Nov 24, 2019
This week we look at the famous quote by respected film director Martin Scorsese that “Marvel movies aren't Cinema” and also the quote by fellow director Francis Ford Coppola that Marvel films are “despicable”. We try and look at the proper context of these remarks outside of the twitter garbage and social media outrage to see if either had any point or whether they're way off the mark and deserving of criticism.
Topics and Show Notes
We've linked to the video where you can hear the full quote from Scorsese in its proper context. It was an industry focused discussion about his latest project “The Irishman” and the challenges involved in getting it produced and promoted. He was asked about the future of movie-making and the platforms for movies and narrative cinematic storytelling. In the conversation, as an aside he mentioned what he thought of as “cinema”: something that is a defined, encapsulated, curated narrative experience is what he seemed to mean, as opposed to a long form TV series where the audience chooses how many episodes they watch at a time (his example), so the experience of the overall story isn't as fully guided by the creator. It was in exactly THIS context that he mentioned Marvel films, thinking of them more as an experience, like a “theme park”- NOT that they are facile and lessor things than a traditional movie, more that it's not really a contained story that's offered but more of an immersive world that you visit. I don't entirely agree but I can see his viewpoint and it's valid.
We are all emotionally connected and invested in the Marvel films so we mistakenly took his remarks too personally and out of context, turning it into a very stupid old vs young argument that it never was. It seems it was in the spirit of this that Francis Ford Coppola waded in and offered his rhetorical firebrand defence to his good friend, using a value judgement and actually calling Marvel films “despicable”. This was again blown up into something huge and headline grabbing. It really was a stupid thing to say, but in the context of defending a friend that was wrongly attacked it becomes more forgiveable, especially since its obviously just rhetoric and not a considered, thought out, personal viewpoint. We can't forget that both men know cinema inside and out and helped create the modern blockbuster film industry of which Marvel is a part. They started out with Lucas and Spielberg. They don't deserve to be ignored, the targets of childish Ad hominems, or casually dismissed because they're not big fans of the same things we are.
We on the Quackcast are huge fans of the Marvel films and all forms of storytelling.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Inner Enemy: Time races ever onward. As the piano keys play note after note, step by inevitable step we move closer and closer to uncovering the mystery at the heart of this world… it teases at the edges like the disturbing, haunting background melodies in this track.
Topics and shownotes
Martin Scorsese quote - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyZcEZsFXkk
Francis Ford Coppola quote - https://www.indiewire.com/2019/10/francis-ford-coppola-marvel-1202183238/
Feint - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/nov/19/featured-comic-feint/
Inner Enemy - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Inner_Enemy/, by Sabin, 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
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Become a subscriber on the $5 level and up to see our weekly Patreon video and get our advertising perks!
Even at $1 you get your name with a link on the front page and a mention in the weekend newsposts!
Aug 12, 2019
Tantz's clever idea was that the weather isn't just a backdrop… it's an important prop in it's own right. Weather can be used to drive a plot: the wind snatches a hat and makes a person chase it, which causes them to meet another character. It can be an antagonist: people fighting a storm for example or running form a tornado. It can signal and enhance emotions: rain for a sad funeral or sun for happy for a happy event. Growing shadows can signal an ominous turn of events, wind billowing out a cloak signals a dramatic character! You can just use it for fancy visual effects if you like, snow and rain are great fun to draw, and stormy skies are the best! We chat about all things weather and give examples of how we've used it ourselves.
May 27, 2019
What are the different expectations for female and male audiences? This almost entirely a culture based thing, it changes depending on where and WHEN you are from as well as your age and experience… but some obvious things are determined by our physiology: sex sells, but there are slight differences based on gender. I wasn't interested in the “why” (genetic predeterminisim or evolutionary psychology), just the “what”.
May 6, 2019
In this Quackcast we chat about set-ups. pay-offs, and rip-offs. To make your climaxes and endings more satisfying you have pay-offs for audience expectations: set them up in the story and pay them off at the end. If you fail to pay-off then you get a rip-off, it's pretty simple. Your audience will be really disappointed. That's not to say disappointing and unsatisfying ends to stories are wrong, not at all! Often those are fully intended. We're just talking about satisfying audiences, not “good” endings.
