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 531 - Same Stories From Differnt Perspectives

May 17, 2021

4 likes, 5 comments

The famous film Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa gave its name to the style of a story that has the same scenes told from different perspectives. Many comics and movies have done this, it's a really cool trick to try. Not only can it help you show a different perspective of a scene it can also show your story in a completely different style when you show things through the eyes of a particular character and how they “see” the world. It can even be a great trick for making a sequel- rather than a linear continuation of a story you show a story that happened in parallel to the sequences shown.

Episode 512 - Fire and Ice Commentary

Jan 3, 2021

3 likes, 1 comment

Happy 2021 everybody!!!!! For this fun first of year Quackcast We do a commentary and reaction to the Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta classic sword and sorcery animated movie from 1983, Fire and Ice! Tantz and Banes have never, ever seen it before so it was a new experience to them and maybe to YOU as well? Fire and Ice is a simple fantasy story about evil prince Necron who wants to rule over all the lands using his control of a huge glacier. Brave Princess Teegra, Larn (mullet head), and Darkwolf (the Deathdealer), team up to battle to stop him destroying the southern lands. It was done with rotoscoped animation which made the figures look quite realistic. Rotoscoping is basically filming real actors and then taking out the background and painting over their bodies and turning them into cartoons. It's an analogue old fashion way of doing motion capture, like they do in modern 3D CGI animation.

Episode 509 - Saltcast

Dec 13, 2020

4 likes, 0 comments

Escapist fiction Vs Gritty and real style fiction… Furwerk-Studio made an interesting post about this subject. They were annoyed at people who dismiss escapism as something lessor or inferior to more gritty and realistic work, so we decided to tackle both sides and take some extreme views on the subject, both for and against! A few years ago Simon Peg made some comments related to this very subject and got a bit of backlash (links in the notes). The idea is that escapist stuff keeps us infantile and malleable… It's actually a really old idea anything that isn't realistic is childish and bad for you while things that are heavier and more adult in tone (whether escapist or not), are far more worthy.

Episode 491 - Getting retro right!

Aug 10, 2020

3 likes, 2 comments

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.

Episode 485 - For your eyes only

Jun 29, 2020

5 likes, 6 comments

Do you make work that no one will ever see? Do you do that so you can mess around and experiment without consequences, for practice, for testing out an idea that you MIGHT show later, or just so you can have fun? This was inspired by a newspost from Banes who used to draw figures on chalkboard and erase them as the story progressed. We chatted a lot about this and then moved on to talk about how we've each written or drawn porn that no one will ever see. Have you drawn or written secret porn in your free time for fun? :D

Episode 477 - Darkest before dawn

May 4, 2020

5 likes, 2 comments

Today on this glorious date we chat about that part in stories where everything turns to crap for the protagonists, just before the run up to the climax where they find their inner strength again and regain their powers so that the climax is even more effective than it would normally be… just BEFORE that moment. Everything is finally going well for our characters, their relationship is amazing, they have all the money they need to keep the clubhouse open, they're going to win the big game, they have the magic sword to kill the dragon with, they have the fastest car in the race, the bombs are all set to destroy the alien mother-ship, and the band is finally going to make it to the big time! ...BUT...

Episode 475 - Tropeagedden! overuse of fashionable tropes...

Apr 20, 2020

4 likes, 3 comments

Certain tropes or stylistic ways of telling a story can get really, really popular and trendy very quickly and it seems like they're everywhere! Suddenly many story are all told with the same sort of stylistic flourishes. The first few times it's done that way it's clever and meaningful but after that people just use the same thing without understanding it properly and consequently usually do a really crappy job!


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