Fawn / Detroit

Fawn / Detroit

Fawn — Detroit


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Critiques & Comments
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Heavenbat
Artist
99 comments
# 13   Posted: Feb 1 2020, 10:02 PM
Personally, I got the gist of what was going on from the beginning, but that's admittedly because you've talked a lot about liking this sort of twisted "love" story in Discord before, so I kind of knew from those external clues that what you were going for was that Detroit got overly possessive of Fawn and did something with her--admittedly this is where it gets a bit fuzzy, cuz I'm not sure if it's supposed to be that he kidnapped her or worse. I think the second page was the best in conveying that, with the series of pictures--I think it might've worked even better if you'd pumped up the obsessiveness a bit more by, say, having Detroit have taped a picture of him together with a picture of Fawn. Really push that whole thing with Detroit having this fantasy of them being together.

Overall, I think this comic would've worked just a bit better if it had had maybe one or two more pages, to sort of slow down the pacing and make the slow buildup of horror even better. That would've allowed you to include more details which would've fixed the issues some of the others have mentioned. You had, imo, a good setup, it just moved a bit too fast! Either way, color me intrigued to see where you go with this, if you decide to continue it!!

TheCydork
Artist
130 comments
# 12   Posted: Jan 14 2020, 11:07 PM
Going off what we spoke about and some of the crits posted, here’s a longer critique for you that I really hope you find helpful, no matter where you decide to continue this story.

Spoiler: Longass Breakdown • show

First of all, imo the setup is pretty clear. Empty room, blood on the floor, panicked note - they all show Fawn has been attacked in some way and abducted. Though I agree, showing the room in disarray would have helped push this idea, as it doesn’t make sense that there was a struggle resulting in a wound but an otherwise orderly room. The note also doesn’t make sense like Flutter said, but on first read it doesn’t stand out as an issue and is easily fixable anyway. Just put the text inside a bubble coming from a phone. So to me this part is pretty good and any issues are minor.

However I can see why people would be confused by pages 2 and 3. Let’s start with page 2:

The pictures of Fawn indicate someone obsessing over her and hating her friends. There has been no indication of someone following or obsessing over Fawn prior to this. From meta clues - you changing “Fawn and Detroit” to just Detroit - as well as the the fact that Detroit is kept in one image while another person is ripped out, and every other person who isn’t Fawn is either scratched out or insulted in other images, I’m guessing that the person who took Fawn was Detroit. But if this is the case, there was nothing to suggest his sudden turn. There was one instance of him mouthing off at Cadenza and then lying to Fawn, but it was buried in the middle of a 36 page holiday collab that nobody expects to hold plot points, and will likely be skipped in an Archive due to its length. Plus since he’s a child and hasn’t been threatening before but HAS been shown to have a somewhat mischievous streak (vs. Cassidy), he just comes off as bratty. At the end of the collab, him singing to her I suppose could be seen as creepy, but the atmosphere, his expressions etc. do not lend to this idea. Since he was alone, this would have been a great moment to show him flash a glimpse of his true nature, but he seems to actually care about Fawn.

Onto page 3. Adding Vincington muddles things. Similarly to others, I was also lost on who he was initially, despite reading all your past comics. I had to reread them again and squint to realise he was Fawn’s dad. Unlike Marigold he doesn’t really get an introduction and is only in the background for the most part. Fawn only calls him her dad once and there’s little indication otherwise of their relationship. I mistook him for Fawn sometimes (or even an older sister) due to their similar hair, your tendency for fluctuating heights in older comics and your style, which makes all your characters look somewhat feminine. There’s also the fact that his design has changed quite a bit from his initial appearance. In this comic particularly, his position lead to confusion as well - we see the doorbell ring on page 2, and then him walking down.. something. I honestly thought he was outside at first bc the shading made the floor look like a stone path. So it made me think “who is this person ringing the doorbell? If they’re a member of the household they wouldn’t do that.” On a second read it seems like he’s indoors answering the door, but that’s also strange, because the dark figure approaches him from behind. If this shadowy person was already inside the house, what was the point of showing the ringing doorbell on the previous page?

