Whoo last one for revision, since Infinity did such a damn good job I've only really minor updated. Still a fresh thread is always nice.
SPPF Fan-Comics Forum FAQ
Welcome, welcome to this crazed place we like to call the Fan-Comic forum. Here you'll meet a bunch of people, whether they are seeking this as a profession or doing this out of leisure we all love comics.
It should be noted if you ever using existing sprites or images you should give credit to the original creator. Also, when you do upload a comic try to keep in mind to update the first post with every new comic so your readers can check up on your newest submissions.
What is the purpose of the Fan-Comic forum?
The purpose of this forum is to post ORGINAL user-created comics. Generally, you will see a majority of sprite comics with a few computer and hand drawn comics thrown in every now and then. The max rating in here should be Pg-13
The Comic Basics
If you are completely new to comics I suggest that you read up on some professionally done comics to see what they are like. Just pick up your Sunday funnies and then perhaps you can gain some inspiration, but try not to copy off of them.
Once you have completed that task please follow the guidelines below.
Alright, what does every successful comic author need to know?
First off you need to have an idea. Spend time on that idea, like how you are going to make it funny or what am I trying to say? DO NOT simply make a comic on a whim. Think out every single little detail; it will greatly improve the overall quality of your comics. Quality > Quantity.
If you can avoid it try to avoid making a "Pokémon Journey comic" because it is basically a very boring cliché, we know how the Pokémon games are played out, and otherwise we would not be on a Pokémon forum.
Laying it all Out
Now you need to basic layout in mind, create a new panel every time a new action occurs. Limit yourself on how much your characters think or talk per panel. Try not to make a comic wider than your screen. Draw your readers in by involving many curves to your plot; it would be best in my opinion if you created a new panel for it.
There are methods of communication throughout the various comics here, but I often find speech bubbles to be the most effective way of characters communicating amongst themselves. Speech bubbles are needed unless there is a white background for your comic (and you better have a darn good comic if you are using a white background). I recommend using a rounded or oval speech bubble as it signifies professionalism.
Please use computer generated text when your characters are talking or thinking; it can be hard to read if you handwrite it. Make sure your text is large enough for other people to read it. If you are forced to use smaller text please bold it.
Spelling & Grammar
Grammar, you need it here. Would you hand in a paper if you knew you had legions of grammatical errors on them? I would hope not. It is very unprofessional to be having all sorts of misspellings and grammar mistakes and it lowers the quality of your comic. The spellchecker is your friend.
If you are going to incorporate backgrounds please spend some time when you are doing so (NOTE: the default Microsoft Paint colours do not work too well in backgrounds of comics).
The plot has to have a start, middle and end; creating as you go along can leave you open to giant plotholes. Try to think ahead of yourself in what might or will happen. If possible, try keeping a written copy of how the plot is going. It wouldn’t have to be fanfiction like, just notes you can use to help yourself.
Like any good stories remember the kicker comes at the end. You will leave your readers feeling unfulfilled if you simply end it at a random thought (this is okay on rare occasions, but you must draw your reader into the plot to be successful).
I have to say some of the characters in many comics I see need more character development. Stereotypical heroes are just boring. Some lack quirks, and they are like, “Let’s do this, beat the bad guy.”
In a good story many characters are centred on one particular trait and they draw their outer traits from that. This may seem completely unrelated, but for the purpose of giving an example this will work. If you’ve seen Fullmetal Alchemist you know how rash, impulsive, and ready for battle Edward Elric is. Then you see the timid, follows along what his older brother does, Alphonse Elric.
As a telepath I have a tendency to analyze emotions (their cause, why, etc.) and I’ve realized something important to any form of storytelling. Every character is influenced by one or (a couple) predominant trait(s). Both of the Elric brothers have one trait both of them are centered around; if they didn’t have it their characters would be incomplete.
That trait is being a child at heart. You can draw different characters from one trait, but ultimately they will go by that particular trait in their own actions. My point is you need to give proper traits to each character and that will make them succeed.
Everyone has different ways they do things and without them everybody would be alike, lacklustre, and boring. If you need help with that, please ask for someone to help you in the Comic Academy.
The Creation of the Comic
How do I create a Sprite comic?
