Episode 491 - Getting retro right!

Aug 10, 2020

DD member Furwerk Studios posted in our forum about how annoying it was that movies try and do an 80s retro thing often get things totally wrong and end up looking dumb because of it: Not just superficial looks-wise but stylistically too in terms of the kinds of shots they do, lighting and story structure. I thought that'd make an interesting topic for a cast! Why do people often mess up retro stuff? We're not talking about historical accuracy here, that's slightly different, what we're talking about is setting something in an era and getting the “feel” of that era right. It pays off hugely when it works, but when it doesn't it comes off as superficial, disappointing and ignorant.

Topics and Show Notes

This happened a LOT recently with stuff set in the 80s because 80s fashions came back and people thought it'd be fun to capitalize on the nostalgia. Some do it right and some do it wrong. The important thing to remember when going for a retro feel is NOT to treat an entire decade as a “thing”. Decades are made up of many different fashions across many different countries! During the 1980s for example the styles at the start of the decade were much more like the late 70s and at the end they were similar to the early 90s, and in places further away from the fashion capitals older fashions lasted for longer. The 1980s weren't a decade of pink hoodies with loud patterns, shoulder-pads, big hair, denim jackets, and “momjeans”, it was a lot more varied than that and not all those things were done at the same time. Jeans are a good example: They changed shape a LOT during the 1980s, from flares at the start, straight legs, boot-legs, skinny jeans, stonewash jeans, tapered jeans with slim waists baggy legs and slim ankles, and baggy 501s. All of those cropped up at different times in the decade.

Aside from compressing entire decades just down to one “look” the other issue people run into is projecting modern styles onto the past: Mullet hairstyles in the 1980s are nothing like what they are now for example: you didn't typically shave the sides of your head or have a crewcut with long hair at the back for a mullet. Mullets existed previously, even in the 1970s, but only started to become an 80s thing in the mid 80s. Hair would be slightly longer at the back. if you wanted to highlight that you'd use gel or hairspray or something to slick down the sides of your hair to make them flat. Towards the end of the 80s mullets grew longer at the back and shorter at the front, but shaving the sides wasn't popular. Tattoos, baldness, body piercings, and facial hair were not as common in the decade either, all of them had heavy symbolism and said something about the person who had them, while today they're mainly just aesthetic choices of the individual. Tattoos meant a person was tough or had a rough life or profession. Beards were hyper masculine. Baldness meant you were tough or had an alternative lifestyle. Multiple piercings was much the same.

That said, you don't always have to go for authenticity, as long as you understand what you're doing and know how to have fun with it. Kung Fury is a good example of this. It sardonically uses an 80s retro feel while winking at the audience with its tongue in planted in its cheek. Napoleon Dynamite has a weird indeterminate 1980s feel to it while NOT actually being set in the 1980s.
Do you know any examples of retro done wrong?


This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Gumshoe - Groove on into this black and white world of cool. Lazy coiling blue smoke floats out and leads the way down to this underground world of jazz and sophisticated glitz. Let the bass walk you through, take a twirl with the glittering piano keys, high-five those highhats, and take your place at the bar in the coffee lounge. Make your’s black, no sugar. You’re staying up all night for this one!


Topics and shownotes

Links
Forum thread about bad retro attempts - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/178445/
Fave retro comic on DD, Satan Ninja 19X https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Satan_Ninja_198X/

Featured comic:
Hel's Ferrywomen - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/aug/04/featured-comic-hels-ferrywomen/

Featured music:
Gumshoe - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Gumshoe/, by Pencilz, rated T.

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


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Episode 332 - The trouble with immortality

Jul 17, 2017

3 likes, 2 comments

In this Quast we talk about immortality, which is a common trope in literature. Who seeks immortality in stories? It's usually bad guys, and it usually has some sort of extreme price,catch or dark side, so much so that people actually believe that if immortality WAS real that it would somehow be an evil thing. The fact is that most of the possible downsides are cultural constructions or justifications for our own mortality, if immortality WAS a real thing we don't really know what the down sides would be… But this means that the trope of immortality is not as limited as we've come to believe; it's wide open to be re-written and redefined. And a not, the story mentioned in the Quackcast was The Trouble With Lichen and it was by John Wyndham, not Roald Dahl. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for The Beard. This one is creepy and magical, just the type of music you’d associate with alien hair follicles, it brings to mind strange activity on a microscopic level inside the skin… unsettling!

Episode 322 - Comedycast

May 8, 2017

4 likes, 0 comments

Banes has been doing a series of very intelligent newsposts focusing on the mechanics of comedy over the past few weeks. Today in this Quackcast we go over the first three parts of these reports: Comedic Premise, Comedic Characters, and Good and Bad character traits! This one is just Banes and I… stripped down and simple, which is how people know us in these parts, which is embarrassing but we're used to it. If you want to get a better idea of the stuff we talk about then click on the links to Banes' newsposts bellow. The music for this week by Gunwallace is for the Silhouette Chronicles. It's somber, yet intriguing and somehow invigorating. A lovely duet of cello and violin!

Episode 216 - Characters done right, part 4

Apr 27, 2015

3 likes, 5 comments

This is the FOURTH and very final part of our series on what makes a good character in webcomics, movies, and any sort of writing in general. Our very first four-parter! Ozone and Banes are once again joined by the panel of Pitface, Tantz Aerine, and Bravo1102. Together we get though the last of the contributions from the great and wise people of DD who've had a lot of very intelligent things on the subject of character writing. And of course there's an amazing aural interpretation of a comic for you by Gunwallace who's done a spectacular theme for Prodigium.

Episode 203 - The clothescast

Jan 26, 2015

4 likes, 8 comments

Clothes maketh the man! If that man is a scarecrow... This Quackcast is about drawing clothing. Two esteemed gents from the Drunk Duck repertoire of experts offer their advice on methods for drawing bodies sheathed in garments. Bravo1102 and Ironscarf are two very worldly and experienced men, as they lounged deep in the dark wood panelled cosy confines of the DD private members club, they discussed the tricky subject of convincingly rendering character costumes. Ironscarf traced circles in the air with his custom made talbot pipe, illustrating his descriptions in smoke. Bravo, a fat cigar in one hand, brandy tumbler in the other, chortled into his voluminous beard as he offered counterpoints. It was a lively chat, but for the purposes of this Quackcast Banes and Ozoneocean have re-voiced their parts to protect their privacy: As you're no doubt overly aware, both men are the targets of numerous legions of female stalkers.

Episode 146 - The SantaCast!

Dec 16, 2013

5 likes, 11 comments

It's that time of year again, when we do all our traditional celebration stuff and get silly about Santa, Father Christmas, Saint Nick, Papai Noel, Viejo Pascuero, Dun Che Lao Ren, Kerstman, Joulupukki, Weihnachtsmann, Mikulas, Babbo Natale, Hoteiosho, Julenissen, Swiety Mikolaj, Ded Moroz, Jultomten... Hanukkah has been, Winter Solstice is coming up, then Christmas, then Kwanzaa, then the best party of the year: New Years!!! Hooray! For this Quackcast Banes Interviews the jolly bearded man in the red suit, Christmas comics are discussed, Secret Santa comics, and finally the The 2013 DD Radio Play!

Episode 123 - Happy Birthday Mr Abt Nihil

Apr 29, 2013

7 likes, 3 comments

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