Lovechild Tournament 2021, Round 2 / Llaana vs. Maddie the Mule

Lovechild Tournament 2021, Round 2 / Llaana vs. Maddie the Mule

Lovechild Tournament 2021, Round 2 — Llaana vs. Maddie the Mule

by Footini and Radji

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

Icon for Llaana48.6%
810 points
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Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques
Radji died. RIP him.
Footini is wizard.
tags: clydesdale horse, death match, Llaana, louise ambre-aliona, Lovechild2021, maddie the mule, saal darkmalice

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

Icon for Maddie the Mule51.4%
856 points
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Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques
tags: e.w. schneider, kozispoon, Lovechild2021, maddie the mule

Critiques & Comments
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# 16   Posted: Apr 13 2021, 08:12 AM
Team Llaana - you really upped your game this round. I thoroughly enjoyed your entry. I think this is the best collab comic I've seen between you two so far - art and writing/story wise! Excited to battle Llaana with Sable in a few weeks!

Team Maddie - Do I even need to say anything? You two are unstoppable! I now expect a 50  page comic in the finals if you keep spoiling us like this :P Congratulations!

# 15   Posted: Apr 5 2021, 09:37 AM
Wowzer, feast for the eyes, all 4 of you.

Team Llaana: great visuals, just like before. Neat to see her lore develop a bit, and your method of interacting with Toons without pulling from MW and Kozi’s lore. Very commendable!

Team Maddie: Yall do an amazing job of making the world in these comics feel very immersive.
It feels like a real place, you know? Very nice there.

# 14   Posted: Apr 4 2021, 09:39 PM
vanya, screaming and crying about revenge, heartbroken: let me go on mission
colbizter: i cant do that
todd: but captain-

srsly though:

Kozi and E.W.
Your art looks better than 90% of the stuff one can pick up on the shelf at a comic store. things like panel layout and tangent buffing are second nature to y'all. you don't even think about it.
but your choices are things anyone could of thought of:
- chose characters that are easy to draw, like floppy round toons
- give a good in-universe reason to make most things sepia
- have a majority of the story take place in a snow storm / psychic battle

these were all subtle ways to make work flow go faster. to conserve energy. all so you could then flex your powers. all the drawings (things where forms and shapes interact, to be clear) show fantastic draftsmanship. the story is really starting to come together. I still don't trust that Maddie is really Clyde and Mimi's daughter, but her seeing a monster version of Mimi suggests she DOES live there.

Foot and radji:
The page/scene where Llaana is sitting on Clyde's belly and he wakes up and the couch kind of looks like a uterus: A+ love to see it. the metaphor that Llaana is using Clyde in order to be born, in a visceral way, is not lost on me.
You guys clearly tried to go as hard as you could to try to stand up to the other team's chops and this is admirable. but y'all would do well to learn from how Kozi and E.W. paced out their energy. but honestly there's no way you guys could have reverse engineered this thing to stand against Maddie's side.

I feel like i just watched a bizarrely out of touch new HGTV show about building exuberant mc'mansion vacation homes in the high-occupancy, working class suburbs.

# 13   Posted: Apr 3 2021, 03:35 PM
Footini and Radji, it feels like you guys went even harder this round and I think it paid off! You guys make a fantastic team.
Kozi and Schnieder I love Vanya holding Yamatos spear! It makes me so happy!!
These deaths have been hitting me in the feels! So bitter sweet!

# 12   Posted: Apr 3 2021, 10:41 AM
footajdi: oof i can only guess footini was on colours because hes been getting so GOOD. This was rich and atmospheric, i liked the palette choice. i dont even know how to crit this, yall did a great job all the way throughout with pacing, art, wriiting, everything. If you dont make it this round I hope you two will team up again!

EWSpoon: to start, GORGEOUS art as always, amazing use of layout and composition, incredibly well paced, practically perfect. But I WILL echo the sentiment that its a BIT on the long side. Youve got so many open threads I cant begin to know how youre going to close them all. I seriously thought this was gonna end at page 29 when Clyde got reel'd but it didnt. I dont mind the concept that the other lovechilds are this villainous hybrid organization its very cool but they almost get TOO much attention, like it felt detracting from Llana herself.
Long story short, Dr. Travis is the best character on this entire site I do not accept criticism

# 11   Posted: Apr 2 2021, 08:00 AM
I guess I will expand what I meant by my graphic novel comment :P

clipped becuase it's tl;dr

Spoiler: show
I feel like the amount of pages is sometimes used in place of a neat story, especially in a tournament context where there is a very strict time limitation. While it is extremely impressive that you have such a great work ethic and can produce the volume in such a short time span - honestly, it is AMAZING, you have proven that you can do this over and over again. I feel like this is perhaps stumping your progress, like you hit a plateau, and I mostly mean Eric’s work here, but maybe some of this will apply to Kozi too? You obviously have great ideas for complex plotlines, because apart from this comic, the previous tournament comic, there are also two BBs. And it is so clear that you have SO MUCH energy to tell stories, and you are excited about the characters and it is amazing! But at times it feels -to me- a little too try hard. Like I feel that Maddie was only created so Clydesdale could be brought back. So it’s not quite what Pyras described, it’s not that I wanted a comic about only Maddie, but it feels like she is just a pretence to bring back the old guys, her only function is servicing her papa in a kind of weird manic pixie dreamdaughter way.

