(With the options being uploading a half coloured comic or no colours, I decided to go with the latter for the judging period. Apologies!)
Voting is not yet open for this comic.
this is absolutely lovely! i can't resist a good action spy thriller couple will-they-won't-they, that's exactly my speed. this comic looks absolutely the best when you're working with the harsh noir lighting on pages 1 and 2; that head-smashing beat is particularly well-executed. it's a little weaker in the brightly-lit ballroom, but that might mostly be because insect guts green looks good on remarkably few. i could nitpick that, as much as i appreciate the painstaking effort of lining that whole crowd shot, detailing a crowd like that often serves as i personally feel it does here to make them look less like a crowd and more like a large group of individuals, like a where's waldo picture, and that's probably not ideal. it took a second readthrough to realize didi and clyde weren't even in that panel at all. but don't let that distract you; the overall comic is totally great!
so just about every individual panel is great and fun and full of energy. it's a joy to look at. however, for most of this comic, i really don't feel like they come together. your round 1 comic was great, simple, had a strong sense of location, and your round 2 comic could get away with wacky, unrelated visuals because it's explicitly a sort of dreamscape. however, here, it's consistently unclear where clyde is, how many didis surround him, what direction he's going, etc. and there's not really a good rationale for that. so, it's really difficult for me to get into it! didi says this is her world, but the extent to which we see anything about the world is some vague building shapes and a large head in the background; otherwise it feels like a featureless plane populated 10000ppm by didi. beyond my issues with the presentation of events, though, your dialogue is still great, the last page is super strong, so it really ends on a high note.
I must say this was a really fun comic to read I really loved the solution here and the fact of just expanding upon the lore of two of your opponents and using them both and setting them upon each other was a lot of fun to see. I really loved the pace of this comic as well its honestly really hard for me to pick a fault here because on a technical level this comic is immaculate, I think some of the more subtle story telling like why Clyde is crying is a bit confusing at the end but over all was a lot of fun.
This was a fun comic I think my favorite aspect was the effort put into that fully colored group shot of all the bugs at the ball and everything happening in the ball, but Im not sure I was sold on the relationship aspect so sudden at the end but maybe that is just my cynical old brain just complains about romance in my action movies even though that wasnt much the case it felt a little out of left field even with it just being DNA acquisitioning I guess more so on Clydes part lol, this is hardly even a gripe and Im more just trying to over analyse for a really great comic!
First off, the continuity from your round against the void heart is terrific; that I feel I'm following Clyde through a grander overall journey does a lot for the fun of the comic. Your take on Didi is absolutely smashing; the designs, the lines, body horror - it all clicks and it clicks marvelously. As far as the story goes, just a few notes - it seems like Clyde just sort of muscles his way out of this one - which is fine, it just feels like there's been a bit more of a cerebral bent to his problem solving prior to this. The other issue is a small one of clarity - I'm not 100% on why the knob didn't work for Didi, or exactly where the end of the comic leaves the greater Didi collective. This otherwise flows great, and I got a special kick out of the monologue panel~~~
This one's funny all the way through, and you have a great sense for unexpected pivots in the story without losing focus of the larger story. I'm impressed how much humor you are able to milk just from the reactions and snippets of dialogue, both well tailored to the characters. In terms of clarity of action, I'm a little puzzled y the explosion at the comic's end - is that the fountain that the Didis were trying to steal exploding? Was that supposed to indicate that the heist failed, or that it was completely a ruse to get Clyde's DNA? Either way, I get more and more intrigued by what the saga of Didi has in store for us next.
Skwid - That banner threw me off. I thought it was Brentony's work since I got so used to seeing b/w and grayscale work from you XD. Really high key Didi vibes! I love that this is a direct continuation of your last round's comic too. Didi and Clyde knowing each other previously was a twist I did not see coming and I love it. Even though the pages look somewhat not done, it's still such a treat to look at your art overall. The fight scene was great with lots of twists and turns as both characters try to outdo each other. Nice fast-paced comic that kept me engaged and at the edge of my seat! Void Heart's presence really up the stakes and I thought that was a very clever choice. Clyde's ruthlessness while being such a huge teddy bear makes him such a remarkable and loveable character. And that ending got me. Poor Clyde ;_;
Brentony - You just keep on leaving me amazed every round and with that my love for Didi also grows. Love love this character to bits and she's grown to be one of my faves here in no time. I already asked about this in Discord but both you and Skwid fooled me into thinking that Didi and Clyde knew each other previously as both your comics touched on those. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed that. Character connections are some of my favorite things in collaborative environments such as this site. Speaking of which! The Bug Queen being integrated into your plot was so cool to see. Clyde and Didi's chemistry is something I can read/watch all day. I hope we get to see more stories with them together. Your art is phenomenal as always!
Really good action going on! I like how you had such a wide variety of Didis that still were really recognizable as part of the collective. Lots of really good expressions and I love how zoinked out you made Didi.
