Comic Talk and General Discussion

How do you feel about "cheating"?
Hawk at 10:45AM, Feb. 19, 2018
posts: 2,790
joined: 1-2-2006
I just recently watched a video by a comic artist who was talking about time-saving strategies in comic-making. You can find it here. I suspect it was just a stealthy way to promote a comic he just finished, but it did bring up some good points.

One of those points was to selectively “cheat” using time-saving techniques. Most commonly, these would be techniques like cutting and pasting backgrounds or characters from previous panels. This point particularly caught my attention because I've become a believer in it. I've seen a lot of negativity toward the idea, especially in situations like where Tim Buckley kept folders full of partially-drawn characters that he would quickly assemble for his comic Ctrl-Alt-Delete. But I think he just represents the worst extreme.

As for me, I came to a decision… I went into a job that sometimes requires 70-80 hour work weeks, which makes updates hard. And while I used to be ashamed of cutting and pasting backgrounds, I now do it pretty frequently. I feel like readers would prefer frequent updates with corner-cutting, instead of a fewer updates at the higher quality. I still try to avoid cutting and pasting foreground characters, except in the worst time emergencies.

How do you feel about cutting corners in comic-making? Do you employ any of these kinds of tactics?
ozoneocean at 6:22PM, Feb. 19, 2018
posts: 26,723
joined: 1-2-2004
Well there are no rules about what you can and can't do really… so you're not really cheating.

There are only certain situations where it's a problem:

1. Where you do a Tim Buckley and you work LOOKS copy and pasted, like lego more than a comic.
(only using Lego as a metaphor, actual Lego comics are cool)

2. Where you trace other people's work.

3. Where you draw your characters by tracing from photos and give the impression that it's all your own skill.
Ironscarf at 3:20AM, Feb. 20, 2018
posts: 1,460
joined: 9-9-2008
I tend to put in too much detail myself and aspire to be more like those artists I admire, who say it all with fewer lines. I wouldn't call that cutting corners, I'd call it being better at comics - directing the readers eye to where it's supposed to go and not slowing things down with dense composition unless it's a deliberate means of controlling the pace. There shouldn't be anything there other than what you need to tell the story. Sometimes a fully rendered environment sets a scene or creates an atmosphere and sometimes it's gets in the way of the action. Give the reader space to fill in the details.

As for re-use, if you're making a comic readers enjoy and no one is complaining then there's no issue, especially if it helps to keep things moving along, given time constraints. I don't keep any kind of schedule myself, so maybe I would try something similar, but right now I'm thinking more about keeping things simple. Here's a nice quote from the creator of Lackadaisy:

If I knew then what I know now about economical stylisation, I wouldn't have to daydream about travelling back in time and punching myself in the neck.

Tracy J. Butler
cdmalcolm1 at 8:07AM, Feb. 21, 2018
posts: 337
joined: 8-21-2012
This might seen like a repeat from another forum here on the DD, but Professions do this all the time. so as an amateur it's ok. just don't claim that you did the work completely yourself. Give the credit where it is due.

The only real time I copy and paste is from my own ‘older’ comics. most of the time it is head or hand shots with a blank Background in a small panel. I'm a slow artist when It comes to comic pages. So sometimes i create on my off days, Backgrounds. Then I copy and paste from what I made for later use. and yes I do copy from picture for panels of places when the story requires it. Pros know how to mask some of their stuff well enough to match their style. If you are going to copy and paste make an archive of different head shots at different angles for small panels. AND try not to repeat the same head shots on the same page or for the next few pages.

My Speed issue is coloring too slow…So i decided to cut time by only doing flats with just a few, and i mean few, gradients here and there. The reason I'm saying this is because of this comic and the creator who also is pressed for time due to 40 to 50 hour work week for them. In other words, KISS - “Keep It Simple Stupid” is what my teachers always told me. (please don't take any offense)

The comic is called “Exco” by Carillus. Look at the backgrounds, the characters, and the color.

This is how Carillus draws when they take their time. this is over a 10 year period.

Compare the comic series to Pin-ups.
fallopiancrusader at 9:19AM, Feb. 22, 2018
posts: 206
joined: 12-27-2013
I like to have at least a few things unique to each panel, even if it's just changing the mouth or eyes, to indicate speech (a la Hanna Barbera) When I format Mindfold for Line Webtoons, I will frequently cut single panels into multiple images, so that what was originally one panel will look like several. I don't consider that cheating, because I feel that the Line Webtoons format requires smaller packets of detail at a time. In a purely academic sense, I feel that the more time you spend drawing, the better you get, so drawing every panel as a unique image will make you grow faster as an artist.

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