Episode 628 - Cover me!

Mar 27, 2023

We're talking about the importance of a good cover in this cast. Another technical comicscast! I love making coves, they're one of my fave things because I get to stretch my artistic muscles and get a little more flashy and creative with my art and graphic design. They can also be pretty dread things to work on when you've used up all your creative powers on your actual comic and have nothing left over…

Topics and Show Notes

The art of creating covers is extremely important! It's the initial thing that attracts people to your work along with the title. I'm huge fan of all covers, it's one of the things that got me into art in the first place: books, albums, movies, games, posters etc, cover-art can be so cool! There are many different kinds of cover art, but number one fave is art that illustrates an exciting, evocative scene from the story it's promoting, something that makes you want to find out more about what's happening behind the scene you're looking at. Good covers not only attract your attention and get you to look at or buy something but they can be a part of the ACTUAL thing, just as much as the story itself, especially for book covers and album covers- covers ADD to the work, they're part of the experience.

Another great cover type is a sort of medley of story content as well as having a bit of story narrative on there. Josh Kirby was known for doing that with his Terry Pratchett covers, he'd have everything on there, all sorts of Easter-eggs for the reader to spot. The art was weird and bubbly but fun and it captured the flavour of Pratchett's writing so well. Indiana Jones and Star Wars movie posters are typical of this in a way too- their primary focus is the “pin-up” image of the main characters, but they also have little bits and pieces form the story there to reward you if you look for them.

Pin-up covers are when the main focus is a person or persons, usually the main protagonist in a story but not necessarily, especially with album covers. These can be hit or miss. They're very popular because they're so easy to make but can be really bland and chicle if done badly, or people just get carried away with the “sex sells” adage and don't go beyond that (I make all these mistakes!). A good pin-up doesn't just have a figure but it also expresses something unique and interesting about the story itself, this could be as simple as showcasing a really unique and interesting looking character that makes people want to find out more about them.

What I like to call the “graphic design focused” covers can be a mixed bag too. These can have really cool design elements that make you want to know more- with clever use of symbol or text. Or they can be just massively bland and tedious like those that use a generic symbol in a boring way or simply have a giant title and author name and nothing else. These are lazy and stupid. Lazier and stupider though are the designers who make covers using cropped copyright free art- typically they crop a portion from a classical painting that has nothing to do with the work they're promoting, and stick generic title and author credits on it. or they do the same thing with a licensed stock photo.

Photographic covers in general can be problematic, not because photography is bad but because it seems easy so people often create bad cover images with photos (especially author photos). They don't realise that you have to be just as artistic and creative with photographic images as you do with other kinds of artwork.
The bottom line with cover art is that regardless of the approach you take, the more unique it is to your work the better! The more generic and meaningless the cover the more crap it will be (though there are always exceptions… Penguin classics anyone?). Given that criteria, it's advisable not to use AI art!
What are your fave types of cover?

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Kingdom of Cats - An early morning start, sun streaming golden at a low angle, on the road, moving away, moving towards, making a start.

Topics and shownotes


Featured comic:
Danse Macabre Danse Amour - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/mar/21/featured-comic-danse-macabre-danse-amour/

Featured music:
Kingdom of Cats - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Kingdom_of_Cats/ - by Rachel87, rated E.

* Theme music taken from Gunwallace's theme to Thrud Goddess of Thunder - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/THRUD_Goddess_Of_Thunder/

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

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Episode 626 - I didn't do nuthin'

Mar 13, 2023

4 likes, 0 comments

Today we talk about an unusual type of villain, a secret type of bad guy and a particularly nasty one: the person who maliciously does nothing. This is a person who COULD intervene to resolve a dire situation or save someone, they could do it easily; they know how, they have the means, they're not scared or unsure, and it doesn't mean much risk to themselves, they just choose to sit back and watch the person die or the situation collapse… either because they know the result will benefit themselves or they're just curious to watch the person die or the everything turn to crap for the victim or whatever. Either way they COULD easily intervene but they choose not to.

Episode 623 - Arrogance vs humility

Feb 20, 2023

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Arrogance is a fun subject. Related to cockiness, hubris, assertiveness, self confidence and pride. It's a fantastic trait for a villain and it's really fun to write. Heroes are often arrogant too when they need to learn a lesson in order to become a better person, it's super common in stories. We're all a bit arrogant ourselves about our skills, our knowledge, where we come from, what we look like etc. It's a universal trait! It often strikes when we think we know better or know it all on a subject: the human tendency to over-reach and to speak for others.

Episode 617 - Adventuring we go!

Jan 8, 2023

3 likes, 0 comments

Adventure is a fun genre! Not as many things get made for it these days but it used to be hugely popular in the past. It's one of my favourite genres and this is what we're chatting about for the Quackcast. What IS adventure? I think it usually involves a whole lot of different things like exploration, action, discovery, heroic protagonists, rivals, travel, exotic places, fights etc. It can be set in the past or in the modern day. Good examples are The Mummy, Indiana Jones, the original Tomb Raider, the two new Jumanji films, Strange World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Ducktales, Tailspin, Jungle Cruise, Uncharted and so much more. I'd love to know your faves!

Episode 615 - Happy Christmas!

Dec 26, 2022

5 likes, 0 comments

Happy Life Day! Hahaha! Merry Christmas for 2 days ago… This week we're talking about the “Christmas specials” that populate entertainment media this time of year. No particular reason for it, it's just because it's seasonal! It's not always Christmas focused there are the occasionally hanukkah things as well, and in the northern hemisphere this is the season for traditional winter festivals afterall.

Episode 614 - Super groups!

Dec 19, 2022

3 likes, 0 comments

Inspired by Banes we did a Quackcast on SUPER TEAMS! You know those groups like the Justice League, the Avengers, the Suicide Squad, or even Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy from The Journey to the West (Monkey Magic is my fave version). These are super powerful characters on their own but together they're even more awesome because their strengths and weakness complement each other in interesting ways. DD had its very own super team in the form of the Heroes Alliance, where a lot of DD creators got together to work on a shared universe. And back in the 2000s DD had a “Civil War” even with Keen Space (AKA Comic Genesis), where a huge number of our creators and theirs participated in something like a DC Vs Marvel crossover battle.

Episode 612 - Comfort food for the brain

Dec 5, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

There are times when you need to give your brain a bit of a break, that's when comfort shows come in handy! Movies and TV shows you can watch again and again- you can appreciate them every time and they don't get old. The tension never gets too much for you because you already know what's going to happen. You can just relax and enjoy the familiar story, revelling in the company of characters you know and visiting their world once more. They're great for creating to as well because you don't have to worry about missing anything important.

Episode 607 - Horror Sci-Fi

Oct 31, 2022

3 likes, 0 comments

Happy Halloween! Our topic is horror Sci-Fi. Sc-Fi brings with it a whole lot more interesting things you can do with horror and scary stories and there are so many great examples, from the worlds of HP Lovecraft, Alien franchise, Dead Space, Doom, Warhammer 40K, Event Horizon, the Cell, the SCP universe and more. We were inspired by Bane's newspost about horror and technology and all the cool responses he had. What's your fave horror SciFi?

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