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Quackcast 627 - Character consistency and speech bubbles!

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, March 21, 2023

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Today its another technical comics making focused cast, suggested by Tantz Aerine! We cover our notions about how to maintain character consistency and consistency in general, plus a bit on speech bubbles and the text in them. I was SOOPER tired towards the end though so I wasn't all there mentally but the guys carried it through admirably.

How do you maintain character consistency? The industry standard is to create a “bible”… basically you put all your character info in there. All the descriptions and traits and also sketches of them from all different angles and in different outfits, doing different things, lots of facial expressions, hairstyles etc. If you do that then you have a document to refer to each time you need the character, so you can look back on it and always be consistent. It's a lot of work to create one of those, but it saves a lot of time as you go. Unfortunately Banes, Tantz, and I all gave up on character bibles after a single sketch (waaay too much work), so the way we maintain consistency is to do things like remember the relative heights of characters and make such we look at previous pages while we're making the current one. How do YOU do it?

Apologies for the weird sound in this one! I may have forgotten to put the microphone close to my face.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Thrud Goddess Of Thunder - Big fat beats and an epic sound! This one really brings the thunder! It’d be great as the intro tune to a professional wrestling match. It builds anticipation perfectly and really slams home and delivers on its promises. Epic sounds! Maybe this could be the new Quackcast theme?

Topics and shownotes


Featured comic:
Game Punks -

Featured music:
Thrud Goddess of Thunder - - by Takoyama, rated T.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Ozoneocean -
Banes -
Tantz Aerine -

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paneltastic at 4:23AM, March 23, 2023

I maintain a reference file with all my characters primarily for size and uniform details but beyond that, I've just got a shortlist of each character's personality traits for a given moment. People change, it makes sense that characters, even fictional, would over time as well.

Ironscarf at 8:09PM, March 22, 2023

@Ozone- I can definitely see myself not sticking with it for long! As for balloons, I'm pretty much using the Tantz method by the sound of it, because running out of space is no fun at all.

Ozoneocean at 7:41PM, March 22, 2023

@Scarf- I tried that. It's exhausting XD

Ironscarf at 10:29PM, March 21, 2023

I've always been a back referencer too, but that can be time consuming as well. What I'm trying now is creating a retrospective bible, by clipping examples from completed pages and putting them together in a single file, so I won't have to search too far.

Ozoneocean at 5:09PM, March 21, 2023

@Usedbooks - hat's an extremely clever idea!

usedbooks at 11:03AM, March 21, 2023

My trick is using WordPress at my own domain (with the Comic Press add-on) to tag all the characters present on each page. I also tag locations and themes (like phones, decor, guns, vehicles, etc.) I have quick links to the tags so I can quickly thumb through all the pages that include the character. This gives me a fast refresher for both appearance details and any info in their backstory or character arc. Plus, I can quickly see the progress I've made -- or lost -- in style and reference the visually best version of that character if I have lost my momentum. An example of one of my (least consistent) characters' collective tagged pages:

Ozoneocean at 9:54AM, March 21, 2023

@Marcorossi- agree about the character bible!

marcorossi at 4:58AM, March 21, 2023

I try to give some extremely obvious characteristic (a very big nose, very prominent eyebrows etc.) to the main characters, so that the will stay easily recognizable, and that's it. The problem with the "bible" approach is that it is something that makes sense for a group of professionals, but for a single webcomic artist it is both less useful and potentially a block because the webcomic artist, being an amateur usually, will have a more evidente slow change in style as he/she becomes more expert page by page.

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