Ships In The Night / Zedan Dromer vs. Gray

Ships In The Night / Zedan Dromer vs. Gray

Ships In The Night — Zedan Dromer vs. Gray

574 points
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Crit level: No preference

by Shen

668 points
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Crit level: No preference

Critiques & Comments
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# 24   Posted: Apr 19 2014, 06:36 PM
I didn't comment? Okay, well I reread this and I wanna say I love Gray <3

Web Dev
# 23   Posted: Mar 19 2014, 09:06 PM

bent I'll read your comic and critique it later but now it's my bed time. Maybe Zedan will be in my drams.

Mister Kent
# 22   Posted: Feb 8 2014, 10:46 PM
Congrats to both of you for quite ambitious entries! :D

BenT - Great beginning ~ The layouts were very cool throughout. My favorite page is actually page 4, even though it's not colored very well made! You've improved a lot--I'd like to see the next comic shorter but with more pages like the first few!

Shen - I especially love your vibrant style--from the lines to the colors. My favorite parts were the mirror scene (11-13). Your characters are so cute--it makes me feel bad when Gray cries ;_; poor bby

# 21   Posted: Feb 8 2014, 07:00 PM
Bent         -

           It's a shame you couldn't finish dude, I really liked what you were doing in the super early pages, and your layouts were really dramatic and dynamic, I'm super into them. It's hard for me to know what to critique, since you had alot left to finish. BUT MAN THOSE FIRST TWO COLOURED PAGES. MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN.

          One thing you should watch out for is that it seems like you use very similar features for your peeps faces. If you look at page 4, most of those characters have almost identical facial structure. You should totally use some more varied shapes for constructing heads, try to really push the unique character of each persons face.

Shen             -

                Color is totally my biggest problem with this comic, but you already got a bunch of great crit's about that. I especially agree with Pocky. You keep the colours way too consistent between scenes. Don't be afraid to stretch Gray's hair from blonde to green to pink, or her robe from white to dark brown etc etc. Your character's design is simple and strong enough that it can totally survive having the colours shifted about.

            Also, you should totally feel free to just emulate someone whose colouring you think is beautiful. Trying to solve the smaller question of "How does this person colour?" is much easier than tackling the massive problem of "how is colour oh god". Just find somebody whose loveliness you want to be a part of your own loveliness, and keep 2 or three of their works open while your colour. Hell, eyedrop that shiz and see how it feels to work with the exact same colours as them.

            Storywise, I liked this comic much more than your other Gray comics. Not because it had a little bit of happy in it, but because I felt like you showed us a little bit more of who Gray is. Sometimes I feel like Gray is too often portrayed as like the personification of misery, rather than just a really sad person. It's easier to feel empathetic towards the pain a character is going through when they feel real and complex.

The Bent One
# 20   Posted: Feb 7 2014, 01:22 PM
Alas, the days of Old Void are long gone when comics would get 50+ votes...

Cracking Skulls
# 19   Posted: Feb 6 2014, 09:26 PM
I honestly hope you guys and the rest of the comics up for reading get more votes soon. It's ridiculous that you have so little right now, along with the other battles and intro comic :'C

Global Moderator
# 18   Posted: Feb 3 2014, 07:28 AM
Lots to say, so I'll go one artist at a time so I don't post a tower of text.

ANIMESHEN- And you were worried :P I think this is another great battle from you. Not shippy or lovey dovey drivel at all! The chemistry between both characters played its part but didn't overstay its welcome which I think made it that much more alluring.

Gosh, Gray's nightmare realm. SO AWESOME. This really gave me 'The Cell' movie vibes. I'm not sure what your decision was to make the chains red, but I think it was a great color choice since it really stood out among the bleakness and dingy hallway. I love that you afforded Gray hanging from the ceiling a whole page- that is really a moment you want your readers to linger on! A bunch of other little things really made me smile and made your pages visually pleasing. Like page 5 and making pane breaks with Gray's dress ribbons. Clever! Also incorporating cameos with a chilling purpose in the mirror round table. Tying in Gray's last battle with Jules here really made me happy, but I really wish there could've been more time to linger on that exchange. Going back and re-reading that past battle there were some serious emotions flying and in this battle it feels like character wise Gray glosses over it with a 'yea yea you win, gtfo'.

I don't know if you're keeping it under wraps, but I would like to know what her blue light show powers do. Are they physical? are they indicators she's becoming more of a spectre? Did Zedan's hair kiss on page 18 release some...pent up tension? XD

P.S. Way to take all this critique below my post on the chin. It's rad to see folks strive to do better and keep at something instead of becoming shrinking violets and just not doing it. Really dug your side, lady!

# 17   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 02:39 PM
  I really Liked both.

the bent one: I like your pacing, but the quality hurt the entry. the weird part of it is it kinda feels like blurry dream which to me is kinda cool.

