Lovechild Tournament 2021, Round 1 / Strigoi vs. Todd

Lovechild Tournament 2021, Round 1 — Strigoi vs. Todd

by kubo and InkyBrain

This comic has been rated suitable for teens and up by its creator(s)

Icon for Strigoi49.3%
934 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10

Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques

by TheCydork and Badger

This comic has been rated adults only by its creator(s)

Icon for Todd50.7%
960 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13

Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques
tags: body horror, gore/violence, Lovechild2021, Strigoi, Todd

Critiques & Comments
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# 24   Posted: Mar 20 2021, 04:06 AM
Everyone - Thank you for all the comments and critiques on our comic. Inky and I had a lot of fun designing and drawing all those monsters, gore, and general violence, maybe too much fun (J/K there is no such thing). Todd was a fun character to right for. Looking back I would have liked to add more of his summoning and demon controlling abilities into effect but all and all I'm really happy with our story and the levels of escalating danger. The general breakdown of labor after we brainstormed and agreed on the general story was as so:
Kubo - Script, thumbs, inks, flats
Inky - monster design, sketches, colors

Cy/Badger - Its funny how we both came up with similar plot hooks for our stories. Starting us off with Wallace going over the numerous tests that the company has already done with Strigoi was a good idea. It helped build tension once Todd arrives and we all know that Wallace must be lying for his reason for calling the exorcist. Overall, the art for the comic is consistent. You have a lot of fun dynamic shots, however I think the inking was a bit too simple in places. I would have loved to see some spot blacks inside that creepy cabin, especially around Strigoi before her full reveal (page 5 is a really good example of some sweet spot blacks). Coloring was good, I really liked page 9 and wished there was a bit of the in page 10, specifically in the first panel where Wallace is still firing off his gun out of view. Some reflected light there would have been really cool. We gave you a TON of stuff to work with for Strigoi so I can understand it being overwhelming. I think in general you did a good job of portraying Strigoi and Wallace without previous comics to go off of, though I was a bit confused about the stake as Strigoi is a vampire in name only, though you could interpret that as Todd making a wrong assumption but using the right magic anyway. With that being said, I want to congratulate both of you on delivering a fun and winning comic. I'm excited to fight/team-up with you both in the future.

# 23   Posted: Mar 18 2021, 02:51 AM
Thanks everyone for the comments and crits! I'm so happy we hit the story beats for most people, and this just makes me all the more excited to work on Round 2. The cabin was intentionally bare as it is just a trap, but I think Rivana hit the nail on the head in that we could have done with more textures. We'll be experimenting with that more in the next round. I'd also like to address Todd's personality as a few people commented on it.

I think Todd is WAY too forgiving in his side, but I guess he's just a nice person like that.
Quote from: snager

with the bio claiming Todd to be a grumpy edgelord I expected a more conflicted reaction towards Wallace vs immediate attempt to aid.
Quote from: PyrasTerran

His bio states, "He’s perpetually grumpy and tired, but he has a good heart and just wants to fix the problems he’s caused.". Todd perceives the situation as his fault, given that Strigoi transformed and went rogue due to his curse. Also, I know the bar for human decency is Void is pretty low, but I'd like people to stop and think for a second about the position Todd's in. A man has had a whole arm ripped off in front of him, because of him, and is now dying. I would imagine most normal people would offer aid?

Also, I think Todd has his professional face on? Because his personality felt pretty toned down compared to the bio- wheres my angsty, grumpy lad?
Quote from: Flytee

This is correct haha, the pain tempered him a lot as well. You're gonna be seeing a lot more of his usual personality in Round 2 :)

# 22   Posted: Mar 16 2021, 11:57 PM
Strigoi: Loved all the gore and violence!

Todd: Bustin Bustin Bustin! Todd trying to help the handler even after all that was so nice!

# 21   Posted: Mar 16 2021, 12:30 PM
someone (footini) had to hold my hand and gently inform me that the last two pages of Strigoi's side were unfinished. I honestly thought they were supposed to look that way . it was so easy to follow the action even as both main characters mutated, sometimes off-screen and even as background characters mutated too. I think y'all went really hard with the amount of action and gore you wanted to put on camera.

story wise, it's interesting how similar the takes are, but with you each in disagreement over who's powers would outweigh the other's. also in disagreement over Strigoi's loyalty to agent david strider there. I think Todd is WAY too forgiving in his side, but I guess he's just a nice person like that.

one other caveat: it's funny how Todd's side is way less violent / shows less violence, but has a slightly stronger emotional impact. is this perhaps why it has the stronger rating applied? XD found it awkward that the more violent one has a lower rating is all i'm saying.

both comics were really good and I ain't about to scroll down and see the discourse I heard about so excuse me if I'm playing into any of it.

