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Mildly Mundane
ifelldownthestairs at 12:45PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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With Mildly Mundane, we didn't so much dislike it as feel frustrated that its potential was never really reached. Thoughts?
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
http://www.drunkduck.com/i_fell_down_the_stairs
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
supermathsbeaver at 5:03PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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It's not a published comic - it's something worked on over a number of years. So why are you so saying it's gotten off to a bad start when you are effectively reading old archives? You could have been diplomatic about it and said that the artwork was steadily improving but instead you chose to focus mainly on stupid little things that weren't huge parts of the comic overall. How can you justify yourselves as a review comic if all you do is bitch? Even Zero Punctuation points out the good parts of the games he plays but you just criticise without ever really justifying your point of view.
If anything is ‘so clearly failing to meet it’s potential' then it's this review comic. You harp on about the quality of artwork in your reviews yet feature two static copied and pasted characters; neither of which seem able to sit comfortably on a chair according to the lack of a weight line on either figure, your panels are lazy - there is no guttering between them or any change in size or shape which coupled with the ridiculous amount of text used per panel, makes the whole thing feel more like a blog than a webcomic.
Moreover, you complain about comics being hard to read with their handwritten text and yet your tiny font choice packed into equally tiny speech bubbles make the characters appear as though they are whispering the entire review. (Note: handwritten text isn't nearly as hard to read as you claim, as the original superhero comic's speech bubbles were all inked by hand and they are extremely clear).
If the review was supposed to be ironic I'd have laughed but the fact you were serious when effectively pointing out a large quantity of your comic's own flaws made it seem pompous and misjudged.

So my thoughts?
If you are going to criticise something, which people have clearly put time into, then you should set a good example yourselves, and offer advice on how to reach that standard rather than out and out spite.

Oh, and it's spelt ‘disappointed’, you might want to add proof reading to that list.
GREEN BURGERS KILL PEOPLE!!!!!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
RED_NED at 2:42AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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supermathsbeaver
why are you so saying it's gotten off to a bad start when you are effectively reading old archives?

You do realise this translates as:
Why are you saying it gets off to a bad start when you are reading from the start which is bad?
don't you?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 7:04AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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Supermathsbeaver- The review comic does indeed have copy pasted art, but confused soul knew this when she signed up for review. It was HER that asked US for the review. Not the other way around.
The response of “well, the review comic is ugly, so why should I listen?” raises the question of “if the review comic is bad, why ask for a review in the first place?” Since Confusedsoul asked for a review, it is a little late to claim “oh well, the review comic is crappy so their opinion does not count”. That sounds rather like sour grapes. Would you have discounted our opinion on those grounds if we had agreed with you? I doubt it very much.
I found your first line especially perplexing.
“It's not a published comic”
My response is “So what?”
Are you saying I should patronise Confusedsoul? Tell her she is doing well when I can see obvious faults she can easily correct? I have far too much respect for her, or any of the people who volunteer for review to do that.
Also, none of the comics we review are published. They are all webcomics and so we judge them all against the same standards. If one comic is allowed to say “Well, it is only a webcomic” and avoid criticism then every comic could. And then what WOULD we be allowed to say as reviewers?
The early pages of Mildly Mundane are VERY difficult to understand (and there are a LOT of these “early pages” ), let alone read, which is really going to drive away new readers. Coming into the comic, we found it a tremendous slog to get through these. This fact is harming the comic and should be correct ASAP.

We also offered very constructive criticism to confused soul. If it was unclear, I will clarify some key points-

1- Don't draw your comic on lined paper. EVER.

2- Size pages properly so they are easy to read.

3- Use a computerised font that is easy to read (I liked the sock character, but he is really hard to understand, even when the text gets computerised.)

4- Don't use other peoples characters, unless it is for a one off funny joke. Don't make them a permanent part of the cast. Make your own original characters instead.

5- And a bonus one that I didn't get chance to say in the comic! When you scan images, use your art program to darken the exposure. Otherwise they will come through with a slightly washed out look to the colours.

Finally, you seem to have over looked the fact that we repeatedly described Confused soul as obviously having a great deal of talent and that this made the comic frustrating because we wanted to see that talent better show cased. So your argument that we don't have anything positive to say doesn't really seem to hold water.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
Mutation at 1:46PM, Feb. 20, 2010
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Copied here as per request:

I also have a few problems with your review, you seem to only be looking at the earliest pages. Which, as any would understand, is generally the oldest and most outdated samples.