Animeshen: I like the pacing and the story. the transitions between dreams is nicely done. the quality is nice and clean looking.

overall i think they both have great stories...also i have no clue what been  happening to any of them in past stories.  But its nice to see creators stick with characters for this long. cools bean people

The Bent One
# 16   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 12:48 PM
Shen: It was a lot of fun, and a perfect jumping off point for me to really get Zedan's story kicked off for the first time in 4 years!

As for coloring, obviously the first thing to do is to go back to basics and study a color wheel. Once you reabsorb what colors go with eatch other and which don't, you can start playing around and do some really funky stuff. I prefer a painterly style myself, since you can blend colors and build up amazing atmospheres.

The number one thing I learned on my own about colors is that you often have to use raw colors that you would never think to use, like pinks and greens and blues (which is why skintones are the most difficult to paint realistically). Someone gave me a note on my last battle with THE BEAST which basically said something similar to the notes you've gotten here, which was that the colors didn't match the mood of the comic. Since this is a dream comic, you can have a little fun, but you still have to stick to a palette in each scene you go to. You can look at movies like The Matrix to see how they use subtle color palettes to affect the mood of the scene ( like how all scenes shot in "the matrix" have a green tint that was partially lense filters and partially color themes props and sets).

I'm not sure how much experiance you have with color, so I don't want to come off as preachy to someone who could already know all this and just needs to knock off the rust.

Only way to know is to MAKE MORE COMICS!

(Also, I enjoyed your comic a lot. I loved how you played on the fact that Zedan has the dual nature of both Dream and Nightmare, something I'll be going into later in my comics0

# 15   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 12:38 PM
In that case Ben, if these are just fancy layout pages, I would fucking LOVE to see a proper page, because damn. From the layouts, I can see that the proper pages would be pretty damn epic  *_*

Global Moderator
# 14   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 12:14 PM
ah, all the notes I'm getting are on how bad my colours are! ^^; sorry, I will try to vary my palettes in the future. I drew a black and white comic for seven years and now the art of colouring has escaped me. I'll keep trying! Thanks for the feedback!
Ben! haha we really went two completely different routes! your first page blew my mind, i loved those colours! I like how you had Gray try necromancy and she couldn't do it, that was pretty great! Though I feel like she would be more sympathetic to another tormented spirit, I understand since her heel turn i haven't had a chance to show what sort of bad guy she'll be so you had to make alot up.Great comic! Thanks for fighting me!

The Bent One
# 13   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 11:50 AM
Pocky / TINAMN / Rob: First off, thanks for the feedback. I don't normally respond to the feedback I get here, due to the fact that up until this point I've been jumping around to different workflows and my true finished work has never really made it up onto the site (this battle being a perfect case).

What you're seeing for the majority of the comic is the rough thumbnail/layout style I use to get everything in place. I was running short on time, so I made a call and did a slightly more detailed version of the layouts so they could be seen as actual images, not just scribbled framewroks. Obviously, it has mixed results. I'm still trying to find a marriage between Digital and Traditional. I started off doing traditional pencils (as I was learning to draw), but I switched over to all digital last year to get the feel of it. After this comic, and a tutorial I came across recently, I have finally decided on a process I think will optimize my results:

STEP 1: digital thumbnail and layout. This takes me about an hour to do, but gives me a solid idea of lines and spot blacks I want to realize in the inking.
STEP 2: Print out at full size (11x17) and use a Lightbox to transfer the structure over on to my bristol.
STEP 3: Traditional penciling.
STEP 4: Scan back in, and finish with Digital Inks and Colors.

(special note to TINMAN) The idea for this comic is to set up some story threads that I can build on later. It was meant to be vague, as the story I'm building for Zedan IS quite cosmic and epic in scope. The future battles will be more concrete. Also, if it wasn't obvious enough, I'm trying to build hype for the Gon'kra character. But I will take your advice and settle back to doing traditional pencils, as all my best stuff I've done in the past has that as it's base.

# 12   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 11:31 AM
SHEN - On Page 9, that shot where they're all "Soccer? I used to love-", instead of just a straight medium shot, it might work better as a perspective-from-above, a little zoomed out so we could see the area a little bit better? Like, an establishing shot. I love the effects, on the last two pages with the blue glowy bits, it looks really cool. The shot of her hanging from the ceiling with the chains, that one was really good. The outdoor soccer bits were really bright. The contrast from the previous darker pages sort of hurt my eyes- instead of using bright blues and greens, try something a bit more muted.

BENT - Awesome comic, I can tell it's super actiony and probably fucking amazing, story and perspective-wise, and with everything in cool shots. Except your lines are sort of killing me. The messy smudgy black is difficult to make out detail and in a lot of panels, it's hard to tell exactly what's going on. The color part is nice, but still sort of hard to tell. It's a little weird, having just a few pages colored, and it seems very much like you intended to color it all, then ran out of time. I like the typography and the weird eyeball thing. The whole come was sort of surreal and epic. And the "Little dead girl" "NOT DEAD" panel was just aweeesome.

