They Did The Monster Mash / Veruca Chance vs. Ashlan

They Did The Monster Mash / Veruca Chance vs. Ashlan

They Did The Monster Mash — Veruca Chance vs. Ashlan

by Cab

343 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7

Crit level: No preference
tags: ashlan, veruca chance

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

Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques

Critiques & Comments
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# 10   Posted: Sep 24 2019, 06:31 AM
Both of you - amazing quality as usual! These were fun reads :D

Cab - I really love how you're weaving in other people's characters into your story, it definitely makes things more interesting. Unfortunately I'm gonna have to echo what the rest said... in particular, the "not interacting with environment" was especially noticeable on the last page where Veruca has absolutely no blood on her despite slashing a monster apart, with a now very-bloodied axe.

In addition I found some of the interactions just confusing? Like Veruca and Ash's first conversation, where Veruca starts to talk about her dad. 1) Why does Ash immediately jump to and start calling out her dad for being evil when Veruca hadn't even finished and was initially recounting something happy? 2) Veruca goes "no, no... stop it!" as if Ash has been repeating several times that her dad is horrible. It's something you'd expect to hear after being insulted several times, if that makes sense?

Astro - I enjoyed this! I'm a fan of this new (?) texture I'm seeing in the background. Ash in general is just.. a refreshing character tbph so I like seeing her *heart eyes* and I love your style so ya don't have much to say on that haha.

Again, echoing the others on the unusually thin lines and small text (plus the notorious plaid lmao) but one thing that stuck out to me is that I feel like you couldn't get a good feel for Veruca in your style. I think the very dark eyeshadow contributes a lot, but the way you drew her face in general makes her seem way older. She also feels kinda goth, which is not the impression I get from Cab at all. Apart from the eyeshadow again and the colouring of her lips as black, I think I get this vibe bc sometimes her nostrils appear to be a ring in her nose (first panel on page 4 especially).

Community Manager
# 9   Posted: Sep 19 2019, 09:25 PM
Cab: I appreciate the cameo, good to see others using Garland. others have said the crits I have for your comic. Mainly that a lot of the interactions between the two characters don't seem like their interacting with each other, The effect with them looking directly at the screen outside of the panels doesn't work here. Also the plot seems to have railroaded the characters themselves which I think is the main crux of the issue since it makes it all feel forced. That being said the amount of content you produce is still astonishing.

Astro: There is something about the way you write violence and interactions that is special. You build up the tension with a sense of dread but what's best is the way you depict the violence. The only minor use of action lines and suddenness of the impact makes the hits feel like sucker punches and not typical with most action in comic. I also really like what you're doing with the backgrounds in this, the effect is really cool. My main crit is that I feel you should have used some heavy inks on monster Ash. Some black-spots or shading would really add to the intimidation factor for ash in these final pages. good job with this

Global Moderator
# 8   Posted: Sep 16 2019, 03:45 PM
-Cab: Anyone can agree your greatest strength is your blinding speed (with both writing and drawing), and productivity. And in a site full of fellow up-and-coming artists that's definitely a great advantage to have. But it's only a matter of time before your shortcomings hit noticeable walls, and this is one of those instances. Veruca's story up to now has had a solid by-the-numbers kids show formula, each comic feeling like the single episode of an ongoing series with clear beginnings to ends. I don't really have a problem with this format but it can make it easy to slip up with a narrative that is more forced and formulaic vs natural and dynamic/engaging, that's what's happened here and the best way to showcase it is with the characterization off Ash in your comic vs Astro's; What I end up feeling with your story is that Ash was modified to fit the narrative you had in mind to a degree that misinterprets her, and since this narrative trope about a monster learning they don't have to be what others make of them, is a common one to say the least, when Ash's characterization is already being forced to fit this the whole thing then comes off even more formulaic and most damningly, predictable. In the first encounter in the marketplace I already had predicted that Ash would be Veruca's opponent and Veruca's perception of Ash will be challenged and Veruca would in turn try to challenge Ash's ideology. It's all on rails so most of the middle of the comic was not engaging or interesting, since I knew where it was headed. Then, because there's a characterization issue, the predictable plot is also hard to believe; even if you ignore Astro's writing of Ash in their comics, in your own story you have Ash go so far as to make a puppet out of her latest victim, and this is something she's been doing for a long, long time. No doubt teenagers have met their end at her claws on the same ground where she stands against Veruca. Thinking on all this, I simply didn't believe the emotion turn at the end of their battle. I understood why it had to happen, since it leads to the introduction of the real monster and another NPC, but that in itself is an issue, when character decisions are made in order to meet the needs of the plot, rather than their decisions actually making the plot happen naturally. One can almost feel like the NPC/Monster are simply waiting just outside the camera for their moment to jump in to the scene dramatically, and you don't want your stories to feel staged (unless it's actually a stage play happening). Sorry for the ramble and hope this helps you understand what went wrong with this story.

