Apr 5, 2020
In this Quackcast we talk about the differences between genre and setting and what genre really is. For instance: Fantasy and SciFi aren't genres, they're settings… Mostly. It's complicated but they both pretty much USED to be genres, now they're mainly just settings for genre stories to take place in. What does that mean? Well, Fantasy wasn't even considered a genre back in the day, not really till after the success of Tolkien. Later on a lot of writers began using that same style and consumers really wanted it, so it became a “genre”. It was only later on when it graduated out of that to become a setting that has genre stories set within it.
Topics and Show Notes
Scifi was much the same. We backdate the “genre” to Mary Shelly, Jules Verne, HG Wells etc, but that's actually a little silly. SciFi was invented back in the 1920s by publisher Hugo Gernsback as a niche marketing term for his pulp magazines. He bundled together a whole bunch of futuristic stories and works of speculative fiction to sell under that name and created a market for it. That created the genre that people started to write within and to. Now however SciFi is really just a setting that has genre stories within it: detective fiction, nior, action, romance, Western, apocalypse, etc.
This happens when the genre becomes so diverse and ubiquitous that the commonality between stories within it becomes less important than the differences- i.e. the fact that a story is a romance is more significant than the fact it's set in the future, we really don't care too much about the future setting. While in the past it's that future setting which would have been the main selling point.
Think of it in terms of anime, if you have a good familiarity with it. Years ago people thought of anime as a monolithic “genre”, with all the cartoons roughly sharing a lot of themes and styles. This was mainly because only a small amount of it got exported to the west. Now however a massive amount is available and it's very easy to see how different it is. Now “Anime” really only indicates where the cartoon came from, not what kind of product you're going to get.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Just wanna do porn webcomics - A dark room, the air is warm and close. Sweat, passion, heat… the only sound is heavy breathing… as the webcomicer furiously draws the latest issue of their racy webcomic! A lot of moans, vocal distortion and sexy synth music in this one.
Topics and shownotes
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Mar 23, 2020
Today we're having a chat about fantasy fiction! Mainly books and the fantasy writing that inspired us and that we love! Faves like Tolkien, Fritz Leiber and Piers Anthony! Just to define, we're talking swords, elves, armour, dragons etc, in a “medieval” context, generally European. As a subset there's native, Arabian, Asian, Mayan etc, also high fantasy, low fantasy, sword and sorcery, historical fantasy and even mythology…. And then techno fantasy, contemporary fantasy, steampunk, fantasy cyberpunk and so on… but we mainly stick to the mainstream stuff and only just touch on the weird little variations for now.
Feb 16, 2020
What happens to characters after the big action scene or climactic moment? This could be anywhere in the story but it's usually close to the end. Do they process any of the things that have happened to them to lead them up to that point or do they just forget about everything and simply act as if nothing except the last 4 seconds matter? The later seems to be the trend in a lot of badly written fiction, and it's a notable trope in 80s style action films. Death of family members or lovers are irrelevant when you have a hot action star standing next to you!
Feb 10, 2020
There are a couple of approaches when it comes to making a big creative project: planing it all out or working things out as you go i.e. flying by the seat of your pants. Well in reality it's a spectrum and those are the two extremes. Most of us work somewhere between those two, sometimes with more or less planning etc… I've tried a lot of different mixtures myself!
Feb 2, 2020
I recently had to upgrade my main computer because Windows isn't supporting Windows 7 any longer and I don't want to install Windows 10 on the perfectly functioning old one in case it ruins it and my main programs can't run any longer… SO I had to get a new PC. This got me thinking though: The barrier to getting into digital art is lower now than ever!
Jan 13, 2020
Today Banes and I chat about our top tips for doing a great comic page: What is most important? I mainly focus on art and Banes is talking about page design and writing tips. Bellow are our top 5s for ways to make better comics! We expand on these and explain them in the Quackcast.
Jan 5, 2020
Happy 2020 all you lovely people who listen to us! What we're talking about today are tropes in fiction that bother us because they don't exist in reality: they ONLY exist in fiction pretty much. In the cover pic we have an image from The Witcher: he has two big longswords on his back. In fantasy people always carry longswords on their backs. This is a trope that only exists in fiction because you can't draw a sword longer than about 60cm from your back. So people just didn't carry swords like this. Even if it was only to transport them (although ta transport only option makes a sort of sense). This was only even rarely done with Asian swords. We'd LOVE to hear about more of these that other people have noticed!
Dec 30, 2019
It's been a great year! DD has continued to grow bit by bit, we've been stable and a great host for many many webcomics. DD is one of the only truly independent community focused webcomic hosting sites left. Most of the rest are commercial hubs that are not community centered. Part of our commitment to the community on DD is showcasing our best webcomics every week, which we've been doing for 17 years now, and I've personally been doing that for about 13.