Crossing-Over :: Page 124 (Ch 5)

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Page 124 (Ch 5) in Tourists and Headhunters
3rd Sep 2016, 7:52 PM
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Page 124 (Ch 5)
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Author Notes:
3rd Sep 2016, 7:52 PM

I could end the chapter on this page. I won't lol. Instead, we'll get to a new scene. What we see in this page is the patented 'Hi-Cal Pill'. It replaces the energy bars Cliff eats in early chapters.

3rd Sep 2016, 10:37 PM

I am not sure of what I read. Who is who?

4th Sep 2016, 3:57 AM

There are only two speakers here. When a bubble does not point to a speaker, assume the other person says it. What is being spoken also hints who is speaking those words.

5th Sep 2016, 1:15 AM

Okay . . . got it figured out. It leaves me more questions now.

8th Sep 2016, 12:44 AM

K, so I found your comic while browsing through TWC listings and read through it today. If you don't mind, I'd like to offer a bit of criticism. It's a bit long so I'll be breaking this down into a few parts.

The changing art styles are a non-issue. It's understandable that artists change from time to time, especially when comics are in their early stages. To be honest I'm really liking this current artist and I hope they stay on.

8th Sep 2016, 12:45 AM

Moving on to the story itself, I have a few concerns. My biggest complaint is at the beginning: Cliff is clearly a troubled teen; it's good to see that kind of a personality in the protagonist of a Super-power comic. But his biggest super-power seems to be just how super easy-going he is. As a troubled teen who is dealing with the issue of wondering who his father is and dealing with a mother who is being distant about the subject, he is lacking the angst that most people in his position should be feeling. That's excusable since there are always outliers that exist in these kinds of statistics. Still, he should be having some serious identity issues from the get-go since he seems to realize that his father is alive and that his mother is hiding the truth. The nature of this comic's plot should be more affected by this and his lack of any reaction, outside of searching for his father on a seemingly annual basis, which is a very nice touch, takes away from the believability.

8th Sep 2016, 12:47 AM

Moving chronologically, his infiltration into his father's lab is rather nicely paced at first, but feels rather rushed towards the end. It's not impossible that someone his age could actually ninja their way into a facility like this. The accident that gives him his powers isn't any kind of issue, as it's a classic at this point. After this is where the pacing could actually afford to have been slowed down. Waking up in a hospital bed: good. Bureaucratic badger with a deal: Cliff's a little to cognizant of the situation, but it's a neat approach. Has to face off in a life or death fight against a Metallikat-esque robo-dogman: good stable. Stress induced transformation: always reliable. Immediate acceptance of "Oh, I suddenly have tits.": Red Flag. Like I said earlier, Cliff should be dealing with identity issues because of the situation of his family. He's grown up KNOWING he has a father while constantly being lied to that he doesn't. Now, a teenager who is male and has exhibited extremely masculine behavior up to this point has suddenly found himself with an abundance of some things and a lack of others. There needed to be a point in the story after he beats the robot that he has some kind of breakdown. Instead he just rolls with it, while he finally meets his father for the first time, while finding out he also has super powers. I'm not saying he should have gone full basket-case, just that Cliff have some sort, any sort, of reaction to his whole world being turned topsy-turvy in a hamster ball whilst being tossed about by 6-year-olds in a bouncy castle.

8th Sep 2016, 12:47 AM

This would have been a good time to have somebody explain to Cliff just what happened and why he has been turned into a girl. Instead he's not only filled in on that but at the same time he's suddenly being introduced to the M.A.S.C.O.T. program, which is a massive amount of information to take in. Had the affects of the accident been explained earlier, Cliffs introduction and induction into M.A.S.C.O.T. would have been much smoother. I'm even fine with the flippant attitude taken toward the accident's explanation, but that, along with the revelation of his deceased (?) sister and the M.A.S.C.O.T. program could have been an entire Chapter unto itself. I would also have liked to have seen some feelings of animosity toward his father based on the way he conducted his relationship with his mother and sister.

