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Old 12-21-2015, 11:52 AM   #1
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TPG Week 260: A Better Resubmission


Welcome back, one and all, to another installment of The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a resubmission from Sean Mills, all the way back from Week 248. Liam is off this week, leaving Ryan Kroboth and I to do the heavy lifting with pencils and the red pen, respectively. If you want to see what was done first, go ahead. We're all going to see what Sean has learned with his resubmission of

Forever Blue, Issue #1

Page 1 (four panels)

Panel 1: Rectangle. Bird’s eye view of a patch of barren wasteland. The ground is a dusty brown, with some scattered vegetation and rocks here and there. On the distant horizon are mountains. It’s daytime. The Nevermore is on the left side of the panel, while a second, different ship is on the right side. There are three figures standing in front of the Nevermore, and four figures standing in front of the second ship. The two groups are facing one another. There is a small shipping crate on the ground in front of the Nevermore crew. (An establishing shot, so I'll forgive the wordiness.)

Lettering: Swine’s speech bubble will come from the lead character in the group of four on the right side of the panel. (At the risk of making the panel description even wordier, the artist should know a bit of something of who the groups are. It could be the Hatfields and the McCoys. I don't care. They'd at least have a point of reference. That would alleviate the need for this note.)

Caption: The planet Rhyl. (Oooh! A period. Know what this means? I should have had rage-quit the first time around. See what happens when you give the benefit of the doubt? You get burned. Burned, I say. Burned!) (Forgive me. I'm under the weather, and I'm angry, so I have to get what joy wherever I can.)

Caption: The Kylee Basin.

Swine: I’m just supposed to take your word that everything is here?

Panel 2: Large panel taking up the bulk of the page. We’re facing Dackard, Mel and Mungo, standing and facing forward. Dackard is in front, Mel is standing on Dackard’s right, Mungo is over Dackard’s left shoulder. In the foreground, at their feet, is the shipping crate. In the background, behind them, is the Nevermore with the gang plank open revealing the cargo bay inside. The sun is high in the sky behind them.

Dackard has her arms crossed, smirking, her posture is casual, but she’s not slouching. The handle of her blue ax is protruding up over her right shoulder. She has a blaster in a holster on her right hip. Most of Mel’s face is hidden by her helmet, but her mouth is visible, and she’s smirking confidently. Mel’s body language looks ready for a fight. She has two daggers, sheathed on both hips. Both hands are resting on their hilts, though only one has to be visible. Mungo looks tough and dangerous, a large, futuristic-looking shotgun resting on his shoulder, the barrel pointed towards the sky. His finger rests near the trigger. (Well, it doesn't look like much was learned from the last pass, was it?)

Dackard: My word has been good enough before, Swine.

Dackard: What’s the problem?

Mel: He seems a little antsy to me, Captain.

Click here to read more.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:42 PM   #2
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Woohoo! They liked it better! That's a plus, and my main goal in this rewrite. I completely agreed the last time that my pacing was bad, and that's what I worked on most this time around. I'm glad the scene works better this time around. Thank you.

I'll work on the micro-managing. I think all my character descriptions were a result of reading so many of these submissions where the writers are harped on not providing any character descriptions, so I just went too far in the other direction.

And apologies on no page break for Page 6. That was definitely just a formatting error, it seems. It looks like there's a page break when I open the file, but probably only because Page 5 seems to go to the bottom of the page.

Thanks again for the review!

Also, while I'm here, where can I find the writing challenges that sometimes get reviewed on the Proving Grounds? I think I'd like to try my hand at one of those.

And just to share, I've had an artist friend of mine draw up a character design for the main character, Dackard.

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Old 12-21-2015, 06:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanIanMills View Post
And just to share, I've had an artist friend of mine draw up a character design for the main character, Dackard.
Did they happen to do a concept sketch of the blaster? I'm actually really looking forward to drawing this panel later!
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:10 PM   #4
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Nope, afraid not! I didn't really consider the blaster to be anything iconic. Just a standard issue space blaster. Though now that you bring it up...
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:17 PM   #5
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Dackard: I said we’re done here.

Dackard: We made the delivery. We got paid. End of transaction.

Dackard: Enjoy your dumb crate. Be grateful that you get to keep your head.

Dackard: I’ve got more lucrative places to be. (Four lines. Four balloons. Someone tell me what would have been better here and why.)

a.) Cut a line, preferably the first one. If she's reiterating something, it can probably go.

b.) Say lines 2 & 3 in a new panel, a headshot of Dackard looking bad-ass.

c.) Have the final line occur over the panel described, as she turns her back and delivers that vital bon mot which spaceship captains must deliver, else lose their cargo license.

****

Steven - thanks for doing the column this week. Much appreciated.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:35 PM   #6
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Panel 1: Focus on Dackard from the bust up. She has narrowed her eyes, and has raised her blaster in one hand. She fires three red laser blasts in quick succession. The barrel of the gun moves from left to right across the panel with each shot, with ghost images for the first two shots. (Mr. Kroboth? Methinks you’re up.)
Before I post the panel, Sean, I gotta say this was a great improvement over your last entry. It's obvious that you put the time and effort into this submission. Nice work! The humor had me grinning and is something I could totally get into.

Here is the panel I came up with for this week.



I wasn't sure if you intended for the whole arm to be ghosted across the panel or not. That was the impression I got at first, with the reference to the barrel. But it seemed a little open to interpretation, and I thought the ghosting would work better as just the shots rather than the whole arm.

I just realized as I copied the text that only the first two shots should have been ghosted and the third should be firing from the barrel. My bad on that one.

The only thing I really have for feedback on this panel is being able to see her eyes are narrowed isn't going to come across well at this distance. Since this isn't film we will miss it as an action. I attempted to use the expression of the eyebrows to be scrunched down a little to show the intent. It's up to you to decide how important that is.

Again, nice work. I'm hoping I'll get to read this as a comic sometime in the near future!

Ryan
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:54 AM   #7
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You CHANGED your name to Swine?

It used to be shit house.

Good change. Good change.

(Sorry, had to.)
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Panel 3: Zoom out to full body shots. Dackard has turned her back to Swine and is walking quickly towards the gangplank of the Nevermore (How can the reader tell she’s walking quickly?). Her hand is returning her blaster to its holster. Her face is all business. Behind her, Swine is lowering his arms and coming out of his crouch, looking worried. His goons lie in a pile behind him. The package remains on the ground, untouched as Dackard passes.

Goon Pile: Glurrg…
One thing I noticed about this panel is the placement of the characters verses the dialog. You have:

Dackard>Swine>Goon pile

The dialog for the panel has the goon pile speaking first. So, even though they are on the far right of the panel, their dialog would be coming up in the panel first. I guess this is possible if they are up higher in the panel, and her dialog is below the characters. I was just wondering if this was your intention. It threw me off a bit.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:20 AM   #9
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I guess I don't read enough of these columns, but I thought you were totally serious about changing the name to Swine...

Thanks for the panel pic, Ryan! I like the ghosting of just the shots - though yeah, heh, the last one should be on the barrel. Still, it looks great! And thanks for the tip on the narrowing eyes vs. eyebrows. That will come in handy on the next rewrite.

And thanks for the new dialogue suggestions, Sam! That's an easy fix.

As for the goon pile line, I meant that more as a background aside. It's just a little sign to show they're still alive and that she didn't just murder them all. I'll make that dialogue distinction clear, thank you.
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