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Thread: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

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    Lone Wolf Harkovast's Avatar
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    Default Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Harkovast is an anthropomorphic, fantasy webcomic I write and draw (which is coloured by my wife.)

    Here is a recent page to give you the idea-




    CLICK HERE to read the archive.
    Last edited by Harkovast; 06-14-2011 at 04:21 AM.
    Click here to read Harkovast.
    For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum

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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Didn't you do this thread already?

    Obviously, you decided to ignore advice given in that one, and seeing as it is almost 2 years since that thread, and there is some improvement, but not much, then you're still doing it wrong.

    Go and look at some anatomy books. Practice. Your poses don't carry any motion to them, so they look like statues. Some of those panels, I have no idea what is going on because it's just too much stuff going on with a poor drawing style. Complex panels can be done, but you need to be able to show what the elements are, otherwise it just looks like a mess.

    4 Point Plan:

    1 - Practice anatomy
    2 - Practice animals
    3 - Refine drawings and improve static props
    4 - Interact on the forum more, rather than making new threads for the sole purpose of advertising.


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    Lone Wolf Harkovast's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Forum etiquette is damn complicated!
    I assumed since the last time I asked people to take a look it was literally years ago, reposting on the same topic would be viewed as "necro-posting" and annoy you.
    I'm kind of amazed anyone even remembers that I posted that one, it was so long ago.
    I didn't really do much with FA at the time, I just sort of set up an account and then wandered off to other things.
    More recently I've been posting a lot more on FA so I thought I would have another stab at it, probably as a precursor to getting more involved on the forum in general.

    I have to disagree on some of your points, however.
    While I admit I'm not great at drawing action or motion (a lot better than I was though), the charge that you cant tell what is going on... I cant really see where you are coming from. Perhaps I am too familiar with the way it looks, but I don't see anything unclear about what is happening. Is anyone else finding it unclear?

    With regard to me "deciding to ignore advice", you then go on to say there has been some improvement, implying that I have listened to advice. Don't really know how to respond to that one.

    Thanks for taking an interest, even though you didn't enjoy it much.
    Click here to read Harkovast.
    For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum

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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    The sample comic you posted comes dangerously close to violating the 180 degree rule. I don't know what the next page looks like so I can't say for sure. I also feel like you've blurred the backgrounds too much, and this happens in all of the other recent pages I've seen on your site. Because they're so vividly coloured, this distracts the viewer from where the focus SHOULD be - which is on the characters. It's also blurred too much. There's also too sudden a cut between the fighting characters and the tiger character. Where did he come from? You need to lead up to a panel like that - in the previous panel maybe zoomed out a little more and shown a closeup silhouette of his head.

    The way you do text and speech also looks very VERY lazy. All it is is a line, a white glow and the font Papyrus. I mean, REALLY? That just screams lazy to me. If you're doing the text digitally anyway, make the effort to do actual speech bubbles and use something that is not a stock font. Here is a good list of comic fonts and here is a tutorial on how to do speech bubbles in Photoshop - two resources I have used in the past myself.

    I'm personally not fond of the way you draw animals, most of the time they don't come out looking like animals at all. They all look like they might have been designed by a child - eyes are too big and slant in odd ways, heads sometimes don't seem to have a proper shape, ears are at unnatural angles and way too pointy - and if you silhouette them, they will all look the same. A good task to do when designing characters is to block out everything and make it a silhouette, and see if it is still recognisable. http://blog.aviary.com/good-design-l...he-foundation/

    Oh and by the way, the URL at the bottom of your post is broken. http://www.drunkduck.com/Harkovast/index.php

    Please READ and CHECK the BM before complaining to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreaming View Post
    I assume you're from that half of the forums where all the artists hang out and delete threads

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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by Harkovast View Post
    Forum etiquette is damn complicated!
    Not really. Your count of 7 posts within two years does suggest you don't have much experience being and participating on a forum, though. Could be just from being busy and having to divide your time several ways (we all know what that's like), but on to the subject:

    There's nothing wront with doing a webcomic out of personal interest -- however, getting other people to become interested in it is another matter entirely. I once heard somebody say that a webcomic with great visual craft can survive poor writing, and vice versa, but if both are poor then getting others to read it is basically a lost cause.
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratadrake View Post
    I once heard somebody say that a webcomic with great visual craft can survive poor writing, and vice versa, but if both are poor then getting others to read it is basically a lost cause.
    Yeah, I keep saying that.


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    Mush on a misson Forum Legend Evandeskunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    It seems "Interesting," but I don't feel like adding it to my web comic queue.
    SKA

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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    I think the most offputting part, is that it wants to be a serious story, but the art style looks too immature. That style would work ok for light comedies or one-shots, but for a serious, dramatic series, it just gives the wrong feel.


