Author Topic: May 2 - kwkak37 - Paper Boy Part 1  (Read 2080 times)

kwkak37

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May 2 - kwkak37 - Paper Boy Part 1
« on: May 02, 2011, 01:30:49 PM »
I'm really not sure if I did all the submission criteria correctly... if you're reading this, hope you enjoyed this, or what haven't you enjoyed?

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: May 2 - kwkak37 - Paper Boy Part 1
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 02:37:32 PM »
I am going to preface this by saying I am likely bias against this genre of comic.  As much as I love comics in general, there is little in the "YA" category I enjoy.  That doesn't mean there isn't stuff I DO enjoy, there just isn't much.  Now on to the critique.

I am already disinterested in the characters because of how ridiculously cliche they are.  the nerdy kid makes me think "Martin Sue," since with the name Kevin I'll assume you're male.  The touch chick makes me think . . . well . .. about every other nerdy boy, touch chick combo I've seen.  Their introductions, him reciting radical facts and mathmatic equations was almost the most boring thing i've ever read.  Not because the character interactions weren't interesting (there was some decent dialogue there) but because that kind of reaction has been done a hundred thousand times.

Emily's description of fighting people seems to have served 2 purposes, and one of which is likely unintentional.  The first is, it did indeed make her seem "tough" so good job. The second is that she is totally incompetant as a fighter.  If this was intended, you did it brilliantly and should be praised for your amazing skills (no sarcasm, honest truth).  If this was not intended, then this is simply a matter of research.  I, personally, know an absurd amount of martial arts trivia and from your description of the manuever you didn't know the name of, I didn't know it either.  This means, unless you can demonstrate it to the artist yourself, he or she is probably not going to have an idea either.

Secondly, anyone who actually tries to kick a knife out of a hand as a primary attempt at a disarm is going to get their foot cut open unless he or she is wearing some pretty heavy boots.  And that only works if the knife fighter isn't holding it in a reverse grip (thus meaning he's actually competent at it and not just an idiot with a blade).  And that's assuming the guy she's kicking isn't fast enough or trained or experienced to actually catch the foot and stab her in the shin.  So like I said, this is either brilliant or flawed, depending on your intentions.

Alright, on to comic formating.  Do you have an artist already?  If you do, great.  If your artist doesn't flake on you, even better!  I'm going to assume you've already thought through publication and are formating everything toward that goal, so that is the last I will say on the subject.

My overall feelings with the piece is that there is nothing here to hook me or even make me want to pick up the next volume.  The characters aren't all that interesting, the situation is bland with the exception at the end with the funky red-eyed animal but that really wasn't enough.  The writing isn't bad, but aside from the voice in his head with a name, everything was cliched and predictable.  to be fair though, if you had not added the hints of supernatural whatever at the end there, I would have been dissappointed.  But I think that's personal for just me. 

hubay

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Re: May 2 - kwkak37 - Paper Boy Part 1
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2011, 03:05:11 PM »
I'm going to have to agree with a lot of what LTU said. I'll also point out, though, that he gives that same critique to a lot of people's first posts – no offense, LTU, I think you have a lot of valid points – so don't get discouraged. I'll also toss in the caveat that it's hard to make an intro that's NOT cliche, especially in some kind of SFF, even if your story itself is original. So what makes your plot special, what makes it stand out from the pack? If we can see a little more of that in the introduction we're more likely to keep reading and get to the bulk of the plot.

As a character, I also agree Boris is too smart, too generally nerdy. Unless he has a very special reason to be extremely smart, he ends up as a caricature. I would instead take one out of all the different areas of study you have him talk to emily about – monty python, quantum mechanics, etc. – and have that be his passion. There are still renaissance men and women, sure, but most people have a few specific things they focus on. Say he really just enjoyed the monty python thing: a theater geek is already more interesting and believable than someone who's just in generally bookish and smart. It would also make a good dynamic between him and emily – he likes theatre for plot and dialogue, probably loves classic cinema. She likes kung fu flicks.

Not that that's the only way to take it, of course. I just wanted to give you an example that would give the characters more depth.

I also think you should put in argie sooner, probably during the conversation. It will feel more fluid that way – instead of having two seperate conversations consecutively, they sort of overlap – and it would increase reader interest if you have a voice egging him on or goading him while the two kids talk, but you don't actually explain the voice itself until after she leaves. The ninja dialogue at the end is alright, actually, but a bit cheesy. I think it could be trimmed down a little bit if necessary.


LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: May 2 - kwkak37 - Paper Boy Part 1
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 03:46:55 PM »
No offense taken hubay, and if I am willing to be honest, you're right.  I am quite mean to first timers.  It's honestly not as bad as I made it out to be.  Opening with the characters talking is a good thing.  The format of the story telling was good.  It strikes me as a particularly character based story and that's a good thing.

akoebel

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Re: May 2 - kwkak37 - Paper Boy Part 1
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2011, 09:12:44 PM »
First, I'd like to mention that I have never read a comics script before, so I'm a little fuzzy on pacing for this format. As I also don't know what length you're aiming for, it's difficult to judge if you have enough space to introduce the characters or not.

That being said, I found the beginning of the strip slow (both in narrative and in comics panels used). The first real bit of dialog comes in at the end of page 3. Even after the dialog starts, we don't find anything really interesting until page 9, then nothing until page 13.

I agree with the others that kicking someone with a knife is a pretty stupid thing to do (well, I'm a big adept of "the best way to get out a knife fight is not to get into one"); though I can attribute that glitch as just a kid showing off to another. For the math part, I have some doubts about the quartic equations solving being easier if the X^2 term is absent, so check that out.

As a general comment, people who study everything tend to come out as people who aren't passionate about anything (not to mention that nobody likes a know it all). I think you want people to like your character, right? So maybe reducing his number of fields of interest might be a good thing; even a superhero needs flaws and problems.

Talking about problems, I would have liked to see some issues raised about the character (having a voice in his head is not a big enough problem). Maybe he's picked on by other kids (though this would push the cliché even further). Maybe teachers don't like him, maybe... Give us something to like. Right now, we don't have much besides him being funny-ish.