Iron Clad / Cairo Rae vs. Iain MacTavish

Iron Clad / Cairo Rae vs. Iain MacTavish

Iron Clad — Cairo Rae vs. Iain MacTavish

by Golden

This comic has not been rated; viewer discretion advised.

Icon for Cairo Rae54.7%
423 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5

Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques

This comic has not been rated; viewer discretion advised.

Icon for Iain MacTavish45.3%
351 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5

Crit level: No preference

Critiques & Comments
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# 11   Posted: Jun 2 2020, 11:42 AM
Buggy - Those halftones are delicious and I can see improvement in your art overall! Only crit is that I have no idea what the spell was and I feel like there needs to be a bit of exposition on the real relationship between Cairo and Iain. At any rate, color me interested!

Goldie - Gorgeous art as usual and the red/black color palette is so sexy! Glad to see Iain out of prison in your version and looks like there is more to come between these two! Really hope to see more.

Great job both of you!

# 10   Posted: May 23 2020, 12:28 AM
Just wanna say I super enjoyed both your comics!

Goldie: love the reds, love your inks and love how intense the 3rd page is! I like the connection to Cu'sith, is this a hint that Cairo is weak/aversive to iron and that Iain was right, or was he turning away just because he could hear the police were coming? It's a little ambiguous to me from the comic but I think it kinda works, it leaves me speculating. I think the only crit I really have has already been said so i'll just say this was great! And thank you for the little Charlie cameo much love

Buggy: Looking great as well! I like the use of the halftones, i think you should defo play with them more, they go nicely with your inks which are also excellent! I think my only pointer is to be careful with the opacity of the halftones especially on backgrounds, it obscures some of your linework a little, or alternatively the lines could be a little thicker. Though I think my eyes just regularly have a bit of a hard time with halftones so i might just be being nitpicky hahh but i really like how you're doing Iain's expressions here and the connection with Iain and Cairo knowing each other in the past, i do wonder if Iain's wrist and neck scratches are gonna be a scar or if they'll heal eventually? I'm interested hahah great work!!

Community Manager
# 9   Posted: May 22 2020, 08:16 PM
Goldie: I love how this story retroactively explains how Cario is able to pick targets so quickly at his shows. I also like how Cairo 'sparing" Iain, its a good way of showing how he doesn't go feral when in wolf form without needing to outright explain it.
I also love the style of this comic, your inks are so good and the red color highlights really give this some great style. for the Gaelic it would have been nice to have some translations inbetween the panels so we knew what he was saying. also for the name adding a bit of context like a gaelic phrase "it's cusitch" Or some small thing to make it more obvious that he's saying the name, since being just one word someone not in the know could thing that's some kind of phrase or swear word rather than a name. besides those minor story things i really loved this comic and it's great you're doing some more stuff.

buggy: Your character art has been improving a bunch and Cario looks great in your style. On page 3 the expression on panel 3 is good however the issue is the transtion, you have a scene transition in the middle of the page which is confusing. while i read that the third panel was him at the phone area it's easy to read that as him immedaitly reacting to having a visitor and still being in his jail cell. Scene transitions are tricky and generally you want to save them either for the very last panel of a page or the scene transitions at the end of one page to another. Another way you could do it is by having a couple panels of them going from one scene to another.
Also random personal thing, I was never really fond of elf designs and didn't see much of the point with their pointy ears, but the way you use the ears to make them emote is great and actually takes advantage of their design in a way I don't really see done often, so that's really cool.

# 8   Posted: May 22 2020, 04:17 PM
Golden - You integrated Iain's story into your comic so well. I enjoyed reading this!

Buggypumpkin - This was a good sneak peek into some of Iain's past shenanigans. Keep up the good work!

P.s. If read from Buggy to Golden's entry they tie together pretty well! 8)

# 7   Posted: May 21 2020, 06:15 PM
Solid comics from both of you.

Goldie with those reds and shadows and mood
Buggy with Iain the Eversad and his very human drama.

# 6   Posted: May 21 2020, 06:09 PM
Golden: Oh wow that is some almost Sin City-ish dark spookiness (but more elegant and sexier). It's a really good balance of flats and texture to get the most oomph out of a limited palette while not looking like it's missing anything. I particularly like how on page 3 it almost looks like Cairo got Iain. That's some good "cinematography." Still not sure if it helped or hurt the narrative to have Cairo just being sexy in every panel even if it's probably not supposed to have that undertone (but I'm not complaining)

Buggy: The plot thickens! I'm not sure if it's good business to announce that your boss is in jail to a person who walked right in the door who hasn't explained their relationship or intentions, but it got the story where it needed to be, and that time was better spent showing Iain at "home" in prison before he gets his visitor. The screentone seems a bit distracting. I get that you probably trying to avoid moiré by making it big. I haven't been able to do much with it, so I can't give advice there. The story does cut off. It gets its message across, but I can't help but feel something is missing and that final panel should lead into something else.
.... two years? IS that gonna be real time? How are we gonna have the Magic Users Club?