# 11   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 11:04 AM
Bent- Very cool high concept story you excel at, with a cinematic flare and an epic feel. This works both for and against you as this was not  the Zedan we know and love but some departure to a more cosmic pantheon you seem to be constructing- bodes well for the future but for now I felt a bit lost. The rough blacks could do with some clarity in places but for the most part I dug the gist of your dark world and it suited the tone of the tale. Storytelling is your greatest strength but the lack of clean art is what hurts it. Your colors help alot but I'd concentrate on refining your strokes to something more manageable- that looks less like a dried out sharpie and more like sume brush. You draw like a traditionalist- why not just embrace it?

Shen- You captured the essence of your opponent well and were able to sum up Grey's transformation well in a singular symbolic sense. Ever the tragic figure, Charlotte deals with some nice psychological narratives here- you played off Zedans skills to craft the ideal story from the sum of them. I think you could do with a more subdued palette and more panel variety than medium shots but you're the mistress of your domain and you do it well. Wonderfully complete package as always and I await your future progression eagerly.

# 10   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 10:52 AM
I haven't given constructive critique lately because I always repeat myself for a lot of things, but this time i have something new to share with both of you. Great job, both of you!

The Bent One: I am assuming you're using a rough brush on Photoshop that has a transparency or blending mode hooked on it. I rarely move out my comfort zone regarding photoshop brushes, but your technique really reminds me of this one dude who gave a demo with markers, and hopefully I can translate this through using photoshop. What he did was start with a very light grey, and blot out areas that had stuff/shadows in it. Then he'd use a slightly darker grey to cover in more details with a smaller tip, and then third he'd go in and add the shadows with another slightly darker grey. Then with just that vague information, he was able to use a darker grey/black ink to fill in the blanks with details and information. Not saying you should do this technique, but it really feels like the same method could apply for your work through photoshop. I would recommend starting out with a large brush on photoshop (whatever you're using as brush x20), blot out areas where you want, then shrink the size of your brush a little, and set your brush down to 70% opacity, and the 'brush mode' to multiply (instead of 'normal') and blot shadows/large areas. Do one layer, make the brush smaller, do another layer, make brush smaller, etc. until you feel you wanna stop (don't go overboard though) Other than the undo button or history brush tool, you can't fix the linework coz it'll all be on the same layer, which is another good practice.

AnimeShen: It's hard to make good dream stories that don't confuse or bore you. The setting in your dreams varies from daytime to nighttime to space, but the color palate for everything is too consistent with each other. I can see a tiny bit of color palate change, but I feel like there are times when the color could be darker/cooler compared to other places. For example, being in a dark room would make Gray's hair and skin darker/duller compared to the scene where she was about to play soccer. Also, time to find some more textures to use for your comics. And keep it consistent--if you're adding a little bit of texture to something, don't suddenly have a panel that doesn't have it unless the mood is changed (pg 7-8).

Think Tank
# 9   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 09:44 AM
Dream comics always have so much fun within them. I'll return later with actual critiques, but for now - both were immensely enjoyable!

The Bent One
# 8   Posted: Feb 2 2014, 04:02 AM
Everything's all shipshape on my end. Throw in some badly drawn typography and we're all set to THROW DOWN

Global Moderator
# 7   Posted: Feb 1 2014, 01:05 AM
okay, I *THINK* I got mine submitted! (?) This comic takes place 90% in Gray's head and therefore follows Dream Logic. So if you are reading and you feel anything about the story is "abrupt", "confusing", "badly written", or "a waste of time" or the art is "poorly drawn", or "rushed", or "lacking proper anatomy", or the backgrounds "phoned in" with "awkward colour choices".... remember, DREAM LOGIC!

# 6   Posted: Jan 13 2014, 04:49 PM
Shen's comic, featuring FedEx!

I am excited for this one! I enjoy allll the ships.

The Bent One
# 5   Posted: Jan 13 2014, 03:30 PM
I approve of whatever Shen is doing in her comic...

Global Moderator
# 4   Posted: Jan 13 2014, 03:20 PM
dunno 'bout boats but ships there may be...

Global Moderator
# 3   Posted: Jan 5 2014, 01:25 PM
Y'all better be on a boat or so help me...

The Bent One
# 2   Posted: Jan 4 2014, 05:47 PM
Oh, you'll do fine!

Time to roll up my sleeves and start the new year on a good foot.

Global Moderator
# 1   Posted: Jan 4 2014, 04:41 PM
I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew here ^^;

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 3 weeks
Ended: Feb 8th, 2014
Votes Cast: 29
Page Views: 1276
Winner: Shen

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