Author Topic: 'Unwanted' by Sheera  (Read 20703 times)

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Sheera

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'Unwanted' by Sheera
« on: June 10, 2008, 01:29:44 pm »
Hi there, everybody!

My name's Rebekka and I am a German woman at the age of 22 that's very interested in reading webcomics. My fascination in it started about... I don't now... maybe two years ago? A friend of mine introduced me to El Goonish Shive and Megatokyo and it was just too hilarious to not read it. ^^; Up to now it has become quite the routine for me to keep track of the about 20 webcomics I read, of which some are hosted on Xepher.net.

I myself am a good drawer (at least that's what my friends keep telling me) and always scrabble away at my own characters and the stories I made over the years. It always helps me keep track of how much they changed over time, which is very important to me. Anyone who has ever developed characters knows that they tend to somehow and illogically come to life and do things their creator not really has any control over. oO;

As of late I have played with the thought of finally getting one of my stories out of my head and into the public. I just couldn't stop drawing it, trying to fix the plotholes still left and getting a fixed appearance for my characters, which used to change a lot since I was never really satisfied with the way they came out.... ^^;

But at last I have reached a point where I am satisfied with their appearance, and the plotholes can wait. ^^ So I thought 'Why not try?' and went searching for a fitting environment to post my comics at. The obvious thing for a German to do in that case would be to look for a German page, but, alas!, there are none that I would approve of. Of course there's Animexx.de where you can host your doujinshi or whatever, but you canNOT decide on the appearance of the comic itself. There is but one layout you can use, the handling is not my thing and you don't really have an overview on what comics are there and what you might like. There are WAY too many children scrabbling away boring stuff but try and go for interesting titles and such...

To make it short: I feel too old for that page.

So I had to look for other means of hosting my story, so I thought 'Why not check all the webcomics I read?' This made me end up with either ComicGenesis or Xepher as options. ComicGenesis seemed a bit impersonal to me, the application form there outright confuses me, so not good.

That left Xepher. Well, not really 'left' since I preferred it from the start but... left it. ^^; Xepher seems like a nice and tolerant platform, you can speak directly to the person owning the page. Plus, the content I've seen here so far seemed of good quality to me.

[ Whew, what a long intro... oO; ]

So... why should you admit me to your platform? I'll quote and aswer your instructions for applications so that I won't miss anything important. ; )

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Make sure you've read all site info. [...]

-> Check.

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Next, I suggest you read through some of the previous applications, to get a feel for how the process works, and what I'm looking for.

-> Check. I think I would fit in.

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First, I need the username you hope to get.

-> That would be Sheera. I haven't yet decided on a title for my comic, but since you said that it might take a while before one is permitted an account I think I have enough time to come up with a decent one until then.

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Next, I need your email.

-> RebekkaOhlms (at) googlemail (dot) com

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Next, a site description. Tell me what you plan to do, what your site will contain or be about. Include any thing else you want to mention, or that you think I should know.

-> As I stated before I intend to do a webcomic.

It is a story situated in a medieval Japan-like country with a mild fantasy touch (which will occur around the middle or end of the story). The story is about a young swordsman (the ronin-type) who gets hired as a bodyguard for a count's daughter. If I try to describe it more it will only end in a lot of spoilers, but if you insist I'll do that. But ONLY if you insist. ; )

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Now, the main part of the application. Basically, what you're trying to do is convince me that you're going to provide something interesting and creative to the world.

-> My drawing style is quite nice even though its not perfect. I'm im school right now (adult education) so I cannot upload any samples, but I will do so later. I will post here what is supposed to be the opening panel and maybe some of my other scribbles. But I have to warn you! Most of them are done on checkered paper (I scribble mostly in school, thus the lack of white paper art :/ ). The comic itself, however, will of course be done on white paper. I am kind of a perfectionist, so I'll do my best and still be not completely satisfied with it, but I try to get over that. ^^;

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One way, and probably the best, is to provide me with a URL to your current website.

I have no website, nor have I ever had one. My boyfriend has one and will help me create one since I'm new to HTML. As for art, please see above.