In the context of the tournament, the way I personally feel is that having to read all the extra material to understand the backstory is a bit of a slog and quite daunting. I prefer to be able to dip in and out when I can. I think it’s fine to have to read the previous instalment of the tournament comic, but with the BBs I feel I should also read those and that is putting me off a bit.

On top of that, I find it is a lot harder to create a short story where everything is set up in a few panels, and then make the reader CARE about your characters without relying on previous context (though I am also aware that the whole premise of this tournament is relying on existing characters). But to me Maddie is not a character I care about at all, despite fondly remembering her parents.

I guess my point is, you have proven you can do THIS multiple times: the long saga with lots of familiar old faces that are all interacting. But in the context of VOID, can you do a short self-contained story, not relying on any previous character nostalgia, that would be gripping and make the reader care for the characters and FEEL something? This something can be a laugh, can be a sad, this does not matter. That's what I would want to see from you guys – or a graphic novel that stands just on its own without being embedded in the Void Canon Universe. Because you have all the tools to make amazing things.

Footini and Radji, I can only apologise for not giving you this in depth feedback, if you would like some lmk :P

# 10   Posted: Apr 1 2021, 08:07 PM
Footini/Radji - As usual, the horror imagery in this comic is spot on. I love this theme of a loud heartbeat announcing Llana’s arrival, and all those veins (along with the centipedes of course). Especially with her initially appearing as a baby in this comic, it gives me the impression she’s turning these other realities into a twisted womb, which is creepy and creative as hell. It’s really interesting to see now that Llana doesn’t think this is real, but is still starting to feel the guilt creep in. I really thought she was going to be a ruthless killing machine, so I’m glad you’re introducing this new side to her. Also the two hats drifting down at the end was great symbolism.

The story began as a nice continuation from Birthright, but ultimately fell flat for me. I feel like this comic leant too heavily on past events or universal heartstring tuggers rather than establishing emotions in the now. Like, oh no a kid crying for her dad! A guy crying over someone he misses. We don’t see them connect in thiscomic to feel that strongly about it, for me anyway. The dialogue also flows strangely in places that took me out of the story, for example page 4.

Llana: He doesn’t even claim you as his own. Why do you care for him?
Maddie: I know he is!

Maddie’s reply doesn’t follow Llana’s question at all. She knows Clydesdale is... what? Llana was asking why she cared. It seems like a refutation of something that wasn’t said. Did you guys cut a line, or was Maddie supposed to say “I know he DOES”?

Kozi/Schneider - Again, I ask, what the fuck? Are you guys on speed?? Honestly side-eyeing you a little because the amount of story you’re giving us, and how well it flows together, makes me feel you wrote the full script months in advance and are rigging the matches XD (I kid, of course, but that’s how mad the quality is.) The mindscape scenes and page 28 had me going “holy SHIT”. Trippy, creepy, excellent. My favourite part of the comic. I loved the whole “looking through Llana’s eyes like a window” and then Maddie holding onto her hair. Llana’s characterisation was great here, as someone terrifying and dangerous but ultimately pathetic, just a baby craving love. It was neat to see you tie in Radji and Footini’s interlude comic in that sense. Also overall, the dialogue was very natural as was the progression of events.

I agree with Pyras on the writing front. I think pages 6 and 7 could have easily been cut without affecting the main story for instance - you already established Llana as a weapon, and Vanya being friends with Yamato in the first round. In their later appearances, these things are made clear again. The surprise of Llana’s attack is kind of killed because you show she’s coming after them. I’m also not sure how both Vanya and Yamato didn’t see Maddie, even though she was directly on top of Clyde when he was shot? After a few rereads, I’m guessing the balloon’s “basket” was supposed to obscure her, but I still find it hard to believe that BOTH of them saw Clydesdale bending down and talking, but didn’t think to check if there was somebody else around. Vanya’s judgement may be clouded with emotion, but you depict Todd as someone who seemed rather detached from the situation, still capable of rational thought. The last three pages also could have been cut - ending on Maddie’s determined face with the juxtaposition of “I don’t see any problems” was a great place to end things, setting up beautifully for the next battle, and with that sweet dramatic irony to boot. The other pages drag it back to a Mimi and Clydesdale story, rather than Maddie story.

