Episode 451 - Fans who criticise are are good fans

Nov 4, 2019

“Toxic fans” is a bit of a catch cry now and that has seemed to turn into the idea that any fan who is critical of something or doesn't like it isn't a “true fan”, fans must should love everything. I find this a dangerously silly notion and one clearly driven by business interests with only a limited relationship to reality. It's quite similar to the idea that you're “either for us or against us”, the twisted idea of “patriotism” that says you must agree with and love everything your country and your leader does no matter what or you're a traitor.

Topics and Show Notes

The truth is that trolls have always been a minority force. They exist and they are nasty, often sexist, racist pigs, but they're certainly not fans and don't characterise real critical voices. Using the existence of trolls to justify shutting down criticism is silly. In reference to this Tantz and Banes bring up big budget mass media productions like Star Wars, Game of Thrones and Ghost Busters, but I was thinking along more general lines: Good fans are people that love something but also care enough about it to think about storylines, characters and deeper aspects of that thing (it doesn't matter what it is), to have constructive opinions or to be upset when they see their characters misused etc.

People who are not fans and who really shouldn't get involved in the discussion are the “it's not for you” or “it's just a movie” crowd. Everyone knows it's not real life, and a creative product is “for” anyone that cares enough about it to consume it and form an opinion.

As Vickie Boutwell said “the opposite of love isn't hate, it's apathy”.

Fans who care are the best fans: it's these people who become creators in their own right while others simply consume. The greatest minds in pop-culture all started out as critical, thinking, fans. Name any successful, big series in any format (TV, movies, books, comics, games), and you're likely to uncover a fan that cared enough to let their opinions of their fandom show and then get in and have a go for themselves. By encouraging criticism and involvement we encourage creativity, by shutting that down all we get are consumers -which gives you a clue where that pressure is mainly coming from. ;)

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Ripping off King Arthur: We’re all preparing for the big event here with this theme. It’s a weird mixture of a Rocky theme, fantasy epic, and 8 bit video game music… as if were were about to see a pixelated, medieval fantasy themed version of Mortal Kombat! The fight showdown to end all fight showdowns!

Topics and shownotes

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Game of Thrones writer gossip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-rCuVtj7GA

Featured comic:
The jacket Comic - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/oct/29/featured-comic-the-jacket-comic/

Featured music:
Ripping off King Arthur - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Ripping_Off_King_Arthur/, by Arspitzer, rated M.

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

Episode 417 - Can we be better?

Mar 11, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

What is Social Marketing? Basically its word-of-mouth and viral marketing smashed together and weaponised: Marketing companies hijack hot-button social issues and hitch their client's brand to them in clever campaigns (“We can be better”, etc). The purpose isn't really to make a brand seem progressive, modern or new, rather it's another way of getting it trending on social media that's guaranteed to work, unlike the legion of hit or miss but mostly failed “Viral” campaigns. Whether people say negative or positive things about this issue is irrelevant to the marketer, as long as people are talking about the brand is all that matters. Free advertising is the goal, but it has a social cost.

Episode 383 - Slow burn

Jul 16, 2018

5 likes, 4 comments

The idea for this Quackcast came from a rant by the irascible PitFace. She was talking about how there's a trend in modern SciFi and horror movies to bash you over the head with constant action and it doesn't allow you time to relax and take in the story, you're just bounced from one relentless scene to the next. In the biggest classics of the genre like Alien, Ghost in the Shell (animated 90's version) or Blade Runner they DO allow the viewer slow moments of reflection and it helps to make the action feel more intense by contrast as well as allowing the viewer time to assimilate and understand all the ideas and themes they've been presented with so far.

