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This is a follow-up to my original Minty post (see the strip here for reference). I wanted to critique it pretty hard since it was a bit of an experiment for me. If you had been following, it was part of the Open Your Mouth forum’s Art Assignment series. I had never done an assignment here before and just thought it was simply a post-and-gaze. Little did I know that the forum votes on all the entries. So, it came down to me and this guy, and he won. Rightly so, I might add.
So, here are the weaknesses of Minty:
- Not really auto-bio. This is reason alone for King to have won the assignment. Basically, I’ve taken a gross anecdote from my life and tried to make something more than it was. King told a slice-of-life auto-bio story (which also was gross) and really hit the assignment on the right note.
- Not that funny. I knew it sucked when my wife told me that “it would be funnier if I worked with you, I think.” That’s never a good sign.
- Anthropomorphism. While this technique works well for other auto-bio cartoonists (specifically James Kolchacka), I don’t think it worked here since the characters transcended auto-bio to become a full story, thus not bringing any added commentary to the characters’ depth.
Now for some things I think I did pretty well on:
- Style. Good, fluid lines helped tell the story and keep the eye moving to the next panel. It was an appealing attempt at streamlining my work, too.
- One page story. I’ve mentioned before my love for Mike Worley’s critiques; he’s a hard-ass, but he’ll make you a better artist. In Chicago, he told me that I should try doing some one page stories, just to see how much you can do with one page. Well, I think I accomplished that pretty well here. Setup, rising action, conflict, and resolution (albeit a simple version) all are in the story, and I consciously set out to write it as such. Awareness of story and what makes a story has been a struggle with me for some time. Now if I could just make funny stories…
- Gross Out. I wanted it to be gross. It was gross. Plus, it had the addition of pirate zombies.
Overall, the Minty character has been floating around in my head as either a fictional character or a reflection of myself, and I think that the strip shows that lack of resolution in my head as to what Minty actually is. Not bad for an exercise, but it certainly doesn’t deserve any rewards, either.
You can also browse through the Parlor archives.