The Angry Gamer feedback?

I'd like any advice about my Angry Gamer cartoon eBook. Marketing strategies? Target audience? Need a print version? Is the art quality up to snuff? Is the lettering easy to read? It's supposed to be funny...with some heavy sarcasm and smart-aleckyness, whatever that means. The link is ...http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/the-angry-gamer/19127755

Comments

  • I only wish that the cover art was as good as what I see in the book itself.

  • Thank u so much for the feedback! It's so hard to get honest feedback and I think it may be ppl not wanting to step on toes or hurt feelings. Really, tho I appreciate it.
    Here's my thoughts on the cover now. I was going for that basic "presentation" stance with the characters, kind of like on some Garfield collections. The characters hold their arms up like they are carrying serving trays and are all smiles. I was happy with Miss Buttercup the cat in the shades. To me that pulls the viewer in. "A cat in sunglasses? What is this about?"
    Can u tell me specifically why the cover is not as good as the interior art? Is the line work off? Bad coloring job? Bad design job? I'll make a new cover, and that would help me a lot in improving it. Anyone else, plz feel free to add your thoughts, and plz go ahead and be tough about it, I'm a big boy. ????
  • Also, I would like to ask for feedback regarding sales. If I'm reading it right, about 100 ppl viewed my ShamelessPromotion when the ebook was ready, I had some preview toons there, and the book itself is over 100 cartoons set at $1.99. However, it doesn't look like anyone has bought a copy and I'm surprised at that. If I saw a collection of stick figure cartoons for just 2 bucks I'd go for it. Maybe I'm alone in that lol.
    Anyway, I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could chime in that has looked at the previews and decided to not buy it. That would help me greatly to make whatever changes I should to make it a good buy. Thanks again for any feedback I appreciate it!

  • strattkat wrote:
    Thank u so much for the feedback! It's so hard to get honest feedback and I think it may be ppl not wanting to step on toes or hurt feelings. Really, tho I appreciate it.
    Here's my thoughts on the cover now. I was going for that basic "presentation" stance with the characters, kind of like on some Garfield collections. The characters hold their arms up like they are carrying serving trays and are all smiles. I was happy with Miss Buttercup the cat in the shades. To me that pulls the viewer in. "A cat in sunglasses? What is this about?"
    Can u tell me specifically why the cover is not as good as the interior art? Is the line work off? Bad coloring job? Bad design job? I'll make a new cover, and that would help me a lot in improving it. Anyone else, plz feel free to add your thoughts, and plz go ahead and be tough about it, I'm a big boy. ????

    It's a little hard to put my finger on it...but when I look at much of the art in the preview there is a finished quality...as well as a level of drawing (for instance, on page 8)...that seems less rudimentary and over-simplified than what I see on the cover. 

     

    That being said, when I look at the preview again, the drawing doesn't look quite as simply drawn as I'd originally thought.

     

    This still leaves a few problems, most of which are due, I think, to the fact that you are familiar with the characters and the themes...while a potential reader may not me.

     

    You say that the characters "hold their arms up like they are carrying serving trays" but, frankly, I have no idea what they are doing. And whatever it is, it doesn't really tell me anything at all about the comic or its themes. I do like the cat...but I think that perhaps some sort of glow around it would justify cutting the characters' bodies off the way you have. At the moment, they simply look inexplicably unfinished. And, yes, the cat is intriguing...but also mystifying at the same time: there seems to be no real reason for it to be there. One reason is that it seems so isolated from the rest of the artwork.

     

    I think that perhaps the cover may work fine for people who are already familiar with the comic strip...but not everyone is going to be.

     

    Oh...one more thing: I would not tuck your name into the bottom corner the way you have done. It looks like an afterthought. Nor do you need the word "by."

  • Awesome, thank u for taking the time to give such a great critique. Its given me a lot to think about with making a new cover. I'll try to incorporate more storytelling elements this time, that will hopefully give a better idea as to who the characters are and what the book is about. Thanks again.
  • You are welcome! I only wish everyone who posts in here accepted criticism as gracefully as you have!

  • It's cool. I've been thru art school where you have a whole classroom picking your stuff apart. It's all about getting better tho, and getting as many opinions as possible about the work.
  • I've got yet another revision to the Angry Gamer, featuring a new cover. The link is above. I tried to incorporate more storytelling elements here to hopefully give a better idea as to what the book is about. Ricki holds up his video game controller into the center of the page like it is the Holy Grail. This says that video games are this kids life. Shanice is kneeling next to and petting her cat, showing how much she thinks of Miss Buttercup. Jamal is the cool, laid back straight man, wearing sunglasses. Chippy the squirrel ( or whatever he is) is clutching an acorn. So I tried to position all the characters in a way that says something about them.
    They are all looking up at the Controller also, the books central theme. So what do you guys think? Does this cover work?
    PS I did this on a much larger original scale, I think that helped a lot for more detail and a more finished look.
  • A quick thought or two... The dialog could be cut back a bit.

     

    As an example, the dialog in the cartoon with the seal team was just about right... "Master Chief, do these BDUs make my butt look big?"

