Roommates / Johnny Cool and Harvey

Roommates / Johnny Cool and Harvey

Roommates — Johnny Cool and Harvey

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Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques
tags: blackandwhite, bw, collab, harvey , johnny cool, roommates

Critiques & Comments
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Global Moderator
# 8   Posted: Aug 10 2019, 10:01 PM
I love the inks here and in particular all the hatching is amazing and my favorite part of this.  The story is a bit chaotic which I feel like is in part the intention, but at the same time there could have been more breathing room. In particular some explanation of what the papers were would have been nice since i don't know why Harvey has them or what they mean. this is an interesting development for both of their stories and I look forward to seeing how it goes.

Community Manager
# 7   Posted: Aug 10 2019, 09:44 PM
So while the clock winds down I want to sincerely thank people who took time to vote and to comment. I especially want to thank the people who took time to critique or point out the things I need to work on.  And I know I need to work on a lot.  In particular I want to thank Endshark, your words mean a lot to me since we've been friends for many years now and you've seen me draw for awhile now.  

I apologize because I should have probably pointed out a couple of things first.  As a collaboration, yes you guys guessed correctly.  Sean was the writer and I supplied the art.  We had discussed for awhile bringing these two together as roommates and this is us finally carrying through with those talks.  I want to thank Sean for his patience with me as well.  I want to take everything everyone has said here and take it to heart as I keep drawing comics.  It's hard nowadays but I'm still gonna.  

I'm not gonna address every point one by one, but again I thank you all, one thing I am gonna point out which I think is interesting in comparing the critiques is that I don't draw pages in order.  Page 2 is technically what I finished last.  Or half of it anyways.  I draw what I find easiest first and then save what I find challenging for last.  Since the comic was intended to be black and white, the problem is I draw a lot of influence from Junji Ito whose inking I totally admire.  And naturally Junji does things to evoke a horror tone so that might not have been the best influence for the tone of this story.  

Anyways thank you again, I hope to have the next Johnny comic available soon.

# 6   Posted: Aug 10 2019, 06:17 PM
I really love the idea of the peep hole as a title card, but I wonder if the title bit could have been done better. At first it looked almost like a weird Family Circus cartoon. That ending was fantastic. I really love the "Oh no" chemistry set up here. I hope this is the beginning of a fantastic buddy relationship.

# 5   Posted: Aug 10 2019, 05:46 PM
Man the one thing I noticed throughout this comic was how good the hands and bgs looked. Like, serious props on that, especially on the stairs! Those are hard to draw lol. Also, Harvey's expressions were great throughout this whole comic, a hilarious juxtaposition to Johnny's complete lack of expression!! For me, the comic and the layout--especially the placement of the speech bubbles--felt a bit chaotic and claustrophobic, but I get that that's maybe intentional? I feel like this could have benefited a bit from being a page or two longer tbh.

# 4   Posted: Aug 10 2019, 11:05 AM
Very nice to see some finished black and white art from you, Will. The cross hatching is beautiful in some places and misused in others. 2.6 is overworked to the point of looking like a horror comic. The shadow in the corner of the room actually becomes a third character and the focal point of the panel. I really like the way you've inked Johnny. His blacks anchor the pages well. Some of your textures don't look like what they're supposed to be.  The apartment door looks more like a dead tree log, and the cross hatching on the doorknob doesn't read as polished metal. Maybe this is just a case of your inking style for this comic getting away from you, but keep working on using different techniques to make objects look like they're made of the right material.

# 3   Posted: Aug 5 2019, 09:35 AM
Hey Will! Been a loooong time since I've commented on a comic on here but I felt really compelled to comment on this one. I just wanna say I think there has been a clear improvement on your inking and I think its gotten a lot more confident, also its really nice to see more finished work out of you!

I think this is one of your better inked comics actually, your work stands out really nicely in black and white. This says it was a collaborative comic so I am not sure if it only lists that because it features Harvey, or what Sean did and you did etc but I want to assume the hand lettering is also you? A lot of the visual stuff anyway on here seems to be William Duel (TM) so I am going to make that assumption since there were no credits listed haha. Back to it though - the hand lettering looks great so whichever of you did that you have really nice writing.

