Black Swan vs. Kojiro

Black Swan vs. Kojiro

Black Swan vs. Kojiro

by JCee

This comic has not been rated; viewer discretion advised.

Icon for Black Swan53.5%
379 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3

Crit level: No preference

This comic has not been rated; viewer discretion advised.

Icon for Kojiro46.5%
330 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5

Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques

Critiques & Comments
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Global Moderator
# 9   Posted: Feb 5 2019, 08:39 PM
Don't mind as I leave totally late crits on this good ol' battle, most of this I probably mentioned on VCast however I'm just gonna go ahead and type out my thoughts here as well!

Wonderful comic! There's some great establishing shots for location that are going on in page 1's first two panels, and I really do feel like this battle of yours establishes where your obvious strengths are: Which is in limited palette usage as well as textured/crosshatched brush usage with rather clean pen-work. Your anatomy and hair work is also just as solid as well! The little interaction that goes on here returns to Swans development as a superhero within Void and I'm looking forward to what'll be thrown her way in the future!
I guess a little nitpick of mine, is that the eye proportions can get a bit wonky at 3/4ths view. And that is at best, because aside from the side eye being notably smaller then the other every now and then, or the eyes being a bit too far apart (Page 1, panel 4), it could be caused due to the eye line not matching the angle that the head/chin is at, such as in page 1's last panel. But once again, these are only nitpicks to an otherwise completely solid comic! I feel like this is something you'll be able to improve from over time. Great work!

It's always a pleasure to see your art, you have this specific style and specific method to your linework that really does make me reminisce about a previous era of void! Which is to say, your unique art is always a welcome here. And I can certainly understand why you'd want to add in the 3D buildings, I think they were easily hidden and went unnoticed on my part in the final panel of the first page because they blend in with the bg's main color of yellow.
In terms of crit, I wanna mention that the text bubbles can be a bit too close to the text itself such as in page 3 panel 2, and also that that in page 3's last panel, the angle gets a bit confusing. Following what angle the furniture is pointing at, it should be visualized that he is thrown through another wall but instead he is in empty space. Feel free to take these at nitpicks though, I know how rough it can be to finish as much as you can in a one weeker.
However, the most glaring problem here that I feel like I oughta mention is that your ability to draw women, though not bad, is not that great currently either. Both the female adversary and Swan have the same face, even Swans nose is strikingly similar to the others despite how clear it is in her own ref sheet that her nose is not a thin button shape. I also feel as though your addition of panty shots in panels are there for the kicks of it, which can be fine in some situations depending on the atmosphere of the comic itself, but considering how action and story-oriented this comic is, it only weakens what could've been stronger shots such as that in page four panel three. I can't take Swan's dialogue seriously of "Avante garde," when I read downwards only to notice the obvious panty/crotch shot, as well as what should be a loose sweater obviously hugging her waist, breasts, and coincidentally floating right above her crotch.
Regardless, great work, I'm looking forward to the continuation of Kojiros story!

Happy June 13th! -Reecer6
# 8   Posted: Jan 18 2019, 08:01 PM
jay: DANGIT i thought i was going to be the only person to note how swan's eyes were thinner and her nose smaller on that poster i thought that was a GREAT SUBTLE THING. really should've been expanded into like, a full two-panel comparison match cut to emphasize it because i liked it! overall wonderful art as always. story is simple and pretty safe but that's fine, it's a 3 page comic.

aj: ooh, doing a to be continued that actually leads into a comic that's coming soon instead of just hoping something happens eventually, that's good, i appreciate and respect it. your linework's BALLER! but the city background is like, bleedingly obviously google sketch up. i kind of like it because it lets the characters pop off of it really well, but, i dunno, it's also really distracting, especially in that first establishing shot. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Community Manager
# 7   Posted: Jan 17 2019, 10:07 PM
Jcee: I love the small detail of her nose looking different on the billboard compared to the rest of the comic. My only crit is that as someone who doesn't know too much about "the old times" Swan's reason for refusing confused me, the hatching you did on teh small panel does clearly show concern/conflict with her thoughts but this comic doesn't tell me enough. I think something that could have worked is instead of a panel just showing him talking maybe some sort of flashback panel or a picture representing what happened in that past while he was talking about the old times would have helped the reader clue us in on what she meant and for those who didn't know it would be a good hook to look back and see that moment. Besides that minor thing I still really enjoyed this and love your cyanscale style.

