It's been a very long run since we first started our third and final tournament at PCBC. I've enjoyed reading every single entry and seeing what different storytelling, art, and creativity each artist brought.
And now, the final results.
"Teenageartist has wowed us with his clean lines and greyscaling all tournament long and has provided a decent story to boot, with good pacing and characterisation, and tying in subplots as well as connecting characters. However, his Achilles heel has always been rushing, it would seem, and this once again was part of his final entry.
The entry begins well, with Connor considering his next move and Teenage foreshadowing relationships and a probable clash between Jake and Connor for Jirachi toward the end. As we move onto the battle, at this point we have seen what is likely to come, what the antagonists are up to, and are reminded of Connor's position and items he has at his disposal for later on. When the battle actually starts is when things start to fray at the edges. The battle itself is well played and makes sense, and we begin to see Connor's thoughts about Karen and why she is battling. But soon after this, the pacing of the entry and the art style take a dive.
The entry then seems rushed and a lot of the story is omitted in favor of finishing. While the comic ends with a decent resolution, there is no wrap up to events as a whole, and the way that Connor resolves everything is too fast, too inconsistent and too choppy. Suddenly, light in distance. Suddenly, fighting to get to Jirachi. Suddenly, Adew and Jake are resolved, end. I really felt like we missed a whole lot during that end scene and afterwards... The awful pacing and inconsistent artwork really effected the otherwise fantastic entry.
Sorry you ran out of time, Teenage, you did valiantly to get this far and your work when not effected by running out of time, is consistent and exciting. "
"TheTeenageArtist, you're a brave artist. Why? Because out of all the artists I've seen in this OCT, you're the only one that has the cojones
to experiment with different styles of storytelling, composition, and technicality. This is dangerous in an OCT situation, because if the thing you are experimenting with doesn't work out, then you're playing with even less of a hand. I don't know how you do it, but you've managed to make it work for you every single time. I've seen your comics get better and better over each round because of this. The fact that you apply what you've learned outside the tournament and what feedback has been given back to you has made your work really, really fun to read.
Unfortunately, your entry is incomplete at the very end. This is a shame, as it shatters the story you've been building up until this point. Some of your writing should be checked for errors, and due to the rushed ending, the rest of the story is hurried to the finish line. However, the parts that have been finished shine through.
Under normal circumstances I would have to severely downgrade someone for an unfinished entry--however, this artist's work has shown creativity in storytelling, solid technical improvement, and a willingness to go outside the box over and over again throughout this tournament.
Congratulations, TheTeenageArtist. You came from behind, brought your A-game, and while you faltered at the finish, still came out strong."
"It is a shame to see that TheTeenageArtist didn't finish his entry the way he wanted to. I did enjoy reading what you managed to finish though. Teenage's art is also clean. The use of tones and a bit of texture early on were nice, and it would've been great to see it all the way through.
I thought it was refreshing to see an actual complete battle between the two finalists. Instead of shoving that plotline aside you chose to give it some attention, which isn't commonly seen nowadays. However I still would've liked more interaction between Connor and Karen. I understand that this is Connor's story, but giving your opponent some characterization is a big part of being in an original character tournament.
The later half of the story also felt rushed, and there wasn't enough time to build up the dramatic tension. The stakes didn't feel that big, even though Jacob is trying to summon Jirachi. Don't be afraid to spend some time on gigantic panels of sweeping, establishing scenes, or panels of faces looking on in awe. This can add to the drama without dragging the plot down.
The little tidbit about the lightning and fire was interesting. I was glad to see it was snuck into the dialogue, instead of just being a theme that would've gone nowhere. While this round wasn't finished, it was a good effort and you came a long way through this tournament. You should be proud of that."
"Once again, Zeurel produces a colourful and consistent entry where artwork is involved. His linework and colouring is vibrant and crisp, and has been all competition long which is a credit to his work ethic, as the amount of pages he has been able to product in the time alotted is absolutely incredible. The amount of work put into the final round really reflects on how far Karen has come in her journey, albeit if only physically.
