Episode 388 - Coding for Men and women

Aug 15, 2018

In this Quackcast we discuss the artistic coding used to represent males and females in comic art in a simple, minimal way. Pitface joins us, along with Banes and Tantz Aerine! Much like an expert physicist is able to simplify enormously complex equations into something seemingly simple like E=MC2 a good comic artist simplifies the essence of what they're drawing into something that's immediately recognisable without a lot of complexity. We're mainly talking here in terms of drawing men and women. It sounds like the most basic, silly thing, but even pros with years of experience have trouble with it. Some of the art for the new She-Ra cartoon is a great example of that.

Topics and Show Notes

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Mob ties… Creepy sounds, a shady villa. Mystery abounds, who’s the killer?
Shadows trick, run and hide. Badguys slick, get outside.

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Faded Garden - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/aug/14/featured-comic-faded-garden/

Links:
Cosmos song - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Cosmos_Song/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Pitface - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean

Featured music:
Mob ties - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Mob_Ties/, by Author Ninja, rated T.

Episode 368 - the Blahcast!

Apr 2, 2018

5 likes, 0 comments

Welcome to another Quackcast! in this “blahcast” we talk about a lot of different subjects. This Quackcast also sees the arival of a NEW feature! It's the Princess January Show, by VinoMas! Where all the hot gos about popularity on DD is covered. Pitface tells us that Fury is the greatest tank movie ever, I correctly state that Tankgirl owns that honour. We chat about mistaken criticism of a movie or webcomic based on what we WANTED it to be rather than what it was, Suckerpunch being a prime example, but also the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Bad promotion also sinks projects especially films like John Carter on Mars. We chat about Star Wars The Force Awakens AGAIN! Which leads us to badly written female characters: a strong character is a well defined character that drives a story, not characters that are physically strong, they CAN be, but it has nothing to do with being a “strong” character. It's like the famous “survival of the fittest”: “fittest” does not mean “strongest”, it means the best “fit” for a situation. So those are some of the pop-culture things we “blah” about. We have a university student doing a study on webcomics. Please consider filling out her survey, linked in our links section! This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Project Prince. The simple plucked wire chords introduce us to a dark future scene. Synthesised organ and gentle patter of brushes on cymbals tip us off to the action to come. Loud distorted electric guitars give us the feel of a late night 1980s SciFi action movie

Episode 344 - Active/Reactive characters

Oct 16, 2017

5 likes, 1 comment

Some characters are active and others are reactive. Reactive characters mostly only react to things rather than make them happen so they can be very boring if not done right! Active characters are the ones that drive events by doing things and making stuff happen, these characters grab your interest. This idea was based on Tantz's fantastic newspost, we talk it out, coming up with some good examples of each character type. Our epiphany for this Quackcast was that if you want a “strong” female character what you REALLY want is an “active” female character. The mistake people made with the trope was that they thought the female character had to be either a main character or a kick-arse masculine style character, when in reality neither is required. Make your character “active”; making decisions, causing things to happen, having an impact, causing OTHER characters to react etc and they will be a “strong” character. She could be a minor character who never lifts a sword or fires a gun but still be the strongest character in the story if she's the most active. ;) This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Boys Land - This one surprises you, sneaking up with a gentle beginning, then it hits like a bomb bursts of rainbows and warm breezes! Beautifully, the same tune is repeated in many different forms, there’s even a bit of Primus type bass in there. It finishes as it begins, with a gentle acoustic guitar.

