Episode 375 - Categories, genres and rants

May 21, 2018

In this Quackcast we chat about the categorisation of work by specific genres and how it makes it easier to promote your work to people, while for fans it makes it easier to find what you're into, but it can also be a bad thing when people categorise too specifically and narrow their audience to nothing or just pointlessly confuse the crap out of people. I came to this topic because I saw a post on Facebook which was very badly explaining “Steampunk” and “Dieselpunk” while introducing the two utterly superfluous sub-genre names of “Ray-punk” and Atom-punk“.

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Topics and Show Notes

Let me explain…
First there was ”Cyberpunk“. A sub-genre of SciFi that really started in the early 1980s, famously championed by William Gibson among others. The ”punk“ suffix originally referred to it's gritty nature and the fact that it focussed on young people and the technology of the streets. The characters also wore the punk fashions popular in the early 1980s, it tended to feature cybernetic body modification and focus heavily on computers and ”cyberspace“. It was largely inspired by things like Blade Runner and Tron. Obviously there was a need for this sub-genre categorisation because nothing like it had really existed before.

”Steampunk“ is mainly 19th century but can be set at any time. Steam and clockwork are the basis for all technology, the aesthetic is usually based in the 19th century with modern touches. It takes some inspiration from the works of Jules Verne and HG Wells. Again, this was a totally new style and needed a name.
”Dieselpunk“ is from about 1900 onwards and encompasses the time of the birth of the internal combustion engine which is used as a basis for high technology, just like Steampunk does with steam. Movies like Mad Max 2 among others can be seen as inspiration. Once again it was a new style.
Steampunk and Dieselpunk stole the style of their names from cyberpunk. They use ”punk“ to refer to the unusual hybrid nature of being pre-hightech SciFi as well as the fact they often include punk type fashions and body augmentation which was a popular feature in Cyberpunk.

Then we have ”Atom-punk“ and ”Ray-punk“, both of which are describe work that is already fully encompassed by conventional mainstream SciFi from the 1920s onwards. ALL Scifi including fantasy space Operas like Star Wars can be included in these (Apart from the original aforementioned ”punk“ styles), even retro post apocalyptic alternative history like fallout or Bioshock. I feel that this type of categorisation is very, very pretentious, ignorant and counter-productive: since it dilutes and trivialises the ”punk" brand; imagines it does something novel while ignoring all the millions of works on the same theme; and confuses audiences precisely because it IS so dilute and superfluous. Dieselpunk and Steampunk by contrast are weird, they don't fit at all with normal SciFi and so need to be described in an unusual way.

Our guest Emma Clare offers up a spirited defence, so it's not all one sided and I don't have it all my own way on this! Listen to the Quackcast to see what she says.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to The Adventures of Tildie and Chewie. We’re greeted by the imposing strains of the Imperial march on heavy bass guitar… before we’re rocketed off into a pink heavenly dream cloud filled with rainbows and Teletubbies!

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Tethered from Dusk to Dawn - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/may/15/featured-comic-tethered-from-dusk-to-dawn/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Emma Clare - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Emma_Clare/
Pitface - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean

Featured music:
The Adventures of Tildie and Chewie - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com /The_Adventures_of_Tildie_and_Chewie/, by Patricklind, rated E.

Episode 359 - The Covershow

Jan 29, 2018

6 likes, 0 comments

Covers are a very important part of books and comics! They entice us to pick them up and read them, they encourage us to BUY them. But how much are they really needed for webcomics? You hardly ever look at the front cover and what you really want in a webcomic is the meat of it, not the packaging, they're not waiting on racks outside a shop… and yet we still make them anyway, not just for the front cover but also chapter covers as well! This was the idea behind a thread Pitface came up with in the DD forums and we thought it was an interesting topic. Personally I love drawing covers, they give me a chance to break out of the comic format and be all arty and play with title text. How about you? What's your position on webcomic covers? This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Kawaiidolia: A dreamy journey into a world of green shade, damp, fresh air, and dapple golden sunlight. This is a pretty track , full of beauty.

