Go Back   Digital Webbing Forums > Hosted Forums > ComixTribe > The Proving Grounds

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-22-2016, 09:02 PM   #1
Steven Forbes
Freelance Editor
 
Steven Forbes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: In the moment
Posts: 3,886
Steven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud ofSteven Forbes has much to be proud of

TPG Week 278: Things Changed, But Nothing Learned


Welcome back, one and all, to the final few installments of The Proving Grounds. If you haven't read the announcement or heard about it elsewhere, I'm packing it in. It's almost six and a half years. Time to do something else. I'm not taking any more submissions. May 13 will be the last TPG. Prepare yourselves.

Anyway, back to business. We have something we don't get too often here at TPG: a resubmission! Jay VanVeen has sent us another crack at his story, first submitted here. Let's see what's been learned. We also have Steve Colle in blue, and Ryan Kroboth with the pencil assist. I am the crotchety fellow in red. Now, let us all turn to see what Jay does with a resubmission of

Fin & Bones

Page One

Seven Panels

1. Interior shot of Meanwhile bar. Itís crowded with the down-and-out denizens of The Town. Smoke fills the air. Thereís a row of barstools running along the counter top, which runs the length of the side of the barís interior wall. Behind that, in the center of the room, is a spread of high-top tables with stools around them. (By saying ďbehind thatĒ, are you establishing the counter top as being in the foreground?) People are laughing, drinking, looking miserable, flirting, smoking. Itís not skid row, but itís a long way from The Ritz. Through the crowd of people at the high-tops, we see the backs of Fin and Bones as they are propped up on bar stools, hunched over the countertop. (This, as a follow up to the placement of the counter top I mentioned above, shows itís in the background. So which is it?) Finís hat (his coat is off and draped over the stool he is sitting on) and Bonesí slicked back blonde hair are the only identifying traits we can see of them through the crowd.

If itís an interior shot of the bar, then why isnít there any sound or speech? By having it as a silent panel, youíre wasting an opportunity to introduce the reader to the realities of a bar scene, especially one that is supposedly crowded with people laughing, etc. Another two options would have been to either start your character conversation here or have an introductory caption at least stating the name of the bar with or without time of day.

2. Profile shot on the bar where Fin and Bones sit. We look down the bar as Fin and Bones sit on the right side of the panel. We can see both of them in the panel, but Fin is in the foreground closer to us. (Why are they on the right of the panel instead of the left? You say Fin is in the foreground, which means he would be the last person seen if on the right as we read left to right. Right?) We can also see across the bar counter as Horace stands across from Fin in conversation. Fin smokes and holds a tumbler of whiskey with his LEFT hand. He looks at Horace as he talks. Horace cleans a pint glass with a rag, looking at that instead of Fin as they talk. Bones is sitting to Finís right. (I thought you said the characters were on the right and that Fin was in the foreground, but now you have Bones sitting on Finís right and placing him in the foreground. Do you see how this can be confusing?) Heís in conversation with a pretty blonde girl. (Girl is in typical 20ís American attire. Nothing fancy. It ainít that kind of joint.) (Two things here: 1) What constitutes ďtypical 20ís American attireĒ and 2) if Fin is in the foreground, but Bones is to his right (placing him in the foreground), then where is the girl in the scene?)(And she's magically delicious. She should have been visible in panel 1.)

Click here to read more.
__________________
Learn to make comics at ComixTribe! Be part of the Tribe!
E-Mail me for your editing needs. Twitter: @stevedforbes
"Criticism is an acknowledgment of your ability to produce results." David Gerrold
Steven Forbes is offline   Reply With Quote
Connect With Facebook to "Like" This Thread

Old 04-23-2016, 04:54 AM   #2
JayVanveen
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: 台中,台灣。
Posts: 6
JayVanveen is on a distinguished road

Kevin Sorbo ain't the only one...

Disappointed to see the word disappointed so many times. I truly thought I had done a better job. Whelp, I can say "aw shucks" and kick the dirt, or I can get back to work, which is what I'll do. You're right, I should have spent more time going back through previous entries, studying and taking notes. I spent all my free time writing, when I should have been simultaneously working on ways to fix my problems. All the problems and not just the glaring ones pointed out from the first submission.