AJ: I love the feel of this comic both in art quality and writing, it feels like a different era in an enjoyable way. However I will say I do wish instead of a cover you had taken the time used on the cover to work more on your other pages. I feel like a cover should only be done after everything else is fully complete. Page 3 is the main confusing but if you had changed the layout for it to be 3 rows instead of two panel colums i think this could have worked. since the rows would have given it a stronger horizontal feel since they are crashing in from the left on the final panel but fall straight downward in the first two which is a bit confused. Also small word bubble thing I feel like Swan's bubble on panel 3 of page 3 should have been two bubbles instead of one. The first being her french then the second being her reaction to Darth.  They seem like two separate thoughts and if you had Darths big name at the start of a bubble it would have popped more. while I don't think the cover should have been there since other stuff still needed work on I love the ending page with all the text at the bottom for a "NEXT TIME" thing. That is such a fun thing not really currently done on void and I want to see more. I also do look forward to the next project you are alluding to in this.

# 6   Posted: Jan 15 2019, 10:30 PM
JCEE- I've already told you this, but I wish you'd made that first panel bigger. Just bleed it all across the top of the page. You put so much work and detail in that city scape and beauty advert, I am dying to pore over it and get a closer look. These inks are great and this small exchange, though benign, really got me wondering more about Swans motivations. She's been known to express frustration that she feels she isn't making a difference in the city on her own, but when the opportunity to join a crime fighting group hoping to make an impression in Voids underbelly shows up, she declines. As a reader, it makes you wonder...

AJ- Oh man. From the moment I turned to page one, you totally threw me back to old void. this style was all over the place when I joined the site. Way to bring it old school. You have this distinct comic booky style in your inks that while great, almost seem like they're missing spot blacks.If only to break up the pattern of scratchy details you pepper in. Its most notable on Swan where you define all her muscles. Without spot blacks it almost feels like too much that it edges into wrinkles territory. Conversely, once we get into the action, the lack of contrast makes discerning fighting panels kind of difficult. All these heavily detailed inked figures with speed lines behind them make for busy and visually confusing panels- at least I think.

Reading through this felt like a huge nostalgia bomb. Not just visually, but in this comics content. A Rock em sock em no nonsense battle between good and evil. I'm only sorry it ended on a cliffhanger. Still ,you got me reading your comics backlog to find out more or get some context on how Kojiro knows Swan, so ya got me. Ya got me good.

# 5   Posted: Jan 13 2019, 01:46 AM
Jcee: This comic is very slick, and reads well. Nice work getting it all finished. I want to see some better word balloons from you. They're a little too thick, and too big. I'm reading on a tablet, so I don't know if the font needs to be this size to read clearly on phones, but the font could be a few points smaller, tighter line spacing vertically, and fit a little more snug and neat in the balloons. There's also one instance in page 2, panel 1 where the dialog jumps down a line in the middle of a one syllable word, so be mindful of that when formatting your lettering. Also be sure to always have your balloon tails pointing towards the speaker's mouth as much as possible; it only happens once here, but you have a tail pointing at Swan's glove when her mouth is in frame. And lastly, on lettering, get a better font. I'm not sure what program you're drawing or lettering in, but even Medibang's default font set has one called CC-Wildwords that's totally serviceable, if you're using a tablet.  My only other nitpick is that the building the scene takes place on doesn't seem like it exists in panel 1, like we're farther from that billboard in the establishing shot than we could be with that building there. Overall, solid work and a good scene. I look forward to seeing if Swan reconsiders the offer, or what her real motivations are.

