A Most Insurmountable Hell? / Kazue L. Burns, Morgan Maruyama, and "Eva"

A Most Insurmountable Hell? / Kazue L. Burns, Morgan Maruyama, and "Eva"

A Most Insurmountable Hell? — Kazue L. Burns, Morgan Maruyama, and "Eva"

by Energy

This comic has not been rated; viewer discretion advised.

Icon for Kazue L. BurnsIcon for Morgan MaruyamaIcon for
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Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques

Critiques & Comments
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# 7   Posted: Oct 9 2020, 05:28 PM
Congratulations on a 15 page, colored, multi-character comic! Keep it up!

I realize this is a continuation of a comic that set up Eva, Morgan, and Kazue teaming up, but I'm wondering if having so many characters took away from the big moment this is for Kazue, and how it comes out of her being too scared to fight. I think you could have cut some of this comic and devoted more to what's going on inside her, especially as she's falling. That read to me like the kind of moment in a story where, within the space of a few seconds, some major thing goes on in the mind of the character.

That panel of Kazue smiling with the sunset behind her had a triumphant energy that I'd like to see more of. It's not just her talking, but a moment where she turns, happy and relieved, to see her friends after winning. Before, and after, characters may look a little flat as they talk about important things ("That's awesome." on page 14), so making sure characters embody the moment is something you should work on.

# 6   Posted: Oct 9 2020, 06:32 AM
Energy - please pat yourself in the back for a job well done. This is the best comic I have seen from you so far. I won't repeat the crits you received as a lot of them share my thoughts already but yes, overall this is a huge step for you in the right direction and I am glad to see this progress.

# 5   Posted: Oct 5 2020, 11:57 PM
I agree that this is by far your best comic art. Also, it’s never an easy feat to do 15 pages, and I commend you for sticking to it and finishing it. You went the distance and put a great amount of effort into this comic. You should definitely be proud of yourself for it.

That said, I’d have to echo what Heathen and Cy have already mentioned to you earlier.

The story was hard to follow along, and the other characters' motivations/goals are either skimmed over or go unfulfilled. It made me wonder why they were there at all. It is pretty tricky balancing multiple characters in a comic and ensuring they all get screen time, but perhaps if it all just entered around Kazue alone, maybe it might have worked better, since the story here seemed to focus more on her.

I’m very happy to see Kazue finally overcome the curse and move forward from her predicament. Except that the way it was handled was rather anti-climatic, and it didn’t really show exactly how she managed to overcome it. It ‘just happened’, right out of the blue, for no reason at all, and thus there was very little emotional pay-off. We hardly get a reaction out of Kazue about this outcome, aside from ‘yay I did it’. I mean, it was such a big deal for her, and up until now Kazue had been doing nothing but sit around and moan about it. I would have figured she’d be extremely overjoyed about it, that she CAN do something about it and take control of her destiny whereas she thought she couldn’t before. Still, I am thrilled to see her take the first step forward, and I am interested in seeing where she’ll go after this.

I also remember you mentioning that you don’t use sound/action effects in your comics, but I encourage you to utilise them anyway. In addition to adding more scenery to your backgrounds, these effects can also help your readers understand what is going on. I suggest looking up various comics and study how they use sound effects, and believe me when I say that they can help deliver impact to your scenes, bringing your comic to life even more.

Keep it up! You are making good progress and I want to see you keep pushing yourself further. And please don’t be afraid to use references!

# 4   Posted: Oct 5 2020, 10:34 PM
Kudos on actually sticking with this and finishing it! 15 pages is quite a lot. I’m still trying to figure out what I actually read though. Because of the very barebones backgrounds and the odd cuts, I had little idea where the characters were or what they were actually doing. For example, page 9 had me completely lost. Panel 1, we see Kazue. I don’t know whether she’s stepping backwards or forwards. The second panel is unidentifiable and just looks like an abstract collection of shapes. Then the final panel, again, I don’t know what is happening here. She looks like she’s just lying down on a striped background? From the following page I’m gonna guess she fell off a building but... why? How? I didn’t see the demon attack. And then on the next page, the demon says her curse was lifted. Again, how did this happen? I’m so confused.

The story was also difficult to follow because, as Heathen said, all the characters have a similar voice and so are hard to distinguish. I personally still find the characters very similar looking too, and I also wonder why Morgan and Eva were present when this story is centred around Kazue? The few hooks you give us with the other characters go nowhere. Eva searches in a field for answers... does she find any? You don’t tell us. Morgan gets caught in a trap... but she’s totally fine at the end with no show or explanation of how. And like I said earlier, even with Kazue things just kind of happen without reason.

To say that this is the conclusion to Kazue’s arc, it’s very anti-climatic and lacks any impact at all. The curse seemingly is fixed randomly, and Kazue has little reaction to learning that she is free of something that was going to kill her! Try and look at the last panel from page 14, and pretend you don’t  know your own story. What emotion would you think she’s showing? To me she looks neutral, maybe even frowning slightly. And her words? “Well, that’s awesome.” She seems almost bored. Where are her emotions? Why isn’t she more excited or grateful that what is essentially a terminal illness has been cured, not to mention the fact that she’s far more powerful now?

And I know I sound like a broken record but please, please use references/do studies. Backgrounds will come far easier and quicker if you have something to go off, and will help you differentiate your characters too. Actions will read clearer, and a lot of issues in general will start to be reduced.

# 3   Posted: Oct 4 2020, 11:08 AM
"Taste divine Flames and vanish from my sight, BITCH!" is my favorite line you have ever written

# 2   Posted: Oct 2 2020, 12:36 PM
Oh man! Fifteen pages! Thats awesome dude! You put a lot of work into this one with the coloring and poses!

# 1   Posted: Oct 2 2020, 11:33 AM
This is far and away your best art to date. Backgrounds are mostly nonexistent, but I quite like the line work and coloring, it has an animation quality to it. You’re getting much better at distinguishing your characters’ facial features. I still don’t get a very good idea of each character’s personalities, they all kind of talk the same. There are lots of beats in here that really could have done with a sound effect and/or some verbalization from characters. 1.1 is oddly silent, as are scenes where people are getting kicked or stabbed or lit on fire.

Overall, you’re clearly showing progress and pushing yourself in some new directions, and it’s cool to see.

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 1 week
Ended: Oct 9th, 2020
Votes Cast: 20
Page Views: 511

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