Comic 353 - Potential Style Change?

10th Apr 2013, 8:42 PM in Special
Potential Style Change?
Average Rating: 4.88 (8 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 10th Apr 2013, 8:42 PM edit delete
Jocelyn
So this pic consists of two separate versions of the same panel from a page in Chapter 15. (Uh, yeah... spoiler warning: Fara drives Rain to school in the next chapter. XD)

I've been toying with the idea of changing the way I draw pages for a little while now, but with Chapter 15 effectively being the start of Volume 3, I felt it was as good a time as any. I wanted to experiment with it before just jumping right into something new and realizing I hated it though. So I drew the same panel twice, via both methods and tried to keep them as consistent as possible. The end result is what you see here.

The big difference is that the potential new style is cleaner, smoother, and has thinner lines. On the one hand, I personally like that quite a bit. On the other - and maybe it's just me - but I feel like it loses some of the current style's cute charm. The cleaner look arguably makes it look kinda stiff to me.

Incidentally, both versions took me about the same amount of time. Lineart is faster in the current version, whereas the coloring is slower. The newer version colors fast, but the lines take longer. It ends up being about the same amount of work either way (maybe the original is slightly easier, but only slightly), so that's not really a factor.

So, I want to hear your opinions. Do you think the new style is worth it, or should I just evolve with what I've got (which is due for a little evolution as is, anyway)? I'm legitimately conflicted, so your thoughts are very valuable to me right now.
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Comments:

Nama 10th Apr 2013, 8:52 PM edit delete reply
Nama
The new style looks much more clear and improved. I think I like that. :D
Nightsky 10th Apr 2013, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
Nightsky
While it looks cleaner, the new style seems a little too crisp to me. It might be because I'm more used to the older style. Maybe make the lines a little thicker?
sky14kemea 11th Apr 2013, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
sky14kemea
I think I agree with "Make the lines a little thicker" for the new style.

I don't mind either way, though.
GigaNerd17 10th Apr 2013, 9:06 PM edit delete reply
GigaNerd17
I definitely prefer the current style. The thick lines radiate warmth and the slight blur adds weight to the colors. The new style makes the the coloring stand out like a flat, sore thumb. The eyes also lose their character.
Vidd187 10th Apr 2013, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
new style is cleaner, the lines are finer ane put less strain on the eye
Jadelynn 10th Apr 2013, 9:56 PM edit delete reply
Jadelynn
Oh my GOD, I love the new style so much more. Looking at the two side by side I have to say the original looks quite a bit . . . fuzzier. I think that gets the idea across.
Jessi 10th Apr 2013, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
To me, the current style basically looks like a low-resolution version of the new style. It'd take a little getting used to, but I think the new one is better.
Julia KaNeko 11th Apr 2013, 12:17 AM edit delete reply
Julia KaNeko
It never hurts to experiment and give a few tweaks here and there. I do like the newer style. Gives the readers to see how your style changes with time. Probably for the better. ^^
J 11th Apr 2013, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
This reminds me of getting glasses.

Panel 2, definitely.
Tibs 11th Apr 2013, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
I've seen many webcomics change their line-art styles, and it has always been a good choice.

Plus, the comic with thinner lines looks brighter, which makes the comic look a little better, especially when it's beside the older style.
Eren 11th Apr 2013, 2:59 AM edit delete reply
Hi! Just caught up with the archives; love the comic. Funny it happens to be on this particular page, I was just thinking it's been fun to see your art progress. That said, I personally like the sharper lines in the second panel - but that's just me; I've always had a stylistic preference for sharply defined boundaries in art. The softer lines in the first one are definitely more ‘cute’, but I also think doing everything with the softer lines makes it a little bit harder on the eyes over the course of a long binge read of the archives online.

On another note...and feel free to skip this paragraph as its mostly me jabbering about photoshop processes...I don't know how you do your coloring, so you may already do this or it may not be applicable, but if you still use photoshop (I think I recall it being mentioned in earlier posts' comments) you can record an action that takes the current selection, expands by 2-4 pixels, and then bucket fills the selection with your current primary color in a layer below your line art. I've found that even working with really soft lines (from scans or drawn with a soft brush) this usually lets flat colors be put down very fast - pick a color, use the 'add selection' magic wand tool to get the bulk of the areas that you want it to be in, and run the saved macro. Since the color gets put down on a lower layer, the line art isn't disturbed and the expansion of the selection makes sure you don't have any artifacts where the selection didn't quite push up to the line. (In fact, the selection should expand so that it ends just 'below' the line art - but since the line art is on a higher layer, it looks like the color is just going up to the edge) Anyway, that may or may not help speed up your coloring step for the softer style.