I intend to have the website as simple as possible, at least at the beginning. I will post the comic bilingual, German and English, and still have to figure out a way to do that in the most convenient way for the readers. I imagined something like flag-buttons, that change the language of the page without sending the reader to the starting page, but I don't know if that is possible with plain HTML...

What I have in mind is a dark blue background, some nice buttons set off in a lighter blue, and a logo at the top of the page, along with a menu.

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Of course, some people are just starting out their creative careers, and don't really have much to show as of yet. Because of this, I'm going to allow a third option I call "The Challenge." This one is based on the old Phase 1 application system. Basically, it works like this: You let me know you want to go by the challenge method, and I'll start asking you questions.

YYYYYYYYYYYep. So I guess there's no other way for me but take that last method, so go on and ask. ^^

Ask all you like, I try to answer.

As for the 'foreign language'-thingie: You might have noticed that I'm quite good at written English. But I must insist on me posting the Comic in German as well, since A) some friends of mine who don't speak English as well (or none at all) are very interested in reading it, and B) I wrote the story in my native language, which would be German. It is just so much easier for me to do it in German and then simply translate the speechbubbles. Also, this gives me the opportunity to switch to the other language if someone uses code or secret speech. [ <- this is a spoiler and ought to be ignored xD ]

Sooo... It's about 15:30 around here, I'll go and add my art samples asap, which will probably be around 21:00 (and I am far too lazy to start calculating time zones now, sorry 'bout that ^^; )

I look forward to your initial response to all my babbling and hope it will be somewhat positive.

See you then,

Sheera (aka Rebekka)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 06:02:07 pm by Sheera »

Sheera

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Re: [A webcomic on which's name I yet have to decide on] by Sheera
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2008, 07:16:58 pm »
Sorry about that, but imageshack seems to be so down that I will have to try and upload the images tomorrow. : (

dragyn

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Re: [A webcomic on which's name I yet have to decide on] by Sheera
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2008, 10:08:48 pm »
English is good, that's a definite improvement over a few of the applications I've seen.

HTML, though...you said you've got someone to do the HTML for you, but could you give us an example of their work, perhaps?  Might just be me, but I 'unno.

As for posting it in both languages, I think there's an easy way to do that, using basic HTML, but it'd have to be made directly into each link...I think.  Someone around here is bound to know more about that than I, though.

Hmm...'till I can see any examples of artwork/HTML, I think that's all I have to say.

Good luck with your comic (and application)!

Xepher

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Re: [A webcomic on which's name I yet have to decide on] by Sheera
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008, 11:17:45 pm »
The language thing isn't a problem. I have no problem with people running things in other languages, but you just have to be aware I can't really read much in other languages when reviewing applications.

For now, I'm pretty much I'm waiting to see samples of your art.

Sheera

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Re: [A webcomic on which's name I yet have to decide on] by Sheera
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2008, 04:09:30 pm »
What you see here is the hard work of me uploading pictures to a sucking imageshack over the course of two days... oO Thirteen pics, five hours total. Oh. Emm. Gee.

I edited the scans so that the lines will stand out which was not always an easy task... some images have a really dark background which concludes from my drawing lines too light. I played around with contrast and light until I was somewhat satisfied with the way you can see them now.

http://img117.imageshack.us/img117/4384/45208106ka0.png

I start off with my avatar, Sheera. She's one of my most favourite characters and I made her, like, about six to eight years ago? oO I can't really recount how long ago that was, but I was very young there. Sheera was thirteen years old when she came into being, but in my current stories she is mostly about seventeen years old. You can basically say that we've grown up together. ^^;

http://img117.imageshack.us/img117/9379/71491873pj5.png

This is one of the characters of a friend of mine. He cannot draw too well himself so he wanted me to try and do it for him. I got a full description of some of his characters and this is what came out. The name of this one is Tronje. The image shows him in his younger days, when he was still one of the good guys.

http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/2787/27552011ol2.png

Another one of my friend's characters. He's an old thief of the hit and run type. See his large stick? Hit and run. ^^

http://img501.imageshack.us/img501/9475/44860510el2.png

Yet another character for my friend (even though he was not really happy with how he came out). He's a swordsman from a 'barbarian' tribe who was enslaved when still young. His master would have let him free by now, but he refuses to be freed because he likes his master.

