Comic #111: Series Premiere

Monday, July 7th, 2008

After a bit of a delay, the new page is posted, and with it comes a new story and a few experiments in style. As you all can tell, this page looks a little different than previous updates. The reason is because I was recently suggested by the graduate review board at SCAD that while the colored pages for the book looked really great, the grayscale online versions were sorely lacking in detail and presentation. The fact that I was sticking with the three-gray tones that I had been using for the newspaper strips meant I was skimping out in details on the new larger format. So, taking that bit of critique into account, I’m trying something new with this story.

I’ve added shadows over the grays and gave the entire comic an overall sepia/faded newspaper look. I’ve always loved sepia and the traditional feel it brings to the medium, as it’s also the base tone that I will be using for the upcoming Chronicles of Ademar. I’m going to be experimenting with this new look for the online comics, since it did feel a little unfair to only put the real effort into the printed version. I will still post full-color updates when I get enough donations, but until then I want to make the online version at least somewhat comparable in quality.

In terms of the story for this page, this is the second appearance for Dr. Munchkinn and Fritz. I don’t have too many “villain” characters in the comic yet — aside from Chelsea, of course — so I thought it would be interesting to push them a bit further in that direction. Read through the original six strips with their debut in the comic, and then take a close look at Fritz on this page. Notice anything… different? Hmmm, indeed.

Let me know what you all think of the new look for the online comic, and if I should change anything. This is an experiment so I want to make sure I’m getting it right. More to come next week!

18 Responses to “Comic #111: Series Premiere”

  1. WM Says:

    Ooh, ooh, I know! He gots an eyepatch! ^_^ I’m guessing it’s from the hook the worms “caught” him with?

  2. Mike Says:

    Hooray, you are back with a new strip! I can’t wait to see where this heads. And I liked the old style, even though it was a little flat, because it still felt vibrant. This new one feels a little dark, but I will give it a chance.

  3. Jon Ponikvar Says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Mike. I think it may look a little darker because of the shadows. I have never added shading to the online comics before now, so that’s probably why there is a noticeable difference. I also decided to finally give gray tones to Peter’s fur, which — before now — has been pure white in the online comic. Otherwise I’m using the same levels of gray as before.

    I’ll try and play with the shadows a bit in the next page to see if it will help with the overall brightness.

  4. Lingonius Says:

    Hrmm.. first of all, just wanted to say I’m glad you’re back and updating the comic. The first page of this arc has piqued my interest already! Also, your style is really fun.. like the speach bubbles dripping water in the 7th panal. :P

    Anyways, about the style… To be honest, though I appreciate the shading, I’m just not enjoying the speia tone. I’ve honestly never read a comic in sepia tone before and it just doesn’t seem to… sit right. I’m no art expert, but if there was a way to shade - but keep with the greys, whites, and blacks - I would prefer that over this. Just my feelings on it, though…

    Either way, it’s not going to stop me from reading your wonderful comic! :P

    P.S. Is The Chronicles of Ademar a strictly for sale comic? You won’t be posting anything online?… apart from the samples that have been up for ages. x3

  5. Origamist101 Says:

    Overall brightness…..lacking a bit in the house, but very well done with the TV. If the TV was slightly granulated, to make it appear to be flickering, like and actual set, that would be SO COOL!

    Jon, live long and prosper!

  6. Kevin Says:

    This story line has me really excited. Pretty much all of the conflicts that Peter has had to deal with have been with himself. Now we get to see how Peter will handle things bigger than himself (much like the “letter” story line)

    Looks great, John!

  7. nocara Says:

    Finally a new comic ^^
    The new colors are like the old photos, so when i saw i thought that it was an flash back XD. So i still prefering the old version.

  8. Jon Ponikvar Says:

    I went ahead and changed the comic back to the original grayscale. I think it’s safe to say that the sepia was not the best idea I’ve had so far, but hey, this was an experiment in style and it looks like I’ll be sticking with what already works. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” right? :) Thanks to everyone for the feedback! If anyone has any further comments on the comic in its present form, please do share, as I love to hear what my readers think and I want to make it as readable as I can.

    Lingonius: Ademar is indeed going to be a strictly for-sale comic, but the old pages that have “been up for ages” aren’t even a part of the book anymore. I will be posting NEW sample pages and new materials sometime very soon. You can even see for yourself that the Ademar site has been taken down pending a complete redesign and relaunching. I’ll have more info to post on that as I get the work done this summer.

  9. nocara Says:

    “The experients are the mother of the science”

  10. Rachel Says:

    Hey, glad to see a new arc starting! ^^ I hope you don’t feel bad at all about the sepia experiment; it was bold and daring to try something new and I agree with Nocara–experiments have proven quite useful throughout history!


    p.s. Seth is TOTAl AWESOMENESS! I especially love the panel where he has the “shock sparks” as he reacts to the t.v. Whoohoooo Seth! I wish he was my guardian angel. TT.TT

  11. Sharif Says:

    I don’t know. The old way wasn’t perfect either. Sometimes the colors or lack of them would cause things to blend into the background. I.E. Iggy’s shirt on the first panel. Maybe the old style with more grays?

  12. Jennifer Says:

    YES!!! Another update! I like the shading, but with shading also comes highlights. I think it’ll brighten it up a lot if there were some slight highlights with it, as well as the shadows. They’re like peanutbutter and jelly; hard to separate (the couch also felt a little dark). I would also like to see where this story is going. =)

    PS. I LOVE Peter’s new.. look/color/shading/whatever. =)

  13. Jon Ponikvar Says:

    Thanks again for the feedback, everyone! :) I’m glad you all seem to like where the story is going.

    With the shading, I agree that I need to push up the levels of gray, but at the same time I want there to be some consistency between the pages. My old palette consisted of four gray levels (including the near-black that I used from time to time), so to enhance the look I made a new palette with ten separate levels of gray. I’m in the process of making myself a reference sheet to show which levels are used for which characters (at least until I get it all committed to memory, which shouldn’t take too long). I’ll also start including highlights to brighten things up a bit.

    We’ll see how the next page looks using the new palette.

  14. Sharif Says:

    Yeah, when I used to use comic tone for my comic I kept a word document telling me exactly how I laid out the tone for grass and other things since I kept forgetting between one comic to the next. However 10 types of grays seems a lot easier to remember than all the types of tones and the scaling and angles. Also on the web the grays seem to look a lot better.

  15. Origamist101 Says:

    Peter looks older with the shading. It takes a bit out of his personality. :-(

    Go ADD!

  16. Jon Ponikvar Says:

    Sorry about the delay, guys. On the positive side of things, I haven’t been able to update P&C because I’ve been working crazy hard on The Chronicles of Ademar. You’ll see new pages soon though, as I AM making specific time this week to do the next few pages in this story arc. I want to have a little backlog of pages to dip into in case I don’t have the time to work on P&C during the week (as the case has been for the past few times).
    So yes, new page next week, and if I can really get all the work done that I want to… possibly the relaunch of the Ademar website, too! We’ll see what happens.

  17. Origamist101 Says:

    Yah. *waves enthusiasm flag around*

  18. Alexsandria Says:

    I think it’s funny that she thinks that they’re twits when SHE called them.

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