Hitch it / Ditch it: Within a Mile of Home, Pepperpot Piper
This is the final Hitch It / Ditch it critique for 2012. This has been one of the most popular hot seats on Webcomics.com. You know the drill. I review participating webcartoonists and list one thing I think they’re doing well and one thing I think needs improvement. Then I open up the topic for discussion among the members. Links to the comics being discussed are in the headers.
Hitch it: Although it’s extremely hard to read/navigate, I really appreciate that the site has a guide to the world that the creators are building.
Ditch It: We’ve got a littany of the usual faults here. The header is drab and hard to read. In fact, it recesses so much, the site seems to read as if the leaderboard is the title of the strip. The navigation buttons are hard to read, and the buttons above the comic are over the ad instead of the comic. The individual updates are impossible to understand without reading most or all of the backstory. And so on. But the art is so close to being really good I can’t resist pointing it out. And I’ve posted so often about paying attention to line weight that I feel like I’m beating a dead horse. Nonetheless.
To my eye, that qualifies as a night-and-day difference. Just a little heaviness in the line where the shadows would be (and a little emphasis on making the outline of the foreground figure a little heavier) and those visuals just come to life. The foreground is clearly defined from the background. The character has life. The figures are a little more modeled in a three-dimensional sense. And it’s so freaking easy to do. Wanna make your comic look better overnight? Line weight.
Hitch it: Jeez. Do I need to say it? The art on this comic is phenomenal. It’s not good. It’s not great. It’s in a class by itself. I’m running out of superlatives to describe it. It’s beyond beyond.
Ditch It: There’s just no way you can uppdate this comic fast enough is you’re posting these as you’re doing them. In this case, I think you’d be much better off completing the project and then posting them on a regular schedule. I don’t care how freaking beautify this is… once a reader loses interest in a comic that doesn’t seem to be updating, they’re usually gone forever.