Episode 383 - Slow burn

Jul 16, 2018

The idea for this Quackcast came from a rant by the irascible PitFace. She was talking about how there's a trend in modern SciFi and horror movies to bash you over the head with constant action and it doesn't allow you time to relax and take in the story, you're just bounced from one relentless scene to the next. In the biggest classics of the genre like Alien, Ghost in the Shell (animated 90's version) or Blade Runner they DO allow the viewer slow moments of reflection and it helps to make the action feel more intense by contrast as well as allowing the viewer time to assimilate and understand all the ideas and themes they've been presented with so far.

Topics and Show Notes

This applies to comics of course! We call it a “decompressed” storyline. Banes asserts that's a negative term but I see it as neutral, “slow burn” is another term (The more compressed a story is the faster the action happens). If you take things too far and extend out your “slow moments” then you'll just make your audience bored as they wait around for something to happen, so be careful of that! Don't drown them in action, but don't bore them to tears either.

One of my favourite things about slow moments in films and comics is that it allows you to look down side-paths and to get to know the characters and their world a bit better, which helps with immersion (suspension of disbelief). In a lot of TV and movie DVD commentaries you'll hear directors talk about how they cut out this or that scene because it didn't help “advance the plot” while you as a viewer internally scream because you realise that it would have filled out the story so much better and help you understand the characters more.

Basically, a story should NOT always be beholden to the plot as the main driving force. Characters are what people generally fall in love with, this is especially important with long form webcomics! Don't be afraid of having slow moments.

Gunwallace gave us a lovely theme to Stop Watchers. It’s tiiiime to go! No time to great ready, just head straight for the door, you’ve dilly-dallied around enough already. It’s down to the crunch now. Get going. Now, now, now, now NOW!!!

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Children Of The Gods - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/jul/10/featured-comic-children-of-the-gods/

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

Featured music:
Stop Watchers - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Stop_Watchers/, by StopWatchers, rated E.

Episode 358 - Damaged Characters

Jan 22, 2018

4 likes, 2 comments

This week we mine Banes's ideas about damaged protagonists. Does having physiologically damaged protagonists (as opposed to merely flawed), make them more realistic or relatable? I think we came to the conclusion that this isn't necessarily the case at all, in fact it can mean the opposite sometimes. Where that sort of “damage” can come in useful it making your character more interesting, in that they can make unusual choices that serve the story nicely and stop it being too predictable. Where “damaged” characters were used badly was in popular mainstream comics where the idea became something of a fad and therefore a cliche, and so uninteresting and trite. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Doc2DWho. It has the apprehensive feel of oldschool Doctor Who, entering the darkness and unknown, this music is spatial and atmospheric. THANKS AGAIN TO ALL WHO DONATED TO OUR INDIEGOGO!

Episode 337 - Interview with AmeliaP of Kings Club

Aug 28, 2017

4 likes, 4 comments

This week we interview the artist and creator of the comic Kings Club, AmeliaP! Her comic was featured and Gunwallace also gave it a theme tune that was featured in Quackcast 335. AmeliaP is a talented professional comic creator and game designer. We couldn't interview her directly because she's not confident enough in her spoken English, so what we've done instead is read out a written interview that I did with her especially for this Quackcast. Amelia has some surprising and valuable insights for comic creators. You can read the full text of her interview bellow. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Abejitas - This tune bounces in like a wild thing, spinning and buzzing crazily, full of black striped yellow techno sweet honey madness and rapid wingbeats of energy, this will sting you into full awareness!

Episode 331 - Retconning your work

Jul 10, 2017

4 likes, 0 comments

Starwars, Ender's game, Captain America… All these are great examples (or bad ones) of “retcons”. But what IS a “retcon”? What it means is that you go back and change an established work by adding new information that has the effect of changing it in a small or significant way. You might do it in your comic, or a director might do it to a movie series, like George Lucas did famously with Star Wars: introducing concepts like “midi-chlorians” as an explanation for the force, having Han shooting Greedo second, sticking Hayden Christiensen in Return of the Jedi, among other things. A lot of the time this has the effect of pissing off audiences who've consumed the story and enjoyed it because it alters or even destroys the understanding they've built up based on it and the relationship they have wit the work. Retcons happen frequently in the comic world because publishers have to keep their franchises interesting and saleable to audiences, so origin stories get updated all the time for example. A huge recent retcon was Captain America revealing he'd been a long time sleeper agent for Hydra, which has the effect of messing up stories going back over 50 years… The writer Orson Scott Card had a great deal of success with his novel “Ender's Game”, but for some reason he can't stop retconning it, going back and adding and editing new bits and re-publishing it every few years, and most egregiously penning prequels from another character's perspective that retcon the original story entirely. As web comic creators we have the role of god-author so we all have the temptation to retcon at one stage or another. Can it ever be a good thing? Is it worth pissing off readers who have an emotional investment? Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Optimum: the future is here and it’s in space! This tune is so upbeat, positive, fun and futuristic, it really exemplifies the cute colourful graphics of Skreem’s comic.

