Episode 413 - Breaking structure

Feb 11, 2019

It's just Ozoneocean and bouncy Banes today. This time we're chatting about breaking and subverting structures, formulas and conventions in webcomics. Commercial creative projects need to use formulas and familiar structures because that's what audiences expect, it's also what studio executives, creative editors, publishers, producers and all the people that greenlight those projects need and expect as well. The Hero's Journey and other conventions and formulas aren't just used because they make good stories but because of the commercial realities and risk averse nature of the industry (there's a lot of money and jobs on the line). Webcomics don't have those pressures so we're talking about why webcomics shouldn't necessarily adhere to popular formulas and structures and why many don't.

Topics and Show Notes

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to EscapeVelocity. Blinking readouts on screens and dials, blinking stars outside thick glass sealed against the vacuum… this is the future and the future is space. Deep in the cold, black void, in an isolated oasis of heat, light and breathable oxygen inside a space travelling vessel, the only place out here that survival is possible.

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Scarred Eden - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/feb/04/featured-comic-scarred-eden/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean

Featured music:
EscapeVelocity - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/EscapeVelocity/, by TheJolle, rated M.

Episode 402 - Audience expectations with characters

Nov 25, 2018

3 likes, 3 comments

We're all back together this week and we're chatting about audience expectations for characters versus the intentions of the creator. Which is more important? Well it's a bit of a balancing act… You don't want to pander to your audience because that's not fun and they won't enjoy it anyway, but by the same token you shouldn't just do whatever you feel like regardless. As a creator you build up a contract between yourself and the audience; if you betray that by subverting their expectations with characters in ways that are very “OUT of character” just because you feel like it then you can start to lose their respect and attention. Killing off characters all of a sudden can be a big responsibility too, try not to take that lightly.

Episode 329 - Character Archetypes, the Jung ones!

Jun 26, 2017

4 likes, 6 comments

Welcome to the the yungle Characters make or break a story. In this quackcast Tantz Aerine brings all her skills as a head-shrink to bear and gives us the low-down on Jungian character archetypes! Jung was a clever Swiss bloke, a contemporary of that strange fellow Sigmund Freud, together they're credited as being the fathers of psychology. What we're chatting about here is a little system Jung thought up to evaluate people's personalities. People just like characters in books can be thought of a mixtures of particular character traits, to whit: The Innocent, The Orphan, The Innocent, The Orphan, The Hero, The Caregiver, The Explorer, The Rebel, The Lover, The Jester, The Sage, The Magician, The Ruler. These are the titles of the traits, the full descriptions can be found on Tantz's newspost, just follow the link bellow in the notes. We had a bit of fun trying to work out what traits define our own characters and then trying to do the same for major pop-culture comic and cartoon characters like Daffy Duck, Superman, Captain America and Batman. Gunwallace's theme for the week was The Dark Crusader: The sun rises on the vast metropolis, slowly sliding up a gleaming skyscraper, and standing heroically upon the very top, his cape blowing in the wind, is THE DARK CRUSADER!

Episode 327 - Flashback heart-attack!

Jun 12, 2017

5 likes, 4 comments

FLASHbacks… you have to do them right or they will screw up the flow of your story. That's the theme of the newspost by Tantz Aerine that we stole this podcast topic from. :) Flashbacks can be expository, they can explain story elements and plot to you, they can push the narrative forward in a (seemingly) non-linear way, they can do all sorts of things, but one of the very worst is when they ruin the flow of your story and irritate your audience! That's what we're chatting about today, the poorly handled flashback and how to avoid it! Now let me tell you about that time… JUST KIDDING! Our music theme by Gunwallace this week was Galactic Nebula Race. This is all about speed! Racing, acceleration, hyper-velocity!! Watch those lights fly past faster and faster until they become just a single coloured blurred line… only to see your rival speed past as if you were standing still.

Episode 321 - Cafecast

May 1, 2017

3 likes, 0 comments

We titled this one “Cafecast” on the suggestion of Pitface! Instead of chatting about a subject, we took ourselves off to a metaphorical cafe and all started drawing, working on sketches, our latest comic pages, and chatting as we did. We're all comic artists after all and we talk about doing comic all the time, it's only fair that we actually WORK on them from time to time! Gotta “walk the walk”, not just “talk the talk”. We were also inspired by the video Pitface made of herself drawing her latest page of Putrid Meat for the 10th anniversary (vid linked in the notes). Watch it while you listen to this! So this is just a nice, informal chat from us as we draw. Next week we'll get back to more structured stuff when banes and I talk about how to do comedy and how to make comedic characters in comics. The music for this week by Gunwallace is for Half Hearted Headache. The theme fits very well with the comic title! It brings to mind a desolate wasteland in a post apocalyptic techno future, haunted by cyborgs and the hulks of burnt out military battle robots… Which is not what the comic is about but that’s what it paints for me: Jean Michel Jarre, meets knight Rider!

Episode 312 - happy little trees

Feb 27, 2017

4 likes, 5 comments

In THIS particular Quackcast it's just Banes and I chatting about tips and tricks for artwork. Hopefully some of the stuff we mention is helpful to someone, I tried to illustrate some of that in the cover pic. Banes drew the image of Penny crashing through a scene which I've coloured and added trees, oceans, mountains, clouds, fire, smoke etc all with the use of simple custom brushes. The shading was all done just by painting grey over a layer set to “multiply”, which makes all light colours transparent and darker colours less so, so that you get a perfect tool for making shadows! Anyway, listen to the cast and maybe you'll get something out of it! The music that Mr Gunwallace has for us this week is for Mr Valdemar and other gothic tales - The tinkling crystal notes of a piano are paired with the dark woodiness of a mournful cello and touches of strings to give us this haunting gothic soundscape.

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.

Episode 275 - Layouts, what to do and what not

Jun 13, 2016

4 likes, 4 comments

The topic this week was ALL Banes' idea! We talk about page layout: techniques to make a good, readable layout, and stuff to avoid. We have Tantz Aerine (greetings), Banes, and myself, Ozoneocean, chatting about how best to do page layouts, at least from our own limited perspectives. None of us are pros in this regard, but we've been doing comics for many years now and we've all developed some pretty decent ideas about how best to do it, in our own ways. Banes is mostly influenced by American style comics, which have more interesting layouts. Tantz and I were manly influenced by European comics, which tend to have a more conservative by very constantly readable style of “box” layout. On Pinky TA and Bottomless Waitress the majority of my pages are in a fairly standard box format, but every now and again I experiment with crazy shapes, overlapping panels, no panels at all, and even “infinite canvas” pages that work with the scroll function. Speaking of which we briefly mention Scott McCloud and the comic Heart of Keol, which uses vertically scrolling large pages. The music this week by Gunwallace was Wastelanders Anonymous, an epic classic rock tune with a lovely repeating upward base rhythm, soaring guitars and authoritative keyboard.


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