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Shi Long Pang - Volume 1 Cover [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
ben costa

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Volume 1 Cover [Mar. 10th, 2010|04:07 pm]
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It occurred to me that I never posted here about winning a Xeric grant. I got a Xeric grant!! I'm furiously getting everything ready to print. Here is the cover for Volume 1. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

You'll notice that it doesn't say "Shi Long Pang". Well, I'm thinking about dropping it for the print book. Whenever I say the title of the comic to a stranger, they're always like, "Wha?" Pang, The Wandering Shaolin Monk seems like it'd be much easier to understand, especially if you're pronouncing the "Shi" as "sure". However, everything up until now on the internet and in the Xeric press release etc, has been Shi Long Pang. Should I just go ahead and do it?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mybodymycoffin
2010-03-11 12:32 am (UTC)

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I love the cover! It's totally epic.

As for the name, I vote go for Shì Lóng Pàng. That's what we all know it as and, as far as pronunciation goes, as long as there are notes in the book (or on the back cover?) on the pronunciation it shouldn't be trouble for anyone. It certainly wasn't atrouble for any of your current fans!
[User Picture]From: charissespieces
2010-03-11 03:07 am (UTC)

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I agree with this comment!
[User Picture]From: bencosta
2010-03-11 09:59 am (UTC)

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Thanks!

I guess I'm just worried about the word of mouth aspect. If all goes well, the comic will be in comic shops and I'm going to a bunch of conventions so I want it to be easily digestible. The comic wouldn't change online, the book would just be without the Shi Long...I dunno. I see that everyone who's commented wants it to stay.
[User Picture]From: tesseracting
2010-03-11 01:38 am (UTC)

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Congrats on the grant! I look forward to seeing the story in paper.

The superblack on the right looks odd on an otherwise desaturated cover, and I'm not sure about how his head outline blends into the mountain behind it. But I like the composition.

And I vote for using "Shi Long Pang". "Wandering" is a cumbersome word, and the particularities of your character are more compelling than the archetype he comes from. Oh, and "Pang" on that cover doesn't stand out as an (English) word.

On that note about Pang's individual nature, remember that people will see the cover first and make snap judgments. From the cover I can't tell that Pang is the only character you draw without a nose/chin. Within the story he stands out and is iconic, but think the cover could use a higher level of detail to contrast Pang's simplicity.
[User Picture]From: mageraine
2010-03-11 02:35 am (UTC)

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I have to say that I agree completely with this comment.
[User Picture]From: bencosta
2010-03-11 10:04 am (UTC)

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Yeah, I was wondering about the black on the right myself. I guess I'll tone it down.

I think either way I'm going to keep "wandering shaolin monk." Still undecided on the "shi long." Thanks for your input. In terms of the cartoony/detailed contrast I was sort of going for that as it is. But I see your point. Perhaps the back cover will play a part in showing some other more detailed characters.
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[User Picture]From: bencosta
2010-03-11 10:11 am (UTC)

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Thanks Box!

Yeah, I guess so. But the thing is, I'm sure long time readers would prefer the name to go unchanged, but most of the books are going to have to sell to non-readers who have no idea what my comic is, so the brand will mean nothing. I don't have that many readers either.
[User Picture]From: furious_mold
2010-03-11 03:42 am (UTC)

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Congratulations on the grant!
[User Picture]From: bencosta
2010-03-11 10:11 am (UTC)

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Thank you! :)
[User Picture]From: lula_vampiro
2010-03-11 01:48 pm (UTC)

congratulations, ben!

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The two names aren't mutually exclusive, actually. Consider superhero comics: we got the Amazing Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Flippin' Sweet Spider-Man, Ghetto Fabulous Spider-Man … but when you walk into a comic book store, what do you say to the clerk? "Let me get that new Spider-Man." At the same time, if you're a nerd and you need to distinguish, you can go ahead and distinguish.

Have you considered a cover/nomenclature arrangement which would allow readers/viewers to read it whichever way is most comfortable for them? As a beginning Chinese student I'm eternally grateful for the completeness of nomenclature to which you've adhered with such painstaking dedication; but at the same time I recognize that sometimes you have to spell 'em "chi," "kung fu," and "Tao" to move books. Not exactly the same issue as the one you're describing, but I think some principles there are transferrable.

What would it look like with "shì lóng" in smaller, but still visible, text above "pàng"?
[User Picture]From: bencosta
2010-03-12 06:58 pm (UTC)

Re: congratulations, ben!

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Thanks! I like your idea about the smaller "shi long". And I think it looks pretty good. The only thing that worries me about it is the potential confusion it might cause in comic book stores on the owners' parts and reviews and all that type of stuff.

Over the last two days, though, I've kind of convinced myself that going with Pang just seems like the smartest option at this point. The audience who might buy it online will already know it for what it is, and I don't plan on changing the url or title of the comic online. It will just be the book cover and the way non-webcomic readers will be introduced to the comic. You make a valid point about making concessions to sell what you've got. I guess that makes me a sell-out. :) Although I'll be scraping and clawing just to supplement my income.

[User Picture]From: shukelarkey
2010-03-12 12:06 am (UTC)

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were the teenage mutant ninja turtles sold as just Turtles?? i don't think so! i think you should keep the shi long small, and then the pang big. for the fan boys who want to call it by its true name and the beginning readers who will see it as Pang and then realize later its true full name. and just like the turtles, the teenage mutant ninja part was always small, but everyone knew what it was.
[User Picture]From: shukelarkey
2010-03-12 12:10 am (UTC)

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p.s. are you bumping this on tumblr? the world needs more wandering monk. i think we should make some promo videos for the release and spam the internet.

p.p.s. i heard you just took the xeric grant and created a shedu reservation
[User Picture]From: bencosta
2010-03-12 08:48 pm (UTC)

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I don't know, man. I don't know. It's hard to compare it to the ninja turtles.

What does bumping it on tumblr mean? I am down for making some promo videos, dude. Do you know how to use Flash? I don't. But I have an idea to make a Reading Rainbow-esque trailer using ridiculous kung fu movie dub voices.
From: (Anonymous)
2010-04-01 05:23 am (UTC)

I liked it so much I wrote about it!

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http://www.cca.edu/news/2010/03/31/fine-arts-alum-ben-costa-receives-xeric-grant

By the way, what year did you graduate from CCA?
[User Picture]From: bencosta
2010-04-10 11:26 pm (UTC)

Re: I liked it so much I wrote about it!

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Oh, thanks so much! You got it right.