Episode 538 - Fashion and Trends in Webcomics

Jul 4, 2021

We chat about the styles and trends in webcomics and what causes them, whether it's people copying stuff they like, working with the limitations of the technology they're using or other reasons.

Topics and Show Notes

In the early days of webcomics a few early birds got very popular simply because they were they were there first: 8 Bit Fantasy, Sluggy Freelance, PVP, Penny Arcade etc. They garnered imitators and so webcomic fashions and styles were born. We had a huge wave of sprite comics, slacker gamer comics, and slice of life comics. The “2 friends sitting on a couch playing video games and being dicks to each other while not understanding girls” was probably the most popular trend for years!

Webcomics have had a few explosions of popularity and trends diversified over the years. A significant one has been the so-called “webtoon format”, which is actually the Scott McCloud infinite canvas idea that was developed years before. That site encourages creators to use it because they prefer it for their mobile site and app. But it's created a larger trend of people making their comics in that way regardless of host.

Tapas and webtoon only promote certain styles of webcomics on their front page which in turn creates another style: manga influenced work with large eyes, flattish, muted colours, digital 2D art only etc with only a limited range of story types. People see that and start to imitate it, thinking that's how webcomics should be, or if they do work like that they can be popular, or just because they like it, or don't know any better…

The limitations of technology create styles when people use premade models in popular 3D programs. This happened in the early days of 3D with all the Counterstrike comics and people using 3DMax and poser models. It happens with in digital 2D art with an overuse of standard brushes in Photoshop, Gimp and now Procreate and Infinite painter. These things are influenced by limitations of the tech, which creates a new style and that gains imitators.

What popular tends and styles have you noticed in webcomics? And what casued them?

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Patchwork and Lace - Darkness abounds, walking into a dark tomb, past shadows and demon parasites, into mysteries beyond light and human understanding. Deep underground where humans were never meant to venture, learning horrific truths about the universe and what lies beyond… The distorted bass line takes you down… deep down.

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
24Hour Cake - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/jun/29/featured-comic-24hour-cake/

Featured Music:
Patchwork and Lace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Patchwork_and_Lace/ - by Itsasooz, rated T

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


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Episode 537 - Historicity

Jun 28, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

We have a chat about historicity in this Quackcast. What IS historicity? It's historical authenticity basically but a nicer way of saying it! It's pretty important for a lot of reasons to make the best effort you can with historical authenticity- it increases immersion of the audience, gives you a better understanding of the story and the world you're looking at (because things will make sense), and leads you to better understanding of your own history and where we came from. BUT, that doesn't mean you always have to be strict. As long as you as a creator properly understand historical context then you've got a lot more leeway to play without creating something stupid. Playing fast and loose with history is ok as long as you know what you're doing, not just being a moron and faking it (hey, many of us are guilty of that). Historical fantasy, myth, classics, fiction, biography etc are all different classes of story where it's more or less forgiveable to mess around.

Episode 536 - #heroesdon'tdothat

Jun 21, 2021

4 likes, 1 comment

There was ALL sorts of kerfuffle on the internet centred around the phrase “Heroes don't do that”. It began with an interview of two people involved in the production of the Harley Quinn TV animated series. According to them there was a sex scene between Batman and Cat Woman, including a scene of cunnalingus. They claim that a representative from DC told them to cut that scene, saying “Heroes don't do that”... But what is the REAL story?

Episode 535 - the teachcast

Jun 14, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

Webcomicers need to learn to draw and write in order to become webcomicers. There are many other skills and also different ways to make webcomics, BUT most of us draw and or write. Here Tantz and I talk about terrible teachers of these skills and better ways to learn :) (Also, Jason from Friday the 13t is a big fat buttface)

Episode 534 - Biting off more than you can chew

Jun 7, 2021

4 likes, 2 comments

Taking on more than you can handle - i.e. James Cameron and JJ Abrams are good directors and writers but neither could handle the demands of a complex Sci-Fi project that needs full world building and internally consistent logic etc (Avatar and Star Wars). They're great with more simple SciFi that's based on 21st century earth and simpler stories, but epic SciFi was clearly a long way beyond the capabilities of either. We're talking about when WE have been caught taking on stuff we couldn't handle, how we dealt with that and also how other creators dealt with it too.

Episode 533 - Can Mary Sues be likeable?

May 30, 2021

5 likes, 0 comments

We've done a few Quackcasts about how terrible Mary Sues are… well this is the opposite! Tantz postulated that they can be likable and GOOD for a story and then won us over easily by telling us why during our Patreon video. In the Quackcast Banes and I join in, having been convinced of the idea. We talk about how if the Mary Sue is a likable, good person, genuinely humble or altruistic and helpful then that can mitigate their Mary Sueness. Whereas if they're selfish, take their status for granted, take advantage of others or are just there to be marvelled and worshiped by the astonished onlookers (re: Rey), they can be unpleasant.

Episode 532 - Fixing art to make it less sexy?

May 23, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

Tantz made a great newspost about this little trend of “fixing” people's art to make it less sexy, as if there was something wrong with sexy art. I think worst about it though is the implied moral superiority of the “fixer”. They're judging the art as non-realistic and “bad” (because it's sexy), and they set about “fixing” it to gain some sort of social kudos, slimming busts, increasing the girth of the figure, making their pose less provocative etc… I think the exercise would be perfectly fine if the context and the attitude wasn't one of “I judge this art to be BAD because it's sexy, I am fixing it to make it non-sexy and that will make it better! And you will all agree that the original was shit and I have improved it!”.

Episode 531 - Same Stories From Differnt Perspectives

May 17, 2021

4 likes, 5 comments

The famous film Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa gave its name to the style of a story that has the same scenes told from different perspectives. Many comics and movies have done this, it's a really cool trick to try. Not only can it help you show a different perspective of a scene it can also show your story in a completely different style when you show things through the eyes of a particular character and how they “see” the world. It can even be a great trick for making a sequel- rather than a linear continuation of a story you show a story that happened in parallel to the sequences shown.


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