Matilda White vs. The Smile

Matilda White vs. The Smile

by Hellis


424 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4


by Heathen


561 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12




Critiques & Comments
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Kozispoon
Approval Committee
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940 comments
# 25   Posted: Aug 14 2017, 11:46 PM
HELLIS- I wasn't so much a fan of your flashback pages. Much preferred the colors of your environment/BGs as they were softened enough to bring the colors of your characters to the forefront. Story wise..I see a sliver of theme going on in recent comics up for voting giving us appetizers of story, but not following through. I'm hungry for a meal and this comic didn't quite cut it. :/


HEATHEN- Wow. Wowie wow wooooow. Heathen , welcoem BACK. Talk about coming back fists flying! This is the kind of comic I totally crave to see more of on void. The story and narrative that leaves me open mouthed, going "whaaaa" and rushing backwards to read it over again. This was such a rad twisting journey with comic events and your opponents abilities. If Smile was coming off soft before you left, you've added that much desired sinister brutality that lies behind that harrowing smile.

I know others had crits to say in regards to the colors, and in some respects I agree with them ,but upon first blush I'll admit I liked your colors. The comic overall gave me pulp oldschool comics from the 70's/80's to me. I think if you did this battle traditionally, it would've come across better, but the digital style does deaden that oldschool feel.


Heathen
Artist
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192 comments
# 24   Posted: Aug 14 2017, 07:19 PM
Flutterbyes: Yeah, for sure. I should have maybe designed the panels to fit inside an hour glass, or a clock face or something clever.

Flutterbyes
Artist
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141 comments
# 23   Posted: Aug 14 2017, 05:07 PM
Hellis: This feels like an opener to a bigger story, that would have continued into a big brawl with The Smile and then continued onto some other big thing. Page 3 could have used some better staging, particularly that dodge in the first panel.

Heathen: WHAT A TWIST! I want to say that there must be a better way to show time reversing, because I didn't catch on at first, but I'm not entirely sure what it is.

Heathen
Artist
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192 comments
# 22   Posted: Aug 14 2017, 03:56 PM
Haha, thanks, Sean!

Astro Sean
Think Tank
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273 comments
# 21   Posted: Aug 14 2017, 10:00 AM
I don't have much to add but all around a great battle on both your ends. A solid first battle from Hellis, you have so much potential and its great seeing you grow as an artist and writer. Yo, Dino, fuck you dude. That was a fucking great story and had me hooked immediately. Seriously, page 10 is absolutely beautiful. I want to battle both of you!  

Hellis
Artist
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145 comments
# 20   Posted: Aug 14 2017, 07:16 AM
Mortooncian: Four pages are indeed hard to pace! I am honestly just flailing about when I set things up. I didn't really figure out how important scripting is until AFTER this comic. So a lot of this is just, draw as it comes to me. Which I realized after having worked with a script, really was me screwing myself over.  As for colors. I am terrible at it and I will keep everything you said in mind for my next comic.

Reecer: Writing for Smile, I really wanted to tie it to her past. Her reality is something that defines her, she didn't just come from a different country or even a planet. Her very existence is fundamentally challenged by being in void, which is why I am trying to tie her past experiences to things and people she encounter. I am glad it translated somewhat!

Radji: Thanks for the input, And I agree with you. It was my very first real battle, and as I am gonna end up repeating a lot with the feedback. I am always drawing to improve as much as to win. I wanted to try and make a much shorter comic this time around as some of the feedback on my BB was that I should have shortened it to focus on each page more. But in shortening it so much, I kinda blindsided myself when It came to set up a more in depth story. I will try to flex my writing muscle more next battle!

Zee: Thank you for the kind words. I wanted to make a character that was truly good and kind and all that jazz. I find writing morally depraved and evil characters far easier to get away with, but I feel that Void has more then a few already. Which is why I went with a "do-gooder" as my first. I am very happy Matilda has gotten such a warm reception!

William: Oh man. Your feedback is always mad extensive and I am very, very thankful for the in depth critique. I agree with pretty much everything. I will point out that I did use a grid for the establishing shot. I just don't know enough about perspective yet to know what do around the horisontal line. That and I tried to rely less on the line tools.

Petarvee: I am very happy that I am showing noticeable improvement. And I agree with you, this wasn't my strongest showing writing wise. I am still finding my way around the medium, and I get overexcited whenever I get a chance to world build.  

Shen: Agreed on all accounts. I did try to give it a darker color palette and work with heavy shading at first, but It didn't come out anywhere near how I wanted it so I just tossed those layers. Maybe I should have stuck with them.

