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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Nerd-o-rama's Avatar

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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    I got the frog noises quickly...and the fact that it was Jillian.

    Anyway, these are interesting characters. I suppose Ansom is a good guy - at least compared to what we've seen of Stanley - just one that makes comments that make him sound like a chauvinist jerk. As for Jillian...well, her weakness is not knowing what she wants, right?

    Also, are we in a Strategy RPG parody? All this talk of turns and move makes me think of Fire Emblem.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    I'm having trouble getting into this comic. I'll probably still check on it since work is a bit slow, but so far it doesn't have a whole lot to offer.

    The artwork is really good, but there isn't much there in the story to draw me in yet.

    The charcters don't have awhole lot of depth yet and yes, there has only been 8 panels, but after the first 8 strips of Oots,I had a fairly good idea of what each character is like. With Erfworld... eh.

    Maybe it's the goody language or just alot of references to games I don't play, but so far it's kust not doing it for me. Perhaps if there was something of a refrence page explaining things I'd like it better.

    On the flip side I don't pay for it and I will probably still follow for a while since I have nothing better to do....

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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    I found the thought of tardy elves fairly amusive. This comic is progressing!
    Totally getting something nice here, when the time is right that is.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    I equated shady elves to wood elves...
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    We'll see how this goes. This isn't one of those comics that are easy to jump into from the first panel.

    The baby-talk is starting to wear thin already though... And the childlike-art combined with romance is kinda creepy.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    A turn based game with fog of war implemented. Leader units are necessary to be able to control/move the cannon fodder large groups of troops under them.

    But how is the game won? By collecting the majority of Arkentools hidden across the map (in which case yet unseen scouting parties could really turn the game), or is it just player elimination?

    And in the fashion of TRON, is Lord Stanley "The Player" (an immature child playing the computer), while the other characters are all automans living withing the world of the program? If so, it could make the world interesting since character development between Leaders wouldn't be tossed away when someone dies. They'd just come back next game again. (Or if it's anything like Master of Orion 2, there's such a small pool of leaders they just keep getting recycled)

    Lord Stanley appears to be a turtler. He's maxed out his tech ability to buy the most expensive units (dwagons) and is questing for the most expensive artifacts.

    Questions still unexplored:

    Is there a command point limit system? Did losing cities reduce the number of command points for Stanley's army? What good are cities at all? (It does appear, like Age of Mythology, that losing your last city does lose the game.)

    How hard is it to capture cities? Is it possible for Stanley to do an end run with fast scouts and claim a bunch of cities back (common enough in most games)?

    How do turns work? Is it simutaneous turns, or is it day for one side while night for the other --meaning units would be attacked in the dark and no one would ever know if they will wake up the next morning or not.

    Would the "best leader possible" be from this same game, or since he's gone wonky on the support contract, might it be pulled from any game at all on the harddrive? Could the Hive Mind from Starship Troopers be pulled, or any of the Civ4 personalities? (In which case Napoleon wins every time.)

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    It's terribly obvious that just as OotS is based on Dungeons and Dragons, Erfworld is based on turn-based computer strategy games. As such, it makes jokes using cliches from such games ("turns", "moves", etc) in the same way OotS make jokes based on feats and checks.

    Just as OotS plays host to a larger story and more interesting characters in the confines of its medium, so too does Erfworld. There are characters to care about and a story to learn about. If those are the things you like the most, you are going to have to give Erfworld some slack while waiting for more development.

    Re: "gwiffons" and such. This is also terribly obvious. A griffon is a fierce beast combining the features of a lion and an eagle. A gwiffon is a "cute" version of the same thing, ending up looking like a kitty cat and a parakeet. Thus, this is a joke. Instead of drawing serious, deadly monsters, the artist draws cute animals. At this point, this may be just a joke. There is too little information right now to read more than that into it.

    Re: "lookamancer" and such. Again, obvious. Many games feature various types of creatures or characters with abilities. If a unit is a "wizard" or "sorcerer" looking unit, but its name ends in "-mancer", then pretty soon the player begins to call all the other units with similar abilities or appearance other quick reference "-mancer" names. In "reality", perhaps a lookamancer would be called a Diviner, but instead the player just makes up a name based on the ability of the character or unit. The ability is "look" so the caster is "look - amancer"; a Diviner. Croak = death, necromancer. And so on. In other games, frex, we often say "nuke" instead of saying "Otiluke's Sphere of Fiery Death".

