Making of New Alex Ze Pirate- The best middle finger Tom Preston will ever get!

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  1. Watership

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    Hello.

    I'm an amature artist who hopes to be a successful comic creator/ Cartoonist one of these days.

    But that's not the point. This is the point.

    Welcome to the Making of New Alex Ze Pirate!

    This is the thread dedicated to the goal of me making a better Alex Ze Pirate comic than Tom Preston can ever hope to DREAM. I will post my progress throughout the creation of the comic from concepts to the actual 15 page vignette I have planned. If the vignette is a success than I will turn it into a continuing web comic.

    If Presty was dead he'd be rolling in his over-inflated grave.

    What I want from YOU good people is simple. I need somebody with which whom I can discuss ideas and bounce said ideas off of.
    Critiques, tips, and suggestions are ALL WELCOME.

    I would be grateful for your help and this probably won't be as good if I did it alone.

    [​IMG]

    First order of business is the redesign of the protagonist herself, Captain Alex. I got rid of the recolor Captain Syrup design, (which sounds like a fetish porn star to me lol.) and gave a more dignified set of garbs. While still attempting to retain some of the essence of the original design.

    I also gave her a bit of back-story:

    Alex was raised from a young age by her uncle aboard a pirate ship. Her uncle was rather fond of her and he taught Alex everything he knew about piracy. She wanted a taste of the life of a Pirate captain herself and assembled a crew and stole a small but swift ship.
    They had a successful run until one they raided a merchants ship and found a small black haired girl by the name of Aliunde being kept prisoner there. Alex and her crew took pity on the small woman and let her aboard their ship where she quickly proved herself as an essential crew member. Alex was took a liking to Aliunde and they became partners.
    Time passes when Alex gets wind of an ancient treasure hidden in a temple in the southeastern islands of the world. She becomes entranced by the tales and searches for the treasure much to the distress and bewilderment to the crew.
    Aliunde, being not what she seemed, hatched a plan and waited. She managed to convince the crew into betraying Alex.
    They were getting close to the southeastern islands when they revolted. Though they caught her sleeping, she didn't go down without a fight. They couldn't restrain her, so drastic measures had to be taken and it was Aliunde herself who pulled the trigger of the flintlock that shot Alex in the head.
    They dumped her body into the sea, but that wasn't the end of her. Alex's soul went to the River Styx, the road that led to the many different afterlives and gods that mortals prayed to. She managed to bargain with the ferryman of the Styx, a hooded creature by the name of Doom that towered over her. Doom was a bit of a miser, and Alex promised him all the gold that Aliunde had potentially taken from her and more if Doom granted her a second chance at life.

    Doom agrees to raise her from the dead and heal her wounds, but if she failed she would spend her afterlife chained to the bottom of the river.

    So he does as he promises, and Alex wakes up on a beach in an area of the world she is not familiar with.

    And that is where she meets Talus.

    I'll be doing Atea next.
     
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  2. Gaegogi

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  3. Watership

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    AHAHAHHAAHAHAHAH!!

    NO.

     
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  4. theprestoncritic

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    I actually had the dregs of a reboot script floating around my head a week ago, though my vision was different.

    I thought of the uncle as a typical overzealous grandpa who talked in an annoying accent, and Alex was a snarky girl who pointed out the ridiculous stuff he said.

    I thought up a joke involving other disabled pirates (""'Ere's Eyepatch Erie! Got 'oth of 'is eyes plucked out when he claimed t'Kraken's Chest!") and Alex snarking about how Uncle Peggy became a quadraplegic without any success.

    And then the idea died, just like all of my ideas do.
     
  5. Watership

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    Well, your take seems to be based upon comedy, whereas my take is based upon serious drama. I was never very good at comedy. The funniest thing I made intentionally was this:


    [​IMG]


    Although I'm letting the uncle keep some of his limbs.
     
