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Quackcast 331 - Retconning your work

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, July 11, 2017


Starwars, Ender's game, Captain America… All these are great examples (or bad ones) of “retcons”. But what IS a “retcon”?
What it means is that you go back and change an established work by adding new information that has the effect of changing it in a small or significant way. You might do it in your comic, or a director might do it to a movie series, like George Lucas did famously with Star Wars: introducing concepts like “midi-chlorians” as an explanation for the force, having Han shooting Greedo second, sticking Hayden Christiensen in Return of the Jedi, among other things. A lot of the time this has the effect of pissing off audiences who've consumed the story and enjoyed it because it alters or even destroys the understanding they've built up based on it and the relationship they have wit the work.
Retcons happen frequently in the comic world because publishers have to keep their franchises interesting and saleable to audiences, so origin stories get updated all the time for example. A huge recent retcon was Captain America revealing he'd been a long time sleeper agent for Hydra, which has the effect of messing up stories going back over 50 years…
The writer Orson Scott Card had a great deal of success with his novel “Ender's Game”, but for some reason he can't stop retconning it, going back and adding and editing new bits and re-publishing it every few years, and most egregiously penning prequels from another character's perspective that retcon the original story entirely.
As web comic creators we have the role of god-author so we all have the temptation to retcon at one stage or another. Can it ever be a good thing? Is it worth pissing off readers who have an emotional investment?

Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Optimum: the future is here and it’s in space! This tune is so upbeat, positive, fun and futuristic, it really exemplifies the cute colourful graphics of Skreem’s comic.

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Lostandfound -

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Banes -
Tantz Aerine -
PitFace -
Ozoneocean -

Featured music:
Optimum -, by Skreem, rated E.



bravo1102 at 5:49PM, July 11, 2017

I recently did a behind the scenes page about make-overs/ret-cons of some figures in Sword of Kings.

Ozoneocean at 10:21AM, July 11, 2017

Interesting info here... I'll have to check out the websnark article.

jerrie at 8:55AM, July 11, 2017

I might go back and change artwork I feel sucks...but once I write a story thats it. I am not a fan of constantly changing ''canon'' stories. This is why I stopped reading Marvel and DC. they do this stuff too much

meemjar at 8:27AM, July 11, 2017

My first comic story here actually is a retconning of my original work. You just don't know it because you never saw the original.

KAM at 7:07AM, July 11, 2017

Years ago Websnark categorized 5 types of Retcons

cdmalcolm1 at 6:54AM, July 11, 2017

I do this sometimes and it's only for consistency sake.

KimLuster at 6:17AM, July 11, 2017

I'm too lazy to retcon!! Once I do a page - it's done!! (except to fix typos :D)

Froggtreecomics at 4:59AM, July 11, 2017

Great Tune! Cheers Gunwallace!

Ozoneocean at 4:38AM, July 11, 2017

I struggle to think of a good retcon... though we just accept it with superheros all the time. Superman wouldn't have the abilities he has today if it wasn't for retcons,

Nepath at 3:36AM, July 11, 2017

A retcon can work when handled well, and can be used to expand on something and give it more depth. But I find attempts to re-write the history of a story because you wished you had done it differently, in an attempt to avoid a "reboot", most often produces the worst kind of retcon.

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