I also think... we need to talk about Maddie. I’m not getting anything more from her than cute, optimistic kid. In the first round it was endearing, and I thought we’d start to see more facets to her later. But besides her little moments of determination, I didn’t get anything more, and my interest in her as a character is dwindling. I’m interested to see where the big overall story goes, and what happens to Clydesdale, but I shouldn’t be feeling that way since she’s supposed to be the star here! I feel like I’ve seen this character before, especially with the speech she gives Llana and destroying her with.. the power of love I guess? A lot of her dialogue also makes her feel like a prop to Clydesdale’s story, how she’s always explaining things to him and reassuring him, and her only desire is to help him. What is she beyond that? What makes her unique? It’s a little strange to see her next to characters that are being written in a more complex way, and also knowing what both of you can do in terms of writing with other characters. I appreciate that child characters are pretty damn difficult to write though, it’s hard to get the balance between believable child (vs mini adult) and developed personality. And I’d say you got the believable child part down!

But yeah, just to reiterate, I continue to be floored by the quality AND quantity of work you’re putting out this tournament. The writing is really good, the art a treat, and honestly most of these critiques would be null if the context of the comics wasn’t “tournament featuring maddie as the main character. If you guys win this round, I can’t wait to see what the finale will bring!

Global Moderator
# 9   Posted: Apr 1 2021, 01:03 PM
Team LLaana: Holy shit, you guys actually made me feel a hard feel in the last couple pages. Bravo, big marks for that! For me, these Llaana comics have been among the easiest to digest (weirdly enough given the child's powers), they're as long as they need to be and that good pacing just helps all other aspects.

Team Maddie: Repeating again from last time that since y'all are so good at what you do already (seriously go out there and make pro comics already) I think it's apt to dive deep and be nitpicky: Gorgeous art of course, everyone looks good and the dialogue just works. I was kind of hoping we would stick closer to the POV of Clydesdale and Maddie to emphasize their isolation and add tension to the world by keeping things unknown. But we spend so much time with the villains, by knowing what's happening at all times I feel it reduces the tension, and with the lovechildren in this AU all being villain versions of themselves, if the goal is to make us feel for these other kids, I don't think that's landing. Even with these conversations with Colbitzer, sure it's showing the family and camaraderie bonds they have with each other, but Nazis had the same bonds with their own army brethren. It's interesting worldbuilding and effective 3-dimensional fleshing out but it's also pulling attention away from the characters readers should be caring most about in this battle: Maddie and Llaana. Speaking of which great job with this part when it finally comes in, it's visually stunning and narratively engaging and the best part of the comic. The aftermath, I probably could have taken in a BB afterwards, it goes on a bit long and makes Lllaana feel less like the main event conflict for the round. (Speaking of, I'm curious to why you chose to showcase Vanya over Abby Abbadon, it seemed to make sense that later rounds would show the lovechildren that have survived thus far, which would explain Todd.) To pack it all together, I'm gonna add to what Fearn may be referring to: A lot of readers would come to this page primarily for a Maddie vs Llaana comic, and you guys really did do that part really well. But it's not just that, it's a Maddie vs Llaana story +plus Clydesdale's story extended and Mimi's return +plus the story of Colbitzer's Kids. Going hard on ensemble cast works for a graphic novel complete story, absolutely, but I can see where for a round-by-round tournament, it can feel like a lot. I imagine that keeping so many of the lovechildren as supporting cast was part of a benign attempt to make a story inclusive of all the characters of the tournament and make the story feel big in a good way, and I really commend the effort and NO ONE can say you guys haven't given 150% to this. My only concern is, like how Peter Jackson falls in love with his own works, a worry that this could be treading on self-indulgence.

Great job to both teams, y'all are rockstars

# 8   Posted: Apr 1 2021, 07:22 AM
LLAANA: creepy! fun! I loved the "lab" at the start!

MADDIE: have you considered just writing a GN? cos this was... long

E.W. Schneider
# 7   Posted: Apr 1 2021, 03:04 AM
A minor note for anyone who comes across this comic, but if you're someone who has not read Lovechild Round One or Surveying the Damage with Colbitzer, you probably should read that first before diving into this.

# 6   Posted: Mar 31 2021, 08:35 PM
Well I'm pretty sure we both took some wisdom damage on this one.
I think an actual kid would be less stressful to have.

As like the last round the credits on our side are
Story/Script- Both of us.
Thumbs- Radji
Pencils- Footini
Inks (pages 1-6) Radji (pages 7-8) Footini :D
Colors- Footini
Lettering and SFX- Radji

Approval Committee
# 5   Posted: Mar 17 2021, 09:42 AM
dis gon’ be good

E.W. Schneider
# 4   Posted: Mar 17 2021, 04:01 AM
: ) good luck!

# 3   Posted: Mar 17 2021, 03:28 AM
oh boy here I go killing imaginary children again

# 2   Posted: Mar 17 2021, 12:33 AM
holy shit I predicted this, good luck on both of you I can't wait to see these kiddos die

# 1   Posted: Mar 17 2021, 12:25 AM
I've tasted blood and now my hunger cannot be satiated.

Comic Details -

Type: Death Match
Drawing Time: 2 weeks
Ended: Apr 8th, 2021
Votes Cast: 35
Page Views: 749
Winner: Kozispoon and E.W. Schneider

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