Sewer Art: Un-Life Among the Primogens

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Cej sez:

LARPing sounds cool.  Be sure to go into more detail in your next tape.  My life is pretty mundane, so it’s nice to hear that someone gets to live out a fantasy life.

Into the Gutter 1) I’m assuming that “Sewer Art” is the name for (one of) your series.  That’s cool.  I like how we’re getting into producing some on-going strips, even if they aren’t truly consecutive.

2) I think that you have made a good start here with “talking heads.”  What I mean is that this strip is basically two heads talking (okay, maybe one talking and one biting), and it could easily have been fairly uninteresting to look at, but you managed to show some real difference between the panels.  That is, you switch from head and torso shots in panels 1 to 4 to (almost) full body shots in panels 5 and 6.  Plus, you’ve made good use of changing facial expressions to show difference between the panels and to show growing glee (madness?).  I would encourage you to continue in this vein.  That means, as you find yourself doing more “low action” strips, you should look for these kinds of subtle (yet important) differences to add more depth and life to your strip.

3) The “dialogue” is pretty good and interesting

Eat a Rat 1) I guess I’m torn over whether this strip should be more accessible or not.  On the one hand, I think that you could have fairly easily made the T-Rex guy into a lowly bum or something, and then he could hit the Ventrue guy over the head.  This would give you greater understandability with basically the same joke.  On the other hand, I see no reason for you not to follow your interests by making comics that speak to you and people you know.  I would tend toward the latter—because you should be true to yourself—but keep in mind that you are limiting your audience.

2) In contrast to #2 from above, I think that the strip is a little unclear.  (Now keep in mind that I’m not a LARPer) Why would this man (is he supposed to be a vampire?) be standing in front of this monster?  Who is he talking to?  In panel 1 he seems to be talking to T-rex; then he turns (and seems) to talk to the audience; then he turns back to the T-rex.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a major problem.  It might be helped by more background detail (i.e., stuff behind the characters, not more exposition about the characters).  You got a lot of mileage out of your backgrounds in “Ivan: part One,” and I’d encourage you to keep exploring.  Yeah, yeah, I know it takes longer…

Titles and word bubbles are okay, but they’re just kind of floating.  I’d recommend placing the Title on top and increasing the font size.  For the word bubbles, I’d recommend enclosing them.  You still have a lot of white space, and making them into true bubbles would help eat up some of that space.  On a completely different tack, this might have been a good one to practice some lettering on.  In particular, I know you hate lettering, but this one could have captured even more emotion by having lettering that suggested the speaker’s state of mind.  For example, the lettering getting bigger and bolder (harsher?) with each panel, until the end it is devoured in one big CHOMP!