Speed Dating 2022, Round 1 / Asteria vs. Bones

Speed Dating 2022, Round 1 — Asteria vs. Bones

by Snowy

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

Icon for Asteria 50.6%
458 points
Page 1Page 2

Crit level: Open to any comments or critiques
I wanted to emulate an VN, and what better tournament than an SDT (date edition) to try it?

This comic has not been rated; viewer discretion advised.

Icon for Bones49.4%
447 points
Page 1

Crit level: No preference

Critiques & Comments
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# 13   Posted: Feb 9 2022, 02:42 PM
SNOWY how DARE you draw so ADORABLY!!! i love how mischievous Asteria was at the end! I wonder what he'll wish for~?

FLUFF it was short and sweet and made me laugh! It got everything I needed for a one weeker with a premise like this lol! Great expressions!

# 12   Posted: Feb 9 2022, 08:02 AM
Snowy: ShowHide
This comic is so cute and pretty to look at! One thing that stands out to me as someone who uses textured brushes similar to what you used here, I'm seeing some white in the middle if your lines, and I'm not sure if that's an intentional choice or just a limitation of the brush. Personally, it's something I'm never sure how to deal with, so I'm curious whether it's even something I should be concerned about in the first place haha.

As for VN format, I kind of agree with some other comments and think it might be a good idea to just go all-in with it and add the UI common in Renpy games, reuse character portraits, add CGs for special scenes like the end, etc. HOWEVER, you're doing some things here that wouldn't work as well in that format, such as showing a character's expression reacting to another character's statements and responding in the same frame, so maybe this fusion of traditional VN format and unique comic elements is a good marriage. I think it could work either way, but it won't read as "this IS a VN" as much with the format you used here. It DOES still read as using a VN art style, which looks pretty in and of itself. So in my opinion, it works either way, and which format you use just depends on what you want to communicate and what your personal preferences are! (Side note: it would be pretty neat if VNs used this speech bubble format more, even if it's harder to implement πŸ€”)

Writing-wise, this was cute and fun! I really liked that WTF moment where Bones is just like "yeah this isn't gonna work out" after talking for like 5 seconds. I also liked the sudden shift at the end, the moment Asteria discovered a new goal that superseded their speed dating attitude. I feel like her line "That is what you desire?" feels a bit odd, since we haven't been given a reason to think that it is or isn't his desire previously. Maybe the point was just to imply that Asteria can read people's desires and was just confirming something she already knew via supernatural means? But if that were the case, I would have said something like "I knew that was your true desire!" or something like that. Then again, maybe there's still a reason you phrased it that way and I'm just missing something! I guess either way, I got a bit confused as a reader πŸ˜…

TL;DR: this is a very cute comic that uses elements of VNs in a fun way while also keeping certain aspects that appear in comics but not typically in VNs. The twists were fun, and I'm excited for more! I really wanna see you develop this style and figure out what works the most for you and your readers! πŸ˜„

Fluffy: ShowHide
This comic was short, but also perfect. I'm sure I'm biased because Aiko is my character and you nailed her personality for a perfect punchline. I just wanna keep re-reading this comic over and over!

Your colors are rich and vibrant and make your comic stand out in terms of polish, even though your backgrounds are minimal. I am noticing a few places where you could get a bit more careful with making things look more realistic, such as Asteria's hands on her phone and the shape of the phone itself. Your somewhat loose style works excellent for facial expressions and body language, but imo inanimate objects and body parts that don't have a specific reason to be stylized or exaggerated should have a little extra care put into them to make them look more like they look irl.

Bones' profile image is perfect, his name is perfect, his whole bio is perfect. The way you wrote Aiko is perfect. All the expressions are perfect. I love the phone charm Asteria has, and I love that she prioritizes astrology in choosing a match. Seems very on brand for her πŸ˜†

Awesome job, both of you! Can't wait for your round 2 comics!!!

# 11   Posted: Feb 7 2022, 03:27 AM
Snowy- I loved this!! You conveyed so much personality with simple hand gestures and expressions, it really was a treat. Asteria is my kind of character, she's mysterious but whimsical, it's a cute combo. I love how utterly standoffish Bones is, but he can't help but be a lil engaged in the conversation, this was really fun to read.

Fluff- Oh my god. Each panel could be its own shitpost...I love it.
The star sign joke at the start made me laugh, I know girls like that.

# 10   Posted: Feb 4 2022, 05:42 AM
Snowy: I feel like this had all the charming points of a date sim, your style and the expressions you put on for display were super cute! I think the way you handled this was a good use of time to pump out the art you did, and the 'crayon' style lines really add to that whimsy of the encounter!

Fluff: perpetually screaming over BoneDaddy69. Short quick and dirty, loved it!

# 9   Posted: Feb 3 2022, 04:19 PM
Snowy: First off, I really love the art overall and specifically that background! I love the sketchy brush, it's funand gives a sort of loose, chill vibe to everything. I think Cro hit on most of the ways this could've been better--namely I think the use of speech bubbles was indeed a misstep. I think using the text boxes at the bottom of the "screen" could've helped sell the Visual Novel angle, and also could've allowed you to have used a bit more dialogue. Comics rely more on visuals, whereas visual novels rely more on text. Don't be afraid to get a little wordy! I did like the bit with Bones just ending it like five seconds in cuz she's not dead XD but I do wish there had been juuuust a bit more at the end; it did feel like it ended rather abruptly, and not necessarily in a cliffhanger way. A cliffhanger should end on a question, in a way, and this feels like it could've used just one more panel or so to give us the question of "will Bones take the deal"--as is, it feels a little like we're still on the "Bones is figuring out what's being offered to him" stage?

