I did a graphic novel sample chapter! I'd love to know what you think :D
braydin hawlette last edited by braydin hawlette
I've been spamming the virtual studio thread for a while with WIP of some graphic novel pages, and now it's done! I'd love it if anyone could take a look and let me know if they spot any egregious errors or unforgiveable comic-making sins!
link is here
and this is what it looks like!
I’ll take a look and revert with potential egregious errors; however, at quick glance - it’s amazing.
More to follow.
Hi @braydin-hawlette , just finished a read during lunch.
Firstly, great artwork, story building, and character creation! These characters are very believable and interesting! I especially love the girl using sign language. The color harmony and soft backgrounds are very well done too.
As far as the story goes, it’s definitely interesting and exciting!
However, I’m left thinking the following items:
- Will this be continued?
- Why / how does the big dog talk?
- Where did all the friends go?
- Do Martin and Milton make it home? The story ends in the trainyard, so… just wondering if our main characters make it?
As far as editing goes, I only found 1 small speech bubble overlapping tax (screen shot below), and suggest a minor edit in the novel synopsis (also screenshot).
I didn’t find any tangents! Well done.
I can definitely see this graphic novel being published; it’s excellent!
Thanks for sharing with us.
Oh yeah, very cool how the wind sound onomatopoeia follows physical items such as the rail cars! You really do pay attention to detail.
Will this be continued?
Probably not as a graphic novel too much work, honestly. But maybe as an illustrated middle grade novel series!
Why / how does the big dog talk?
Why? Because Martin promised Biscuit a whole wheel of gouda and whatever food was about to bad in his fridge in exchange for making sure Milton never ever walks through the trainyard again.
How? Biscuit does what he likes. He doesn't think too hard about the "how".
Where did all the friends go?
Since it was cold and wet they decided to go to Mattea's house (has the best snacks on hand). They didn't go with Martin because they absolutely detest Milton. Really, really hate Milton. Also, if they were close to Martin's house he would pester them until they came over to play vintage video games. Shane, Tienna and Mattea HATE playing those old video games and find Martin's house depressing. Also, Milton's there. They hate Milton. Friggin' Milton... Ugh.
Do Martin and Milton make it home? The story ends in the trainyard, so… just wondering if our main characters make it?
They do indeed. Biscuit is disinterested in eating children. People tend to clue into his presence when he eats children. Coyotes, though, Coyotes are fine.
@jeremy-ross I'll fix the speech bubble! Good catch! I'll make that change to the synopsis, too.
Thanks for taking a look! Glad you liked it
Cheers @braydin-hawlette! Good stuff!
StudioLooong last edited by
Wow Braden, this is fantastic. I read through the sample chapter. The story in engaging, the characters are distinct and everything is impeccably designed and drawn.
One nit-picky thing is that I can't quite peg what time of year it is. The hats and scarves are telling me fall/winter, the trees are skewing it towards fall, but then the grass is so lush and green, and when Milton walks past the houses there are a bunch of blooming flowers by the sidewalk. Those are things I associate more with spring. If you're intending for it to be fall-ish, I'd make the grass look a little more dormant and kill the flower garden - or maybe switch it out for cold hearty decor like gourds or mums.
I also really love that you've included a character that uses sign language but I challenge you to make the hand graphics in her speech bubbles more than a signifier that she's signing. It would add a lot of value if you could actually "read" her signs if you knew sign language. Maybe you could have graphics that are more representative of what she is signing more prominently in the bubble with the translation under it. Something like this, (I've taken signs from ASL, not sure if Canada's are different:
Thanks! Glad to know it looks good
One nit-picky thing is that I can't quite peg what time of year it is. The hats and scarves are telling me fall/winter, the trees are skewing it towards fall, but then the grass is so lush and green, and when Milton walks past the houses there are a bunch of blooming flowers by the sidewalk.
It certainly not obvious! In the town I used to teach in (and a lot of the lower mainland) the trees turn orange, but the grass stays green. I think think you're right that there shouldn't be flowers, though! I'll fix that It's that magical time of year where things are juuuuuuuust above freezing so it's both wet AND super cold.
but I challenge you to make the hand graphics in her speech bubbles more than a signifier that she's signing. It would add a lot of value if you could actually "read" her signs if you knew sign language.
