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29 Aug 2012 01:12 am

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THREE WAYS YOU CAN HELP CLOSEDGATE WITHOUT GIVING OUT A CENT

santiago033 29 Aug 2012 01:12 am

TopWebComics

Hey, everyone! Its been a while since I last plugged and the voting goes on @ TopWebComics! Support the comic with a vote for ClosedGate! You dont need to login, its free, and it helps the comic get noticed! Thanks :3

VOTE @ TOP WEB COMICS

Belfry Webcomics Index

You can also follow CG by subscribing to the webcomic @ The Belfry Webcomics! More subscriptions means more exposition, and with enough subscribers CG will make it into the "most subscribed" section! This is really important because The Belfry is one of the sites that return the most traffic to ClosedGate

SUBSCRIBE @ THE BELFRY WEBCOMICS INDEX

Tell your friends

Tell people about the comic! Mention it at forums! Recommend it to people! Its thanks to you guys the comic keeps growing, and you can help it further by telling a friend about it!

So yeah, this is the "for dummies" guide to help the webcomic starring your favorite pink dog and river otter :D

Cheers, and thanks in advance for reading and helping!!
18 Jul 2012 10:23 pm

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New Layout

santiago033 18 Jul 2012 10:23 pm

One of the reasons updates were delayed was (but not limited to) the layout update. Its still a work in progress, so let me know if you find any bugs or if you have any suggestion.

Sorry for the delays guys,but it probably wont be the last.
10 Apr 2012 01:25 am

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CLOSEDGATE GOT REVIEWED BY THE AWESOME MITCHELLBRAVO

santiago033 10 Apr 2012 01:25 am

ClosedGate got a review from the awesome Mitchellbravo!! Thanks a bunch!! Don't forget to check out his comic, "Loud Era", as well!

Original review

Loud Era


You can find the review below. I'm glad to say that it was fairly positive, and that I'm already working on the problems he pointed out!

------------------[START OF REVIEW]------------------

Closed Gate
Author: santiago033
This comic currently has 41 uploaded strips, including 3 filler pages.

First, I'll spoil it for you: I quite enjoyed this comic. The genre isn't my typical cup of tea, but it was a fun read, and I'm interested to see where the story goes. A bit sad to see that it hasn't updated since I did my first read through a few weeks ago, but everyone has a schedule slip now and then, and hopefully the author will be back to producing this comic again soon.

We're looking at an anthro comic in a world somewhat like our own, but with fictional elements such as monsters and different mythical aspects of death. The setting is easy to immerse oneself into, and as the story unfolds, we gain more understanding of the way the world works. The art's pretty sharp, and the comic seems to be doing pretty well for itself. Hopefully my review will inspire a few more people to give it a look, as the author clearly puts a shitton of work into it and does a good job.

So let's dig in.

The banner is simple and clean. It showcases the art, gives us the heads up "Action, Drama, Comedy," and labels itself "The True Anthro Manga." I can say from reading it that all of these things are correct. Terrific! Too often I see banners that are misleading. The only thing about the banner is that it's not particularly "intriguing," but it's nice enough that it would entice someone to read anyway, so I'll not complain on it further.

Let's take a look at the summary you see when you click the comic profile:
"[UPDATES EVERY WEEKEND]
At the dawn of a New Age, the Union is conquering the South Islands one by one. During the Union invasion to his hometown at the island of Terranova, Christopher is shot and presumably killed. To his surprise, he wakes up alive, with the invasion gone and his father missing. Two years later, he sails to Santa Lucia, capital of the growing Union, to learn about his father's disappearance and the Union's real intentions."
I like that the update schedule is included front and center, unfortunately it isn't adhered to (at least not lately, perhaps in the past it had been). This summary does a good job of giving you a general idea of what is to come, kind of discussing the first prologue chapter without being entirely redundant. We have this cool concept, we can tell this is set in a "different" sort of world, and we want to learn more.

The first page plunges us right into the action. Things have already started happening, we don't need to waste time setting up, we can get straight to the meat. This intrigues the reader and makes them want to click on.

Here's a little bit of trouble that I had, and it might just be me, so take it with a grain of salt. I have trouble reading about worlds that aren't more or less the same as our own. I'm really slow at understanding the way a fictional world works when there are different rules that apply. As a result, I found myself quite overwhelmed on some pages, particularly earlier ones where there was a LOT going on. On the one hand, I understand that the author wants to lay down the exposition so that he can march on to the story. Perhaps others who are more used to reading these types of stories would have less of a problem than I did, though, so I won't harp on it too much.