I think he's cute.

http://img501.imageshack.us/img501/3387/68631682va9.png

From time to time I practise drawing animals as well, even though I end up drawing fantasy creatures most of the time. This one is a swan-like animal with a cockatoo-like head. The texture of the feathers I made up thinking of mandarin ducks, which I like very much for their colors.

http://img501.imageshack.us/img501/7528/31629641ok6.png

Here I tried to come up with as many female hairstyles as possible. I really broke my head back then, trying to think of stuff I didn't have drawn already.

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/5670/65951273cj1.png

"Like a phoenix from the ashes."

It's how I figure a phoenix could look like. They are basically large swans with very fuzzy feathers which are adorned with small pearls. One day I might even color it.

http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/6164/10yf6.png

This one is named Leo. He's a half-leonid character (who would have guessed?) I made up to play in one of my friends' RPG.

Also, this was one of my first trys at scenery. One day I just figured I REALLY needed to practice that.

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/2501/11gu9.png

Leo and Kassie, my friend's half-leonid character. They go along really well. This friend, too, asked me to draw a character of his, and even though he still thinks Kassie's face is WAY too flat he liked very much. I am SO proud of that, can you tell? *beam*

http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/3288/12ww5.png

This one I made for my school's paper. The theme was 'Education'. Yeah. 'Nuff said. oO

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/2746/17358872ud0.png

Like Sheera, this one is one of my favourite characters. She's an assassina and I tried out shading her clothes. Assassins in my story only wear black, so shading is an essential to coloring pictures of them. oO;

http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/4309/13jx9.png

My assassina again. I really like how I got her motion... It was really an experience drawing that. I started off at the arms and hands, then moved on to the lower body, and finally had problems getting the face to have the right size...

Yes, she IS going to kill the boy.



I hope this is a nice overview of how my drawing style looks like. ^^ If I have some spare time on the weekend I'll try and make an image of how I would want the page to look like.

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Re: [A webcomic on which's name I yet have to decide on] by Sheera
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2008, 07:44:40 pm »
Not too bad... though the sketches are all a bit empty and detailed. You seem to be getting a decent grasp of anatomy and perspective in most of the images though. I like the swan-thing the most, probably because it's one of the few you really shaded and "colored" as it were.

Your plan though, is to make a comic, not a sketchbook. The thing is, I've never seen a comic with sketch-level artwork make it anywhere. Keep in mind, "sketched" is not the same as "hand drawn." Plenty of comics are hand drawn, but they're polished, and cleaned up before going online. While that process is much less artistic than the actual drawing, it probably has as much (or more) impact on the final product.

I guess what I'm saying is this. I'd like to see you go ahead and work up, say, the first 5 pages or so of your proposed comic. If you're at all serious about this, you're going to want to do that anyway, no matter where you're hosted, or what web site you design, so it shouldn't really be an imposition. Let us see those first pages as finished products, when you feel they're complete, and ready for the public. Sketches are good and fine, and definitely showcase artistic talent, but you have to be able to manage the boring graphic-design part of things too. :-)

Sheera

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Re: [A webcomic on which's name I yet have to decide on] by Sheera
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 03:50:42 pm »
Thank you. I'll try to do that. It might take me some time, though, since I'm in the midst of end of term exams... The term is going to end in three and a half weeks, and in three weeks due my theater group is going show our play (Bunbury by Oscar Wilde ^^*), so we're practising almost every day, meaning I get home real late.

I'm (almost) sure I can do the 5 comics in the next week or so, but I won't promise. I'll try to do most of the work over the weekend.

Do you have any tips as to how to best edit the drawings, say, in GIMP or Photoshop 6? I do not have a graphic tablet so most of the work will be done with a mouse. I want to make the lines darker and then remove the sketchlines, leaving only the main lines which I already drew darker from the start.

edit: This is what I think the page would look like. It is just a draft, made mostly with Paint, but I think you can see what I have in mind.

The dark lines under the title and on the right to the menu are only to show where I want the frames' borders to be. Both title and menu are to be always like that, only the main frame showing the content is supposed to load.