I say this because... in terms of character growth, Karen has learned maybe that some pokemon are stronger and more unruly than others and that there are bad people in the world. The main character of this group of entries has had very little change or progression as a character as the rounds progress, in contrast to nearly every single other character, which have all been developed, and developed well. Seth, for example, has been seen as an instigator of Team Plasma's craziness and interested in the dark energy experiments of Alban and generally an all round bad guy.
But it is when we see the flashbacks to his past and Karen's father's past that we see his interest in Karen and the reasons why he is who he is to this day. Really in the end, Karen does nothing but remind him of his past and it's her father's pokemon or pokemon acting on thier own that save the day. A great end for a really inspired villain, but lackluster and stagnant for Karen herself. This can pretty much be applied to every character in Zeurel's entries; they all experience some kind of progression or growth, ... but not Karen.
Never the less! The comic ends well, most plot points are covered and it ends on a good note. There are next to no grammatical errors in the entry, and this is a major feat considering the initial entries. In the end, Zuerel's amazing battle strategy and scenes are his stronger suit, which when coupled with his art style, manage to completely overcome the jumpy path his story took. Great work!"
"As always Zeurel's artwork and action scenes are polished and well rendered. I found the last page particularly effective with the entire change of color to set the mood. The action scenes are always dynamic and have a lot of energy. The only area in this round that I found lacking was the story.
I also have to agree that the plot, as you said, was not the most original. It did take a few interesting turns here and there, but other parts of the story felt long. There was a lot of characters and subplots you had to cover, and some of the cameos could have been left out to better fit the pacing.
The final battle against Seth was dramatic, but also felt too drawn out. I can understand the appeal of giving every character a nice big moment to save the day. Caanon had to fight against Samil from a thematic point of view, but it was too convenient for him to pop out of nowhere in the nick of time. It also seemed too convenient for Big Mac to somehow be conscious to fight. Only Ozwald's final attack on Seth was really convincing because it was set up earlier in the round. At the end I also wondered about what happened to Connor and everyone else on the ship. Did they just blow up, or what? Is it supposed to be up to the readers? All in all that part is very vague.
I understand that this is Karen's story, but including your opponent in your entry is a big part of being in an original character tournament. I felt that the characterization of Connor in the beginning was good, but eventually he petered out into the background and I would liked to have seen more.
As an end to Karen's story arc in PCBC, I did find this round to be very satisfying. The stakes were high, and Karen persevered through it. I felt that she finally matured as a character, and the ending had a lot of weight to it. "
Zeurel, you've been consistent in each round. You have a basic knowledge of visual storytelling, you make your color schemes work for you in terms of tone, and you've managed to successfully finish all of your entries with the same amount of polish.
However, it's this same consistency that is also your weakness. You tend to not improve upon the things that could use a little pushing--there's still some grammar mistakes and awkward writing, there's still a tendency from you to rely on the same expressions, and your figures still get lost against similarly colored backgrounds due to no line variety. Your work isn't bad, but it's very, very safe.
You spend a great amount of time on your own characters and their stories--in fact, the development of Karen as a character is probably the strongest thing about your pieces. However, while her final battle against Seth did have some visually appealing panels, it dragged on for way, way too long--at the cost of completely overshadowing her battle with Connor, her opponent for this round. There could have been some editing applied to her battle VS Seth there, along with some of the exposition pages--you don't need to go on and on once the reader has gotten the point. Focus on what's important."
Congrats to Zeurel for being PCBC3's winner! Again, it's been great having you all. From those of us who've been with PCBC since the beginning, to those of us who just came along for the ride, we've all had a hell of a ride. Thanks for hangin' with us.
This is the last PCBC. There will not be another one, nor will we evolve any look-alikes/affiliates into the "next PCBC". If you're still hungry for comic battlin' and/or pokemon duelin', please take yo' bad self over to
. See you there!
--Tofubeast, PCBC2-PCBC3 Admin