Friday, April 3, 2009

Faction update - Comments and responses

I figure as we move forward I’ll try to assemble a lot of the comments and my responses (if applicable) to Faction from the site… I won’t put a bunch of postings stating “I love it”, etc, just logical questions and answers or anything I find interesting. Yesterday was the first day of public voting, and I appreciate everyone who took the time to log on and cast your vote.

We (KT, the artist, and I) did get three “Yes” votes from the Idol judges, but there were some valid criticisms of what we put forward. As far as the writing goes, one of the main “oops” points for me was a missing word in Acker’s bio. I have since fixed it and posted an updated one in the forum (the Acker bio on my blog here is already corrected, so I won’t go into that).

By the way, since I’m not the artist, I won’t attempt to respond to, justify, explain, or whatever any comments related to the artwork unless I feel passionately about the subject. There were some artistic interpretations of the characters that I respect and most of the comments in regards to KT’s work were related to minor issues on rotations, proportions between “shots”, etc… I’m still working to train my eyes to see those kinds of things.

Judges comments:

I LIKE THE LOGO,working the figure into things was a nice touch,being an atheist, i'm not bothered by the figure's pose, or the placement of the "t" beneath it. loldecent figures, though it looks like the colorist did more work on each of the second sets of poses,the first set of each is a bit more plain, almost animation style, (g.i. joe flavor)the bio's give us a little more info,the story seems to be coming along from the first round,it is keeping my may want to study a few samples from comic inkers out there,vary a few line weights, add a touch of shadow here or there,you would be surprised at how much depth it can add to your stuff.overalli think things are looking good with "FACTION"YES

Roger (summarized taking out things I addressed with my later update and a lot of the art comments):
LOGO:While the silhouetted character representing the letter 'T' is a little bit perplexing, I'm not putting a lot of thought into that as I really like the look and feel of this graphic. This reads well in both large AND small formats, as we can see by their size comparisons. If you can read this effectively as a business-card sized image, then you have a good logo. Design-wise I'm satisfied by what I see. This creator might receive commentaries suggesting blocking, background, border, or other support details to add to this but I think it's fine as is.CHARACTER BIOS AND VISUALS:I like the use of the old typewriter-style font. It's not overly creative as we've seen this before but it works here; legible text, easy to read. The presentation of the bios here is given added strength in design appeal with the faded depiction of the characters' images that are being introduced behind the text, cementing both text and visuals as one.

Abigail Latton: I like her characteristics as related here to us. Some sort've divine-like powers seem to give her real promise and purpose, as well as importance, within the proposal.

Gabriel Hartmann: He can...ummm..."topple buildings"? A bit of a 'Samson', is he? Overall this bio reads well. Characteristics are interesting enough. I'm okay with this.

Emlin Gundula: Obviously a "secondary" character, I have no issue or questions about any aspect of this. She simply sounds nasty and interesting.

The Blood Lord: No name? Come on! He needs a cool name! Something foreboding, sinister...sheer evil! At 458 lbs, he must have some seriously heavy muscle under all those clothes. I'm generally okay with this bio. The description lends some fascinating suspense to read more about this character within the story.

FINAL THOUGHTS:I know my observations and opinions stated above will seem quite wordy to some, but in THIS round, it's critical for us to accept what we consider the best of the best, submissions that are real decision-makers or breakers within our screening. There is a lot at stake and a lot of details that are expected in this round, proof that some of our Round 1 contestants need to show us-- beyond just the sheer potential that they may have been graded in ascension to this level. For me, if a creator and his/her team goes through all this work in bringing us these proposals in any given round, then I just think it's equally my duty to provide as much criticism as possible with a comprehensive breakdown as I've shown above that these teams can or should consider as they further develop these properties. I've touched on some observations and opinions, and I'm sure others will have more to add. This project, despite my findings in terms of any short-comings, definitely has way more positivity going for it than negativity. I like the presentation, the art, the bios, on an above-average grade. But please, to the members of this team-- stick to the rules!!Do I have confidence in this project?YES!

Terrific presentation, one of the best-looking Round 2 entries I've ever seen, and a cool logo.Nice character pics: no real problems here, though Emlin looks best with the more obviously feminine form of her first shot and the others would benefit from being brought into line with that.Ian's quote from me on this was, "I'm looking for specifics on the relationships that will exist in this world in Round 2," and there's not enough of that here.Acker and Abigail's 'relationships in past lives were a bit more... complicated.' More clarification on this is sentence needed--and as Acker's the chosen emissary in the conflict with 'various factions,' there's also not enough evidence of what those factions are. And does Emlin work for the Blood Lord or is she part of a separate faction? We're not told.Btw, with the Blood Lord having the ability to kill people with just a stare if he chooses, you're setting his power level very high and you'll have to be skillful in how you play that one. Though the dead rising up and becoming his zombie army as he passes them is a cool one. As well as the aforementioned weaknesses in this Round's material, I'm still not entirely sold--or enthralled--by the story you're presenting here--but it's good enough for me to give it a YES.

My comments back:
To all of the judges, thank you for both the positive words and the detailed criticism of what didn’t work in our entry. As usual, we’re always trying to improve upon this process since both KT and I are relatively new to the medium.As for the bio’s, it seems that Acker’s received the most attention for both lacking a couple of details and some grammar issues. I goofed on the grammar and forgot to copy and paste my “final” draft onto the image. No excuses, though, because if this were a “published” book, getting printed with the errors would be unacceptable. Thus, I feel like a dope.