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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Smelge, well at least it managed to get a reaction from you.
    All be it a bad one!
    But you obviously really, really don't like it, so at least it didn't provoke indifference.


    Stratadrake, I have lots of places that I post, so this is one I've never paid much attention too until recently.

    Toraneko, broken link? That sort of shows how little I have been on here! I will go fix it.

    Haha, I think I just remembered why I stop posting fairly quickly last time around. Everyone hated absolutely everything I'd done, so I wandered off.
    I will try and weather the storm better this time around.
    Maybe I will earn respect for my perseverance, if nothing else.
    Click here to read Harkovast.
    For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum

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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by Harkovast View Post
    Smelge, well at least it managed to get a reaction from you.
    All be it a bad one!
    But you obviously really, really don't like it, so at least it didn't provoke indifference.
    The problem I have isn't the story, it is the art mostly. It has a sound concept going there, but the style really doesn't mesh well with the tone of the strip. It's a harsh contrast between the two. The story you're trying to tell is something along the lines of an epic. The art gives a childish sort of tone to it, like it should be about people chasing around after unicorns.

    To pull an epic off, you need people to be able to immerse themselves in the story and get to that suspension of disbelief. Unfortunately, the aforementioned clash between story and art style stops you from hitting that point, and you just lose the feel of the thing.


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    Lone Wolf Harkovast's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    It has a sound concept going there,
    Smelge, that sounded dangerously close to you liking something about it...

    Where is the real Smelge? What have you done with him?
    *attempts to remove mask from obvious Smelge imposter*
    Click here to read Harkovast.
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by Harkovast View Post
    Stratadrake, I have lots of places that I post, so this is one I've never paid much attention to until recently.
    Well you're not alone, there are several places I hang out at, but as my overall post quantity goes FA actually isn't the bottom rung of my list.

    As for me? I agree that the blurred backgrounds in the first two panels are completely unnecessary and distracting to the action at hand. The motion blur on the top panel implies the "camera" is spinning about the fighters, almost "Bullet Time" style. That's incredibly difficult to do in still media, and if this is just page one, it's actually a bit disorienting since the reader doesn't already have a preconceived image of the area all this action is taking place in.

    As for the second panel, the type of blur implies an active zoom shot -- again, not something one can easily pull off without animation to help. It isn't until the bottom panel that we get anything to establish the enviroment this whole fracas is set in. Nor is there any introduction, exposition or narration to clue us in.

    Maybe I will earn respect for my perseverance, if nothing else.
    A grudging respect, perhaps.... best case scenario is that one day, years later you look back on all this and think "Wow, I used to draw like that? What was I thinking?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Smelge View Post
    I think the most offputting part, is that it wants to be a serious story, but the art style looks too immature. That style would work ok for light comedies or one-shots, but for a serious, dramatic series, it just gives the wrong feel.
    Yes, that's a good way of phrasing it. The more serious your subject matter, the more serious your level of artistic skill needs to be to convey it.
    Last edited by Stratadrake; 05-26-2011 at 08:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    stratadrake hahah, grudging respect sounds cool.
    Now I imagine something along the lines of-
    "Well, I guess I don't think you are a total douche bag 100 percent of the time...occasionally I don't completely hate you."
    I'm kind of proud that you have such a strong reaction to the comic, even though its a negative one.
    I like the idea that I can cause active revulsion. As I said to Smelge, its better than inspiring in difference.

    I suppose I should point out something that seems to have cause a couple of people confusion at this point (namely Stratdrake and Toraneko, though maybe others had the same problem and did not say.)
    The reason there was no speech to explain what is happening or set up for the tigers introduction is that this is a random page that I posted to show what the comic looks like.
    The tiger, as well as the plot and situation are all explained on other pages.
    This page is just showing them fighting. The reasons for the fighting, where they are fighting and who is fighting has been the subject of numerous other pages.
    I sort of assumed you wouldn't want me to post the entire archive on the forum!
    Sorry if I did not make that clear, but yes there are actually other pages, both before and after, that establish what is going on.
    Click here to read Harkovast.
    For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum

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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by Harkovast View Post
    I suppose I should point out something that seems to have cause a couple of people confusion at this point (namely Stratdrake and Toraneko, though maybe others had the same problem and did not say.)
    The reason there was no speech to explain what is happening or set up for the tigers introduction is that this is a random page that I posted to show what the comic looks like.
    So this is not page one, then? Okay. But the point still remains that it's not a good page to make a first impression with.

