“On The Spot” Hot Seat Critique: Casey At The Bat
This critique series is called the “On The Spot” Hot Seat. I will visit participants’ sites on a random day and talk about how their comic/site/social media is on that day. No archive-diving and no overview. The point is to try to reinforce the importance of making every update significant.
For those of you who are interested in the craft of comics and cartooning, this is your opportunity to talk about the subject in a Real World setting — “workshopping” one another’s comics, if you will.
But that’s only the beginning of the discussion.
Members (especially members who have asked for critiques in the past or plan on doing so in the future) are encouraged to add their own thoughtful responses.
The point isn’t to elect a new King of Comics (or point out a goat) — rather, this is a chance to talk about the how and why of what it is we do.
These are the only two participants who have signed up for this Hot Seat. I’ll leave the Open Call up for a while longer, and if no one else is interested, we can move on to another Hot Seat series.
The comic, on the day I viewed the site:
I have no idea what happened in this comic. I can’t follow the action at all.
The first two panels are pretty straight-forward.
The, in Panel 3, I *think* Spence is about to pass the puck to Joey, but based on the fact that both the stick and the puck are so far above the ice, I’m not sure if that’s the case. I know that’s the action I *expect* based on the previous panel, though. But that image sure doesn’t look like someone shooting a puck.
In Panel 4, the opposing team’s player (who had been waaaaaaaay in the background in the previous panel), rushes… somewhere. Since there’s nothing more drawn in that panel, we really can’t tell where he’s going. Or why.
Panel 5: Suddenly (and unexplainably) the opposing team’s player scores a goal!
As for the payoff? There’s no humor there. In fact, the reaction is exactly what you’d expect from someone who just lost a game.
There are a lot of problems here. First off, there’s not a lot to offer in terms of drama *or* comedy. If this was supposed to be a funny story, it really didn’t deliver any humor.
But moreover, if you’re telling a story that relies on the understanding the action from the visuals, then you have to be meticulous in how you draw that action. That means planning out angles so you can place the characters in a certain space. And it means backgrounds and secondary characters. And, above all else, it means you have to be able to walk a reader through a series of events with nothing but the visuals to do the storytelling.
On this particular day, this comic faltered badly on all of the above.