And now I feel silly for throwing out unsolicited processing suggestions - if it isn't helpful or whatever, please forgive me: I don't mean to be 'mwa ha ha, this is how to do things!' or whatever: I'm just excited from having had a good read, and kindof jonesing to do some artwork again now.

To get back on topic: Love the comic; and I'm looking forward to seeing how your art progresses regardless of which style you choose to pursue.
dumok 11th Apr 2013, 3:06 AM edit delete reply
dumok
The newer style looks Crisper and more polished...Go with it!
Guest 11th Apr 2013, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
I like the new style better too.
Zackwell 11th Apr 2013, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
Are you drawinf the lines by hand? Or are they vector lines?
Annie 11th Apr 2013, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
After being given a link to your webcomic just a few weeks ago I have found myself reading them and even rereading them every chance I get. Rain's tale carries strong emotions and some very familiar emotional turmoil for me as I am only just setting out on my transition myself.

Your thoughts and situations for Rain have helped me bring many of my own thoughts into focus and I can only thank you for that. Also a number of these panels have had strong well worded points to them that I have grabbing my boyfriend and made him read.

I love Rain and I love you for making her a part of my life and a part of helping in my transition.

xxxx
Annie
Rinkel 11th Apr 2013, 2:03 PM edit delete reply
Rinkel
I do love the current style, but when compared to the new possible style it seems a bit... hazy? Kind of like an old photograph from like, the seventies. Which isn't a bad thing, of course!! But I am fond of the current style... though the new possible one would make things a lot cleaner... Hmmm... Maybe you can find something in between in terms of line thickness? I don't know, I like them both!! >.<
Matt 11th Apr 2013, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
Definitely love the new style. I've never had a problem with the old style, but put side-by-side like that, it makes the old style look like it was taken with a $5 camera compared to a professional shot for the new style. New style might do with slightly thicker lines, but I personally think it's a huge improvement.
Karen 11th Apr 2013, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
I'm going to say the only thing I like about the new style would be it's clean, sharp look. But it seems to lose a lot of what I like about Rain, the softness, the hazy look, like you're remembering everything and telling it to someone.

Still either way I'll keep reading! This comic did help me come out to my parents, and I'll keep on going!
Jen Done (Tacopius) 11th Apr 2013, 5:04 PM edit delete reply
I feel like the old style gives the comic shape, while the new style would give it form, if that makes any sense. I did like the charm of the bolder lines, but the new style does feel clearer.
Anna 11th Apr 2013, 7:34 PM edit delete reply
I've never had a problem with how the comic was drawn, until you offered up a new, crisper alternative. I think you should go with the new style. It won't be long before we're so used to it we'll look back in the archives and go "Wow, I can't believe how fuzzy it used to be".
rachelevil 12th Apr 2013, 4:07 AM edit delete reply
The thinner lines look a lot cleaner. Not that I've ever seen any problems with the old style, of course.
AliJ5533 12th Apr 2013, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
AliJ5533
It might just be my monitor, but the lines on the newer style seem kinda--- pixelly to me.
If it weren't for that it might be hard for me to choose between the two, but as it stands I definitely prefer the old style.
Jude P. 12th Apr 2013, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
I'm thinking I like the new style better. For reasons other people have said already.
dougwarner59 12th Apr 2013, 8:46 PM edit delete reply
dougwarner59
I think the new style look less blurry so I vote it. And I think I should get some kind of prize for giving the best answer. a pink garden flamingo would be a suitable prize...and no it's not gay; it beautiful gosh darnit! and, how dare anyone think that way!...anyway, go with the new style thingie.
Tywyll 10th Jan 2014, 3:53 AM edit delete reply
sharper lines/clearer color, i know im late, but i like the second one best.
Syrup 6th Sep 2014, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
the new style looks good
Ruth 7th Aug 2016, 8:49 PM edit delete reply
"New Style" shows more light reflecting off the eyes, and thus maybe opportunity for a wider range of facial expressions.
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