Episode 401 - Stan Lee, a stupid comedian, and the new prudes

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.

Topics and Show Notes

Stan Lee was instrumental in creating a unified fantasy universe populated by a pantheon of godlike superheroes with very human thoughts and failings. Not only that but he helped elevate comics as a medium to the mainstream. No longer are comics seen as something just for children. Cartoons, fantasy, Scifi, and comics have been rightfully elevated to the mainstream where they belong as valid forms of artistic expression. People no longer have to apologise for or feel ashamed of liking them either. You're free to consume or create the media of your choice and Stan Lee was a massive part of that.

This is why the remarks by Mr Maher about Stan Lee are problematic and ill-judged. He said that the veneration shown for a creator of comics, which are “only meant for children”, shows how the US has been dumbed down and why someone like Donald Trump could have been elected.
I'd contend that the reason for “Trump” and people's idea of politics being dumbed down is that we now get most of our political commentary through comedians. They have helped turn complex subjects into simplistic black and white caricatures because that's how comedy works. It's great for breaking down ideas and giving you a simple primer to understand them, but when comedians and partisan talking heads are your main sources then things are going very, very wrong. Bill Maher IS the problem, not people liking comics. If anything, Stan Lee worked to do the opposite; his characters weren't simple 2D cut-outs (like Maher's version of political figures), they were complicated and human. These were A-political characters who strived to do what was right outside of mere party affiliations.

Then we transition into my idea of the “new puritans”.
There's a slow tide of people coming out against sexuality in art. It comes from both the left and right so there's no real political platform. I feel it's very much related to the same point of view that Bill Maher has about comics: this is media for children and we must protect them from anything grown up. When in reality all we end up doing is insulting and infantilising adults when we attack sexuality in media, whether in games, cartoons, books, comics or movies.
This is no more clearly shown than in the word these people use most often: “Sexualise”
They claim that characters are “sexualised”. You cannot sexualise an adult or teen. By biological, physical definition we are ALL sexual past puberty. That doesn't mean we have or even want sex, it means we have sexual traits and that's all it means. You can “sexualise” a non-sexual thing like a toaster or a car but it's impossible to do that to a teen or adult. Sexual traits in adult characters are healthy and normal. I contend that the need to remove them is a perversion.

This is NOT to say that sexual traits in characters should be over-emphasised. What these people really mean when they focus on sexuality is “EROTICISM”, and that is a very important distinction. It has little to do with sexuality though so it's NOT a mistake that should be overlooked. There is a time and place for eroticism and we should never foist erotic depictions where they don't belong or onto audiences that should not be exposed to them. But we should also guard against hyper-vigilance or start attacking any depiction that shows sexual traits.
Ask yourself: Is the character sexual? If yes, then is the depiction erotic? Then is eroticism appropriate for the context of the work, its audience and where it is sold? Those are the questions to ask, not weather or not a male has a bulge or a girl has prominent breasts.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Quixote Coyote… Let’s get a little chaotic with this quixotic jazz jam for Quixote Coyote! Let the organs fill your body (no, not those sorts of organs), let the drums be your heartbeat, and the trumpet will chase the electric, eclectic thoughts in your brain.

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Belle Starr - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/nov/12/featured-comic-belle-starr/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean

Featured music:
Quixote Coyote - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Quixote_Coyote/, by cjoe1377, rated E.

Episode 395 - Fighting ladies

Oct 8, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

Fighting ladies, female bad-ass characters… There are a lot more of them around now, but once upon a time they were pretty thin on the ground. I love a good badarse lady, my own comic character Pinky TA exemplifies that character type. There's something about a tough lady who can kick butt with the best of them that's especially compelling. They evolved from something a little more exploitative, ladies fighting in bikinis basically, then we had ladies that were just the female version of a male character (Batwoman, Supergirl etc), which is something we're starting to see a little more of unfortunately, but on the good side of things we ARE actually getting fighting ladies who're their OWN women: Original characters. In this Quackcast we talk about some of our faves and some of the earlier incarnations of the character type, from Robert E Howard's Red Sonya and Valeria, to Catherine L Moore's Jirel of Joiry, to Wonder woman, then later characters like Red Sonja (from the comics), She-Hulk, Sarah Conner, Ripley, Buffy, Xena, Aeon Flux… What are some of YOUR faves? Mine are Tank Girl, Lara Croft, Motoko Kusanagi, Garnet and many more :) This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Dolphin Bros: Jump, jump, jump up and down to this mad dolphin party scene. It’s all over the place but all it wants you to do is MOVE!