Episode 300 - 3rd DD meetup!

Dec 5, 2016

4 likes, 0 comments

We finally did it! We got to 300 Quackcasts! We've been doing these non-stop for SIX years! Wow… That's pretty incredible. We couldn't think of anything clever do do so we had another DD electronic meetup. The 3rd DD meetup on the 3rd of December on the 300th Quackcast. So the DD family got together, which is what families do around Christmas, well a few of us anyway! In this Quackcast you can listen to an hour of our blather and carrying on and vicariously experience what it was like if you missed it or listen again if you were a part of it. It's always a blast to have the DD community together, we're spread out all the way across the planet so this is really the only practical way for us to come together. We tried doing it with DD hangouts this time instead of Skype, which was interesting but there were way too many hoops to jump through for people to get into it. We could only have 10 people on the call at the time, With Skype we could have 10 people on video chat and others with voice only and chat was so much better… So NEXT time we will go BACK to Skype. Screw you Google hangouts! It was so nice to see people! I tried to stay up for 10 hours from 11am EST (New York time), to 9pm, but I didn't make it. I fell asleep 2 hours short. :( Gunwallace's musical theme was for Lady Unlucky: a minimal white landscape, furnished with electronica, hints of piano and subtle grandeur.

Episode 294 - Costume cast: Addams family

Oct 11, 2016

6 likes, 0 comments

For Quackcast 294 we all dressed up as members of the Addams Family! Me as Gomez, Banes as Cousin It, Tantz as Morticia, and Pit Joan D'eath. We had a great time and you'll be able to see us all on video! The theme of this Quackcast was based on a newspost by Banes: Comedy and Horror and the relationship between those two things. It's very close. Both try hard to evoke strong emotions and emotional pay-offs. It can be very easy for most horror to devolve into comedy if things go wrong. Many horror tropes are actually pretty silly (i.e. slow walking zombies), which is why there are so many shows that make fun of them like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Munsters, The Cyptkeeper, and the amazing Addams Family! Horror comedy is a tried and true genre. If you're interested read more about that in Bane's newspost. Gunwallace's music for the week is the same as the feature: Miracles. The sound is dramatic,urgent, exciting, classical, action music- SOMETHING is going to happen if we don’t stop it in time!

Episode 219 - Sexy and attractive characters, Part 3

May 10, 2015

4 likes, 3 comments

And now for the last in our series of questioning just what makes characters sexy and/or attractive! We have more interesting contributions to read from and delve into but we thought we'd stop for now so we don't waste all our sexiness in one go. Banes and Ozoneocean are being attractive this time, while PitFace and Tantz Aerine are the sexy ones, a role which they approach with gusto. The subject of the essence of sexiness proved to be contentious and surprisingly complicated! The music we have by Gunwallace this week is the theme for Johnny Bullet- it's a sexy 1970s theme with lots of “chicka-wa” guitar.

Episode 171 - Let's do the timecast again!

Jun 16, 2014

5 likes, 4 comments

Hello! This is Banes from the future. I've come back to warn you of a grim, grim fate that awaits us all. Please go back in time and contribute to the Quackcast on the subject of time travel. Last time, you didn't contribute and it DESTROYED THE DAMNED WORLD! We can't allow this to happen again. This Dystopia is a true horror. All the toilets operate backwards. A nightmare! We asked people what they thought of the mind-bending story device of time travel, what variations of time travel stories they liked, what variations they disliked, or weather they dislike Time travel altogether (some people do). We also wanted to know their favourite time travel stories (or experiences, if they happened to be a real time traveller), what movies, books, comics, songs, or whatevers about time travel did they like, dislike, and why? We had some good contributions on this fave story theme and it also gave us a chance to chat about some of the great time travel stories in pop-culture that abound!


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