Episode 431 - Political messages in your work

Jun 17, 2019

This Quackcast is about having political agendas in your work and expressing them well! We're talking about deliberately putting in ideas that you want to get across to people, NOT the idea that all work has agendas and ideas no matter what. That's not relevant to this discussion. When you want to want to get your ideas across there are good ways to do it and poor ways. When you do it poorly your work either has the opposite effect (people will laugh at your agenda or despise it), or it becomes propaganda. Propaganda is for preaching to the converted, it's terrible for changing minds. The only thing it's good for is motivating people who are already on-board with you.

Topics and Show Notes

To do it well you want to be able to bring anyone on-board, even those who disagree with your ideas, and hopefully change their minds or at least get them to consider what you're saying. A popular approach now is for people to say “Oh, I'm sick of codling people and leading them by the hand, I'm just going to say what I want” - this will result in people either fighting or ignoring you. You can't convince anyone of anything by shouting the loudest, that leads to isolation and echo-chambers.

The best approach is to have your ideas presented within a story rather that simply developing a thin, perfunctory story around a idea. Make your characters and situations identifiable and convincing, but AVOID straw-men! That leads to propaganda and failure. None of this is to say you need to sugar-coat your work, seduce the reader and stroke their egos to get your ideas across, not at all: There are plenty of examples of hard hitting work that contains big ideas and is still able to change minds such 1984, A Handmaid's Tale, Fahrenheit 451, and Maus. Just tell a good story without preaching to or trying to overtly manipulate your audience, and then even if they don't agree with the ideas you present they'll still enjoy your work anyway.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Monkey Nukes: Long black roads, damp streets reflecting yellow street lights, red tail lights streaking ahead in the dark, Friday night is the time for parties, pubs, and potential… one drink follows another, friendship flows with the beer, danger lurks in the shadow. Perfect homage to early 80s electronica!

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Monkey Nukes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Monkey_Nukes/

Featured music:
Monkey Nukes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Monkey_Nukes/, by Simon Mackie and Ben Rowdon, rated M.

LINKS
From Tantz's Newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jun/14/working-with-political-agendas/

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

*Cover-art from the movie poster for METROPOLIS, not Atlas shrugged :)

Episode 423 - Fave weapons in fiction?

Apr 22, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

What's your favourite weapon in fiction? Mine are ridiculously giant swords, huge anti-tank rifles, and mecha. There are a lot of complex reasons for weapon choices in fiction, a Kalashnikov assault rifles for example signals certain things about the person carrying it: They're usually a bad guy for a start. This originated during the cold war, with certain types of bad guys using AKs. First it was Soviet Bloc soldiers, then it was Viet Con and rebels from South East Asia, then it became the “terrorist” weapon. The sub machine gun is the weapon of the bad guy. Terrorists used to use Uzis (before they turned to AKs), bank robbers used to use Mac 10s, now it's the HK MP5. Good guys carry an M-16 or AR-15 rifle. In historical fiction traditionally the bad guys carries curved swords while the good guys had straight swords, this came from crusades. Minor characters carry spears and heroes carry swords. Women, weaker characters and rebels carry bows. Giant swords and guns are often given to smaller characters in anime (usually female), as an obvious contrast with their small size. It's meant to emphasis the fact they're sort of a “mighty mouse”.

Episode 407 - Regrets & Resolutions!

Dec 30, 2018

3 likes, 2 comments

Happy new year!!! All of us on the Duck Webcomics, AKA Drunk Duck, thank you for all your support over the year! DD has grown and flourished because of all of you! It was coming to the end of the year when we recorded this, the time we traditionally mull over regrets of the year gone past and come up with resolutions for the new year to come! Tantz, Banes, and I chat about what WE think about resolutions and regrets.

Episode 404 - Strong characters

Dec 10, 2018

3 likes, 0 comments

We mined Tantz's Saturday newspost for our discussion topic: Strong characters and how to write GOOD ones! What is a strong character? Well it has nothing to do with physical ability, power, command, or anything so obvious and trite. Strong characters are well rounded and well realised, they're often active and opposed to reactive, they make things happen, the story hinges on them. Failed attempts at “strong” characters or obvious and often result in Mary Sues, whether male or female. People hand them traits that they THINK will make the character strong: make them a general, make them a great fighter, make them royalty etc. The problem comes when none of that is ever logically backed up in the story. You can't just title a character something or have other characters talk about how great they are without having them demonstrate a reason for it, or else all you have is a pathetic paper tiger and a really shizzy failed part of your story.

