Apr 20, 2020
Certain tropes or stylistic ways of telling a story can get really, really popular and trendy very quickly and it seems like they're everywhere! Suddenly many story are all told with the same sort of stylistic flourishes. The first few times it's done that way it's clever and meaningful but after that people just use the same thing without understanding it properly and consequently usually do a really crappy job!
Topics and Show Notes
My biggest bugbear currently is the stories that are split across multiple timelines: So we show concurrent storylines but one or a few of them are actually set in the past and they're interspersed with a storyline from the present as if all events are happening at the SAME time. The Witcher handled that very badly because it had no context clues about where you were at the “time”. The Medici series is another example. In that they DO give you context clues however because the characters actually look different but it's still annoying because they switch back and fourth far too regularly.
When this style of fast temporal storyline switching was first introduced in novels (in the 80s) it was reasonably clever and interesting because it was new at the time. But it is something that has to be handled carefully in order to work well. It doesn't lend itself to overuse! Unless there's a good reason and you REALLY know what you're doing, either tell your story in a linear fashion or give us extended scenes that take a full chapter/episode to complete
Banes made a post about love triangles. That's another trope that can be terrible if overused but great if used with a bit of tact and skill. Other examples are subverted character types (evil angels/good demons), subverted humanised villains (good Maleficent), bad heroes (rapist knight in shining armour)- these things are ONLY interesting because they're a twist on a standard trope and a variation from the norm, but when they BECOME the norm there's no reason for them to exist: they self invalidate.
What are some you've noticed?
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Space Daddy Adventures - A big dose of early 70s prog concept mixed with 1960s beat poetry. It reminds me of the music of the British prog band Jade Warrior from their eponymous 1971 album. Breathy flute, percussion, and a spare, jungle sound with creepy British vocals… Slip into your tight black polo-neck and black beret, sip on an espresso and flick your fingers in appreciation of this coooool retro piece!
Topics and shownotes
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Banes' newspost about love triangles - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/apr/15/we-three/
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Cragwater - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/apr/14/featured-comic-cragwater/
Space Daddy Adventures - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Space_Daddy_Adventures/, by Hushicho, rated M.
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Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Jan 26, 2020
Sexpostion is sex plus exposition, it's exposition with sex on the screen. Tantz Aerine addressed the topic of sexposition in an article last year, but what we're doing here is talking about the reason it even exists, why it isn't a new trend, and why it probably won't last.
Oct 14, 2019
Continuing on our focus on movie franchises for the month of October, THIS time we focus on the king of them all: STAR WARS! This was a genre defining series, not only for movies but for space opera, “SciFi”, and science fantasy on all media! The original trilogy was quite a milestone. Predictably further instalments weren't quite as well received but it still remains popular even so! Currently it's having a resurgence in popularity once more.
May 13, 2019
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.
Apr 22, 2019
What's your favourite weapon in fiction? Mine are ridiculously giant swords, huge anti-tank rifles, and mecha. There are a lot of complex reasons for weapon choices in fiction, a Kalashnikov assault rifles for example signals certain things about the person carrying it: They're usually a bad guy for a start. This originated during the cold war, with certain types of bad guys using AKs. First it was Soviet Bloc soldiers, then it was Viet Con and rebels from South East Asia, then it became the “terrorist” weapon. The sub machine gun is the weapon of the bad guy. Terrorists used to use Uzis (before they turned to AKs), bank robbers used to use Mac 10s, now it's the HK MP5. Good guys carry an M-16 or AR-15 rifle. In historical fiction traditionally the bad guys carries curved swords while the good guys had straight swords, this came from crusades. Minor characters carry spears and heroes carry swords. Women, weaker characters and rebels carry bows. Giant swords and guns are often given to smaller characters in anime (usually female), as an obvious contrast with their small size. It's meant to emphasis the fact they're sort of a “mighty mouse”.
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.
Nov 4, 2018
How many characters is too many? Ensemble casts can be fun and the interaction between characters can be more interesting than the actual plot of a story! But keeping track of characters from the audience point of view or even from the creator's perspective can be hard when you have a lot. Characters can copy each other and just become bad clones or you can forget what some are meant to be doing and create plot holes, audiences can stop caring about some of them or just become really confused. So how do you keep track? I think breaking them into small groups can be one good way to do it… What are some others?
Apr 30, 2018
In this Quackcast we use the movie Avengers: Infinity War as an excuse to chat about grey characters and how that applies in the Marvel universe. In truth we don't touch much on that movie but we do chat about a few of the other marvel superhero movies and “grey” characters in general, Tantz is of the opinion that “grey” characters are rarely truly grey.. My favourite quote from Tantz was “It's hard to punch the bad-guy while you're punching yourself”. Do the Marvel movies follow the comics or do the comics follow the movies? We'd love to know! This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Alienated: This is as if Joni Mitchell wrote a classical adventure anthem. This tune urges you on into the vastness and glory of nature. You are Caspar David Friedrich, A Wanderer Over A sea Of Fog, with the world in all its awesomeness spread out far below you.