Episode 401 - Stan Lee, a stupid comedian, and the new prudes

Nov 19, 2018

This is Quackcast 401! Error, error! Pitface and Tantz were absent so Banes and myself were left to go quietly off the rails and expostulate all sorts of radical, half formed, badly articulated thoughts. This is an interesting one! We cover the death of the great Stan Lee, titan of the comics and superhero world. Then we sidestream into talking about comedians trying to be political commentators (re: Bill Maher)… I must apologise for my Ad Hominems. And lastly our focus is on a “new puritanism” in some aspects of pop-culture. It all ties together, if a little awkwardly.

Topics and Show Notes

Stan Lee was instrumental in creating a unified fantasy universe populated by a pantheon of godlike superheroes with very human thoughts and failings. Not only that but he helped elevate comics as a medium to the mainstream. No longer are comics seen as something just for children. Cartoons, fantasy, Scifi, and comics have been rightfully elevated to the mainstream where they belong as valid forms of artistic expression. People no longer have to apologise for or feel ashamed of liking them either. You're free to consume or create the media of your choice and Stan Lee was a massive part of that.

This is why the remarks by Mr Maher about Stan Lee are problematic and ill-judged. He said that the veneration shown for a creator of comics, which are “only meant for children”, shows how the US has been dumbed down and why someone like Donald Trump could have been elected.
I'd contend that the reason for “Trump” and people's idea of politics being dumbed down is that we now get most of our political commentary through comedians. They have helped turn complex subjects into simplistic black and white caricatures because that's how comedy works. It's great for breaking down ideas and giving you a simple primer to understand them, but when comedians and partisan talking heads are your main sources then things are going very, very wrong. Bill Maher IS the problem, not people liking comics. If anything, Stan Lee worked to do the opposite; his characters weren't simple 2D cut-outs (like Maher's version of political figures), they were complicated and human. These were A-political characters who strived to do what was right outside of mere party affiliations.

Then we transition into my idea of the “new puritans”.
There's a slow tide of people coming out against sexuality in art. It comes from both the left and right so there's no real political platform. I feel it's very much related to the same point of view that Bill Maher has about comics: this is media for children and we must protect them from anything grown up. When in reality all we end up doing is insulting and infantilising adults when we attack sexuality in media, whether in games, cartoons, books, comics or movies.
This is no more clearly shown than in the word these people use most often: “Sexualise”
They claim that characters are “sexualised”. You cannot sexualise an adult or teen. By biological, physical definition we are ALL sexual past puberty. That doesn't mean we have or even want sex, it means we have sexual traits and that's all it means. You can “sexualise” a non-sexual thing like a toaster or a car but it's impossible to do that to a teen or adult. Sexual traits in adult characters are healthy and normal. I contend that the need to remove them is a perversion.

This is NOT to say that sexual traits in characters should be over-emphasised. What these people really mean when they focus on sexuality is “EROTICISM”, and that is a very important distinction. It has little to do with sexuality though so it's NOT a mistake that should be overlooked. There is a time and place for eroticism and we should never foist erotic depictions where they don't belong or onto audiences that should not be exposed to them. But we should also guard against hyper-vigilance or start attacking any depiction that shows sexual traits.
Ask yourself: Is the character sexual? If yes, then is the depiction erotic? Then is eroticism appropriate for the context of the work, its audience and where it is sold? Those are the questions to ask, not weather or not a male has a bulge or a girl has prominent breasts.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Quixote Coyote… Let’s get a little chaotic with this quixotic jazz jam for Quixote Coyote! Let the organs fill your body (no, not those sorts of organs), let the drums be your heartbeat, and the trumpet will chase the electric, eclectic thoughts in your brain.

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Belle Starr - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/nov/12/featured-comic-belle-starr/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean

Featured music:
Quixote Coyote - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Quixote_Coyote/, by cjoe1377, rated E.

