Episode 423 - Fave weapons in fiction?

Apr 22, 2019

What's your favourite weapon in fiction? Mine are ridiculously giant swords, huge anti-tank rifles, and mecha. There are a lot of complex reasons for weapon choices in fiction, a Kalashnikov assault rifles for example signals certain things about the person carrying it: They're usually a bad guy for a start. This originated during the cold war, with certain types of bad guys using AKs. First it was Soviet Bloc soldiers, then it was Viet Con and rebels from South East Asia, then it became the “terrorist” weapon. The sub machine gun is the weapon of the bad guy. Terrorists used to use Uzis (before they turned to AKs), bank robbers used to use Mac 10s, now it's the HK MP5. Good guys carry an M-16 or AR-15 rifle. In historical fiction traditionally the bad guys carries curved swords while the good guys had straight swords, this came from crusades. Minor characters carry spears and heroes carry swords. Women, weaker characters and rebels carry bows. Giant swords and guns are often given to smaller characters in anime (usually female), as an obvious contrast with their small size. It's meant to emphasis the fact they're sort of a “mighty mouse”.

Topics and Show Notes

Weapons technology can also be used to signal things about the society using them. In fiction the Nazis are highly mechanised, with their huge Tiger tanks, sleek half-tracks, and fighter panes. It shows a ruthlessly efficient fascist state with the power of high technology on their side. The Empire in Star Wars was directly influenced by them. In reality the Nazi forces were largely horse drawn, their air-force was limited and they had very, very few tiger tanks. But they lent us the “empire” trope where the bad guys have better weapons and the goodies have to beat them with pluck and improvised tactics, as in Avatar.

So what are your fave weapons in fiction and why do you think they're used in stories?

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Bottomless Waitress. This is such a happy sounding, Southern, joyful track, filled with banjo and layers of guitar, twanging away… bringing notes of sunshine, natural wood, the light glinting softly through tree leaves and making dappled shadows on the ground… Perfect for an advertising jingle!:
Slip into a comfy booth, get your butt comfortable on our soft cushions, and enjoy a plate of down-home cook’n in this fine establishment, filled with a cast of friendly ladies. Try a plate of our famous bottomless fries, a cup of our delicious bottomless coffee, and the sight of our lovely bottomless waitresses!

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Operation Boom - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/apr/15/featured-comic-operation-boom/

Featured music:
Bottomless Waitress - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Bottomless_Waitress/, by Ozoneocean and Banes, rated M.

Links:
Your fave weapons in fiction thread - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/178137/

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

Episode 417 - Can we be better?

Mar 11, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

What is Social Marketing? Basically its word-of-mouth and viral marketing smashed together and weaponised: Marketing companies hijack hot-button social issues and hitch their client's brand to them in clever campaigns (“We can be better”, etc). The purpose isn't really to make a brand seem progressive, modern or new, rather it's another way of getting it trending on social media that's guaranteed to work, unlike the legion of hit or miss but mostly failed “Viral” campaigns. Whether people say negative or positive things about this issue is irrelevant to the marketer, as long as people are talking about the brand is all that matters. Free advertising is the goal, but it has a social cost.

Episode 415 - lazy solutions cause plot-holes!

Feb 25, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast expands on my newspost from Friday about forgotten abilities causing plot holes, but now bunny Banes and Lady Tantz wade in to lend their genius to my silly ideas and we chat about what the real issues are: bad writing and laziness! This is when a character gains the ability to walk through walls or become bullet proof or go back in time and then forgets it for the rest of the story or in the sequel When basically 80% of the problems they encounter could be solved by it… And you're mentally screaming at them “Use your damn power that you got 20 pages ago… Remember that thing that would help you avoid all this trouble!?” Using easy solutions to get out of problems causes plot-holes! And your audience will hate you for it.

Episode 407 - Regrets & Resolutions!

Dec 30, 2018

3 likes, 2 comments

Happy new year!!! All of us on the Duck Webcomics, AKA Drunk Duck, thank you for all your support over the year! DD has grown and flourished because of all of you! It was coming to the end of the year when we recorded this, the time we traditionally mull over regrets of the year gone past and come up with resolutions for the new year to come! Tantz, Banes, and I chat about what WE think about resolutions and regrets.