I made a valiant attempt! The tea party bubble USED to be a kid's name (Dylan Wilkins, hence the "DW". Mr. Bear used to be party to the fact that Mattea had a crush on Dyland Wilkins, lol) and I did used the sign for "really" as best I could (harder than it looks!)
I was thinking that I could draw one or two of the words from what Tienna's saying in order to keep things lean. I think if I were to continue this comic I would need to put in a LOT of research to keep things accurate and respectful (I'd go take lessons, honestly). I also realized that I used the wrong sign for "really" in that context (I think)
I will fix the tea parties bubble, though! Illustrating sign language is hard than it looks!
Asyas_illos last edited by
@braydin-hawlette AMAZING! and your website AMAZING!
kayleenartlover last edited by
@braydin-hawlette I read the whole chapter. It looks so good! How long did it take to make it (after doing the pre-production stuff like storyboarding/character design)? Also how did you decide on the size and dpi of the canvas for each page when drawing them vs uploading?
Love the dialogue and thought bubbles for giving context more naturally rather than forced exposition. And the hook at the end was very good. I am so curious what the story is gonna be about in the next chapter, and the whole novel.
I did catch a couple minor mistakes on the first page. One had to do with an inconsistency in character placement between two middle frames, where the boy walks past a kid but it looks like he passed two. So it's like the sweater girl teleported from Shane's right, to standing on their left. I've seen animated movies where they had the same problem happen between cuts, so it's pretty easy to overlook for time-consuming projects like that. The only other thing I noticed is the last frame on the first page, where one of the gloves didn't get colored in. I only noticed because the other one was being waved around and the color was eye-catching.
If they're easy to fix, you could if you wanted to, but I would just work on the next chapter and lookout for those moving forward. Great job! Can't wait for the next update.
So sorry for the long reply, I just get really excited about this stuff.
How long did it take to make it (after doing the pre-production stuff like storyboarding/character design)? Also how did you decide on the size and dpi of the canvas for each page when drawing them vs uploading?
After thumbnailing and laying out all the text and speech bubbles, I'd guess a little more than a page a day. Since it was a portfolio project I used 8.5x11 as the size and 400 DPI (I like to be able to enlarge things a little if I need to) and for upload size I just told Clip Studio to export all the pages at 50% and it went to town
I did catch a couple minor mistakes on the first page. One had to do with an inconsistency in character placement between two middle frames, where the boy walks past a kid but it looks like he passed two.
I crossed the line on the first page, absolutely! I noticed that one too and decided it wasn't worth fixing though maybe I should!
The only other thing I noticed is the last frame on the first page, where one of the gloves didn't get colored in
Well I'll be damned. I missed a mitten. I missed a friggin' mitten. I hate those mittens so, so much... I'm never having mittens on strings on a character ever ever again At least that's an easy fix! Thanks!
kayleenartlover last edited by
@braydin-hawlette Haha! Well mittens are kinda like socks, very easy to lose or misplace, and never have to draw them again. Mwahaha!
Thank you for answering my questions as well. Definitely gonna save it for reference later.
Melissa_Bailey last edited by Melissa_Bailey
Braden, it's awesome that you strive to show diversity in your illustrations, and including a Deaf character is great!
Going to agree with Taylor -- if you're going to include ASL, you need to make sure that it's accurate. Otherwise, you may end up offending the Deaf or hard of hearing rather than including them.
I'm going to take her challenge one step further and challenge you to consult with a Deaf person or someone who knows Deaf culture to ensure that your graphic novel is respectful and as accurate as possible. It's not just the ASL errors that are an issue. It's how the story is written and how the characters are portrayed that shows a lack of knowledge about sign language etiquette and Deaf culture.
How come the Deaf girl is the only one signing? How does she know what everyone else is saying if they're not signing? Do her friends know sign language? Does she read their lips? If this is something that I noticed and questioned, as someone who is not deaf but who is fluent in ASL, you can be sure that your Deaf and hard-of-hearing readers will notice it immediately and ask the same questions.
