Seeing as a lot of people have already critiqued the art and well, you've seen my art and pay construction, I'm in no place to talk! Much in the same way Shade is in no place to talk when it comes to giving people advice on codenames!
So, I'm instead gonna focus on something else: The writing.
You've probably heard it before from mrs and I'm probably gonna say it again: The story and characters have potential, but they're really cliché at the moment and it feels a lot like "My first fantasy manga."
Now, please don't take that the wrong way: You're still doing a solid job on your comic and you have me hooked. (If only for that little meta-rivalry the characters of DRGN and your guys have with each other.) But the big problem is that we haven't really seen that much in terms pif really anything. That might just be the problem of webcomics in general (Where instead of getting sowing like 20-ish pages a month like normal comics, we get 1-2 pages a week.) We're about 3-ish chapters in and what all has happened? We meet our main character and find out she has no memories, we meet the secondary character, the two have a girly slap fight in the woods, go their separate ways, then meet up with each other again. All in all, it feels more like the start of a quirky fantasy based romantic comedy than the start of a Tolkien-esque fantasy epic or whatever you took your main inspiration from. (Though a fantasy romcom is something I would definitely read, especially with Flare and Shade.) Speaking of those two, let's talk about them, shall we?
Apart from a few incidental characters like Flare's kid friend and "dad". We kind of only have two and a half characters to speak of: Other Flare, Professional Chicken McNugget, and The Voice inside your head that tells you to throw rocks at people. This has both pros and cons. On the pro side, you can focus more on both individual characters better (this is a problem I've been running into with DRGN in trying to focus on a team of six plus supporting cast plus villains) On the con side, it kinda makes things feel a bit claustrophobia and empty with just those two and a half guys plus incidental characters. Personality wise, the two are decently likable, play of of each other well, and have decent potential for growth. But right now, both are really, really, REALLY stock archetypes found in manga and again, romantic comedies. The straight laced and stoic guy, the perky, friendly girl with memory loss, and the snarky old guy. It's literally just Finding Nemo or Zootopia with Chicken Nuggets! (Just kidding on that front, but you still get the joke and dynamic between the two.) Special mention goes to Shade, he's kinda bland al things considered. Sure, her's got a lot of mystery surrounding him, but he really hasn't that much going on with him other than that and and his job as a professional Edgelord. (Also, who names themselves Shade when they run around with light blue hair and bird wings? I mean, really? Shade's the kind of guy who would unironically buy Jack Skellington merch from Hot Topic if he could, wouldn't he? )Same kinda goes with Flare, I like that her childishness is implied to come from the fact that she was more or less literally born yesterday and I hope that's explored more later down the line. But other than that, sit down and throw one of those little bean shaped plushes of an anime character at an anime streaming site or manga shelf and you're bound to find at least five or so female main characters just like that if slightly more developed due to being farther along in their stories due to being released in big chunks instead of drip fed to us two pages at a time.
Going back to your world: Again, the mysteries and world you set up are incredibly intriguing and I hope that we get more of a chance to explore it more wit ha good payoff. But right now, it just feels again, very empty and by the book. Like again, swing a Hello Kitty Plush at a shelf of fantasy novels and you're bound to find something similar. (Though this may just be me being a snob considering I was raised on incredibly unique fantasy stories like Bionicle.)
In conclusion, as much as I hope that this series does well in the end and has great potential, that's kind of the main reason I'm reading it: Not for the here and now, but more for what I hope it can become. (That, and to support you in your goals like you supported my comics and the whole meta jokes between our characters.)
I'm sorry if that sounded rude and harsh, I don't mean to I was just giving my honest thoughts and I do genuinely hope you succeed in this. The fact that you actually sat down and started work on your passion project despite knowing that it's nowhere near perfect is admirable. (and much better than me in that regard.) So best of luck, and I hope this helps.
As for my comics, I would say DRGN for critique, but that doesn't exist yet. So I'll go with my next best option: Alpha Alpaca! Especially seeing as I made it specially to practice serialized comic booking for DRGN and the like. I'd love to hear how it can be Improved for future projects!
All in all, best of luck and keep up the good work! I'm eager to see more from you!
@tired_programmer Blending Shadows is the name of the upcoming sequel to Burning Shadows!