Sep 26, 2016
The idea fr this Quackcast was inspired by a Korean TV series that Tantz Aerine recommended called “W” (http://myasiantv.se/drama/w/). The show is about a manga artist who does a super popular webcomic. He wants to quit doing it and has decided to end by killing off his main character, but his main character seems to have ideas of his own about that… Tantz and I thought about how that could apply to us real webcomicers. That's a fantasy situation, but if it could happen, which of your characters would do that? Which one is independent enough from you that they would want to take on a life of their own and fight you? Incorporated in this are the idea of characters “breaking the fourth wall” and the fictional characters becoming so well realised and independent from the author (so to speak), that they seem to influence the direction of a story against the intentions off the writer. People will often talk about characters seemingly writing the story themselves or taking things in directions the writer never wanted to go. So that's what we chat about! You really should check out “W”, it's a great series! This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to HardLuckComics. It's full of energy and vive, driving. This is working music! This is the intro to the drive time program on the radio! This is “the news”!
Topics and Show Notes
Topics and shownotes
Aspect Immortal - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Aspect_Immortal/
Forum thread on the idea - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/177561/
Usedbooks - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/usedbooks/
KimLuster - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/KimLuster/
Bravo1102 - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/bravo1102/
Amelius - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Amelius/
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Tantz Aerine - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine
Pitface - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
HardLuckComics http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/HardLuckComics/ by ComicMan86, rated T
Sep 5, 2016
Evoking emotion in your readers/having emotion evoked from comics: How do you do it? what are some mistakes/ineffective methods? As a comic creator you use a whole bunch of different ways to evoke emotion than say a novelist or a film-maker- you don't have the text space of a novelist and you don't have the control, soundtrack and all the tools of a film maker. Comic creators have a different set of arrows in their quiver and in this Quackcast we try and talk about those. What do YOU use to evoke emotion from your characters and readers? Gunwallace's theme this week is for The Desperately Departed. It's atmospheric, heavy, threatening, revealing. Reminds me of the heat shimmer on a wide desert landscape vista.
Aug 22, 2016
Comedy anti-heroes are a great deal of fun. My faves are characters like Tankgirl and Flashman; they can be selfish, greedy, violent, lustful, out for their own needs first but they still manage to do the “right” thing and vanquish the bad guy along the way regardless, or a character like George Costanza from Seinfeld who's jealous, pathetic, cowardly and greedy but we still love him anyway because identify with him and root for him against the unloving forces of the universe. To be a GOOD comedy anti-hero you have to keep the audience on their side though and that can be a tricky balancing act, you have to surf a number of factors (especially in a long running project), since to actually BE an anti-hero they need to have things about them that an audience would normally despise, these need to be counteracted by things like sympathy and pathos, traits we strongly identify with, intelligence, luck, charm, humour, sexiness, coolness, allowing them to win sometimes, or even redeeming some of their anti-hero behaviours occasionally. Get that balance wrong and they can so easily completely lose audience favour and sour the rest of the story/show/film. Pitface, Tantz, and Banes weigh in on this with me. And there are more opinions in the forum thread from which this evolved. Gunwallace's musical theme this week was for Pestilent. It's thoughtful, haunting, reminds me a little of a classic horror film soundtrack. Pretty scary!
Jun 6, 2016
Our Quackcast topic was a discussion about how our main characters evolved and changed over time, both in terms of characterisation but also artistically. stylistically and their own looks. Then we chatted about ways to help that along and accelerate it: How do you get to KNOW your character better? How do you help them grow? We toyed with some exercises but eventually came up with a cool one- Swapping a comic page/scene with someone else and redrawing it with your character in there instead of the original main character, and also have your character handling their new situation in the the way that best suits them, the way THEY would handle it. Link bellow… The music this week by Gunwallace was a theme to DELIA- it's a cold, thoughtful tune with a note of unease below, like an icily perfect woman.
May 30, 2016
After last week's massive DD meetup (Next one is on the 18th, BE THERE!), we're back to the core group… me and my side characters, hahaha! Banes, Pitface, and Tantz Aerine join me to discuss the topic of promoting from within the ranks. I did a newspost about this last Thursday (linked bellow), the thrust of which was that when you need new main characters it's so much better and more fun to mine them from earlier in your stories rather than introducing them whole and new minted. This doesn't have to be an unplanned thing though- you can do like Banes or Amelius and have it all designed in advance. What they do is lightly introduce main characters AS side characters initially, knowing they'll be promoted to main status later on, either way it works the same- they fit better in the world of the story, the have more “history” and the audience finds them easier to accept, as we discuss in the Quackcast. Still though, when things aren't so planed, it can be so rewarding when creations grow and find their own voices. This week's theme by Gunwallace is for XTIN , it's weirdly Indian and mournful in a beautiful way that is PERFECT for Xitin!
May 15, 2016
What makes the “meat” of a story? What makes you fall in love with it, keep coming back for more watches or reads or whatever? I contend it has nothing to do with conflict or culminations or climaxes, those are merely generic structural plottings that are pretty much the same format no matter what story you read- you know they're coming and you know what form they'll take and once they're over it's not really that significant anymore; “re-playability” is low, they're just too tied in with the story structure to have much life away from it in your mind. What keeps me coming back to a story and fall in love with it are the Characters, exploring the world in which they exist, and the development that occurs during the story. Gunwallace provides us a theme to CTV Revamped, the new version of Charby the Vampirate! Good and creepy techno for Charbs!
Feb 22, 2016
Crowd scenes of any sort can be horrible to draw. There are many, many reasons for this, one of them is that it's quite boring to invent a whole lot of new character models just for the purpose of making a group scene. My own way of combating that problem was to do cameos of other characters that I stole from my fellow Quackcasters, Banes, Pitface and Tantz. There are many other tricks and clever ways of managing crows though which you can hear bout in the Quackcast or see us talk about in the Quackcast video. Gunwallace's theme for Phineus Magician for Hire is VERY Sword and Sorcery! It reminded me a little of the famous music to the first (and best), Conan film, and brought to mind the writing of Fritz Leiber.
Jan 18, 2016
OMFG you sexist PIG! Heh… today we talk about trying to recognise sexism in your OWN work, what to do about it, and WHY. It turns out it can be very hard to do, and if you DO acknowledged it the instinct is to rationalise it away, justify it, or just try and brazen it out in some kind of old fashioned, largely embarrassing, display. I frequently do all three. How do we spot it? Well the Bechdel test isn't that useful, that's better for looking at broad trends not giving specific works a pass/fail - sexy outfits is one thing, if females are dressed minimally or in tight gear in CONTRAST to the males or vice versa - females ONLY having old stereotype roles (maiden/mother/whore archetypes, secretary, nurse, victim, maid etc), though this is context sensitive, i.e. it's more forgiveable if you're doing a historical story or something stylised like a fairytale or a noire story - Gender balance is another thing, it's context sensitive because certain stories will naturally have more of one gender (WW2 submarine crew, Girl's school, a prison story etc), and you don't have to have an exact balance anyway but it's definitely something to THINK about because there is no reason most stories should feature a majority of male characters and a minority of females. WHY should you think about it? Why should you care? Well the audience for almost ALL types of stories, be they action adventure, romance, Scifi, fantasy, historical, even porn, is getting close to 50/50 between men and women these days (maybe it always was?), it really doesn't make sense to alienate or belittle half your audience just because you like to cling to older ways of doing stuff. Gunwallace's theme this week reminds me of a cross between the Knightrider theme and Gunship- it's VERY retro-future. It's the theme to DDSR, a comic with cool custom “sprites”, AKA pixel-art.