Davis and friends have summed it up pretty darn well in this thread: http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=99139.
How do I create a computer/hand drawn comic?
Well, I highly recommend that you have some sort of program that is intended for art and whatnot. If you use Microsoft Paint, it usually does not come out as clean as something that Adobe Photoshop or GIMP can yield (oh and GIMP is a free program by the way).
If you are completely new to art or you want to cheat, in Microsoft Paint there are some features that allow you to draw lines according to your desire, you can use them to your advantage and then import it to your art program to tidy it up.
If you are drawing a comic by hand make sure you make the backgrounds light enough so that the characters stand out and remember you need a LOT of detail to have a respectable hand drawn comic. I recommend sketching by pencil and then going over it with a pen. Pencil drawn comics don't scan too well...
Drawing comics is a form of art and there are many styles that you could use, just remember these basic tips:
Spend lots of time making each character; put a lot of detail into them so we know what they look like and can identify their expressions so you won't have to describe it to us. Don’t use a basic circle for a head.
Make sure that your characters have dark lines on their outline so the readers can see them.
Make sure we can see your characters, shadowing is nice, but make sure the characters stand out.
As a comic creator you should not be making comics if you have an inability to accept constructive criticism or indeed posting in a public area. As mean as that can sound it's true. No one is perfect and we can always move towards improvement.
Part of being a good comic maker knows how to take criticism; if you can’t take any criticism then you should not be here, as this is a place of growth. As stated later on there are good and bad types of criticism that should be listened to and ignored.
If a good critic suggests something try to consider putting it into your comic, but if it is a spelling or grammatical issue, you should ALWAYS make sure you take care of that, run it through a Word processor if you have one, if not read it over carefully. Don’t think of criticism to be automatically a flame, critics are there to help you.
Still need help?
If you are still struggling or you need to pick up some advanced tips ask for someone to help you in the Comic-Maker's Academy.
Very comic maker loves their fans and they love to hear feedback, but there are some things that you must look out for. Try not to pester the creator for new comics, remember they are making their comic, not you. Rushed comics tend to have a poorer quality. As a fan you should be a critic and that is explained below.
For every author on here there are at least 15 critics. Critics help build authors up into well respected comic creators. We expect a level of competence from the critics and from the authors. My point is say a little more than just "Nice update", please say why you like it or how it can be improved. Blatantly saying, "This comic sucks," is flamebait and will often result in a flame war or begrudging someone. So elaboration is your friend...
Let's try to transition some statements:
Let's transition it...Wow, your comic is pretty neat!
Well... Maybe not to that extent, but you get the picture.Wow, I love the background it is full of life. Your characters are well defined and you can really picture meeting them in real life. I find your comic to be of the highest quality possible.
Let's try something at the opposite end of the spectrum:
Flamebait!This comic really sucks, you need to stop making comics now.
Constructive criticism is much better than flamebait.Well... Your comic needs a lot of work... First of all your text is very cluttered and hard to read... Also you really need to use grammar so we can follow the plotline. Also please enlarge your character sprites, as they are very hard to see.
Please do NOT give a comic a number rating without a comprehensive analysis of the comic, I’m talking paragraphs here.
If you wish to give constructive criticism to a comic please do not state that you will, instead wait until you are ready to give crit.
This is how some people start flamewars http://www.velvet.com/barb/humor/flaming.html, so please do everyone a favour and avoid doing those things on that list.
Nothing annoys me more on these forums than seeing, "Your comic r0x," or "You suck at making comics, get a day job." We are mature people here; we can critique a comic with a little more than a sentence fragment or an insult. An additional thread regarding such posts has also been put up. If you see any posts that cause you concern, report them over replying to them.
I have noticed some people go lightly on crit if they are the author's friends. If you wish to be a true friend you should be the one who is the most heavy on critique. Friends build each other up and make sure they help refine each other's skills.
I know it may be a bit annoying to type out more in every single reply to each comic, but it would benefit the author a bit more if he or she knew why you liked or disliked their comic and what should they continue doing or improve.
I have been noticing with several authors that they have been making implications through their comics at other people in this forum in a derogatory manner.
I don't care if it is supposed to be "anonymously directed", but in your mind you do know exactly who you are talking about.