Episode 345 - Horror no horror

Oct 23, 2017

3 likes, 3 comments

Does a horror film without the horror still make sense? If it does then it's probably a really good film… that's what we're talking about in this Halloween themed month! The idea was based on a recent newspost by Banes. We also tapped the massive resource that is Banes for our cover image, which comes from a horror short by Bane's film director brother. Check it out, the link is down bellow. That film, Little Matthew, is a good example of the topic… I won't spoil it, but the scenario and the setup of the film could work just as well without the horror part. The characters are believable and you want to know more about them, this helps you start to care about them, which makes the advent of the horror scenes more effective. In the Quackcast we chat about that, examples that fit the model and possible exceptions. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Pulse Comics. It's Creepy, creepy pulsing electronica, like the burrring, burning and zapping sounds of industrial lasers and mechanical robot arms moving in precise, regular rhythm with delicate movements in a vast, echoing fully automated factory of the future.

Episode 317 - Hannagrid Wright Interview!

Apr 3, 2017

4 likes, 2 comments

Today we interview Hannagrid Wright aka 5thezombie! She's the creator of the great Sci-Fi webcomic To The Galaxy And BACK! -featured by Kawaii last year. To the Galaxy and back features Kat and Zoey, two girls that have been drawn together by fate, across the universe, to have all sorts of adventures in outerspace. All Zoey really wants is to get back to her dad, but having a dashing adventurer alien companion is going to make the ride a little more fun. Hanna is a cool person, she's just starting out on webcomics and already she has a nicely pro art style. She's mastered an efficient method of storytelling that's compelling, perfectly balanced for frequent updates, and makes her comic very easy to consume! Pit and Banes did a marvellous job in interviewing Hanna with me! I hope you read her comic (To The Galaxy And BACK!) and then listen to the interview! The music of Gunwallace this week is Sedna: A warm, deep blue, liquid, viscous, underwater outerspace world of wonder, joy, and luminescent glowing alien creatures…

Episode 309 - boring action scenes

Feb 6, 2017

3 likes, 0 comments

What makes an action scene boring? Action scenes should be exciting and fun, but often it's just the opposite! In this Quackcast we discuss the topic of Tantz's newspost from the other day and tackle this hard question. These were Tantz's conclusions: - You don’t yet care enough for the characters involved in the action to worry about them; - If the action is introductory you don't get to understand what's happening enough to care; - The action is badly choreographed or ‘cut’ in a way that the audience can’t understand what is going on; - The action is too much too soon, and back to back; In this Quackcast we try to delve a little more into that :) The featured music this week by Gunwallace was for Starfox Adventures The Comic: Firing the main rockets and racing through space, laser pulses and bolts of plasma streak past in glowing lines of destruction as you smoothly barrel roll to avoid them.

Episode 288 - Evoking too much Emotion

Sep 12, 2016

4 likes, 5 comments

Drunkduck's beloved HippieVan was influenced by last week's Quackcast on Evoking emotion to come up with a newspost about NOT invoking emotion when you don't mean to: keeping things funny, even IF heavy stuff happens to be going on, which can be tricky. I thought that was pretty interesting so we decided to talk about that on THIS week's Quackcast. We've also got some clever community contributions on the original theme of evoking emotion. So it's a pretty full Quackcast all up. We also have Pitface and Tantz Aerine joining us again! Yaaaaay! Gunwallace's theme this week is for The weird adventures of Armless Amy, it's touching and evocative, as if it’s setting up to reveal a horrible mystery to us.

Episode 259 - Drawing Crowd Scenes

Feb 22, 2016

4 likes, 2 comments

Crowd scenes of any sort can be horrible to draw. There are many, many reasons for this, one of them is that it's quite boring to invent a whole lot of new character models just for the purpose of making a group scene. My own way of combating that problem was to do cameos of other characters that I stole from my fellow Quackcasters, Banes, Pitface and Tantz. There are many other tricks and clever ways of managing crows though which you can hear bout in the Quackcast or see us talk about in the Quackcast video. Gunwallace's theme for Phineus Magician for Hire is VERY Sword and Sorcery! It reminded me a little of the famous music to the first (and best), Conan film, and brought to mind the writing of Fritz Leiber.

Quackcast 229 - Enter the Dragon's den: comic book shops

Jul 26, 2015

3 likes, 5 comments

Tantz and Pitface join Banes and Ozone to talk about comic book stores and the experience of going into them... Yes, that's right: webcomicers actually going into REAL bricks and mortar places that sell comics printed on PAPER! o_O It turns out that none of us really do that anymore for various reasons and we all have different recollections of going to cimicbook shops in the past. We also recount the experiences of other DDers who've described their comic buying adventures. Check out Gunwallace's haunting and desolate theme for the comic No Future, Vanish In Time.


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