They're a few points I don't agree with (like I was purposely pointing out he favors his left hand because of what we find out later), but I don't think it's worth it to argue here. Point is I still got a lot to learn.

Beyond been torn a new one (again), I'll just end this by saying thanks and goodbye. I think what you have done here is awesome, and a lot of people have benefitted from your time and expertise.

I hope you make your way back to this somewhere down the line. And I hope I get my craft to a level where you don't want to take a steamy shit on it by then!

See ya in the funny pages.

-Jay
JayVanveen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2016, 06:16 AM   #3
Kiyoko, Rin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Southampton, UK
Posts: 150
Kiyoko, Rin is on a distinguished road

Quote:
Tight on Bones. He has fallen backwards. He is on his ass with his back up to the side of the hole. His hands planted on either side of him. His eyes are wide with fear and shock. (Ö) (Ö) His mouth is open and his cigarette is mid-fall out of it. (No, that last part doesnít ring true. Why do I say this, Rin? What about that last sentence makes the panel false?)
Is it to do with the nature of shock? Shock tends to stupefy us into near-paralysis or make us clam up, so if he was smoking in the previous panel I would expect the cigarette to still be in his mouth in this. Because itís in freefall it suggests that heís overcome the initial shock enough to move, however incrementally.

Or are you talking about the physics being at odds with the emotions? Bones has just fallen backwards, so the impact against the side of the hole could have jarred the butt out of his mouth. But that physical impact hasnít registered on his face. He looks scared, not winded. The cause (fall) and effect (cig fall) donít mesh with his emotions (fear / shock).

Jay, it seems to me that youíre focusing too much on the panel nitty gritties, the ins and outs (e.g. the level of beer in the glass, crowd descriptions, from which direction Fin re-enters the panel, quantifying each emotion with detailed facial / gesture descriptions) that itís taken your time away from the overall story. In this instance, Iíd push all the minutia onto the artist Ė let them decide the fine details and spatial geometry. Give just enough detail in the panel descriptions so that the artist knows the general mood youíre going for and can flesh it out themselves. As written, your panels are too anal in detail, imo, and thatís taken your time off the bigger picture of how best to get the most character, story and plot into the limited real estate of each panel.

Gutted that TPGís ending, but I'm so grateful it was there in the first place and I'm proud to have been part of it.
Kiyoko, Rin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2016, 06:36 AM   #4
JayVanveen
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: 台中,台灣。
Posts: 6
JayVanveen is on a distinguished road

To Rin

Rin,

Thank you for the tips! I find this sort of feedback to be very clear and helpful.
JayVanveen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2016, 10:52 AM   #5
Steve Colle
Freelance Editor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,507
Steve Colle is a jewel in the roughSteve Colle is a jewel in the roughSteve Colle is a jewel in the rough

Jay, Rin strengthened my point of focusing on what matters and less on the micromanaging of details. To be honest, I used to do the exact same thing when I first started writing and was told by my artist at the time that he needed to have some space to breathe creatively. As a matter of fact, depending on the relationship and trust I have with the artist, as well as considering their talent and experience, I still put in details that are more specific if it has a direct purpose to the story. If it's just me being anal without purpose, then it's just me trying to control the situation. What I suggest is you put yourself in their shoes: if the artist was the one who created the plot and you were working with their vision, would you feel tied down if they did this kind of thing to you?

The other thing I mentioned in the edits was the use of Fin's left hand. You stated in your comments here that his left hand does have significance later in the script, but due to this importance not being brought up earlier, the artist won't know that importance either. Mention it in your character sheet.
__________________
Every good story must accomplish two goals: Convey information effectively and incite an emotional response. If one or both of these are lacking, the story won't keep the attention of your audience.
Steve Colle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2016, 11:09 AM   #6
JayVanveen
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: 台中,台灣。
Posts: 6
JayVanveen is on a distinguished road

