Episode 375 - Categories, genres and rants

May 21, 2018

In this Quackcast we chat about the categorisation of work by specific genres and how it makes it easier to promote your work to people, while for fans it makes it easier to find what you're into, but it can also be a bad thing when people categorise too specifically and narrow their audience to nothing or just pointlessly confuse the crap out of people. I came to this topic because I saw a post on Facebook which was very badly explaining “Steampunk” and “Dieselpunk” while introducing the two utterly superfluous sub-genre names of “Ray-punk” and Atom-punk“.

Topics and Show Notes

Let me explain…
First there was ”Cyberpunk“. A sub-genre of SciFi that really started in the early 1980s, famously championed by William Gibson among others. The ”punk“ suffix originally referred to it's gritty nature and the fact that it focussed on young people and the technology of the streets. The characters also wore the punk fashions popular in the early 1980s, it tended to feature cybernetic body modification and focus heavily on computers and ”cyberspace“. It was largely inspired by things like Blade Runner and Tron. Obviously there was a need for this sub-genre categorisation because nothing like it had really existed before.

”Steampunk“ is mainly 19th century but can be set at any time. Steam and clockwork are the basis for all technology, the aesthetic is usually based in the 19th century with modern touches. It takes some inspiration from the works of Jules Verne and HG Wells. Again, this was a totally new style and needed a name.
”Dieselpunk“ is from about 1900 onwards and encompasses the time of the birth of the internal combustion engine which is used as a basis for high technology, just like Steampunk does with steam. Movies like Mad Max 2 among others can be seen as inspiration. Once again it was a new style.
Steampunk and Dieselpunk stole the style of their names from cyberpunk. They use ”punk“ to refer to the unusual hybrid nature of being pre-hightech SciFi as well as the fact they often include punk type fashions and body augmentation which was a popular feature in Cyberpunk.

Then we have ”Atom-punk“ and ”Ray-punk“, both of which are describe work that is already fully encompassed by conventional mainstream SciFi from the 1920s onwards. ALL Scifi including fantasy space Operas like Star Wars can be included in these (Apart from the original aforementioned ”punk“ styles), even retro post apocalyptic alternative history like fallout or Bioshock. I feel that this type of categorisation is very, very pretentious, ignorant and counter-productive: since it dilutes and trivialises the ”punk" brand; imagines it does something novel while ignoring all the millions of works on the same theme; and confuses audiences precisely because it IS so dilute and superfluous. Dieselpunk and Steampunk by contrast are weird, they don't fit at all with normal SciFi and so need to be described in an unusual way.

Our guest Emma Clare offers up a spirited defence, so it's not all one sided and I don't have it all my own way on this! Listen to the Quackcast to see what she says.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to The Adventures of Tildie and Chewie. We’re greeted by the imposing strains of the Imperial march on heavy bass guitar… before we’re rocketed off into a pink heavenly dream cloud filled with rainbows and Teletubbies!

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Tethered from Dusk to Dawn - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/may/15/featured-comic-tethered-from-dusk-to-dawn/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Emma Clare - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Emma_Clare/
Pitface - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean

Featured music:
The Adventures of Tildie and Chewie - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com /The_Adventures_of_Tildie_and_Chewie/, by Patricklind, rated E.

Episode 289 - Managing your personal brand

Sep 19, 2016

3 likes, 2 comments

This time we're talking about the weird notion of managing your online brand: what name do you publish your creative works under and how do you go about curating that? It's an idea I had after a great artist friend of mine known as Hyena Hell lost her online presence on Facebook, the main venue for publishing her artistic projects. Both her her private and public creative lives had been merged into the persona that is known as “Hyena Hell” because the act of creation was very personal to her, it was her brand as well as herself. But after a nasty little scum sucking piece of excrement loser arsehole rectum faced coprophagiac reported her name she lost her right to have that as her personal account. Rather than challenge it or compromise she retired her creative persona from Facebook, and it was a shame because we lost a vibrant artistic, thoughtful presence from there. But many of us also have an online brand/persona/nom-de-plume of some sort that our work is collected under and that's the topic of discussion! Gunwallace's theme this week is for Urthe, featuring lashing cymbals and electric guitar that blasts out like a deadly raygun! This is hard rockin’ goodness!

