Nice stories, both of you

Desichan: the amount of polish going into your character designs is starting to reveal a wider gap between your skill with drawing characters cutely and giving that same love and attention to the backgrounds. For your next battle I would like to see the backgrounds given as much love as the characters

JayKat: Very solid and the word-bubbles are noticeably well-placed for the most part which is a big deal around here. For Pascaline's wind powers I think it will benefit you more to have them be on their own semi-transparent layer to better give off the "wind" aspect of it; without knowing what her powers are already, by this comic alone it looks like she controls some magical fire. Windy sound effects could also help sell this point

keep it up you two

# 7   Posted: Jul 5 2018, 04:44 PM
Desi: I am gonna more or less agree with Croco here. When you wish to switch mood and tone, you will have to sacrifice certain favored aesthetics. On the flip side, if you do this, sometihng like the lack of sparkles will have impact on that alone, seeing how its your trademark. Its a little easy trick to convey "Oh snap, its REALLY bad now"

Jaycat: Big fan of your art in this one. Not much I got to say other then you prolly would have gotten a extra point if it was in color, it felt it would have put this comic even further up art wise. Echoing Croco, the last pages didn't have the same love dedicated to them, and the surroundings were to sparse.

# 6   Posted: Jul 2 2018, 10:59 PM
Desi - So I wanna try a real crit this time, be ready for harshness.  First i didn't like the fact that everyone is sparkly for this one. I would have loved the spooky shadow chases, but characters being sparkly kinda detracts from the horror. Fortunately you did amazing with color-changes to change the mood of scene. The writing here is acceptable, but has some unnecessary chatter (marigold intimidating could just be one) and not enough important stuff, like what Swan thinks about the shadows, or whether she cares for the child's well-being outside of being paid and not dying herself. Very solid effort though, so hope you use this chance to learn.

Jaykat - I really liked this.  It's a simple story, but well-written, well-paced and told in an exciting manner (especially pg6!).  I really dig the diferent perspective shots, even if some poses get a little wonky in the process (swan, bottom pg2).  I would have liked color, but monochrome certainly works fine here, giving an oldtimey vibe.  Finally the very last panel felt rushed. When no characters are present, the scenery is center-stage, so it deserves almost as much love as your characters.  Hope that helps you guys, and apologies again if anything here sounded dumb or unreasonable.  I am still quite new!

Think Tank
# 5   Posted: Jul 2 2018, 05:41 PM

I had a lot of fun battling you, and like... THANK YOU FOR SUCH A GOOD FIGHT!!!

      Edited Jul 2 2018,  05:42 PM by Desichan

# 4   Posted: Jul 1 2018, 10:35 PM
FAWN V SWAN! His is gonna be real cute ^-^

# 3   Posted: Jul 1 2018, 10:28 PM
Uploaded and ready to go.

Honestly, I don't feel like I gave it my best here this round, but I hope you like it Desi. Can't wait to read your side ~

Community Manager
# 2   Posted: Jun 11 2018, 11:46 AM
Nightingale vs Swan!  BIRD FIGHT

Think Tank
# 1   Posted: Jun 11 2018, 11:20 AM
Eeeeee! I can't wait to have these two meet, this is gonna be a fun fight!

Rich friends! >w<///

Good luck Jcee!!!

      Edited Jun 11 2018,  11:21 AM by Desichan

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 2 weeks
Ended: Jul 9th, 2018
Votes Cast: 19
Page Views: 787
Winner: JCee


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