I will say that there are some pages where there is a lot of text. Normally this is a big no-no for me. Once a panel has too many words, I start thinking about how many words there are, and it takes me out of the story. I thought this was going to happen when I was looking at the profile page for this comic- you know how it shows the little thumbnails and stuff? I was certain I was going to be overwhelmed by the amount of text. Once I got to that point in the story, though, I was fine. So I guess I'll sum up this point as, I think the author has reached the exact maximum threshold of words that can be placed on the page. There's a lot that needs to be said, but the writing is strong enough that you don't really notice how much text there is once you're reading it. I would advise to tread carefully in the future though, to make sure you don't exceed this amount.

(An aside to other comic artists who might be reading this review- most comics cannot pull off this amount of text. Part of what makes it work in Closed Gate is the sizes and types of the fonts being used. Narratives, dialogues, scene changes, et cetera, each have a different look to them, making it seem less like a wall of text and more like separate clumps of words. Also, these separate "types" of text are not competing with each other- each serves a discrete purpose and do not interfere with one another. It is best to err on the side of less words in general. Closed Gate is merely one exception that proves the rule. If you know enough about page composition and fonts to break this rule, feel free. Heck, feel free anyway. Just be aware that the preceding paragraph does not apply to everyone.)

Somewhat on the same note, in terms of composition and text layout, I will say there is one problem that occasionally pops up in Closed Gate, and that is that there are times when I can't discern which dialogue or narrative bubbles are supposed to be read in what order. One example is the fourth page of the prologue: in the fifth panel, I wasn't sure if I was meant to read left to right, then down, or up down, and then to the right. I think it's because the distance between the top left bubble and the two bubbles that form a triangle with it are seemingly equidistant. I reread and made sense of it, but it did pull me out of the story for a moment.
Another example is the first panel of this page. It took me a while to properly read through it, which is unfortunate because this is a really neat anecdote being shared and I think the unclear order makes the story suffer.

I like the use of grayscale in this comic. Texture is used very well to keep the comic from looking monotonous. We get a lot of depth and (to reuse the word) texture from this. Sometimes it seems a little sloppy, but I only noticed this in the earlier pages, and I think it improved as the comic went on.

Going back to this strip- this is very nitpicky, but I had one other problem with this page, and that is that the establishing shot of the truck comes too late. The bottom row came along and I couldn't tell what the cat gentleman was leaning out of. I think it might have been better to have the preceding panel (the "STOP!" one) a bit wider, including the truck coming down the road, as the character stands in the foreground waving it down. Small nitpick.

There is some filler in the archive that I think could be moved to another area of the site. It's not too intrusive where it is now, but it slows the reader from being able to get to the next content page, which isn't ideal.

I have a bit of a problem with certain pages that contain text crawling up the left side of the comic. This looks fine in print, but for those with computer monitors like mine that only have so much height, a reader would need to scroll down and then back up to read the text crawl. It looks cool, but it distracts from the comic flow. This is just something specific to comics read on the computer or other devices. As I said, if this was read in print it wouldn't be an issue.

I like the "voicing" for the characters. Word choice and sentence structure give the reader an idea of how the characters "sound," even small characters who only appear for brief amounts of time. That's not to say it's perfect. The bottom left panel of this strip is worded a bit strangely, at least to my "ear." This happens from time to time, the word choice is just a little awkward. On the whole the dialogue is written so well that the few times this does happen, they really stick out.

On a related topic, I like the way that different languages are portrayed by the use of font choice and <>s. Noticeable enough that you say, "Ah yes, so and so is speaking a different language," but not so obnoxious that it distracts.

I really liked this page, the only thing I didn't feel too great about was that these two cops were just like "Should we do our jobs?" "Eh, my morals make me not want to." It just seemed a bit off. I mean, if we're going to find out later that mice aren't fond of slavery for a specific reason, and it's a drop of foreshadowing for that, well then by all means keep it, but otherwise it just seemed a bit unbelievable and unnecessary.

I didn't care for the way the text looks in the bottom left panel of this strip. The intrusion of background color in between some of the letters gives the illusion of commas and apostrophes appearing there, making me read it in a halting way that I don't believe was intended. I wouldn't mind that the white outline conforms to the outside of the text, but within it, it looks speckled and strange.

There are some typographical errors scattered throughout the comic, not so many that it's annoying to read, but it does take away from the professionalism that the comic generally seems to present. Some typos are ones that a word processor would catch, so do be mindful.

One bit that made me sad was that the comic has links to "About" and "Community" pages, but these currently lack content. It will be nice to see what the creator puts there.