Quick Deaf culture lesson: it's considered rude to talk around a Deaf person if you know sign language. That means that if a group of friends contains one Deaf person and all the rest are hearing, if they all know sign language, ALL of their voices should be off and all of them should be signing. So to a Deaf person, the whole exchange of this scene either doesn't make sense because they're wondering how clear communication is happening ... or they think that everyone is rude because they're talking to their Deaf friend instead of signing.
Just an example of what might appear inclusive and neat to someone who doesn't know ASL or isn't aware of the culture, but someone who knows the language and is a part of the culture might feel and react differently. Hence the challenge: consult with an authenticity reader.
Again, props to you for including a Deaf character. It's SUPER hard to try to clearly capture the motion of signing in an illustration! You've given yourself quite a challenge, but you're uber-talented so I'm confident you're up to the task! Looking forward to seeing more awesome things from you!
@melissa_bailey All good points! If this were to be published in any way shape or form or if I were to use this as a vehicle for a webcomic I would absolutely approach someone who is immersed in Deaf culture (or invest in some lessons!)
However, story-wise I was thinking that Tienna is not unable to hear, but instead unable to speak. It's very VERY rare in children beyond selective mutism, (which the school, doctor and Tienna's parents are convinced is the issue). However it's abnormally prevalent in Ravensbarrow due to the creature in the lake stealing newborn's voices on the 7th new moon every other year.
That being said, though:
Even if Tienna CAN hear there's still a whole culture that I need to explore beyond just throwing some hand-symbols into bubbles.
it's probably a better idea (especially in this short comic where she has only a few lines) to switch that up and have Mattea sign back! It means that I get to draw more gestures, and it's more easily understood by the audience what's going on. Martin and Shane (at this point) do not know ASL, but Mattea would absolutely know how to talk with her friend.
Besides, the creature in the lake is probably much more interested in eyes
Thank you for the in depth feedback (and challenge!) Can I bug you with questions and show you changes once I've made them?
@melissa_bailey I made some changes! Martin and Shane (seeing as they don't usually hang out with Tienna and Mattea) cannot yet use ASL, but Mattea does, and so signs unless she is ticked off and shouting (anger management is an issue in her family) or in the act of cycling or hurling Mr. bear.
Thank you again for the feedback
Asyas_illos last edited by
@braydin-hawlette never mind my last post! I didn’t read it thoroughly enough! It’s great!
Melissa_Bailey last edited by Melissa_Bailey
@braydin-hawlette good solutions. Even if for right now there is no plan to publish and it is just up on your website -- if it's a portfolio piece, you may still want to make sure that what you show is accurate.
Wow, it sounds like there is A LOT of backstory and worldbuilding that we don't see in this chapter! That's awesome! Is there a way to include some of those salient character points in the excerpt? In my opinion, it would be helpful to know that Tienna can hear but doesn't speak. Does that add to the story? If not, if you want the focus to stay on the brothers, then it might be clearer for the reader to have Tienna say nothing (i.e. no signing) in this chapter -- leave that for later.
And yes, of course you can pick my brain and ask any questions. Happy to share what I know!
ruth last edited by
Wow! Brilliant @braydin-hawlette! I was too engrossed in the story to notice any errors. I love all your characters, the story and your world-building, and Milton is so, so very annoying!
lizardillo last edited by
This is truly awesome! I can’t add any feedback to what has been said already especially regarding the sign language element (which I think is a great thing to try). Even with the minor errors, it’s still a technical masterpiece.
I’m sure I’m not the only one but this has really inspired me to try a comic again. I don’t have a story but as I would love to try my CBPro course as a comic somehow as I know I’m not a traditional children’s picture book artist. Thanks for sharing this and all of the processes. And thanks for sharing your Clip Studio session you did. I have watched it quite a few times.
danielerossi last edited by
Wow that is awesome work! Love the colour palette and the integration of sign language. The action and story build up and ominous silhouettes.