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Offline CoyoteCaliente

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The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« on: December 04, 2011, 06:41:59 PM »
Hey Altermeta fans. For awhile I've been wanting to do a review for Altermeta, and I finally nailed it! Took awhile, for a number of reasons, but I managed to hack it together. So far it's been posted to the Belfry and FAF, but garnered no discussion whatsoever. So I asked Noben if she wouldn't mind seeing it posted here, and she seemed to have faith that you guys would be pretty awesome discussing critique or your own thoughts on the comic in a mature way.

So... here ya go! The full review in all of it's haphazard glory.

-------------------------------

To say that Altermeta has been a handful to try and critique would be one helluva understatement, and it's only recently that I've discovered why exactly, thus being able to counter that problem and write the following spiel. The problem in itself with critiquing is also the most significant problem of the comic, but one I foresee becoming less and less of a issue as time goes on, as I've gotten to see Noben's efforts at fixing this problem first hand.

Altermeta, in the loosest sense, follows the lives of a genuinely interesting ensemble of characters... who happen to be anthropomorphic dragons. There's Sasha, the loud and boisterous upbeat dude who falls victim to being one of the most effeminate characters in the comic. There's Ruth, the coffee sipping misanthropic who only loves appear to be aforementioned coffee and using his seemingly unlimited knowledge of just about everything to debate and quip with the other characters. T-Square, the pirate/tom-girl/well rounded character who brings a nice, healthy sense of normality to the nuttiness of the rest of the cast... when she's not beating up ninjas. CC, the aloof, but caring, older sister of the group who's seems to have seen and done more than any other person in the group (double entendre intended). Jo, the seemingly happy and ditzy girl of the group. Boo, the quieter, but innocuously cheery and nerdy "goth". And lastly, we have D'Shea, who on a superficial level, is an intelligent, athletic, and good looking average Joe, who is one of the few people who keep debate nearly on par with Ruth, but in reality is a deeply socially awkward fellow who's personal relations are more than haphazard.

Obviously, we have an incredible range of characters going on here. Shame, though, the story that should tie them all together has been more or less nonexistent, and hence the reason why this comic is so damn hard to critique.

As a character study and a straight forward comedy, Altermeta excels for the most part. Noben has an admirable way of establishing character relations very thoroughly through her dialogue. I can tell plainly that Ruth seems utterly unimpressed with the crowd he hangs out with, but at the same time seems to accept them in stride in the fact that they truly are his friends. Sasha is intelligent and witty, only to be offset by a jaw that remains completely unhinged, for better or for worse (mostly for worse). All of this is almost lovingly tolerated by the rest of group. CC has an subtle "Been there, done that" attitude, yet doesn't hold it over the heads of others. Instead, she becomes the big sister to everyone.

The only two characters that don't follow this method are Jo and Boo, who only give the slightest indication of anything deeper. In fact, I learn more about them in the bios than I do in the comic. This is a rather significant problem for an ensemble comic as ambitious as this. I need to see these characters and the small moments of deeper introspection. Read: If there's something more underneath, it should show. We, as people, all put up masks to hide things we don't want to bother other people with. Occasionally, though, we slip up, and it sometimes puts an awkward halt on conversation. That said, in order to establish Jo and Boo as deeper characters, special attention needs to be paid. Do too little, and the moment where the reasons for their personality facades are revealed become contrived and unexpected. Too much, and it becomes overly dramatic, and to an extent may take away from the focus of the comic... whatever that may be.

And here's the part where I have to give this comic a somewhat-serious pop upside the head, and at the same time a hand shake and a hearty slap on the back.

Firstly, the pop. Quiet simply, the story up until the most recent arc have been in utter shambles. At first it seems like we're following some misadventures in the lives of some students (high school or otherwise), but then it takes a turn for the seemingly goofy and strange, concerning a possessed bath scrubbie. This is not a joke, though it can be forgiven, seeing as ninjas had previously attacked T-Square, our pirate friend. But the story itself was disjointed. Then it goes into a medieval dip, dragging the characters into what I can only assume is a non-canon fantasy trip. Then we're snapped back again, back into an arc that is loosely connected to the first, making a small callback concerning the scrubbie. Then we have an April Fools comic arc that paired D'Shea and Sasha in a yaoi fantasy. And on and on and so forth.

