Episode 441 - Cooperation = cool

Aug 26, 2019

Cooperation Vs Competition. For decades the mantra was competition is good: it produces progress and makes things better… Well that's actually false. Competition is what you're forced into as a response to limited resources, so you do what you have to to win, which mainly involves losing everything that doesn't serve that specific objective. Competition is massively harmful to progress in general, it ONLY helps you excel in one small area to massive cost. Think of it in terms of an Olympic sprinter: they become the fastest runner in the world, but to what point? Only the artificial structure of a sporting event… they spend years training, exercising, eating right, wasting a huge portion of their lives, creative, and intellectual potential on that one meaningless goal, and IF they achieve it they might get a bit of fame and money and a footnote in history because someone else will inevitably take their spot. More likely though they won't achieve the goal and instead be forgotten.

Topics and Show Notes

Evolution is another process that is commonly misunderstood to be a competition to produce better, faster, smarter, stronger creatures… this is absolutely incorrect. Evolution is the name we give for the process of change over time. That change happens in response to all sorts of factors: changing environment, climate, availability of resources, sex selection, disease, mutation, predation, diet, etc. It doesn't produce “better” creatures, it produces creatures that better suit their circumstances (if they're lucky). They can be weaker, slower, smaller, and stupider and still be superior if they fit better with their environment.
The “goal” of life isn't to “evolve”, it's to exist in balance and stability. When organisms don't have to respond to change it's THEN that they thrive. Humans are a great example of this: we're a cooperative pack species that's created millennia spanning culture and civilisation precisely because of our drive to cooperate: Our response to the pressure of change is to adapt through cooperation so that we do not have to evolve.

So how does this apply to webcomics? Hahaha! Listen to the Quackcast! ^_^
But seriously, communities like Drunk Duck emphasise cooperation over competition, although we do not enforce it! We're a community that wants to bring everyone ahead with us. Cooperation encourages diversity of opinion, style and approach. Competition on the other hand has the opposite effect in webcomics: only a few can get ahead, but the very worst part is that it limits diversity and instead results in comics, stories, styles, thinking and opinions that are all very much the same- they HAVE to be in order to compete for what their audiences like or the rules and requirements of their webhost. Which is why when you look at more competitive comic hosts you won't see better comics, you'll mainly just see comics that all look the same.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Moonscapers: It’s back to the mid 80s with Beverly Hills Cop! Not really, but this bouncy electronica sound will make you think it is. It has a jaunty little sound, a nice fast rhythm and a little bit of reverb for that authentic feel. It puts you in mind of neon light effects and retro 1980s futurism -bright, angular, vast, and slightly unsettling.



Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
The Adventures Of Kevin Kid - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/aug/19/featured-comic-the-adventures-of-kevin-kid/

Featured music:
Moonscapers - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Moonscapers/, by Pencilz, rated T.

LINKS

Tantz's commie newspost XD - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/aug/23/cooperation-vs-competition-in-comics/

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

Episode 426 - Sidekicking

May 13, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

Inspired by Emma Clare's Friday newspost about supporting characters, today we're discussing sidekicks! Sidekicks are a useful character type that are used in so many different ways. They can be a specialised type of supporting character that are also a main character or they can be the main protagonist in some cases. In comics sidekicks came in during the early days as a way of giving juvenile readers their own insert character who they could identify with… Bucky Barnes, Jimmy Olsen, Robin etc. They had other functions like giving the hero someone to save, providing commentary, reaction and exposition. Later when that kind of sidekick fell out of favour they became superheroes in their own right.

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 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 288 - Evoking too much Emotion

Sep 12, 2016

4 likes, 5 comments

Drunkduck's beloved HippieVan was influenced by last week's Quackcast on Evoking emotion to come up with a newspost about NOT invoking emotion when you don't mean to: keeping things funny, even IF heavy stuff happens to be going on, which can be tricky. I thought that was pretty interesting so we decided to talk about that on THIS week's Quackcast. We've also got some clever community contributions on the original theme of evoking emotion. So it's a pretty full Quackcast all up. We also have Pitface and Tantz Aerine joining us again! Yaaaaay! Gunwallace's theme this week is for The weird adventures of Armless Amy, it's touching and evocative, as if it’s setting up to reveal a horrible mystery to us.

Episode 285 - Ride the wave of the Anti-heroes

Aug 22, 2016

3 likes, 5 comments

Comedy anti-heroes are a great deal of fun. My faves are characters like Tankgirl and Flashman; they can be selfish, greedy, violent, lustful, out for their own needs first but they still manage to do the “right” thing and vanquish the bad guy along the way regardless, or a character like George Costanza from Seinfeld who's jealous, pathetic, cowardly and greedy but we still love him anyway because identify with him and root for him against the unloving forces of the universe. To be a GOOD comedy anti-hero you have to keep the audience on their side though and that can be a tricky balancing act, you have to surf a number of factors (especially in a long running project), since to actually BE an anti-hero they need to have things about them that an audience would normally despise, these need to be counteracted by things like sympathy and pathos, traits we strongly identify with, intelligence, luck, charm, humour, sexiness, coolness, allowing them to win sometimes, or even redeeming some of their anti-hero behaviours occasionally. Get that balance wrong and they can so easily completely lose audience favour and sour the rest of the story/show/film. Pitface, Tantz, and Banes weigh in on this with me. And there are more opinions in the forum thread from which this evolved. Gunwallace's musical theme this week was for Pestilent. It's thoughtful, haunting, reminds me a little of a classic horror film soundtrack. Pretty scary!

Episode 283 - Writing Dialogue pt1

Aug 8, 2016

3 likes, 8 comments

Dialogue is a key part of any comic, it pushes the story along, keys the reader in on things that would be otherwise ambiguous, hints and foreshadows at future happenings, creates humour… well, it's just a big part of comics, that's all! And that's what we're chatting about here in this Quackcast! The topic stems from a forum thread I posted a while ago asking people about their approach to creating dialogue and how people go about it; is it heavily scripted in advance or is it one of the last things you come up with? People had some very interesting responses! Gunwallace's musical theme was Magical Misfits. The sound is magical, classical, threatening, yet full of adventure! Love those creeping cellos, the violin and clarinet sound like a humorous dialogue between the wittier members of the party.

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!


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