I’m attaching an updated bio sheet for Acker, adding a few minor details based on judges’ feedback to help look at the bio by itself, not in relation to the pitch or other characters. I’m still leaving out details of Acker’s and Abigail’s history together, but to clarify (too much to stick in a short bio), they have been “together” for many of their past lives together. The age difference between the two makes things a little hard for Acker, which will become evident in the story when it hits print (evolves out of the zero issue).

Oh, to clarify on Emlin and the Blood Lord, they’re two different classifications. Emlin is a minion in the Den Malignity. The Blood Lord is, well, the Blood Lord, head of his own faction, in charge of several types of supernatural creatures including vampires, lycanthropes, and zombies. What the Blood Lord looks like is intended to make you wonder what other factions he’s tied to. Is he or was he Den Malignity, who does he know, what is his real name, etc.

As for who the other factions are out there… you’ll just have to wait and see, it’s what the story is all about, tracking them down, determining who falls on what side of the “line”, and dealing with the results. To give you a little hint, there are the Society, the Den, The Blood Lord (big and bad enough not to need to “name” his faction), and five others AND more could join in the fray at any time. Intrigue, action, and drama ~ my favorite kinds of books. Did I mention action? Ha ha…

To all ~ believe me, Faction is not a story to be missed. Between the various files on my computer and hand written notebooks, I’ve got enough story ideas, twists, turns, and face pounding action to make you cross eyed. Hopefully the original rough cover, updated rough cover, and these round 2 bios and images will give you a bit of an idea of where we’re heading.

Comment from Andrew Nixon – “contributor”

Now that I've voted... I really think that this project has improved by leaps and bounds since its first cover rough. With the Round 2 stuff, I really liked the action poses, the most. The character designs are pretty good, but the good guys all look a little generic. Tomm was right in his GI Joe comment; Gabriel is wearing BABY BLUE PANTS??? In the published book, it will be gray, anyway, but that is an odd color choice... Also, I was surprised that Acker is 43. I suppose that he COULD look 43, but I think he should appear a bit bulkier. And I'm not thrilled about his love interest being 19 (even if said 19 year old dresses like a 43 year old woman...). I guess I don't mind the age difference so much as I do the blunt hitting us over the head with how intertwined their fates are. I think I'd really like to see (in the long run) some actual character/ relationship buildup between them before they just decide in issue one that they "love" each other... Remember: No romantic tension = boring! Otherwise, I like the look of the bionic arm, and the Blood Lord reminds me of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer villain (in a good way). And I assume, as LastBard's later post indicated, that there are still many unseen characters for this series... I guess Roger would really have his work cut out for him if there were 20 characters introduced, this round...Good Luck!

My Response:
contributor wrote ...I guess I don't mind the age difference so much as I do the blunt hitting us over the head with how intertwined their fates are. I think I'd really like to see (in the long run) some actual character/ relationship buildup between them before they just decide in issue one that they "love" each other... Remember: No romantic tension = boring!

Andrew, there's definitely going to be some build up... There's something to the fact that Acker is 43 and Abigail is 19... why the large age gap? He will not suddenly say "Oh, Abigail, I've missed you" or anything corny like that. I'm planning to let that relationship breathe for a while before a decision is made one way or the other (together or get out of my face).

contributor wrote ...I guess Roger would really have his work cut out for him if there were 20 characters introduced, this round...

I was originally wanting to do a representation from EVERY Faction, but it would have had KT busy for months! ha ha... More will be revealed, though.Thanks for the good comments and questions! Oh, by the way, if there are no objections from Ian or the judges, I'd be happy to reveal a little more info on some of the factions and characters. Plenty of mystery left even if I share some details. All in the name of sharing my passion for this project.

Sepulcher commented:
Yes.I like what I see this entry becoming, seems to me that perhaps the different relationships between factions and characters is so vast the writer got a little startled - not knowing what details to bring out in this round. Still, very good effort and very promising, I hope you guys make it through so I can see what you'll become.Lastly, a question: Who is that supposed to be on the "T" in faction? A generic society member or something specific? Guess I'll need to read the comic to find out.

My response:
Sepulcher wrote ...Lastly, a question: Who is that supposed to be on the "T" in faction? A generic society member or something specific? Guess I'll need to read the comic to find out.

Actually, the image in the center of the logo is the "money" portion of the rough cover we submitted after Round 1 begain... I'll post it below so you can see. As to why Acker (the guy in the center) is in that position and what it all means, you need to read A) the zero issue and the first few pages of issue 1.It definitely is not supposed to be Acker on the cross or anything.

ArchetypeOne AKA Wade:
Yes.And first-time voter, too!

My Comment – Not posted, but I’m just happy to be Wade’s first vote!

Cary AKA Writer of Fallen Justic, Dynagirl, and owner/operator/all around good guy at
oh my lord Wade voted! that's just...historic! you guys don't know how rare that is! to be his first and i have to admit tho i've seen all this in various forms and tweaks, it still looks fresh and exciting. Faction gets a big YES from me! looks like they have the media machine in high gear!

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