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Vatican Assassins by MJ Massey


“Vatican Assassins is the story of the younger members of the Vatican’s secret demon hunting militia who protect the Pope and the church.  While avoiding being eaten by the same demons they fight, they become embroiled in a 40 year old mystery in a secret diary. But there are many who want the diary’s story to stay secret forever–the heads of the Assassins who are racing the solve the mystery themselves; the Orthodox church, responsible for.”

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Story

Vatican Assassins by MJ Massey doesn’t waste time jumping straight into the plot. In fact, it might jump a little too quickly, as the reader is not given much time to figure who people are and what exactly their purpose is. It can be scraped off of the sides here and there, but it may be wise to take a second to introduce characters and story lore a bit before you jump straight in.

There are some unique aspects to this story that do pull you in, including the smooth tie of reality with fantasy. Massey does an excellent job of tying the two together to create a realistic world.

Writing

There were some spelling and grammar errors in Vatican Assassins. Make sure you proofread your comics. It may be a good decision to either get someone to volunteer to proofread your story for you, or hire someone who can do it for you, so that you have fresh eyes looking over and catching any mistakes that you may have missed yourself.

Aside from the spelling and grammar errors, Massey creates strong conversational flow between characters, which only enhances the quality of the story. This, paired with minimal amounts of fluff content, allows for the relevant information to thrive and creates a clear path for the plot to progress.

conversational flow

Art

Massey does a fantastic job of incorporating detailed backgrounds, creating gorgeous scenes that only enhance the quality of the comic as a whole.

backgrounds

Massey also is not afraid to play around with perspectives, which is highly important when creating a comic filled with action scenes. The more movement and perspective that can be portrayed, the better. Although there are some areas where proportions struggle because of this, it certainly adds more than it deters. Well done.

perspectives

To cap it all off, Vatican Assassins is filled with colour that only compliments the comic further. The good use of colour gives this comic an appealing look, and with more practice, Massey is sure to stun readers with their art.

Conclusion

Vatican Assassins by MJ Massey is just starting to get its legs underneath it. As the comic continues to grow, so will Massey’s talents in art and storytelling. If you enjoy an action-filled comic with a bit of a religious twist, this may be an interesting comic for you.


You can check out Vatican Assassins by MJ Massey here.

Socializing 101 by Pandastrophiic


“Ever since he was young Mihai had always been intimidating and socially awkward making others avoid him. He grew up to become very anti-social preferring to stay within his social circle that include his grandmother, two friends and his beloved cat Muffins…. Well, that’s how it used to be until a new neighbor moves in with his friend and she turns out to be the exact opposite of him.”

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Story

Socializing 101 by Pandastrophiic is a casual story about a growing friendship between multiple characters. This comic is very simple in story but makes up for it with adorable and loving characters.

adorable characters

The casual style allows for a light, enjoyable read about every day life and romances. Highly relatable, this is a comic that many people will be able to follow along with bringing back nostalgic memories, or it may even be an experience you are currently living.

relatable 2

There is plenty of opportunities for character growth, and Pandastrophiic does not disappoint in this department. Socializing 101 is the perfect title for this comic as the main characters learn how to meet and open up to people.

Writing

The writing style is very casual, which fits well with the rest of the story. However, it can feel a bit awkward at times, as if the conversations were forced, which hinders the flow. Try avoiding phrases like, “Well, anyway,” as it typically does not create a natural flow through topics and can make the conversation feel broken and uncomfortable.

The grammar and spelling could use some improvement, as well. The writing is easy to understand, though, and any errors do not really hinder the overall reading experience. Make sure you have a good editor on hand who can go over and catch any mistakes that you may have made.

Socializing 101 does have clearly defined thought versus conversation speech bubbles which make it easy to quickly read back and forth between internal conversations and external ones. Just be careful not to overdo the talking. It can be daunting to see so much text all the time in a comic, plus a picture can sometimes say more than what you want to say with words.

clearly defined thought vs conversation

Art

Pandastrophiic definitely excels in art. The colouring is especially impressive, with smooth blending and a creamy texture. The soft colours and lines create an almost dream-like consistency that soothes the eyes and compliments the font.

gorgeous artwork

Socializing 101 utilizes space well, having thought bubbles or conversations that weave in and out of panels, connecting each one successfully. Paneling plays an important role in portraying the scene and it is done well in this comic, maximizing the use of white space and flow from one panel to the next.

relatable

One small note to make is that the sketch lines are still visible. Although not necessarily a bad thing, it does take away from a cleaner and completed look. Consider removing these sketch lines if ever producing this comic into a more professional format, such as a printed book.

