Episode 534 - Biting off more than you can chew

Jun 7, 2021

Taking on more than you can handle - i.e. James Cameron and JJ Abrams are good directors and writers but neither could handle the demands of a complex Sci-Fi project that needs full world building and internally consistent logic etc (Avatar and Star Wars). They're great with more simple SciFi that's based on 21st century earth and simpler stories, but epic SciFi was clearly a long way beyond the capabilities of either. We're talking about when WE have been caught taking on stuff we couldn't handle, how we dealt with that and also how other creators dealt with it too.

Topics and Show Notes

It's very easy to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task that you take on, whether the story style is too much for you, you can't get a good ending, the research is too much, the artwork is too hard, the schedule is too demanding etc. We've all been caught in some way or other, usually multiple ways! One strategy is to break stuff down into more manageable chunks, but sometimes that's just too hard anyway. It can be worth it to battle on because it forces you out of your comfort zone and makes you learn new lessons and techniques. Sometimes you can still produce something great even if you didn't reach what you were originally aiming for. And sometimes it actually makes more sense to quit because you find yourself wasting too much time and energy on it when you could be spending that more profitably elsewhere. There are no single right answers here.

The cover image is emblematic: an antimissle installation developed for billions by the US, which was abaondoned soon after. They bit off more than they could chew... Not only with the idea of hunting and killing balistic missles before they hit the US coast, but pursuing a concept that would have fundamentally unbalanced the M.A.D. docterine of the late cold war: If one side can defeat the other's missles then it becomes practical for them to strike first which makes nuclear war far more likley, which means that the other side becomes more desperate... fortunately the idiocy of this path was abaondoned before it led to further escalation.
(Image: By Pitface, abandoned antimissle site in ND)

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to COSMIC SAFARI: A trip through the wilderness of the vast galaxy, along beautifully coloured nebula filaments, past the rings encircling gas giants, and through the tails of comets! This is Jean-Michele Jarre meets a small remote controlled car!

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
COSMIC SAFARI - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/jun/01/featured-comic-cosmic-safari

Featured Music:
COSMIC SAFARI - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/COSMIC_SAFARI/ - by Frenemy, 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
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes

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Episode 530 - What is SciFi?

May 10, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

So what IS SciFi? Well it's a pretty wide umbrella term and contains a lot of different things. In some senses it's just an imaginative fiction story where science replaces magic. SciFi can simply be a sciencey setting where genre stories take place (romance, adventure, nior, horror). It can be a magical fantasy space opera with a futuristic skin (Star Wars), it can be “hard SciFi” where the story is set in the future but the science is completely plausible, it can be written with strong themes that examine philosophical questions and make interesting points about the nature of humanity, and it can be so many more things too. It's a broad church!

Episode 527 - Evil superheroes unneeded

Apr 19, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

Evil superheroes are a stupid fad, that's my contention. My opinion. They've been around for a long time but now they're so popular it's becoming a bit of a fad and might turn into its own genre. I suppose Marvel and others have saturated the superhero market so to stay relevant other companies are doing “twists” on that traditional genre, hence the evil superheroes.

Episode 526 A return to Mary Sue!

Apr 12, 2021

5 likes, 3 comments

Mary Sues are always a fun topic! There are some misconceptions about them though… Mary Sues aren't all female, they can be any gender. Being super powerful or super popular or super pretty etc doesn't equal a Mary Sue, not even if your character super stands out next to all the others, those things ONLY indicate they might possibly be one. What equals a Mary Sue is a character that doesn't have to struggle very hard for anything, a character that is almost universally admired, and or loved (even by the enemy), a character that masters hard skills with ease and ends up teaching the teachers and beating the masters, a character that's destined to succeed and does in spite of internal story logic… All these things and more can add up to make a Mary Sue.

Episode 516 - comics and your mental state

Jan 31, 2021

3 likes, 0 comments

Pitface asked people how doing webcomics has helped to shore up your teetering mental state this past year. We got some responses to that and we also added our own thoughts to it. It's an interesting question though isn't it? This is a webcomic focused site, we're all creative people so webcomics tend to be a big outlet for us. How does having personal control over something YOU create and that YOU are responsible for, help you stay stable and centered when the rest of the world has seems pretty chaotic, with the crazy virus and the even madder, childish politics coming from the top leadership of the world's biggest superpower?

Episode 508 - Fan Service

Dec 6, 2020

3 likes, 0 comments

The Mandalorian on Disney Plus is a very popular series, it's particularly known at the moment because of the “fanservice”, i.e. fan rewards in the second series. a couple of Clone Wars characters are in it now… but we won't spoil that. Tantz, Banes and I chat Fan Service! What IS Fan Service and why is it a thing? When did we first learn about it?

Episode 507 - Say my name again!

Nov 30, 2020

4 likes, 1 comment

Coming up with character names isn't easy. It can actually be really, really hard! Tantz did a couple helpful Newsposts about it and we decided to spin that into a fun Quackcast about naming and names! The names behind stuff often has interesting stories, the Quackcast itself is no exception. When Wowio told us we had to do a podcast back in the day we tossed around a few names and the one they came up with was “Quackcast”, because of the whole “duck” theme we have going here. I protested because there was a highly regarded skeptical medical podcast with that name already run by Dr Mark Crislip, but I didn't have any real say and so the name stuck! When I DID have the power to change it, it was already way too entrenched.

Episode 501 - Horrorcast

Oct 19, 2020

6 likes, 6 comments

We are the Pretty Things That Live in the House! We all dressed up for a Halloween themed cast today! You can see our weird looks in our Patreon video ($5 and up subscribers). Pitface was a yellowfaced corn vampire with amazing teeth (very midwest), Banes was an old, oooooold terrifying baldy vampire, Tantz was a beautiful, big eyed doctor vampire, and I was an 18th century Vamp (Lestat/Varny), with a face messy with the blood of my victims! And I had in rubber fangs held in by chewing gum, just like a REAL vampire, because the denture glue didn't hold in my good fangs… it just filled my mouth with disgusting glue that stuck all over my teeth XD


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