IN all: Thanks to all that have and will vote and critique alike. I draw to improve, and this feedback has been very helpful!

And thank you Heathen, for making such a an amazing comic with Matilda.

      Edited Aug 14 2017,  07:18 AM by Hellis

Heathen
Artist
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192 comments
# 19   Posted: Aug 14 2017, 05:50 AM
Mortooncian: Thanks for the color breakdown and for the help you've given and continue to give with my education on that.

Reecer: Thanks for the enthusiastic kind words, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. And I agree with your notes. Looking at it again, her body definitely isn't quite flat with the angle of the sidewalk on page 7. Also, I don't know, but I feel like if you landed on your arm and leg wrong (I don't know that there's a right way), a 9-story drop would do quite a bit of damage. It's funny, I actually realized while reading Shen's side of Lilyfeather vs Holden Shark that I flubbed the room number in this comic, assigning it the all but arbitrary number 19 (what can I say, I'm a Dark Tower fan), when it should be 90-something, or higher, because it is the 9th floor. Learn something new every day!

Also, I totally see where you're coming from about my faces, but I don't know that I take the Hirohiko Araki comparison as a bad thing! Would that all my drawings were so glamorous.

Radji: I'm glad you liked it, and I appreciate the Batman villain bit for sure. It's really funny to me that you didn't think page 10 had enough blood, because as I was drawing it, I was thinking, "Jesus Christ, this is too much, he'd be f@$%in dead lol" I'll be sure to err on the side of excess next time.

Zee: Thanks for the praise, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm always trying to push myself further with the effects and the feeling of kinetic motion, and there are parts in here that I'm happy with and some that I didn't quite get how I wanted. Said every artist ever.

William: Thanks for the kind words! As everyone here can probably relate, by the time I was done with this comic, I couldn't tell if it was even readable anymore, I'd looked at it for so long. More than anything, I'm just glad it didn't confuse people too much, and that a lot of people actually really liked that sequence. I'll get to your point about the style in a second, since petarvee made it as well.

Petarvee: Thanks for taking the time to critique and I'm glad you liked the comic overall. I'm right with you on your biggest critique, too, and I'll tell you exactly what happened there. First, about the rewind sequence, that's the one thing I worried about after uploading and the deadline was up. I should've included some visual indication that it was rewinding time, whether a sort of VCR scrubbing blur, or sand filling the top of an hourglass, or something. But in the end, I hoped it wouldn't be too confusing, and I'm just relieved that it seems to have been mostly successful. I'd probably do that page differently if I did it again, though.

As for the style inconsistency, that's just me failing to hold myself to a style. I was initially going for a bit of a Victor Santos (Polar: Came From the Cold, Mice Templar) look, which is most evident (at least to me) in pages 3, 5, 8, and 11. And in fact, for a few days, I had the idea that I might do the comic in black and white, with that bright orangey red for the blood, and that bright sky blue for the magic. But I really wanted to do a full color comic, so midway through drawing the thing, I scrapped the limited color palette. I also stopped looking at Polar for aesthetic inspiration, so by the time I was drawing pages like 9, 4, and 12, which was the last page I drew, I was no longer trying to draw like Santos, I was drawing more instictively, with the one unifying quality being the particular brush I used on the entire comic (14px Drawing Pen). And that unified line width is not something I'm likely to do again, at least not adhered to so strictly, because it caused the bathroom scene to look very different from the rest of the comic in its own way, because of the 9 panel grid. It looks almost like an Ikea manual or something, and while I find that aesthetic juxtaposed with the very graphic content humorous, it sticks out like a sore thumb (or a boner, as it were). I'd surely like it more if it were inked with a finer line.

So yeah, I was just indecisive. I kept waffling on how I wanted the comic to look, and it definitely shows. If you're gonna try to emulate a certain style, you gotta commit. Lesson learned.

Thanks to everyone who has, and will, comment. I really appreciate you taking the time.


      Edited Aug 14 2017,  06:02 AM by Heathen

petarvee
Approval Committee
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83 comments
# 18   Posted: Aug 14 2017, 04:32 AM
Hellis: Overall, you're improving in leaps and bounds, and I can absolutely appreciate that. The big improvement being the quality of backgrounds present. Sure, the perspectives a bit wonky, but there's care and thought in the details and that's something that makes things feel that much more real.