I'm also fairly certain that any appearance of video game characters could be stated as parody. The common video-gamers-on-a-couch style comic does it all the time. Those often make a game character a common sight.
You also state that they used lined paper, which is dropped in any recent pages. So that's an unworthy criticism.
You also state that they hand write text as a minus point. I fail to see that as a problem.

Also, you say that, if I understand correctly, everyone and anyone can create as good as their best point, consistently and commonly for, say, 10 pages. What would that entail? No increase in ability, no decrease in ability, and appeasing people the same amount every page.

I'm sorry, but you just expect to much of things to please you two, and don't think of other reader's opinions enough to have a valid rating of anything.

KALA-Dan! Reverse Trap!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
supermathsbeaver at 4:18PM, Feb. 20, 2010
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But you aren't respectful. You repeatedly tell her that she has wasted her potential. The webcomic is effectively a gagstrip so the way you describe slogging through it makes it sound like you viewed the whole thing in one sitting, which is fine for a continuous epic-story comic but I can see how it could get tiresome with constant one-off strips. If the comic's style is supposed to read in short bursts then why hold it against it if you chose to read it in one go?
When I said that it isn't a published comic, I meant that in the sense that the webcomics you are reviewing are drawn mostly by amateurs, they are people's hobbies, posted on a community comic site. Comparing them to established webcomics is just unfair. You say you review them to the same standards and by all means suggest improvements, but why don't you incorporate some features that are unique to Drunk Duck into your reviews - like being able to see the dates they upload the comics and commenting on that?
You complain about the sizing of MM claiming that it's difficult to read, yet brush off my comments regarding your own font and speech bubbles. I never said that your comic was ugly but applying some of your own criticisms into your own work would not go amiss. Just because it's a cut and paste comic does not mean that it has to be lazy.
Pyramid Head. You seem to be a bit confused here. He is a cameo. He is featured in the comic because of the injoke amongst Silent Hill fans about his behaviour; CS's representation of Pyramid Head makes him into Quagmire from Family Guy. Maybe he seems like a main character because of the number of strips but frankly wouldn't you be more annoyed with him in the comic if she hadn't put the disclaimer down?
Stabby(the sock character)'s text is purposefully shaky to emphasise his demonic nature. He speaks in block capitals and overlaying two sets of text is often harder to read when done on the computer than by hand. If he lost this and spoke only in Times New Roman then the effect would be ruined.
In my experience when looking at a new comic on the Duck, I make the decision whether or not I want to read it based on the most recent couple of updates before I even begin to look at the archive. The old pages are not ‘harming’ the comic - sure they could possibly do with redrawing but the comic won't self-destruct if she doesn't change them ASAP because chances are most people will have already made their minds up by the first page that loads.
“Would you have discounted our opinion on those grounds if we had agreed with you? I doubt it very much.” My response: ‘No. You are probably right’ and I agree that it would make a poor review to hear someone gushing nonstop over every panel. Your review is fair in places and you do mention that the artist herself is very talented however, the constructive criticism is so well concealed behind the growing list of complaints that the review comes across as hugely negative for a comic you didn't apparantly dislike. It's hard for an artist to take constructive critiscism on board when so many of the comments come across as disparaging.

Finally,
“Are you saying I should patronise Confusedsoul? Tell her she is doing well when I can see obvious faults she can easily correct? I have far too much respect for her, or any of the people who volunteer for review to do that.” To Patronise: ‘to be kind or helpful to, but in a haughty or snobbish way, as if dealing with an inferior.’ You already have patronised Confused Soul, your review speaks down to her comic and your response speaks down to me. If you are still confused about what patronising means then reread your own post. It defines it.
GREEN BURGERS KILL PEOPLE!!!!!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 5:42AM, Feb. 21, 2010
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Super maths beaver, I am sorry if I seem to be patronising, that is not my intention.
I am trying to speak to you as an equal, in a frank and open manner regarding my experiences of this comic.
I think may be mistaking my honesty for malice.
I found Mildly Mundane frustrating to read, because it had a lot of potential due to the artists great talent but this potential was usually wasted due to many silly mistakes which could easily be corrected.
If I was to tell you anything else, I would be lying to you. I am starting to wonder if that's what you want.
The review for Mildly Mundane was far nicer then reviews we have done for a lot of other comics (compare it to the review of Good Guy or Negligence or Mag Isa), and Confused Soul must have read our reviews before volunteering.
Your argument seems to come down to the fact that you like Mildly Mundane and you think that Kev and myself should like it too.
I understadn why Stabby speaks the way he does, and the effect looks cool…but this does not change the fact that it is VERY hard to read. I have never suggested she switch the character to Time New Roman, but Confused Soul should find a different way to do his lettering so I can understand what he is saying without have to strain every time he speaks.