I must admit, saying that the story is in shambles implies that there was a solid one to begin with. I'd have to compare it more honestly to attempting to complete several jigsaw puzzles at once. You're not getting a full picture, and before you can, another one has been started. This was the problem that plagued me on my previous attempts to critique this comic. I wanted to critique more than just on the art and occasional punch lines, but how to do so when the story isn't there? Well, I have to look at kept me reading this comic, and it was the characters. They're charming, simply put, in the ways they interact.

Now, before I launch into the more optimistic part of this critique, I must make a small aside concerning the author and the fact that she's fully aware that the story is disjointed. In fact, I think it's a bit of a Catch 22. Noben recognizes that the previous story arcs had little to no direction, and she obviously has no hesitation about changing thing. Admirable, in a way. She's the driver who doesn't wait fifty miles before admitting she might have made a wrong turn... no, she's the driver who drive half a mile before she launches into another direction. Is this good? Is this bad? It's both, and it really depends on the direction she settles on in the end, or if she settles on a direction. She's no doubt heard this many times before, and I hesitate to bring it up once again, but, I'm fairly certain I would have my webcomic reviewing license revoked (if such a thing existed), if I didn't mention it. With the exception of gag-a-day comics, story is key. More so, consistent story is key. Settle on a direction. It's the only way a comic will keep one involved.

So, that said, I must state my admiration for the newest direction of the comic (with the current intermission aside, more on that later). I consider the "best" start of this comic to be the full introduction of Ruth, the coffee sipping eternal skeptic. His arc concerning a dinner party with Sasha's parents and other company is what I would call a perfect example of how the comic needs to go. I get to learn more about Ruth, see him deeper than the superficially snarky fellow he is, and I get to see him interact with Sasha on a more socially intimate level. Even Sasha's portrayal in the arc is well crafted. He's certainly himself, but not the focus of the farther character development, and I believe that the fact that I can SEE this clearly, but not redundantly, speaks volumes about how much Noben has sharpened the stone throughout her story telling.

(Currently there is a VERSUS story arc going on between CC and Boo, characters chosen to duke it out through the forums. Scott Pilgrim inspired? Or maybe more basically inspired by fighting games? Either way, it's entertaining as an interlude as the rest of the story is crafted, and something that impressed me as something to get the readers involved. You don't get that very often, with the exception of MsPaint Adventure comics.)

The last thing I'll touch on, though just briefly, is the art. In earlier arcs there's the expected lack of luster and polish, but it gets better. Much better. At first Noben uses a type of shading that seemingly dulled the colors in the characters and background in an effort to create depth. To a degree, it worked, but blurred lines and made things seem... undefined. More so in some scenes than in others. (Nonetheless, Noben makes good use of her interesting dragon design to effectively convey an extremely wide range of emotion and expression.)

However, this small bit of critique is invalid as of the March 26th update. In fact, Noben utterly lampoons this while shattering the fourth wall with Ruth's line, "...some characters don't require heavy shading and highlights to have actual 'depth'".

And that, I think, is the greatest strength of this comic. A willingness to change style and story. And so interesting are the characters in the mean time, I'm willing to wait eagerly for when the story finally settles on something solid.

~cc

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The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« on: December 04, 2011, 06:41:59 PM »

Offline Centaur71

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Re: The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 05:29:38 AM »
CoyoteCaliente, your critique certainly has merit. There are those who would agree as well as those who would disagree. I must say from my personal experience, there are a lot of artists out there who 'mainstream' their story arcs making them all fit together like a soap opera; there's nothing wrong with this. From my perspective however, Noben's 'jumping around' is perceived (by me at least) of a dynamic interchange of ideas percolating simultaneously. Almost like a 'MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE JUNGLE' type of intermission between arcs. Like a 'comic book digest' type of format, each mini-arc is portrayed. I'm not pointing out 'good' guy or 'bad' guy, I'm just saying this is my take on the dynamic interchange of ideas being broadcast by Noben. And in my opinion, her IMPRESSIVE realistic artwork keeps a reader coming back for more, no matter how 'disjointed' the storyline may appear. Just my $0.02 worth... be cool peeps =)

Offline CoyoteCaliente

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Re: The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 07:27:29 AM »
  From my perspective however, Noben's 'jumping around' is perceived (by me at least) of a dynamic interchange of ideas percolating simultaneously.