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  6. Lafinman

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    I'm monitoring this thread because I want to see you finish it--

    Like I said before, every time I touch his ideas, they are so much better that I save them for myself-- only to do it over again when I blow my shit so out of proportion it becomes too much for me to handle.

    I don't know what story you want to do off the bat, but...

    This right here is enough for a solid 15 page first issue-- I would keep her backstory/origin a secret for now. Give her a habit of thinking " what would Uncle do? " to herself when things look tough. You could start with it In Media Res where they hunt down, then take over the ship, but now the gritty work of getting the guys who are hiding starts.

    That would be the Catalyst for them finding Aliunde-- Also you could make her part of the Climax where Aliunde does something heroic to gain their trust when they confront the last of the survivors who will be the final boss before they get the loot and leave. I know it sounds like a trope, but people use cliches all the time because they fucking work.

    Keeping her origins a secret also builds mystery for the reader to keep coming back. You could use them as Flashback Filler in later stories to help flesh her out, but giving her an action packed adventure helps suck people in. Afterwards they will want to learn about her.

    Think of it like in Psych when they use to have Flashbacks for Shawn when he was a kid. Or The Prisoner where people wanted to know " Why he resigned "and " Who is holding him captive " which I haven't finished yet, but it's got me hooked.

    Anyways I'm just tossing that out there.
     
  7. Killerratte

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    ???

    Another Alex ze Pirate remake?! Someone else has been doing these for months. I don't have the link though. It's the one where the entire crew is made of ugly lesbians.
     
  8. Watership

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    No ugly lesbians here. I take my shit seriously.
     
  9. Lafinman

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    Oh man I think you're right. Actually I think someone did do a remake and kept going with it and it's like a regular webcomic now. I can't remember it, someone else knows I think.
     
  10. bunu

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  11. the bullshit guardian

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    make sure you use devart adcast to advertise. and get premium. then devart will be butthurt because, as someone who's paying, you're not easy to ban, but they also have tp's cock in their ass and it will be an awsm showdown.

    then advertise all over the andrew dobson and tompreston/tom preston tumblr tags

    don't advertise on dobson's page (comment on his shit about 'doing a comic' and how wrong he is, but don't link/talk about the plot/the rip) because thats too obv and you're gonna get bitchsmacked/banned (and over and over and over)

    ????

    SUCCESSPROFIT!!

    edit: also if shit starts looking pretty hot because dobson's cocksucking fans, call everything fanart for a bit until the flags begin to die down
    then turn it back to 'original content'

    that is, of course, unless you're trying to flop before you get untouchable status.
     
  12. Lafinman

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    I think the one I'm thinking of is all color, but that one is pretty good. *saved*

    Plus I got all hopped up today and decided to dig into my archives of last Feb and ink and color a page of my loser pirate comic.

    testpage2censored.

    I was inspired to use it as some practice since it was done horizontally and I'm really loving Batman '66, Batman Beyond 2.0, and Justice League Beyond right now. So much I wanted to copy reference their paneling. This was originally 5 panels plain and simple, but I blew up the last panel, made fill the whole page and shrunk the 3rd and 4th panel just a bit.

    I'm starting to get a feel of how I want to color from now on, but personally I'm not there yet. As for the characters I forgot their pallets so I just put whatever swatch set was loaded.

    Then theres the characters. Although this was mostly a jerk off story, I did have some blood and stuff later on and felt the Cartoony look didn't fit it. I also decided to ink it like I had planned 6 months ago with the thicker outlines and smaller lines on the insides. Works for the cartoon style, but again the subject matter and their look didn't mesh.

    Overall taking this old page and messing around I discovered things were just clicking for me. I love how I can overlap the word balloons. I also like how I could have separated the lighting in the last panel more than the other 4 to make them complement each other ( maybe on my second recoloring I will take it to the extreme )

    I been trying to find something I could work with and this hit every cylinder. Never before have I had page compositions hit me like they did this week.

    As for the art itself the characters were based on a 5 Head High scale to somewhat match AzP. I purposely put less detail in them as I could and they even have 3 fingers. I thought it was astrocious and wanted to kill myself.

