I think the impact thing is true in the majority of cases, but like all things, there are exceptions. I've seen some extremely well done impact shots. I would say though, that its hard to do right, and unless its important to the comic's tone or story, you're better off showing post impact.
I think one of the things that allows it to work for the artists I've seen do it, is that they often show speedlines coming out of the other end of the target. Like a punch to the chest producing effects out the victim's back.
one example i come to when we talk about the point of impact thing is punching a guy. i generally notice that a punch looks way more intense when it's shown at the point of impact and you get a really extreme reaction out of the victim, like kamina punching simon in gurren lagann or goken's ultimate shoryuken in street fighter 4. or would those count as after the point of impact?
ON THE BAT EXAMPLE: Not only does showing the bat at the end of the swing make the strike look more forceful and "through," but not showing the actual point of impact allows the viewer's mind to fill that scene in. It's similar to showing a man enter a room, and then cutting to a view of the building and the sound of the victim screaming. While you could've drawn him chopping the victim to bits or splitting into a thousand worms and laying eggs in him, the viewer's mind automatically chooses the worst possible situation (according to him or her) and fills in the gap. Likewise, leaving out the point of impact will allow the viewer's mind to fill in the blank with as much force as is allowed by the end of the swing and the position of the attackee (Mr. Blue in this case) in the second panel, which would look clunky and awkward if you were to actually draw it and reinforce it with impact lines and such.
ON THE HUNCHED BACK PART: Regarding Dojang's comment, while yes, those physical signs may show anger and intensity, the hunched back, wide stance, and tenced arms show physical aggressiveness, which is more feral than emotional anger. The aggressiveness factor can be easily measured by how ready the body is to not only fight, but to destroy the obstacle with whatever force one can muster. Such a stance as the example you've given us gives the following body language: the hunched back and bent limbs show physical tension (which is the only thing that allows us to feel anger) and a readiness to "spring" as opposed to simply striking. The arms are up and in front of the body, showing that he is not only ready to uncoil with great force at whatever he is fighting, but is prepared to attack or deflect whatever else may be coming his way. Wide stance (in addition to the hunched back), while also ready to spring, lowers his center of gravity, making himself steadier and harder to knock down.
Once manly exceeds manly, it becomes anamalistic, so looking into "fight" part of "fight or flight" instinct is a huge tool for making someone look intense and ready to go apeshit on someone.
Of course I'm pretty sure you knew all of this (as evidenced by a good amount of your hand-to-hand fighting scenes), I'm just giving a little heads up to people who may be scanning over the comments.
Yes, thank you for elaborating on everything. Not only does it reinforce my tutorial, but it shows you know EXACTLY what I'm explaining.
As for the bat swing, streak lines from the bat swing not only looks cool, but it makes it more obvious where exactly it was swung. If your mind doesn't fill in the blank there, I don't know what will.
I've actually been wondering if you would be doing a grenade launcher tutorial anytime soon. >_> I mean, RPG's are rather easy to explain but there's the multi-round launchers and the like that tend to be confusing.
Really? I don't feel like I've got it figured out. I'm mostly confused as to if you reload a GM-94 by pump action or if you have to take the round out of the secondary barrel and then load it as normal.
totally agree on the bat example. the one time it doesn't hold up is when the reaction of the victim is the important image in a scene.
but i think it's possible to be as (or more) aggressive without hunching the back. don't have time to sketch an example, but i'll try to work something into my round 3 for ya.
some of the other, equally powerful, descriptors of aggression in body language include facial expression and muscle tension. fists clenched so hard that the knuckles whiten and the arms shake make any pose aggressive.
i can see where he's coming from, but i still think that leaning forward isn't the only way to appear aggressive.
on emotional pointers- with something like aggressiveness, i think that these are as, if not more important than getting the pose right. when you look at a person, you're taking all these things in and weighing them up. for example leaning forward by itself can be construed as; depressed, tired, pain, personal victory...mostly inward emotions. it's the expression of the arms and the wideness of the legs that make it outwardly aggressive. by the same token, hands and face are very important in determining intention. how would the pose in the example look with a placid bishonen face?