Aside from that, I’m overall very impressed with the art in Socializing 101. Pandastrophiic has done an excellent job portraying this comic, and you can feel the characters emotions in each panel as they challenge what they know and discover the truths about each other.

emotions

Conclusion

Socializing 101 by Pandastrophiic is a lovely casual read with gorgeous artwork. I would suggest finding an editor or a good friend to go through the script and make sure that the flow remains consistent and that any spelling or grammar errors are caught. This is a comic that will easily have you falling in love with the characters, wanting to follow along as they go about their everyday lives, learning how to love themselves and each other.


You can read Socializing 101 by Pandastrophiic on Tapastic!

Energy Wielders by Isaac


“Ian journeys with a mysterious girl named Lydiah to rescue his grandmother Annette from the terrorizing organization called Darasu.”

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Story

Energy Wielders by Isaac surprised and impressed me with the story. I had not expected such a well thought out plot that shows some great prospects for further development.

great use of backstory to motivate a character

Isacc has a nice introduction to the protagonist by slowly building up to who or what he is as the story progresses. It is clear straight away the type of personality the character has, and it is easy to either love, or hate him.

The same can be said for the villain. It is very clear from the beginning who the antagonist is, and the protagonist has ample motivation to want to stop them. However, Isaac introduced skepticism about one of the characters, allowing for a more exciting plot line, opening the possibility for a second antagonist that may act as a powerful plot twist later down the road.

clear plot direction and motivation

Overall, I was very impressed with the story, with unique concepts that help Energy Wielders stand out as a comic to keep your eye on as it continues to grow.

Writing

There are a few spelling and grammar mistakes here and there in Energy Wielder’s script, but overall I was very impressed with the writing. Conversations flow smoothly from one character to the next, and it is easy to understand what is happening.

There are a few instances where it would be better to show, and not tell. Try not to rely on the script so heavily, and try to describe what is happening more with action than written explanation. Trust that your audience can understand what you are trying to say without the use of words. If you are unsure at any point, get someone to read that episode. Can they understand what is going on without all the explanation? If it isn’t clear, either add more panels to break it up more through action, or you can use more script to explain the parts that aren’t clear without it.

nice sequence and paneling

Other than that, I was very happy with the writing. Well done!


Art

Isaac’s talents lie more heavily in writing than they do in art. However, he is obviously a diligent learner, and follows the foundations of art very carefully. The area that needs the most improvement is movement in the backgrounds and characters. I found there were many instances where the background felt stiff, or the characters looked rigid. Don’t be afraid to loosen up the lines in the horizon. Nothing is ever perfectly straight. Add a stray branch, leaf, or blade of grass. Symmetry is not something that happens very often in nature (aside from living creatures). However, you do want to keep the page balanced. Make sure one side of your page is not more detailed than another -you need to even it out somewhere, just not with symmetry.

stiff

Most of your panels were close shots of the characters with minimal background. You aren’t alone in this area. So many artists dread or hate drawing backgrounds that they make them nearly nonexistent. Take a risk and explore backgrounds more. You can get really creative with backgrounds, adding in little Easter eggs too!

lack of background

I enjoyed the structure and layout of Energy Wielders, I think that it was well planned and each panel flows well into the next. However, don’t be afraid to break a panel wall to smash through another in order to make those action scenes more exciting.

nice movement

Conclusion

Overall, I was very impressed with Energy Wielders by Isaac. I think it has a lot of potential to become something truly fantastic. This is a comic that I suggest you keep your eye on as it continues to grow and develop into something more. I look forward to seeing where Isaac takes it in the future.


If you want to read Energy Wielders by Isaac, you can check it out on Tapastic!

 

 

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