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Thursdays With Banes - Contrast and Conflict

Banes at 12:00AM, July 2, 2015

Ozoneocean has been goodly enough to let me participate on the DD front page on Thursdays. So I'll be jabbering here weekly and attempting to be

1. Entertaining and/or
2. Informative and/or
3. Punctual

It's a treat to get to do this, so thanks!


The first time I noticed the power of contrasts was in my friend's music. He's a massively talented songwriter, and aside from interesting melodies and chord progressions and powerful insights and images in his lyrics, he uses contrast a lot. Laughter and tears, being high but low, trapped but free…there was a lot of that stuff going on in his songs.

This was actually the inspiration for naming my comic "Typical Strange“ (Read it here on the Duck!) Those opposing words, at least to me, are somewhat compelling!

Contrast can exist in many forms. It can be as simple as good vs. evil, or a comedic or romantic pairing of ”opposite“ characters, or a marriage of two different ”realities": A normal suburban neighborhood is invaded by an unstoppable, insane killer. HALLOWEEN (I had to mention Halloween. I ALWAYS have to mention Halloween).

It can be a sane person in a seemingly insane world, or an extraordinary person in the ordinary world. See Brian in The Life of Brian or Forrest Gump for one, and Superman or Dracula for the other.

Contrast can also help with your stories. If you want to do a story about a character who becomes the Queen of the Fairies, what kind of character would be more interesting? Someone who loves fairies and fits in well with them, or a snarky wiseacre who doesn't fit in at all?

Maybe contrast is an obvious thing to many of you. It's something I hadn't considered until recently, although I tried to populate my comic with a mix of diverse characters that would butt heads in as many ways as I could think of.

Anyway, that's my first effort! Hope you have a fine Thursday!



Ozoneocean at 10:27PM, July 5, 2015

Flounders are picasso fish!

Gunwallace at 2:52PM, July 5, 2015

Flounders ... that's a good idea for another topic. Why aren't there more flounders in comics? Stupid flounders.

Banes at 7:07PM, July 2, 2015

@kawaii - I fear that after 3 or 4 weeks, I may be out of thoughts and floundering...

kawaiidaigakusei at 4:16PM, July 2, 2015

Welcome to the front page, SeƱor Banes. Ah, now we will finally get a chance to see the inner workings of your mind through your words.

fallopiancrusader at 9:24AM, July 2, 2015

And there's also the manipulation of contrast in the images that we use to illustrate our comics. Frank Miller's "Sin City" is a good example of taking visual contrast to the extreme.

Ozoneocean at 8:59AM, July 2, 2015

The Quackcast is a contrast between Banes being the funny one and me being boring. :)

usedbooks at 8:27AM, July 2, 2015

My writing is contrast-heavy between characters. The last story I wrote that focused on a single protagonist was nearly 20 years ago. I can't write like that any more. I don't have "the main character" in anything I write. Used Books started because my roommates were so dissimilar to each other, I wanted a character study in how the hell they were best friends. I keep adding/developing new characters to be foils in different ways for existing characters. It's like an obsession of mine to create the similarly different and the differently similar. Two criminals at odds over order versus chaos. Two devout religious characters, one a chivalrous peacemaker and one a violent misogynist. A dating couple of a high school dropout and a PhD from a well-off family. With over 50 recurring characters, reflecting on their contrasts completely foiled my attempts at sleep.

usedbooks at 8:12AM, July 2, 2015

Weird. I was just contemplating "foils" last night, keeping me up way too long. I was so confused by the term back in grade school when I first learned it. At first, I thought it was the "opposite" character, but then the definition said it was a similar/matching character with some kind of opposite trait or something? Anyway, I finally accepted that whatever the characters themselves were like, the foil existed to show contrast. So they could be identical characters raised in different cities who are foils to contrast each other. Or they could be two similar people on different sides or two contrasting characters on the same side.

KimLuster at 5:26AM, July 2, 2015

Very interesting (and I like your Musical analogies...) I think it certainly adds to the effect. Take the first Matrix movie... Most consider it better than the 2 sequels, and I think a good bit of that is because in the first one Neo is simply Mr. Anderson for a large part of it. A normal guy thrust into extraordinary circumstances - he's both amazed and terrified, and we relate to him...! In the sequels he's basically mastered it, so we no longer see the wonder through his eyes!

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