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I'm baaaack!

Sorry if I've been rather quiet for a while, been busy. Keeping it short:
Arrived safely in Burbank- staying with the same old roommate (wait, who am I calling old. I am older than him!)
-Had a few days to recuperate, used it to work on the last 6 pages for the DVD comic. Still much work to be done on these, but I'm progressing.
-Got myself a PS3! Hurray for Ratchet and Clank!!
-Spent the weekend with friends in Big Bear. Very relaxing, much good food. Too much good food. I regret nothing.
- Started back at Nick this Monday- we're in a different building this time, and I am now drawing almost exclusively on a Cintiq! I managed to get a lightbox, something which I will also need for the apartment here for work.So glad to see old friends and colleagues. Makes the going away from Montreal slightly smoother (awww man! This weekend the big Book Fair starts in Montreal. I'm missing all the fun!)

Started editing-changing Water Tribe. Behind the cut, a new version of the beginning.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm posting these here, as a review before posting them on DA. Suggestions, text edits and grammar check, all welcome.
It is weird...I have the impression of slowing things down. But I think it will better explain certain things. Or at least, allow me to rewrite and spread out explanations over many pages.
I decided to keep the rough pencil-grey tones look. I can't spend more time on these pages than that. Still, I will correct drawings or panels I don't like anymore, while allowing me to keep what I liked without any changes in style.

Is it clear enough that pages 7-8 are a flashback?
It will take a little while to make new corrections- must finish those 6 pages asap.
Oh! There will be an Avatar Comics panel at the NY Anime convention December 7th. Go say hello to Dave Roman- a fantastic editor (I will have a slight extension for these pages, right? ;) ). Hope someone takes pictures.


( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 14th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC)
Damn, Johane, you're FAST! We only saw these pages on....on...the weekend! And lookit here they're all done and shiny. Great to hear the job's going ok!
Nov. 14th, 2007 06:25 am (UTC)
It's fast because they stay ruff lookin'! Hehe. Much more chillaxing to work that way.
Oh, the character designer position on my project? The director has someone he really wants on his list. Plus, the amount of work is really low actually. A maximum of two new characters per episodes, due to technical logistic. Gotta love 3D. But I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for any other job opportunities.
(no subject) - conga_chili - Nov. 14th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 14th, 2007 06:55 am (UTC)
Ahhh so good. So much smoother. It improved 100% and gives a much better sense of time, place, and feelings between the characters. And yes I can tell that it's definitely a flash back. Works perfectly, my dear :)
Nov. 14th, 2007 08:54 am (UTC)
I guess I was maybe editing myself too much, previously. Ah well, better to write less and add more later. I'm realising how different it can be, to do something in comics. You can take a bit more time than in animation.
But not too much! Can't let things drag on.
Nov. 14th, 2007 07:09 am (UTC)
I never get tired of this...<3

It's such a comforting moment just to see Zhao. :D
Nov. 14th, 2007 08:55 am (UTC)
Hopefully, you won't get tired of it...too quickly ;)
(no subject) - star_puppet - Nov. 14th, 2007 10:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rufftoon - Nov. 14th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 14th, 2007 07:36 am (UTC)
It's the first time I'm reading these (because I was too lazy to look for the beginning of the comic, bad me.) I can't believe I've been missing out in such a good comic! You really are an inspiration.
And yeah, I can tell that the last two pages are flashbacks =)
Nov. 14th, 2007 08:56 am (UTC)
Ah but see, you did good to wait- this is the new, hopefully improved and better version (I hope!)
Glad to know the last two pages work for you :)
Nov. 14th, 2007 08:12 am (UTC)
I wish I could go. It's been years since I've been to a ComicCon.

7-8, I wondered why they were happening "now" lol. It;s not a clear transition, IMO. Overall, though, great work!
Nov. 14th, 2007 09:00 am (UTC)
Oooh, maybe we'll meet at a convention one time. I don't know which one would be closer to your place though. Hmmm...

The flashback transition was a try- seems to work for some, and may not work for others. I wanted to avoid the caption box saying "three years ago".
If anyone has suggestions about the transition, t'would be most welcomed (I'll think about it too, won't make everyone do all the work!)
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Nov. 14th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rufftoon - Nov. 14th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Nov. 14th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rufftoon - Nov. 14th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Nov. 14th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 14th, 2007 09:08 am (UTC)
- Zhao

UHMM If I was going to offer my complete noobish critique, I think either a zoomed out establishing shot at the beginnning of 07 or an ending shot on 06 would make the transition between settings clearer? But I dunno I'm slow and it takes me a while to pick up on things lol so maybe it's just me.