Steve,

You guys are totally right that I was just thinking about it in my head and not considering the artist's interpretation of the panel description. The best thing I have taken away from this is that it doesn't matter if it's clear to me, it needs to make sense to the person reading it. Keep it simple and easy to understand.
My remaining confusion lies within my details in panel descriptions. I understand I'm being to anal in certain respects, but other times I feel like you guys have said I'm omitting crucial information. I think I've made the error of mistaking gratuitous description for clarity. Do you guys have any advice on the specifics to keep in my while describing a panel. Any rule of thumb you follow? I know you've a veritable library of scripts here and the Nuts and Bolts section is a invaluable resource, but I figured I'd try and pick you're brains a little on the specific topic.
JayVanveen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2016, 07:17 PM   #7
Steve Colle
Freelance Editor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,507
Steve Colle is a jewel in the roughSteve Colle is a jewel in the roughSteve Colle is a jewel in the rough

Any opportunity you have to examine the scripts of professional comic book writers will be a huge lesson in what works within the industry itself. The following link to Comics Experience has script samples from actual published comics by popular writers in this industry.

http://www.comicbookscriptarchive.co...e/the-scripts/

What I suggest you do is read these scripts and take notes as to what helps you picture what the writer has intended vs. what you feel is needless information. These aren't the only scripts available for reference online, so explore a bit. You'll also see that quite often, the writer's relationship with the artist will dictate just how much information gets put into panel descriptions.
__________________
Every good story must accomplish two goals: Convey information effectively and incite an emotional response. If one or both of these are lacking, the story won't keep the attention of your audience.
Steve Colle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2016, 07:43 PM   #8
SamRoads
Also known as Felix
 
SamRoads's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cardiff, UK
Posts: 308
SamRoads has a spectacular aura aboutSamRoads has a spectacular aura about

Thanks for another edit, Steves and Ryan. Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you got 'til its (nearly) gone.

One thing I can add to this is that 'disinterested' is oft mixed up with 'uninterested'. The former is what you hope a judge will be at your trial (impartial). The second is what you hope your attorney will not be (bored).
__________________
Editor
CreativeScreenwriting.com
"The best magazine for screenwriters" - The LA Times
SamRoads is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2016, 02:05 PM   #9
Artloader
Registered User
 
Artloader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: England
Posts: 402
Artloader is on a distinguished road

Thanks Steven, Steve, Ryan and Jay for this week's session. Personally I'm learning a lot by reading these critiques and then having a go at some critiques myself.

Jay I enjoyed your script and the beginnings of the story that you are trying to tell.

If I may, I had a suggestion on your Page 2, Panel 5 where Steve C. picked you up on the confusing panel description. I think make this a side view of Bones and Ghost Zoe's legs but mention Ghost Zoe earlier on in your description:
We see Bones in the hole at the centre of the panel facing panel right, he's looking up slightly from his bent over digging position at Ghost Zoe who we can see from the waist down on the right of the panel. The car headlights are shining from behind Ghost Zoe i.e. from panel right to panel left. Ghost Zoe is in a white dress that runs just to the knees. A bit of blood stains the bottom of the dress as it spills down from above. Maybe even a little goes down her leg. Keep it focused on Bones, from what we can see on his face, he looks slightly confused. (Forehead skin scrunched up, eyes tightening.)
Please take this with a pinch of salt but hopefully it might give you some ideas.

I wish you all the best with your project Jay, keep going .
__________________
ďToday, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.Ē -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Artloader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2016, 10:19 AM   #10
DarkHalf05
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 225
DarkHalf05 has a spectacular aura aboutDarkHalf05 has a spectacular aura about

Quote:
We see Bones in the hole again, but here, heís just noticed something. He looks up slightly from his bent over digging position, from what we can see on his face, he looks slightly confused. (Forehead skin scrunched up, eyes tightening.) Between him and the car (opposite side from which Fin just walked away in) we see a pair of slender womanís legs, and the bottom of a white dress that runs just to the knees. A bit of blood stains the bottom of the dress as it spills down from above. Maybe even a little goes down her leg. Keep it focused on Bones. Only show the girl from the waist down. Itís GHOST ZOE.
Since there were a lot more edit notes than panel description on this one, I took them out this time for clarity sake. Hope you all don't mind. But here is this week's panel!