The big note here is staging and draftsmanship. You're very comfortable drawing figures from the knees up, in 3/4ths or frontal-view, shot at eye level. And it shows. Gimme some really dramatic worms-eye views to make things look imposing. Gimme some closeups of hands clenching and teeth gritting. Gimme some non-literal shots of papers blowing in the wind like tumbleweeds. Gimme somethin more than people-at-eyelevel.

For writing: It's serviceable. We get a another glimpse into your new girl's past, but it almost seems more interesting than current events. Which is something to watch out for. And it's a pretty straightforward goodie-baddie brawl, which has it's merits. For that, you didn't do anything wrong, but ya didn't break the mold on it either.

Heathen: Ayyyyyyy! Nice work! There's not too much in the way of critique, but what there is, I'll try and underline a bit.

The art: Obviously you've got a handle on what you're doing. No question about that. The color's remind me a bit of the classic screen-printed pulps where shading was minimal so every color choice had to be deliberate and striking. One thing that mildly caught me off guard was a shift in style. With closeups, you lean towards almost-realism. The faces particularly take on "Young Love" or "Girls Love" level of detail from the 40s-50s. But then when things start to zoom out a little to full figures, it goes a much simpler route, almost like Guy Davis's B.P.R.D. comics. Also, minor note, line weight. It's pretty uniform throughout. While not necessarily a bad thing, a little bit of variation or a little bit of sketchiness woulda given them much more character.

The writing: Pretty dang clever. The read-in-reverse angle is something seldom used, so kudos on that! The only minor bump was realizing that things *were* going backwards. Like, by the second page it's happening, it hits you, but even like a little Rewind icon or some faux VHS-rewind effect woulda made it clearer quicker.

William_Duel
Community Manager
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879 comments
# 17   Posted: Aug 13 2017, 02:52 PM
Hellis, I think it's great that you're chugging along and diving into your character's history as you go.  There's a few things you should keep in mind as you continue on.  

I like that you try and dive into some perspective with your backgrounds.  The fact that you actively have backgrounds is already a great plus.  That said I think you should slow down some.  With comic book art, a lot of experienced artists are able to bs perspective and use some tricks where they don't have to go full out with grids and vanishing points.  But I don't think you're quite there yet.  You should slow down, pull out that ruler and make this work.  On the first page you've got a rather uneven horizon line with a two point perspective that's a bit wonky.  I think what really throws it off are the shapes next to the fort which really throw things off.  There are times when you can fake perspective but it's got to at least look right (and pros certainly bs it on deadlines).

I'd also recommend pulling up references of similar shapes and forts to give you a hand.  I'd even recommend maybe a picture of the Pentagon to help you put align shapes properly.  A rather good trick is to build one central shape and have all other shapes aligned properly to it when dealing with perspective.  I know I'm throwing a few things out here but if you really want to pursue this then there's lots of resources out there.  

As for the general story, I've see a lot of this.  It used to be very common and has been less so in the current era.  The classic trope of "two characters meet and fight on the streets of Void".  But I think you should think more about the setup.  Choose more interesting places to push your own talents.  The Smile murdering someone in the streets in broad daylight doesn't quite lend itself to the tone of the story.  A shadowy alleyway or sewer might have worked better.  In my opinion, if you push the location of the story you force your own art to catch up, so go ahead and push it.  

Also work on the structure of your character heads.  Give them more space to fit those faces.

Heathen
It's great to see you producing comics once again.  You do a great job of pushing The Smile's inhumanity further and further.  And that was a great twist.  We hadn't seen The Smile's face yet so it worked out great.  

I find your shading a bit inconsistent like you're trying something different on every page or even panel to panel.  It kinda throws things off overall.

The sequence that starts on page 8 though is fantastic and deserves all the praise.  That final page is chilling and a great way to cap the story.  


zee
Artist
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121 comments
# 16   Posted: Aug 13 2017, 12:24 PM
Hellis -
I really like Matilda as a character. Despite the typical do-gooder attitude I find her and her backstory super interesting. She is easily likeable and I find myself rooting for her.
Also, fantastic improvement. You are making good strides with each comic, keep it up!

Heathen -
Amazing work over all. I really enjoyed the special effects and movement the characters had.
Everything moved at a nice pace and on certain pages I really like your color choices.
The story itself is told quite well and by the end of it I thought to myself: "that was AWESOME."

Radji
Artist
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460 comments
# 15   Posted: Aug 13 2017, 07:31 AM
Hellis: i feel like the battle was a bit straightforward. Mathilda is taunting the Smile while he's obviously about to kill somebody. which is like, highly comical. the streets look a lil empty so i advise you to put things like Ads panels, Graffs, littering, even cracked asphalt can transform a street !

