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Quackcast 662 - Drunkduck tales

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, Nov. 21, 2023

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Webcomic communities have different cultures, but why and where do they come from?
DD's culture is pretty chill, we're reasonably neutral and accepting of a wide range of ideas and perspectives, we're egalitarian to a very high degree, we don't do cliques, we don't exclude, we don't tend to jump on culture wars… We don't like tribalism of partisanship.
So why are we like that?

Well the culture of DD is strongly tied to our distant origins in 2002 back when we were formed, 21 years ago in the early days of the internet when things online were just getting good. Dylan Squires, aka Volte6, had some spare time and decided to invest it in creating a webcomic hosting site. Those weren't really a thing back then, there weren't even that many webcomics online back in 2002 and social media wasn't a thing yet either.
Dylan was a Gen Xer. He started out by contacting a bunch of webcomicers and offering them hosting on DD. There were so many benefits to it: Free hosting, comments, fan resources, forums and other things that were REALLY hard for people to set up themselves back then without programming knowledge. Out of the people who first joined the site, Ronson, Black Kitty, Spang, and Skoolmunkee became the administration team. They were all successful webcomicers in their own right and all of a similar age to Dylan: all Generation X.
-I didn't join till 2003 and didn't become an admin till 2007! The 19th of March to be exact. I'd been a moderator since about 2004 though.

Gen Xers and the older Millennials who started out on DD from the beginning didn't grow up with the internet or social media. They dived into the net and learned about it from it's early days in the 90s when they were in their 20s and 30s. This gave them a very different character to younger Millennials and Gen Z who're more embedded with the net because they grew up with a world bound by it. In particular social media has made people more extreme, partisan, tribal and more likely to be embedded in social bubbles because the algorithms used to encourage user participation and retention force people into social echo-chambers and push them towards extremest positions by only showing them things that elicit strong reactions.

The original admin team on DD were all educated, professional young adults, with successful webcomics. All were North American. None were overly political or religious but they weren't anti-those things either. They were an accepting crowd with neutral views on most topics, back when the internet wasn't driven mainly by social media outrage and fake pop-culture wars. So they created a very welcoming and open community. The only other webcomic host at the time was the Keespace/Keenspot duopoly which ingrained a culture of “haves” and have-nots“: Keenspot were the picked few webcomicers who got to join the elite group with special privilege on the site while Keenspce consisted of everyone else. Many of the Keenspot creators actively looked down on the Keenspacers, so much so that they eventually changed the name of that part of their site to ”Comic Genesis" so they couldn't be confused with the Keenspot comicers. Drunk duck was a massive contrast to this! We vowed never to have a classist structure and to always stay egalitarian. Indeed the most skilled, professional, and established comicers on DD have always mixed freely with newbies and vice versa, everyone is always ready to help one another. Drunk Duck was always built around the idea of community.

When Drunk Duck had its major collapse in about 2012 we lost a lot of users to other sites, mainly Comic Fury which had been created by one of our own disaffected people. They went there because it had a similar feel to us (since it was roughly based on us). It was founded by a younger Millennial so the social feel was quite different. At the stage a lot of the users who went there and stayed were younger Millennials because they had just been starting out and needed a stable host, they also hadn't been around on DD long enough to establish any sort of loyalty. So Comic Fury had a massive boost at that point and kept up the momentum eventually welcoming the young Gen Zers, while Drunk Duck had older Millennials and Gen Xers rejoining us. Hence DD always had a different, older, more neutral feel. Things move at a much slower place.

We have to mention the massive corporate sites: Webtoon and Tapas. These places are what DD was set to be when Platinum comics brought us back in the mid 2000s. They had a bit of the Keenspace/Keenspot feel of haves and have-nots, they encourage a lot of users who's creative ideas are based on producing products. It's a very ambitious crowd and the work often veers towards a bit of a mainstream, unified blandness just by the nature of them being so large, successful and corporate driven. There's nothing wrong with that it's just the nature of those types of site and it's exactly what DD had started to become before them when we had the big money.

So that's the reason we are how we are: a bunch of weirdos! When the other admins left and I was managing the site on my own I wanted to keep us how we were because I felt that's what our loyal people appreciated about us. So I engaged other admins who matched that vibe. I feel we've stayed pretty much the same since we were founded in 2002. What do you think?

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme inspired by Magic Power Ball - Intense, driving, action oriented electronica that makes you want to dance. You’ll want to bop and move to this track. It’s a slow start but it picks up the pace quickly and takes you along for the ride!

Topics and shownotes


Featured comic:
Harold -

Featured music:
Magic Power Ball - - by GenAtto, rated E.

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

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Ozoneocean at 6:49PM, Nov. 22, 2023

@lothar- whoa man! That early? Wowsers! I super fell in love with your non-porn work back then.

Ozoneocean at 6:48PM, Nov. 22, 2023

@davidxolukoga- whenever people come they're just as treasured man! You've been a great addition here :D

lothar at 11:15PM, Nov. 21, 2023

Great article! I was one of those people that Volt originally emailed. I think I used to argue with poison V a lot on the debate forums back in the day. I had no idea... Lol.

davidxolukoga at 8:29PM, Nov. 21, 2023

Shit looks like I came late. Oh well: I really love it here on the dd. Since my day one till now. The dd has really helped me grow as an artist. The admins and patrons are real superheroes. To quote groot: “I love you guys”

Ozoneocean at 7:19PM, Nov. 21, 2023

@GenAtto - So glad you like it! Gunwallace will be pleased!