Umm... lotsa fancy words here. Doesn't this basically just mean what I just said, that the story is bouncing back and forth as Noben changes the plot? :U

I kid. But I guess if that's more your slice of pie, then I can dig it. But allow me to say this, at least. There's a fine line between a story that wanders around, more or less keeping only the central characters as the only consistent thing, and a comic that just can't commit to a story. One-a-day comics use this the former a lot, and many other light-toned comic strips. However, the difference is that Noben does commit to a story, only to change after a short to medium run. The stories themselves seem to have a slice-of-life air to them, buuuut really don't go anywhere. I think Noben realized this and, as I said, was willing to change for the better.

Again, it's a good thing and a bad thing and it's gonna become a bit of a non-problem with future arcs, imho, and I think the line "You ain't seen nothing yet!" is most appropriate here.


Offline Noben

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Re: The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 08:45:52 AM »
I said it before and I'll say it again,I loved this review and it's pretty much spot on with everything I can currently see wrong with it myself.

And I think that is the main problem I've had is just not finishing the story arcs.  I will admit that the stories are random and don't end, aside from Dinner Plans, and the April Fools arc in the newest incarnation of the comic. When Sasha went to spend the night at D'shea's house, that is actually a legit thing, so it's not like it "didn't happen" just for the sake of the April Fools joke. What happened in that arc is canon, including the dream that D'shea had.

Overall though, each story arc without an ending WILL have an ending recap of some kind, of at least to show some level of closure.  I'm talking all the way back to the first pages of the comic when it first hit the internet. So I hope that nobody thinks that the random stories don't count in the character histories, because they do. What's happened in the comic has happened and affects the characters views of each other etc.   The transition from the old archive to the new comics isn't some alternate dimension, it really is a single continuous storyline, and it is disjointed I think only because of that lack of closure.  Something I take full responsibility for.

In fact, let me explain the planning process for each arc so far...


The opening story, about the band and all that.
I was really wanting to make a comic of my creations, so I slapped it together. At least the opening.  The characters were made with the help of some friends for input, and then I ran with it.   I had some unspoken plans on how it would end, but one thing that struck me about halfway through (a drawback to not planning things) was that it was so like Saved by the Bell that I actually broke my brain and felt ashamed of it.  So instead of showing them in a garage like I initially wanted to practicing their songs, and the idea actually going anywhere, I ditched that and went with a pseudo closure to it that was, in the end, really lame and just seemed to peter off into nothing.   What happened with the band?  The story arc coming up called "Innocence Lost" (working title) actually has some recap explanation, if at least briefly.  This will help with some amount of closure and I hope answer a lot of questions people have had regarding "What happened to the band?" and "What happened to Rhi?"

I could blame being a total amateur without a plan, but when I've done it multiple times that excuse works only once.

No matter how you cut it, aside from a few details and story flow, what happened in that arc actually happened.  (I have it in mind to even go back and do a revisit and reupload, with more details and more of a precise storyline and a better ending.  There would be minimal ret-con, and in fact I would keep the same flow and everything, I would just detail it better because I actually disdain true ret-cons and hate cancelling what's already been established)

Of all things, I will round out the rumors that were going on and make it a little more dramatic, while keeping a high amount of funny.  I've not even touched it with a notepad yet, so this is all speculation on what I should probably do....


The Scrunchy
I find myself enjoying the element that the scrunchy brings to the comic.  I won't say much more on that specifically, but I will say this: We've not seen the end of it, and neither has Sasha.  There are so many blatant tv tropes about this aspect that I honestly feel ashamed of it, but I would consider it a guilty pleasure and an excuse to add a very weird, mysterious element to the comic, and yes I do have it connected to things in the future of the comic.  So don't think it's as random as it may seem.

