Speed Death Tournament 2020, Round 2 / Matches the Clown vs. Pepper Box

Speed Death Tournament 2020, Round 2 / Matches the Clown vs. Pepper Box

Speed Death Tournament 2020, Round 2 — Matches the Clown vs. Pepper Box

607 points
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Crit level: No preference

by kubo

722 points
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Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques
tags: diner, iain mactavish, jaja, jamilia "jaja" rojas, kit and jade, matches the clown, murder, violet

Critiques & Comments
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# 17   Posted: Feb 21 2020, 07:12 PM
Thank you everyone for the comments and crits! The main reason I joined Void, aside from facing off other artists and getting to know cool OCs, was to be able to get this sort of feedback. So I appreciate it all immensely.

As CandyCornRhino mentioned, my main inspiration for this whole match was the game Manhunt, and how the Sudden Death Tournament could in be misconstrued as a sort of horrible underground snuff fest, in which readers tune in to spectate.
And it felt all the more so cruel with how someone as innocent as Pepper was getting thrown into all this mess.

But it seems I missed my mark on some points, and a good bunch of readers didn't fully make that connection. I was a bit worried that might be the case, as I figured that maybe people would need to have a more straight forward explanation or at least known a little bit about a the source of the inspiration to fully understand what was going on.

It was a gamble on my part but one I really wanted to go ahead with. Since my last match shed very little light on who Matches is, I wanted to give him a front and center appearance in the conflict this time. What I do regret though, is that even though I was very focused on portraying all the distress Pepper was feeling in said encounter, I neglected the trauma from her previous round. One which Kubo made masterful use of by portraying it in his own comic with Matches seamlessly.

I also have a lot to learn when it comes to working on a tight schedule and producing content in a quick and efficient manner. It is beyond me how Kubo was able to put out this many colored pages in less than a week (since he mentioned he was on a vacation on the weekend). I got to admit, I was floored when I saw your entry man!

Needless to say, I don't feel bad for losing against you, and I wish you the very best in the final round! PEPPER SHALL SURVIVE!

Oh also shout out to the Mod team! That even though I had some last minute issues with the webpage and technically missed the deadline by seconds, they still allowed me to have my entry stand next to the others! MANY THANKS!

I'll probably take a break from Void for a while before coming back again with a new OC to throw into this wonderful community. Tell then, thanks again for everything!

# 16   Posted: Feb 20 2020, 10:50 PM
Ran zombie: ok man, your story telling is superb. I like your extremely 3rd person omniscient approach to things. It worked amazing against the hero guy last time. Unfortunately I think it fell short here, but it wasn’t your fault. Last time where you shined for me was in characterizing your opponent very well and leaving matches more of a mystery that made me wonder who he was every night before bed. This time however I felt the writing was so direct it lost that original gut punch. I didn’t really get any set up to feel bad over pepper, and I saw a lot of matches fill the role of slasher, and that’s about it. In my opinion where you went wrong is that horror is really hard to translate into comics. Slasher scripts in movies use a lot of dramatic irony and movement (slow victims, unstoppable but slow bad guy). You had a lot of dramatic irony in your last one but not so much in this one. You captured the movement as well as you could in this one (peppers slow strangling, the axe whizzing, and then the unstoppable matches with axe in chest.) if this were a film it’d work fine but in comics so much of that movement gets lost in translation it just feels too slow or too fast depending on how I feel like reading it if that makes sense. I’m the end I didn’t really feel bad for pepper, or any sense of dread, and the mystery of matches wasn’t as compelling this time.

Kubo: not gonna lie at his was pretty much flawless other than a few typos. Lots of emotion coming across, the panels reflected the mental breakdown so well. It was almost like the climax was actually seeing matches at that exact moment when pepper was struggling. Like that was perfect dramatic irony which was a good idea to showcase against an opponent like matches. Then to top it off we get some noir philosophy and watch pepper’s character develop into something I’m not sure I’m supposed to like, perfecto *italian hand gestures

# 15   Posted: Feb 20 2020, 07:21 PM
Ranzombie: I like that you set up the setting by focusing on Pepper first, establishing her in your setting and her motives, and than the eventual slasher the story becomes. I feel like a bit more context was needed for why she was kidnapped and thrown into that specific scenario for it to matter, and that for the ending I would have liked to see the reaction of whoever was on the other side of the camera, even if it was just their mouth and eye expression in a dark lit room. I also really enjoy your character design and art style, I'd love to see this cleaned up and in color but I know the time limits are rough for these. You also did a great job on portraying Pepper, I feel like, even if it was short, I cared about her enough to feel like both your artstyle and depiction of the character was really nice, and I wouldn't mind seeing more of Pepper in your own comic ironically. Good job!