Episode 346 - Existential horror

Oct 30, 2017

3 likes, 5 comments

It caaaammmmme from outerspace… An unimaginably gigantic multi-tentacled green horror, Banes'thulu'Ary'lth! We only caught a glimpse of his heaving, slimy, scaled bulk but our minds couldn't fully comprehend what we saw and we were all driven insane! In this Halloween Quackcast we discuss Bane's newspost subject of Thursday: Existential cosmic horror! We also Made a Halloween Quackcast VIDEO - https://youtu.be/TvIGQqCbRAk, so check that out and see Tantz dressed as a beautiful black widow, me as a black clad gravedigger, Banes as a hellhound and Pitface as the invisible ghostgirl! We talk about the stories of HP Lovecraft, biblical horror in Revelations, The Path by James Riot, the stories and the writing of Guy de Maupassant. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to The Sunless Children: Flute, violins, and kettle drum stitching together a complex tapestry of melody, weaving a fantastical visual saga though music alone, leading us down an exciting and dark path… till the climax in a clash of bright silver cymbals!

Episode 320 - Making the reader believe

Apr 24, 2017

4 likes, 2 comments

In this Quackcast I wanted to talk about the magic of authorship: how the creator of a story sets up the whole situation so that they can convince the reader of anything. You can write a story about the smartest man in the world, and the reader will believe that they are, within the story, because you set it up that way: not just by having other characters reacting to them and forming that impression, but also independently convincing the audience of it as well by having them solving riddles and such or knowing lots of languages, quoting literary texts etc, but the creator doesn't have to be a very smart person themselves… Like Sherlock Holmes is seen as super smart because he's meant to, but Arthur Conan Doyle wasn't a super genius himself. You can write about a Casanova type charmer who's fantastic with the opposite sex and readers will believe, but only if you set the stage well enough. You as the creator set the parameters for anything to happen. Without having certain abilities or skills yourself, you can create a character with totally convincing skills far outside of yourself. The music for this week by Gunwallace is for The Gloom, it's creepy, ghostly, unsettling, uneven. This one gets under your skin and keeps you off-balance.

Episode 302 - the agendacast

Dec 19, 2016

3 likes, 6 comments

Today we talk about works of pop-culture that have an obvious political agenda, so obvious that t not only gets in the way of the entertainment but also dictates to the audience without letting them have a chance to come to their own conclusions: forcing you to see things only one way. Even when we agree with the agenda being presented it can still strike a sour chord, often more-so since they're preaching to the choir and usually just throwing a badly simplified version of the philosophy at you, which can feel insulting. So that's what we chat about. Those views can come from ANY political persuasion, the right the left, communism, fascism, socialism, libertarianism whatever. No one has a monopoly on ideologues. We became overtly political towards the end… Sorry for that. HAHAHA. Do we practise what we preach? HELLS NO! I have to apologise again for the terrible sound quality of my voice recording. I thought I'd fixed the settings from last week, but I was wrong. I HAVE now though. Gunwallace's musical theme was for Grunk - cocktail bar samba played on a church organ. The music of heaven! Cheesy heaven. You can imagine fat angels in hawaiian shirts swanning about drunkenly and spilling their margaritas.

Episode 248 - Interview with Dario Di Donato of Barbarian Adventure

Dec 6, 2015

3 likes, 5 comments

Today we interview Dario Di Donato, the creator of the great webcomic Barbarian Adventure! You may recall that Gunwallace did an amazing theme to Barbarian adventure that we played in Quackcast 244, AND the comic was featured a few weeks ago too! Anyway, this time around, Banes, Pitface and I interview the creator of this fine work and he fills us in on his many classic 1980s pop culture sources of inspiration. Dario brims with a positivity, dedication and enthusiasm that is infectious! And you can listen to Gunwallace's dark punky theme to Monster Soup!

Episode 230 - Getting the formula RIGHT

Aug 3, 2015

4 likes, 6 comments

We've talked about formulas before, but mostly in the context of escaping formulas and reinventing them. NOW however we're talking about using existing formulas to create a story, or creating new formulas and sticking to them to come up with your stories. Formulas can be a good tool to write with, along with their close sibling “the trope” they take elements that are proven to work and stick them on a solid framework for you to more easily create your story around. All you need to do is plug in your characters and situation and see how it all fits. Formulas are comfortable for people and make it easier for a writer to structure their story faster AND in a way they know should appeal to people. Enjoy Gunwallace's lovely theme for Rismo!


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