But it's creation was in fact very random.  The scrunchy creation came from the conversation of an acquaintance who noticed a wad of hair someone left on the shower wall after washing their hair. (Long hair does that, for those of you that don't know) and he said "That was scary. I was half expecting it to start talking to me."  The idea was hilarious at the time, and so thoughts on incorporating it into the comic were rampant.  It went from a hair wad (ew gross) to something left in the fridge too long (also ew gross. And Doris, Sasha's mom, wouldn't let things get that bad)  so I settled on the yellow louffa as Agent Smith.

In the comic world, I do have a reason for it's existence and WHY it's talking. Yes, there is stuff that will explain it. (tv tropes, tv tropes, tv tropes) Just have to give it time.  That's all I'm saying on it.



The Sleep Over
This one was a really fun idea that had the same kind of problem as the first story.  I feel it was an awesome start that pretty much established the M.O. to the comic itself.  Boredom makes people do weird things. (hence the current Ruler of the World story)  But I try to keep a more innocent side to it, because I grew up in a very small southern Arkansas town of 2500 people, and there were only three things to do there as a teenager in the 1980's: Get drunk. Hunt deer. Or get pregnant.

Anyway, so the sleep over started as this great idea that I ran by my friends and they gave the thumbs up.  We came up with a lot of corny scenes that needed to be included, but overall there was no real.. reason to it.  It had a beginning, it had a lot of content for the middle, but there wasn't really anything that would end it. Nothing to tie it together into an episode.  Poor planning once again was the bane of my existence.  By the time I was updating the last pages to it, I wanted it done.  I was struggling as things went on to get more ideas, get the layouts and make it work that I just chickened out.  But I did it in a way that helped introduce a power (at the time) that T had, which was that she acted like she was in a comic book (hence why she was one of only character to break the 4th wall and speak to ME the author.  It also helped clash with Jo at the time, who always thought she was in a movie (and the reason why she was the only one who broke the 4th wall that spoke to the AUDIENCE).  So the ending rant to that was fitting but also horrible and a copout to boot.

I tagged on a bit more to close it up, but it was really lame.

After it was over with, I swept it under the rug and walked away ashamed once again and covered up with a few random one-shot comics that randomly helped with character development that was sincerely needed such as Ruth and Boo meeting for the first time at the library, and a bit more on how Sash and T tend to usually get along, and a bit about CC's family.  I was trying to just move along.   I don't think it helped that criticism at the time wasn't all that prevalent, and only now years later do people look at it and scoff but don't really take into account that I am trying, so the criticism comes from a place of total ignorance.  Referring once again to this review as very considerate in the criticism.


Nemesis (aka The Ren Faire arc)
This one had some amount of planning. A beginning, middle and end.  It was my first stab at a fully planned arc.. well.. okay not fully planned. I had an ending, I had totally thought up and ending (which we will see.. about 3 stories from now. yes, a while but I think it's worth it!), the problem with it was that during that time I had a lot of personal life problems taking place.  That's neither here nor there.

The main thing is I felt I was doing really good but when the shit started hitting the fan I had to refocus a lot of my efforts elsewhere in life.
I think the Nemesis story for as long as it lasts speaks for itself.  I'm still very sorry and ashamed that I let it fall into a non-ending obscurity as it did, but this is why I want to give it a HUGE influence in later arcs so that it can be fully closed right and proper.  And like the first story, I may revisit it.  Nemesis of all of them I want to "redo" with my updated artistic ability and at the very least end it properly without fading into guest strips and random stuff not even associating with the comic.  I actually can't stand going back to look at those, I'm embarrassed!  It's an eyesore. And this is why it is all classified as "old comic".


All that stuff happened, but that was "two years ago" in comic time.  From the old comic to the new front page incarnation, it has been two years.  The characters have grown a little bit, but not too much, as kuvvies age slower and mature slower than humans.  This is why I've taken to adding 'in world' dates and times to things that happened.  Such as the start of the Dinner Plans arc...



"Troublemaker"
A lot of personal life crap went down and so I tried to move the comic to a different setting, something more fantastical.  I fell prey to poor planning once again, relying on key scenes to make but no interconnection other than a more massive over-arcing plot that when seen frmo the individual story arc's perspective looks horrible and disjointed.  This is where I agree with Centaur71 here.  I have HUGE plans, and in retrospect, a lot of the tidbits of random info will come in handy after all is said and done.  It just makes for a lot of really crappy "Well right now it seems kind of random" perspectives to take place.]