# 20   Posted: Mar 13 2021, 05:48 PM
First of all. I want to make something clear. My critique was not at all intended to be anything but well meaning.

Second. I am aware that I am not on the same level as the artists I was critiquing. I am aware my fundamentals need a lot more work then anyone I for the most part critique. Attacking me over it, doing everything but naming me directly and say I have made no progress at all in 10 years? That's not great. But hey. If you feel that way, thanks for letting me know.

Inky. I am truly sorry if my critique was hurtful. Honestly, my intention was never to do anything but give input. If my wording was hurtful. That was on me. Again. I apologize for that.  

# 19   Posted: Mar 13 2021, 05:22 PM
I think your fundamentals are slipping/need work. I'll try and break it down in a way that you can hopefully take in and learn from.
Quote from: Hellis

Hey Hella, I really don't think you are one to truly say something like that... So! Let ME be blunt with you, though because this is someone else's comic, I won't go on and on.
You are the one person here that I have witnessed be given countless advice to and taken nearly none of it. Practice what you preach because your "critique" is a very very v e r y bad take.


Cy & Badger! You two did a lovely job keeping it short and sweet, to the point!
Inky & Kubo! You were both phenomenal and I'm glad I got to see you two work together!
Everyone else has said a lot of what I think about the comics, so I won't be a parrot, but just know you four are amazing!

# 18   Posted: Mar 13 2021, 05:11 PM
I came here tonight to get the other comics read and voted on but hot DAMN does something right here grind my gears to setting fire.

It is ASTOUNDING that someone so incapable of accepting critique, working on their own fundamentals, taking advice, nor the onslaught of useful tips from artists leagues ahead of them, has the audacity to burn into someone else's work so far as it call it "janky," "muddled," "stiff," and accuses the artists of shortchanging another character which frankly, we thoroughly enjoyed (I for one, love Todd's powers, and his aesthetic, and am very excited to see him move ahead in the tournament). I hate to admit that this has me literally shaking with rage and disgust, because not only has this person done this to countless other artists of varying skill and style - this horrendously bad, and oozingly biased commentary - but done it with such contempt for the people they're writing about, that they left the site altogether. This is not the environment Void should be cultivating, and as someone who LOVES to bring up how "old Void" was something of a minefield, this "critique" feels wildly familiar to those days.

While I fully understand that critique is subjective and varies widely from point of view, it is NOT an opportunity to degrade and break down people in your artist community - especially those one loudly protests for whatever reason. I have zero qualms with any of the other critiques in here, to be clear, and know exactly what faults Kubo and I had in submitting this comic. It's a shame it wasn't finished, but alas that is the learning process and I am quite proud with what we have accomplished. But understand I have an extremely difficult time regarding a critique as legitimate, when the author hasn't made any notable progress in over a decade despite evidently favoring the fundamentals and receiving an undeserved amount of skilled support, of which I see little use by them. I do acknowledge this return of fire is pretty laced with aggravation, but my blood is boiling.

Thank you to everyone who was honest and fair in their judgement, and I'm glad you enjoyed the comic for what we were able to complete. Cy and Badger, y'all killed it with a crisp and clear, finished comic. I'm ever a stan for Badger's style, so I'm hyped to see you two rolling into the next round and can't wait to see what else Todd is capable of, and what monsters he creates of his opponents! Good job, guys!

# 17   Posted: Mar 13 2021, 10:47 AM
Inkubo: Your side is a slow descent in madness that kept me glued to my seat. Literrally clicked several times on the last pages thinking there would be more. Loved the monster design, and I had the same sense of dreadful anticipâtion i felt in movies like 28 days of Night.

Cydger: Your entry was more a Hellblazer story. Investigation and expertise of supernatural. I love this kind of story.
More focused on investigation, and I was less invested in the action, but the story was solid as fuck

# 16   Posted: Mar 13 2021, 07:37 AM
Reread both sides several time now. Time for proper critique. Starting with Kubinky:

 I'll preface this with that both of you are top tier artists in your own right, and the comics is still impressive in many ways. But there is a trend here, from start to the unfinished end: I think your fundamentals are slipping/need work. I'll try and break it down in a way that you can hopefully take in and learn from. But I will be blunt:

1) Colors.
I grayscaled your entire comic and the difference between colors and grayscale is not that big, in fact, In some pages, 3 onwards, I prefer the grayscale. Why? Becouse your colors do not add to the comic for the most part. They are muddled and unclear. Judgin by the unfinished pages, I assume you work on a dark gray canvas? I highly suggest working on a much lighter one for comics. Your values are all extremely dark and outside of page 2, there is never any pop in the colors at all. Your light sources are also all over the place and feel unexciting. You have this corporate lab, with its sterile environments but no harsh, white light to contrast against your dark colors? A massive missed opportunity if you ask me. In some panels, the light source comes from random points like Todds wound. It doesn't make sense, and if it meant to be that the blood was somehow glowing, you needed to put some glow to that.

