Graphic novel pages - Critiques welcome and appreciated
I'm just in the process of dusting off some pages (literally) from a graphic novel that I started a couple years ago. I have the entire 200 page book scripted, and the whole thing storyboarded. Now I'm just going through some partially finished pages, trying to see if things are working at the very basic levels. I would imagine I will need to go back and seriously tweak everything. The images below are from the first several pages of the book.
The pages won't make much sense without actual dialogue, but do they read in a far as there is an intelligible sequence?
Any thoughts/critiques welcome. I'm interested in everything from storytelling to inking to character designs, etc. Anything will help.
I like it so far. The inking is clear, there's character consistency troughout the pages, good expresions and body language and you keep it interesting with the different angles/shots. The only thing that I see is that the book shelves seems weird, Its a combination of the shape and that I don't know if they're embedded on the wall or not? The other thing is in the first panel, the girls seem to be standing next to a table that is also next to the shelves? I don't know where they're standing in the room. Hope this helps and keep up the good work!
@Javier-Algarra Thanks for the kind words.
I agree with you regarding the background. I didn't have a very strong vision for the inside of the room. I was mostly making it up as I went along, which is leading to visual confusion. If the artist doesn't know what the room is supposed to look like, how is the reader supposed to figure it out?
@cowboyseth You're welcome! I believe a some comic book artists use Google Sketchup or similar software for making basic layouts and for background consistency, so maybe you could check that up.
These look really great - I like the action and the character. I am wondering if the inking is too "heavy", but this is a question of style and if it is consistent and works for the story there is nothing to be said against it. It definitely looks pretty accomplished.
For layout, you should definitely check out Google SketchUp. It is an immense help and I use it whenever I have to draw an environment from different angles. Just last month I modelled a kitchen and a classroom for a series of illustrations. There are ways to do that manually, but it costs a lot more time, and SketchUp is a life saver for that.
Hope to see this published someday!
Thanks, @smceccarelli. Looks like I'll have to give Sketchup a try. How long did it take you to model the environment? Is it worth the time investment for a one-time use scene? Or is it mostly good for backgrounds used multiple time in a project?
@cowboyseth It depends. SketchUp has a large community of people who make and upload models for everyone to share (especially furniture and construction businesses do that as a way to promote their products) - so very often you can kitbash another model, or build the room (which takes less than 5 minutes) and then put in the furniture you need from the model library. It if is a fancier environment or machine with lots of fantasy elements, I normally just block in the volumes with basic shapes and go from there - it is then more to know where everything is and keep it consistent.
The most complex model I built was a student´s room with kitchenette for a short graphic novel that had only one location (so I had to draw it from half a hundred different viewpoints) - that took about a day of work but also used about 20-30 models from the library (I even put in the dirty plates in the sink). Normally, a rough model would take less than an hour of work. For the classroom, I just used an existing classroom model and changed the position of the chairs, added computers and gave the room a different shape - definitely less than an hour.
It is important to say that Sketchup models are very "stiff". They are wonderful for viewing a place from different angles and sorting out the position of things in multiple panels or illustrations, but not as a direct reference - otherwise your drawings look like architectural renders. Normally, I draw my own grid using the Sketchup model as reference, mark out the position of things and then draw free, using the grid and all the other references needed. But the time saving in figuring out positions and distances is enormous!