    And on that note -- what does your first page look like, anyway?
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratadrake View Post
    So this is not page one, then? Okay. But the point still remains that it's not a good page to make a first impression with.

    And on that note -- what does your first page look like, anyway?
    http://www.drunkduck.com/Harkovast/index.php?p=473701

    Not really something I would stick with reading, tbh. Stock cursive font with white glow = lazy lazy lazy. There are much better fonts out there to use than a stock font that comes with Windows XP, for the love of god if you're serious about this comic put some effort into the basic design. Maybe it's just the design student in me speaking, but honestly I cringe every time I see stock font with that stupid photoshop glow.

    Please READ and CHECK the BM before complaining to me.

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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Stratadrake- How does the first page look like? Hahaha, I don't think you should look!
    The art used to be worse, so if you hate this page, I think the very first one would make your eye balls bleed.

    Toraneko- Wow, I think you've probably got more emotionally involved in the fonts of this comic than anyone else I've ever met (including me!)
    I don't want to seem dismissive, as your opinion is reasonable, but I actually kinda like the text with white glow behind it. I think it looks interesting.
    So I cant really accommodate your suggestion because I just don't agree (since it is really just a subjective disagreement about what we like the look of, without an objective right or wrong answer.)
    Click here to read Harkovast.
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by Harkovast View Post
    Stratadrake- How does the first page look like? Hahaha, I don't think you should look!
    The art used to be worse, so if you hate this page, I think the very first one would make your eye balls bleed.
    Well, I can see the improvement, but as far as flow goes, at least the first page makes some sort of sense.

    And of course, nobody likes any of the fonts that come installed on a PC by default.

    Toraneko- Wow, I think you've probably got more emotionally involved in the fonts of this comic than anyone else I've ever met (including me!)
    I don't want to seem dismissive, as your opinion is reasonable, but I actually kinda like the text with white glow behind it. I think it looks interesting.
    So I cant really accommodate your suggestion because I just don't agree (since it is really just a subjective disagreement about what we like the look of, without an objective right or wrong answer.)[/QUOTE]
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    I've been seeing advertisements for this comic all over the web. Never bothered clicking it because the art struck me as really amateur, and the ads said basically nothing about the comic. It was always either a face, or a picture of someone dying, so no indication of what it was about.
    Anyway, I went ahead and read the first dozen or so pages. Is there a story anywhere in this thing? If there is, it sure takes a long time getting to it. Maybe it gets good eventually, but the first impression as a new reader is that it's just a webcomic full of pointless battle scenes and exposition about those battle scenes. Characters we don't know fighting each other over something we aren't emotionally invested in.
    So maybe with this thread, you should try to sell your comic? It looks like you put a lot of work into it. Obviously, you could stand to learn a little more about figure drawing, but there's lots of detail, and you try complicated things, like perspective and motion. But right now I'm not exactly buying this webcomic as something I'd want to invest time in reading.
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    Wickedness must be punished The 5,000 Club Taralack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by Harkovast View Post
    Toraneko- Wow, I think you've probably got more emotionally involved in the fonts of this comic than anyone else I've ever met (including me!)
    I don't want to seem dismissive, as your opinion is reasonable, but I actually kinda like the text with white glow behind it. I think it looks interesting.
    So I cant really accommodate your suggestion because I just don't agree (since it is really just a subjective disagreement about what we like the look of, without an objective right or wrong answer.)
    It's bad and it looks bad. I have good reason to be emotionally passionate about this because this is basic stuff that has been drummed into my head at uni. Again, the elitist design student in me speaking, but from everything that I've learnt, there is a reason why using stock fonts and effects like that are bad.
    http://www.remindblog.com/2010/04/01/avoid-comic-sans/

    Lettering is the one thing that people will stare directly at as they read your comic. Making it blend to your art is important. A badly chosen font will distract people from your work and story. Good typography should be invisible. It shouldn’t call attention to itself unless there is a specific reason for it.
    Again, if you are really serious about your comic, do some basic design research and it will look a whole lot better even just from changing the font and adding proper speech bubbles.

    Please READ and CHECK the BM before complaining to me.

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    Tail first, THEN legs.... The 5,000 Club Stratadrake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by M. Le Renard View Post
    I've been seeing advertisements for this comic all over the web. Never bothered clicking it because the art struck me as really amateur, and the ads said basically nothing about the comic.
    Amateur is a really correct term for it. Hey, everyone's an amateur at some point! But it doesn't help you stand out from the other ninety percent at first glance, so you don't get noticed.

