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Toph Heavy Scrap - Scrapped Page 14

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So here's a special extra page that I cut from Toph Heavy. Initially Page 13 was supposed to end with a huge "WAAAIT!" in the bottom right corner and this was going to be page 14. Bolin was going to chime in, "You said you were going to tell us how you got so good..." Toph realizes she kept on going without answering that question, and starts a new story. Korra and Asami are frustrated because it was finally getting to the good part. And it begins with a flashback to the Bei Fong estate. 


This page didn't meet my standard of quality so I decided to scrap it. If you look at a lot of my pin up work over the past couple of years, backgrounds rarely play a role. So my skill at putting a character in a place has somewhat atrophied. Setting is important. Manga sometimes ignores backgrounds during moments of character action, but they always spend the time to give you an establishing shot so that the reader knows where the action is taking place. I look at this and think "where the fuck are they, and why are they having this conversation?" That's a huge problem. Moreover, mundane interaction is something I struggle with as well. I can draw people fighting. I can draw people fucking. But fuck just having a back and forth conversation is really hard. It doesn't help that all the figures look bad. Bolin looks dumb, Mako looks bad, Lin looks bad, Korra is ok, Asami looks awful, the backgrounds in the following panels are kinda jank. I really would love to learn the techniques of cartoon background painting. Honestly, this is the least favorite page, and I actually spent days trying to fix it. In the end, I decided that it was just polishing a turd, so I scrapped it. 


But I still want to share it, because of panel 2, that's how Toph is telling this story. 

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Sounds like this should've been another two or three pages rather than only one. The problem you seem to have is not establishing where everyone is in the first panel. On the very top, make it very clear that Bolin has taken everyone's attention. So I imagine that frame being an interrupting text box from Bolin and everyone standing around in their respective places looking over. Great! You're set. Now add a sub frame, maybe half or a third the size of the first frame, where Bolin says something, then quick reactions, and another large panel indicating Toph just 'did old people things' to create a major change in the thread's direction. Then repeat the next sub frame with Asami and Korra's reactions. Another thing to consider is adding Toph just continuing on with this other story with dialogue 'pushing the last one aside' and possibly another reaction to compliment the mood. End it with a larger frame that re-illustrates the new mood that 'mimics' the very first frame when Bolin interrupted but changed to show everyone's change all at once. And you can then officially end it with a large illustration of the Estate and Toph carelessly droning off about her imaginary achievements (even though we all know she's a boss anyway, but that's why everyone loves her).

Ultimately, if you were planning on relaying all of this in only this page AND keeping this the size, this page would have the page was kinda doomed to fail to poor planning anyway. Did you sketch the idea first and see where you wanted all the dialogue or did you just hop right into the fray? Stick figures with names on their heads really goes a long way when charting where you want everything to be first. Writing dialogue first could really help for scenes like this too. As far as truly visualizing "where the fuck are they, and why are they having this conversation?" Draw every background in every frame you present. That's not a challenge, an insult or a troll. I'm serious, if you have to ask where they are, make it known even if you are only drawing the same exact scene you've seen before but only slightly skewed. Properly conveying context in the surrounding area is important to highlight every detail as accurately as necessary. When you look back at it, decide what you didn't actually need or don't like and just erase or change it. It's like on music sheets, when you see a G become a G# every G you see after that is a G# until it says otherwise. If the conductor tells you that G was supposed to be natural you write it in because that's what it should look like. If there is a change, you want to make sure people see that change. If there is space you can fill, you fill that space however you see fit.

You were doing just fine with the rest of the comic. You just need to stop thinking about it so much when there's nothing to think about. You already have the formula down. What needed to change now after putting clothes on, adding a few people and changing scenery? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Space, the answer is space, you just needed more space to properly show what needed to be shown. I say you should give it another shot and see how you can improve and get away from the mindset that thinks it actually matters whether you draw porn or somebody beating the shit outta someone else. You're just creating a scene without nakedness, essentially. You'll be fine. As least you learn something from accidentally polishing a turd.

She's recreating the scenario with her bending. What a delightful dirty old bird.

She was providing visual aids the entire time. That's HILARIOUS. XD

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morganagod
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Uploaded
Apr 18, 2019
7:29 PM EDT
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792 x 1158 px
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