Heathen: I just loved the energy effects. The Smile is so much of a batman villain it's a pleasure to read of him nisdeeds. I just wanted to say that the blood splatters in the showers are too thin. Not enough blood, the abdominal area is very vascularised, it should be a geyser.

Happy July 21st! -Reecer6
Artist
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205 comments
# 14   Posted: Aug 12 2017, 04:25 PM
Hellen: I really love how you've built up this whole context in Matilda's backstory just for Smile to delve into the middle and become so much more personal to her. It's a super functional structure for developing Matilda's character and the plot itself at the same time! I also really appreciate how much effort you're going through to putt character into Matilda's old world, especially with that detailed establishing shot. There's also a lot of nice architectural elements you add to keep things detailed. However, with the backgrounds, it feels like the level of detail isn't quite level across the whole field, like how there's only a single piece of trash on the ground (that glass) in the entirety of the streets, or how like, on page 2 panel 4, each window is visibly far different, but there's only four for all that space in the alley. Those unique bits are great, but they need more of a repetitive and predictable pattern to stand out from to be more interesting. Also, what you're doing for shading is certainly nicer than plain flats, but I don't feel like it really distinguishes itself enough as proper shading? I honestly didn't notice it the first readthrough. I'd suggest pushing it a bit more dramatically, or perhaps adding more obviously deliberate shading on top of it, personally.

Heather: Man, I read through this, and was like, THIS is a comic. This is what a comic looks like. It's great. The flow was perfect, especially around the introduction (although it was a bit hard to find the reading order for the first speech bubbles?), and the story was very simple yet unique and concentrated. In addition, it features a boner. I really don't see your issue with the colors at all! I thought they did the job perfectly, morphing a bit to fit the tone of the scene rather than the setting. Maybe the linework could've been more cleanly weighted, but I thought that kind of worked too. My only problems really were that Matilda's face got a bit into Hirohiko Araki territory in places, and the perspective feels a bit wonky on the Horrible Mangled Matilda Corpse scene (also, like, how does a couple of stories worth of fall do THAT to someone?).

mortooncian
Artist
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106 comments
# 13   Posted: Aug 9 2017, 09:19 AM
Hellis: As Shen said, this is a vast improvement, and I'll elaborate more on the issue of local colors in Heathen's side of the crit, but my main issue with this comic was the pacing. However, you probably know this-- four pages is hard to fit an entire comic in-- but that's what void is all about-- experimenting and figuring out how things work (and pacing is always really hard to nail, so you're doing really well)!

Heathen: JJJJOOOOOOOEEEEEE

Okay-- I clarified with Shen before I started this so that I could expand a bit more on what our issue with the coloring was. What both you and Hellis kind of have problems with in this comic, in terms of color choice, is using local color-- that is, the exact 1:1 colors of  whatever you're drawing.

This is most prevalent in both comics with Joe's mask, but you can argue that that's intended because of how striking/iconic it is-- I'll allow that. However, Matilda got it kinda rough with her red hair and green jacket. NOT TO SAY you can't have those colors for her, but rather, no matter the color setting, it was that deep forest green and that bright red.

I don't know the exact term for it-- I call it 'illustory color'-- but you can mimic the look of certain colors by having them incorporate the tones of the surrounding colors. Colors change in different lighting conditions, in relation to other colors, etc etc etc, I won't lecture on that all, but I feel that the colors could be far stronger if the inside of the apartment had been an assortment of blues and purples, and if the scene in the bathroom was a sickly series of yellows.

You don't need to keep one colorscheme the whole comic-- in fact, in my personal taste, I suggest against relying on just one, to keep things visually interesting-- but it's more just a fact of coordinating the mood, the values, and importantly, suggesting the local colors rather than literally using them.

HOWEVER an amazing comic, and I won't spoil, but I loved the wildness of the story, and jesus christ joe, see a fucking therapist, im kinkshaming you

Heathen
Artist
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192 comments
# 12   Posted: Aug 9 2017, 04:30 AM
Shen: Wow, there aren't any emojis on here so I can't do the bowing down hands, but thank you, thank you, thank you.

As for the color, I hate to express my own opinions too much, because I'd really love to hear other people's critiques on it, and if you're later able to nail down words for why the colors didn't work for you, please, post them here. But yeah, like you said, first full color comic, uhhhhhhh... It looks like two comics to me.

