Monday, July 7, 2014

Playing with the Art Style

My last post I talked about working on my overall style as a first step toward getting back to the webcomic world.  I took page 1 and colored it in several different ways.  Each has their strengths and weaknesses.  I wanted to put them all side-by-side and see what they look like.  The house is supposed to be old with the last paint job coming in the 1980s.  The colors are supposed to be a bit odd and will be part of the plot.

Coloring is one of the skills I'm weakest at.  Tell me what you think.  What elements of each do you like and not like?  I'm good with constructive critique.  If I did a webcomic, which should I use?

This is the original black and white line work drawn with a pencil and black ink pens.

This version uses colored pencils and watercolor pencils.  

I did one with crayon on a whim.  

This one was made with Prismacolor markers

This last one I colored in

All art created and copyright by Michael Dyer 2014.  Permission to share is not granted.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Art Project

Many of you may not know but there was a time I was a webcartoonist.  I published about 90 strips of "Heroes of Audio Land," a silly superhero comic, 56 pages of  "Action Figure Cinema," and a couple dozen of "Blackberry House" and "Magic and Miracles."

Action Figure Cinema #18 - 2006

I've had a few stories floating around in my head for years and I've decided to explore making a new comic.

To do this I will need to figure out the art style.  I'm usually a pretty lazy artist and I would like to use this as a way to expand my artistic skill.

This is the drawing I have been working on for the first page.  The ink layer is basically done.  It was originally drawn to be shown in black and white but have been playing around with the color.  I digitally colored it last night.  Today I'm going to color it twice more.  Once with Prismacolor markers and once with high quality watercolor pencils.  Once they are all done I will scan all of them side by side and see what you all think.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Opposite Worlds Review

I'm a fan of reality competition TV.  I love Survivor and other shows similar to it.  So I thought Opposite Worlds would be cool.  Two teams, one in a house with all the modern luxuries and the other in a cave with almost nothing struggle to win challenges for $100K.  The show's premise was good but they did so much wrong.

1.  The host talks constantly.  There are so many buzzwords and show specific jargon that he spends a lot of time trying to tell what is going on.  When there is a challenge and he is doing the play-by-play there is almost no excitement.  The live TV aspect also leaves him forgetting lines, stuttering, and losing his place quite often.  I have no doubt that Jeff Probst has his moments on Survivor but at least they are edited out.

I was not a fan of his when he hosted Capture for the same reasons.

2.  Frank.  They guy is fun and I'm sure I would want to hang out with him.  Putting one person in the game that is so physically dominating that no one else can even compete with him is poor casting.  The audience needs to believe that anyone has a chance but Frank dragged his teams to victory over and over again largely because the show relied so heavily on physical challenges.

3.  The challenges were overwhelmingly physical.  There were a few puzzles and communications parts but by and large it was all about the brawn.  When it got time for the semi-finals to reduce the players to two they brought in a trivia challenge.  I don't mind that at all, but instead of players racing to get a certain number correct there were only 6 questions.  Whoever had the highest score would win.  The last question didn't even matter.  Better would be to give a target number and then someone who is behind could fight their way back into it.  

4.  The rules changed a lot. As a viewer I like to know what is going on.  A challenge, a decider, a protected (oh the jargon) and two people competing to stay in it.  Great.  But then one team has too many members so we balance the teams by switching one.  Then we have a team just vote someone out of the game like it was Survivor.  Then the quarter-finalists pick who they want to go into the semi-finalists with.  Have one system and stick with it.

5.  So Frank wins.  Hurrah and all that.  He stands up on top to give his victory cheer (roar?) and the fireworks go off.  They are so bright the camera literally can't see him any more.  On top of that they panned way out so we saw the tower he was on but not him.  The host droned on unemotionally about the victor.  Bad.

I can't imagine this show being renewed.  If it is, I hope that they figure out some formula to make it fair and interesting.  A new host, consistent rules, and more balance in players and challenges would help.