     

    Whereas the dialog in the first two cartoons seemed to overwhelm the artwork. In cartooning, it seems to me that simple dialog is the most effective.

     

    Hope that helps.


  • strattkat wrote:
    I've got yet another revision to the Angry Gamer, featuring a new cover. The link is above. I tried to incorporate more storytelling elements here to hopefully give a better idea as to what the book is about. Ricki holds up his video game controller into the center of the page like it is the Holy Grail. This says that video games are this kids life. Shanice is kneeling next to and petting her cat, showing how much she thinks of Miss Buttercup. Jamal is the cool, laid back straight man, wearing sunglasses. Chippy the squirrel ( or whatever he is) is clutching an acorn. So I tried to position all the characters in a way that says something about them.
    They are all looking up at the Controller also, the books central theme. So what do you guys think? Does this cover work?
    PS I did this on a much larger original scale, I think that helped a lot for more detail and a more finished look.

    Much better! The art looks great.

     

    I think that perhaps the only thing that you might want to think about is the title of the book, which appears to be crowded into the top. The word "Angry," which is already a little hard to read, is made even more so. You could lower Ricki by perhaps just half an inch or so, make "Gamer" lower and larger and enlarge "Angry." In any case, the goal is to get the title further from the edge of the cover than you now have it and as much larger as you can.

     

    If you look at most commercially published books you will see that most often about a third of the cover is devoted to the title and author's name.

     

    PS---I don't see your name on the cover at all any more.

  • Yeah I think u r right about that. I've read that things r so quick these days, that the short cartoons do best. Ppl want things as fast as possible. But on the other hand, there's stuff like doonesbury that tends to b more dialogue heavy. I feel kind of stuck in the middle about it.
  • Thanks for your input!???? I'll see what I can do there. The color is all one layer, so it might b tricky to move around. I had the impression from your last comment that my name did not really need to b on the cover, but I'll consider what you said about 1/3 of the cover space. Thanks again.

  • strattkat wrote:
    Thanks for your input!???? I'll see what I can do there. The color is all one layer, so it might b tricky to move around. I had the impression from your last comment that my name did not really need to b on the cover, but I'll consider what you said about 1/3 of the cover space. Thanks again.

    strattkat wrote:
    Thanks for your input!???? I'll see what I can do there. The color is all one layer, so it might b tricky to move around. I had the impression from your last comment that my name did not really need to b on the cover, but I'll consider what you said about 1/3 of the cover space. Thanks again.

    When I suggested that you "not tuck your name into the bottom corner the way you have done. It looks like an afterthought" I meant that you should make your name more prominent, not take it away entirely! Smiley Happy

  • To clarify what may be a miscommunication:

     

    Earlier, Ron said that the word "by" did not need to be on the the cover, i.e. "by Samuel Stratton" should just be "Samuel Stratton" (the reader will figure out that this is the Author's name).

     

    You may have understood that to mean that you should ditch the entire "byline" i.e. name and all. That would not be correct.

     

    All that needed to be ditched was the preposition "by."

     

    Hope that helps.

     

    Also, re: dialog and Doonesbury: Remember that Doonesbury is relying upon political satire. We need a large amount of dialog in those cartoons in order to explain things, such as that B.D. was a small-town football hero from Texas before going off to Vietnam, etc.

     

    A better analog for your cartoon might be the Bill Watterson cartoon "Calvin and Hobbes" where sometimes there is no dialog at all.

  • Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to make some corrections as soon as I can. Do you think that a print version of the book would be a good idea to focus on? I think I read somewhere here that it was a good idea to have multiple versions of your book available. I'm just kind of struggling right now because not a single person has bought the book, so I'm thinking that my thinking is waaaay off as to what works or what ppl like. I don't know. It's just aggravating.
    I want to do more volumes of Angry Gamer in the future, but it takes a lot of the coolness factor away if nobody is enjoying it. But anyway I'm just venting. I'll keep trying. Thanks again
  • New Cover is up at: http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/the-angry-gamer/19127755

    The title is much bigger, but I had no idea where to put my name...


  • strattkat wrote:

    New Cover is up at: http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/the-angry-gamer/19127755

    The title is much bigger, but I had no idea where to put my name...


    The new art looks much better! Smiley Very Happy

     

    It might work against the strong symmetry of the cover a little, but your name could go in the space at the middle left.

     

     

  • Ok, thnx for the feedback. I think that might work. How about losing the speed lines? Or maybe the speed lines on the left, for my name? I looked at it without the speed lines that point to the controller, but it seemed to lose an element of excitement or motion. I really appreciate everybody helping me so much! ????
  • Try it both ways and post them here!

     

    You could perhaps also try making the speed lines some other color than black. 

  • Here are some new versions.  I couldn't figure out how to change the color of the speed lines, the actual black linework.  I found a font called Fixedsys that looks like computery text, too.  I think that fits really well into the theme of the book.  

     

  • As always, thanks to everybody for helping!

     

     

  • Another version where the speed lines are a lot thicker and more prominent.

  • Another with original speed lines that kind of cover everything else.  I like this one best so far....am I taking over this forum, or what???  Sorry if this is rude or something to post so much...Smiley Tongue

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