Ozoneocean at 7:19PM, Nov. 21, 2023

@MOrgan - jes we've always had babyboomers too but because of how things are there have always been a lot less. But they're super welcome just like Gen X, Millenials, and Gen Z. and whatever new generation the media decides to name hehe!Kyo on CF was PoisonIV here. He may have also had an account on Smack Jeeves but I doubt it.

Ozoneocean at 7:16PM, Nov. 21, 2023

@TheJagged - that sums us up well I think, we're often a bit more counter culture than the other hosts just because we're more open to a diverse range of ideas. Diversity to is don't just equal diversity within the camp we personally agree with.

Ozoneocean at 7:14PM, Nov. 21, 2023

@PaulEberhardt - Comic Genesis and Comic Fury are still places for independents too, it's not just us. And Tapas and Webtoon as well, though that's not part of their core brand. But yeah, more that anyone we really make it our thing.

Ozoneocean at 7:11PM, Nov. 21, 2023

@OrGiveMeDeath_Ind - That's the best way to look at it. I'm proud that this place houses the wierdos and the alternatives as well as people aspiring to professional status, those who actually ARE pros, artsy comics, experiments, and labours of love

Ozoneocean at 7:08PM, Nov. 21, 2023

@memo333 - Yeah, when we can organise it we like to have people on.

Ozoneocean at 7:08PM, Nov. 21, 2023

@Andreas_Helixfinger - Yes, we're happy to have people on when they can match our weird Quackcast times :) The worst part is when people ask US to match their time- we just can't do that.

Ozoneocean at 7:06PM, Nov. 21, 2023

@Marcorossi- You're right, that is an influence too.

OrGiveMeDeath_Ind at 3:48PM, Nov. 21, 2023

@TheJagged great pull on the Crumb quote

GenAtto at 2:30PM, Nov. 21, 2023

That beat is a banger! Of all things, I never thought MPB would inspire someone to make a theme! Thanks, Gunwallace, Thanks, Guys! It hasn't been two weeks since I joined the site, and my comic's already been mentioned in the podcast, what a welcome!

MOrgan at 12:07PM, Nov. 21, 2023

"Life is like a hurricane, here on Drunk Duck..." ;-) I thought the guy who founded CF was from Smack Jeeves (which started off looking like a DD copy, although it did change). There have also been some Boomers on the site. I remember one guy who claimed he was in his 90s, if I recall correctly.

TheJagged at 11:02AM, Nov. 21, 2023

All hail the counterculture spirit. Despite being born at the rear end of the 80s, i always felt like i was displaced one generation. Might be because the internet didn't become a thing in my life until i was already in my late teens. And even then, i was more of a 4chan lurker than a social media addict. Those precious days of the mid to late 00s, of sprite webcomics, Newground animations and memes based on guro hentai, still had a shred of that counterculture to them. Before the internet became successively more and more sanitized... @OrGiveMeDeath_Ind R. Crumb is always the first i quote whenever the subject of political correctness in art comes up: I'm not a politician, i'm an artist. If art is about personal expression, then it should and must include unpleasant aspects of life. You don't have to like it, you certainly don't have to agree with it, but here needs to be places where stuff like that is allowed to exist.

PaulEberhardt at 8:50AM, Nov. 21, 2023

I remember how back in the mid-nineties I shook my head in a mixture of bemusement and pity at those who would spend whole afternoons at the local internet café, wondering how many months that fad would fade into the background again. 😁 No, I'm not that old, I'm actually more like late GenX, only I don't like these labels very much... I'd known DrunkDuck for quite a while before I signed up in 2007ish or so. Then as now, this is one of the very few places on the internet I can honestly say I feel comfortable with. Big thank you to everybody who helps keeping this up. We're among the last of the independents here, and that's a very cool thing.

OrGiveMeDeath_Ind at 8:36AM, Nov. 21, 2023

I see DD as the modern inheritor to the alternative comics like R. Crumb's Weirdo magazine. The other platforms skew heavily manga (not that there's anything wrong with that) but feel very sanitized and indistinguishable. I've dabbled with other platforms and while some have great functionality, I've found reader engagement or community nonexistent.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 7:46AM, Nov. 21, 2023

@memo333 - Actually, I can confirm that Oz and the Quackcast team do have DD users come on as guests on their podcast from time to time. I've myself have been a guest on their podcast some time ago, and there was the Quackcast 5oo where a number of DD users -myself among them - were on the podcast celebrating it being the 500th episode of the podcast.

memo333 at 7:33AM, Nov. 21, 2023

They really need to do this podcasts BUT with duckweb comics users. give them their 5 min of popularity. ya or nay?

Andreas_Helixfinger at 6:13AM, Nov. 21, 2023

I'm an old millenial myself. I grew up in a time where the internet was still this alternative kind of avenue and not what everything orbits around like now a days. Didn't really learn to use the internet until my late-late teens in fact and I've never been able to identify with any specific sub-culture or political sub-division. So the more old-fashion, neutral, open-minded, live and let live kind of internet culture we have here on The Duck has suited me perfectly since day one, and I am so, so grateful to be here in these bothersome times.

marcorossi at 5:35AM, Nov. 21, 2023

This is very tangential to the post but I don't think the current polarisation is due to algorythms. People naturally want to read stuff by and be in company with people they agree with, both because they think those are right, and also because it generates validation. But in the pre-internet era the older media needed very large numbers of audience to be viable so there were some "big tent" groups, maybe due to politics, and while people disagreed they mostly lived in the same information universe. Today thanks to the internet there is a much more varied offer and anyone can reach his or her very small, very distinctive niche, which is good because this gives voices to individuals instead than steamrolling them into averages, but also mean that people thend to speak only with others who very narrowly agree with them. This means that people not only disagree but live in different information universe, and don't even understand the other's point of view.

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