Episode 387 - History and Pastiche

Aug 7, 2018

In this Quackcast Tantz and I chat about the differences between working with historical settings and the different approaches we take. Tantz's comics (Without Moonlight and Brave Resistance), are both set in a real period of history: Nazi occupied Greece during WW2. Pinky TA is set in the 1920s in an alternative version of history, with Pinky coming from the fictional “Crimean Empire”. Tantz has to keep times, places, and details close to real history while with Pinky TA I can pick and choose the things from history I like the best and create my own idealised pastiche. The advantage of Tantz's approach is that everything is there, nothing has to be invented, just researched and reproduced, whereas my approach involves a lot of creation which slows things down and makes it harder. On the upside Pinky TA is much more flexible, I can easily fit whatever I want into the story, whereas Tantz's comics are bound by the rules of the history she's presenting.

Topics and Show Notes

Tantz mentions a story by Alki Zei called Peter's Long Walk, a story by a Greek author depicting a fictional account of WW2 in occupied Greece. It shows the value of using the historical fiction approach.
I mention Tanya of the Evil, an alternative history anime set in WW1, which shows the fun entertainment value of alternative histories.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to It's Permanent. This is Old school southern rock, laconic, melodic, hard drinkin’, late night, whisky, beer and cigarettes. Play your cards right and you’ll be going home with the prettiest cowgirl…

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Quixote Coyote - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/jul/24/featured-comic-quixote-coyote/

Links:
Pinky TA - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Pinky_TA/
Without Moonlight - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Without_Moonlight/
Peter's long walk - http://www.alkizei.com/en/works/108-petros-war

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

Featured music:
It's Permanent - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Its_Permanent/, by UltimateZ, rated M.

Episode 384 - Brandcast, PR

Jul 23, 2018

4 likes, 2 comments

You may have read about how a conspiracy theorist dug up some 10 year old tweeted jokes by director James Gunn and got him fired from Disney… Well that incident inspired this Quackcast, which is a re-take on the whole personal brand idea that we discussed in Quackcast 289.

Episode 374 - Selling yourself

May 14, 2018

4 likes, 0 comments

In this Quackcast we have a chat about some ways to promote your comics and sell yourself. Emma Clare and Tantz have been doing cool stuff with the DD Twitter account. Hash tags are an important part of that, help them come up with a hash tag for DD! Who understands hash-tags on Facebook? Covers are one of my favourite ways to promote your work. They're tricky to get right but you need them to properly encompass your work and promote it, the form they take can depend on where your work is: Amazon, Drunk Duck, a convention, targeted ads etc. But be careful not to disappoint your audience with false advertising. This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Coward of Valor. It's a Modern yet medieval, this tune strides in with great pomposity and deigns to dance for us. It pirouettes and swoops in all its beauty and extravagance then exits stage left with just as much flare.

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!

Episode 363 - The Art Of Comments

Feb 26, 2018

7 likes, 8 comments

Jason Moon, author of Crater's Edge, messaged me about some comments he had. He was perturbed about reader reaction to his storyline and wasn't sure how to handle the comments. I told him that those sorts of comments are the very greatest compliment an author can get, because once you get them you've reached the stage where people care about your work enough to get angry: they're invested emotionally in the characters. Yes. It is initially confronting to have someone commenting like that but what you really need to do is step back for a moment and realise what a gigantic compliment it is in actuality. It means you affected them strongly, and that's quite an important thing to be able to do. It doesn't happen much but it's quite a GOOD thing when it does. It's not an easy thing to do to get people that invested. What it really means is you have succeeded as a writer and reached an important milestone. We also have a chat about getting comments in general and also GIVING comments! Hopefully our new comment notification feature will be a boon for this kind of interaction. This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Kitty Kitty Bang Bang: Multilayered Chinese video-game war anthem with a modern twist! That’s how I’d describe this complex little piece. It’s the final boss battle, you’ve got no spare lives, you’re down to your last powerup and time is running out!

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

5 likes, 7 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.


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