Feb 26, 2018
Jason Moon, author of Crater's Edge, messaged me about some comments he had. He was perturbed about reader reaction to his storyline and wasn't sure how to handle the comments. I told him that those sorts of comments are the very greatest compliment an author can get, because once you get them you've reached the stage where people care about your work enough to get angry: they're invested emotionally in the characters. Yes. It is initially confronting to have someone commenting like that but what you really need to do is step back for a moment and realise what a gigantic compliment it is in actuality. It means you affected them strongly, and that's quite an important thing to be able to do. It doesn't happen much but it's quite a GOOD thing when it does. It's not an easy thing to do to get people that invested. What it really means is you have succeeded as a writer and reached an important milestone. We also have a chat about getting comments in general and also GIVING comments! Hopefully our new comment notification feature will be a boon for this kind of interaction. This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Kitty Kitty Bang Bang: Multilayered Chinese video-game war anthem with a modern twist! That’s how I’d describe this complex little piece. It’s the final boss battle, you’ve got no spare lives, you’re down to your last powerup and time is running out!
Sep 18, 2017
In this Drunk Duck Quackcast we chat about the importance and the process of reviews! Good ones, bad ones, why they all matter, and also why they often don't! ;) Reviews are an interesting animal, they're a parasitic form of entertainment. They rely wholly of other forms of entertainment for their existence, while those forms do not require reviews at all! But reviews also serve a good function, they tell us what's bad or good, what fits with our tastes and emotions, and lets us know what we may be interested in seeing. They can also save us from wasting time on horrors. Sometimes though they can drive us away from something magical… Here we discuss all that and more! Gunwallace's theme this week was for Reversion, This is a really dreamy, evocative tune about warm, faraway places, it’s squinting into the distance down a long dusty deserted highway and sighing.
Sep 11, 2017
Tantz Aerine did a great newspost the other day about how the clothing of comic characters can be used to communicate information and emotions just as much as any other element in your comic making arsenal. And that's what we discuss in this Quackcast! Clothing can communicate state of mind, occupation, status, personality, era, class and a host of other things. Have a listen to our Quackcast to learn more! Gunwallace's theme this week was for RUNRUN - a symphony of urgent electronica. This track wants to get you moving in a linear fashion, faster and faster, rhythmic and regular like the pace of a runner. Run into a bright, white high tech future with RUNRUN!
Jul 10, 2017
Starwars, Ender's game, Captain America… All these are great examples (or bad ones) of “retcons”. But what IS a “retcon”? What it means is that you go back and change an established work by adding new information that has the effect of changing it in a small or significant way. You might do it in your comic, or a director might do it to a movie series, like George Lucas did famously with Star Wars: introducing concepts like “midi-chlorians” as an explanation for the force, having Han shooting Greedo second, sticking Hayden Christiensen in Return of the Jedi, among other things. A lot of the time this has the effect of pissing off audiences who've consumed the story and enjoyed it because it alters or even destroys the understanding they've built up based on it and the relationship they have wit the work. Retcons happen frequently in the comic world because publishers have to keep their franchises interesting and saleable to audiences, so origin stories get updated all the time for example. A huge recent retcon was Captain America revealing he'd been a long time sleeper agent for Hydra, which has the effect of messing up stories going back over 50 years… The writer Orson Scott Card had a great deal of success with his novel “Ender's Game”, but for some reason he can't stop retconning it, going back and adding and editing new bits and re-publishing it every few years, and most egregiously penning prequels from another character's perspective that retcon the original story entirely. As web comic creators we have the role of god-author so we all have the temptation to retcon at one stage or another. Can it ever be a good thing? Is it worth pissing off readers who have an emotional investment? Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Optimum: the future is here and it’s in space! This tune is so upbeat, positive, fun and futuristic, it really exemplifies the cute colourful graphics of Skreem’s comic.