bad news: I crammed far too many words on this page
good news: I couldn’t cram in as many as I wanted
better news: the awful hospital part is almost over
bad news: “almost” means in about three or so pages, which will take me as many months to finish
worse news: I don’t know what happens next yet.
Elpz seems unconcerned with, or worse, entirely oblivious to the fact that it is the only character on the page that is naked. The hat, being an item of clothing, is exempt, and it wears a stylish feather, besides.
Yet one more indicator I should switch to a fixed width, vertical format without page barriers. Apparently eliminating excess dialogue and space-wasting non-gags is not an option. I just don’t like the idea of drawing big stupid backgrounds for frames where only one character is visible.
Also, it is becoming apparent I that have some perverse fascination with mail delivery. However, I do not. I merely am not terribly creative when it (it being something) comes to plot devices.
I am not soliciting them, but I am open to dialog simplification suggestions. Do you think you could write this better than I could? Then you’re probably right!
I wouldn’t worry too much about cutting down on dialogue; the rambling, goofy word-bandying between characters is simply part of this particular work’s writing style, and indeed one of its idiosyncratic charms. Though there are a few things that could probably be expressed a wee bit more concisely on this page, I think the dialogue problems here stem not so much from quantity per se as from the fact that a) it seems crammed into panels which aren’t large enough for it to comfortably fit in, and b) it disproportionately belongs to Inchwelm, who, despite addressing various other characters, still somehow comes off as though zuh’s talking to biv’s self. The first of these could be easily eliminated through the layout change you mentioned. I’ve actually had the suspicion for some time now that the (relatively) fixed panel size was becoming an increasing hindrance for you, and a more free-flowing layout would probably greatly increase the æsthetic appeal and natural flow of the comic.
As for the second issue…it’s not so much a problem that Inchwelm blabs so much here (Inchwelm seems the type who enjoys hearing the sound of biv’s own voice, anyway), but rather that nobody else seems to be saying anything substantial in return; the expected back-and-forth is missing here. This was decidedly not the case in the last page; the Inchwelm-Muffineater interactions work quite well there, but here they seem to almost be talking past one another. This phenomenon seems even more pronounced with Elpse, who seems oddly passive considering biv’s challenging statement at the end of the last page as well as all previous interactions with Inchwelm. What’s more, despite biv’s normal Schlagfertigkeit in situations such as these, it takes Elpse until the very last panel to come up with a snappy retort — and there this particular page ends, rather abruptly, cutting things off just as they were getting interesting.
I also wonder if perhaps panel four (the overhead) might not be best dropped entirely. The whole “way” joke goes on “way” too long; it really isn’t all that great to begin with; Elpse’s response seems especially weak in comparison with his last comment; and the next panel switches topics, anyway. More seriously still, the shift in “camera position” from window-to-the-right to window-to-the-left blatantly violates the 180 degree rule, which makes the whole thing stick out violently and completely throws off the rhythm of the entire page.
That said, I do like that you’re experimenting with more dynamic compositions on this page; while the dialogue suffers in comparison to the last page, the art is a clear improvement (aforementioned awkward perspective shift aside). The sixth panel is easily my favorite. Now that’s an effective use of panel space. The muncher in the gift basket is also an inspired touch.
But if we purge panel 4, do we not consequentially lose the reference to unfortunately shaped lizardy peoples?
In other news, I couldn’t help but notice that your more culturally relevant comics have severed all connections and have gone into self-imposed exile. I assume this is because you were never especially proud of those Bob and/or George-era creations, but I feel like they are significant enough to have a link in your Refuse section, at least. You don’t have to if you don’t want to, of course. I mostly just want to see them again because I wanted to use Wheelchair Roll as a reference for something I made a few weeks ago, though the deadline for that thing has passed so it’s not like I can actually use such a reference now, but I can only assume that sometime in the future I will be handed a golden opportunity to make a gloriously obscure reference to Bimshwelian lore by way of disgruntled handicapped person(s), and I’d rather not miss out on that opportunity.
Historical note: I neglected to save the image Pigbuster originally posted here, but based on the filename “thedelgos.png” I acquired a relevant replacement that seemed to approximate a generic sitcom family
I think the biggest problem with the replacement panel is that it, er, still looks to violate the 180-degree rule. Maybe it might be best to simply have the curtain rod parallel to the frame bottom (and the wall parallel to the right side of the frame). This is admittedly a somewhat a slightly interesting setup, but if I’ve learned one thing from previous experiences trying to piece together hastily shot films, it’s that one occasionally has to settle for a less interesting individual shot for the sake of over-all visual coherence. The new dialogue is a considerable improvement, though.
Buster o’ Pigs: Thank you so much for the nightmare fuel. I suspect I might have lived a much happier life had I continued to remain ignorant as the the source of the aforementioned allusion. Alas, ’twas apparently not to be.
I’d like to reuse that in a context where I can better show elpss being offended by it. Although so few people know about it that I may be best off not bothering. Although I’m told it will, after 3/4 of a year, soon be released on dvd, with a likely accompanying advertising tornado to go with it, and this seems just the right time to have a deragatory reference to it. Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm. I have stupid problems.
They do have a link in my refuse section, as they have since I made that section. I took the link off the newer comic’s page because I was finally optimistic that they had, after five years, possibly been deemed “acceptable” by more people. Also, I didn’t like all the between-strip backstory reading / whine enduring that was necessary to make sense of things, particularly the ocscscwcift and super-ho references.
