zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

McFalls, Jerell


Sent to you by Jack via Google Reader:


via Optical Sloth by admin on 8/19/09



Battles of Paradise #1

I'll freely confess to a bit of a double standard in my reviewing policy.  If somebody sends me a comic that looks terrible, has misspelled words all over the place and no discernible story, AND they've sent much better stuff in the past, I'll probably tear it apart.  If, however, somebody is sending me their first comic, and it has more than a few flaws, I tend to try a different approach: offering some (here's hoping) practical advice.  Jerell is 18, this appears to be his first comic, and he has a few basics to learn.  I'm a big fan of everybody doing comics, and it's clear that he has a decent imagination, so this should in no way be taken as discouragement from doing more comics.  That being said, much needs to be improved here.  Full disclosure: this is an anime-style comic, something I probably wouldn't have liked anyway, just to throw that out there.  The story here, which would be a little difficult to tell if it wasn't for the synopsis he thoughtfully included, is that demons are hunting after a princess for her land, and a young boy keeps popping up in time to save her.  She develops an instant crush and eventually gives him some of her power so he can become a demon slayer.  The trouble is that I was never able to really get into the story because of the number of basic errors contained.  The sample page should give you a clue, but here are my suggestions, and this may well go for some of you people who think you have this comics thing down pat as well.  First, use a spell check.  I know, they don't come installed on the comics page. If you're not a particularly good speller, go to a place like dictionary.com and type in every word that's more than two syllables.  It sounds ridiculous, I know, but you'd be amazed at how many errors this can fix, and the more times you do it, the more you're likely to learn.  For example, "couragous" looks right if you don't know any better, but they crammed an "e" in there towards the end.  Next, keep your letters in the word bubbles/boxes.  Maybe once or twice in a comic you can creep outside the lines a bit, or maybe if that's an aesthetic choice for your comic.  If it happens multiple times on every page, you need to plan your dialogue a bit better.  If all else fails, write the words in first and then box them in.   You also need to know when to use "to" or "too", "their" or "they're", etc.  It drives me batty, and I know I'm not alone on that.  You also shouldn't need to write what's happening in the panels, as Jerell will often use [runs] or [fall].   You have to trust in your ability to be able to show that action in the panel, as in most of the cases where he used brackets I could already see what was happening.  In general, don't be afraid to use bigger panels.  There were a few battle scenes in here where everything was crammed into little panels and the brackets really were necessary.  Solution: give more room for the action.  I hope this doesn't come across like I'm picking on the guy, but when you're 18 a knowledge of the basics will take you a long way.  Here's hoping I get to see Battles of Paradise #2 to see what leaps the man has taken forward, but I'd chalk #1 up, except to the most diehard of anime fans, as a learning experience.  No price listed, I'm guessing a couple of bucks.



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