Plus, I have decided on a name: 'Unwanted' would be fitting for both the story and the main character. ; )
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 06:13:26 pm by Sheera »

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Re: 'Unwanted' by Sheera
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2008, 07:55:33 pm »
I'm not overly worried about your site layout. So long as you'll have the resources to make it functional is all that really matters there. As for graphics advice... You're not gonna get anywhere with a mouse. Tablets take some getting used to as well, and you need some experience with the software to really make them functional drawing tools. Many people scan hand-drawn work into the computer, then ink (and optionally color) it there. There are the sort of things you probably need to figure out and become proficient at before attempting to do a comic. Digital media takes some getting used to, and it's usually a while after starting before people become comfortable and fast enough with it to produce comics on a regular basis.

Sheera

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Re: 'Unwanted' by Sheera
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2008, 08:41:12 pm »
Okay... I'll see how far I can get with the pictures in the oncoming week and post again when I have them ready. ^^ Until then I'm reading a bunch of tutorials.

Anyway, thanks for the tips. ; )

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Re: 'Unwanted' by Sheera
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2008, 08:30:33 am »
You don't have to do the inking and coloring in all digital. You could easily produce comics using traditional methods, like watercolors, color pencils, ink, markers, or just maxing out with graphite, using the full range of shading (or a combo of two or more of the previous mediums). You just need to do it with good craftsmanship like you would with digital. Using good materials always helps too, like bristol board for paper instead of cheap sketchpad. They take in more work and won't tear or get worn by as much erasing/fixing. Or you can just trace and clean up sketchy page and have a clean, well drawn page for inking.

I recommend at least inking the comic yourself, using the tracing method over the sketchy pages with maybe a rag marker paper, that's slightly transparent, or just good paper like bristol board and some form of light table substitute like a window on a sunny day or a glass table with a flashlight underneath. If you can't use traditional nib pens and ink, a brush pen, or those pigma micron type pens, at least use a pen that's got a good black ink to it and perhaps archival, like sharpie fine tip or whatever. Having white acrylic or even white-out is handy too for quick fixes. Honesty, you should really invest in good materials if this is something you want to get into, so do take that into consideration.

Just presenting more options than the usual digital means. It's even possible to just do the speech bubbles and lettering yourself, but I think that should probably be left for the digital methods. Most people don't have legible handwriting or they write too small for the web. Just make sure to pick a good font that's clean and not "trendy" or comic sans ms. You'll get ripped apart by any webcomic artist for doing so (especially for the comic sans font).

Hope that helps.

Sheera

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Re: 'Unwanted' by Sheera
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2008, 01:41:52 pm »
Thanks, fraunie, I'll try some of that methods.

Up to now I have drawn some comics but I'm not sure whether you really can call them comics since my story will start with 14 one-panels... ^^;

I scanned the first two of them and tried editing them, yet I am not at all satisfied with how they came out. The background is WAY too dark and I can't seem to get rid of that. I played around with light and contrast settings but that won't work. So I'll need to figure that out before this application can be completed.

Also I do want to try inking the drawings but atm lack in the financial department. ^^;

Last but not least, I have decided to first finish the one-panels PLUS the first actual story comic before posting here again. That way I can show you what my comic is supposed to look like (which will not be one-panel).

That leaves me with no option but to leave you waiting for some time more. I'm sorry about that, but really can't help it at the moment. The upcoming week will (just as the last two) literally absorb all of my free time for final rehearsals of our theatre group, we go on stage next Friday and the Monday after that. I yet have to draw the background sceneries (yay, me! oO ) and get equipment and such. Bleh. : P

But after the 7th of July I will finally get my free time back and hopefully as well the energy to draw on my project again. =)

I don't know how much time it will take to finish the above mentioned, but I will contact you again in three weeks at the latest. And I'll bring along what I have accomplished in the meantime. ; )

Sheera

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Re: 'Unwanted' by Sheera
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2008, 04:09:33 pm »
Hiya! ^^/

I've finally finished the introdutory sequence to Unwanted. It is kind of a song-fic referring to later events, but the song just fit. The sequence consists of 13 one-panels done with a simple pencil and a bit edited for better visibility of the lines.

