2010 Contest entry: Normal category
Received: October 1st, 2010
From: MarkyVigoroth

Marky writes:
Page 0: Aggro remembers the time back when she was the leader of the pack, only to be knocked off by a younger male. This memory aggravates Aggro.

Page 1: Aggro spot Jo-Jo, who is looking at some type of building. Aggro decides to take her anger out on Jo-Jo. A chase ensues.

Page 2: During her chase, Aggro enters the building, which seems to be some type of laboratory...

Page 3: Both Aggro and Jo-Jo seem interested in this new environment. However, Jo-Jo seems to be getting into mischief...

Page 4: Oh, dear... Aggro is trapped... What did Jo-Jo do?

Page 5: Aggro comes out of the pod, rather... differently. Her paws are less defined, as are her eyeridges, and her mane and horns being shorter, all while her body being reduced in size!

Page 6: Both Jo-Jo and Aggro understand: that pod was a rejuvenation chambre! Pleased at her lighter body, Aggro decides to test her new-found youth on Jo-Jo!

Page 7: During the chase, Aggro stops to realize something. Now that she is young again, she can challenge the new leader and regain her title! At this, she is off!
Meanwhile, Jo-Jo seems to have caught eye of something...

Page 8: Aggro encounters the new leader, who catches sight of the new Aggro. They both quickly decide that now is the time to fight.

Page 9: Aggro's youth gives her speed in addition to a lighter body, greatly aiding her during the battle! Soon, she decides to lunge at the new leader.

Page 10: Whoops! For some reason, she almost missed! Although confused for a second, Aggros decides to just try again.

Page 11: Oh, dear... Although she is lighter and faster, Aggro apparently lost technique in the rejuvenation process...

Page 12: Oce again the victor, the new leader looks at Aggro with contempt before running off.

Page 13: Angry at the loss, Aggro remembers that Jo-Jo was the one who got her in this mess (at least in Aggro's mind)! Jo-Jo being nowhere to be found, Aggro cries out a roar of vengeance.
Meanwhile, Jo-Jo seemed to have found himself in a laboratory of some sort. What can happen now?

Judging: Going by the conversations we had beforehand, Marky had a hard time deciding what to draw for this contest. But in the end he came up with not one, but several surprises. First of all, he decided to make a comic entry consisting of several pages. Secondly, he chose two relatively unknown characters of mine, and placed them together in a way I could really see them behave. And thirdly, the story is quite interesting. I like how the rejuvination effect also stripped Aggro of her experience and technique. That was quite clever.

However, a few things also detracted from your entry. For one, it wasn't finished when the deadline expired. The pages were in a sketch-phase. While you deserve credit for finishing the pages later on, I have to keep the unfinished stage in mind as I judge, simply to keep things fair. Secondly, the action wasn't always clear. You seem to have a habit of describing what happens in your artist's comments, which certainly helped to make sense of things, but for future comics I'd really advise against this. A comic page should be a self-contained unit of story and art, and you shouldn't have to explain what goes on in the text below. In your case, you can easily fix this by either adding dialogue in the actual comic, or in the case of non-speaking characters you can even take the explanations you provided and put them in the comic. This would turn them into a kind of storybook. It does go a bit against the old principle of "show, don't tell", but if drawing is difficult for you, then clarity is what you need to strive for.
And finally, there is the sense I get that the story isn't over. Aggro gets angry again and goes after Jo-Jo, while Jo-Jo sees something, and... then what? See where I'm going here? There is this gap, which needs filling. This would have been a good opportunity to add some sort of joke ending, a clue, or some clever moral to the story. Whatever it was you were going for, you could have added here in just two or three more pages. Like a comic page, a comic sequence also needs to be a self-contained unit with a beginning, a middle and an ending. I hope this helps you in your future projects. Thank you very much for joining my contest.

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