Fluffs: This was a really solid setup! The art's all really solid, I like the use of teals to contrast with the purples of both characters--though I think I would've made the phone's background be a different color, because it took me a moment to figure out what was going on. Usually phone apps have white or dark gray as a background, so the teal made it not necessarily read as an app on a phone.
Much like with Snowy's, I think this could've benefitted from just one more panel to really make the joke land--it feels like the final panel is a setup for a punchline (which, I think, would have been Bones' reaction to the message, either in text or by cutting to a panel of the date itself--or else perhaps getting to actually see Asteria's reaction to this) rather than a complete joke, if that makes sense? Though I think part of that may be related to the fact that it's a setup for a date rather than the date itself, lol.
also Bonedaddy69 got a real good giggle out of me XD

# 8   Posted: Feb 3 2022, 03:38 PM
I like how you guys both got experimental and tried out new formats for the Speed setting on our dry cycle. I think you both are going to pick up a lot of fresh tips and tricks by doing this. even if it feels like a flop, artists DO learn by just throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks. I feel like i'm watching successive seasons of Battle Bots, watching as designers figure out what mechanism to exploit for competition.

Snowy: it took me about 30% through the read to realize we're going for a dating sim or visual novel vibe, and reading Reecer's review explains why. The hesitancy to reuse assets is the main thing. What should have helped you to save time and create a longer story probably felt like too much of a compromise , I'm guessing. hopefully, you won't give up on the format and can expand it further in future projects! for example, why not make it actually have like one branch of a narrative, where the readers have to 'flip to page 7' or see what their choice brings them? ups re-readability, at least. story wise, I think it was cool to offer a wish to Bones. but this cliff hanger is one we know we won't get answered, at least, not likely so in this tournament. so why not put the wish offer at the beginning of the interaction, or near it, and boldly decide for Bones what the wish is? then, Fluff can decide if she wants to keep that canon or not in the next round. i can def see the influence of the previous NDA comics feat Arthur and David Birtch, here. But I recall people not understanding the cliff hanger endings in that and the reason Flytee offered those cliff hangers was the promise of the continuing narrative in the next round: but in this non-bracket tournament, it will be more of a challenge to continue the story.

Fluff, i like where you're going with this, too. 'sunday morning strip' is starting to catch on around here, lately, and you've learned well from the previous speed tournament in which Pita made a dog joke and 'put some polish on it,' as she said in her interview. You've made it so it looks really clean, Fluff. But panel layout is a little stilted. I'd say, don't be afraid to keep it even more simple for this style of comicing. story wise, i like how you avoid the whole topic of whether these characters would have chemistry or not by making Bones the butt of the joke, getting trolled (off screen) on a dating ap. We never even get to see his reaction. The story is generously giving the spotlight to Asteria instead. Also, I love the way you've adopted the 'Bonedaddy' screen name from our big collab-battle last year. XD thanks, that was my joke,( never thought it'd make it in to the final cut), and now i feel immortal.

I think everyone in this tournament would be right to try to get as experimental as you two have: after all, there is no elimination cycle, and there will be 5 over all winners. and the spirit of the stories is, so far, so sweet and gentle, we'd be silly to get strung up on story and character problems, too.

# 7   Posted: Feb 2 2022, 07:22 PM
Thank you so much for the advice, Cro! I really appreciate you taking the time to type that all out! I'll try to apply that to my next round since I kind of want to practice this format a bit more. : )

# 6   Posted: Feb 2 2022, 03:31 PM
Snowy: some nice art and a fun convo, even if a bit faster than i'd expect (but that's kind of a vibe). however, and i fully respect that this is obviously a first try experimental format and experiments are cool, but i don't think this comic really utilizes the vn format well (and i think examining why is inherently interesting!).

for one, i don't think you're required to reuse portrait art for quantity over quality, and it's certainly nice you didn't, but it does stick out to me, and make this feel more like a comic with some strict compositional choices. and more than that, using traditional comic word bubbles kind of straight denies it. more than anything, the strict textbox format kind of defines vns, gives them a real consistent backbone. yes, it doesn't let you have the equivalent of multiple bubbles in a box... but that's what asset reuse is for! and anyways, the use of the in and out bubbles to denote either party regardless of who's actually visible, though consistent, is very unclear to me on a first read, which kind of affirms to me that it's a poor choice for the format. i think a more strict screen-like format with a textbox would also benefit the comic, because at the end, where asteria goes all asterious, you could more clearly break out of that format and sell her overstepping boundaries!

that's not to say "this was all clearly wrong from the beginning, why didn't you just copy what fred did in their vn comics," i completely understand these choices, and they're worth trying out!

# 5   Posted: Feb 2 2022, 07:29 AM
Wow lovely lovely art on both sides! Snowy, great art as always and that textured pencil you used brought a whole new character to your style. Love it. Fluffs, Gosh...your colors really bring a lot of OOMPH to your already dynamic and animated art.

Also you two left me wanting for continuation on both stories WTF. Gimme more.

# 4   Posted: Feb 2 2022, 06:43 AM
Oh gosh, I adore yours, Fluff! Aiko is such an awful friend. XD

Thanks so much for the battle!

# 3   Posted: Feb 2 2022, 04:13 AM
Lovely comics, you guys!!!! πŸ˜„

# 2   Posted: Feb 2 2022, 03:47 AM
Ooh very good comics, if a little short xD both quite creative.

# 1   Posted: Feb 2 2022, 12:18 AM
SNOWY!!! I love it! You made Bones look so pleasant!!

Comic Details -

Drawing Time: 1 week
Ended: Feb 9th, 2022
Votes Cast: 22
Page Views: 348
Winner: Snowy

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