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Spotlight Comics

Spotlight – Doodling Around

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-Comic Name – Doodling Around

-Creator(s) – Gual-kun, Chano-kun

-Genre – Comedy, slice of life, geeky

-Synopsis – Yep, this is a comic about people who likes comics. Angélica and Rina are a pair of twin sisters living in Calamarí, a coastal city. They and their group of friends have a dream in common: to make their own comic book. Of course, they already know that’s not a new thing and also not an easy job but anyway they keep at it. Why, you ask? C’mon! Because it’s fun! And that’s not the only thing they can do together. That’s why you can see them at every imaginable situation in which you probably could be… or not. That’s the way you can have a nice time in your life, fooling around with your friends and making some doodling too. Combining both stuff sounds nice. So, want to go Doodle Around for a while?

-Webcomic Link – http://www.doodlingcomic.com

-Facebook Link – https://www.facebook.com/DoodlingAround

 

Please leave your critiques in the comments!

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16 Comments

  1. I tend towards only reading one kind of comic, to my detriment, so it is really nice to read something different with such a fun, positive note! And the art is excellent, the expressions, anatomy mid-movement are all fantastic :)

    Was it a stylistic choice to do the hair that particular way? I don’t tend to see it done that way, i.e. more strands rather than one shape. It’s interesting and makes things look different to your standard manga.

    • Thanks for all the nice words. We’re glad you find our comic different :)

      Looks like the style in which the hair is drawn doesn’t go unnoticed. Some people have mentioned it before. Yes it was an stylistic choice.

  2. Dang it, I went to post, screwed up, and lost the whole thing. Now I have to do it all over again. I’m going to keep it concise this time, but feel free to ask any follow-up questions you have.

    The website works nicely and while I prefer an archives link in the top nav bar, the link the page navigation works just fine. I like that your update schedule is prominently featured along with a link to the Spanish (or English) version of the webcomic. The character art is a great visual and while I like the cast page, it could use some more filling out if you get the time to do so.

    I really enjoy these characters you’ve created. The twins are especially well-executed. In fiction, identical twins are often either so alike it’s creepy or ridiculously exaggerated opposites, but here, you treat them like normal sisters who just happen to be twins. Good call. The rest of the cast is very likeable and distinct, though the antagonists a rather petty. If you’re going for the “love to hate them” route, you might want to give them more depth beyond bully/jerk, but if you just want the audience to generally dislike them, you’re golden.

    The anatomy, poses, and dynamic shots in the comic really add to the craziness of the things these characters get themselves into. Their expressions and movements are lively and the coloring gets much better over time. I do think the girls look a lot alike, though. While their height and silhouettes are enough to keep them distinct, they all have generally the same facial features and body shape. This isn’t much as an issue with the boys, however. One think I’m not a big fan of is the hair. The highlights make it look like a solid, plastic-y shape. In Uhm-Ba’s case, it’s not an issue because it accentuates the curliness of her hair, but for others, the texture doesn’t look quite right. For the most part, everything from the backgrounds to the composition looks good and keeps getting better, but if you want to try something new, maybe you could experiment with the line weight. You style is more on the cartoony side, which fits the writing, so having different light weights might give even more movement to the characters.

    I like the way you constantly up the ante with the trouble everyone gets in. Things just keep piling up until the situation has become so ridiculous that even the characters wonder how they ever got into this mess, but the way you gradually build it up keeps it from being forced. I’m not really a big fan of the intermissions, though. I know the twins are the “face” of the comic, but those bits where they sum up the rest of the episode kind of take me out of the story. In many cases, it seems like it would have been more fun to just watch it play out instead–for example, they tell you Umh-Ba won the cosplay contest, but wouldn’t it have been more interesting to see her participate in it? I notice also that there is a lot of lewd humor here, which I don’t usually like, but it actually fits in this comic. They things they talk about are things people their age would talk about and their reactions feel very natural. It seems like you’re just trying to be true to that aspect of their personalities rather than just shoehorning in some cheap fanservice and crude jokes.