Episode 254 - Sexism in your OWN work?k

Jan 18, 2016

2 likes, 0 comments

OMFG you sexist PIG! Heh… today we talk about trying to recognise sexism in your OWN work, what to do about it, and WHY. It turns out it can be very hard to do, and if you DO acknowledged it the instinct is to rationalise it away, justify it, or just try and brazen it out in some kind of old fashioned, largely embarrassing, display. I frequently do all three. How do we spot it? Well the Bechdel test isn't that useful, that's better for looking at broad trends not giving specific works a pass/fail - sexy outfits is one thing, if females are dressed minimally or in tight gear in CONTRAST to the males or vice versa - females ONLY having old stereotype roles (maiden/mother/whore archetypes, secretary, nurse, victim, maid etc), though this is context sensitive, i.e. it's more forgiveable if you're doing a historical story or something stylised like a fairytale or a noire story - Gender balance is another thing, it's context sensitive because certain stories will naturally have more of one gender (WW2 submarine crew, Girl's school, a prison story etc), and you don't have to have an exact balance anyway but it's definitely something to THINK about because there is no reason most stories should feature a majority of male characters and a minority of females. WHY should you think about it? Why should you care? Well the audience for almost ALL types of stories, be they action adventure, romance, Scifi, fantasy, historical, even porn, is getting close to 50/50 between men and women these days (maybe it always was?), it really doesn't make sense to alienate or belittle half your audience just because you like to cling to older ways of doing stuff. Gunwallace's theme this week reminds me of a cross between the Knightrider theme and Gunship- it's VERY retro-future. It's the theme to DDSR, a comic with cool custom “sprites”, AKA pixel-art.

Episode 208 - Testing Your Writing

Mar 1, 2015

5 likes, 6 comments

In this Quackcast Banes and I discuss some methods for testing your writing, well mainly your characters, to see how well you really know them. We use a comedic character creation template that we have found is perfect for testing and learning more about your established characters, no matter how serious they are. It consists of four interrelated elements: Point of view; Exaggeration of the point of view; Faults; Relatability / Humanity. We also talk a little about the dreaded dangers of the Mary Sue... you never want your writing to fall in that putrid, cancerous hole of smelly excrement where your main character is perfect and all the others worship them. And lastly the very useful Bechdel test for seeing how rounded your female characters are. There are 3 rules: You have to have at least two named women; They who talk to each other; It's about something besides a man. We were both a bit sad about the death of Leonard Nimoy. R.I.P. Mister Spock.

Episode 203 - The clothescast

Jan 26, 2015

4 likes, 8 comments

Clothes maketh the man! If that man is a scarecrow... This Quackcast is about drawing clothing. Two esteemed gents from the Drunk Duck repertoire of experts offer their advice on methods for drawing bodies sheathed in garments. Bravo1102 and Ironscarf are two very worldly and experienced men, as they lounged deep in the dark wood panelled cosy confines of the DD private members club, they discussed the tricky subject of convincingly rendering character costumes. Ironscarf traced circles in the air with his custom made talbot pipe, illustrating his descriptions in smoke. Bravo, a fat cigar in one hand, brandy tumbler in the other, chortled into his voluminous beard as he offered counterpoints. It was a lively chat, but for the purposes of this Quackcast Banes and Ozoneocean have re-voiced their parts to protect their privacy: As you're no doubt overly aware, both men are the targets of numerous legions of female stalkers.

Episode 179 - Token representation in comics

Aug 11, 2014

3 likes, 1 comment

There's no question in my opinion as to whether representation of different kinds of people in fiction matters. Having spent my childhood poring over superhero comics in which the girl's job is usually to turn invisible and press a button or something, I remember being impressed and delighted by some of the badass female characters in The Spirit. Lady-people could be cool, too?! Is it insulting when comics add token characters to their line up, or does it really make a difference? And what makes a token character anyways? -HippieVan. Banes, HippieVan and I focus on the subject of token representation in media, mainly comics. This discussion was inspired by a newspost HippieVan made in response to a new character in the Archie comic, which got a lot of interesting responses.

Episode 139 - Telling Gender From Comic Styles

Oct 28, 2013

5 likes, 7 comments

For Quackcast 139 Banes and I were joined by Kawaiidaigakusei, who had an amazingly interesting subject to talk about: “Telling Someone's Sex By the Way They Draw". Kawaiidaigakusei says:This has been a subject matter that is of great interest to me since college, and I am sure a lot of people who draw webcomics can relate. The early periods of Western Art have been mostly dominated by men. Female artists were rare during the Baroque Period with the exception of a key figure, Artemisia Gentileschi, whose dark interpretation of Judith Beheading Holofernes can be read with psychoanalytic overtones of a woman asserting her dominance over a man by decapitation. The twentieth century welcomed an influx of women artists during the Feminist art movement that began in the late 1960s. In the present day, with the introduction of webcomics and the Internet, women and men now have a level playing field to showcase their art to the public. Now the question remains–Is it possible to tell a person's sex by the way they draw?


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