But yeah I cannot say enough how much I love this comic and love Zhao *____*. You make him so adorablllle D:
Nov. 14th, 2007 09:16 am (UTC)
I think you hit the nail on the head- something about the end of page 6, and an establishing shot for 7...*gears turning inside head*
I will make this work! Thank you very much for your suggestion- very good ones. I need those noobish critiques ;) I don't see what I'm doing after a while.
Oh man, if Zhao learns I've given him an adorable reputation, he's gonna burn my @$$ to the fifth degree!
(no subject) - buttfacemakani - Nov. 14th, 2007 09:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 14th, 2007 09:50 am (UTC)
Mmm, wow. So fast and so good!
Nov. 14th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
Fast, I don't know. I try but fail, usually.
Glad you approve of the new version.
Nov. 14th, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC)
Yay safe travels! Also, yay! Water Tribe!

Grammar check, rar!

Page 003 -- should be "a turtle seal nursery" or the slightly more awkward but still reasonably correct "a turtle seals' nursery" -- or possibly, if it's only one seal, "seal's nursery".

Page 004 -- in American punctuation, the comma next to "accident" would go inside the quotes. In British punctuation, it would go outside. Remember which one you're picking. O:>

Page 005 -- the "Fellow hunters, welcome back to our camp..." appears to have the third dot cut off by the bubble-line, looking like the unnatural pairing of periods, aie! (Periods are either solos or menage a'trois, you see... >_> With occasional foursomes depending on the styleguide.) Edit: ohs noes! In the next panel, there's a two-dot! Please, think of the periods! Don't let this unnatural relationship go unchallenged!

(Love the last line on 005 there. *cackle* Love other stuff, but that one made me REALLY love it.)

The p. 008... Oh, that's so sad.

Yes, I think it's a reasonable flashback clarity. (Mind, I'm biased; I know what's up. However, the black-background-rounded-edges do pretty well for that. If necessary, a teeny box up at the top could say something like "5 years earlier...")

*squees at you more*

Edited at 2007-11-14 02:09 pm (UTC)
Nov. 14th, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
I never thought I'd say that but...*snif*...Thank you grammar nazi!!! We should all keep at least one close by in our lives.
The corrected version will appear on DA. I will not let bad grammar survive there (many thanks for other people checking that).

Page 4- I grew up a lot with the British punctuation and grammar. Heck, I still write colour with a U. I should be ok with remembering the punctuation.
(no subject) - archangelbeth - Nov. 15th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 14th, 2007 02:33 pm (UTC)
It was a bit hard to tell that they were flash backs. Maybe make the borders more fuzzy? Or cloud-like? I don't have a problem with the "X years ago" caption idea, even though is a standard, it is easy to understand and won't subtract from the story or the layout, IMO.

Like it still though. :)
Nov. 14th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...fuzzy borders...It might still confuse some people. I better add a little something at the top of page 7- I have a bit of space to spare around the first panel.
Or the caption box, if I am lazy.
I feel lazy. Dang!
Nov. 14th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
It is such a handsome comic! Absolutely keep the grey and shadowed look. It is very appealing.

I never got into comics because it is difficult to appreciate the drawings when there is a seizure of color all over the place. I like the simple, rustically classic look that you have applied.

It makes it very enjoyable to follow, and very clean.

Is there any snow on Big Bear right now?
Nov. 14th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
Zhao would claim it is a handsome comic because of him, and not all that grey shading stuff ;)
I am also fond of B&W comics. Many good ones out there if you look: Walking Dead, Castle Waiting, Bone to name a few.
But I do love me color comics too, when well done. Looking at a "pizza page" may hurt the eyes.

Have seen no snow in Big Bear last weekend. It was just getting chilly. Saw two coyotes though :)
(no subject) - archangelbeth - Nov. 15th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rufftoon - Nov. 15th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 14th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
I thought the flashback pages were very clearly flashbacks because of the black background, but maybe that is because I am very familiar with manga conventions which often use a black page to denote flashbacks?