Posing, Anatomy and Movement: A lot of the poses in the later stages of the comic are very stiff. Especially the running. There is no sense of momentum to it, making them look as if they are posing like they are trying to run rather than running. This comes down to fundamentals and just making a whole lot of poses and comics though. it is all about the grind. Also, your designs and character heights/bodytpes for humans could have done with some variation.

I praised it initially. And I stick with that I enjoy the writing around the agents. He is inherently more interesting then Strigoi (as is the nature of such a pair. Strigoi is a beastial monster.) and his little dialogue around what happens if they die was a good insight into the evil Corp mindset.

But you guys shortchanged Todd. He frankly, comes off like a lot of like a poor attempt at making him edgy and fit to the gritty aesthetic you were clearly running with. This is a problem that many have though. When we take a character into our own setting or trying to pair it with a narrative, it's easy to lose track of it. it should also be said that this was with only a little text to go by, so it's somewhat understandable.

Pacing: The pacing was for the most part pretty good. There is a clear beginning, middle and end. The flow is somewhat janky in places, with very strange switches of angles in a way that does not flow into each other. Switching between the agent and Todd in the first 3 pages suffers noticeably from this.

The sum of if it all:

You guys have the artistic firepower to make what could be a comic I'd pick up in a heartbeat. But you need to plan your flow and angles to lead the eye more. You also need to consider the contrasts and coloration, even when doing a gritty , dark comic like this. More bold accenting colors to go with your grey dystopian stuff, please! And grind grind !grind! movements and posing. It's currently way too stiff.

Cydgers big crit coming SoonTM.

Community Manager
# 15   Posted: Mar 12 2021, 05:32 AM
Heck yeah, it's great to see you two collaborating again- this was a rad comic, the art was so polished and professional. The attention to detail in the background and the monster designs were top-notch, there were also some genuinely creepy panels. The reveal at the end of page 1 hooked me in instantly.
Strigoi is so animalistic and out of control, more so then I expected, I enjoyed that a lot & how her handler is painted to be the real scum bag in this situation.
Crits- Just to echo past comments about the end pages being a tad dark- I also think there were some awkward running poses towards the end of page 5.
Minor quibbles aside, this was a very enjoyable comic with extremely impressive art, bravo!

Fantastic comic. I think you did a really good job pacing this story and building up the tension, all those shots of Strigoi lurking in the rafters were very effective. I enjoyed the ideal chatter between the Handler and Todd and he slowly realises something is very wrong- naturally, he's way too late.

The scenes of Strigoi turning on her handler were great- I really felt his panic and bafflement. The fact he kept trying to shoot even when he was out of bullets was a really nice touch. I found the action here to be really easy to follow and it felt impactful on top of that, the arm rip was excellently done.

I agree with past crits regarding the background, I get what you were going for but it just felt a bit lacking. With those high raftered ceilings, some tall, dramatic windows could've been a good fit & added more character to the cabin. Also, I think Todd has his professional face on? Because his personality felt pretty toned down compared to the bio- wheres my angsty, grumpy lad?
Great comic overall though! You guys should be proud.

# 14   Posted: Mar 11 2021, 09:44 AM
These were both so good! I'm glad these two got paired up, because it made for a really cool fight on both sides!
kubrain: ShowHide
You know I love me a good monster fight, and you certainly didn't disappoint! The only issue, which is really just a downside to giving monsters such complex designs, is that sometimes it was hard to tell exactly what was happening. Everything was limbs and entrails and wrinkly body parts. I think what would have helped would be using line widths to clearly separate between monsters, as well as possibly giving them very clear, distinct color schemes. Todd's dark clothing and pale skin wasn't too far off from Strigoi's dark clothing and pale skin. Of course, there's only so much you can do to change up a color scheme for an existing character, so maybe that's the wrong call here, and you did a pretty good job of giving the transformed scientists clear, distinct color schemes, so kudos to that. I also really appreciate the damage Todd did to Strigoi. One-sided fights can work in certain situations, but I'm always a fan of fights that include heavy losses on both sides along the way. I also love how quickly Strigoi went from wild monster to submissive humanoid at Agent Wallace's word. Anyway, good job all around! It's a shame you couldn't finish coloring everything, but what you had was beautiful and gorey in a great way!

