Jul 4, 2022
I wanted to do an easy and fun one this week and just chat about our fave superhero movies, starting with our firsts! For me and Banes it was Superman with Christopher Reeve. It's a real classic, full of positivity, hope, and optimism, all with bright colours and classic iconic imagery… In that way it's a bit like many of the Marvel films and the more popular DC offerings like Aquaman and WonderWoman, but without the overbuilt and over-defined muscles!
Topics and Show Notes
Reeve was handsome in an almost alien sort of way and quite well built but his muscles weren't pumped up to the extreme like they are on pretty much every single modern superhero movie character, which is quite interesting when you think about it. His suit was very simple- no crazy little irrelevant textures that are there for no clear reason, no finicky details and effects, it was just bold and flat like in the original comics. Starkly iconic!
The superhero films that do better always seem to be the ones that are completely unapologetic and unironic in their portrayals. They don't try to make their heroes “realistic”, they don't deconstruct them, layer on drama, get rid of the over the top costumes, tone down colours or superhero abilities. Superhero films that aren't ashamed to be superhero films tend to succeed. You could say that the other side of the coin is when things are taken too far as in Batman and Robin, but that was an obvious self parody rather than a film in love with the idea of superheros.
One of my own personal faves is Captain America: First Avenger, because it shows the true superhero origins in the real historical context as well as actually showing that superhero doing his day to day missions after getting his powers (fighting the Nazis and Hydra). Too many of the films just give as an origin story and then a climax, they never ever actually show us what the hero “does”: They ONLY show a simple progression from birth of the hero to challenge hero faces to hero overcoming challenge. The fact that it gives us a proper historical context can't be overstated - It means you get to see the world in which the very idea of the modern superhero was actually created, the world that gave birth to these superheros is actually on show!
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Space Pack - A gentle dancy progression, leading into more and more urgency and danger. Very Scifi and slightly spooky, with a little explosion at the very end… But is it really the end?
Topics and shownotes
DNR - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jun/28/featured-comic-dnr/
Space Pack - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Space_Pack/ - by Stingy, rated E.
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/
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
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Jun 27, 2022
A and B stories… And C, and D etc. It seems that it's more popular than ever to have stories with multiple concurrent threads. This is when you have a main story and a bunch of other sub stories all happening at the same time. These might come together at the end of the story or they might peter out. We don't get many stories just made with just an A-plot and nothing else these days.
Jun 20, 2022
Sometimes it's worth revisiting old ideas because you can do them better or explore them deeper. This could be in the form of a full reboot, or it could be as simple as reusing a pose in a panel or using the same theme again like Pixar does with 90% of their output i.e. “coming of age”. Like them you don't need to feel obligated to always do something totally original, revisiting old ideas is a great way to refine them, create better work, or explore different aspects of them you hadn't considered before and put new and interesting spins on things. Consider that Pixar's Turning Red, Encanto, Moana, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, and Luca all share the same “coming of age/childhood independence” theme and yet all do it in unique and original ways, exploring different aspects of the idea from all sorts of angles.
Jun 13, 2022
Our very own Tantz made a newspost last week about the idea of “Heroes” who are really villains… or at least they're actually villains who think they're the hero, but come to realise that they aren't. Sometimes that makes them change their ways and they seek redemption, maybe even becoming a true hero. Sometimes they just lean into and embrace their true villain nature.
Jun 6, 2022
How do you keep on with your creative output when something happens to you? When you lose function or are impaired in some way, how do you adapt or relearn so you can keep on as you were before? Maybe you can't and have to change to another medium that's a better fit for your abilities? Comic creator Bravo1102 once talked about how he moved from drawing to using action figures to make his comics partially because of his eyesight. My own eyesight has suddenly started to go bad and I'm having to adapt to that, and Tantz tells us how her deteriorating eyesight forced her to work digitally.
May 30, 2022
Adaptations of one thing into another is an interesting process. What's lost, what's gained, what modifications do you have to do to make it happen? As webcomicers we do it all the time in many ways, we have to adapt our influences into ideas, adapt those to stories, and adapt those to images and comics, which isn't trivial! It's often quite difficult to transform the written word into narrative sequential art- what portion of the writing gets directly turned into images, what's cut, and what becomes dialogue? For me about 20% is cut, 78% becomes art and 2% becomes dialogue or captions.
May 23, 2022
We start off with the idea of talking about art techniques, tips and tricks we've mastered and could help people with but the cast turned into a discussion about drawing male and female characters- also trans, androgynous, etc. There's an art to representing gender in imagery! It's super important to remember that the way we see gender in art is mainly culture based rather than an innate biological reaction and the perception of gender in art is different according to your cultural background. It's basically a visual language that everyone learns, but as an artist you have to learn to actually “speak” it, and that's not as straight forward as you think.
May 16, 2022
Spoiler- we don't actually talk much about Yu-Gi-Oh! But I feel it's a good example of a pretty bad a so-bad-it's-good story, but bad nevertheless. The idea we're talking about here is that it's useful to look at bad stories and stick with them because they can really help you write better. They're a lot more useful than good stories because you'd rather just enjoy those and it's a bit harder to examine them for technical details, but with “bad” stories the faults stand out strongly. Instead of simply dismissing a bad story or making fun of it, it's more useful and valuable to try and “fix” it: try and work out why it seems bad and think about what would be needed to make it better, then think about how that applies to your own work. Maybe you're actually making many of the same mistakes?