Aug 15, 2022
Leaders are not born, they're created… literally in the case of fiction, created by creators of comics, books, movies, and other media! For this Quackcast I was inspired by two things: a video on Leader Characters by the satirical YouTube channel Terrible Writing Advice, and the Disney movie Lightyear, in which the lone wolf classical hero figure learns how to lead.
Topics and Show Notes
Lots of traits are useful for leadership: Charisma, experience, age, rank, communication skill, empathy, compassion, dominance, and confidence among others, and different styles of leadership work better in different contexts. Take for example the military paradigm of the lieutenant and the sergeant - a lieutenant is typically the lowest ranking commissioned officer, they're a beginner. They're young and they're not experienced but they outrank enlisted men and non-commissioned officers who might have more experience than them. The sergeant is usually one of the highest ranking “non-commissioned officers”, they're usually older than the lieutenant, who outranks them, and they have a LOT more experience. This creates an interesting leadership dynamic- the lieutenant learns from the sergeant but they also lead in a different way from them. The sergeant is better at leading the soldiers and knowing what to do from a practical standpoint while the lieutenant is better at theory and interpreting with higher level orders, eg. “Our orders say we have to take that hill and meet up with the other squad near the river at this map reference, so I want to split the squad…” etc While sergeant will actually be able put all that into practice a lot better than the lieutenant could.
- (Said by a non-military person, so this could be very wrong)
Fiction is full of leaders, good and bad. Most Scifi tends to have a military influence so it all has a very familiar military hierarchical setup. Star Trek is especially known for its “good” leaders, who're inspiring, clever, brave, full of empathy, experienced, and wise. The perfect foil to them is Zapp Brannigan from Futurama who was specifically created to be the anti-Star Trek type leader with all the very worst traits that any leader could ever have. He's a horrible person, sacrifices troops meaninglessly, has a poor grasp of strategy, and takes advantage of his position for self-gratification and self-aggrandizement, all of which makes him beautifully entertaining as a character! He's one of my fave leaders in fiction, on a par with the 90s Star Trek leaders Jean-Luc Picard, Captain Benjamin Sisko , and Captain Kathryn Janeway.
Leadership is a huge subject with lots of other aspects. Politics is a massive subsection in its own right! And we can't forget that it's the followers who actually give the leader power and if they choose to desert then that power can vanish… We cover all this and more in the Quackcast. Who're your fave fictional leaders and why?
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to The Waves Inside - Clear ocean. Orange blue pink. Liquid metal swells. A calming, hypnotic synth journey over 1000 kilometers of smoothly textured sea.
Topics and shownotes
Terrible Writing Advice, Leader Characters - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lawvXdBYlAI
Mydan Post Beginnings - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/aug/09/featured-comic-mydan-post-beginnings/
The Waves Inside - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Waves_Inside/ - by TheJagged, rated M.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
PitFace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
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Jul 31, 2022
The Manchild can be a fun character or they can be pathetic. They're a staple of comedies because they're an adult that gets to act immature and childish, without the restraint and responsibilities imposed by adulthood. This can make a great contrast; “The adult man acting like an immature child”, John C Riley and Will Farrel have always done that extremely well, as did Chris Farley back in the 90s. It can be be portrayed as pathetic and sad when the person can't seem to be able grow up or take on any responsibilities. They're often characterised by people with “childish” interests, like the cast of the Big Bang Theory, or with a childlike love of something like sports like Kevin in Kevin can F Himself.
Jun 20, 2022
Sometimes it's worth revisiting old ideas because you can do them better or explore them deeper. This could be in the form of a full reboot, or it could be as simple as reusing a pose in a panel or using the same theme again like Pixar does with 90% of their output i.e. “coming of age”. Like them you don't need to feel obligated to always do something totally original, revisiting old ideas is a great way to refine them, create better work, or explore different aspects of them you hadn't considered before and put new and interesting spins on things. Consider that Pixar's Turning Red, Encanto, Moana, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, and Luca all share the same “coming of age/childhood independence” theme and yet all do it in unique and original ways, exploring different aspects of the idea from all sorts of angles.
Mar 28, 2021
Image credit: There's Something About Mary, 20th Century Fox. Empathy is like sympathy but you don't think about it. It's what happens when you see someone get hurt and you wince in pain watching them, it's when you see a really uncomfortable moment in a sitcom like The Office and you cringe, It's when you feel sad when the characters are sad about something. Empathy is an important tool for audience immersion- if they're feeling that strongly for the characters then you've got them invested in your story! Funny story… the topic of this Quackcast was inspired by us talking about the risks of “going commando” and the fact that it can happen to women as well as men. This led us to go looking for photographic and video proof, as you do… and what we saw gave us instant empathy for the poor unfortunate. Hence the Quackcast topic ;) This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to PleaseRewind: Quiet threat, creepy, seeping, strumming, thrumbing, coming CLOSER, inside, peering around, waiting to begin. This is a quiet track filled with an undertone of urgency suggested by the constant quick rhythm and lonely guitar.
Aug 31, 2020
Does a story always need an antagonist embodied in the form of an active character? I don't think they do! We chat about examples of stories without antagonistic characters that work just as well, if not better than the reverse! This is based on Bane's newspost from last Thursday (link in the notes). Tantz and I have a long argument about what the main antagonist in Wall-E was! I think that a lot of the better Pixar movies don't have their main antagonising force embodied in characters- Inside Out, Moana, Coco, Wall-E etc, and we they do they're not quite as strong or as touching. Even in Up the villain in that only plays the main antagonist for a short time. What d you think?
Apr 13, 2020
OMG we're all still stuck inside forever and ever. So what are the shows we're all watching? We all get together to have a bit of a chat about the great things that we're all into right now. Pitface Joins us once again! So cool to have her along :D Tantz and Banes are are the stalwart members as usual ^_^
Nov 24, 2019
This week we look at the famous quote by respected film director Martin Scorsese that “Marvel movies aren't Cinema” and also the quote by fellow director Francis Ford Coppola that Marvel films are “despicable”. We try and look at the proper context of these remarks outside of the twitter garbage and social media outrage to see if either had any point or whether they're way off the mark and deserving of criticism.
Apr 1, 2019
The entire gang is here this time again. This marks number 420 of the Quackcasts we've done. 420 is code among some for smoking dope, so going with that theme we're talking about the influence of substances on creative endeavours. People try and use substances to facilitate their creativity, we chat about why they do it, how it works, why it fails, the benefits and the issues. We DO NOT advocate taking illegal things in any way at all. This includes ANY substance, from dope, to coffee, to redbull, tea, wine, beer, cold and flu medication, headache pills, opium, adderall, ANYTHING at all, as long as it produces some mental or physiological change, it counts!