Episode 371 - PC GORN MAD!!

Apr 23, 2018

5 likes, 0 comments

Everyone tends to have a strong opinion on Political Correctness so I thought why don't we try and have a chat about that and ask what people think. Can it be a problem in comics and other creative works? I was inspired by a video by Youtuber Metaron. He was talking about the decision to put a black actor in the role of Greek mythical figure Achilles in a BBC series about the fall of Troy and questioning the reasoning for it given that being a blonde haired incarnation of the sun-god Apollo is a huge part of the character. My main issue is that the actor is as bald as an egg! At least give him a blonde wig, I don't care how silly it looks. To be fair Achilles has rarely been portrayed well on the big screen, there was Brad Pitt's petulant version in Troy and an even balder Joe Montana in Helen of Troy! Do we spoil creative works by trying to be too inclusive or not being inclusive enough? This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Wanted dead or dead: Welcome to a much cooler version of the old west… we open on a widescreen panorama shot of a dry, dusty desert scene and a lone cowboy all in black, kicking his toe in the dirt. This music is as warm as the hot desert breeze, the guitar is as hard as gunmetal.

Episode 260 - D.U.C.K. Radio1

Feb 29, 2016

6 likes, 4 comments

Welcome to D.U.C.K. Radio! Get ready for your DJs: Smooth Ramone, Hard rock Jimmy Storm (BRINING THE THUNDER!!!), Weatherman Rhet Blanket, Conspiracy theorist Smiley Fraudson, and hilarious* Maple and The Syrup (*they're not funny). This is the first part of Radio DUCK, we're bringing you ALL of the fantastic themes Gunwallace has composed for many great webcomics. You got a small, tiny, insignificant taste little taste of it in Quackcast 258, now be prepared to take the FULL blast! 29 of Gunwallace's classic themes in this cast and two more casts to go to get the rest so stay tuned. Gunwallace radio - All great music all the time!

Episode 258 - Gunwallace music special

Feb 15, 2016

8 likes, 0 comments

We have a special treat this time! Gunwallace is our guest and he's brought with him 15 of his fave tracks that he created as themes for DD webcomics. For two years Gunwallace has been creating fantastic musical themes for webcomics, the total is now over 90! He, Banes and I chat about the background behind the tracks, there are some interesting stories, and the music is awesome! Gunwallace is the author of many great comics and a contributor to even more as a writer, such as the Drunk Duck Plays. We hope you enjoy his 15 tracks as well as the 5 bonus ones picked out by me, Ozoneocean, including the theme to Valentine's Dei in honour of the day we recorded on. If you want your own theme by Gunwallace, help up by contributing to our Indiegogo campaign and pick it up as a perk!

Episode 237 - The Songcast

Sep 21, 2015

4 likes, 2 comments

For Quackcast 237 we asked people about the songs that inspire them when they do their comics, which songs go with which parts of their comics, what would be the ideal comic movie theme, what songs or music get you in the MOOD to do your comic, and finally; just how great are Gunwallace's fantastic comic theme tunes? And speaking of theme tunes, the masterful Gunwallace has given us a Salsa theme for Taco El Gato!

Episode 209 - lurv triangles

Mar 9, 2015

9 likes, 8 comments

Around about Valentine's day, HippieVan's mind turned to thoughts of love... and she conceived of a great newspost idea that was very popular with people! Love triangles are very good for generating drama in your writing without having to worry too much about forcing that through external events. And because they're primarily driven by you characters as well as affecting them it's a great way to build on your characterisation through the drama. In HippieVan's words we outline a few notable love triangles in fiction, both classic, and contemporary, then we include the contributions the DDers who were good enough to add their two cents to the subject.

Episode 185 - Mean Joe Genejoke

Sep 22, 2014

6 likes, 16 comments

In this episode, Banes and Genejoke are the sole and only hosts! They work diligently to review a couple of Drunk Duck comics: Utterly Rucked aaaaaaaaaand Pinky TA! (oh yeah, we went there!) "Ocean Ozone does enjoy drawing the ass!". Banes and Genejoke give us hilarious and in-depth overviews of both Gunwallace's Rugby themed whodunnit and Ozoneocean's TA themed action adventure story, along with a bonus Texan style satirical roasting of Pinky TA just for laughs. Kawaii delivers a slick, professional review of the featured comic Hello Albertosaurus, and Gunwallce give us a spot on '80s videogame musical theme for the comic The Chronicles of Bucky O'Neill by Demongrinder.


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