Great Escalations, Round 1 / The H.A.L.O.X Theory vs. The White Blade

Great Escalations, Round 1 / The H.A.L.O.X Theory vs. The White Blade

Great Escalations, Round 1 — The H.A.L.O.X Theory vs. The White Blade

This comic has not been rated; viewer discretion advised.

Icon for The H.A.L.O.X Theory48.6%
484 points
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Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques

by 4:00am

This comic has not been rated; viewer discretion advised.

Icon for The White Blade51.4%
511 points
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Crit level: No preference

Critiques & Comments
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# 10   Posted: May 4 2020, 01:56 AM
AH my apologies for commenting so late on this! Both of these were pretty stellar, but also had the shared problem of being kinda confusing imo.

Deji - I’m so sorry you had such a shit time :( Honestly these pages look super polished considering all that, and the speech bubbles looked fine to me! I hope your mum is doing better now!

Onto the comic! Hoooo boy that first page is TASTY! It looks damn professional with those spot blacks and clean lines, I just, wow *chef’s kiss*. I also really like how you stylised the White Blade and did the space backgrounds later on. I actually barely noticed the quality change apart from the jump between page 2 and 3, like Batty said it feels intentional on your part, and your sketches are so clean anyway there’s no issue with roughness. As a side note I really like HALOX’s design, it’s simple but it just works, and while I didn’t expect their personality at all it jives really well too? I really wanna see more of them dang.

Story-wise though I was a little lost. I just... don’t get the point of this interaction. For this crit I went and reread it a few times, and while I think I get the gist now the conversation was confusing and didn’t seem to follow on. HALOX says they have a location “set in mind”, and that they don’t want the White Blade to go there. Set in mind for what? If it’s supposed to be secret, that’s fine, but the wording is set up as if they missed out a word or two. Maybe saying they needed Void or had something planned/in mind for Void would have conveyed the same info and kept the mystery but be more clear. On the next page, the speech bubble looks as if it’s coming from the White Blade, which muddles things. Then when HALOX gets fake-beheaded, they say “you don’t listen, do you?” But what does that have to do with what just happened? All HALOX said was that he needed Void and he could wipe the floor with the Blade, nothing about holograms or anything like that.

The interaction also ends strangely. HALOX has done nothing to prove they are a real threat. For all we know, this could be a bluff. They’re mysterious and have proven themself to be fairly prepared and smart, hence the hologram, but that’s it. But we’re expected to believe a demigod is going to sit back and go, okay, not gonna bother Void then. Why does she just stand and glare? She knows she can’t hurt him, yes, but there’s no protest or rebuke of his threat. She seems like she might actually listen. Why?

4am - I’m actually staggered by the amount of work that went into this. There is so much detail and with the animations too? Damn, kudos. I loved Luminos’ design and the grand mythic style introduction we had to the White Blade.

However, I had a really hard time reading this. The detail is impressive but there was far too much. When everything is detailed, it just kind of blends together into a confusing mess, especially when some of that mess is moving. In many of the panels I have literally no clue what’s happened action-wise. I had a similar problem to Candy in that the bright cyan flashes hurt my eyes, and the dialogue font was also difficult to read.

I feel like playing around with values could have helped immensely, even if you didn’t want to dial back on any of the detail. In a lot of the panels, we have highly detailed characters against highly detailed backgrounds, and all the same shade of grey with a few highlights and black shadows here and there. Lightening the characters and keeping the backgrounds darker or vice versa would have made them pop and separated them slightly from the visual clutter. The lack of difference in values also messes with the perspective. Sometimes the White Blade seemed the size of a skyscraper, other times the same size as HALOX, because when the lines get lost and everything is the same colour, she often looked on the same plane as HALOX even if I know she’s supposed to be large and far away.

# 9   Posted: Apr 22 2020, 04:48 PM
Deji: Goddamn, I loved the visuals on yours!! In some places, the unfinished-ness actually somehow worked in your favor, because it really amped up the feeling that we were in a blank void with HALOX. I liked the glitch effects, too! The visuals on the first page were really cool, but I think... story-wise, the comic could function without it. Starting off on the second page I think would make it less confusing, if only because even though the phrase "maybe let's start at the beginning" is there, the events on page 1 still very much feel like stuff that happened beforehand. Mostly, I think, because there's no clear connection between the end and the beginning; in a medium like this, if you're going to set up the destruction of a city as a framing device, there's got to be some sort of hint that links the end to the beginning, even if it's only the first chapter.

4am: I agree with Pita; while I like animations in comics, generally speaking they should be something that really enhances the still form of comic, something that draws our attention right to where it should be. When there's multiple animations, it makes it hard to figure out what to focus on first. Also, a couple of times, it looks like on one of the frames the speech boxes have borders, which makes the speech bubbles flicker weirdly. If you're going to do animations, make sure to pay attention to small details like that; I kept getting distracted by the flickering of the speech boxes which made it difficult to read. I also agree with Rivana in that some places the details were a bit too much and made it a bit hard to decipher what was going on. I'll also say that, while the almost etherealness/mythological feel of the first part, it was... jarring, to say the least, when HALOX was introduced. The tonal dissonance was a bit too much to be enjoyable; I feel like if you wanted to go the Deadpool personality route, there are ways you could pull that off without completely breaking the tone. That said! I do really like the limited colors you used, the contrast between the cyan and the magenta was real good

Think Tank
# 8   Posted: Apr 21 2020, 07:54 PM
The bits that were complete were very enjoyable.  I especially like the threatening presence Halox has in this entry.  You left enough out of this entry to pique my curiosity.  This is a dimension-hopping entity who is wholly invested in Void City for some reason, to the point that they threaten a demigod to step off.  What is their deal?  I need to know!