8th Sep 2016, 12:48 AM

After that, the story's pacing becomes much more enjoyable. The infiltration/espionage mission is fun, and the clandestine council meeting whets my appetite with the foreshadowing. We know Amber was probably in M.A.S.C.O.T. as well and had made enemies, this makes me want to continue reading. The introduction of Lone Gear is also neat and his character is, so far, engaging. My concerns with this portion are a couple of Amber's actions when Lone Gear saves her. She tries to act cute with him in an attempt to get information without having any sort of reservations. An internal monologue would have been nice to see while she convinced herself it was the best action to take. This relates back to the lack of identity issues that would really have added to the depth and believability of the story.

Overall I give this a 6/10. There's some really good things, but it's almost evenly matched by a lack of depth and drama consistent with this kind of a story. It wouldn't hurt to slow down the pace a bit and reward readers with some more fleshed out action sequences. I look forward to seeing where this is going and I hope the story improves!

Apologies for the monumental amount of text.

8th Sep 2016, 2:56 AM

You are fine with the text. I'm very pleased that my story interests you thus far. :) Really appreciate your in-depth review too. Not every webcomic gets one.

6/10? Let's see if I can bump it up to 7 eventually...

I'm aware of the pacing issue, I talked about it before with my online colleagues. A chapter can only be around 25-30 pages long and I gotta figure out how to jam everything that occurs and wrap it up (as neatly as I can) by the end. I also do my best to make every page 'count' since it takes real resources to keep the story flowing.

For angst, Cliff has that privilege to sulk since he's been lied to for as long as he could remember. I'd like to say he's used to it so it doesn't bother him as much. Plus, he's smart enough to know that complaining won't get him what he wants so he channels his energy into actions instead.

Cliff's lack of reaction to his new powers is my jab at the genre which goes through the same song&dance each time. You might've noticed that I've timeskipped two weeks since he became a MASCOT, relegating those filler-tier shenanigans to off-panel.

I will try to sprinkle in more moments of Cliff's personality amidst all the intriguing plot and kickass action that I want to portray in this story of mine.

8th Sep 2016, 4:04 AM

"Cliff's lack of reaction to his new powers is my jab at the genre which goes through the same song&dance each time."

Believe me when I say that I appreciate seeing authors do this. But those situations are usually in a product centered around the gag-trope where it makes fun of its own genre or generally have a much more lighthearted tone overall. This seems like more of a drama series than a comedy.

8th Sep 2016, 4:09 AM

"You might've noticed that I've timeskipped two weeks since he became a MASCOT, relegating those filler-tier shenanigans to off-panel."

I have and I appreciate your pacing in that regard.

"A chapter can only be around 25-30 pages... I will try to sprinkle in more moments of Cliff's personality..."

If that is the limit to the chapter length, I wouldn't mind if Cliff combating some kind of identity crisis in flashbacks when things are slow or need to be spread out, perhaps even in a side project if you feel like flashbacks would cause too much of a disruption in the story.

8th Sep 2016, 4:16 AM

I know of several comics that provide backstory via side comics: Wayrift, Rascals, Looking For Group, and Project Future. Granted Wayrift and Rascals have full on separate comic series that fall somewhere within each comic's cannon. Project Future on the other hand is a spin-off of Amber Williams' DMFA and has both dedicated series that span multiple chapters and some small one-off series' that provide a bit of backstory for their characters.

Project Future also employs multiple artists so no one is necessarily overburdened by working on more projects than they can handle. Similarly, LFG has seperate "NPC Comics" that focus on an individual NPC for a time and are done by different artists, but LFG is also part of a larger company that can afford to do that regularly.

8th Sep 2016, 4:26 AM

"Let's see if I can bump it up to 7 eventually..."

I can honestly say I am genuinely looking forward to seeing you progress in that direction. I can see the start of a genuinely good comic coming along, but only time will tell if it succeeds, as 5 issues in still leaves a lot of room for improvement of current story lines and upcoming ones. It is not uncommon for authors to suddenly decide (or sometimes realize) that a plot point they were working toward is suddenly either irrelevant (like Keith's temporary infatuation with Flora in 'Two Kinds' by Tom Fischbach early on, which was dropped completely) or is just not ready to be explored yet (like Lord Tedd from Dan Shive's 'El Goonish Shive' which was has been postponed even though it was introduced very early on in the comic's conception and has been constantly hinted at from time to time ever since).

10th Sep 2016, 6:13 AM

Next page will be out after a short delay. I've got activities scheduled to tend to.

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