I know you already got dinged on it in the edits, but the panel descriptions were a bit hard to follow. There were several times in the script I had to read something two, three, or more times to attempt to get a visual picture. With this panel, I had to do an overhead view of the scene (using panel one for placement of the characters) and then sketch this out using addition to see the scene. In other words, I knew there had to be a hole with Bones digging, then the car for the light source, and finally Ghost Zoe. While I knew all those things had to be in the scene, I didn't have a clear picture until I started sketching it out (compositionally).

I am glad that several of my questions from the last time had been answered! The light, the size of the hole, how deep. All that stuff is a huge help. Now, with the newer updates I did have another question. Is Ghost Zoe tangible? While it is entirely possible that this is answered in the character description sheet, it would effect the art you receive. If she is not tangible, then she should be transparent. Even if she is tangible, does the light effect her and to what extent? She could create a cast shadow, or have none at all. She could be in a rim light or be flat colored. When you go back and edit, I'm not suggesting you put that all in the script, but rather in the character description sheet and discuss it with your artist before hand. It will be a big help and it will keep the description length down.

If Fin favors his left hand, just throw that in the script early on, or bring it to the attention of the artist during the creation process. After that, they will know that is the dominating hand he should be using. If you receive something back that doesn't fit, then you can request an edit. And it will save that much more on your panel descriptions.

Any one else amused by the irony that I'm giving panel description confusion advice after last week? Anyway...

Going back to this weeks panel, you asked for Bones to be confused, with his forehead scrunched up and his eyes tight. Confusion is a form of surprise/astonishment. With that we have lifted eyebrows and eyes that are wide, typically with the pupil not touching the eyelid in the art. This contrasts the tight eyes you asked for, which I believe would fall more into skepticism/questioning type of expression (which is entirely possible with the context of the story). With the art, I decided to go more towards the astonished look with the eyes and a closed mouth.

There are a few cases where you have some mixed emotions that don't work too well with each other. A few months ago I posted a reference picture from Jack Hamm's book Cartooning the Head and Figure. It's an amazing book. One of my personal favorites that I keep within reach of my work station. Last time I only posted one of the two pages. I'm going to share both because I think they will benefit you greatly with your writing. My suggestion is everyone picks this book up, honestly.





Combine these with the writer emotion wheel I posted two weeks ago, and I think you will significantly improve the clarity in your work.

Let your artist have fun and bring some of themselves to the story, and the work you get in return will have more heart put into it, and be better quality than if they follow all the minutia presented in the script. Give them a sense of what you're going for, and let them do the lifting for you. Just think, you could probably bang out two more scripts in the same time just by cutting out all that extraneous detail.

Anyway, Jay, excellent work. You definitely tried to apply your crits from last time and the story was a different experience because of it. Hopefully with this batch of edits you have a better understanding of where it should go. I think you're getting there. Keep getting feedback from your peers!

Just out of curiosity, is there a place where I can read the entire script? I am kinda interested in seeing where this goes.
DarkHalf05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2016, 12:14 PM   #11
DarkHalf05
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 225
DarkHalf05 has a spectacular aura aboutDarkHalf05 has a spectacular aura about

Quote:
Close on Ghost Zoeís face. Her blank expression as turned to one of extreme melancholy. Her(?) seem to plead as she squints them slightly. Her face has a slight wince to it. She opens her mouth wider now and blood spills from it as well. Her chin is wet with blood as it has spilt down. Itís as if she is trying to talk but canít.

Youíre spending so much time and effort trying to be horrific that you arenít doing the same in creating your story. (Being horrifically boring, maybeÖ Pleading, squinting, but blood running from an open mouth? Mr. Kroboth, if you could see your way to trying this one as well, weíd all be much obliged.)
I had to look up the words melancholy and wince to be sure what was being asked for in the panel. Yay for learning! Basically you were wanted a sad expression with a pained look. The last part, looking as if she is attempting to talk but can't, cannot be drawn. Also, with out sever sequential panels I don't think we can show the blood running/flowing from her mouth. However, I do get what you are thinking. So, this is what I came up with for Ghost Zoe.

DarkHalf05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 12:40 PM   #12
Artloader
Registered User
 
Artloader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: England
Posts: 402
Artloader is on a distinguished road

Quote:
Any one else amused by the irony that I'm giving panel description confusion advice after last week? Anyway...
To be a great teacher you should never stop learning Ryan! It's admirable that you submit yourself to the same rigours as your students .