    If you aren't very familiar with the world of turn based computer strategy games of the 80's and 90's perhaps a lot of this will seem a bit odd, but to the old school this should seem pretty normal.

    PS - Ansom is a good guy, not a bad guy. He is concerned about Jillian, presumably because he is romantically attached to her. Jillian presents a tough exterior because she is a warrior - when confronted by her commanding warlord, she puts on a tough act as she wants to be taken seriously. In reality, she actually likes Ansom and would choose to be with him if she could just drop the facade.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    I'm thinking we'll never know who the best possible leader is. Remember, the spell is being set up to fail. I'm just wondering how big an effect Croakamancy will have on it. Will Wanda raise someone unknown from the dead when the spell was meant to summon the likes of Zhuge Liang?

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Lord Fullbladder, Master of Goblins's Avatar

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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilbert View Post
    Could anyone make sense of the "free-deep" sound in the last panels? (He has some strange onomatopoeia here... like the "fer-durrrrp" in comic 7.)
    My hypotheses for the Free-deeping is, using Erfworld language, "cwickets"

    Nevermind. I really should read entire threads.

    Now, that said, these last two comics have forced me to shy away from Erfworld. For odd reasons involving the oddities therein.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Whats actualy a tardy elf? I know no elves who are too slow/too late...

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreammerchant View Post
    Whats actualy a tardy elf? I know no elves who are too slow/too late...
    This is just a joke. Elves in RPGs (computer or paper) always have some adjective attached. High elves, dark elves, wood elves... So, the joke is that there is some race of elves called "tardy elves" because they are always late. Just a joke.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    I love all these strategy game references. I play alot of RTS and TBS games so now I have a comic for DnD and one for my computer game habit. This is awesome. If its not actually meant to be based on strategy games well... too bad it sounds like it and thats how I choose to interpret it.

    Anyways looks good and now that I read the explanation that shes considering his offer in the last panels, I understand it too. Yay erfworld!!

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    More panels per page, good.
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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    I can't wait to see the orlies. Giant white owls go! And now I finally get why that henchman was standing in the courtyard with an umbrealla. The dwagon was Stanley's, and the henchman was part of its target practice for when a daring gwiffon zips over the ground forces.
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  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by LurkerBeneath View Post
    Well, there was the "Vinnie GoombatzDoombats" reference...
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    Not sure, but i find it more likely it is a reference to one of Andy Kaufman's more classic characters Dr. Vinnie Boombatz

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilbert View Post
    Hm, can't see much in it, sorry. No real advance of story. I was somewhat surprised of panel 7, the discussion in the first six panels didn't seem so heated to me, but whatever. I really do not like the font (said it before) and I'm not getting used to it.

    Could anyone make sense of the "free-deep" sound in the last panels? (He has some strange onomatopoeia here... like the "fer-durrrrp" in comic 7.)
    That is just frogs. I figured that out myself, and I don't even have a degree! Yes, they should have continued when mysterious woman stopped moving but I'll chalk that up to inexperience on the authors' part.

    As for the "fer-derrrp" sound, compare to here and here. In both Goblins and Erfworld I can hear the sound of the horn in my head as I read the comic.

    I got a kick out of the "Tardy Elves" joke.

    I didn't want to believe that the woman in the last several panels was Jillian. Even though he seems more competent than Zapp Brannigan, Ansom still gives me the creeps. Yech. After reading the posts here and looking again several times at the comic I guess that it is Jillian. Gawds, I hope she doesn't have a thing for that jerk! Heck, I like Stanley better than Ansom so far.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    My theory that the "Gobwin" "Gwiffin" thing was a speech impediment has been shattered by all the characters using it. Well, it was a good theory while it lasted. =) =)

    Anyways, keep up the good work. The jury's still out for me as to if it's my bag, but I am reading intently so I think it's a good start. =)
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    I have some constwuctive cwiticism.

