A Lesson in Spirit / Darren J. Cardinalis vs. Rae and Blue

A Lesson in Spirit / Darren J. Cardinalis vs. Rae and Blue

A Lesson in Spirit — Darren J. Cardinalis vs. Rae and Blue

This comic has been rated suitable for all ages by its creator(s)

Icon for Darren J. Cardinalis43.4%
274 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17

Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques
Thank you Flytee for the Battle and I'm glad to have been able to tell this story. For everyone else who reads it I really hope you enjoyed what I was able to produce. On a side note, the last few pages were gonna be a BB on its own but it was gonna lead into another BB. So I decided to add it in as an Epilogue instead so its one less BB to do and I don't have to worry about being stuck inbetween two BBs.
tags: brittany marshal, darren j. cardinalis, gutsmasher, I gotta feeling, Itami Saitoh, jamilia jaja rojas, miranda munroe, Mr.Rensga, rae and blue, raven, sidae, The Black Eyed Peas, tix thundersong

by Flytee

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

Icon for Rae and Blue56.6%
357 points
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16

Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques
Song Links! I would recommend giving them at least a 30 second listen before reading.
Hey Jude - The Beatles
Lets Dance to Joy Division- The Wombats

btw I will be making a beyond battle that will expand on this :V

Thanks for the battle Platinum!


Critiques & Comments
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# 8   Posted: May 30 2021, 08:50 PM
My energy is low, my brain is smooth, but I'm going to try to say just a little about each comic!

Spoiler: Platinum • show
I definitely think this is your best comic so far! I love how you continue to fill out the world of your comics with cameos and background details. I have to say though that this comic kind of felt like you were just trying to hit a specific plot point instead of trying to build up to it with meaningful character motivations. It felt like some of the actions taken by characters were more for plot convenience than because the characters would naturally do that on their own. For example, you wanted Blue to see Darren's inner world so you could reveal more about Darren. You needed her to possess him to make that happen. So you gave her an arbitrary desire to use him to speak to Mr. Rensga, despite the fact that she's communicated with him just fine through other means before. And maybe I've just missed previous story points, but it doesn't seem like he's a super important person in her life, so it just feels really convenient that she would need to randomly speak to someone and decide now was the time to use possession to do it instead of just possessing a radio or something. I hope that makes sense. I got a bit rambly there, sorry! I'm looking forward to learning more about Darren in the future! You've given us some interesting nuggets, and I'm curious about this mysterious epilogue. I'd just like to see you focus a bit more on what each character wants and build a story off of that rather than trying to hit specific plot points!

Spoiler: Flytee • show
Your art is like a warm hug for me. I just can't look at it without feeling happy ;-;

I really love that we get to see more of Blue's self-doubt here. The fact that she's never really taken the time to try to figure herself out is a really interesting thing to focus on. It's a nice departure from her usual carefree, live in the now attitude, which I feel like really shows how a lot of people who seem outwardly positive can actually be hiding a lot of their own doubts underneath the surface. I'm intrigued by this ending (I slammed my hand on my desk because I want MORE!) and think you did an amazing job of showing Blue's journey to uncovering her memories. Your use of creative lettering in this comic was so fun; honestly, the whole comic oozed illustrative creativity and comic storytelling. I think my main crit for you would just be to have someone proofread your comics to catch little mistakes and typos, but honestly I think I only saw one or two of those here XD. It's hard to critique, because I just think your style works so well, and your character-based storytelling makes everything feel so grounded and real, even in the face of the insanely supernatural world of Void. Excellent comic, and I look forward to more! <3

# 7   Posted: May 30 2021, 02:03 PM
Great storytelling in both of these!!
Plat, i liked your font choice for the song lyrics, it really sold the music style! And you raw Blue so cute! I would suggest colours less brightly saturated for backgrounds, or at least more opposite of the foreground characters because Darren blends into the background a bit against the brick wall. I liked him taking Blue into his memories, but did she ever get to use his body to say hell to the pizza guy? Also, I know its a lead-up but the last two pages seemed a little tacked-on... might have been better as a BB.
Flytee, ohhh what a cool ending, I want to see more! I love the rhythmic way you did the lyrics, i LOVED when they were singing together and theres such a beautiful flow, and then suddenly it gets very GRIM. Also you make Darren so CUTE! dont even know what to crit this was just all around enjoyable

# 6   Posted: May 30 2021, 01:20 PM
Platinum- Your story was a little slow to pull me in till they go to Darens village. All those BIRDS! You did an excellent job. Very expressive with a character that has a big beak. The cameos were fun to see. I can't wait to read more. Loved your little twist at the end. You're improving a lot!

Flytee- I appreciate the recap at the beginning along with the glance into the past. Your colors are gorgeous. The song parts flowed so nicely.  I need to learn what happened to Blue!

# 5   Posted: May 25 2021, 08:26 PM
FLYTEE- oooh I love me an unexpected end. I honestly had no idea where you were going with this match- much less what Blue would have to do with an overgrown singing parrot, but once I got to reading you managed to make it feel as natural and mundane enough that the journey between them became the focus which I think was the aim. Your narrative flow trailing down page to page in a kind of psuedo descend until we get to the end really gave a an air of waking up from a long dream and heavy sleep. I think it's what made me appreciate the work you put into building that weight before we get to the reveal. It's clear you're having fun weaving this tale and I for one am having a blast reading it.

