It was really, really hard for me to know what to vote on. Several of these entries easily match the technical and artistic qualities of a modern day comic. The gag-strips worked really well. But the more complicated “graphic novel” pieces seemed across-the-board to me to be, well, how do I say it (do I say it? well, yeah…), very weak writing.
The art’s great, but there are too many words, and sometimes an effort to put two pivotal story-points on the same page at the same time. The girl whose family got plugged is both acting, and think-talking about it, and confronting the bad-guy, and (I presume) getting killed by the bad-guy, all in one page! “To be continued?” Looks like there’s nothing to continue: the heroine just got wasted.
The other one? Sorry dude, but look at it from a distance. The whole shot is about two very satisfied males, looking at tits and ass. Well done tits-and-ass but there’s no story-arc here: just tits and ass. The mob-stuff is secondary.
I tossed my hat in with the “ammusionist” basically because it did the best overall job of story, with the familiar “sketchbook artist sketching about himself” allegory. And it’s a scene we can all relate to. Actually, though, I would have voted for the non-participating CornDog’s Roommate had it been available, because it’s a good “classic strip” with decent pacing and, I think, good cinematography.
In Roommate, the camera has been used to good effect: - A wide establishing-shot, with the subject character (easily identified as such by his distinct shirt) entering left-to-right. He’s the only one moving. - Two medium shots in frames two and three, and they are mirrored so that the straight-man character occupies two adjacent corners while the star continues his visual movement left-to-right without actually moving. - This might have been visualized as a reverse-angle, with the second line being delivered by the over-the-shoulder person. With the two seated characters basically being the same, the “magically appearing smiley button” appears like a mistake, although I think a reverse-angle was clearly intended (and, all things considered, achieved). - Everything about frames two and three is carefully mirrored, including the placement of the dialogue. - The joke is delivered in frame four, obviously after a little time has passed because the characters have moved completely. The camera has relaxed back again to reveal the whole forearm, but it’s closer than in frame one. The smiley-button serves to establish just who this character is. His expression is neutral and his pose is the same. The same framing-device has been used again, putting our star adjacent to himself so that we don’t have to skip over the straight man to reach the joke. This also arrests his left-to-right movement and makes the scene feel comfortably complete.
Hey, I hope I didn’t just piss a bunch of people off. I wish that I could draw like that. Like any blog, I’m just a’talkin’ and I hope that if anyone wants to reach the flame button please forebear.