    The dialog started out a bit clunky with some weird grammar and typos, but you seem to have gotten better with that over time. I can’t speak for the Spanish version–perhaps a Spanish-speaking Underdogs can help you with that–but the English has certainly improved. However, some pages simply have too much talking. If you can let your visuals carry more of the load, sometimes that can actually add to a page. Be careful about cramming too much dialog into a single bubble, too. The lettering is pretty good overall, so just keep doing your best with it.

    Despite these fairly minor flaws, I find this comic engaging, genuine, and genuinely funny. I look forward to seeing more of it.

    • Wow…! Now I want to see the original post! It’s a shame is lost hehe.
      So you took the time twice! Totally honored! :D
      I like the part of the twins you mentioned. That’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid and reading it here tells us we’re doing something right.
      Well, about the hair, as I said before, it’s an stylistic choice. One of the reasons for the choice: It’s easily done. Now that it has been mentioned a couple of times maybe we can try something different… but not so different, for the future :P
      We know how people don’t like the wall of text so we’re always trying to not stuff the word balloons with text but looks like sometimes we can’t do that completely.
      The thing you mention about the sum ups. You may be referring to the end of the cosplaying arc. They usually don’t talk about things that hasn’t happened “on screen” but that time we thought we were taking so much time for the arc. First ‘long story’ and well, the inexperience, so we ‘cut it’. Hope is not that bad, at the end…
      For the “villains”, well… we’re only trying to make them humans in the process and they’re just that, jerks and bullies… for now. Who knows?
      Last but not least, the writing… Yes, we lack of english editor for some periods. At the beginning we don’t had any, then, a good friend of us was helping us with that but, sadly, he passed away, so now it’s like on and off with the revisions. Luckily we managed to encourage our readers to point mistakes and they help us :D. We noticed is a bit difficult get people to do that. Looks like many authors are very sensitive about being corrected, for the way several people acted about that, giving many excuses and all.
      Anyway, I tried to make this answer as detailed as the feedback you are giving us. Thank you for all your words and opinions, we really need things like this to improve!

      • Good thing this is the shorter version of the comment he he! Good job Melaredblu!

        • Yeeeaaah…that wasn’t really concise at all, was it? More terse, maybe. I was really annoyed and it was, like, midnight, and I didn’t proofread the second write-up much. I do still like the comic, though.
          I’m glad you found my feedback helpful, Gual-kun! To be honest, the hair isn’t THAT big of a deal, but if you want to try something different, maybe instead of circular highlights you could use more linear ones? That’s one way to go about it. Either way, I’ll still keep reading.

  3. I really enjoyed this comic, but I especially liked the strong improvement curve I saw over the years. The early strips were enjoyable, but it took a while for there to be an immediate story hook beyond “watch these kids who like comics hang out and make jokes”. But since the Comic Convention arc, there have been larger storylines, signs of extended character development, and lingering plot threads. Characters like Fiera are showing more sides to their personalities, while the dynamics between characters are growing more complex. For a comic dealing with teenagers, an age group which faces some of the most seismic of physical and emotional changes, this is vital.

    Plus, cosplay! I was amazed at the diversity of different sources you drew from during that arc (Flintstones, Guilty Gear, DC Comics, etc.)