    Art:

    The artwork is great, but is being ruined by the filetype it is being saved in. *.JPG is really screwing with the picture, I don't no what the technical term is, but I think "noise" is the term that closely resembles the problem. Around the details of the artwork, little static-like noise bleeds into the solid colors. The image quality is lowered overall because of *.JPG compression algorithm.

    Saving the comic from Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop in a better format, like *.GIF, would dramatically improve the image quality, especially when increasing or decreasing the size of the artwork. *.GIF is the format the Giant uses for OoTS, and doesn't mess with the solid colors at all. It will also help the comic from losing the little details that are somewhat obscured, like the fact that offscreen speaker's speech bubbles are outlined in black, or the small details jami draws.

    I also think the colors were off on Jillian for the last few panels in the strip. This might be the reason some people didn't realise that was Jillian at first, and it is not because those readers were dimwitted in any way. It could be an optical illusion, since the perception a color will change when surrounded by different colors. More likely, it is the jpeg format causing more problems.

    Layout:

    It was already mentioned, but I will draw another red circle around it. From reading your other comics, I know that pclips likes to experiment and try to break new ground. However, when it comes to onomatopoeia, like the free-deep for night ambience, I think sticking to cliche will work in your favor.
    Using already established sound words, like ribbit in this instance, would really help with reader comprehension. The reader should only be confused when you want them to be confused. You could still make new ones, but it would be better to use new ones to get a specific sound from a standard object (like a sword) or to establish a new sound from a new source (like a dwagon).

    Overall:

    I am enjoying the story so far. I like the contrast between the cuteness factor and the seriousness of the situation and morbid humour. My vocabulary feels limited when I try to think up a good way to describe it. The idea that the word "dwagon" invoked a level of fear from Ansom was hilarious. This is a good parody of any fantasy, which try to have really cool enemies or symbols. What does Ansom have for his army? A strawberry! The main baddy and his henchmen are about to be beaten to a pulp... by fruit!


    Also, the artwork is fantastic! The deep,dark shadows on the otherwise cute little munchkins really compliments what I said earlier, the contrast between the cute names of creatures and the serious reality of their danger to the heroes. A few bits of artwork stand out from the rest. My favorite so far is the first panel in this comic. I would really like to see a blow up of this artwork.

    EDIT: For more evidence supporting the change to the *.GIF filtype, if you look at the Index banner and compare it to the same picture in this comic, I think you can see the Index banner has smoother color, and it is saved in gif format. It is especially noticeable on Manpower's uncroaked forehead.
    Last edited by Mr Wizard; 2006-12-16 at 04:36 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by TinSoldier View Post
    I didn't want to believe that the woman in the last several panels was Jillian. Even though he seems more competent than Zapp Brannigan, Ansom still gives me the creeps. Yech. After reading the posts here and looking again several times at the comic I guess that it is Jillian. Gawds, I hope she doesn't have a thing for that jerk! Heck, I like Stanley better than Ansom so far.
    I'm guessing we're looking at a situation where lines like "the offer to meet in my tent is valid until sunrise" aren't as incredibly inappropriate as they sound out of context - longtime friends, or perhaps a male-dominated culture where Ansom can get away with crappy pickup lines and even expect them to work sometimes.

    These are my explanations for why he didn't get smacked with that unrealistically oversized weapon of hers, at least.
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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Constructive criticism of the constructive criticism! (Maybe)

    "I have some constwuctive cwiticism."

    That hurts.

    "The artwork is great, but is being ruined by the filetype it is being saved in."
    Bingo! It's the fault of using a lower JPEG 'quality' setting. The distortions are called "artifacts", and no, I don't know the trivia behind that. I don't believe the setting wouldn't need to be increased much in order to make the comic look much better.

    GIF may not be the best format for this comic since it has so many colors. GIF only supports 256 colors at the most in an image, and, while it can pick any 256 colors rather than from a definite pallette, 256 colors is not even close to sufficient for an image that makes widespread use of gradients.

    "However, when it comes to onomatopoeia, like the free-deep for night ambience, I think sticking to cliche will work in your favor."
    I believe that the problem had more to do with the visual representation of the sound than the sound itself. The way that particular sound was displayed, it appeared to be in the foreground rather than in background one. Since the only thing in the foreground was Jillian (or, to some extent, the tent), it was only natural that many read it to be her shoes, despite knowing that it was a very odd sound for shoes.

