Sunday, December 28, 2008

Juliette: Worst Vampire story ever

I've been dreading this one.

Juliette - Cedric Poulat

Not that I didn't derive some pleasure from the read. Hell I was a big fan of Buffy until the series started. Swanson over SMG fer shoor.

You can get away with a raw look to your art if you're telling the right kind of story, but this is a ditzy blonde vampire for crissake. This screams out for a sophisticated finish but the linework here looks like he scratched it out in MS paint. Pixelation is evident even in the windowed mode and the colors are unsophisticated.
Whether in daylight, interior rooms, dark cars, or moonlit rooftops he leans on the same harsh two tone. I'm tempted to admire the consistency but I just don't like it. Every character is lit independent of the scene they're in.

I'll grant this one point, there's enough skill on display to make me think that Mr. Poulat is holding out on us. His faces are lively and the figures look good.

The first time at least. I got tired of seeing the same image over and over again. Page 7, not so bad. It added something to the joke that she sat there for 10 minutes without moving. Good times.
I might forgive page one for the same reason, but there's too much. Humor me, give me something new to look at. I feel like I'm being short-changed. It's insulting almost.

The nail in the coffin (har har) is the lettering. I'm not usually the type to harp on lettering but he spends 8 pages convincing me that he's satisfied with half-assed artwork and then when I look at the letters I find dialog isn't centered, word balloons aren't big enough...


I went through the talkback (which I don't usually do before I post a review) and I'm impressed with Mr. Poulat's attitude toward the competition. Therefore I'm going to do what I can to help him out and hopefully we'll see him again soon.

All pages, most panels, dialog.
You need to increase the size of your oval OR change shape a little bit so that you never run the text up so close to the edge of the bubble. Looks unprofessional. Get it centered and consistent.
Translucent bubbles is okay but there are places where it works better than others. E.G. page 2 where she's daydreaming about the hot guy. Good use of fading bubbles. I approve.
Bad use on page 2, panel 1. Looks bad with the polka dots behind it.

Also on page 2 I look at the guys behind Julie and they're ultra distracting.
Contrast is the reason, specifically the contrast between the light skin tones and the dark black dots you're using to depict their eyes, eyebrows, goatee....

Contrast draws the eye and it makes the image pop into the foreground, which is not what you want to do with those guys.
In fact there is a problem with depth all throughout. You use your black to 'hardline' the figures which makes them seem like cardboard cutouts on top of a three dimensional background, then you further play with white outlines which just makes it worse.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting and it was your goal to achieve this look, but I don't care for it.

Here's something I'm not particularly proud to show but it illustrates one of the points I was trying to make.
Snow scene

Look deep into the background and observe that the blacks are no longer black. I shifted the line of trees into the blue and it helped create depth.
What you did is the opposite of what I just showed you and it's not working for you.

Keep at it.

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