Kubo: For a regular girl character with no seeming background in survival, she handles herself pretty well despite her panic attacks when the going gets rough. The overall art-style was really nice, color is good, and the inner turmoil exploring her conflict before being introduced to a new conflict that only further validates her trauma, makes her a pretty tragic character that is able to carry herself with a gun and save people despite her fear. I haven't read the previous story, but I feel like your going for some character progression here and it's cool, I want to see her overcome more in spite of dangers. Likewise, you portrayed Matches like a real slasher film monster of a killer. That said, I feel like I would have liked to see a little bit more of a struggle from Pepper here to take him down, that was a bit of a disappointing death for a hard to kill slasher trope character. Overall you did really well, great work!

Global Moderator
# 14   Posted: Feb 20 2020, 06:30 PM
RANZOMBIE- The curse and blessing of having a bad guy character is that to hook people, you have to utilize your opponent to the best of your ability in order to get your story across. In the previous round, you did that really well- showcasing your opponents character and his desire to be heroic only made matches that much more imposing once he came onto the scene. I think you tried to do the same here, but fell short.

KUBO- Gosh this was so well written. The tie in from the beginning to the grisly reveal at the end was so well executed.- up to the destauration of color to really bring that stark act into focus. You're really finding a groove in this tourney, I can tell!

# 13   Posted: Feb 20 2020, 03:15 PM
Ranzombie: Wow, that's just... now Matches' narrative reads more like a horror movie, with the not very well seen killer taking people out one by one. That "scene from a horror movie" vibe you successfully communicated really carried this comic. Otherwise it would have just been a case of "here is X. Now they are dead." At first, I wondered what the setup was even for, but then I came to appreciate how you're gradually introducing more and more of Matches' after a round 1 that barely had him in it at all. The comic looks a little less finished than the last one, but focusing your inks on the characters was a good choice (Even though it got a little awkward in the places where the characters interact with the background).

Kubo: Wow, that stark opening kind of made it read like a sort of continuation of your opponent's comic. This also has some horror movie tension, but a different kind. It's pretty striking, seeing a character actually be so shaken by the events of the death tournament they're in (I almost forgot how oddball the previous comic was so silly and ended with a head explosion from allergic reaction). I do appreciate the reason for this tone shift: The death in this round is no longer just an accident she happened to be present for. Very well done.

# 12   Posted: Feb 20 2020, 05:03 AM
Ran- I think the fact pepper is such a normal girl, really added to the tension of this comic. It was brutal and her death was upsetting, I was really rooting for her to get out! Kind of felt like I was watching a classic horror movie. The ending was intriguing as well.

Kubo - really tight comic, the arts super-polished and I think you conveyed trama really effectively. I wonder how pepper will cope with this event? I wonder how it'll change her as a person? The fact I finished this comic with these kinds of questions, means I got invested. So yeah, fantastic work!

What an enjoyable battle, I wish I could put both of you into the next round ;_; great job guys

# 11   Posted: Feb 20 2020, 12:20 AM
Ran - Ohhh this was good. Your inks are so clean and I love how lively the characters look! Pepper was really endearing here too. I do wonder what was up with Ghost kidnapping her though? It seems like he knocked her out and then just left her in the rubbish, why? I understand that the whole thing was filmed but if he dumped her in the alley so that she was in an area with cameras, the connection wasn’t as clear as it could have been imo.

Kubo - Oh no Pepper baby!! :( You’re really good at making her look pitiable, her expressions are very good and the angles emphasise her fear all the more. I just feel so bad for her ahhh. Can’t think of any crits besides the aforementioned need to show the gun beforehand or show more clearly how Matches was killed.

Community Manager
# 10   Posted: Feb 19 2020, 08:54 PM
Ran: I love this set up treating the SDT like a voyeuristic thing. Also you did a good job with both characters without much dialogue. Also the inks are a step up from the last round, though it would have been nice to have some dramatic spot blacks to help set the mood even better.  I still really enjoyed the comic.