PLAT- You got some great strides going on with your storytelling and making capital use of those fun cameos to further your tale. I will second and third your need to push emoting your own characters face. I'd give some of Don Bluth's movies a looksee to get a fee las to what you can cheat and manipulate by way of the beak to get those expressions I think are crucial to a visual format like a comic. Because as it stands you have Darren surrounded primarily by humanoid characters that by comparison make him look stiff and serious, which doesn't seem like his character.
This is a long way from the last comic of yours I've seen by way of backgrounds and environments, so major kudos. Just be mindful of your colors as the interior of resenga is red and your character is red. find ways to break up your elements with spot blacks, textures or shadows so they don't all bleed together

# 4   Posted: May 25 2021, 01:25 PM
Good job on this battle you two!
Both of these comics felt really substantial for these characters in terms of adding more to their lore.

Platinum: I loved that we finally get to see other songbirds and Darren's homeland. The pizzeria looked good with all the details you added (the kaiju poster on the wall and brazilian flag were my favorites) Also thanks for the Gutsmasher cameo!!
And now i just wonder who those two guys from the epilogue were...the plot thickens it seems 👀

Flytee: A Blue focused story is always a treat to read. Blue having glimpses of her home(?) through visions after the soulweaving was an interesting way to make her finally retrieve some of her memories and whaAT WAS THAT ENDING??! HOW DARE YOU LEAVE US ON A CLIFFHANGER THAT BIG?!!

But anyway, just like platinum's side i loved that your comic was so full of details and that you both included the same "love laugh pizza" sign in it lmao.
I'll be keeping an eye on absolutely ANY updates you do for Rae and Blue after this because i mUST KNOW WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT OH LORD.

# 3   Posted: May 24 2021, 07:06 AM
Platinum - Fully coloured, nice job dude! I feel like you’re getting way more comfortable drawing Darren regularly; this is probably a really odd detail but his beak looks really good. It’s pretty clearly and consistently 3D, which is honestly hard to achieve with such a rounded feature. I also appreciate that you drew the stage and tables sharing a panel, so we could see their positions in relation to each other.

On the other hand, other parts of the pizzeria were still disconnected. When Blue flies down the stairs, she looks up in awe and sees Darren. But then you show a shot that seems to be just a side on view in the crowd? Where is she? When you show her again, it’s a closeup so we still don’t know where she is, and then she’s dancing with Darren. The scale is also quite weird - Brittany looks absolutely teeny in front of the door frame, Itami and Raven on the following page also look weirdly small. Speaking of that scene, it’s awesome to see you incorporate so many fullbody shots, it’s certainly great practice, but you don’t need to do them so often. There was so much empty space in this comic, so many pages with just three or four massive panels each. A good rule of thumb for traditional comics is 5-7 panels per page. If you’re going for a big panel, there should be a story reason for it. A lot of dialogue, an important moment, an establishing shot etc. Otherwise you can save yourself a LOT of time and effort by being more conservative with panels.

Onto writing crit! The story felt somewhat disjointed. I think you had a good concept here - I remember being interested when you “pitched” the idea in VC - but the scenes don’t quite flow. I felt this especially on pages 10-12. Blue asks odd questions, like what a songbird is and how Darren learnt songs. I’m not sure why the word “songbird” would stick out to her when that’s an actual word used to describe certain birds, not an unknown term. Likewise, how a person would learn songs isn’t really a mystery when people regularly do so every day? You present a scenario where anthro birds can literally connect to the dead through music and rather than ask any spirit-related questions, Blue asks something pretty mundane that doesn’t need an explanation. And then after getting an answer about songs, she talks about how nobody is forgotten, which isn’t really related to learning songs off the Internet?

Blue’s purpose is also very tied to Darren and apart from the very first page, she doesn’t seem to have much thought of her own. It’s a bit hard to believe after bopping with Darren, she’d just wait in the pizzeria the entire day until everyone had left. She’s only still there so Darren can notice her. And once she’s noticed, she’s only really there to praise and question him. Why not just have him notice her during the performance, and excuse himself to talk to her? I’m surprised he didn’t react to her at all while singing, or mention seeing her to Mr Rensga. Surely you’d want to inform someone that their restaurant is possibly haunted? XD

One more thing, this isn’t a crit but something to keep in mind with cameos - they tend to work best in moderation. It’s kind of strange having the entire crowd be known Void characters. Don’t be afraid to try your hand at NPCs! It might have been cool to see the characters from your B.B. in the crowd cheering for Darren, since they kinda got him this job.

Whew, and with all that, good job again on getting all these pages done! It’s also great to see you taking crit onboard so quickly.

Flytee - These thumbnails are so cute I’m gonna cry ;w; As was Darren in your style. Also what a reveal! Damn!! So curious how Blue is gonna find her way back to Rae now... although

Spoiler: Spoilers • show

Kinda sad we won’t see ghost Blue anymore u-u Or at least not as often. She’s looked the best here I’ve ever seen her tbh. Just so cute and squishy. The marshmallow thumb was really apt.

I know you did some pretty major revisions, and for the most part they worked out well, but page 11 still threw me a bit. It’s really hard to pinpoint, because technically all the information is there... but it feels like Darren is way too familiar with Rae and Blue for someone who’s just met Blue, and didn’t even recognise Rae by name. When he says things like “I hope everything’s okay with you two” and asking if Rae was mean to her, it implies he knows they have a friendly relationship already. But all that was said was Blue needs to talk to her. There’s a lot of other possible relationships there. However you still did extremely well considering how much content was cut or edited, and it’s really impressive that the rest of the comic flowed as well as it did! I’d be hopeless. Excited as always to see where Rae and Blue go from here :)

(also fight me)

# 2   Posted: Apr 18 2021, 03:42 PM
Awww yeeaaa.
Bird fight

also Rae
(who is now a bird)
Quote from: Footini

# 1   Posted: Apr 18 2021, 02:42 PM
Awww yeeaaa.
Bird fight

also Rae
(who is now a bird)

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 4 weeks
Ended: May 30th, 2021
Votes Cast: 15
Page Views: 878
Winner: Flytee

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