    • Thank you! As I said before, the early concept was the comic being ‘semi gag a day’ with a little storyline but readers encouraged us for doing story arcs. It’s nice to know the people likes the change :)
      And yeah! Cosplay’s gooood! :D

  4. I first found Doodling Around when I was doing research for my then fledgling webcomic, and I remember I fell in love with the characters immediately (and also decided to hire a gooooood artist!)
    What I like about Doodling is the way they portrait the trials and tribulations of the young characters, with the occasional dark themes (the bullying arc was great!) and not shying away from the sensuality that is only natural in youngsters. I believe this comic is honest and definitely rated PG-13.
    Gual and Chano are excellent artists, but still the improvement in their art is evident thru the pages.
    “Write what you know” is usually a good strategy and making the twins comic creator wannabes certainly helps in introducing the comic, but then again I like how the overall story lines are getting more deep and complex. The drawback of this is of course the inherent geekiness of the story, but I can live with that.
    Well, I’m on the bandwagon that loves the art and character design, I like the cuteness and sexiness of the characters, and also how they embody the several body types of Colombian people.
    I believe the website design and functionality is excellent also.
    I also noticed the problem with English translations, specially when the authors lost their reviser (sorry about that guys!), but I mostly read Doodling in Spanish. I can say that the Spanish version is fresh and nice, and so far I have had no major problem with it. I should explain here that Spanish in the Americas is a complex monster, and believe me that idioms and expressions have raised a brow in this Mexican every time he has visited Colombia. Still this comic has been easy to read for me. I wonder if the authors are striving for a neutral Spanish or it is simply that current dialog has been neutral in itself (and makes me wonder about my definitely Mexico City dialect in my own creations, damn!)
    I for one like the twins breaking the fourth wall and giving a recap after each arc.
    So, what else? Doodling has a nice pace, fresh humor and relatable characters. The art is good and I hope Doodling becomes the flagship of Skill:Draw.
    One last thing: when I started doing comics, I looked up at comics like Doodling, they were my role models. Now I feel proud to be among the “big boys”, having the luck to be able to meet (at least virtually) good people and artists like Gual and Chano. I appreciate your advice and support and the privilege to call you “friends”. (There are some other comics that set the bar for me and now are part of this group I love, I’m looking e.g., at certain Princess Chroma here!)
    So, congrats on a good, solid comic!

  5. C’mon, how can I possibly come up with anything less than cheerfully positive about this comic? The art style, the pacing of the writing, the colour work (oh man, the colour work…)… seriously, what’s not to love?

    I wish I had something to critique, but honestly, I got nothin’. This is the kind of comic I’d love to do if I could draw by hand. ‘Nuff said.

  6. I find this comic is pretty difficult to get into. The art is very pretty and the characters look like they are interesting, but the panel layout makes it hard to read and focus on what is happening IN the panel.

    • Cave, now it is been twice you have commented about panel layout. I would really like it if you could elaborate, so we can address the problem. I see that both Gaul and me don’t use the typical white space between panels, is that part of the problem?
      thanks =)

      • No problem. A while back I actually had a post on SJ about what makes good panel layout, but it got lost when they redid their forums unfortunately.

        Basically, yes, white space is huge. Overlapping panel lines should be used sparingly and reserved for more dramatic or action-y moments. When I see the panels here on Doodling Around it makes me think the author is trying to give a sense of craziness but at the expense of clarity. This expense is huge because it will interrupt the flow of reading and it just looks messy.

        I’m not going to say there shouldn’t be experimentation and artistic license in comics and with comic paneling, but it also needs to be remembered that paneling is one of the biggest things that separates comics from other mediums and should be taken seriously. Panel layout is crucial to communication and comics are all about communication. Communication is key to telling a story or sharing an idea, so when your panel layout is chaotic, so will your communication. Not necessarily a BAD thing, but certainly one that needs to be considered.

        Anyway, the point is, this isn’t about pretty versus not pretty, but good communication versus poor communication.

        • Oh… Well, thanks for that feedback. We’ve never thought of that. In fact you’re the first person who tells us something about that aspect. I must admit it gets me a bit confused :P but it’s a nice advice and I’ll keep it in mind when creating pages.
          Hope you can get in the comic some day, of course!

  7. I know your spotlight is past, but the best review I can give is this … one time I read a post of yours, and clicked on banner. I immediately read the entire archive, and added it to my reads on Comic Rocket. Like others have said, the art and story are excellent, and coupled with great humor.

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