Kubo: this is a fantastic comic art wise and the way you conveyed Pepper's anxiety and the arc she's going through is amazing. the only crit i have is there wasn't clear indication that Pepper had the gun. All that really needed to be changed was panel 4 for of page 6 showing the gun. If that showed the gun we would have been able to put the peices together alot sooner rather than the end part which comes off as confusing. Foreshadowing is tricky and I feel like you did properly foreshadow it enough but didn't reveal the gun at the climax but rather after the climax in the resolution which makes the reader confused as what happened during the climax, I thought she had a stun gun at first due to the zap sound. When foreshadowing events and riding the line between being too vague and too obvious always err on the side of too obvious as the other side often leaves people confused in a non entertaining way.

Web Dev
# 9   Posted: Feb 19 2020, 08:27 PM
I don't have time for full critiques, but I wanted to say that Ran, even though you weren't able to ink everything. I love how well you built the atmosphere in that comic! It felt so perfect for what was going on. And Kubo, I love that representation of anxiety/panic attack so much. I could feel Pepper's emotions and picture exactly what she was going through. Such a tragic comic, and I'm excited for more!

# 8   Posted: Feb 18 2020, 01:36 PM
Ran: Always a fan of your layouts, the backgrounds are especially great! Matches is absolutely terrifying here and I love the horror angle of it all, its good stuff! I like how Pepper pulls down the shelf on page 3, it’s just a nice little touch in the movement.

Kubo: Great job portraying the fear and anxiety; I’m a fan of the shattering panels on page 4, and I like how the last page circles back to the first page! Minor nitpick but I think the font could be a point or two bigger, it might just be me but it seemed a little small. I feel so bad for pepper, what a traumatizing experience aah

Awesome stuff guys, great matchup!

# 7   Posted: Feb 16 2020, 02:09 PM
Ran: I really like the acting and pacing of this scene, and your backgrounds are definitely a strong point. The lack of any shadows or color really hurts the horror, though. You have the layouts for something much more dramatic here.

Kubo: You've done a great job showing how traumatic this experience is for a regular person, and the art is fantastic. I don't love the kill, though. I like the ending, but you didn't establish the gun in her bag beforehand, and the ZAP sound effect without a nice gruesome impact amounts to essentially an off-screen death.

# 6   Posted: Feb 16 2020, 09:53 AM
Ran: Your inks are pretty clean, and I totally was digging the story. I was getting Manhunt vibes from this, really suitable for someone like Matches. Even had some B-horror movie vibes to it.

Kubo: Omg I feel so sorry for Pepper ;-; She's gonna be traumatized by the end of this. I really liked the cameos, it made the world feel more alive. And the twist ending, I had wondered how the hell someone like Pepper was gonna take down a murderous clown in a relateable manner, and to carry over from the previous comic is a nice touch.

GOOD COMICS probably my favorite matchup in SDT so far!

# 5   Posted: Feb 13 2020, 08:50 PM
I already spoke to you privately about this but I want to say it here as well. Damn, Ran, I love this comic. With such a simple storyline you manage to keep me focused on the action and even hint to a grander scheme. I know its a common theme to have these tourneys actually be some sort of dark underground game, but I like that, and really want to know you's behind that camera! Your panels are dynamic and your backgrounds are a whole hell of a lot better than mine! That's something I know I need to work on. A big challenge I had in drawing my comic was trying to convey the stress and anxiety that Pepper was feeling. The way I styled her, drawing her eyes made that difficult. I feel like you did a great job of animating her and showing that high level of emotion in this comic. GREAT JOB! I can't wait to fight you again!

# 4   Posted: Feb 5 2020, 02:38 AM
oh ho ho, special delivery -- it's a killer clown;  good luck you two.

# 3   Posted: Feb 5 2020, 01:08 AM
For all of you enjoyment:
Pepper Box's Fav Jams Playlist


# 2   Posted: Feb 5 2020, 12:25 AM
It's about
to go

# 1   Posted: Feb 5 2020, 12:09 AM
oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy

Comic Details -

Type: Speed Death Tournament Match
Drawing Time: 1 week
Ended: Feb 20th, 2020
Votes Cast: 30
Page Views: 563
Winner: kubo

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