Episode 620 - losers are human too

Jan 30, 2023

My idea was to talk about social pariah characters, people who it's socially acceptable to laugh at, despise, or even hate. They can be the uncool people, the dorks, the dags, the idiots, the overweight, the ugly, the old, the out of touch, the over the hill… On the extreme end they could be monsters and criminals. Generally they're written pretty two dimensionally as a collection of cliches, but when the writing goes beyond that to lend them humanity is when it goes to the next level.

Topics and Show Notes

I'm not talking about underdogs or members of minority groups because people should already know better than to write them as stereotypes or to laugh at them for being what they are. I'm not talking about “punching up” or “down” or sideways either.
A good example would be one of those Mansplaining “M'Lady” characters: a fat, young white guy with a thin goatee beard, in a black stingy brim fedora hat and black trench coat, worn over a t-shirt and cargo shorts. It's socially acceptable to universally despise that person, and it can even feel good to have someone like that who everyone is allowed to laugh at. Other examples are the Boomer, the Karen, the angry vegan woman, nerds, pervs, trainspotters, Furries, Bronies, and Treckies.

My conjecture is that an ordinary or bad writer just uses them as is and leverages the popular social derision surrounding them for humour. While a really good writer goes beyond the cliches and gives the character some humanity. Dwight in the US version of The Office started out as a character we loved to hate, but as the show wore on and he gained more humanity he became an immeasurably better character. King of the Hill is a show entirely dedicated to the sort of people pop-culture gives us permission to mock and deride and yet it shows us their vulnerabilities which makes them so much better than the characters in Family Guy who are similarly despised people but with no other dimension.

One of the main faults of the second Knives Out movie, Glass Onion, is that the characters are mostly all built around cliches we're supposed to despise, and they don't go beyond that. I liked the film but it wasn't as clever it thought it should be.

By all means start off with a boomer, Karen, angry vegan lady or a Mainsplainer, pick the low hanging fruit jokes, get all the easy laughs, but then turn things on their head. Go deeper. Show them as more than a simple cliches, more than a cutout! That will enhance your story supremely, make your characters more interesting, the drama more effective and your jokes funner.


This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Prince of the Moonlight Stone - Mysterious sounds of the cold, snowy, moonlit, pine-forest… Percussion heats up and leads us down into the steaming jungles in the valleys below, away from the cry of the wolf and the savage bite of the cold mountain winds.

Topics and shownotes

Links

Featured comic:
Explorer Chronicles - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/jan/24/featured-comic-explorer-chronicles/

Featured music:
Prince of the Moonlight Stone - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/_Prince_of_the_Moonlight_Stone/ - by KillerSandy, rated M.


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

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Episode 616 - Happy New years!

Jan 2, 2023

3 likes, 0 comments

Happy 2023! This was the last Quackcast of 2022 and the FIRST Quackcast of 2023! I was recording during 2023 while Tantz, Banes and Pit were still stuck in 2022 because of the time difference between us, so we straddled the years! We had the full crew here of myself, Banes, Tantz Aerine, and Pit Face! We chatted about what we did with comics in 2022, what movies we saw and the issue of “AI Art” and how it impacts actual artists. It was a really cool talk!

Episode 614 - Super groups!

Dec 19, 2022

3 likes, 0 comments

Inspired by Banes we did a Quackcast on SUPER TEAMS! You know those groups like the Justice League, the Avengers, the Suicide Squad, or even Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy from The Journey to the West (Monkey Magic is my fave version). These are super powerful characters on their own but together they're even more awesome because their strengths and weakness complement each other in interesting ways. DD had its very own super team in the form of the Heroes Alliance, where a lot of DD creators got together to work on a shared universe. And back in the 2000s DD had a “Civil War” even with Keen Space (AKA Comic Genesis), where a huge number of our creators and theirs participated in something like a DC Vs Marvel crossover battle.

Episode 612 - Comfort food for the brain

Dec 5, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

There are times when you need to give your brain a bit of a break, that's when comfort shows come in handy! Movies and TV shows you can watch again and again- you can appreciate them every time and they don't get old. The tension never gets too much for you because you already know what's going to happen. You can just relax and enjoy the familiar story, revelling in the company of characters you know and visiting their world once more. They're great for creating to as well because you don't have to worry about missing anything important.

Episode 609 - The Cringe

Nov 14, 2022

5 likes, 0 comments

So how do you like comedy that makes you cringe? You know that really awkward humour where you feel embarrassed for those involved and almost in physical pain for them? You feel really bad for them… It could be cruel pranks, or jokes based on lies or misunderstandings that are just carried way too far. Personally I find them hard to take. It CAN be great like in the original version of The Office, but even that was REALLY hard to watch at times. This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Stick Figure Apocalypse - Relaxing, cool funk groove that cruises along dreamily, hitting turbulent waters hallway through, with a wildly discordant patch of sonic confusion, startling us out of our revere, before slipping back into the same quiet groove again and fading to silence.

Episode 605 - Myth of Freedom

Oct 17, 2022

5 likes, 1 comment

“Freedom” is the catch cry in so much historical fiction but it's usually an anachronistic piece of nationalist fantasy. You fought for your lord, for pay, your honour, your small region, etc, not for “Scotland” (i.e. Bravehert). Even today it's generally propaganda: e.g. The Invasion of Iraq being called “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and Russia's invasion of Ukraine being all about “freeing” the Russian speaking areas from “oppression”. We alter historical stories to fit with contemporary ideas about ourselves and to give us some form of foundation for our prejudices, motivations and identity. Good examples are the Arthurian legends, Gladiator, Braveheart, The Patriot, Robin Hood, The stories about Christopher Columbus, The 300, and The Woman King.

Episode 604 - Stylised reality

Oct 10, 2022

4 likes, 3 comments

When creating fiction we always have to stylise experience in many and various ways in order to communicate with the viewer in a way that's meaningful to them because it's usually impossible to simply show them the exact reality of something and expect that same meaning to carry through.

Episode 600 - AI is bad at art

Sep 12, 2022

3 likes, 6 comments

here's a lot of buzz about so called AI generated art at the moment using programs like Dall-E, Neural blender, Dream studio lite and so on. People use text prompts, i.e. “flying clockwork fish balloon” and the AI generates “art” based upon that. It usually does this by using actual art and photography created by real people, and visually mixing them to create a new image. Some results are much better than others.


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