Nothing we say in our review is intended to be disparaging or insulting. It is just a statement of fact about our experience reading the comic.
It is also our opinion, so if you don't agree, good for you. Your opinion is just as valid as ours. I must, however, point out that confused soul ASKED for this review, knowing full well that our reviews are often very brutal in their absolute honesty.
If she wanted people to just tell her she was doing well, you can get that on teh DD forums every day. The purpose of the webcomic review comic is to give honest descriptions of what me and Kev thought. And that is exactly what we did here.

I want to address a point raised by Mutation as well now-
PYRAMID HEAD and the Nature of cameos
I have nothing against a cameo. A character popping up for comic effect can be very funny. Parody is a great form of humour, so having a versin of a computer game character, tv character or celebrity show up for a joke is fine by me.
But this is not what Confused Soul does.
Pyramid head does not show up for occasional Silent Hill related jokes.
For much of the comics run he is a permanent member of the cast.
He does not make Silent Hill jokes.
He does not make jokes about how ridiculous his giant hat is.
He does not try to rape anything.
He does not act like Pyramid Head at all in fact.

When a character becomes part of the main cast, appearing in the majority of comics, it is no longer a cameo.
What Confused Soul has done is copy the name and appearance of an established character and given him a different personality.
This is not her character, so it just drags down the whole strip with a sense of unoriginality.
Why do this?
Confused SOul is more then capable of thinking of interesting characters (such as Stabby the evil sock), why use one someone else thought up?
There is no need for this and it should not be in the comic. If you look at the comments, even Confused Soul herself states that she has stopped using pyramid head, showing that even she regrets having done so.
So if you disagree with me about pyramid head being a bad idea, you are disagree with Confused Soul too.




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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 5:51AM, Feb. 21, 2010
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Now with regard to hand drawn fonts. These can work…but very rarely do!
Usually they just look messy and are hard to read.
Mutation, you point me in the direct of some very good hand drawn fonts. Unfortunately many pages of Mildly Mundane contain very poorly done hand drawn fonts that I found it a great strain to read. Text that is hard to read is frustrating, takes the reader out of the story and fails in its purpose at telling the story.
Computerised text is a simple fix for this.
And as I stated, I don't just want Times New Roman. There are numerous great fonts available for free on the internet. A little effort with Google would turn up thousands of interesting and easily readable options.

Finally, when I say I want Confused Soul to live up to her talent, I am not asking that every page be perfect.
What I am asking is that we don't get pages that look like utter crap, like this-
http://www.drunkduck.com/Mildly_mundane/index.php?p=50821

And get more gorgeous pages like this-
http://www.drunkduck.com/Mildly_mundane/index.php?p=653323

This is not a matter of not being up to the same standard. One of those pages was lovingly crafted, one was scribbled on some lined paper. Not everything someone creates can be perfect, but when the problem is simple lack of effort, there is no excuse.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
confusedsoul at 12:18PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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harkovast
Now with regard to hand drawn fonts. These can work…but very rarely do!
Usually they just look messy and are hard to read.
Mutation, you point me in the direct of some very good hand drawn fonts. Unfortunately many pages of Mildly Mundane contain very poorly done hand drawn fonts that I found it a great strain to read. Text that is hard to read is frustrating, takes the reader out of the story and fails in its purpose at telling the story.
Computerised text is a simple fix for this.
And as I stated, I don't just want Times New Roman. There are numerous great fonts available for free on the internet. A little effort with Google would turn up thousands of interesting and easily readable options.

Finally, when I say I want Confused Soul to live up to her talent, I am not asking that every page be perfect.
What I am asking is that we don't get pages that look like utter crap, like this-
http://www.drunkduck.com/Mildly_mundane/index.php?p=50821

And get more gorgeous pages like this-
http://www.drunkduck.com/Mildly_mundane/index.php?p=653323

This is not a matter of not being up to the same standard. One of those pages was lovingly crafted, one was scribbled on some lined paper. Not everything someone creates can be perfect, but when the problem is simple lack of effort, there is no excuse.


