META: I need your bloggy feedback

What do you like or dislike about the blogging side of HeroMachine.com? Do you have any ideas for a regular feature to replace "Liefeldian Friday"? Are there any other regular features you'd like to see added, or current ones replaced, or changed? Is the posting frequency right, too much, or too little? Do you have any ideas for future contests or poll position questions?

Consider this an open thread to talk about anything you want regarding the HM blog, and to throw out any ideas or suggestions you have pertaining thereto. Thanks for your feedback!

36 Responses to META: I need your bloggy feedback

  1. i like todd mcfarline comic book god or maker of crapy statues

  2. What about an article on designing memorable characters and costumes? Something that avoids the “Bad Super Costumes,” problem and yet would help to sell a character to a new audience. There are a lot of people who re-tread old ground and it might be interesting to delve into the concepts at their core and discuss/approach the design process to help improve our creations. (From HM ideas, to RPG pc’s and so on and so forth.)

  3. A HM 3 tips feature.

  4. Danny Beaty

    @RJmcd: I hate the way Todd McFarlane did Spider-man. McFarlane’s Spidy was way too skinny and you could see his ribcage, as though Spidy was malnurished. McFarlane turned “The Amazing Spider-Man” into “The Anorexic Spider-Man”. Also, why did Todd put all those clumps in Spidey’s webbing? The webbing looked lumpy and ridiculous.

  5. I think any of the above suggestions would be better than your Liefield rants. Tim’s idea is a good one.

  6. I’d like to see the return of the caption contest and the demise of Liefeld Fridays. I’d like to see the return of the caption contest because I’m better at thinking up snarky dialogue than I am at really cool character designs. πŸ™‚

    As for Rob Liefeld: OK, so the guy’s a hack who couldn’t draw a decent panel if his life depended on it, but in spite of that, he’s apparently been pretty successful. OK, we get it, Jealous much? But to keep riffing on the guy week after week just makes you look small and petty and mean, Jeff. Let Liefeld go and keep doing positive things with your art, both with HeroMachine and your other projects. I like Fabien’s idea of an HM 3 tips feature. What happened to the online interactive comic you were developing? That could be cool.

    My $0.02 πŸ™‚

  7. i would say maybe do a unique hero idea
    pick one of the heros people post and discuss that hero

  8. @fabien this already exists sorta with hammerknights recipes

  9. MartianBlue

    Likes
    1.) Weekly Character Contest
    2.) Random Panels
    3.) Hammerknight Recipes
    4.) Community Involvement
    5.) Bad Costumes

    Dislikes/Wants
    1.) Liefield Rants (Kinda annoying, sorry)
    2.) A Weekly – Monthly caption contest
    3.) A Pose Section (Kinda Like HK’s Recipe 3: Sit on It)
    4.) Daily Odd Comic Trivia (Such as Superman’s Bday June 1
    1938)
    5.) Bad Costumes Frequency (Too Slow)
    6.) Maybe a community comic book. (that would be cool, alot
    of work, but cool)

  10. A help request post. Where people can ask for help with designs, names, etc.

  11. MartianBlue has said absolutely everything I was about to.

  12. I second Hammerknight’s help request section. We are competing against each other a lot. It would be interesting to see what would happen if we got to help each other more.

    I will say again–a Self-Portrait contest would be a nice challenge.

  13. Maybe a Hero of the week section, where we discuss an already existing Hero and the flaws within the character

  14. @Niall: I resent your statement that the Liefeld posts are jealousy-driven. I’ve explained multiple times why I did them, in great detail. I’ve even gone to great pains to use them not just as rants but as examples of WHY good comics are good and WHY bad comics are bad, to give real-world examples of the kind of work that goes into making a successful comics panel. You might not like the posts, which is fine, but you’re engaging in a fallacious — and fairly insulting — argument when you personalize it. I don’t understand the allure of making up your own reasons to explain someone’s behavior when they’ve plainly stated, multiple times, their ACTUAL reasons.

    Regardless, clearly their time has passed, which would be why I asked what you all would want to replace them.

    Good suggestions otherwise, thanks everyone. We’ll see what we can come up with. I agree bad costumes should be more regular, but I’ve been having a hard time coming up with good (bad) examples. Feel free to send ’em in if you all find any.

