Amutus Corporation, sponsor of the International Comic/School Contest 2022, gave their critique for the entry, "FREESTYLE LIFE."
Pen name: JAY HuH / 제이 허
School: Chungkang College of Cultural Industries
Country/Region: South Korea
Pages 2 & 3
1) For an even bigger impact, draw in some stark highlights and shadows from the front-facing light onto the character’s face.
2) It would be easier to understand what’s going on if the scene was zoomed out, showing the character staring at the screen alone in a dark room.
Pages 6 & 7
1) This scene with the character looking up is great.
2) You could make it a bigger shock for the protagonist if you made her facial expressions different from the cold expressions she has in every panel, instead she could deliver the devastating line, “Like trash?” with a smile on her face.
3) Why does he hate the dance crew?
I would have liked to go a bit deeper with this character.
Pages 10 & 11
1) If you are going to use so many pages for a first encounter, Summer would’ve been a better choice than a child, as she is more involved in the story later down the line.
2) Use pages like this to introduce main characters and their first encounters with other characters, not for the babysitter and kid.
Pages 12 & 13
1) Show Jay’s face as he talks about his love for dance.
Pages 14 & 15
1) Line up the panels like this
2) Rather than the close-up of the eye, the torn-up notebook should go here.
Pages 16 & 17
1) The scene change here is a bit jarring. I have no idea where we are now, so make better use of the background to guide the reader.
2) The way you’ve laid out the panels for the dance scene is a bit boring - using big panels, or even vertical and diagonal ones, would create a sense of movement in this scene.
Pages 18 & 19
1) I wouldn’t put the main character’s reaction here - show it in the second panel.
2) This face is great - make this frame way bigger!
3) You don't even need to include his face here, it could just be his hand passing the notebook to someone.
4) Use a vertical panel layout here
5) I wanted to see this character dance to show the bad kids how wrong they were.
6) The intensity of the dance is conveyed with the musical notes, but with them confined to their panels, if can feel a bit cramped at points.
Pages 20 & 21
1) I liked this part where people are throwing their hands up, it really gives you that feeling that they’re really dancing!
2) The end of the dance could have taken up half a page, or maybe even a whole page. You could have really gone ham with this shot!
3) Put in some action lines here to make it feel more dynamic
4) It’s not immediately obvious when this scene is taking pace, so I would have put this part in greyscale to make it clearer that it’s in the past.
Don’t just use text to tell your readers that this is last night. Draw it into the visuals too.
Pages 22 & 23
1) This should be shock, rather than a “?”, right?
2) Zoom in on her expression witnessing the scene.
3) Tone down the colors here - it’s a little hard to look at and figure out what is going on.
4) ?? I’m not really sure when this is taking place again.
5) Either move this panel or get rid of it, because you can tell that he drank in the next panel anyway.
6) Instead of putting the reaction here, move it to the top of the next page.
It’s fine to have them here as a photo, but as a contrast to the picture on the previous page, it would have been good if you could have shown Jay drawing the dance crew as what they’ll be like in a year in contrast to the picture.
International Comic/Manga School Contest 2022 Winners