4 AM
I liked the origin story of TWB and the mechanical design of Luminos.  That's my positive.  Now I get critical.

Adding animation to your submission increased the spectacle, but there is a fine line between just enough and too much.  There were times when the flashes on the page were a distraction in my reading experience.  If you want to continue with the animations, I would recommend to keep it to one panel on the page, preferably the most important or impacted beat.  It's fun to play around with what you can do, but there's a certain limit that needs to be made.
There's also an overwhelming amount of middle-grey in your entry when it comes to the confrontation between TWB and Halox.  Push the highlights in the fire!  Or add a color in them to further separate from the characters.  When all three assets are in that middle-grey, the atmosphere can appear to be flat or muddled.

Also reconsider your font selection.  Neither of them really fit the tone of the story, and the grouping in the speech bubbles almost touches the barrier.

Community Manager
# 7   Posted: Apr 21 2020, 07:10 PM
Deji: In spite of all the sucky life stuff that came up you did amazing with this comic. 10 pages with such fantastic lineart is above the average and still great. It may not be all you wanted it to be but it's still great.

4:00 AM: all those details in this comic are amazing, I love the styles and details you did with your inking. My only crit is that the font you're using is hard to read and a bit grating. It would help is adding some kerning space between individual letters so they aren't all bunched up together. Great job with the comic.

# 6   Posted: Apr 17 2020, 06:08 AM
Deji, I am sorry you had to go through such a bad time while working on this. Nevertheless, what you put out is amazing and you should be proud of it! I am really digging this heavily inked style of yours!

4:00AM - Wow wow wow. Holy crap you did this all in 2 weeks?! Amazing  details and animation. I'll  have to say though you might want to pull back on the details next time, I was having a hard time figuring out what was going on in the panels most of the time.

Script was great on both comics. I enjoyed them. Well done both of you!

# 5   Posted: Apr 16 2020, 06:39 PM
Deji: I.. hadn't expected Halox's attitude to be like that, lmfao. What. Also your lines are GORGEOUS???? Though I was kinda confused by the story, like. Is this some kind of Matrix shit going on? Idk, I'm dumb and can't read. Really like the shading with the black and white, hell, black and grey made it much easier on the eyes to look at than stark black and white. My only crit is some dialogue bubbles I got confused on who was saying what.

4am: Honestly, a flashing light warning would've helped, because some pages literally hurt my eyes/made me nauseous to read. Also I dont understand the point of adding in animations in comics, I feel like its a cheap gimmick and it strays from the media of comics. Anyways. This might be a me thing, but there was so much detail that I couldn't make out what was what in half the panels. The writing is nice, I love it, very cryptic, but the visuals muddied my understanding that I was left very confused. Again, probably a me thing.

# 4   Posted: Apr 16 2020, 11:32 AM
Auto-Machina extravaganza!

Spoiler: show
I'lltake this moment to apologize for existence and it's cruel sense of fate, but you came out swinging. The H.A.L.O.X. Theory has that snappy wit I am a fan of and smooth robot body that appears it is made from some metallic silk. Your artwork is marvolous and the twist with the illusionary decapitation was well placed in the first round of this escalating story.
Good luck with everything in reality and out!

Spoiler: show
Hot luminous plasma bullets that introduction was reminiscent of old Exalted roleplaying I once partook of lifetime's ago. I thoroughly enjoyed your minimal use of colors and shading that played off one another. My only critique is the few panels near the end that seemed a little hard to translate the action through my feeble biological eye balls. Praise be the light!
Good show and may the maker bless you!

# 3   Posted: Apr 16 2020, 08:37 AM
Wow 4AM, just wow. You smashed this one out of the park. Great work, you put a lot of effort into this and it really shows.

Deji: You've had an absolute shocker of a two weeks, you really have but in spite of this you absolutely did a fantastic job here, the cityscape, the reflection of the cityscape, the characters everything is great. Hopefully next time you battle the world doesn't decide to shit on you.

# 2   Posted: Apr 16 2020, 01:10 AM
 If I lose then, FUCK SURE LOL :DD

I feel bad I couldn't do TWB more justice w/ her cool outfit and cool lore! I REALLY LOVE HER.

Your comic is awesome i think if you had more time you'd  destroy me, thank you for a good battle.  
your anatomy work and angles had me envious you do  great  anatomy  and your text  didn't bother me.    page 1 with the city reflected   in H.A.L.O.X.
armor was so good,  i loved your cityscape and the first four panels were super tight.   the conversation between them was great i wish i had known more of( H.A.L.O.X.  personality)   but  overall smooth read and it's a solid entry  you already know where it gets loose  and  good job on  the  last page i'm stealing that shot of her    thanks for a good battle  -4

Think Tank
# 1   Posted: Apr 16 2020, 12:49 AM
 If I lose then, FUCK SURE LOL :DD

I feel bad I couldn't do TWB more justice w/ her cool outfit and cool lore! I REALLY LOVE HER.
I had a few obstacles - Despite Covid-19 I was stuck rushing my mom in and out of emergency rooms this week with some kidney failure issues and it put a heck of a ton of stress on my comic process and I. But life is life and this is what I came up with!

I defo know theres some issues w/ the text/speech bubbles? the quality got all hecked up, idk why haha and then I totally didnt finish them at the end there as you can see lmfao - OH WELL.

But again! It was a pleasure going against an older Voider like you, 4am! Ur comic was gorgeous and despite my own issues this was still so so fun - best of luck to you! :)) <33

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 2 weeks
Ended: Apr 22nd, 2020
Votes Cast: 22
Page Views: 836
Winner: 4:00am

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