AJ: I gotta address the digital stuff again. You have a tendency to destroy your traditional art with these awful muddy digital airbrush effects that are just a waste of time. Having done something similar in my 6-hour battle with Harvey, I totally get the draw and what you're going for, but like my comic, I think it's time better spent elsewhere,  like pumping up the outlines on your foreground characters. Also, when you use speed lines, play around with maybe lowering their opacity or otherwise lightening them to help your figures stand out, because the speed lines are kind of eating the awesome cyborg lady with the extendo-arms in page 3, and she's a lot of fun to look at. Less visual noise.

I'm gonna direct the same suggestion on fonts at you, you'd do yourself a big favor to get a better one and work on your lettering in general. And that includes the overall design and layout of the page.  I was immediately confused where to go on page 2. I can't imagine you wanted me to read both text boxes in panel 1 and then straight to the last one,  then jump all the way back up to look at panels 2-4, but I did.

Your last page is rough, and one simple choice could have really helped it, and that's to just black in the foreground figures.  It wouldn't be great, but the hastily scribbled in figures with the blurry, too-opaque shading is just ugly. When in doubt, black it out. Your pages lack some much needed visual weight.  Really work on utilizing spot blacks more. Looking at the thumbnails, you can see a couple of blacks in the comic, but otherwise, the pages are a mess of lines without solid shapes to anchor them. Ironically, the last page actually reads best in thumbnail.

That said, I love your style,  and can't wait to see what else you put out between now and our inevitable battle!

Good fight, guys.

# 4   Posted: Jan 12 2019, 08:48 AM
JCee: A solid set up comic. Not much happened, but it was clear it was meant to setup and implicate future interactions and it worked very well for that. The jump between page 1 and 2 was a little clunky. If she is gonna tell her old friend a story, something like "Do I have a story for you" on the page before would have worked to set the first panel of page 2 up flow wise. But it was a rather minor thing. Your art is always impressive and I really liked the first 3 panels. Good work all in all!

Aj: your antion and angles and sense of motion is very, very strong. For the most part, I am gonna agree with AJ, work with more solid/hard blacks in your backgrounds, and try to pace your flow so that there is a little more transition between locations. I am looking forward to more, your style is very entertaining and interesting.

# 3   Posted: Jan 12 2019, 07:09 AM
good read! cant state anything aside from darth looking a bit boyish. i love your greyscale shading and backgrounds :D nice positive ending too

i love your dynamic action! its deinetely your strong point. Angles and perspective are also nice even if i think you have potential in arranging them better to follow the action. given you have really dynamic scenes you might think of your comics more like a storyboard for a film (one punch man comes to me as a good example). right now i need to just accept that we are junmoing from location to location without really understanding where to where the characters went actually.
drawing wise i would suggest more hard blacks and general contrast. your cityscape and floating cities were feeling dull imo
all in all nevertheless a fun read looking forward to your next one!

AJ 武士龍
# 2   Posted: Jan 12 2019, 12:21 AM
Submitted in the last 10 minutes!

Yup I went for just a few pages also ( 4 pages + cover, which I failed to color properly...meh! ) !

JCee THANK YOU a bunch, It was an honour to have a chance to battle you again, old friend!
 My comic side it's a prelude ( some sort of amuse bouche ) of an incoming collab that it's cooking on the stove...
 Aside that, I want to inform the readers that I have used in some panels Backgrounds generated in a program named Sketchuo Pro, the reasons for this choice were that I didn't have to much time to do manually the BG's, and other reason I wanted to get this comic a bit more now I'm ready to face the consequences.

Merci à tous for reading, commenting and voting, Voiders!

# 1   Posted: Jan 11 2019, 02:14 AM

The goal here was a 3-4 page battle, just to keep in mind.
Happy to have the chance to battle you AJ ~

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 1 week
Ended: Jan 18th, 2019
Votes Cast: 18
Page Views: 1435
Winner: JCee

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