    Now I'm back to my 8 head 7.5 standard. The women look like women and not little kids with big tits and the men... well I might be a generous in some areas, but I like drawing them. So I might revisit this idea, only redo the whole thing, but again I believe these are the motions artists are suppose to take to better themselves. Try, fail, try, fail, and eventually you hit the sweet spot. I won't rule out I'll scan another page and do a different inking style, or recolor this one a few more times.

    I've done that before.
     
  13. Chickenwithtie

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    I don't think you should spend all this time in inking and making everything look pretty for character concept art. Especially since you're an amateur (like me, of course) you better concentrate details on the comic itself.
    Of course I'm in favour of cleanin' them a bit to be more clear, to you mostly.
     
  14. oddguy

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    Being the forums foremost webcomic critic (shut up everyone, I am) I have to tell you... your story is god awful.
    There is faaaaar too much of it and most of it is a mix and match of elements stolen from "Pirates of the Caribbean".

    If you want some help with writing the comic I would be glad to try... But seriously, this will not do.
     
  15. oddguy

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  16. Milwin

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    I approve of this project.
     
  17. WeirdWeirdo

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    What about that remake where the artist gender bended all the characters? I remember someone posting those drawings in the TP thread and they looked really awesome. It also had a solid story IIRC.
     
  18. FuanasEdan

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  19. bunu

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    I think it started out as one but the artist liked what she was doing and kept going. I'm not 100 percent on this. The only other one I can remember is the nice genderbends I saw on tumblr.
     
  20. Lafinman

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    I think that's the problem with that genre these days. They take the good/cool stuff of pirates like raiding and sword fights, but leave out the motivation for it, which IMHO is way cooler. Or like SAK they ignore all of that and have gay pirates and an evil church.

    There was a documentary I saw that covered a lot of pirates in history, even female ones, and their motivations for doing what they did was actually pretty neat.

    Though no one can touch Bartholomew Roberts for the badass origin and astounding career. Bart was just a navigator who accidentally became pirate, and when he compared his pay to piracy he took it very seriously.

    That's just awesome. A lot of people have used Roberts for inspiration ( although I don't know of any media that focuses just on him )

    And there's the 1938 movie The Buccaneer loosely based on real events, but the short of it is Lafitte is stuck in the middle of the 1812 war and a love triangle. All while trying to keep his piracy business going and the promises of political power... from what I remember. It was a different take from what we know of pirates today.

    Also I wanted to catch the documentary Franklins Pirates Fleet, where they hired pirates to help in the revolution-- I got to watch it sometime.

    Overall I got the feeling pirates were about being free and doing what they wanted with their lives, without the constraint and comforts of civilization. Yeah they were all thieves, but there was some kind of order. It's really fascinating stuff when one looks into it.
     
  21. Watership

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    I'll admit I'm not the best writer... I don't know, what do you suggest?
     
  22. slimelurker

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    I was chill with the backstory, all the way up to the bit where she makes a deal with Charron or whoever and comes back from the dead and junk.
    Alex is still a criminal, and supposedly from your proposal, she's a smart criminal. She may put up an initial struggle, but she should be able to quickly see that the odds are not in her favor, and that the most she can do is get herself marooned or something, where she can at least begin strategizing what to do next. Gotta look out for no.1 and all that.
    Also, as said above, it's too similar to PoC, and is honestly just sort of a lame thing to do. The supernatural elements are unnecessary, the story was exciting enough without them.
     
  23. Watership

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    Do you have links?
     
  24. Watership

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    You have a point, but the marooning would make the story even MORE like PoC. Fuck it, I might have to overhaul the mutiny bit altogether.
     
  25. Watership

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    THIS.
     
  26. oddguy

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    Okay, well, let us see what you have so far...