Fascinating post on facial expressions - thanks for sharing.
__________________
ďToday, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.Ē -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Artloader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2016, 09:21 AM   #13
LukePierce
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 108
LukePierce is a jewel in the roughLukePierce is a jewel in the roughLukePierce is a jewel in the rough

No amusement. Just impressed you learn so quickly!
LukePierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2016, 02:47 AM   #14
gmartyt
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 158
gmartyt is on a distinguished road

Quote:
This needs two panels to allow for both lines of dialogue and their corresponding actions to be presented, as well as to pace out a pause between both. (Why draw out the uninteresting? The two balloons should be enough of a pause. How can a longer pause be achieved within this same panel, Greg?)

Putting an ellipsis in front of the second line should do the trick. But that's boring, so I rewrote this panel and next one.

Quote:
Panel 6. Fin is leaning over the bar and has the receiver of the phone to his face. The cord is stretched across the gap of the space behind the bar. Horace looks uninterested. A stream of blood and spit is flying up in the foreground. The other bar patrons are looking towards the foreground in distress.

FIN:
Yeah?

SFX:
Bam

PATRON(tailless):
Oh God!

FIN:
Yeah.

SFX:
Pow

PATRON(tailless):
He's killing him!

FIN:
OK.


Panel 7. Worm's eye view. Fin and Bones are walking towards the camera. Fin is casually smoking a cigarette. Bones, cracking his knuckles, is looking back over his shoulder at the drunk, who is in a bloody heap near the bar. The other patrons are either crowding around the drunk or keeping their distance from Fin and Bones.

FIN: Címon, kid.

FIN: We got work.

PATRON(tailless):
Call an ambulance!
The first thing I want to mention is that when I went to rewrite these panels I couldn't figure out where everyone was in relation to one another since you kept switching the order you described them in. Don't do that. If I were actually drawing these, it would have been pretty frustrating. Always describe from left to right.

Anyway, I chose not to make panel six a small panel. Typically, the size of the panel helps determine how much time passes within it, so if you want more time to pass, the panel should be bigger. I also chose to have Bones do something. Adding an ellipsis would have helped make the pause longer, but it would have also meant that Bones was just giving the drunk an angry look the whole time.
__________________
"You know, it's very easy to criticize."

"Fun too."
gmartyt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2016, 10:07 AM   #15
JayVanveen
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: 台中,台灣。
Posts: 6
JayVanveen is on a distinguished road

Art loader - Any and all critique is welcome as far as Iím concerned. Thank you for your thoughts.

Dark half - First off, the panel looks great. I mean it. You managed to take my poorly constructed panel description and give me pretty much exactly what I wanted. I had a slightly different angle in mind, but I know I failed to clearly articulate that. For Ghost Zoe, I was trying to go for a more morbidly beautiful type of look. Failed to describe that as well. I will get a copy of the book you suggested and spend some time on examining the emotion wheel. I bet Iíll see a few of the emotions I experienced while reading the edits on my second submission. Emotions like ďbitterly thankfulĒ and ďtrying to remain objective and keeping defensiveness down while reading experts bash my labored effortsĒ. Also, ďlugubriousĒ.

But in all seriousness, all of this is helpful, and getting the dope straight from an artist is something great for me to hear (or read,).
My email is Jayvanveen@gmail.com. Drop me a line and Iíll shoot you a copy of the script. I actually have a complete 10 issue run written (not presuming you want to read the whole damn thing). This is my first attempt at comics. I know I have a ton of work cut out for me if I ever want to make it worth a damn, and I ainít the type of fella to get knocked down and just stay there on the canvas.

Thanks again!


gmartyt - Thanks for the rewrite and the advice. Iím not being sarcastic when I say that when somebody points to a single thing Iíve done wrong and simply states ďDonít do that.Ē itís seriously helpful. Thatís the kind of learner I am. One that needs to be shown a clear mistake thatís been made and then slapped in the back of the head. Cheers.
JayVanveen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
© 1997-2015 Digital Webbing, LLC