The song is in German, therefore the text in the panels is German, too. I'll post the translation of it under each panel.

After these first 13 panels starts the original story to the last lines of the song. I have yet to draw them.

The original comic will be done with felt pens and the shading in GIMP. I've tried some things out that way and am satisfied with how it turned out (even though I still have to practise more, but time will fix that ^^). But I figured, that the introduction sequence will look better in pencil.

Enough with the babbling, here are the comics:


I was walking on twisted paths through the large, dense forest

My burden was heavy and the day was bitterly cold

Cheerles was my thoughts trail as well, lonely was my young heart, for there was no Beloved at home, that would ease my pain

Suddenly, on a hidden crossroad, she hurried past me like the wind

A glimpse of light, a beauty

A gentle constitution, white her dress

Ever since I come here day after day, hoping to see her again

To meet her, to kiss her. But I should have known

It was only the moment, the glimpse of an eye, then it was over, I let her go... And I will never ever see her again!

So soft and long her black hair, so sweet and white and pure her skin

A sight that makes me shiver, my heart beats fast, my heart beats loud

Struck by lightning with my mouth agape, speechles with legs turned to jelly

The burden on my back growing ever so light as the clouds that fly by

Remaining lines:

Doch nur ein Augenblick (However, just a moment)
Sie ist vorbei und meinem Blick entschwunden (She has went past and vanished from my sight)
Bin gelähmt, kann mich nicht rühr’n (Am paralyzed, cannot move)
Bin wie am Boden festgebunden (Feel like I'm tied to the ground)

(Refrain)


The song is (c) by the German band Schandmaul and is called Lichtblick (Glimpse of light). It is one of my favourites, a really tragic peace of work. The singer's voice is simply awesome!


I really hope that you like my work so far. ^__^


I will be on vacation (aka nowhere near a PC or internet connection what-so-ever) on these dates:

4. - 10. August
14. - 18. August

In that time I will rewrite the script I have so far, since I changed the format in which the comic will be done. How very clever of me. oO;

This week I will try and get into the topic of HTML and start building a page. That includes doing the images for buttons etc.



But until then I look forward to your replies. ^^

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Re: 'Unwanted' by Sheera
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2008, 07:22:51 pm »
Wow, I'm actually a big fan of Schandmaul, but they're not exactly popular music over here in the US, and thus hard to find. I've got a few albums, but haven't heard Lichtblick before. Anyway, the art for your intro panels is decently cleaned up. I'm still not sure it reads/feels like a comic really, but that's okay (and a matter of artistic choice.) I'm not quite sold, but I'm leaning towards a yes.

Sheera

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Re: 'Unwanted' by Sheera
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2008, 05:06:57 am »
Wow, you really are? I'm impressed! I wouldn't have thought that they were known at all in the US. Go Schandmaul! ^^

As I had to reassure a friend of mine, too, that the comic WILL have decent text once the song is done with. He complained that it is a bit cheesy, and I have to agree with him. oO But I still think that's better than having no real intro. For a comic that's going for sincere storylines there was just no way I could put up the characters saying 'Booyah, and this is our comic' (though I do like it that way in humorous comics).

Btw, what I've so far forgotten to mention is that I've done a comic before. It was a parody of the fairy tale 'Der Froschkoenig' (The Frog King) and is availabla as a PDF file, If you are interested. It's pretty silly and completely in German. It was part of a school project and I got an A+. xD

Anyone that's interested in it can send me their email address via PM and I'll forward it.

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Re: 'Unwanted' by Sheera
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2008, 06:33:33 am »
Well, I listen to a lot of "weird" (read: obscure) music. I especially love folk music. I also like Corvus Corax, another german folk/medieval band, as is (I believe), Faun. Also like Garmarna (Swedish folk), Loituma, which is Finnish, Grada, which is Irish, Altan (Irish), Wyndnwyr, which is english, and lots of others. I listen to a LOT of music. :-)

As for the comic, I'll agree with your friend, it does look a bit "cheesy" in a way, but I mostly take on beginning comics, in the hopes that they'll grow and get better. People already experts at making webcomics usually have no need for free hosting.

I would like to hear a couple more opinions of this comic, if anyone has them.