Turner Netork Television:
Yet one more layout difficulty is the impossibility of removing or adding something without messing up everything elpse. I don’t think I’ll make a third one right just now. I frequently change frame contents in my layouts, so that the left swaps with the right to be more consistent, but I forgot about that one. I didn’t know there was a “rule” about that. Its name is misleading if it forbids any disorienting view change.
I imagine the response delay results from elps taking stock of it and nemitz’s’z altered situations, although I suppose you don’t get a sense of that unless I imply that they are conversing while not seen. And perhaps this would be an exchange worth seeing. Eh, well, now it is too late to change that without redoing the whole page. I probably should, but for the moment I’d rather eat a U-Boat than draw any of these scenes again.
I didn’t want to have four frames of just inchwelm talking. Also, I wanted this page to end with elpse getting in inchwelm’s business. This allows you to think “what will happen?” for a while before seeing the disappointing follow up. If I start the next page with that, you’ll quickly see “oh, nothing happened. As usual,” without getting a chance to consider better possibilities. It may seem to a person “things were getting interesting, but then they didn’t” instead of “when will things get interesting?” These probably have about the same effect, but for a moment there is false hope. I guess that’s not very considerate of me. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to set up a confrontation. This is true in my life, as well. I don’t like to start anything I can’t undo. Why, then, do I use a content delivery system which constantly leads me to visual dead ends? Because I don’t know what I’m doing! Except I do know; I just told you I did. My problem is that I don’t know how to do what I should be doing.
Logic TNT2 by Steve Horelick:
I live only to serve. It’s annoying, because the director/writer/producer/lord of all things wild says in interviews how it annoys him that all western animation is stuck in the hands of the overlords that are the children, which is a decent thing to fight against (it would be much better if he realized that the far more serious relationship animation needs to break its ties with is that of the moviemaking industry, but I’d rather save that subject for some other time), and I’m like “Yes, but why try and rebel against such a thing by way of uncanny-valley inhabitant lizardoes enacting a clichéd plot that is only fit for, irony alert, mediocre children’s cartoons?”
So there is! My mistake, I think it completely slipped my mind that “Umiliphus” had anything to do with the things I seeked. Never mind what I said, then.
On 180 degrees and the rules related to it:
Basically, don’t set up adjacent panel’s viewpoints in a way that makes the characters appear to swap places. I think the problem is that Inchwelm is coming between two characters rather than from the right, which is how he seems to be coming in from 9 (he’s facing left, for one thing. There’s probably more things, but I’m not too great at the comics-ing so I can’t give any decent suggestions). I guess that’s confusing, but nnnhh, I liked the old panel better than the rough new one, and we need Inchwelm to get in the middle anyway if we are to get that nifty panel 12. The dialogue is much better, though.
A violation of the rule in question does occur in panels 2-3, but if you ask me, it’s not that big a deal, for a few reasons, the most important of which being that Inchwelm’s word bubbles are set up so they flow directly into each other. This lets the reader make the connection between the viewpoint flip easier, since they make the connection with Inchwelm first and gradually see how everything works out.
This is a big difference between comics and film in this regard. The transitions between comics aren’t sudden cuts like they are in movies; the reader goes off of one panel and into the next from the opposite side they went out from (usually). There is a flow there that can be used to make things like drastic viewpoint changes work, whereas in film the cut transition is immediate, and if the viewer is looking at one character and it’s suddenly replaced with another, then there will be hell to pay. The only sudden transition in comics is between pages, and that’s not the same thing. I’m actually just making this up as I type, but it sounds right to me, anyway. Must investigate further.
Inchwelm also flips from side to side in the last set of panels, but since he’s doing that by way of moving around, it doesn’t strike me as confusing. All this talk of rules makes me feel the need to point out that all the pro-tips in the world pale to the most important rule: if it looks good, it’s good. Guidelines can help show the way, but the key is to improve one’s perception of what “good” is to a point at which such things will be unnecessary. An arduous process, yes, but that’s the way such things are. As long as one is willing to improve, one will get there eventually, which is nice.
I agree that Elpse’s finding of Nemitz’s newfound walking prowess deserves to be seen and not pushed off-panel. If I may make a rather drastic suggestion, notice that Nemitz actually left the room right after he first started walking. He could be removed entirely from the newest panels, leaving just Elpse, Inchwelm and an empty chair (the chair could be removed, even, if one is in the mood for destruction), which would change the comic in that Nemitz wouldn’t have returned since he left. This would let Elpse and Nemitz meet later on somewhere else, where the responses of such revelations could be seen in full.
Inchwelm’s dialogue would have to be changed from “that, there” to “the red one” or something, and he could be pointing at… something else, but those changes seem far easier and with less art altercation than any other alternative I can think of. The only problem I can see is that Elpse would be less concerned than perhaps he should be by Nemitz’s absense, but given that so little time has passed in these last panel sets, it’s excusable. He only just figured out he’s in a bed, after all, and when there’s an unnecessary fight to be had, everything else comes afterwards for Elpse. Or something.
Oh lawdy, look at the beast I have created.
Lawdy, lawdy, Pigbuster’s turned 40 (fawdy).
Obviously, whatever the situation is, this needs a lot of help. I will get to that. Eventually. I will have to make some new things things and move around others, but unless my arbitrary layout restrictions say otherwise, I can make it work. Fiddle dee dee, all over one stupid comic page. I feel quite special.
My attempt to imitate the original comment thread comes across as suspicious when every name has a sheriff star beside it.
It seems I consider that more noteworthy than the fact that my life has been frozen in place for five solid years.
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