Sample portfolio review, based on the Batman test plot on our website written by Mike Buckley:

Thanks for reaching out to me. I’ve reviewed your sequential art samples and have a few observations–

* Think about your storytelling. There’s a stiffness to some of your figures that feel more like posed action figures rather than characters in motion. Study some classic comics guys — John Buscema, Gil Kane, etc. — to better understand the sense of motion, exaggeration, foreshortening, etc., that can liven up the pages. Consider, too, your staging and shot choices. PAGE 4, panel 6, doesn’t look like train tracks; because of your cropping, angle, and tilt of the crook’s body, they look like steps leading upward, causing confusion rather than clarity.

* You have a big, big OVER-reliance on “manga speed lines”. Used once in a great while, and used properly, they can have a great effect. The way you’re using them, they become visual noise and look like shortcuts to drawing backgrounds or more powerful action. PAGE 4, for example — manga speed lines in panels 1, 3, 4, and 5. Panel 1, you have the speed lines in FRONT of him which, to American readers, makes it feels as though he’s running backwards. Putting them on the ground in panel 3 is merely visual clutter. Panel 4, they just seem to be a wall texture. Only in panel 5 do they seem to serve any dramatic purpose….and yet by putting the speed lines behind two TRAINS that are not moving, you’ve wasted the effect. Their use on PAGE 3 just clutters up the entire page for no good reason.

* Your sense of “finish” isn’t there, yet. A lot of this seems to be a scratchy, single-weight line, which doesn’t look as accomplished as it should be.

Although you clearly have talent, for our purposes you have a way to go, to finesse your work to the level our clients will expect.


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