The "pick me behavior" line didn't make sense to me? The crowd of Didis seemed to thin out a bit too quickly from page 2 to 3- It might have been neat to show Void Heart attacking/distracting the crowd instead of Clyde just defeating them all so quickly. Also I know you're kind of uncomfortable writing romance, but I think having Clyde and Didi flirting a bit would have been a fun way to throw in more jokes, and it would make the ending joke feel less non-sequitur.
Lots of great little jokes, like the monologue or shouting into Didi's ear. I like how you fit the body horror and cutesy design together, like the heart in the head opening up on page 3. You also did a good job of making Didi feel like a big threat.
Really pretty art! I especially like the big fight scene on page 4. All the bugs from the bug ball in their fancy outfits are great. I love how threatening Didi's blank expression is. Absolutely furious that neither of you had Clyde call Didi "dollface". On page 2, the money signs in Clyde's eyes are kind of hard to see. Tons of great jokes! I really like the second Didi reveal in the beginning, that felt really smooth. You did a really good job of making the relationship work in a plausible way that was still really funny, and a had a lot of great banter. Amazing ending, and I assume you were foreshadowing it with the "bug queen Didi" stuff?
One word I keep hearing in my head when I read your comics is "effortless". Not to say you're not exerting effort, but rather that your art is so clean and elegant, loose where it needs to be and refined where it needs to be, paced nicely, always framed properly- it would be fair to say you have built up an incredible "comic sense". You've also built this awesome arc by connecting all these tournament comics together, which as someone who's lost many a tournament is no small feat; you're basically making the writing harder for yourself, like goku wearing weighted clothes. It's a flex, and I love to see it. If anything, all I can say to you is I'm excited to see you experiment now that you've illustrated you've mastered this style of comic
You're firing on all cylinders here, Brentony. This comic looks fantastic, has a phenomenal script, is well paced, is consistent - you rose to meet the challenge and aced it. The top panel on page 2 is brilliantly framed - not only does it communicate Didi's hive mind, it also shows Clyde literally stuck between two Didi's. I love the carnage scene, it's wonderfully chaotic and also easy to follow. Lot of great laughs here - "Even the fountain is giving me the willies" (image is the most horrifying, lovecraftian looking piece of sculpture). Clyde is a tough character to make emote, but I think you pulled it off. There's not much I can think to say critique wise, great job
I just want to start off by saying I've been having an absolute blast reading Clyde's comics .He is just so great to see in action. I really enjoyed how you've thread the previous Fights together in to this one The only Note i can really think of is that your line art isn't as strong in this one as your previous battles in the tourney. But you mentioned feeling squeezed this round and had plans to color the whole comic, so that makes sense as to why. I'm looking forward to seeing the colored comic, that last panel was a nice tease.
I absolutely adore Didi, she are a totally fun, bright and chaotic hivemind who just gives me the creeps. I Love it. This was a fun read with a lil bit of a twist I was quite surprised by and made me audibly go "O-Oh!" and the end made me snort chuckle. I'm honestly having a hard time coming up with constructive feedback at the time of this review. I just wish I could read more, see a revisit to this match up. I am a big fan of what you did this round and look forward to more Didi.
Direct continuation! I do like that. Got a real arc going here and I want to see more. Man, if this was in full colour, damn. The linework is already stellar. That monologue panel is a bit tricky to parse at first but I really like that gag of her picking up the arm over it. I am a fan of playing with the medium. More of that on page 3 ah.... I love it.
The didi robot transformations were great too. I enjoy your take on them as complex form-shifting robots and the brawl scene and dialogue over it sells the terror of a self-replicating hive mind. Pink Goo Scenario.
Aesthetically as I said before I find your artstyle fun and your linework has impact and that skill for knowing where to put in the detail and where you can get by with simpler lines. Helps with the brief time limit!
Overall, I am enjoying this story and how much you are most certainly the one using the oculama setting the strongest.
BUG ROMANCE AGAIN!
Absolutely love the bug ball. So many bugfolk. This tournament sure is full of 'em huh. Even didi is a hivemind thats like half bug in spirit.
This also is my exact style of adventure; a heist between frienemies. So much intrigue!
Aesthetically I find your work a joy to look at and did I mention the crowd scene? The menacing shadows early on too. Beautiful.
Overall I really enjoyed this one and I don't actually have much to say in critique. I guess there's a panel where clyde is standing there that feels a little awkward maybe? I don't think this hit me emotionally strong but it was real solid, pretty to look at, had a big crowd scene full of details, and generally fit one of my fave types of action story.
Love the direct continuity with your previous comic! By working Void Heart into your comic you give immediate stakes, and a visible conflict which gives you more time to explore it. Definitely love the way you portrayed DiDi in this comic both as a incredibly threatening and growing plague while maintaining the barbie/valley girl vibe. Using Clyde's monologuing as a gag but also a way to resolve the conflict was also very fun! I know you were originally intending to fully colour this and I would have loved to have seen it but your lines are quite strong on their own despite some limited backgrounds on some of the middle pages.