Episode 337 - Interview with AmeliaP of Kings Club

Aug 28, 2017

4 likes, 4 comments

This week we interview the artist and creator of the comic Kings Club, AmeliaP! Her comic was featured and Gunwallace also gave it a theme tune that was featured in Quackcast 335. AmeliaP is a talented professional comic creator and game designer. We couldn't interview her directly because she's not confident enough in her spoken English, so what we've done instead is read out a written interview that I did with her especially for this Quackcast. Amelia has some surprising and valuable insights for comic creators. You can read the full text of her interview bellow. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Abejitas - This tune bounces in like a wild thing, spinning and buzzing crazily, full of black striped yellow techno sweet honey madness and rapid wingbeats of energy, this will sting you into full awareness!

Episode 217 - Sexy and attractive characters

May 4, 2015

6 likes, 1 comment

For this Quackcast we thought we'd explore what makes characters sexy and/or attractive: Men or women, it doesn't matter, original characters, or from TV, comics, films, radio, games, whatever. How do you make a sexy character? What's a good example of a sexy character? What makes a character sexy? We had a LOT of people telling us what they thought and we had some pretty strong opinions ourselves! Also, you will LOVE the sexy Roxy Music sounding theme tune for The Flower and the Nose by Gunwallace.

Episode 201 - The Improvisationcast

Jan 13, 2015

5 likes, 7 comments

Pitface joins the duo of Banes and Ozoneocean once again, this time for the Improvisationcast! Pitface and Tantz Aerine do a lot of writing together when they work jointly on their script for Brave Resistance, but in order to further exercise their creative and collaborative muscles they also practise a turn by turn writing style where they improvise a story as they go. They start off with their own comic characters, one writes an intro and a bit with their character and the next one carries on after with their own character and also weaving the first person's character into the story with them, and so on. In the end you can produce a startling organic story that has forced you to examine the way your character would react to totally unfamiliar situations and stimuli. In this Quackcast we all experiment with this by doing an improvised play with characters we make up on the spot, to very mixed results....

Episode 165 - Mecha Madness!

May 5, 2014

7 likes, 16 comments

Today Banes and I have a little talk about weaponry and mecha in webcomic- how do you come up with it? How much research do you do? Should it actually work? Is coolness the only factor to consider? How detailed do you go when you design it? how far away from reality and cartoony is appropriate? We consider most of those questions and a few more, there's a LOT to get into on a topic like this and we really only just barely scratch the surface! In my own webcomic Pinky TA I've done a LOT of research and design work to get my mecha and weaponry looking right, so this is a subject dear to me. But we all have our own opinions on this, not just in webcomics but in games, movies, anime, and manga. I would love it if people could contribute their ideas in the comments here or on the DD forum here: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/176137/

Episode 95 - Kawaii Daigakusei Confidential

Sep 17, 2012

7 likes, 8 comments

Our very special guest this week is the lovely Claire Leona, known as kawaiidaigakusei on DD, she's the author and artist behind the long-running comic Kawaii Daigakusei that was recently featured! Kawai Daigakusei is about a young woman growing up and finding her place in the world. Learning how to have relationships, learning about the world of art, and indulging in her passion for videogames and fast cars. In this interview we get into some behind the scenes info about leona's comic, we learn what inspired her, where real life ends and the comic begins, what it's like to produce such a large body of work, and how what she's learned in her comic has helped her in her proffessional life and vice versa! We also have Bane's wonderful rendition of Gunwallace's Character Development song. You must not miss it.

Episode 58 - Secret Santa Rokulily Interview & What Happens Next

Jan 3, 2012

8 likes, 11 comments

Happy New Year! This is our first Quackcast of 2012! This week we have an informative and entertaining interview with the marvellously creative manageress of 2011's Drunk Duck Secret Santa: Rokulily. Rokulily tells us a bit about herself, her plans to take over Drunk Duck with the rest of her extended family, the dangerous New York Squirrel population, Mafia games and finally some inside info on controlling the whole Secret Santa community art project. And to finish up, our exciting weekly adventure soap, "What Happened While I Was Away" at 51.19. Catch Roku here: http://www.drunkduck.com/user/rokulily/

Episode 54 - Creative Backgrounds, Under the Influence

Dec 6, 2011

8 likes, 11 comments

What are the things from your background that have influenced your comic work? What are the events, images, situations, lessons, film, music, people, ideologies, and experiences that have served as your creative fuel? This is what I wanted to know about for this Quackcast, so we have various DD comic artists describing the inspiration fuel cells that power their work.


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