    Obviously, you could stand to learn a little more about figure drawing, but there's lots of detail, and you try complicated things, like perspective and motion. But right now I'm not exactly buying this webcomic as something I'd want to invest time in reading.
    Figure drawing takes discipline, and the best route for that tends to be formal art classes where you do absolutely nothing but draw boring arrangements of mundane objects that the teacher sets down in front of you. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit (art was one of my favorite classes in highschool), but the point to be made is that if you can't draw something from looking at it in real life, you won't be able to draw things from your imagination either. The mind may be sharp, but the hand needs the discipline to match it.

    (PS: be grateful I linked to Wikipedia and not TV Tropes....)
    Last edited by Stratadrake; 05-29-2011 at 10:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    You make valid points.
    As I say, I don't necessarily agree with them all, but I don't want to leap in to argue against you since I did post the comic here to ask what you thought so I don't really have room to complain if you all don't like it.
    Le Renard, I could go on to sell the comic to you in terms of why I like it, but if you cant pick up those things from reading it yourself, you shouldn't need me to explain its merits to you. Clearly the merits of it are not obvious to you, but them's the breaks sometimes.
    If you really want I can explain it to you, but I get the impression that everyone else on here would not be keen to sit through me going on about it!

    Incidentally, I just moved the comic to its own site which you can see here.
    Click here to read Harkovast.
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    I don't really care why you, the author, like it. I'm talking more from a general standpoint; why would this be worth my time to read?
    I'm just saying if you're going to take the time to advertise, you should advertise. I think from the reaction you got in this thread (and apparently the last one you made here), the 'merits aren't obvious' to most people. So sell the damn thing. Do more than post a picture. What's the story? Who are the characters, and what are they like? Is there more to this than scene after scene of people fighting?
    Unless, of course, you don't think it's worth my time, in which case forget it.
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Fair enough.
    I just didn't want to seem arrogant or like a jerk, arguing against everyone who offers criticism as if I think only my perspective on it is valid.

    I think a happy compromise, rather than just gush about it myself, might be to show you the opinions of some people who liked it.
    So here is what a review comic Lite Bites made of it.
    They seemed to really enjoy it, so presumably there is a market for it out there.
    Click here to read Harkovast.
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    The hardly prodigal son. 2,500 Club CoyoteCaliente's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    For the hell of it, I shall be reading your comic and giving you a full review.

    Well shit. I had about a page written out explaining just about every downfall of the comic, as well as its few redeeming features, but something stupid happened and a page shut down, losing all the work.

    So here's the shorthand version.

    What epic action scenes and interesting battle sequences there are, it's immediately negated by the child-like use of colored pencils. It gets better, but not nearly enough for me to start taking it seriously. I'ma sucker for traditional art, but it's simply not enough. Also, add in with the fact that you have no sense of spatial reasoning for word bubbles, and it leaves something to be desired. (What I mean by this is instead of actually planning where to put the thought and dialogue bubbles, leaving ample and logical spacing for it, every bit of text seems just THROWN in and plastered where it fits.)

    The story is also crackpot, jumping back and forth with seemingly no rhyme or reason. It seems narrated by this one fellow (whose name I can't even begin to pronounce), yet I've yet to get a sense of him being the main character at all because there's so much scene switching. On top of that, the characters themselves are one dimensional. They don't really seem like characters, but merely actors shouting lines as loudly as they can.

    So, in the end, Harkovast is like this to me. It's serious toned enough that it should be quite epic, but the execution of it is so haphazard that it entirely detracts from it. The story lacks cohesiveness, the art lacks a mature look, and the characters are too vague for me to even give a damn when they get attacked. And if I could care less that they're being attacked, then why should I even continue reading to find out if they live or not?
    Last edited by CoyoteCaliente; 06-15-2011 at 11:16 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rigby View Post
    Did you do it? ... Do you know why it dropped to four stars? It all has to do with you and my stalker sabotaging discussion. You are a terrorist. You are trying to strike terror in the hearts of anything you've arbitrarily decided to target. Every post is like a pipe bomb in my otherwise Utopian society threads.
    Happily smashing your happy little bullshit utopia since 1991.

  31. #25
    Is not French The 5,000 Club M. LeRenard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harkovast- A fantasy webcomic

    Quote Originally Posted by Harkovast View Post
    So here is what a review comic Lite Bites made of it.
    They seemed to really enjoy it, so presumably there is a market for it out there.
    Okay, there we go. I guess it gets better once we're out of the exposition-heavy fighting. Maybe I'll give the rest a shot, then.
    Hey folks. Go check out Weasyl.

    Dear writers, go check out the The Furry Writers' Guild forums, or join the Guild, if you have what it takes.

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