Episode 297 - fandoms

Nov 14, 2016

In this Quackcast we tackle the topic of fandom. Fandoms can be interesting, fun, helpful, fascinating, inspiring, or even bizarre and disturbing. Fandoms are frequently great resources for information about their subject and can really enrich your experience of whatever you're into. Fandoms are also a hotbed of creative energy- some of our most iconic literature was written by people who started out as ardent fans- even the great H.P. Lovecraft was part of a fandom of Gothic horror fiction along with fellow writers Robert Bloch, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard. These highly influential writers were influenced by such greats as Arthur Machen, Robert W. Chambers, Edgar Allen Poe, and Lord Dunsany to name a few. And of course Lovecraft and his group went to to influence legions of fans who changed the face of 20th century pop culture. Looking at fandoms gives a cultural roadmap so we can follow influences, where ideas originated, how they changed, how pop-culture was created, and more importantly: they give us great clues about what other stuff we might like to read! No music this week I'm afraid. Mr Gunwallace is dealing with the fallout from a huge earthquake in his native New Zealand.

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Episode 294 - Costume cast: Addams family

Oct 11, 2016

6 likes, 0 comments

For Quackcast 294 we all dressed up as members of the Addams Family! Me as Gomez, Banes as Cousin It, Tantz as Morticia, and Pit Joan D'eath. We had a great time and you'll be able to see us all on video! The theme of this Quackcast was based on a newspost by Banes: Comedy and Horror and the relationship between those two things. It's very close. Both try hard to evoke strong emotions and emotional pay-offs. It can be very easy for most horror to devolve into comedy if things go wrong. Many horror tropes are actually pretty silly (i.e. slow walking zombies), which is why there are so many shows that make fun of them like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Munsters, The Cyptkeeper, and the amazing Addams Family! Horror comedy is a tried and true genre. If you're interested read more about that in Bane's newspost. Gunwallace's music for the week is the same as the feature: Miracles. The sound is dramatic,urgent, exciting, classical, action music- SOMETHING is going to happen if we don’t stop it in time!

Episode 292 - Separating the art from the artists

Oct 5, 2016

4 likes, 2 comments

Separating the art from the artist, the message from the messenger… Can you do this? You know, when you find out an actor, musician, comic artist or whatever is an arsehole or says things you disagree with or is a criminal, can you separate that from their work and STILL manage to enjoy it? Or does it taint everything they've ever made? I've thought about this a lot. I think I can usually separate the art from the artist and I DON'T think that consuming the work of that artist in any way legitimises what I disagree with about them personally or endorses their criminal behaviour unless the art is specifically about that. But it can really depend on how personally you're affected by whatever it was about the artist that offended you; A Jewish person could have a far more negative reaction, understandably, to the watercolours of Adolph Hitler than most other people, to use an extreme example. What about you? Can you separate the message from the messenger, the art from the artist? The comic chosen for a marvellous theme THIS week was Cybertech. You'll hear the sounds of apocalyptic destruction and burning plasma in a dark future, epic world.

Episode 291 - The philosophy and politics of comics

Oct 3, 2016

5 likes, 3 comments

This week's Quackcast is brought to us by Tantz Ariene! Tantz is a very political creature, seeing as she comes from Athens which is pretty much the birthplace of politics AND philosophy, that's hardly surprising. Clever Tantz in her tantzglasses, dudeman Banes, and me,Ozoneocean all talk about this interesting subject: what are the politics and philosophy involved in YOUR webcomic? Even though we don't realise it, there's ALWAYS politics of some sort in a comic, as well as philosophy. If your writing is pretty clever you might have multiple political view points in your comic and a whole range of different philosophies! Consider something as basic as Peanuts. Those characters have all sorts of political viewpoints! Peppermint Pattie is very forthright in her feminist views, but she's also pretty left wing, Lucy is rather domineering and and right off centre in the way she thinks, Charlie Brown is a bit of a fatalist blank slate for the audience to project themselves onto, Linus is a quiet intellectual… etc, I don't know, it's been years since I've read Peanuts! Gimmee a break! In superhero comics it's the same; most of them are pretty right wing, libertarian, individualist sorts of characters- Batman for example, Iron man, etc. There's a good argument for Superman being somewhat more Socialist since he's an ordinary man with an ordinary job most of the time and works out in the open for the good of all humanity, while Batman is a super rich guy most of the time and when he's doing hero stuff it's usually smaller scale vigilante type stuff against people who threaten his city, or commerce in his city like thieves and the Mafia. Try it yourself! Examining the politics and philosophy of your OWN characters as well as classic ones is pretty interesting. Gunwallace's theme this week is for Krasnosvit, a subtle, careful, fairytale theme, inducing you into the dark forest strangeness of Krasnosvit.

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 285 - Ride the wave of the Anti-heroes

Aug 22, 2016

3 likes, 5 comments

Comedy anti-heroes are a great deal of fun. My faves are characters like Tankgirl and Flashman; they can be selfish, greedy, violent, lustful, out for their own needs first but they still manage to do the “right” thing and vanquish the bad guy along the way regardless, or a character like George Costanza from Seinfeld who's jealous, pathetic, cowardly and greedy but we still love him anyway because identify with him and root for him against the unloving forces of the universe. To be a GOOD comedy anti-hero you have to keep the audience on their side though and that can be a tricky balancing act, you have to surf a number of factors (especially in a long running project), since to actually BE an anti-hero they need to have things about them that an audience would normally despise, these need to be counteracted by things like sympathy and pathos, traits we strongly identify with, intelligence, luck, charm, humour, sexiness, coolness, allowing them to win sometimes, or even redeeming some of their anti-hero behaviours occasionally. Get that balance wrong and they can so easily completely lose audience favour and sour the rest of the story/show/film. Pitface, Tantz, and Banes weigh in on this with me. And there are more opinions in the forum thread from which this evolved. Gunwallace's musical theme this week was for Pestilent. It's thoughtful, haunting, reminds me a little of a classic horror film soundtrack. Pretty scary!

Episode 284 - Writing Dialogue pt2

Aug 15, 2016

6 likes, 5 comments

Well this is the SECOND part of our Quackcast on Dialogue! As with last week, this Quackcast is based on a thread in the DD forums discussing different approaches to creating Dialogue in webcomics. This time we have an additional guest though: the mighty Pitface joins, Tantz, Banes and I once more. We have a dialogue on dialogue, natter away and speak in different accents. We also tried using Google Hangouts for this Quackcast instead of Skype for once just to see if that made things any clearer… It did a little. Google Hangouts had it's own non-intuitive issues that we had to work through, but in many, many ways it worked better than Skype! Gunwallace's musical theme was Our little mental hospital. a crazy insane sounding Latin groove. Makes you want to salsa!

Episode 283 - Writing Dialogue pt1

Aug 8, 2016

3 likes, 8 comments

Dialogue is a key part of any comic, it pushes the story along, keys the reader in on things that would be otherwise ambiguous, hints and foreshadows at future happenings, creates humour… well, it's just a big part of comics, that's all! And that's what we're chatting about here in this Quackcast! The topic stems from a forum thread I posted a while ago asking people about their approach to creating dialogue and how people go about it; is it heavily scripted in advance or is it one of the last things you come up with? People had some very interesting responses! Gunwallace's musical theme was Magical Misfits. The sound is magical, classical, threatening, yet full of adventure! Love those creeping cellos, the violin and clarinet sound like a humorous dialogue between the wittier members of the party.


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