What will come of Troublemaker?  Right now it's on the backburner indefinitely.  I do have a way of making it work with the comic, but for now it's simply a filler.  It's key, but also yet again is something I am ashamed I started without finishing.  My apologies once again.  Tick another notch against me there in my ability to finish something.



The new comic..
So, if you assume the characters had their adventures, with sleep overs and ren faires and bands and things, we move to two years later in their lives...


I had a lot of re-establishing to do, and once again only had a vague idea of a plan.   Sasha is still silly in school, Ruth is still strict and hardcore, introducing D'shea to face off against Ruth, with Jo finally getting her driver's license, and a bit more interaction with T and Sasha to top it all off.  Boo and CC are in the background right now, but that will eventually change.  I did try to touch a bit more on the ren faire, at least from the perspective of Sasha and T.  The perspective of the others will come in due time...


Polygon Tatas are Still Tatas
This arc was for one main reason. To show that in the time that's passed, D'shea and Sasha have become seriously good friends.  That was the main focus of this arc.  And to be honest I think I did a good job of it.   The April Fool's joke just came at the right time and I had to do it. (in case you weren't there for it, I had finished the "GOTCHA" page ahead of time, and then did a livestream showing the next pages where Sasha and D'shea were naked in front of the TV actually having sex.  I got done with the base linework and then 'called it a night', only to update on the 1st with the "HAHA GOTCHA" page.  People have been gun shy ever since and I'm really proud of that)  unfortuantely people without a sense of humour like those over at the Bad Webcomics Wiki couldn't wrap their brain around it.  I just chalk it up to bitterness that they didn't get to see the characters bumping uglies.  Yes, I'm pulling the "You're just jealous" card, but not in malice.  I would rather folks just chilled out and went with it instead of picking on it.  Sure, in the flow of things and in afterthought it's an eyesore of a page to add, but the story arc is still solid.  In fact, if you remove the "HAHA GOTCHA" page, it ALMOST works as a continuous comic, showing that D'shea has this way of ordering his mind that may have a hiccup now and again, and the awkward way that he views Sasha.

And the cameo of Jo in one spot actually indicates that Sasha's girliness isn't overlooked, but at the very least is accepted.

Either way, it's all canon and not some random thing to be ignored. D'shea did dream that, and Sasha did go "What.. the.. HELL?" at the end.


Dinner Plans
This one I planned for.  While I was doing the story between Sasha and D'shea, and even before then, I was plotting out Dinner Plans.  This one I'm really proud of. (Sure the schedule went awry shortly after it started, but the last page update on June 6th, 2011 should explain a lot)) I feel that in the middle the dialogue gets clumsy and contrived, and even a bit shallow between the adults and the job talk. But I would say that's how parties are like that.  A lot of superficial postering and conversations just to pass the time and communicate jovially.

Your comments on the spotlight on Ruth with only a dash of Sasha there as a foil is exactly my plan. I didn't want him to overtake the scenes, and I'm glad someone noticed this.  I wanted to show their interactions uninhibited by school and others their age, where certain courages ventures in conversation can take place without the thought of someone there interrupting.

I also wanted to set up a LOT of stuff involving parent/kid interactions. I hope that I conveyed the relationship that Ruth and Tesserly have, where it's a very respectful give and take kind of thing, where they know their part and role and do what they can to support each other without pushing buttons too much.   And I can't wait to explore that more in the comic.  And believe me, I will.   And on the side, I threw in the rather ditzy relation Sasha has with his rather quirky, perky parents.

Dinner Plans is the product of me saying I've had enough of this no-ending bullcrap.  I wanted to start telling stories and I will commit to doing it.  And so far I've had little to no complaints about it.  Well.. okay other than "OMG SASHA LOK LIKE A GURL! BAWW!" (sorry, I still laugh at that)



Ruler of the World
Just like the Polygon Tatas arc, this one is filler while I work on much larger things in the future.  It's easy, it's fun, and really it is a chance for readers to just lighten up and have fun with the characters.  I can't say much more, because it's just that simple.   And depending on how long it takes for me to finish editing and start working on the comic pages, I may go for more face-offs with other characters in the meantime.

