Episode 537 - Historicity

Jun 28, 2021

We have a chat about historicity in this Quackcast. What IS historicity? It's historical authenticity basically but a nicer way of saying it! It's pretty important for a lot of reasons to make the best effort you can with historical authenticity- it increases immersion of the audience, gives you a better understanding of the story and the world you're looking at (because things will make sense), and leads you to better understanding of your own history and where we came from. BUT, that doesn't mean you always have to be strict. As long as you as a creator properly understand historical context then you've got a lot more leeway to play without creating something stupid. Playing fast and loose with history is ok as long as you know what you're doing, not just being a moron and faking it (hey, many of us are guilty of that). Historical fantasy, myth, classics, fiction, biography etc are all different classes of story where it's more or less forgiveable to mess around.

Topics and Show Notes

Asterix is a great example of a series made by creators who know their stuff. They've set it in a real historical period, used real historical figures and events. But it's fiction and silly comedy and because they know the subject so well they can screw with it, compress history, put Vikings in a time period hundreds of years before they existed, and tell modern satirical stories using a historical stetting. The musical Hamilton is another example of creators who know their subject intimately, so they re-frame the story of a US founding father with a cast of black Americans and create a work of intelligent social commentary that still has historical veracity.

Bad examples typically have an a-historical character who for no reasons at all has fully modern attitudes despite their historical setting- often typified by a lady character who chafes at her “constrictive” corset - this has become a cliché and now a meme for people who are bad at history.

An interesting example to me is the British horror series Penny Dreadful where they did an excellent job of creating a convincing historical setting and environment. They had characters with more “modern” ideas but they had very good reasons to have them in that setting, they had a more modern demographic to the cast and also made that fit perfectly as well: history is often “whitewashed”, especially 19th century London, but they worked around that beautifully and gave us a realistically diverse cast. And yet despite all the effort they'd done to make things fit and work across several seasons, they really undermined it by introducing a kick-arse kungfu-fighting lady doctor in lovely tailored suits in the final few episodes when they knew they were cancelled and couldn't finish the season. The character sort of trod on and peed all over the work the others had done to set themselves up and round themselves off.

Though, as I've said: historical fantasy, myth, classics, fiction, biography etc all have different amounts of leeway for what they are. In the case of Penny Dreadful it's a horror fantasy with a historical setting so it had a LOT of leeway. The trouble was that they set a solid precedent by creating their own style with excellent historicity, even though they didn't have to, which was why it hurt when they broke it. It was a betrayal of the other characters, especially Eva Green's character Vanessa Ives, a woman who struggled for her place in the world and built her strength from within, brick by brick, only to be shown up by an unimaginative standard trope Buffy the Vampire Slayer type character.

This wouldn't be complete of course without a mention of Blackadder: a brilliant historical comedy that knows its stuff enough to break it beautifully! What are your fave “historical” things to enjoy and what are your least fave?

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Chatterbox - Starting off down home, country bluegrass, playing the mouthorgan as you cruise around the back roads on your whumptruck… developing into a rollicking, rolling, joyous, fun roadhouse concert, complete with trumpets, piano, bass guitar, lead, old style electric organs, the whole deal! Get up and dance!

Topics and shownotes

Links

Featured comic:
Patchwork and Lace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/jun/22/featured-comic-patchwork-and-lace/

Featured music:
Chatterbox - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Chatterbox/ - by Banes, rated M.

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

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Episode 460 - Enough trope to hang yourself with

Jan 5, 2020

2 likes, 2 comments

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!

Episode 352 - Help make DD better! Comment notifications! More play

Dec 11, 2017

3 likes, 0 comments

n this Quackcast we cover a few different things! FIRST up is our latest campaign to give YOU comment and reply notifications so that you can see who has commented on your comic pages easily, you can respond to them right away, then they'll KNOW you replied and they can respond back and so on. But before we can do that we need to raise money via Indiegogo to pay for it. YOU will be helping to pay for a feature that you want. That's how the site works these days, it's our site: yours and mine. In the next part of the Quackcast we have a series of short plays that we act out. They're based on comics here at DD. We start out with custom scripts written by Tantz Aerine for Without Moonlight and Brave Resistance. And then we have a go interpreting comic pages of The Epic of Blitzov, Bottomless Waitress, Typical Strange, and Pinky TA. Which brings us to our next thing: One of the perks you can pay for to help us out with our campaign will be a custom script based on your comic. WE will write it and act it out. YOU don't have to do anything but donate. Finally we have a note from KAM that we read out, informing us of the experience of adapting his comic into a script structure and we talk about that ourselves. If you'd like to write a script for us to act out on the Quackcast, just PQ me and I'll tell you where to send it. :) This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Bram and Vlad: Welcome to the mysterious, echoing notes of a celestial funhouse. Then settle down to a demonic, yet friendly game of cards accompanied by a jaunty, yet cheeky tune on the piano!

Episode 284 - Writing Dialogue pt2

Aug 15, 2016

6 likes, 5 comments

Well this is the SECOND part of our Quackcast on Dialogue! As with last week, this Quackcast is based on a thread in the DD forums discussing different approaches to creating Dialogue in webcomics. This time we have an additional guest though: the mighty Pitface joins, Tantz, Banes and I once more. We have a dialogue on dialogue, natter away and speak in different accents. We also tried using Google Hangouts for this Quackcast instead of Skype for once just to see if that made things any clearer… It did a little. Google Hangouts had it's own non-intuitive issues that we had to work through, but in many, many ways it worked better than Skype! Gunwallace's musical theme was Our little mental hospital. a crazy insane sounding Latin groove. Makes you want to salsa!

Episode 283 - Writing Dialogue pt1

Aug 8, 2016

3 likes, 8 comments

Dialogue is a key part of any comic, it pushes the story along, keys the reader in on things that would be otherwise ambiguous, hints and foreshadows at future happenings, creates humour… well, it's just a big part of comics, that's all! And that's what we're chatting about here in this Quackcast! The topic stems from a forum thread I posted a while ago asking people about their approach to creating dialogue and how people go about it; is it heavily scripted in advance or is it one of the last things you come up with? People had some very interesting responses! Gunwallace's musical theme was Magical Misfits. The sound is magical, classical, threatening, yet full of adventure! Love those creeping cellos, the violin and clarinet sound like a humorous dialogue between the wittier members of the party.

Episode 57 - Merry Christmas One And All! What Happened While I Was Away?

Dec 27, 2011

7 likes, 5 comments

Merry Christmas everyone! A short one this time... In this Quackcast I talk about what sorts of comic stuff we do over this holiday period, we have contributions from some DDers and then finally, the very best part of it all: The Drunkduck soap thread- WHAT HAPPENED WHILE I WAS AWAY? Seriously, this is the very best part, so if you want to get to the good bit, skip to 26.09!


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