Visually, I've said this before, I still think you need to play with wider line width variety, not just with things closer or father away but also within the strokes themselves, to help in the places that get really busy and you don't have colors to help differentiate things

-Astro: I love love love that background effect you gotta show me it! I'm not sure how I feel about the plaid, since it's the only thing in the comic with that effect and it's gone halfway through, it just feels more like a rush job pretending to be a stylistic choice, which may be possible, since you were running out of time on this! Knowing how many pages you had left going up to the deadline it's crazy what you were able to pull off in the little amount of time you had. Your combat choreography and visual mapping has improved! I was able to understand what was happening from front to back with the battle, so great job on that. There are some places, like the first panel of page 9, where you could do with some more motion lines to sell some impacts. I think you needed something else to apply to differentiate the flashback panels with the present panels. Having known the story ahead of time, I already knew what I was getting into, but I can see it being confusing for some readers. Maybe having the blacks all be lighter for these, like with the illuminated page

Keep it up you two!

# 7   Posted: Sep 15 2019, 05:36 PM
Cab: As usual, an impressive amount of work--and I really loved the bits of color you added in. The stadium itself looks amazing! But I felt like there was a lot of superfluous talk which was made worse by a lot of comma splices and run-on sentences. For me this really made it hard to focus on the storyline and the dialogue. And while your style for adding a lot of details, especially the small detail lines you add, seems to kind of hurt you a bit when it comes to action--it becomes a bit hard to see what's going on, especially in page 4. That being said, one of my favorite things about your comics is your ability to adapt all these new characters to your own storyline!

Astro: Man, I loved this comic so much! It's like a reverse scar match, lol. For me, I didn't have much of a problem with the way you did Veruca's eyelids--they read fine to me--but Connor's face did get a bit confusing, yeah. For me, too, the plaid texture you used on Ash's shirt stuck out weirdly, because it's such an artificial looking texture amid your amazing inking.

# 6   Posted: Sep 15 2019, 06:56 AM
Amazing comics on both sides! This is such a treat and it's nice to see your different takes on  these  two wonderful characters.

Thank you so much Cab for adding that Raven cameo. <3  I know it's just her arm but it's  still such a wonderful gesture that I truly appreciate.

Cab - I'll never get tired of praising you for your skills - quality,  speed, consistency  and content. However, I feel like this comic could've used a bit more shading because a lot of the details kinda got mixed together and I was having a hard time figuring out what's going on especially in the fight. Also, I didn't know that Veruca is such a sweetheart. <3 I noticed you reveal a bit more about Veruca's personality in every comic and I like that.

Ash - I LOVE YOUR ART! Let's get that out of the way. The strong silhouettes and  shading gave me a better sense of shapes and lighting and you did it so expertly! I think you know about the font so I am not gonna elaborate on that. lol. I did have to zoom in so close on mobile and that kinda killed the immersion because I need to zoom out to just see the actual art/scene  again. Ash's personality is very intriguing I really want to see more of her. I do have to echo Elyan's comment on Veruca's eyelids. It had me confused more than a couple of times. Maybe a less darker shade would've helped. Also I kept on wondering if Connor is really that strong that he was able to pull Ash down by the hair for more than a second? I just thought that Ash would react by whipping her hair up like in a shampoo commercial and just throw Connor off XD

# 5   Posted: Sep 15 2019, 01:28 AM
i must admit both entries were similar to me. i must say though that astro´s side was more refined in art quality and storytelling.

cab i would make an effort to cut down on the page count and sort out distracting interaction here and there. i get the sensation to skip some speechbubbles since they dont feel neccesary for the comic. its a bummer cause it disrupts the tension buildup.
i wonder what you will deliver if you are limited in page dimensions. that would be interesting given you have no problem drawing a lot of content in a short amount of time. what will you improve on with that extra time on hand.

astro i love ash. i´m not much into monsters who shapeshift alot. but you manage to keep ash clear in design and intriguing.
artwise i state out again what i said a while ago. verucas eyelids are a bit distracting. as well as connor. i had trouble reading those two as clearly as ash since i had to search where are connors eyes an mouth and such.
still i was entertained every second and thats what counts.