Page 1 has bright, saturated hues, very flashy and kind of unnatural. Page 2 continues this, and while I think I managed to use appropriate colors to indicate the locations and the shift from the vibrant hot/cold colors of the hotel sign-drenched exterior to the sickly yellow interior of the hallway through the open window, maybe I shouldn't have had them on the same page? The yellow hallway in the middle of the page, followed by the cold blue of the last panel where she uses magic to blow the room door makes it so the whole page lacks a consistent color palette. If I was doing the page again, I'd have the transition inside the hotel land on the page turn, and then spend a whole page inside the hotel (yellows), and then have the door breach transition into the room land on the next page turn, and have that whole page go from bright to dark blues as we have the explosion on panel 1, also lending it more oomph, and giving that whole page a consistent blue palette as the magical dust settles on the new location, the dark room.

That basic color theory stuff aside, the reason I say it looks like two comics is because I only flatted page 4. Page 4 might be my favorite page, composition and art wise, but the colors don't match the high saturation up to that point. It's also the only page that lacks blood, that ever present orangey red that seems to run through the comic. And then from there we transition back to the saturated, vibrant colors in pages 11 and 12.

I would love to hear what other more experienced colorists think, not only of my assessments, but which colors they think worked more in this comic's favor, and which less so, and why, because I really did wrestle with how to color this thing quite a lot, and if anyone wants to hit me up on discord later on, I'd love to show you some samples of the other direction the colors on this comic almost went, and get your thoughts and learn something.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to comment, Shen! I'm glad you enjoyed it otherwise!

Shen
Global Moderator
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1206 comments
# 11   Posted: Aug 9 2017, 03:52 AM
Hellis: I think the creep factor could have been pushed more if the colours hadn't been so bright. Even daylight scenes can have some desaturated tones or perhaps push for darker shadows when trying to make a spook. Don't ignore the possibilities of shadows to sell a mood, even just the colour of the shadow can dset up an atmosphere. I like the look of Matilda's hometown, great first panel. The rest of the comic in the city had some nice details on the walls where there was posters, grafitti, ect but the street itself was a bit too clean. Too empty.... no cars, bikes, trash, people.... even the body of the guy smile killed vanished. But! You are already making great improvements from your intro comic. youre learning a lot very fast. keep it up!

heathen: I... he... hes getting a boner while stabbing himself.... this is the fucking WILDEST time travel bullshit ive seen on this site yet... what a fucking reveal i did NOT expect that shit.... good fucking job i am FLOORED by this comic D8 I know this is your first colour comic... theres something I dont love about the colours but Im going to be useless here because i cant quite pinpoint what it is. Maybe someone better than me at colouring can help me out. But the writing MORE than makes up for it like my god man ten stars i am still reeling

Heathen
Artist
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192 comments
# 10   Posted: Jul 26 2017, 04:48 AM
Sorry, I had to extend this. My adorable daughter, light of my life, whom I could never stay mad at, smashed my iPad. So it's in the shop, and I expect to have it back in two days.

Astro Sean
Think Tank
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273 comments
# 9   Posted: Jul 10 2017, 07:37 AM
Lemme back up for a second and really take this in. This is a great first match for ya Hellis, and it's fucking great to see you back at the grind, Dino.

mortooncian
Artist
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106 comments
# 8   Posted: Jul 9 2017, 11:44 PM
B R U H

Bobo
Web Dev
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859 comments
# 7   Posted: Jul 9 2017, 09:24 PM
TH-TH-TH-THE SMILE!?!?!?!

JayKat
Artist
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331 comments
# 6   Posted: Jul 9 2017, 04:09 PM
Glad to see The Smile back!!

Best of luck you guys!

Dechado
Artist
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213 comments
# 5   Posted: Jul 9 2017, 12:34 PM
Oh gosh! So good to have you and The Smile back!

Good luck to you both! Do well in your first match, Hellis! ^^

Radji
Artist
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460 comments
# 4   Posted: Jul 9 2017, 12:23 PM
....it is time...
to cook those chimiFUCKINchangas !!!!!

petarvee
Approval Committee
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83 comments
# 3   Posted: Jul 9 2017, 12:21 PM
HYYYYYPE

Hellis
Artist
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145 comments
# 2   Posted: Jul 9 2017, 12:03 PM
Let's put a smile on that face! eh ehh?

Shen
Global Moderator
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1206 comments
# 1   Posted: Jul 9 2017, 10:30 AM
NICE NICE NICE!!!

Comic Details -

 
Drawing Time: 3 weeks
Ended: Aug 14th, 2017
Votes Cast: 25
Page Views: 616
Winner: Heathen

 

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