Monday, December 1, 2008

Let the reviews begin!!!1 one one one.

A Single Soul - Nathan Furman, Nancy Leslie

Furman is a repeat customer at Zuda, being previously responsible for the entry titled 'Alone'.
He provides us again with an entry that's easy on the eyes. I prefer the new look personally since I'm a sucker for naked women, big demons, and crosshatching.
But having said that, I've still got a helluvalot to complain about.

The narrative works better here than it did in 'Alone' because there's less of it.
I don't mean to single this entry out for special abuse but I'm getting pretty bored with the voiceovers. Comic books are a visual medium. That's not to say that a voiceover is completely out of place but I think you should explore all other options first. Most of what needs to be said can be shown in the artwork, usually the rest can be expressed in dialog. I'd be more willing to give Mr. Furman the benefit of the doubt here if he didn't have two separate entries that read almost exactly the same.
Of course I DID say it works better in this instance. It kinda fits the mood. It's just getting old. I think the entry could've been rewritten to exclude the voiceover and it would've been a stronger entry for it.

Of course that also would've eliminated my #2 big complaint. Those scrolls are all gray tones and they look like crap floating up on top of the crosshatching. I'd have thought that this would be obvious, consistency in your visuals.

Now I'm going to bust out my brand new Zuda review tool.
Okay, yeah, it's just a web-page with some plot summaries, but I've been struggling since day one of Zuda to find a 'plotting standard' and here I finally think I've got a method that'll work and I'm excited about it so STFU.

Here's what gets me. If this story is about Pan then it makes sense to call it a revenge story but it seems very clear that naked woman #5 is the protagonist here and it doesn't make sense to call it HER revenge story.
So what IS her story? God, what's her name even? If it's not her story then why give her so much screentime?
The fact that I can't answer this question or even make a reasonable guess based on story context is a pretty big issue. Even the synopsis (last resort of the lazy) fails to fill me in.

I'm gonna move on now.

What's up with page 6? Where'd all the crosshatching go?
Page 7? Looks like she goes in a cave, then all of a sudden she's up on a big demons shoulder. Huh?
I guess it's just a carving or a statue but it's hard to tell. It doesn't help that the very next panel shows a demon of similar design but this one is clearly not a statue.
And finally she's outside the cave fighting some third demon.
Who's demons are they anyways? They look an awful lot like Pan.
Last panel on page 7 is very small and squishy. I'll tell you what I'd do.

Get rid of panels 1 and 2 entirely.
Shift panel 3 to the left, enlarge it so you can see more of the statue and darken the tone of the statue so that it's clear that it's background. Enlarge panel 5 significantly on the right side so that the spacial relationship is made more clear.
The scene change on page 8 is confusing and doesn't add anything to the story. I'd move that fight sequence back into the cave.

So ah.... that's it for me. I'm giving it a 3 out of 5.


RKB said...

I have been crusading against text box thought balloons and narration since the start, too passive a read. i must write that at least 2 or 3 (maybe more) times a month for the comics on Zuda. The look of the scrolls didn't bother me, and the text on screens 1 and 2 were needed, they let you know what the story was about in big picture terms, good call on that by the creators. then a silent screen 3 so we don't get the text overload, another good call. Then we get to screen 4. It's a comic, not a novel, instead of reading about how the story begins with her first breath, why not just cut that narration for screen 4 and replace it with a sfx: cough... cough... style sound effect with a good sound effect font. If you show us you don't have to tell us. Unless it's an all, or mostly silent comic (think mime, or rumors of war), you need to have somebody talking by screen 4, to skip me complaining about a passive read. I agree with you on who is the story really about, good point in that post.

Crackwalker said...

I disagree. I think the narrative was fine - the voiceover didn't overwhelm the visuals. I was impressed from the get-go. The drawings look like Dürer or something. The scrolls were kind of distracting - I wonder why they weren't rendered in the same style as the artwork?

I'm still going through all the entries, but Single Soul is top of my list at the moment.