Speaking of the dark figure, since they came up behind Vincington and put a hand on his shoulder while he continued to face forward, it read as if he was being kidnapped too rather than being given news. Especially since the speech bubble was floating in midair and did not have a tail going towards the figure, and prior there was an ominous-looking shadow attached to Vince, as if he was being stalked. Like Bobo said, it would have been clearer if we saw who was speaking to him. If the speaker is supposed to be a secret, show us Vincington’s face as he reacts to this news. As it stands, the two images of him are spooky but ultimately meaningless to the reader.

I understand how frustrating it must be to come back to Void with your first finished comic in a year, only to be met by confusion and in my opinion some overly pointed comments. I think some of the reactions are unfounded and could be solved by paying a little more attention. But when this many people ARE confused, it’s not that they are unable to understand the story but rather, you’re not presenting the it well enough. You say Detroit’s presence was supposed to be unexplained, but there was never any attention drawn to his sudden appearance. He had a grand entrance and was just present from then on. Given how Fawn’s interactions tend to go, he seemed like just another playmate and not someone to be suspicious of. Maybe you could have drawn attention to that within a comic - have someone ask why he’s there, and have the question dismissed. That would give an impression of seediness to get people thinking, and show the reader that not explaining his situation was intentional. He could also have benefitted from being present in more comics before this reveal - he was basically only in two, and neither were part of your main storyline, so there was little chance to build him up anyway.

Similarly, Vincington was never focussed on - his biggest moment was delivering a gift and then leaving - but he’s the first one to find out about Fawn’s disappearance. This complicated things unnecessarily. Why not use Marigold, a character that readers are more familiar with? Or hell, if she’s in on this and you don’t want to reveal that? Fawn was writing to Cadenza - maybe you could take the voicemail suggestion, and change it up. Start the comic with Fawn calling Cadenza, speaking the words on page 2 rather than writing them in a letter. Midway her speech changes as she’s attacked, and she eventually screams into the phone before going silent. We see Cadenza’s terrified expression, and cut back to Fawn’s empty room with blood on the carpet. Then a new voice comes through on the line, telling Cadenza that Fawn has been relocated permanently.

I think what happened here is that you essentially made background characters (that we know little to nothing about) the new main players, and on top of that, changed the tone of your comics from cute slice of life* to thriller/mystery with no warning. Of course people are confused and asking questions. Big changes to a story like this only work when there’s adequate setup. As a stand-alone comic you did an excellent job of setting the scene and creating a sinister feel, but in context it feels abrupt and muddled.


*I know vs. Black Swan had some horror, but pretty much every other comic for Fawn and Detroit was not.

E.W. Schneider
Artist
1060 comments
# 11   Posted: Jan 13 2020, 11:45 PM
Your colors are looking nice. You have some nice color choices and are demonstrating a good willingness to work with backlights, which is very good. However, if you utilize them in the future, consider that having the source of that backlight will provide you with a strong grounded world and will make your locations that much stronger. You linger in pinks and purple hues very often, but consider mixing it up with warm colors as well, especially for lighting in this scenario. I think you'll find it can produce a much deeper image.

The main problem here for me is that I have no understanding of this character in any capacity. If this is meant to be treated as an introduction to this character, you need to treat the reader with a little more care and assume that they aren't following the threads that are laid out in your mind, because as everyone has stated here, they aren't. Working on the assumption that there will be new developments for this character in future comics, it still leaves everyone who is unaware with questions.

With regards to storytelling on a visual level, starting with multiple establishing shots is an idea that can work just fine. However, we're not gaining any more information with each shot. It's still in the room and the angles aren't moving in closer or varying up in a great capacity. It could have zoomed in closer to the letter in a more interesting method or simply skipped ahead to the meat of the second page. More of a reaction from her mother (?) would have been far more valuable and a better opportunity to demonstrate this character more to the viewer. We get no reaction from her and no reaction from the shadowy figure. It ends up becoming a missed opportunity for a nice horror tone, despite what the intent may have been.