So for this one, sit back, relax, and even get involved as you can help guide Boo's actions and possibly lead her to victory!




Anyway, that's been my side of it all.  I left out a lot of personal stuff, what's happened in my life and what I've gone through in regards to life changing events, but I will admit that they also played a factor in update schedules and my desire to drop story arcs.  But that still doesn't excuse poor planning of overall stories.  Something I am remedying.

Oy, that was a lot...  Um.. I'm going to go draw now...  Thanks a bunch.


And yes, I would proudly say "You ain't seen nothing yet" and endorse this fully.
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People with gods kill people.

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Offline Skunk292

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Re: The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 01:51:21 PM »
im probably just gonna be an annoying fanboy.

but the storyline feels like it is compiling into a major arc with sums everything up :)
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Offline Russ

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Re: The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2012, 01:03:15 PM »
Pointed to this thread by the front page. Since I have not read the entire forum (has anyone? probably a few) I missed this one and find it amazing, both the critique and the replies.
 
Not sure if this will spark any more discussion but, we'll see.

I understand entirely the critique and the reply really clarified a lot. I lived in a few rural settings, and even a year in Arkansas, near Hot Springs, Lake Hamilton area.

AM has had an amazing journey.

It almost seems to divide into two camps, those who concentrate on ART and those who concentrate on STORY. Its maybe no accident then that this forum is similarly divided, with a LOUVRE for art and a equal area next door for writing!

And it looks like, after reading all this that the two are tugging at each other in the production of AM.
 
I'll put in my affiliation right now and say ART for me, as far as I'm concerned, AM could be a series of one page comics much like Garfield was, as long as we see Casey's incredible artwork. You inspire me!
 
But there is also a talent for story, and a good one. I have recently been dabbling in writing as Deviant Art has taken me down unexpected areas of learning over the past year, so I see the desire here to tell a story, and do it well.
 
So the quandary, how to - with only so much time to dedicate to projects - create a comic with complex tour-de-force illustrations of great beauty, and tell long intricate story arcs. That is a FORMIDABLE assignment.

Faced with the desire to do so, I might be tempted to compromise and make a comic of very simple panels and get in a lot of story development AND pause in a few key places and go for one panel - page sized - of artistic magnificence. And that might not be the best way to go.

Ultimately, a critique I could write of AM would have to be in the form of bulleted points as we did in the corporate/technology hell I come from-

Positives-

* Much love of and for the characters, each one a personality and a treasure.
* Art styles that change as technique develops - very important, its what keeps the whole thing going. Used as a learning and testing vehicle, audience gets to see a incredible talent built. Adaptability as a story of its own.
* Story development showing so much potential.
* Great treatment of angles such as mocking tropes, dealing with sexuality, humor and action scenes.

Negatives-

* Not enough bandwidth to do both art and story, and story (continuity) drifts. Frustrating to some, minor to others.
 
Recommendations-

* NONE...why, because from my own experience, art and creativity is a fragile thing and cannot be completely planned, channeled or directed, it needs freedom. Example in my life is that as a teen, I did loads of electronic experiments and projects, lots of creative- but after college and locked into the labs and invention mills at IBM and later Intel, with their 8 hours of demanded creativity, the desire to be creative went away. You can't turn it on or off like a power switch, it moves on its own pace, and that conflicts with real world pressures like earning a living!

Conclusion: I'll watch with fascination as the journey unfolds. Learning what I can, enjoying along the way.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 02:05:33 PM by Russ »

Offline Khan

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Re: The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2012, 04:57:03 PM »

Recommendations-

* NONE...why, because from my own experience, art and creativity is a fragile thing and cannot be completely planned, channeled or directed, it needs freedom. Example in my life is that as a teen, I did loads of electronic experiments and projects, lots of creative- but after college and locked into the labs and invention mills at IBM and later Intel, with their 8 hours of demanded creativity, the desire to be creative went away. You can't turn it on or off like a power switch, it moves on its own pace, and that conflicts with real world pressures like earning a living!

Conclusion: I'll watch with fascination as the journey unfolds. Learning what I can, enjoying along the way.