# 5   Posted: May 20 2020, 09:57 PM
Sorry for the late reply!

@Golden Ah ok, that’s fair. With the expression though, that’s a lot of background put into a simple act that readers aren’t likely to know. Even if we searched up the Gaelic to understand what Iain was saying, there’s no way the average reader will know about the Cu Sith, the mythology behind it, and then make the connection that Iain assumed Cairo was that creature, thus weak to iron. I personally love subtle implications in comics to build character and such, as well as using other languages, but hinging the climax of the story on this information isn’t a good idea imo. Without that background it looks like Cairo just ran away randomly. You shouldn’t have to research a comic in order to understand it, everything we need to know should be contained within that comic or in a past one.

If this was important enough to include as reasoning, more contextual clues were needed, or if it was a longer comic, the mythology should have been brought up earlier. For example I can pretty much guess Iain is saying “stay back” just because of his pose and the situation, but there’s no indication of the other thought processes. Maybe if he looked at the cuffs, muttered to himself like “Cu Sith... the iron!” (but better lines than these of course haha), and then held them up with more conviction in his eyes, rather than what looks to be a simple brace position, it would have helped. That way I still wouldn’t have known what the words were, but I could infer that Iain knows (or thinks he knows) the creature is weak to iron, and he’s confident that he’s protected.

# 4   Posted: May 15 2020, 10:28 AM
I see your points!! Actually Cairo kills for both food and sport. And he did in fact eat the person in the other cell mostly whole, but I hadn’t the time to include a shot of the blood-covered empty cell (he left nothing but the blood behind, bc he likes them crunchy bones).

As for Iain’s expression on page for, what he’s saying is basically “stay back!” Because in Gaelic mythology there’s a wolf creature called Cu Sith, and it fears iron, which is around Iain’s wrists, so he’s a hint of confident the creature can’t touch him despite having passed through the bars.

# 3   Posted: May 15 2020, 08:44 AM
Oh heck yesss, I was hoping this would be uploaded before I went to bed! Bless you Bobo.

Golden - This comic had a great atmosphere, I love the red lighting on top of black and white, it’s very sinister. I adore that top panel on page 3, just, wow. Those bright white eyes and the red bars are very striking, especially followed by the frantic text and the silhouetted violence on the rest of the page. I also like Cairo’s wolf design. It’s clearly lupine, but I can see traces of human in the eyes, the strong chin and even the nose, it’s unsettling and I like that. I also really liked that little detail of Cairo saying “a dog can tell whenever THEIR human is upset”. It’s subtle, but reveals his superiority complex over humans without him overtly saying it.

In terms of crit, a few things stuck out to me. For one, the tally marks scratched on the wall look like stickers, not actually carved into the wall. I think this is because while they have a dark outline, their interior is the same colour as the wall when it should be a little darker - an indent would be shadowed. If it’s written with some kind of implement like charcoal or a pencil, it wouldn’t have a coloured interior at all. I also don’t think Iain’s expression in panel 1, page 4 was extreme enough. He looks like he’s going “oh my!” not “oh shit this thing just killed people and is probably going to kill me too”. Could do with more lines around the eyes, or maybe the body leaning further away from Cairo.

The climax of the story meanwhile doesn’t make sense to me. So far you’ve portrayed Cairo as someone who kills mainly for food, not sport, even if he enjoys the killing at the end of the day. Even within this comic, he talks about people as his “meals”. And yet here, he kills someone in a clearly slow and inefficient manner, enough time for them to scream and alert people, and then doesn’t even eat before moving onto Iain. Why didn’t he kill them with a quick bite to the neck instead of ripping into them while they were alive? And then not even eating them to boot? It’s especially jarring when the whole of his intro comic was dedicated to how smooth and discreet he was with his kills. Also, if he was supposed to have eaten before seeing Iain, the passage of time wasn’t indicated well as it felt like pages 3 and 4 happened within a matter of minutes.

Buggy - I love the way you stylised Cairo! His ponytail and almost acrylic-like claw-nails are pretty glorious. Your posing and expressions have also shot up in quality imo, they’re really looking good, really liked that shocked face on page 3. It’s also an interesting premise that the two know each other beforehand, and I’m curious to see where this goes.

I do like this texture you’re trying out, but I also think it was a bit too strong and inconsistent. Sometimes you use it for shadows, sometimes it’s darker seemingly at random, like the very first panel, and the last panel on page 2. I also think you should have a look at how clothing folds work on different materials. For everything with long sleeves, you just tend to do this two slanted line deal, one pointing up and one pointing down. This might work for things like hoodies, but Cairo is wearing a suit, and suits tend to be made of stiffer fabric; the creases tend to be more horizontal across the sleeve.

Writing-wise, that shocked expression kind of doesn’t make sense on page 3, even if it looks good. Why is Iain so surprised, vaguely fearful even, to have a visitor? Surely Zhanic visits him all the time? He has other friends too, like Kit and Jade. If the guard had given Cairo’s name I could understand it, but he just says a visitor.

# 2   Posted: Apr 24 2020, 07:28 AM

# 1   Posted: Apr 23 2020, 08:12 PM

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 2 weeks
Ended: May 22nd, 2020
Votes Cast: 19
Page Views: 717
Winner: Golden

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