Most importantly, you should invest in a nice font. Your handwriting is exceedingly messy and the generic brush isn't working for you when you write with it, due to how wildly it's swinging in the line width. It does you no favors and it doesn't give any impact to the 'crazy writing' when the normal writing is almost that messy anyway. This was a solo project and if you intend to do handwriting, you have no excuse for having it look like you finished it for a Speed Death Tournament.

Everyone here has provided good direction as well, so I hope you take it to heart and slow down a little bit next time. I hope that you continue learning and improving.

Flutterbyes
Artist
251 comments
# 10   Posted: Jan 12 2020, 06:17 PM
Ooh, what a chilling introduction! So, as someone who doesn't know what you have planned, what I'm gathering is... Detroit became jealous, abducted Fawn, and is now doing one of those spooky vampiric attacks on that parental unit?

To be honest, it's a little confusing. The first page is a nice establishing shot, although it seems to be bringing the focus to the lamp and not the letter. Since the letter is the focus of the next page, I assume this is the intention, in which case it probably would be better if the letter became more and more central to the composition instead of off-center and of similar hue and value to the rest of the room.
The second page paints a chilling picture of someone with a jealous stalker who caught up with her and now is in grave danger, but... once  get myself out of the moment I'm wondering why she bothered to write that out. It's a great script for a voice message, but I'd think that if something violent happened in the middle of writing a regular letter, it would have cut off suddenly, the handwriting trailing off the page. If you died while carving a message, you'd just stop carving, not carve "AAAaaaaagh" as you did it, you know?

At first, I thought Cadenza's father was telling a devastated Detroit (who blamed Cadenza for not protecting her) that she'd been relocated permanently. Why? Because the composition gave him such an imposing bad guy aura, and the shadowy hand on him, as well as the effects signaling his surprise didn't really register against the dark background. Like the "Permanently" they blend in with the moody atmosphere instead of having the jarring presence they should.

I'm still shaken, and I hope Fawn is okay, though. What's going to happen? :O

SnowyMoth
Artist
19 comments
# 9   Posted: Jan 10 2020, 03:31 PM
Desi - I adore your art, and your colors are always stunning! The vibe was definitely creepy and unnerving, however I feel like it was a bit diminished because I couldn't really read the text well (admittedly this may just be a me problem). I'll echo what others have said about context, I have very little idea of what's going on. That being said, I enjoyed reading this!

Bobo
Web Dev
924 comments
# 8   Posted: Jan 8 2020, 06:08 PM
I'm looking forward to what's next in Fawn's and Detroit's story. This was a nice little interlude to indicate a major shift in the kind of story being told, or at least a major plot change. I like the coordination with the name change; very few people have ever gone meta with their characters like that, and this is definitely the biggest case I can remember (other examples were minor stuff like Hiemie changing "a pig" to "The Pig" after it won SDT).

I don't know if I'd say the first page feels rushed, but it definitely feels like you put less detail into it compared to the photos on page 2. It's not the biggest deal, but I would have enjoyed a bit more detail in the last panel of page 1 specifically. You could have had clothes or toys strewn about the room like she didn't have time to put them away before she was "relocated" or just refined the details you already have so they're a little sharper, if that makes sense. I was going to say you should have zoomed out more, but actually the feeling of being just a little too close to see the whole room adds to the vibe that I think you were going for of being stuck on the outside, unable to get the full picture.

Another thing that might have been nice in the first page is to give it some more dramatic lighting to emphasize that it's a now abandoned room. Like make it super dark and desaturated, with just a small bit of light from the keyhole or moonlight through a window or something. I actually think the blue highlights evoked that kind of mood, and I love the color scheme you have, but that's something you could consider playing around with in the future, especially if you plan on having more scenes of abandoned rooms or places where you can't see the whole picture.