Oculama's first romance??? But honestly this was an extremely fun romp with some great set pieces. Using Clyde as an in to the insect sector was a great plot concept and is supported by some punchy writing. You've done a great job throughout the tournament of setting Didi up as this all encompassing hivemind that likely has hundreds of goals on the go so that you can really fit her in anywhere. Also impressed you were willing to draw the wide shot showing off the whole insect sector party. The colouring is also on point as usual! Love the saturated pinks continuing to be used as they continue to give the vibe that Didi exists within this heightened reality.
You have been killing it with this story. I love the connecting thread from the previous round coming up again for this one. Makes for a nice little mini-arc in this tournament and Clyde is continually the most fun. Whether you colored this or not, your ink work and foundation is so strong that its not necessary. You're more than making up for it in having pages that are both perfectly clear and extremely dense in content. I can't think of any weak points with this comic myself. You could have utilized a couple more spot-blacks in some locations, but that's almost a nitpick given that you intended to color it. Still, excellent comic. Terrific work!
Didi has rightfully rocketed up to a darling for me and a character I'm really wanting to fight myself. This tone you're putting on your art here is really nice and gives it an extra dimension to the coloring. Definitely something to continue trying out down the line. I love that you put yourself out there a bit and went daring with some of the content this time around. That crowd shot at page 4 is a great job pushing yourself a little further than usual and you're really doing a good job breaking out those interesting angles and close-ups this round. From all the comics I've seen you do over the years, you're really improving at a crazy pace. Terrific work!
First of all, that is a very clever title and banner for your comic! I just know I was in for a treat just by seeing that. And I was not disappointed! I also liked how you included your previous round's opponent as a major part of the story, something to add a bit of continuity. Even though you said you wanted it colored, I think it still works well in black and white and every thing is clear and legible for the most part. Page 2 might benefit from the use of strong black shadows that you put in the other pages, but it's not too big of a deal.
Oh wow, what a visually outstanding comic! Even after reading the other comics with great art, this still manages to impress me! Your use of colors is great! I like how you made sure Didi is the only one who is bright pink. It really makes her stand out. Your use of a screentone filter over the comic is also interesting. It makes it look like a newspaper comic, which is cool. Of course, both Didi and Clyde have very strong characterizations. I like how you made them have a past history. It makes the conversations between them more interesting and makes the final kiss between them more impactful!
skwid, I'm a fan of all the comics you made for this tournament so far, and this one is no exception! You have done an expertly good job of setting up your panels and the compositions inside them so they are clear and easy to understand even during some of the crowd scenes. Bringing back your opponent from last round to be part of the plot was also a good idea. While I would have loved to see some color judging by the wonderful work you did on the final panel, I understand the time limit you had and it's no big deal since the comic is already so great anyway.
Brentony, I just want to say this is one of my favorite comics this round and even one of the top in the tournament so far! I just love everything about it! The colors and artwork are fantastic, the action is great, the humor and dialog are also great, and the comic just flows very naturally and easily. And I can't believe how much detail you put into the backgrounds and it's all in color too! I love looking at all the bugs in their fancy little costumes, the flies buzzing around the lights, and are those soot spirits I see? Well, I can't think of any improvements I would make so just take my love! <3
gosh skwid! you keep pushing to higher levels of art and storytelling every time I read your comics! Your ability to do wide shots in a panel with so much going on and still be perfectly understandable is amazing as heck and makes judging these two phenomenal comics super hard!. from a 3 part act you do a really great job of picking write back up where you left off. tying in Didi and Clyde into conflict while establishing enough of a backstory between the two in a short time that the interaction between the two feel really fluid and I love it. you also did some amazing stuff with perspective and anatomy this round and I love it!
Gotta love that you went so hard on this round and your finished color product really shows the effort put into this comic! I think you did a phenominal job like skwid showing a shared history between the to characters and accurately portraying there strengths and personality to dang near perfection. I love the humor throughout the comic as well the( top hat on the centipede getting torn in half was especially memorable) I honestly couldnt find a single flaw in this aside from needing even more didi( I got a fever meme insert here) super hard to judge these two great pieces of such high caliber art.
SKWID- I love that you've maintained this narrative thread, honoring the battles past in this tournament. Its clear this tourney is not your first rodeo and it shows in your narrative pre-planning and characters subsequent journey. I seriously love Clyde. The persona we've gotten to see, the imperfections and general awkwardness. He's definitely not what you'd expect from a hitman, but I think that's what's made everyone fall in love with this big ol' grub. As for Didi- talk about FUN. The different outfits, the hilarious expressions and that fantastic heart shaped monster maw on page 3. Your comic is giving me what I need and I am here for it. Honestly the pair of these battles is seriously top grade. This is gonna be one tough ass vote!
BRENTOY- Gads what a treat. What world building and an utter love letter to your opponents character and lore. I loved poring over the pages where we got a full spread of the buggo ball. To say nothing of Didi's utterly charming Barbie Doll Dreamhouse gown. From the ominous tryst in a darkened office to a blowout bash it's clear you're having WAY too much fun concocting Didi's various designs comic to comic and it shows. To see Clyde and Didi's history, conflict, tenuous team up and massacre heist all culminate in an explosive kiss is what I'm here for. Also intrigue! DNA collection! Did what are you up to? what are your plaaaans?? Gads I gotta know.!