Episode 499 - Life's worth?!

Oct 5, 2020

What is the worth of human life in your stories? This isn't something people often consider, we just tend to have a fairly accurate guess based on our experience of the real world, but sometimes stories get it really wrong and that can harm suspension of disbelief.

Topics and Show Notes

A few prime examples are gritty SciFi stories, westerns, war stories, and hospital dramas.
The first three dramatically undervalue human life so it doesn't make logical sense within the world it depicts: In deep space human life would be extremely valuable because it's a rare and practically non-renewable resource. The only way that changes is when you run out of survival resources (air, water, food) or it's a life or death situation, a casual attitude to life though doesn't make sense. In the old west it was the same situation for other reasons, murderers would be tracked down for thousands of miles and across many decades, the only exception was native Americans who shamefully weren't considered people for all intents and purposes, even slaves had more value. In war stories, especially historical ones, typically soldiers have no real survival instinct or self worth, they're happy to always fight to the last and run headfirst to their deaths, which is silly since battles were usually won when one side broke and ran after only a few deaths. Full scale slaughter only happened rarely and that was usually when the fleeing side was caught or captured.

Finally, hospital dramas tend to overestimate the value of life, where all stops are pulled out to save people who society doesn't value and can't afford to pay for the expensive and experimental treatments (with hundreds of thousands dollars worth of care given to them), or people too sick or old are given care they'd never recover from.

There are a lot of complex factors that influence the value of life in a story actually (emotional attachment, status, class, caste, gender, religion, politics, scope etc), but it's important not to get it too badly wrong or your story won't work as well.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Era of Iridore - Come through the sweeping tapestry curtains of copper and silicone, into the vast techno hall, past lords and ladies bedecked in flashing LEDs of many colours, knights fencing with glowing plasma blades, jesters toying with antigrav balls, and watch the minstrels play their laser harps and electric lutes!

Topics and shownotes

Links
Life's worth thread - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/178520

Featured comic:
Raising Cain - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/sep/29/featured-comic-raising-cain/

Featured music:
Era of Iridore - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Era_of_Iridore/, by Deno 85, 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
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/

Remember to join us for Quackcast 500 on Saturday!!!
- https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/oct/04/quackcast-500-show-your-love-for-the-d/

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Episode 454 - Are Marvel movies "Despicable"?

Nov 24, 2019

2 likes, 0 comments

This week we look at the famous quote by respected film director Martin Scorsese that “Marvel movies aren't Cinema” and also the quote by fellow director Francis Ford Coppola that Marvel films are “despicable”. We try and look at the proper context of these remarks outside of the twitter garbage and social media outrage to see if either had any point or whether they're way off the mark and deserving of criticism.

Episode 440 - Character tropes VS characterisation

Aug 19, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

Today we compare and contrast two ways of making characters: starting with a pure archetype and building it with tropes, or creating a character organically through circumstance and interaction with other characters.

Episode 278 - Maturity and the whisper game

Jul 4, 2016

4 likes, 4 comments

Quackcast 278 is a strange bird! We have TWO things in it! TWO! Not one… but TWO. First we play the whisper game, inspired by Ms Pitface. So what we did was one of us said something into the camera with the sound down and then everyone else had to guess what we said. Out of all of us Banes was he best. I got ONE right, but as a general rule I was the worst at it. Pit and Tantz were ok… The fun of it was the silly guesses though. It's a great parlour game for your drawing room. The second part is where we talk about MATURITY. Banes has finally become a man and he shows it by dominating us all. The guy's a beast! Seriously though, there are some interesting lessons about being “mature”… it's not all about that quote “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things”.. no, this is more about how you deal with other people, not how you present yourself and what you do with your free time. Plenty of adults don't play with “childish things” but they're less mature than most toddlers. It's an interesting subject! Gunwallace's theme for Bruno Harm is an appropriate Rockford files style intro for a guy who thinks he’s Peter Gunn. Added comedy lines featuring Banes and me!

Episode 122 - Ozoneocean on Adobe Illustrator

Apr 22, 2013

5 likes, 0 comments

Continuing our technical Quackcast series, Banes and I talk about vector art illustration program Adobe Illustrator, what it is, what it does, and some of its uses in comic art. It's another one of those big, expensive, industry standard programs with a LOT of power and potential to do many different amazing and cool things that you'll never more than scratch the surface off in comic art, but what it DOES do in comics it pretty much does that better than anything else. Next week we hope to interview the awesome, amazing, mysterious, and frequently featured Abt_Nihil!


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