STRONGLY seconded. Creativity comes when it wants and usually goes away when you most need it.
I have a problem of having the best ideas in the shower and forgetting ALL of them just as I turn off the water.
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Offline Richard Roy

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Re: The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 06:27:34 AM »
Hi everyone. I know it's been a while since this topic was posted to, but I like the topic and think I'd like to see it not die. I enjoyed the critique, thank you, CoyoteCaliente, though I can't speak to many aspects in that I'm new to comics at all, as well as reading fiction or fantasy. It would have been nice if I'd started sooner, but, better late than never. Anyway, back to AM.

I'd actually discovered Noben on Youtube and was captivated by her posted videos of her drawing. It wasn't till much later I discovered she had a comic called Altermeta. After going through it all, I'd have to say Coyote is spot on with regards to creating interesting characters. I love the way she developes them. I love the way she draws them. I'm fascinated with how she contrives situations they are thrown into. I'm fascinated by their back stories. I was almost in tears in the April Fools Joke. Not at the joke, but in the sensitive way she was able to portray a common struggle among kids as they're growing up. The struggle of, "if I say something, will it endanger the nature of our relationship?" sort of thing. And that's not just something about how dangerous it is for same sex relationships, but even straight ones. I thought the vehicle of D'shea's dream was brilliant. When he came too, I just choked, I hurt so bad for him. I have to say, I was relieved to hear Noben iterate that it was a real part of D'Shea's character. Thanks, Noben, for not throwing that out.  ^.=.^

Dinner Plans was brilliant, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I so much enjoyed the relationship between father and son. But I enjoyed watching Ruth develop as he realized Sasha wasn't quite what he expected. Ruth strikes me as an angry boy who may feel his father was made a fool of, perhaps by his mother. He seems to take it out on everyone. But that's just speculation on my part. The thing is, I've become so attached to them, I'm trying to understand them, and their motives. Looking at what's going on between Ruth and T, I get the impression Ruth is most interested in her, but can't admit it to himself. But again, I speculate. My appologies.

Randomness doesn't seem all that odd to me, as I've tried to look at my own life, and putting it into order was quite a job. Don't we all love life to fit into nice neat little packages to be labelled and stored in some way that makes complete logical sense? Hehe. Yeah, good luck with that. I've taken turns in life where I've had to halt and backstep. Pretty bows and perfect packages are not what life is made of. Your rational mind will try to tell you to string the story this way, but your emotional mind will just say, "I want!", and it's surprising the kind of bending and twisting the rational mind will do to make the story go in line, even to the point of denying the emotional mind's urges.

Yes, I understand the problem with planning. I write, too, and often get caught up in the moment, or situation, and want to pursue it till I bottom out. Tough job, Noben. In that respect, I think I'm more of an observer. I love watching the world turn. Well, since I like writing, I guess I like to make it turn, too. In that respect, I totally get what Russ means, that creativity isn't something you can order someone to do.

So I sit, and I wait, dear Noben, for when you decide to give the globe another spin. Why? Well, I guess I enjoy watching the way your mind works. Amazingly, this is such an intimacy. I think there's a lot of courage in that.

Ok, sorry if that's getting weird. As you were.   ^.=.^

Offline Jessi

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Re: The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 11:34:27 AM »
Welp, a few things got straightened out, thanks Casey!

And yes, the review I feel is definitely there. I can't wait to see what the future of Altermeta holds as Casey knows what's up and is working on it. Didn't think we'd see anymore of the dreaded Smithunchy, but that's certainly cool!

And hey... I knew D'Shea had the hots for Sasha. Knew it.

Which, you know, gives me the teeniest bit of hope for the future, or... their future.

2015, bring us creativity and the drive to draw!
Never truly judge anything until it is finished.

Offline Risha Kalsyhan

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Re: The Full Monty: Altermeta Critique (discussion welcome)
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 07:33:09 PM »
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Yes, we are going to fight back. But not here, not now, not in the Colonies. Not even in this star system. Let the word go forth to every man, woman and child who survived this holocaust. Tell them to set sail at once in every assorted vehicle that will carry them.

Battlestar Galactica (1978)