    I like the idea of a help post, but I am not sure how that would work in practice. Just pick a day in the week and say “Help Wednesdays”, then I make an open post that’s specifically for people who have questions? This is definitely one of those ways that blogs and their comment structure are inferior to an e-mail list or discussion board. Definitely open to suggestions there on the best way to do that.

    We could alternate caption contests with design contests so everyone has a shot at doing something they’re good at. There does seem to be some sentiment there for a return of the captions, which is cool with me. Definitely less work for me in any event πŸ™‚

    Great idea on the self-portrait contest, Whit, I need to do that, please poke me if I forget (which I am wont to do).

  15. I actually LIKE the Liefeld posts. Not just because I think he’s a crappy artist, but because, as Jeff’s said, it illustrates what NOT to do, and why.

    What you could do, is have panels from good artists, showing why their stuff works. Not only would we not have to suffer through seeing more of Liefeld’s stuff πŸ˜€ , but you’d get to keep the point/purpose of those posts intact, but without people accusing you of ‘jealousy’.

  16. @Imp: I thought about that, but it seems to work best when you’ve got two panels that are both essentially the same, so you can really tell the impact little changes have on the overall effect.

    But yeah, that would be cool. I need to figure out if I know enough about it to make that a viable thing using just individual examples and not the compare-and-contrast thing with the swiped panels.

  17. @both the Imp and Jeff…Honestly I can’t draw in a straight line most of the time (hence why i use heromachine) but what is there to be jealous of…Rob’s art and his ability to compose a panel suck. I don’t feel jealous of him I feel sorry for him…Because of all his success he has to live with the fact that his crappy doodles are out in the public

  18. Danny Beaty

    When will the new backgrounds be up?

  19. “We could alternate caption contests with design contests so everyone has a shot at doing something they’re good at.”

    They’re different enough that you could have both every week. For instance, I didn’t have any ideas for this week’s design contest (which was rather specific) and have just been twiddling my thumbs with regards to this site while I waited from one Tuesday to the next. It’s not like the entries for a caption contest are on the same time and effort level as the design one, but they are just as cerebral and a nice alternative for the week without depriving anyone of contest participation.

    Unless two contests each week is superfluous in some way that puts a strain on you, in which case kindly disregard.

  20. I won’t lie, backgrounds are going slowly. VERY slowly. They’re boring and take time to draw. I’m starting with a FLOORS set, then I’ll do WALLS probably, then maybe SKY, all with the intent that you can build your own environments a lot cooler than I can make pre-assembled ones. And with more colors, as discusses in the last thread on this.

    Also, real life stuff has slowed me down quite a bit. Hopefully this week will be more productive.

  21. @RJ: Yeah, the contests (even the caption ones) are a lot of work to assemble and judge. Plus there are the prizes to consider, which I have been horrible about actually doing, but still, they’re out there waiting to be worked on. So two a week is probably too many for me.

  22. Yeah, I figured something like that. S’okay.

  23. I know I’d honestly like to improve my own art. I know I’m a terrible comic book style artist–but I’m not paid for my work, I am just trying to improve. If I got Jeff’s advice I’d be glad for it! So I don’t feel too terrible about him approaching explanations as to why someone else’s art is bad–who gets paid for it. (He could be going after the guy who uses porn faces for all the characters he draws..:D)

  24. Hmm, Maybe expand on the Tips and Tricks posts to include not just tips on Heromachine, but some tips on how to actually Draw your own artwork .. I haven’t actually drawn anything in a long time and find my skill at doing so which was not the greatest to begin with has gone down hill with disuses.

  25. Your blog is fine.

    I really like your heromachines, they are great for making new characters. I have also posted some on my dA account.

  26. Instead of Liefeldian fridays, how about Comic Art Discussion fridays instead, where you could post good and/or bad comic art, and discuss why and where you think it’s weak or strong, as well as solicit everyone’s opinions as well. It may lead to some interesting discussions about comic art and it’s nature and practice.

  27. I love the Rob Liefield bits. They make me laugh. I think the blog is fine. I agree that a drawing tips bit would be nice.