I know how Zhaoka feels right now! *is shivering in her office*
Nov. 14th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it may only be clear to a few people. Must fix so more general public gets it.
Or I'll be stuck answering the same question "is that a flashback?" on DA for months!

Shivering? Think warm thoughts ;)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 14th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
If I could have flown on the giant Appa plush, I would have saved so much $$$!
I had to leave him in Montreal, but he's coming back with me after the holidays :D
Nov. 14th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
Working on a Cintiq? Man, every time I hear someone mention this wonderful device, I'm getting the urge to rush to the store and buy one, but my brain tells me not to, at least, not yet. It's just that 3,500 bucks is not something you spend that easily.

Also, what I get from the post is that you're going to post the Water Tribe story on DeviantART, am I correct? I'd like to read the whole thing in one sitting, or at least in a fashion that I can work in my schedule.
Nov. 14th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
I'm with you about the $$$ money for a Cintiq. I still need to get used to it a bit, and I know I'll never abandon paper! Still, practice on it will make me decide if I'll splurge money on one one day. I think I'd buy a big 11X17 scanner first.

I will be posting it on DA, slowly, a I work out a few kinks and drawings. They won't be on my account though, but on the NoSelfControl one- that's Zhao's club.
Looks like these 8 pages need a tiny bit of extra tweaks, but I should be able to start posting them on DA tonight or tomorrow at the latest. After that, updates every once in a while.
Nov. 14th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)

I think a caption saying "Three years earlier..." would be perfect. (along with a wide shot, if you have the urge.) Simple captions work well in these situations in comics. Plus, it makes the timeframe much clearer in this case.

Nonetheless, the fact that it is a flashback is clear. The question is whether you want to be clear on when the flashback took place. I don't think you are going for an ambiguous "Hmm... how long has he been there??" reaction... so a caption saying 3 years would be helpful. It wouldn't look lazy to me at all. (You're the last person I would call lazy! And not just out of fear.)

On another note, I personally found the first page's shot selections a liiiiittle unsatisfying. It doesn't read well for me to cut from wide shot to another wide shot from the reverse angle. What if The second panel is less wide--make it a medium shot of the two hunters? Then the closeup as is for panel 3.

As it is, it feels like the first panel is their point of view, but panel two shows them discovering the seals, by virtue of the dialogue. Another alternative would be to put a line of dialogue in the first panel. Or reverse the order of panels 2 and 3. (Although that wouldn't transition as well to page 2...)

Or am I totally wrong? I just know I felt a twinge of awkwardness in the shot choices of panels 1 and 2.
(What was that phrase about copulating flies....?) haha
Nov. 14th, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
You should fear me!! (heehee)
I wouldn't reverse the first two panels- and I'd like the first one to stay quiet. I'll try and do a slightly closer shot tonight and show it to you for inspection. I'll also try an alternative for the flashback transition, as some readers seem to find it akward.
And the french phrase is "enculage de mouche"- and believe me, that's not it at all. If you'd told me that Zhao's hair needed to be half an inch shorter in all the panels, then I would have used it.
Nov. 14th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
Wow, welcome back! Man, can't believe you're reworking all this - that's dedication! I think the slower pacing works really well... doesn't drag at all, but gives us a lot more information in a very natural way.
The flashback sequence works fine for me; the black, rounded borders are a very effective and elegant technique. However, it seems like a lot of people are still having problems... perhaps fading the lines slightly or adding a faint gray overlay? Something that would subtly adjust the "feel" without distracting too much.
And on a very nitpicky note, the first line on pg7 sounds a little awkward. I might suggest rephrasing it as "For the moment, we will spare the life of the Fire Nation man you found."

Anyway, it's wonderful stuff. I really dig the pencils-and-grays you use, and of course the whole thing is just excellent. Glad you got in ok, and hope you're comfortably settled soon!
Nov. 15th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC)
I won't need to rework all of it, just some of it. And it's not dedication, but madness!!
Good suggestions for the flashback...I may fade things a bit, but also decided to add one small establishing shot. May even put the caption in the final.
Very good suggestion for the text. It also felt akward to me, but my little french brain refused to try to correct it. I'll definitely reword it. Hey, it's the time for nitpicking! I may not fix absolutely everything, but the bothersome stuff (in my eyes anyway), most certainly.

Settling in almost done. Just need to get a lightbox for the apartment and I'm good to go!
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