Episode 395 - Fighting ladies

Oct 8, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

Fighting ladies, female bad-ass characters… There are a lot more of them around now, but once upon a time they were pretty thin on the ground. I love a good badarse lady, my own comic character Pinky TA exemplifies that character type. There's something about a tough lady who can kick butt with the best of them that's especially compelling. They evolved from something a little more exploitative, ladies fighting in bikinis basically, then we had ladies that were just the female version of a male character (Batwoman, Supergirl etc), which is something we're starting to see a little more of unfortunately, but on the good side of things we ARE actually getting fighting ladies who're their OWN women: Original characters. In this Quackcast we talk about some of our faves and some of the earlier incarnations of the character type, from Robert E Howard's Red Sonya and Valeria, to Catherine L Moore's Jirel of Joiry, to Wonder woman, then later characters like Red Sonja (from the comics), She-Hulk, Sarah Conner, Ripley, Buffy, Xena, Aeon Flux… What are some of YOUR faves? Mine are Tank Girl, Lara Croft, Motoko Kusanagi, Garnet and many more :) This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Dolphin Bros: Jump, jump, jump up and down to this mad dolphin party scene. It’s all over the place but all it wants you to do is MOVE!

Episode 353 - Beautycast

Dec 18, 2017

3 likes, 0 comments

This is the Beautycast. We decided to have a chat about beauty. What IS beauty? is it universal? I would contend that it's not and that's what we tended to agree in the Quackcast. Beauty is a highly relative concept dependent on many factors like symmetry, rarity, ethnicity, time, geographical area, economic conditions, exoticism, what you're used to, aspiration, age, clothes, hair, health, fashion etc. Add to the fact that it's not really just based on what a person looks like but what they look like in relation to others around them. There's also the much derided old aphorism that “beauty comes from the inside” or that it's based on personality. We discus the fact that this is surprisingly actually quite true! Personality, expression and the way a person conducts themselves hugely influences your perception of their beauty or lack of it. This was a very interesting and enlightening discussion. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Mercenary Bound: This one has a slightly disco, early 1980s feel to it. It pumps along with the nice easy pace of a trained fighter, with a hint of threat and a touch of danger, like the music to a level of a side scrolling beat-em-up videogame. —————————————————————————— Don't forget our 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.

Episode 344 - Active/Reactive characters

Oct 16, 2017

5 likes, 1 comment

Some characters are active and others are reactive. Reactive characters mostly only react to things rather than make them happen so they can be very boring if not done right! Active characters are the ones that drive events by doing things and making stuff happen, these characters grab your interest. This idea was based on Tantz's fantastic newspost, we talk it out, coming up with some good examples of each character type. Our epiphany for this Quackcast was that if you want a “strong” female character what you REALLY want is an “active” female character. The mistake people made with the trope was that they thought the female character had to be either a main character or a kick-arse masculine style character, when in reality neither is required. Make your character “active”; making decisions, causing things to happen, having an impact, causing OTHER characters to react etc and they will be a “strong” character. She could be a minor character who never lifts a sword or fires a gun but still be the strongest character in the story if she's the most active. ;) This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Boys Land - This one surprises you, sneaking up with a gentle beginning, then it hits like a bomb bursts of rainbows and warm breezes! Beautifully, the same tune is repeated in many different forms, there’s even a bit of Primus type bass in there. It finishes as it begins, with a gentle acoustic guitar.

Episode 337 - Interview with AmeliaP of Kings Club

Aug 28, 2017

4 likes, 4 comments

This week we interview the artist and creator of the comic Kings Club, AmeliaP! Her comic was featured and Gunwallace also gave it a theme tune that was featured in Quackcast 335. AmeliaP is a talented professional comic creator and game designer. We couldn't interview her directly because she's not confident enough in her spoken English, so what we've done instead is read out a written interview that I did with her especially for this Quackcast. Amelia has some surprising and valuable insights for comic creators. You can read the full text of her interview bellow. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Abejitas - This tune bounces in like a wild thing, spinning and buzzing crazily, full of black striped yellow techno sweet honey madness and rapid wingbeats of energy, this will sting you into full awareness!


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