Cyger: ShowHide
I love how both of these comics had a similar premise, but their different locations gave them a very different feel. I kind of like the spookiness of a cabin out in the middle of nowhere even better than a suspicious lab. I also love how you integrated Strigoi's usually submissive nature into the story. Also, I just generally love Strigoi's monster form's design. I also love how you incorporated Todd's knowledge of mythical monsters with Strigoi's name itself. It makes sense that someone connected with demons and monsters would be aware of a kind of vampire like creature, and it was cool that you took advantage of that. If there's one complaint I might have, it's that a lot of the backgrounds could be just a bit more detailed. I know it was a test cabin that no one lived in, so it kind of makes sense for it to be sparsely decorated, but maybe some signs of wear on the walls like peeling paint or mold or something could have helped. I'm also looking at the relative sizes of the room on pages 2 and 8. It looks like the room got bigger on page 8, which made me realize that it might have been more intimidating if you made the space smaller instead, making Strigoi's big monster form take up more space relative to the size of the room and therefore making the threat feel more exaggerated. Just generally making Strigoi feel closer and bigger probably would have upped the tension a bit. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this comic, thought you made a lot of smart decisions with the writing, and of course the art itself is mwah! Chef's kiss!

# 13   Posted: Mar 11 2021, 07:18 AM
Whoa this match really gives me horror movie vibes which I love!

Kubinky - Can't get over the amazing visuals and  monster designs you guys put together. The details and love you put in both environment, characters and  creatures did not go unnoticed. I did get a bit of difficulty reading the action in the last few pages due to the dark/low contrast but I understand you guys were pressed for time at that point. Overall it felt like I was right there in the action. Just amazing!

Cybadge - What a great setup! I love the cabin in the woods idea. Your story was easy to follow and it works! I have no real complaints about the lack of details in the cabin at all. I personally thought it fits the "this is just a temporary setup for traps so why bother dressing it up". But what would've really pushed  your comic further are textures definitely. I would've loved to see some wear and tear in the cabin and texturing on Strigoi's monster form overall. But again, amazing job!

Darius Corry
# 12   Posted: Mar 9 2021, 07:33 PM
This was very well done on both ends.

# 11   Posted: Mar 9 2021, 02:26 PM
KUBINKO- Ugh, that utterly "hey we're evilcorp!' building. <3 The design of the lab interior. I love that your stylization of void and its cityscape isnt just rectangles and boxes. You really give that extra TLC to show off the personality of a place before we even step foot in the door. Your efforts and work are such a great marriage of technical skill. This is something I could see sitting on a comic book shelf as Pyras and I'm sure everyone is thinking. Y'all are a powerhouse in this tourney and a force to be reckoned with if this first round is any indication.
Talk about a monstrous menagerie. Inky's influence is rife here and to great effect. The demonic designs for all the transformed scientists and even Strigoi herself was such a fun romp. Totally indulgent, but also a great feature here. When it comes to your opponents ability, having a whole slew of body horror demons is what the doctor ordered.
Your talents and are so honed, it makes the dips in quality and press for time a little more apparent than most. Still though, even your unfinished pages have great movement to them, I just wish they weren't so dark in order to better see the details you two managed.

CYDGER- You guys definitely had the edge on characterization. The way you established your own version of Strogoi's training and evolution in order to associate Todd into them meeting was clever.  I'll echo the sentiments that the interiors of your cabin felt sparse. While it isn't a place that necessarily reflects the agents personality, the look of the place definitely needed more oomph. Even the rafters (which mind you were nicely constructed and made for a great looming scene) could've lended themselves to some boxes, light fixtures, a kayak or even a rolled up carpet up there.
 My favorite panel has to be the gunshots cutting through monster Strigoi. Your use of white and heavy shadows really added to the dynamism of the scene. honestly you clearly had fun moving the camera around. You have some great multi angle shots panel to panel that I think enhanced the story. If this had just been midshots page to page in the cabin, I think it wouldn't of been as entertaining.
The agent realizing Strigoi wasn't listening got me to the edge of my seat. Whatta twist! and that arm rip...oof so brutal. I love that we see echoes to Todd's 'Father' with his anxiousness over having to touch the agent to try and help him before he dies. GAh I want more! What a great first showing from you both!