Episode 404 - Strong characters

Dec 10, 2018

3 likes, 0 comments

We mined Tantz's Saturday newspost for our discussion topic: Strong characters and how to write GOOD ones! What is a strong character? Well it has nothing to do with physical ability, power, command, or anything so obvious and trite. Strong characters are well rounded and well realised, they're often active and opposed to reactive, they make things happen, the story hinges on them. Failed attempts at “strong” characters or obvious and often result in Mary Sues, whether male or female. People hand them traits that they THINK will make the character strong: make them a general, make them a great fighter, make them royalty etc. The problem comes when none of that is ever logically backed up in the story. You can't just title a character something or have other characters talk about how great they are without having them demonstrate a reason for it, or else all you have is a pathetic paper tiger and a really shizzy failed part of your story.

Episode 389 - Intimidating Baddies

Aug 14, 2018

4 likes, 2 comments

What makes bad guy intimidating? Tantz Aerine made a great newspost about the question, carefully outlining various key bad-guy properties like confidence, composure, efficiency, and amorality. Banes, Pitface, Tantz and I stomp ALL over that, traipsing about like drunken, muddy rugby players, as we blather on about our opinions of the idea and finish up with no idea what we're talking about...

Episode 380 - Going back, retro style

Jun 25, 2018

3 likes, 0 comments

Retro is GOOoooooooooood! Damn good. Don't underestimate the power of retro. Old material and the past is where pure gold hides. Mine that stuff for all it's worth! But it can be overdone and when it is it's like warmed over fish and chips, it becomes tired and stale… Lets not talk about that though. What we chatted about here was the idea of mining your old work for good stuff. What was great, showed cool promise, or was some awesome but forgotten thing from your old comic work? You are perfectly free to revisit it, shine it up and impress the world. Many of the great artists and musicians of the world made their mark with that. Sometimes the world is not ready for your good stuff at the time you publish it, so many you're later you can go back and re-release it to one that is! Bands you to do that ALL the time. The past is a great place to look for inspiration. This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Redneck: Bluegrass dubstep! Fast tasty beats, lyrical guitar and a bass that drops right onto your head! Disturbing, unsettling and yet strangely compelling.

Episode 373 - Stupid millennials, greedy baby-boomers and lazy Gen Xers!

May 7, 2018

4 likes, 5 comments

Millennials are so dumb, Gen Xers are SO lazy, and those Baby-boomers are just greedy as hell aren't they? But seriously, in THIS Quackcast we chat about the different generations of webcomicers and what's changed and what we have to learn from each other. The first generation of real webcomics came in with Sluggy Freelance, 8 bit theatre and a few others. Webcomics started out in the mid 90s as the web version of “Zines”: independent creator driven personal projects. The second generation came about in the 2000s. Sites like Drunk Duck and Keen Space were a huge part of that. It made it easier for creators to make the jump online. We'd seen what those first guys did and now it was OUR turn, there were a lot of copy-cats in this generation, but a lot of experimentation and creativity too, with sound, animation, interactivity and infinite canvas being a mainstay. Later there was an explosion in hosting sites like DD and comicers moved on to other formats like Tumbler and Twitter etc. The pro comic publishers saw how things were going and tried to get in on the act with online comics too. I think the 3rd generation saw a lot of commercial focussed projects. Comicers saw it as a way to make money so we had a lot of slick, pro work flooding in. In the 4th generation I think we have people doing comics for mobile devices or ON mobile devices. A lot of the comic hosting sites have far more limitations on work than they used to in terms of content and format, a lot of stuff has a bit of a pre-packaged feel, you see almost no experimentation with format now. On the upside though quality is a lot higher and comic sites will reliably work a lot better than they used to. Styles have changed over the generations: In the old days most comics were fully drawn and scanned. Tablets were rare and very expensive and so were graphics programs. If you saw a fully digital comic back then you knew the artist was either a pro or they were at university with access to high level equipment - or it was dodgy work done with a mouse and Windows Paint. Those tools have become far more accessible now and the barriers have come right down. Most work is digital. What generation are you? This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to DreamcomicbookDOTcom! Journey into a claustrophobically narrow electronic service tunnel, filled with high voltage wires humming with unimaginable power and mysterious cables running off endlessly into the dim, dark shadows in the distance. The creepy patterings and low hum of this music will take you there!


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