    Firstly, there is far too much back story. You are making the mistake that I hate seeing in fantasy stories and games wherein you are so in love with your own stories internal mythology that you forget the readers don't give a fuck. A story should start at the point where it begins to matter to the audience. All parts of it that are relevant to the understanding of it's beginning should be reveled at that point, and all that are not should be told when they become important... and if they never do they should be dropped altogether.

    So regarding parts that can be dropped I would leave out the part about Aliunde being kept prisoner. How and why she joined the crew is not important, and depending on how long you mean for this comic to go on (I am assuming not too long) you should trim down the parts of the plot you will never get to anyway in advance.
    Another thing that needs to go is anything that is too reminiscent of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" saga.
    This includes- The world of the dead, the mutinous first mate, the flintlock, the deal of the mythical creature, the resurrection, the ancient treasure and anything else of that sort.
    You can leave one or two of these things, but too many of them combined with this being a pirate story will make comparisons to PoC inevitable.

    Now what you must think about is the plot. What is this story about? Sure, they are pirates, but the story isn't going to write itself. What are they doing? Where are they going? What is their goal? What is the overarching story that moves the plot forward? If you were to keep one of those element I advised you to be rid of I would choose the treasure. Make the plot about them finding out about some legendary treasure and going on a quest to find it. A simple, classic story that is hard to fuck up.

    But before you can even start thinking of a story you have to ask yourself: "What is the tone?"
    The original comic by Preston was neither comedy nor adventure. I can't tell if he was going for a real story but kept getting distracted by trying to make jokes, or was making a comedy strip and adding short background stories to try and give the characters depth. The story style most reminds me of something along the lines of "Avatar: The last Airbender" only an inept failure. But, even if that is what you want to go for, you will still have to decide if you are going to make it a comedy and make whatever their quest is a humors misadventure, or a more serious toned adventure story with some humor in it but nothing too silly. I would go with the second option (it is more easy to fail at comedy... not everyone can be funny) and while I am at it get rid of the stupid talking squirrel thing, or at least change it into a crazy MAN instead of a crazy rat-person. The fact that there are talking animals in this world takes such a huge back-seat in the original comic that you might as well do everyone a favor and get rid of all of it.

    If I had to give you some advice on what you should write I would say that you should think more deeply about what this project aims to accomplish and use that to set your goals.
    As I see it, the point is to create your own superior version of this comic to show how you can still make all of this work by avoiding all of Dobby's mistakes. You already got the first part of this down because you have already shown you are a better artist than him and what the cast would look like if you don't make any of his mistakes in character design. The next step would be to do the same thing you did with his art, only with his writing. Rewrite his own story in a better, more engaging way. Re-read what he wrote, go through it page by page, identify what is wrong with his writing and write a GOOD version of this comic.

    So in bulletin points -

    1. Decide if you want to write a comedy or an adventure.
    2. Write a new, sorter, simpler, less rip-offy story with a clear goal for the pirate crew to follow/re-write Preston's original into something better.
    3. Adapt your new story to the style of comic you have chosen in step 1.
    4. Start the comic a little before the event that sets the plot into motion occurs (give the readers a few pages to get to know the characters and the world they occupy).
    5. Reveal the characters past in small, gradual bits as it becomes relevant to the plot... A past that should be shorter and more concise, as you were asked to make it in step 2.

    And from then on just keep on going.
     
  27. snarks

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    I'm not doing a parody of any of Dobson's stuff, but I'm just going to casually steal this little snippet for myself.
     
  28. WeirdWeirdo

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    Was hoping somebody else had them but after a little searching I found the blog on my own.
    [​IMG]
    Genderbent Sam, Alex and Atlea respectively.

    http://xoverlover.tumblr.com/tagged/Alex-Z-Manson
    Too bad they seem to have abandoned the project.
     
  29. oddguy

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    Wow, this person did a super good job not copying designs from PoC... By copying Monkey Island instead.
     
  30. Watership

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    I'm thinking about ideas for Talus.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I think you have the gist of it. At least in this direction he won't be doing any more talking XD.
     
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