I don't think I'll ever switch to using a computer font, because I tried it before in some of the earlier pages and the effect was horribly banal. For the near future Mildly mundane is staying as a hand inked comic regardless of the colouring methods and I'd prefer using my own handwriting for speech bubbles/writing etc because, in a sense, it makes it seem more like mine.

While by no means the utter crap page is something I'm going to defend in terms of artistic achievement, you might want to make a note of the publishing date of comic pages in future reviews before you slate the artist. That one was uploaded in 2006 (and possibly drawn the year before) and the improved page was created last year, so it's not a lack of effort on my part it was a lack of talent. Those types of people really were the best I could do back then, no joke.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 12:29PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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Confused soul, There are pages closer to that one which are far better, I just picked the first one I came across to make my point.

To make it a fair comparisson, look at this one compared to bad page I already linked too.
http://www.drunkduck.com/Mildly_mundane/index.php?p=39521
This page was posted BEFORE the bad page I sited before.
This page looks good, with charming art and nice colouring.
I'm afraid claiming that the scribbles on lined paper were the best you could do at the time is not a credible arguement.

But I will grant that the hand written font DOES get a lot better. Still seems like a huge amount of trouble to learn that skill have to post loads of pages that are hard to read to learn a skill you can replace by just going to a website of fonts.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
confusedsoul at 1:19PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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harkovast
Confused soul, There are pages closer to that one which are far better, I just picked the first one I came across to make my point.

To make it a fair comparisson, look at this one compared to bad page I already linked too.
http://www.drunkduck.com/Mildly_mundane/index.php?p=39521
This page was posted BEFORE the bad page I sited before.
This page looks good, with charming art and nice colouring.
I'm afraid claiming that the scribbles on lined paper were the best you could do at the time is not a credible arguement.

But I will grant that the hand written font DOES get a lot better. Still seems like a huge amount of trouble to learn that skill have to post loads of pages that are hard to read to learn a skill you can replace by just going to a website of fonts.

Although that one was again made at a later date. A lot of the early archive isn't in any form of order other than nearest to the scanner. But yes, you're right.

I'd prefer to go to the trouble of learning decent hand written lettering because if I can learn that skill then I've got it for anything I want to do in the future Mm or not, and a web comic is a much better place to practice such a skill.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 2:29PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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Okay, I'm not a complete bastard (stop laughing! I'm not!) so I will give credit where its due.

The later lettering IS actually really good.

Also, me and Kev did agree that the one thing we regret in the review is that we didn't put enough emphasis on how much the comic improves later on.
It does get improve tremendously.

There ya go, I threw you a freakin' bone.

But everything else we said, we stand by 100%.

(Including the good stuff! People seem to be over looking how talented we think confused soul is)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
confusedsoul at 3:55PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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harkovast
Okay, I'm not a complete bastard (stop laughing! I'm not!) so I will give credit where its due.

The later lettering IS actually really good.

Also, me and Kev did agree that the one thing we regret in the review is that we didn't put enough emphasis on how much the comic improves later on.
It does get improve tremendously.

There ya go, I threw you a freakin' bone.

But everything else we said, we stand by 100%.

(Including the good stuff! People seem to be over looking how talented we think confused soul is)

And what a delicious bone it is! *goes to eat it in the corner*
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
Kali at 3:25AM, Feb. 23, 2010
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The review was mildly disapointing. I would like to know how it was constructive, it looks more like destructive criticism. You can really knock and destroy peoples confidence by taking that approach, alot of my favourite comics vanished because they had scathing comments and ‘reviews’ from people who really have issues… probably with themselves and their own stuff. I should know and alot of the Mildly Mundane readers who are here on this forum know who and what I'm referring too and know exactly why I'm against having comics put up for review like this.

1) Lined paper: That was from a note book. It's primary function is to have writing on it's pages not nice little piccies! We (SMB, CS and Me) were still at school at the start of Mildly Mundane so notebooks where the easiest to obtain and were one of the few materials that were to hand at all times. Now the quality of the art and the materials has improved because there is more time and money. Because it wasn't on super dazzling, super white artist quality paper doesn't have anything to do with the comics content anway.