    Another issue might be the inconsistency. Pigeons go 'Coo', the Arkenhammer is perfectly comfortable going 'CRACK!', and Wanda makes plenty of 'step' sounds, but when she stops, her shoes 'balk' instead of 'screech' or 'squeek'. It only makes sense because the word is drawn the same way as the rest of Wanda's shoe sounds.

    Similarly, the Captain's horn goes 'FER-DURRRP' and Wanda's iTome goes 'quack'.
    Neither make much sense alone, but their placement associates them unmistakeably with their according sources.


    Moving on to the next post....

    "These are my explanations for why he didn't get smacked with that unrealistically oversized weapon of hers, at least."
    Hmm. At first it seemed out of character that Jillian would consider his proposal, but now that you mention it.... If they did have history, it makes so much more sense. Problem is, there wasn't an indication of that kind of emotion in the dialogue. Or, rather, there wasn't enough of it. Ansom's surprised reaction wasn't sufficient, and Jillian's response seemed fitting enough: she would rather dissapoint his ego than overreact (by bludgeoning poor 'Ansom).

    That, and her changing into such comfortable clothing while planning to bivouac in the open field was so utterly unexpected that I entirely dismissed it being her while viewing the comic. I'm of the firm opinion that one has no right to call him or herself a barbarian if one does not enjoy sleeping in armor!
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    So far, well its no oots but im going to hang in there on this Erfworld thing. Ive seen glimmers that keep drawing me back to it, I think its going to be ok.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    So far, well its no oots but im going to hang in there on this Erfworld thing. Ive seen glimmers that keep drawing me back to it, I think its going to be ok.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    GIF may not be the best format for this comic since it has so many colors. GIF only supports 256 colors at the most in an image, and, while it can pick any 256 colors rather than from a definite pallette, 256 colors is not even close to sufficient for an image that makes widespread use of gradients.
    Didn't know that.
    Though, now that I think about it, it does make sense. I went and looked at this OoTS comic and the light around the airship has some loss of color data.

    After doing a bit of poking around, maybe *.PNG? It has truecolor 48-bit, though it has slightly larger file. This might be a better choice.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    If the .png doesn't balloon the file size, it'd be the perfect choice.
    If it does, the .jpg compression 'quality' can be upped, which will look almost as good.

    The Goblins comic gets away with .jpg images that are significantly larger than Erfworld's, but are almost free of artifacts.
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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    So far the comic is interesting and I look forward to seeing more. I got the frog sound, but I was also baffled by the woman walking around. I guess we just don't know her well enough to tell it's her without her armor.

    Maybe it's just me, but it seems like this world is a children's strategy game where the characters are completely unaware of their immature setting. Well, it's just a theory,heh.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    If the .png doesn't balloon the file size, it'd be the perfect choice.
    If it does, the .jpg compression 'quality' can be upped, which will look almost as good.

    The Goblins comic gets away with .jpg images that are significantly larger than Erfworld's, but are almost free of artifacts.

    .PNG does balloon the file size, something like 400 percent. Unfortunately. With GiantITP's bandwidth usage, it's not a practical option to have each page be 800KB in size, sorry.

    We all took a look at this before launch. Palletted file formats like .GIF were just not going to work with such a broad range of colors and Jami's use of gradients and pattern fills, etc. .JPG at 20 percent compression was just the best of all bad compromises.

    We also thought about a wider comic, but to fit into GiantITP's design layout, this size was optimal. People would complain about sidescrolling, otherwise. This also plays to the font issue. There have been one or two complaints about the font but believe me, it is the best option for scaling down of some 40 different font options I looked at.

    But keep up all this great feedback. It does get read, and it does help: positive and negative. Some of the concerns and confusion may lead to updated versions of pages. I'm especially looking at revisiting the FREE-DEEP SFX and making those clearer. Thanks, all!
    Rob Balder, Erfworld author/co-creator, and creator of PartiallyClips

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    For those still wondering about the elves: The Lofty Elves are clearly the Vanyar, the Shady Elves are the Noldor, and the Tardy Elves are the Teleri. You lot all fail, back to Tolkien for Geeks 099 with you.

    I also had two comments about the artwork.