Think Tank
# 4   Posted: Sep 14 2019, 06:58 PM
I'll get right to it--your characters don't physically interact with each other outside of fighting, and that worries me.  With the amount of time you've had in the comic battling game, I'd expect some more crossing of personal space with characters.  Otherwise they're inhabiting their own space, and it looks like a manufactured moment.

And it's in the little things, like page 1 when Veruca is about to get a hot dog--have her hands reaching out to receive it from the vendor.  Maybe she's paying for it?

Or when she bumps into Ash, who
doesn't offer to help her up?
I mean, I see a stretched arm, but it's posed like she's casually talking.  Ash is a tall lady, she'd bend down to try and help a human out, maybe.
In addition, Veruca is on the floor, and then she's suddenly up on her feet?  The transition read as rushed.  If it was me, I'd have the panel when she's saying "Wow that's a nice mane" be said while she's getting up, keeping eye contact with Ash because, heck, she's a sight to behold for sure.

Yes, there are a couple of panels that counter this statement, but let's get into them.

The hug at the end of page four was too cutesy.  The moment didn't feel earned, and the leg pop killed the emotional beat.  And then page 6 when Ash picks up Veruca, the posing looked really awkward because you have this behemoth grabbing a girl's thigh and almost cupping her breast like it's a Harlequin novel.  Improper lifting technique.  Key poses like this need to be thought through before execution.

And with fights, play with the camera angle some!  Having shots at more extreme angles can give a more kinetic feel to them, and reducing the action lines on top of a punch or a smack can make the action easier to read.  Otherwise, right now, we got a comic where interactions outside of fights feel awkward, and the fights themselves have some real cluttered linework.

# 3   Posted: Sep 14 2019, 10:28 AM
Cab: Veruca saves the day with friendship (or at least an unwillingness to backtrack on her motivational speeches)! Also.... is it normal for people to walk into the stadium not knowing these are death matches? O_o I really love the expressions you depict during conversation, but I think the dialog could be helped a lot with some more attention to screen direction: The direction they face or glance in appears to change from panel to panel. Sometimes Ash appears to be looking at someone not just in the other direction, but her height or taller. Also, while your ability to go right to ink with a minimal sketch phase is impressive and has allowed you to be as prolific as you have been, I do think it at times does show in the final art.

Astrodile: I do love the worldbuilding you did here with the library and the ancient beings who happen to hang out there. Funny that neither Connor nor Veruca caught on to the whole "Oh I worked on this medieval manuscript" business. Yeah, the text is a bit small. Some of the lines got pretty thin, too. I suppose this just could have been exported a little bigger. This plot really got into some heartbreaking stuff, and it is pretty chilling how Ash can just go from sweet to horrible, from "centuries of hate" vengeful to "Eh, whatever, but I'll still get a snack."

Both of these handle similar themes, but I think Astro's is thematically stronger.

# 2   Posted: Sep 13 2019, 11:13 AM
Oh man, this was such a fun comic to work on and I pushed myself at parts but I regret nothing, this battle was enjoyable from beginning to end and that end results, makes me wonder if Connor taste like Chicken ?  :-)   Anyway, Thank You Astro for being my wonderful opponent here and doing such a awesome comic about her, this is one of the reasons why I love doing Void comics, the fun in seeing ppl interpret my silly characters

Global Moderator
# 1   Posted: Sep 13 2019, 09:36 AM
APOLOGIES FOR THE SMALL TEXT Y'ALL I really don't have any excuse for it-- But hey! I hope you all enjoy reading our comic(s)! Giving my lovely regards to those who have thrown suggestions at me during the workprocess, y'all know who you are and just pretend I'm blowing a kiss your way.

CAB YOUR COMIC WAS WONDERFUL, thank you so much for designing Ashs' dad! I'll definitely make sure to use him in future battles, in one way or another! AND VERUCA IS A TOTAL SWEETHEART IN YOUR COMIC PFPFPT I LOVE HER!!!!

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 1 week
Ended: Sep 19th, 2019
Votes Cast: 16
Page Views: 832
Winner: Astrodile

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