Episode 538 - Fashion and Trends in Webcomics

Jul 4, 2021

We chat about the styles and trends in webcomics and what causes them, whether it's people copying stuff they like, working with the limitations of the technology they're using or other reasons.

Topics and Show Notes

In the early days of webcomics a few early birds got very popular simply because they were they were there first: 8 Bit Fantasy, Sluggy Freelance, PVP, Penny Arcade etc. They garnered imitators and so webcomic fashions and styles were born. We had a huge wave of sprite comics, slacker gamer comics, and slice of life comics. The “2 friends sitting on a couch playing video games and being dicks to each other while not understanding girls” was probably the most popular trend for years!

Webcomics have had a few explosions of popularity and trends diversified over the years. A significant one has been the so-called “webtoon format”, which is actually the Scott McCloud infinite canvas idea that was developed years before. That site encourages creators to use it because they prefer it for their mobile site and app. But it's created a larger trend of people making their comics in that way regardless of host.

Tapas and webtoon only promote certain styles of webcomics on their front page which in turn creates another style: manga influenced work with large eyes, flattish, muted colours, digital 2D art only etc with only a limited range of story types. People see that and start to imitate it, thinking that's how webcomics should be, or if they do work like that they can be popular, or just because they like it, or don't know any better…

The limitations of technology create styles when people use premade models in popular 3D programs. This happened in the early days of 3D with all the Counterstrike comics and people using 3DMax and poser models. It happens with in digital 2D art with an overuse of standard brushes in Photoshop, Gimp and now Procreate and Infinite painter. These things are influenced by limitations of the tech, which creates a new style and that gains imitators.

What popular tends and styles have you noticed in webcomics? And what casued them?

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Patchwork and Lace - Darkness abounds, walking into a dark tomb, past shadows and demon parasites, into mysteries beyond light and human understanding. Deep underground where humans were never meant to venture, learning horrific truths about the universe and what lies beyond… The distorted bass line takes you down… deep down.

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
24Hour Cake - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/jun/29/featured-comic-24hour-cake/

Featured Music:
Patchwork and Lace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Patchwork_and_Lace/ - by Itsasooz, rated T

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


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Episode 530 - What is SciFi?

May 10, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

So what IS SciFi? Well it's a pretty wide umbrella term and contains a lot of different things. In some senses it's just an imaginative fiction story where science replaces magic. SciFi can simply be a sciencey setting where genre stories take place (romance, adventure, nior, horror). It can be a magical fantasy space opera with a futuristic skin (Star Wars), it can be “hard SciFi” where the story is set in the future but the science is completely plausible, it can be written with strong themes that examine philosophical questions and make interesting points about the nature of humanity, and it can be so many more things too. It's a broad church!


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