  28. well for help with names i have a good source of generators for names for every type of situation or cause
    http://www.seventhsanctum.com
    this is a very good sight you might not get exactly what you want but you might get close ive had success by fusing some of the names together

  29. I like the Liefeldian Fridays…I’d like to also see your critique/praise of other famous comic book artists such as: Alex Ross, Frank Miller, Ed Benes, John Byrne… just to name a few.

    I personally also like the character contests more than the caption contests. On a side note, if you ever run out of ideas or just want to change it up, you could always open a discussion for theme suggestions.

  30. Hello Jeff,

    I am sorry that I unfairly accused you of being jealous or Rob Liefeld’s success, and I’m also sorry that I did it in an unnecessarily snarky way. I still believe, however, that teeing off week after week on Liefeld’s art, even if it is lousy, is unhelpful, unprofessional, and reflects very poorly on you as a person. It almost unavoidably creates the impression you have an axe to grind, even when you don’t mean to. Please let it go and move on to something constructive.

  31. There is an old saying,”Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.” Which really reflects very poorly of a person. I can’t speak for Jeff, but I would rather be told in private how poorly I was acting, instead of out in the open in my place of business. Jeff is working his butt off to bring was this wonderful program, instead of complaining about the little things, start enjoying the good things and be thankful for what you have. Rude is rude and some people go there to much.

  32. Niall, I said twice now that I am changing it out for something else, hence the request for suggestions on what to replace it with.

    Also, that was a masterful example of the “I apologize for calling you an idiot, I only did it because you’re an idiot” non-apology apology.

    Look, it’s a free world, you’re welcome not to find the same things funny that I do. Personally, I find making fun of bad art to be hysterical.

    The last thing I want to say on this subject is that I find it deeply ironic that while I have gone out of my way many, many times to say explicitly that I make no value judgments about Rob Liefeld AS A PERSON, just his art, you do exactly what you castigate me for when you say “[your writing] reflects very poorly on you AS A PERSON”. If it’s true that judging someone based on their work reflects poorly on the reviewer as a person, what does it say about you that you’re doing the same thing?

    Obviously, I DON’T think it “reflects poorly on someone as a person” to be critical of another’s work, even when that other is ME. Criticism is important. I value that you all are willing to take me to task when I do something you don’t agree with, but I have the right to do the same thing when I think you do it in an unfair or inaccurate manner.

    Which you did in your first comment, and then did again, worse, in your second comment. I don’t think that makes you a bad PERSON, I just disagree — vigorously — with your OPINION on this particular matter. Which is fine, we’re all adults here. Well, mostly. We can disagree and it’s not the end of the world.

    I vote we go back to calling each other “poopy head” and saying “I’m rubber, you’re glue”, that worked really well for a long time and I don’t understand why we ever went away from it.

  33. @Hammerknight: Thanks for the support, but this is a public forum and I think it’s entirely appropriate for Niall (or anyone else) to say when they don’t like something. Especially in a thread where I’ve specifically asked for feedback. If I can’t accept negative feedback, I don’t have any business running a public site, you know?

    However, I also have the right to disagree with someone’s disagreement, vigorously if necessary, and I will do so. It’s not personal, hard as that can be to remember sometimes.

  34. Guys, let’s just agree to recommend that Jeff would take out the Liefeld weekly. Jeff, all I can say is that it was very enlightning in the “learning to do good comics from errors” aspect. It has, however, been repeating itself lately, and that serves no purpose.
    I, for once, would want to pick on bad writing in comics. Let’s pick a corny writer who writes ridiculous plotlinessuspension twistsbad punches or misuses the visual aspects of his stories. I’m not that familiar with the lit, but i’d like to.
    And how about comparing movie adaptations to the originals? There’s a whole world of roast in that.

  35. Bad writers? Liefeld again. πŸ˜€

  36. I’m gonna miss Liefeld Fridays. I found them both entertaining and (especially with the recent swipe comparisons) educational.

    And I’m always surprised how many people are willing to defend Liefeld’s right to suck without criticism. I shouldn’t be, because those millions he’s got didn’t materialize out of thin air, but all the same. All art forms have critics; not liking a guy’s work doesn’t make you a horrible person, any more than producing terrible work makes the artist a horrible person.