I wanted to add a note about the last page that I realized as I was writing this critique. I think you could have added more background details to that page, but I really like the overall effect you have going on already. You actually sort of did exactly what I just suggested for page 1 with darker and less saturated colors, and it works really well to show how alone Vincington is. With nothing but a hallway and a vaguely shadowy background, you've given me the feeling that Vincington and this mysterious messenger are the only people left in this house. Even if that's not literally the case, the feeling of being alone was perfect. I think it's a little bit confusing to have this random silhouette of someone's arm on Vincington's shoulder instead of it being someone recognizable as a servant or police officer or whatever kind of person it's supposed to be, but it seems like that's not really important, and by anonymizing that character, it does increase the feeling of isolation, so it's probably better this way. I think it might have been worth having Vincington turn to face the mysterious visitor so we could see his expression, but I can also see how not showing his face might be effective at sort of further isolating us as the reader? I'm not sure which would be better to fit the mood you're creating, but instinctually I feel like seeing his face would have led to a more dynamic shot.

I can't finish without commenting on how much I still love your color palettes, and how much you're improving. The level of detail in those photos and the variety of body types you're starting to introduce is really cool! I can't wait for the next comic for reals!

William_Duel
Community Manager
929 comments
# 7   Posted: Jan 8 2020, 02:18 PM
Kozispoon: I'm not new to void and even I'm not clear of the context behind this. I wish there was more establishment of who this character is and why there's a connection to Fawn.
Quote

I have to agree with Kozi.  We’ve never gotten any sort of explanation of who Detroit is.  The comic works by itself and it achieved the unnerving tone behind it but there’s a lot that’s unclear.  The bunny person at the end is her father?  

Badger
Artist
39 comments
# 6   Posted: Jan 8 2020, 12:24 PM
When I first read this i really got the feeling that something was seriously wrong- like it actually got me super concerned hahah plus with the (at the time of writing, fairly empty) character description, i thought this was like a way of saying the character was being completely wiped or something. I especially like page 2, the way the photos had been edited and the sudden way the letter changes, it makes it clear that something bad went down but is still vague enough where im kinda left wondering what happened- and i think that vagueness is kinda a double edged sword here, it makes everything feel uneasy or off because we dont have the whole picture, but also makes it confusing and less impactful because we dont know the context. I think if we knew more about Detroit first this would've had more of that impact. Either way though this is a super interesting way to switch the character around, it's like a hostile takeover and that definitely grabs my attention, looking forward to more as always!! The art in this is fantastic, awesome colors!

Rivana
Artist
73 comments
# 5   Posted: Jan 8 2020, 07:37 AM
I adore your style and use of bold colors. It is very pleasing to look at. However, like most have said, I feel like it needs more context even though it is clear to me  that Fawn was missing (preceded by what appeared to be instability on her part). Exciting stuff though!

Kozispoon
Global Moderator
1077 comments
# 4   Posted: Jan 7 2020, 03:41 PM
I'm not new to void and even I'm not clear of the context behind this. I wish there was more establishment of who this character is and why there's a connection to Fawn.

CandycornRhino
Artist
31 comments
# 3   Posted: Jan 6 2020, 09:47 PM
I'm new to Void so I don't know the context behind this, but this is so SINISTER. And with the cute artstyle behind it its downright eerie. I like the colors! And I guess I got a lot of reading to know to lead up to this point. Looking forward to seeing what happened!

ArtsandGoodies
Global Moderator
358 comments
# 2   Posted: Jan 6 2020, 09:01 PM
this is a great character transition comic. You really captured the mood you were going for in this. the portraits on page 2 are fantastic. I really enjoyed this and hope to see more, but don't feel obligated and don't work yourself to burnout again. Your stuff is lovely.

TheCydork
Artist
130 comments
# 1   Posted: Jan 6 2020, 04:12 PM
Ahhh it’s good to see another comic from you Desi! I do hope this is a prelude to the next stage in Fawn and Detroit’s story and not a conclusion. I really like the first page’s palette and on the second page I cannot get over how cute the Fawn on the upper right looks! I do think the room on the first page looked rushed though, compared to the higher quality portraits later on.

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Drawing Time: 1 week
Ended: Jan 13th, 2020
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