    First, I think that having character noses disappear at medium to long distances looks very odd. Humans cue off faces for a lot of information, so having major details of the face disappear in one panel and then reappear in the next throws me off. I would suggest that you either always draw noses (even if only as a little squiggle), or always leave them out.

    Second, I was one of the people who had difficulty telling that it was Jillian in the last four panels until I read this thread. She was missing her Big Sword (tm), and I think that was what did it, as I kind of picture the sword as part of her character. It might help to make sure that prominent features of the character (Jillian's sword, Ansom's armor, Wanda's robe, Stanley's beard, etc) are always shown when the character is at a distance or could be ambiguously identified. Or it might have been the nose thing again, I think Jillian has her nose drawn in every panel she appears in before that set of four.

    Love the comic so far, keep up the good work.

    P.S. Will we get to see Elmo singing to the Tardy Elves at some point? Pretty please?

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorkens View Post
    You kind of have to take anything as what it is, though. If you find that the surreal / absurd elements of the comic stop you taking the story seriously that's fair enough - although personally I can get on fine with it and I liked the plot and character development in this installment - but saying that you've decided it should have jokes and therefore it's rubbish if it doesn't seems slightly egotistical.

    I'm not sure that there was even one actual real gag in this installment. But part of the reason I'm liking the comic so far is that the humour is a bit more subtle than a series of punchlines - there's an undercurrent of absurdist details in the setting that I'm finding really enjoyable.
    I think he meant it from a first person point of view.

    I love Erfworld, it easily came into my top ten list ever by the first six pages, but the last page was kinda tardy, yeah.
    Strange onomatepoeie (couldn't figure if everyone was waking up or still going to bed, think they're going to bed now) if the man had been hitting on her or not and besides it was just uninteresting, so there's Prince Ansom and the warlord Jillian, there might be potential romance between them. I'm not heavily enough invested in the comic to care about that sort yet.

    Rest of the comic was decent.


    I don't know about Stanley being chauvinist and Ansom not being competent, I think it's reading too much into it. Stanley seems like a strong leader and Ansom has brought a wide-ranging coalition together, fought Stanley to his capital and ransomed Jillian a lot of times.

    I'm left with the impression that Stanley is a competent evil overlord, Wanda is a great caster and managerial competent, Ansom has a high diplomacy rating and Jillian is good at fighting.
    I favor team Plaid, by a bucketload of kerosene, another one of lighter fluid, some galsoline and coal.

    Fre-deeep is FROGS? Nice detail on them stopping but I believe the ambient sound of the likely amount of frogs would compensate for that.

    I'm surprised people didn't know it was Jillian though.
    Last edited by Moechi_Vill; 2006-12-17 at 02:41 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    teratorn's Avatar

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    Thumbs up Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Solara View Post
    Also, I really, really hope Jillian doesn't wind up falling for Ansom. I'm preparing myself to hate him as it is.
    I agree with you. I think he is the good guy but he gives me the creeps. Part of the problem is that I'm already attached to Wanda and view this guy as the "enemy". Things are starting to make a little bit more sense, but what surprises me are the little details that give this Erfworld more depth than I was expecting from a "game comic". I really loved these two last comics (#7 and #8), although #7 really needs #8 to make sense.

    It's incredible how I felt attached to Jillian so fast. I was surprised by the fact that people didn't notice it was Jillian in the last panels. The pause in the "fwog" sound is perfect and for dramatic effect. Jillian is making a choice and there should be nothing else to distract the readers/viewers. The frogs are still making their sounds, it's just that the moment is special and only Jillian's decision matters, so sound is off. The perspectives are also well chosen. Those four last panels are pretty good, they are economic in terms of plot-time, yet convey Jillian's inner struggle for decision in such a sublime way.
    Avatar: ruthless Parson (Erfworld).

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Siberys's Avatar

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    Default Re: Erfworld 8: Ansom's Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Aliquid View Post
    Ok then, our first assumptions were right (at least for some of us).

    It's a bit confusing since it appears that they pause when she pauses... and start when she leaves.
    I'm fairly certain he's joking. When the Free-deeps first show (in #7), there's a silhouette of a trumpeter. That's the sound the horn's make when blown; Maybe they're calls to arms or somethin'...

    (if this points been made, I apologise; I haven't read the entirethread...)
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