Episode 506 - The fightcast

Nov 22, 2020

Today we chat about fight scenes! This was spurred by a post in our forums about how bad fight choreography can spoil a film. Our Patron vid was mainly about fights in our comics, while the Quackcast is more about fights in movies. One of the things about REAL fights is that they're usually very fast, ugly, stupid looking, and not very exciting. It's important to remember that boxers and UFC fighters are entertainers and sports people, those people are performing for an audience - their fights are real but they're designed to be showy and exciting, whereas true fighting on the street or in war etc is very different, it's more deadly and more stupid looking.

Topics and Show Notes

Cinematic fighting HAS to be choreographed usually to avoid injury, that's just how it is. However, the degree of stylisation varies. If the fighting is too stylised compared to the rest of the film then there'll be a miss-match and the fight will seem silly and weaken the suspension of disbelief. Stylised, symbolic fighting was very common with Kung-Fu movies back in the day. In the late 90s the tricks with wires and other over the top moves started to be aped by Hollywood films with very silly results: That kind of fighting suits Kung-fu movies because they're obviously fantasy in style and not naturalistic, whereas the prevailing style for Hollywood films is naturalistic acting and realism so stylised fight scenes don't fit.

Fights in comics can be done in a few ways, the easiest is to show quick vignettes of different aspects and stages of the fight. The most tricky way is to show a fight from a linear perspective as it flows from one move to another in space and time. Fights are a marvelous way to quickly build drama and tension and to show catharsis in a very compressed way.

The musical feature this week that Gunwallace has given us is theme to Hitchhikers - Operatic depth vs the simple country sounds of a banjo! Reminiscent of Journey of the Sorcerer by the Eagles, which became the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy theme, which shares a part of its title with this comic… I don’t think that’s a coincidence! Gunwallace has given us a lovely homage to that famous tune. The contrast between the rustic simplicity of plucked strings and layered tonal depth!

Topics and shownotes

Links

Fight talk in the forums - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/177412/?page=27

Featured comic:
Strike Pup - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/nov/17/featured-comic-strike-pup/

Featured Music:
Hitchhikers - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Hitchhikers/ - by Fraggle Rocksta, rated E.

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
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

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Episode 471 - Fantasy

Mar 23, 2020

2 likes, 0 comments

Today we're having a chat about fantasy fiction! Mainly books and the fantasy writing that inspired us and that we love! Faves like Tolkien, Fritz Leiber and Piers Anthony! Just to define, we're talking swords, elves, armour, dragons etc, in a “medieval” context, generally European. As a subset there's native, Arabian, Asian, Mayan etc, also high fantasy, low fantasy, sword and sorcery, historical fantasy and even mythology…. And then techno fantasy, contemporary fantasy, steampunk, fantasy cyberpunk and so on… but we mainly stick to the mainstream stuff and only just touch on the weird little variations for now.

Episode 439 - weather flavour enhancer!

Aug 12, 2019

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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.

Episode 431 - Political messages in your work

Jun 17, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

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.

Episode 395 - Fighting ladies

Oct 8, 2018

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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 279 - Meet the Mutants!

Jul 11, 2016

4 likes, 4 comments

Our very own heavily mutated Pitface put up a guest post about her fellow mutants, filling in for HippieVan while Hippy is away fighting the mutants in Japan wearing a tie-dyed sailor suit and riding a Volkswagen battle mecha, as you do in Japan… anyway, as a member of the anti-mutant police force, I had to drag in Pit for questioning! And that's what we did for this Quackcast. Banes and I interrogate Pit on the subject of mutants! Mutants are a forgotten race at the moment: Mutants are the zombies of SciFi in a way; a mob of anonymous monstrous minions who exist to menace the heroes and be gunned down in their thousands. But they're also so much more… Unlike zombies, mutants have a lot more personality and humanity, they can also be far more demonic and revolting than any zombie, they can be any shape, size of configuration. Mutants are so much scarier and adaptable than mere zombies, because unlike zombies they're not always degrading and falling apart, no, mutants are evolving constantly, they can get larger, gorier and more terrifying, i.e. The Thing. For mutant pathos witness the Mars mutants in the original Total Recall: There's a man with a baby in his chest and we feel for him and respect him. We have superhero mutants too in the form of the X-men. Can't forget them! But remember also that “mutants” are also a very real thing in this world, unlike zombies, in fact we are ALL mutants in one way or another, not just those special people with a conjoined twin or extra nipples or genitals or whatever, all of us have our own exciting DNA variation! I have a big nose, crooked lower teeth and pasty white skin myself, I'm practically a Morlock. So what is YOUR “mutation”?

Episode 109 - Tantzface and Pit Aerine Quacktet TAG TEAM

Jan 21, 2013

6 likes, 9 comments

Ozone and Banes are joined by some of our most fave recurring guests Tantz Aerine and Pit Face, to form... The Quacktet! The Quacktet talk about characters, writing and all the things that can go wrong and right with character development, both in story writing and in visual design. Things went a BIT awry and this was our THIRD attempt at doing a Quackcast that eveneing, to top it off I was quite ill at the time too, with a bucket by my side... Tantz says "NO" a lot, we learn that characters need proper discipline (it turns out spanking just isn't enough), we talk about Pit Face working on a new collaborative community project, and Tantz Aerine fighting the good fight as a hero of the modern Greek political resistance.We apologise for getting a little bit silly.


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