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Old 06-13-2019, 07:12 AM   #1
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Post Butcher with a Smile #1 Out Now

Hi All,

I the writer and co-creator of Butcher with a Smile #1 which is on sale now.

Two detectives are brought on to solve a string of murders over New York where the killer leaves a smile etched into the victims face. They quickly learn this is no ordinary case and that they could be dealing with something supernatural.

Issue one is available here and I ship all over the world - https://covenantofhorror.bigcartel.com

Here are some reviews of the book - https://thebaxter.news.blog/2019/04/...-with-a-smile/


Here is a preview -

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Old 06-26-2019, 04:18 AM   #2
Neil Allen
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My impressions:

First, I think the art is too basic. The art isn't necessarily wrong from what I saw, though I didn't give it a very thorough examination. It's just not gripping for me.

Then I thought you were dumping too much text on readers in the first panel...if that is the first panel of the book. I assume it is. I know you didn't write a lot there, but it kind of looks like you did, which can be a bit intimidating to a totally new reader and potential fan.

Having lettered as much as I have, I'm well aware that a single sentence will often fill up a good sized balloon. The way I do comics, I do everything, so I have to think about everything, which, to me, is more a blessing than a curse. When I'm writing, I think about lettering and how that's going to look, and I think it's good for comics writers to consider that.

I'm of the mind that a lot of word balloons at the start is often intimidating, because I go into this thinking that people actually DON'T want to read my story, but they might just glance at it a bit, as people often do with comics. It's my job to convince them that they DO want to read my story, and you've got to lure them right to be successful at that. If you expect a full commitment from the reader at the get-go, you'll probably fail, especially for us indie people with IP's no one cares about. You might be able to kinda slide with that if you're doing Justice League or Spider-Man. Some people like Bendis and Scott Snyder actually do this, which is bad form, I'd say, but they get away with it. But people like us? People will be extra quick to kick us to the curb and never look back. We have to do everything we can to stop that from happening.

This is comics, so I think the best thing you can try to do is hit people with good, gripping, and hopefully distinctive art right at the start, because they ARE NOT invested in your story. My tactic is to keep the text very light in the beginning and tell as much as I possibly can with strong art. Once people start getting more invested in the story and curious about what is going on and who the characters are, it would be a better time to hit them with more text, because, at that point, they'll be more willing to read it and won't be as intimidated, because they're already into the story.

Next, I noticed that your grammar isn't good. To be frank, this is a death knell for an indie writer. I do know of a very famous writer with dyslexia who has gotten away with this; Terry Goodkind of Sword of Truth fame. However, for most of us, our credibility as writers often goes out the window when our grammar is poor. Remember, people are already looking for reasons not to read us. Don't give them more.

I'll give you a specific example here.

You typed:
"Damn it another one that's the fourth one in as many weeks."

It should be this:
"Damn it, another one. That's the fourth one in as many weeks."

I hope that helps.
It may not have been the most positive post in the world, but it's often the people who let you know these things and take the time to really point them out who will be of most help to you in endeavors like this.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:01 PM   #3
Kevin Learn
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I agree with Neil. Too many words or no words at all are a mistake for your first page.
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:45 PM   #4
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Another thing.... huge shift in tone.

When I saw that cover I was expecting very dark and slightly twisted art inside.
Then I got cel-shaded anime style art - which looks quite friendly.

Neil made a good point regarding the text/speech.
Read it back to yourself...remember where you pause, go quiet, get loud, or exaggerate words etc.
We need to read it, how an actor would say it.

PERSONALLY if I like the cover, I expect it to represent the overall feel of the book.
PERSONAL taste here.
Have a look at all my other work.... you won't regret it.
Well you might, but do it anyway!



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Old 07-11-2019, 10:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for your feedback. The first image after the cover is the first page and that's the whole page and not a panel.

I think you make some interesting points but I think it all depends on the genre how you open the book. I will take into account the grammar when working on the third issue.
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