Jul 23, 2018
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.
Topics and Show Notes
We all increasingly live our lives exposing a good portion of ourselves to the internet: through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google, Apple, accounts on forums, blogs and all sorts of websites all over the place! Most of us do it mainly under one or two names so it's not too hard for people to connect all sorts of activity to us, especially thanks to the policies of Facebook and YouTube to force (or strongly encourage) you to use your real name.
We webcomic artists we are all especially vulnerable to this: we have to manage our online brand (ourselves) more carefully than ever before. Your work IS you and your ARE your work. It can work both ways, your comic could reflect poorly on you depending on the subject matter you deal with so you have to be careful to separate that from the everyday “you”, or like James Gunn YOU could reflect poorly on your work so you have to keep your everyday self separate from IT!
It doesn't really matter if you take your work seriously or not, it can still affect you. This reminds me of George Orwell's famous book “1984” and the quote “Big Brother is Watching”. People think “Big Brother” is the government but that's not the case: “Big Brother” is your friends and neighbours. That's who did the watching and informing in communist countries with totalitarian systems.
One idea is that we should behave online as we do offline and there will be no issues… Unfortunately that idea is a North Korean fantasy. No one behaves like perfect, polite, innocent angels offline all the time so it's ridiculous to expect them to behave in that way online. The big problem though is that things online are more public and will likely be remembered and visible for decades to come or even forever, so you HAVE to be more careful.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Electricity is her element. You’ll get a buzz out of this shocking soundrack! The sound of spacewhales, distant quasars and pulsars, coronal mass ejections of highly charged plasma suspended in a magnetic flux, photons shooting out into the distance… this music with set off flashes of light in the darkness of your mind.
Topics and shownotes
Stop Watchers - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/jul/17/featured-comic-stop-watchers/
Quackcast on managing your personal brand - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-289-managing-your-personal-brand/
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
kawaiidaigakusei - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Pitface - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Ozoneocean - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Electricity is her Element - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Electricity_Is_Her_Element/, by Caliway, rated E.
Jun 18, 2018
ALL the tropes!!!! Based on Emma Clare's newspost, tropes are damn useful but they can also be your undoing if you handle them badly. Tropes are shortcuts to meanings, scenes, procedures or jokes that take too long to set up in their own right. You can use them like prefabricated parts to build your story, Lego if you will. You really should know how to use them correctly though. If it's for jokes, then work on them and expand on them, if it's for more serious stuff then you should know WHERE those tropes come from so you use them correctly. We chat about tropes, boob-slips, Doki Doki, Baka and Test, Kung Fury, Satan Ninja 198X, and Vaporwave among other things. Gunwallace gave us a lovely theme to Yasu no Monogatari this week: Floating out on a blue river of dreams into an echoing crystal cave illuminated by thousands of refracted glittering lights, traveling on your way further underground, deeper and deeper to more exciting and mysterious sites.
May 21, 2018
In this Quackcast we chat about the categorisation of work by specific genres and how it makes it easier to promote your work to people, while for fans it makes it easier to find what you're into, but it can also be a bad thing when people categorise too specifically and narrow their audience to nothing or just pointlessly confuse the crap out of people. I came to this topic because I saw a post on Facebook which was very badly explaining “Steampunk” and “Dieselpunk” while introducing the two utterly superfluous sub-genre names of “Ray-punk” and Atom-punk“.
May 7, 2018
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!
Mar 5, 2018
All the planning and set up in the world will never count for anything if you never start your webcomic, so just put your own to paper and begin! “Getting started on a webcomic” is what we chat about here. I was inspired by PitFace's newspost about a crappy horror film and how the creators just went for it. As a webcomicer that is what you HAVE to do! You can plan, research and gather resources for years, but the reality is that it just makes you more and more scared to take the plunge. You'll develop a LOT faster as a webcomicer if you throw caution to the wind and go for it. I'm not saying that research and planning are uneeded, it's just that most if it can be done while you're actually working. Do not worry about putting out a perfect piece of genius work from the getgo- your comic WILL get there regardless if you're dedicated and put the work in AS you work, but the first few pages or chapters don't have to be there. Your audience will appreciate the chance to grow with you a lot more than if you put out a polished gem to begin with. Starting out at a place like Drunk Duck is your best bet. It's a nurturing, easy to use, creator run platform, focussed around promoting webcomics. So what are you waiting for? This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Flesh and Wires: Dirty and distorted electric guitar and determined fuzzy bass, weaving together over a haunting synthesized Melodica. Portentous and evocative, this music tells a story in it’s own runtime! The main riff reminds me a little of my fave part for We don’t Need Another Hero from Tina Turner.
Feb 26, 2018
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!
Feb 19, 2018
In this Quackcast we chat about all the different options for hosting your webcomic. At the moment it seems the fashionable new young kiddies on the block are Webtoons and Tapastic, but they're certainly NOT the only choices for webcomic hosts out there and certainly not the best choices. I think we make a good case here for why Drunk Duck is a better choice in many ways, but we also bring up other host sites like twitter, comic fury, comic Genesis (used to be Keenspace), Tumblr, Deviant Art, Smack Jeeves, Fur Affinity, self hosting on a Word Press site etc. In the early days of the millennium there were just two hosts for your comic: Drunk Duck and Keenspace. Drunk Duck was a better choice for most since it was a lot easier to customise and it had a friendlier, smaller community. Keenspace had a two tier system: the picked comics with all the best stuff were in their “keenspot” site while the rabble were stuck with the slower hosting and slower updates. The main thing they had going was a gigantic member base. But they even changed the site's name from “keenspace” to “comic genesis” to further separate KeenSpot from the rabble, which left a sour taste in the mouth. By contrast Drunk Duck was always dedicated to being fully egalitarian. One of our main strengths is that we accept all without stigma: manga, furry, adult comic, sprites, American style, superhero, slice of life comedy, photocomics, professional published comics or stick figure amateur work and we welcome them all the same with the same level of enthusiasm. The big young Webtoons and Tapastic have some of the same issues Keenspace used to have: a big community where you will be lost in the crowd. And no site has as solid and safe programming and hosting as Drunk Duck does. Plus we're community run so you're same from corporate oversight and interference in the content you're allowed to post. You can read more about comic hosting sites in Emma Clare's news posts linked bellow. This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Odd Days. Sometimes you just have one of those days… or many of them in a row! Odd days. The sound here has a positive, optimistic theme overlayed with a harsh zigzag of electric guitar. This tune does well to illustrate the twisted euni, the off-balance and askew takes on everyday life and situations dealt with in this slice of life, humorous comic.
Jan 7, 2018
READERS are a massive part of Drunk Duck! Actually readers are a huge part of ANY comic. But Drunk Duck tends to focus far more on creators than perhaps we should… This idea was inspired by a newspost of Tantz's. We talk about ways to make DD more accessible to readers, including highlighting comics in similar genres and guest representatives giving us recommendation lists of comics they like from a genre so we can promote them on the front page. Emma_Clare has done some GREAT mockups for a redesign of DD and in those is an example of the DD front page where we highlight comics by genre! We chat about comic listing sites like Comic Rocket, Top Webcomics and the brand new Archive Binge, along with other various topics like who are the best hosts for adult comics, cross promotion etc. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Blood and water: Cool, quiet, and creepy. This one will have you on edge from start to finish. There’s an undertone of cool nonchalance that’s surprisingly at odds with the on-edge feel! Please donate to our our Indiegogo drive to raise many for the latest improvement to DD: Comment notifications! We know that everyone wants those.