There are a couple areas on your inking though I feel you could improve on and the key is consistency. I feel like your work was really shining in a few panels where you had thinner lines overall with some heavier line weights sprinkled throughout the drawing. A good example of this is the panel on the first page when Harvey is like "wait what room" and page 2 overall seems to mostly follow this look too. I feel like if you found a way to add some screentones or something digitally it'd really give it just that extra bit of oomph. I think while your colour style in previous comics should sit out for a bit as you work on your black and white art to strengthen it up because I feel you are on the right track and should keep focusing on what is working for you right now.

The reason I bring this up is because on page 3 the style takes a huge dip - it becomes very thick and blotchy which is fine for some styles but I don't feel works very well for yours. If you had say, a more cartoony style like a Scott Pilgrim sort of look it'd work, but your work breathes so much better with all the hatching when you play it a lot more subtle due to it aiming for a look grounded in more realism. I really think page 2 is the standout page for precisely this reason.

I think your technical ability as far as drawing your character has gotten a lot better, but there are still a few wonky shots on a few panels where I think its partially the composition to blame as well as it looks like maybe you didn't put as much time into it (which makes sense as I know the deadline says 1 week on here). Still, watching the lengths of arms and legs and heights of the characters is something to watch out for - and the height issue is potentially just a perspective thing. I appreciate the attempts at some backgrounds here but the perspective could use some work in the background shots. The other thing is that the hatching in some panels looks really well done and complements the art, others again it looks very rushed to be put in there.

I think perhaps slowing down and making something short with a longer deadline will do you some good!

One more thing I do like is your creative panel layouts. Its clear to me you have a lot of love for comics and you understand how to lay out a page to allow someone to easily follow along. Zooming out some shots would have helped this comic more, or varying up the angles I feel like compared to some of your last few the actual contents in the panels isn't as adventurous. There is one little complaint I have and again its on page 3 where the order of panels is a little confusing at first glance. You have Johnny on the first panel walking up the stairs but the dialogue and the fourth panel itself is jutting into the first. Naturally a reader will want to gravitate there and then go to the two panels on the side. Just something to watch out for but its very minor!

I know this a lot, I know it sounds really negative but it actually isn't. I enjoyed this, I think you've improved a buttload dude and you should be proud. These are just some things I think that could really help push you up even a next step further and/or are just food for thought. Don't stop making things my dude!

# 2   Posted: Aug 5 2019, 04:03 AM
I agree with a lot of your friend's crit- Particularly the last part "All I really learn about beardy is that he is meek and owns a home?" A solution to this that wouldn't have hindered the story you wanted to tell, would've been putting more love into the background of Harvey's home. Since someone's house and personal effect can reveal a lot about them.

The comic was cluttered at times, there were some panels dedicated to showing close-ups and small gestures (such as turning a door handle) that didn't always feel necessary.  eg page 1 panel 5. The impact of Johnny charging through the door would've felt more impactful, without the panel of Harvey just looking at the door inbetween it.

I'm not familiar with these characters so the "Orsktech" document/ Harvey's reaction was a bit lost of me, it might've been nice to have a clearer text on the document, to explain the situation more to newer readers.

Overall I enjoyed this comic a fair bit, it kept me engaged which can be hard to do sometimes. I also really liked the inking, particularly the use of crosshatching.

Community Manager
# 1   Posted: Aug 4 2019, 11:13 AM
A nonvoider friend's critique.  But I felt it would be beneficial to include it here as a legitimate critique to learn from.
"So I would have structured this differently. I would have opened with more panels on beardy that give a sense of who he is what he likes and maybe fears. Then the knocking followed by some worry tied to the fears when he sees the being outside. The page is about the fear if Roboman coming in and concludes with the final panel being his entrance.

Page two is Roboman making demands or observations that sort of confirm beardys fears as he learns he is a defective. Dialogue based cat and mouse with beardy trying to keep into safe. Final panel is a declaration by roboman that is knows the truth!

Last page opens that the truth he knows is unrelated to beardos secret but the fact that the apartment will be a perfect fit. Beardos relived and gets a panel is two of happiness then it Dawn's in him. Perfect for what? Roboman slaps sign on door for final panel.

Yeah at three pages you should be looking for each page to tell a mini story of sorts and you can also plug in the three act structure. Also comedy or drama you want to be building some expectations for the reader so that things can be payouts or subversions. Also we should know about the people involved at the end. All I really learn about beardy is that he is meek and owns a home?"

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 1 week
Ended: Aug 10th, 2019
Votes Cast: 16
Page Views: 453

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