If you are even making reference in your mind of a particular person at the creation of some entity in your comic, it is no different than actually giving that person's name to that character.
If you have an issue please take it to PMs, period.
Basic Comic Forum Terms
Basic Microsoft Paint Colors: The colors in Microsoft Paint other than black and white found in the color bar.
Crit: Short for critique.
Flamebait: Making a post that has the potential to make one or more people angry; it may escalate to a flame war.
Flame war: A large scale argument between users, it often leads to the closing of a comic or someone getting banned.
Forth Wall: When a character signifies that they know they are in a comic.
Plot(line): The story of a comic.
Outline: a. The basic frame of a character. b. Writing out your comic before you make it (a very good idea in my opinion).
Speech Bubble: A method of communication between characters in a comic; generally in a rounded or oval shape.
Sprite: An image of lesser detail than other forms of art and it is generally small.
Thought Bubble: A character thinks to himself or herself in a comic; smaller bubbles are led from the character to the thought. It is generally in a rounded or oval shape.
TUP: Text under panels. A form of Text bubble that is frowned upon. The text is below the panel, making the comic unorganised and the actions unnoticed.
Something to add, because it fits in nicely.
Really, these comics haven’t been updated in months. MONTHS. All of you should know better. But apparently you don't. Know why? You seem to think, that in your tiny little heads, the Fan Comic Forums are SPPf's equivalent to Spam forums at other sites. No Rules. THIS IS NOT THE CASE, AND IT NEVER WAS THE CASE.
Now, to add to that, when a comic hasn't been updated in months, it should mean something. Oh, yeah. Perhaps the Author isn't updating it anymore. Perhaps he's sick of the comic because everyone expects an update every three days. Perhaps he has a much BETTER comic to work on. Perhaps he has a job. Perhaps he goes to college.
Really, if you keep bumping old comics, you're pissing everyone else off. It breaks forum rules, and it annoys the authors. Please refrain from doing this.
Originally written by Solid Kirby
Remember that a good critique does not equal an insult to the comic maker. If I see a comic that is so absolutely miserable that I must critique it, I'll do it in a kind and caring way.
For instance, I might say, "You've got an interesting idea for the plot, but please try to keep the text inside your speech bubbles; it'll look much better.
I would NOT say, "The colors make me vomit." or "The colors make my eyes bleed." That, in my opinion, is an insult, and I grimace every time I see something like that used to "critique" a comic.
No matter how much spam we find in "The Amazing Adventures of May and Brendan Part DX42", I am not going to forsake the comics forum. Nor will I leave because I've had one too many one-line posts in my own comic thread. I understand that people are often a little foolish when they first come to SPPf, and I'm willing to give these people the benifit of the doubt.
And you know what happens? Time and again they, far from dragging down the forum, become valuable members of it. I remember when Blueray and Controller of Flames were among the inexperienced members of the forum. What did I say to them? Not "This makes my eyes bleed." but "You've got a lot of funny ideas."
I've been around the forums of the internet a couple times, though I may seem like a recluse. And yes, there are plenty of forums that have greater restrictions upon comics than ours. Does it make them better forums? No.
They become more arrogant, and more convinced that their style of comic is the only one worth creating or knowing. They'll slam down potentially decent comics with no sympathy at all, declaring that the creator ought to trash the entire thing and start over.
If we were to impose heavier restrictions on what kind of comics can or can't be allowed on SPPf, (or indeed, any restrictions at all) such as "No journey comics" or "No comics featuring Brendan and/or May" or even, heaven forbid, "No sprite comics", we would rapidly hurtle toward that sort of atmosphere, where there is no sympathy for the inexperienced, and the only sort of comic around is one that conforms to the standard.
It would be a suppression of creativity, and THAT would make me leave the forum.
Yes, the fifteenth incarnation of a comic where Brendan starts his Pokemon journey is irritating. Yes, it's frustrating to see one-word praise filling up the threads. But bear with it.
Because if you want a benevolent society where all are welcome to try their hand at comic making, then you're going to have to deal with n00bs and spammers. If you want to get rid of those sort of people, you can do that too- but you run the risk of eliminating people with actual potential, and destroying your chances of harbouring anything truly innovative.
Thank you for listening.
Originally written by Mastercougar