Aug 15, 2022
Leaders are not born, they're created… literally in the case of fiction, created by creators of comics, books, movies, and other media! For this Quackcast I was inspired by two things: a video on Leader Characters by the satirical YouTube channel Terrible Writing Advice, and the Disney movie Lightyear, in which the lone wolf classical hero figure learns how to lead.
Topics and Show Notes
Lots of traits are useful for leadership: Charisma, experience, age, rank, communication skill, empathy, compassion, dominance, and confidence among others, and different styles of leadership work better in different contexts. Take for example the military paradigm of the lieutenant and the sergeant - a lieutenant is typically the lowest ranking commissioned officer, they're a beginner. They're young and they're not experienced but they outrank enlisted men and non-commissioned officers who might have more experience than them. The sergeant is usually one of the highest ranking “non-commissioned officers”, they're usually older than the lieutenant, who outranks them, and they have a LOT more experience. This creates an interesting leadership dynamic- the lieutenant learns from the sergeant but they also lead in a different way from them. The sergeant is better at leading the soldiers and knowing what to do from a practical standpoint while the lieutenant is better at theory and interpreting with higher level orders, eg. “Our orders say we have to take that hill and meet up with the other squad near the river at this map reference, so I want to split the squad…” etc While sergeant will actually be able put all that into practice a lot better than the lieutenant could.
- (Said by a non-military person, so this could be very wrong)
Fiction is full of leaders, good and bad. Most Scifi tends to have a military influence so it all has a very familiar military hierarchical setup. Star Trek is especially known for its “good” leaders, who're inspiring, clever, brave, full of empathy, experienced, and wise. The perfect foil to them is Zapp Brannigan from Futurama who was specifically created to be the anti-Star Trek type leader with all the very worst traits that any leader could ever have. He's a horrible person, sacrifices troops meaninglessly, has a poor grasp of strategy, and takes advantage of his position for self-gratification and self-aggrandizement, all of which makes him beautifully entertaining as a character! He's one of my fave leaders in fiction, on a par with the 90s Star Trek leaders Jean-Luc Picard, Captain Benjamin Sisko , and Captain Kathryn Janeway.
Leadership is a huge subject with lots of other aspects. Politics is a massive subsection in its own right! And we can't forget that it's the followers who actually give the leader power and if they choose to desert then that power can vanish… We cover all this and more in the Quackcast. Who're your fave fictional leaders and why?
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to The Waves Inside - Clear ocean. Orange blue pink. Liquid metal swells. A calming, hypnotic synth journey over 1000 kilometers of smoothly textured sea.
Topics and shownotes
Terrible Writing Advice, Leader Characters - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lawvXdBYlAI
Mydan Post Beginnings - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/aug/09/featured-comic-mydan-post-beginnings/
The Waves Inside - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Waves_Inside/ - by TheJagged, rated M.
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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May 9, 2022
Let's go forward in time to the past so we can get back to the future and kill our grandfather and be our own ancestor while we step on a bug and change the course of evolution 200 million years in the future and doom the Morlocks to a date with Doctor Who, while Bill and Ted drive a Delorean in the Old West and save Fry's dog as it waits out the front of the Pizza place… Time travel is fun to talk about, but it's easy to mess up because paradoxes in plots pop up all over the place as timelines intersect and cross over and over, getting tangled and logically prevent events that have already happened from happening!
Apr 25, 2022
The full team is assembled yet again! Tantz came up with the idea of having a look at hidden fantasy worlds in fiction that have strong ties with the “real world” and how they function together. Her main example was the world of Harry Potter which has many strong connections to the real world and yet manages to stay very well hidden, which stretches plausibility a bit. The World of Casandra Clare's Mortal Instruments is similar in that regard, it's deeply tied to the mundane world and yet it stays hidden from it to a degree that isn't really possible.
Mar 28, 2022
Retro adventure heroes are an interesting and unique sort of hero. The trope was revived and crystallised by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg with Indiana Jones, but it had existed long before then and continues to persist now in many forms. They're not without their problems But I like these characters. I love their outfits, their competency, intelligence, self sufficiency, and their penchant for exploration and discovery.
Mar 7, 2022
Cults are weird. Unlike normal religions (from which many cults stem), cults are usually based more around charismatic individuals rather than simple doctrine. Which means the followers of cults can often get a little crazy because they're following the whims of an individual rather than boring old text from a book. And this is why religious groups with charismatic leaders (i.e evangelical Televangelists and hardline Imams), become crazy and cultish too.
Feb 28, 2022
Last week we did a thing of the persistent myths of fiction- fictional conventions that we all just accept, and are repeated over and over and even influence real life- for example: that people are blasted back in reaction to being shot. It started as a way of making shooting scenes more dramatic and obvious on film, but became a convention and we all believe it so much that it influences reality- it's part of the famous JFK conspiracy about a “second shooter” because people foolishly think JFK's head rocking “back and to the left” indicated the direction of a gunshot. The kinetic energy of a bullet is imparted to the medium it strikes, typically through heat and destruction when it hits a soft target like a human.
Feb 21, 2022
There are so many really silly cliché myths from fiction that we all just tend to accept. They're objectively stupid but they get repeated so often that we don't bat an eye when we see them and we can even start to believe them in reality. I thought it'd be fun to dig into them in a Quackcast. I made a thread in the forum for people to contribute to. Unfortunately we didn't get to many in the Quackcast but there's always time to do another!
Dec 5, 2021
We all know that fiction and reality are separate things, but fiction mirrors reality and we suspend disbelief to ignore the parts that are unrealistic so that we often treat fiction the same way AS reality. But there are many tropes and aspects of fiction that ONLY work in fiction and can't work in reality. I was inspired to examine this idea because of our Fetish-cast with Fallopian Crusader and his idea that certain fetishes can only exist in comics.