2) Where did she claim that Pyramid Head was her creation? She didn't. She just a huge fan of him that's all, alot of comics on DD have characters that belong to a game or a film. I'm slipping the Moorwen from Outlander into AoS at some point. But that isn't plagiarism because i'm not claiming it's mine the same way she didn't claim ownership of Pyramid head as the definition is “a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work”.

3) As for that hand writing, I remember the original Charby the Vampirate (not the new revised version) having hand written dialogue and that was constantly in the top 10, normally at number 1. Also I was in Waterstones only yesterday, flicking through alot of classic and popular comics… DC, Marvel, DarkHorse… You name the studio, it was there. Most of the had handwritten style font. So I really don't see your proble. As for Mr Stabby's dialogue being hard to read, that can be put down to trying to give him a voice and accent which is very hard through visual medium.

4) Simply because your humor is different to that of the actual readers doesn't mean that everyone else finds it hard to get a laugh out of it.

I could start a “slinging match” here but I won't, because that is so low… and I can't be arsed.



Fenrir says Grrrrrr!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 3:36AM, Feb. 24, 2010
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Kali-
1)Lined paper is note book paper, used for writing notes on. It should not be used for making a comic.

2)Confused soul has stopped using Pyramid Head in later comics, as she now agrees with us on this issue.

3)Just because Charby does something, does not mean it is a good idea. Popularity of a comic is no indication of quality (Cru the Dwarf should prove this!)
The author of Charby even admits that her early pages are very poor. A person should aspire to copy the excellent art of later Charby, not the mistakes of early Charby.

4)I didn't say I didn't get the humour. I said that I found that mistakes like lined paper and hard to read text detracted from it. If you look at the review more carefully I complimented confused souls talent but claimed that mistakes made it hard to appreciate.
I didn't say there was nothing funny there.

Don't hold back on having a slanging match on my account!
But we didn't start the flame war-

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
Kali at 4:45AM, Feb. 24, 2010
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harkovast
Kali-
1)Lined paper is note book paper, used for writing notes on. It should not be used for making a comic.

2)Confused soul has stopped using Pyramid Head in later comics, as she now agrees with us on this issue.

3)Just because Charby does something, does not mean it is a good idea. Popularity of a comic is no indication of quality (Cru the Dwarf should prove this!)
The author of Charby even admits that her early pages are very poor. A person should aspire to copy the excellent art of later Charby, not the mistakes of early Charby.

4)I didn't say I didn't get the humour. I said that I found that mistakes like lined paper and hard to read text detracted from it. If you look at the review more carefully I complimented confused souls talent but claimed that mistakes made it hard to appreciate.
I didn't say there was nothing funny there.

Don't hold back on having a slanging match on my account!
But we didn't start the flame war-
(Avatar AMV)

1) It was the only thing available at the time. I have already said this.

2) Pfffft!

3) I didn say that anybody should copy it, I meant it doesn't have anything to do with the content of the comic. Most people don't look at the comic and “Good Lord, they're using hand writing on a comic page!” *swoon*. You'll find they don't really care as long as there is something on the page that'll give them a smile.

4) “There are some truly great looking pages, as well as some very cleverly written jokes, but these are so few and far between that it makes seeking them out a chore.” Did I misinterpret what sprite dude was saying? If so shouldn't this be made more clear. And referring to it as a “chore” is really harsh.

No. I don't start flame wars… I finish them. ;P

Fenrir says Grrrrrr!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
harkovast at 10:57AM, Feb. 24, 2010
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1) Note paper was all that was available? White paper is plenty cheap. Unless she was writing it in ancient Egypt that is no excuse. If something is wrong with a comic, it is wrong with it. The fact the other comics make the same mistake or the artist is incapable of doing better isn't really the issue. The review is suppose to honestly point out what impression the comic makes, the fact that the author cant do better for what ever reason is not an excuse for poor work.
And in this case, I can see quite clearly that Confused Soul can do better.

2)double PFFTT!

3)The problem specifically with hand written text is that it is often harder to read. Having to squint and focus in to read text is annoying and detracts from a comic. Some people will not be bothered by this, but some will. Clear text is essential to a comic.

4)You missed the key part of that phrase you quoted “seeking them out a chore”.
The problem that was being identified was that searching through to find the good pages past the Note Paper pages and the hard to read pages was a chore. This is true.


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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM

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