# 10   Posted: Mar 9 2021, 11:55 AM
Good work everyone!

Team Strigoi: Absolutely loved the escalation of the scenario, where it wasn't just Strigoi vs Todd, the nature of Todd's powers were creatively used to snowball the incident out of control like some of the best of zombie movie scenes. I appreciated this version of Todd that seems experienced and weary, and defiant even when staring death in the face. Even thinking back, something I'm really liking about this one is that I can keep going back and reading and finding new details I missed, a testament to the care and consideration you put in the environmental storytelling. This is stuff for the bookshelves.

Team Todd: Love the range of the character movements and dynamic composition. I think where this comic slips for me though is that things are adequate but not quiet polished or pushed hard enough. The scenario is identical to your opponents in the beginning but doesn't go in any radical or expansive directions, taking place in a room that gives little to the choreography outside of Strigoi's sneak. It's a comic that I could read once and get everything out of every panel, which has some strengths for ease of reading but also weaknesses for lasting impression. The inking needs work, there's a disconnect between the inker and penciler's styles that hasn't quite merged strongly enough to make a case for this format, some gestures degraded in the process. While the inking does become stronger/more confident as the comic continues (which makes sense if you guys didn't have time budgeting issues) the inks didn't yet reach that point that made me feel like I wouldn't have simply preferred Badger's pencils colored over. This is something Cy can get a better handle on with more practice in collaborations with stronger artists for sure. Likewise colors were adequate but not pushed as strongly as they could have; the cool blue hues for shadows and environment used throughout much of the fight works for the emotional punch at the end but not so much for the wild horror elements earlier. Speaking of the emotional punch, it was effective, but with the bio claiming Todd to be a grumpy edgelord I expected a more conflicted reaction towards Wallace vs immediate attempt to aid. I understand though that these new characters may evolve over time of writing in these virgin battles.

# 9   Posted: Mar 9 2021, 10:04 AM
Both of these are very good. I'll have more complete critique for either side later. But to highlight the strong and weak points of both:

K/S: Your backgrounds are strong, your sense of establishing shots, angles. All very good. Enjoyed the agent's dialogue. Not as much of a fan of Todds? It felt very standard, sweary man. Not really what I expected. I'd have given you a higher quality score if not for the unfinished last pages.

C/B: Your colors and flow are slick. The inks are strong as well. Panel layout it great. Backgrounds and overall sense of space is likely the comics weakest (but not bad) spot.  Your writing was a good showing of either charachter and the ending was very well written out. Strong overall showing.

# 8   Posted: Mar 9 2021, 07:47 AM
Kubo/Inky: the presentation is all there. This looks *very* good to me. I enjoyed seeing the setting well displayed, and absolutely no hesitation with throwing as MANY NPCS on the page as you could. Always love to see that effort.
That said, I felt that I was kind of reading an episode somewhere in the middle of a season, and felt lost as to the characters, what their powers were, etc.

Cy/Badger: Guys, I very much enjoyed the character introductions, and how well you handled the idea of “show don’t tell”, while telling just enough to let everyone know what’s happening, who these characters are and what their deal is without the reader having to go browse a reference sheet.
Awesome job there.
Strigoi’s artists definitely had you on backgrounds and setting, but a lone cabin in the woods is certainly appropriate for the situation.
Pretty slick all around.

# 7   Posted: Mar 9 2021, 06:41 AM
Kubo/Inky, this was very well made, and very well crafted but there was nothing about it that really jumped out and pulled me in and ultimately I just found myself very confused while reading it.

Cy/Badger, this was a very good showing. Nothing really to criticize. Loved the style and the flow of this work.

# 6   Posted: Mar 9 2021, 02:27 AM
Kubo/Inky - Damn, I love that you reflected Todd’s curse back on him! I never considered that Strigoi might incorporate it into her own form, since it isn’t in his DNA. Sick monster designs too!

# 5   Posted: Mar 8 2021, 05:22 PM
With the deadline fast approaching, it's credits time!

Writing - Both
Thumbs, pencils, bubbles, cover - Badger
Inks, colours, monster concept - Cy

This is probably the most fun I've ever had on a comic :D I barely slept but it was worth it, super proud of what we have. Badger, I've told you this a bunch of times BUT I'M GONNA SAY IT AGAIN, you're amazing ily, it was a treat to work with you and line your rad sketches!

# 4   Posted: Feb 22 2021, 11:06 AM
The goths are fighting

# 3   Posted: Feb 22 2021, 05:47 AM
No one ever said you couldn't die from old age in one of these death matches...

# 2   Posted: Feb 22 2021, 05:31 AM

# 1   Posted: Feb 22 2021, 03:55 AM

Comic Details -

Death Match
Drawing Time: 2 weeks
Ended: Mar 16th, 2021
Votes Cast: 42
Page Views: 2613
Winners: TheCydork and Badger

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