The anatomy is clean, crisp, and it's easy to comprehend what's going on in general, even though the characters aren't human. There are some pages (generally earlier on) where it's difficult to tell what's happening because of how busy the pages get, for instance here. I get that this scene is supposed to be chaotic and overwhelming, but you're putting so much work into the art only to have it be somewhat unfollowable. This doesn't happen often in the comic though, so I think it's not a big problem that will weigh you down, just something to keep in mind when you are drawing those action scenes. Let them be confusing and busy, but don't let them get so busy that they seem unstructured.

I would recommend this comic to people who want to read a quality anthro comic with an immersive and intriguing world. The story is still young, so you don't have that much catching up to do- hop on the train while it's still pulling out of the station! If the story carries on as it has been, you won't regret it. Even if it's on something of a hiatus now, Closed Gate is still open for business.

------------------[END OF REVIEW]------------------

I just can't thank him enough! Go crash at his site, he's also got an awesome comic going on!

Cheers people, it's good to be back
15 Jan 2012 10:25 pm

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SCHEDULE CHANGE

santiago033 15 Jan 2012 10:25 pm

From now on ClosedGate will update on mondays. I've been updating on mondays for a while anyway, so this is just to make it official. Why? Because that way I can work saturday and sunday mornings instead of working on a page saturday all day.

Cheers! :3
07 Dec 2011 12:14 am

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This week's update.......

santiago033 07 Dec 2011 12:14 am

....will probably late. Im getting a surgery on friday and recovery time is 3-5 days. Not a big deal, but Ill probably just lay in bed. I wish I could have at least drawn the page so my brother would help and ink it, but I have my infectology 2 final tomorrow and i need a pretty high grade, so Ive been busy.

Sorry bout that xD cheers!
21 Nov 2011 02:39 am

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CLOSEDGATE GOES SOCIAL!!

santiago033 21 Nov 2011 02:39 am

FIRST OF ALL!! Today Closed Gate had its best performance ever on the web! For the first time, the main site at SmackJeeves has gotten more than a thousand hits and over 600 uniques!!! IiN FACT, IT GRASPED THE 2000 HITS!! WHOAAA :D

Ok, now about the journal's title- CG has now a Facebook and a Twitter account, which is crazy because I don't even have a personal twitter lol. Anyway, dont forget to follow!

FB: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php.....24&sk=wall
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/#!/ClosedGateComic

Also!! I'd like you to tell me when you check FA the most - which day and time. Why? Well, I want to know what schedule fits the comic best. I've noticed that depending the date and time, I'll get more or less hits here at FA, best schedules being Sunday morning and Monday afternoon. So tell me about it "in the comment section belooow"

Cheers!
28 Aug 2011 02:15 pm

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CLOSED GATE WILL TAKE A BREAK FOR NOW

santiago033 28 Aug 2011 02:15 pm

Hello guys. First of all, I want to thank everyone who read this comic for taking their time to do so. It has been fun until now, really fun! But things have changed and I can no longer make pages as they used to be.

Does that mean the comic is dead? The answer is no, not yet.

Each page took a huge amount of time and effort to make and as I explained in the last page, my career has become too demanding for me to keep making these. There are days that I have to stay 12 hours at the clinic and then get home to keep studying. I love what I do, but I have a very, very small amount of free time now.

I'm trying to keep the comic alive with a few changes in format (like turning into strips instead and with no toning) so the pages dont take so long to complete. When Im done with a few pages I'll upload them to see what you guys think. I'll probably take the rest of the semester away from ClosedGate, to finish a few things, like:

a) Make a four months worth of backup strips
b) Organize the script so the overall story is shorter
c) Rethink all page designs so they fit in one or two 3-panel strips
d) Become faster in making every strip so I can eventually update twice a week

So dont think that because I wont update in awhile this project is dead. On the contrary, its more alive than ever.

See you all in a few months, thanks for the support
20 May 2011 03:26 pm

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I NEED YOUR OPINION, IT'S IMPORTANT

santiago033 20 May 2011 03:26 pm

Hey, people

Im in a dilemma. What's best, updating twice a month like I've been doing for a while now, or cutting every page in half and posting weekly?

The thing is, updating every other week has allowed me to get good grades and enjoy my social life. I can manage to update every week but I'd probably sacrifice many things I want to do like hanging out with my friends, being with my girl or just lay in bed staring at the ceiling for hours, so its a decision I've already taken. I dont get any money from the comic (except the spare cents I get from ads), I just do this to have fun and get this story out of my head. But if I push myself into doing it, I'd stop having fun, which as I said, is the reason I'm doing this. Im sorry if this makes you guys dissapointed but I already made my mind.

So, whats better? Bi-weekly updates or half-page weekly updates? Let me know what you think