Episode 288 - Evoking too much Emotion

Sep 12, 2016

4 likes, 5 comments

Drunkduck's beloved HippieVan was influenced by last week's Quackcast on Evoking emotion to come up with a newspost about NOT invoking emotion when you don't mean to: keeping things funny, even IF heavy stuff happens to be going on, which can be tricky. I thought that was pretty interesting so we decided to talk about that on THIS week's Quackcast. We've also got some clever community contributions on the original theme of evoking emotion. So it's a pretty full Quackcast all up. We also have Pitface and Tantz Aerine joining us again! Yaaaaay! Gunwallace's theme this week is for The weird adventures of Armless Amy, it's touching and evocative, as if it’s setting up to reveal a horrible mystery to us.

Episode 273 - Promoting Side Characters

May 30, 2016

4 likes, 6 comments

After last week's massive DD meetup (Next one is on the 18th, BE THERE!), we're back to the core group… me and my side characters, hahaha! Banes, Pitface, and Tantz Aerine join me to discuss the topic of promoting from within the ranks. I did a newspost about this last Thursday (linked bellow), the thrust of which was that when you need new main characters it's so much better and more fun to mine them from earlier in your stories rather than introducing them whole and new minted. This doesn't have to be an unplanned thing though- you can do like Banes or Amelius and have it all designed in advance. What they do is lightly introduce main characters AS side characters initially, knowing they'll be promoted to main status later on, either way it works the same- they fit better in the world of the story, the have more “history” and the audience finds them easier to accept, as we discuss in the Quackcast. Still though, when things aren't so planed, it can be so rewarding when creations grow and find their own voices. This week's theme by Gunwallace is for XTIN , it's weirdly Indian and mournful in a beautiful way that is PERFECT for Xitin!

Episode 265 - Drunk Duck updates and the future

Apr 4, 2016

3 likes, 4 comments

For Quackcast 265 I wanted to steer the direction toward the idea of future fixes and features for Drunk Duck! We talked a bit about the 2nd wave of fixes that will be happening now- HippieVan worked to gather people's suggestions for the most important bugs that needed fixing (with our limited funds), and features people want added, and then did a survey to find what people though were the highest priority. It was a lot of work and took a few weeks to come up with the results. Bellow is a summery of what she learned:

Episode 259 - Drawing Crowd Scenes

Feb 22, 2016

4 likes, 2 comments

Crowd scenes of any sort can be horrible to draw. There are many, many reasons for this, one of them is that it's quite boring to invent a whole lot of new character models just for the purpose of making a group scene. My own way of combating that problem was to do cameos of other characters that I stole from my fellow Quackcasters, Banes, Pitface and Tantz. There are many other tricks and clever ways of managing crows though which you can hear bout in the Quackcast or see us talk about in the Quackcast video. Gunwallace's theme for Phineus Magician for Hire is VERY Sword and Sorcery! It reminded me a little of the famous music to the first (and best), Conan film, and brought to mind the writing of Fritz Leiber.

Episode 175 - Endings, part 2

Jul 14, 2014

3 likes, 5 comments

Arrrr, this be the second part of our discussion on writing ENDINGS in stories of all kinds, particularly for webcomics! But we discuss a few movie and TV endings here, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, No Country For Old Men, True Detective, and Dexter to name a few. Writings endings is the hardest part of the writing process, so it's lucky we had some wise contributions from people on how to do a good job of it! As well as giving examples of likes and dislikes... This is the second in our 3 part series on endings! I must apologise for the low quality of the recording here, there were very weird delay and repeating effects going on, Banes seems to be singing his own little madrigal at a couple of points. There are a a few parts I had to rerecord later; just a warning about the change of style.

Episode 151 - Fave Features of 2013

Jan 27, 2014

4 likes, 2 comments

Banes and Ozoneocean revisit some memorable featured comics of 2013 to see what's up with them now and also give them a second shot at the limelight! If you didn't catch these comics the first time around then now's your chance to check them out. This is a nice little eclectic mixture of webcomics, from he family friendly stylings of Chevalier and My Friend Fear, to supernatural horror in DoorMan, Ecchi comedy soap in Blitz, action budy comedy in Handsome and Ransom, and satirical puppetry weirdness in Cavecomicdd! This is an interesting bunch.


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