Oct 21, 2019
As promised we dive right into the second half of the Star Wars chat! We cover all the Star Wars stuff besides the original trilogy and the new trilogy. There's a lot to cover and we only touch on most on it: Solo, the Star Wars Christmas special, Droids, the Ewok films, Clone Wars, the games, the books, comics, Solo, Rogue One…
Topics and Show Notes
For October we're having a look at various popular film franchises because understanding of them has a lot to offer webcomic creators. Last week we looked at the original Star Wars trilogy and talked about that in relation to the latest one. Before that it was Indiana Jones.
Personally I think the main strength of the Star Wars franchise has nothing to do with the Force, the Jedi, Vader or any of that story stuff: At its heart Star Wars has always been a triumph of aesthetics, aesthetics that are done so well they grab and hold the audience! When the first film blasted onto the screen in the late 70s it was really like nothing before it. It was the perfect synthesis of so many elements; fantasy, Sci-Fi, space opera, western, samurai, ww2 war film, and classic Hollywood blockbuster. We always get too caught up in the ridiculous story and script writing to realise what's so good about Star Wars and what is ALWAYS good about it: Amazing sets, great music, costumes, props, effects, lighting, sound design, models and so on. All those elements come together to make an imaginative, imersive, cool and unusual evocative experience. It's a mythic image that never fails to grab our attention. Yes the stories are often terrible, the dialogue can be stupid, the themes are basic, plots full of holes etc but we still love it enough to care BECAUSE it looks and feels great, so we think it's worth saving. In spite of everything we still love to go back to the Star Wars universe.
It's not easy to write a good sci-fi fantasy space opera. The first trilogy succeeded because it kept to a very simple hero's journey template, it was new and original so we gave it the benefit of the doubt, and it threw in a lot of fun classic tropes from westerns, Samurai movies, and war films. Defending the franchise on plot or story is a fool's task and saying “it's for kids” is a moronic defence, and it's all unnecessary because those aspects don't really matter.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Spacefighters: Run to your spcefighters, leap in, rev up your proton engines, blast into high earth atmosphere at 9 times the speed of sound and shoot into orbit to hunt the baddies! This dynamic, cool tune is the perfect sound track to defend the earth to! It’s groovy and classic.
Topics and shownotes
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Wild Wolves - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/oct/15/featured-comic-wild-wolves/
Spacefighters - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Spacefighters/, by Cbacolo, rated E.
Previous Star Wars Episode - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-448-king-of-franchises-star-wars
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
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.
Feb 11, 2019
It's just Ozoneocean and bouncy Banes today. This time we're chatting about breaking and subverting structures, formulas and conventions in webcomics. Commercial creative projects need to use formulas and familiar structures because that's what audiences expect, it's also what studio executives, creative editors, publishers, producers and all the people that greenlight those projects need and expect as well. The Hero's Journey and other conventions and formulas aren't just used because they make good stories but because of the commercial realities and risk averse nature of the industry (there's a lot of money and jobs on the line). Webcomics don't have those pressures so we're talking about why webcomics shouldn't necessarily adhere to popular formulas and structures and why many don't.
May 7, 2018
Millennials are so dumb, Gen Xers are SO lazy, and those Baby-boomers are just greedy as hell aren't they? But seriously, in THIS Quackcast we chat about the different generations of webcomicers and what's changed and what we have to learn from each other. The first generation of real webcomics came in with Sluggy Freelance, 8 bit theatre and a few others. Webcomics started out in the mid 90s as the web version of “Zines”: independent creator driven personal projects. The second generation came about in the 2000s. Sites like Drunk Duck and Keen Space were a huge part of that. It made it easier for creators to make the jump online. We'd seen what those first guys did and now it was OUR turn, there were a lot of copy-cats in this generation, but a lot of experimentation and creativity too, with sound, animation, interactivity and infinite canvas being a mainstay. Later there was an explosion in hosting sites like DD and comicers moved on to other formats like Tumbler and Twitter etc. The pro comic publishers saw how things were going and tried to get in on the act with online comics too. I think the 3rd generation saw a lot of commercial focussed projects. Comicers saw it as a way to make money so we had a lot of slick, pro work flooding in. In the 4th generation I think we have people doing comics for mobile devices or ON mobile devices. A lot of the comic hosting sites have far more limitations on work than they used to in terms of content and format, a lot of stuff has a bit of a pre-packaged feel, you see almost no experimentation with format now. On the upside though quality is a lot higher and comic sites will reliably work a lot better than they used to. Styles have changed over the generations: In the old days most comics were fully drawn and scanned. Tablets were rare and very expensive and so were graphics programs. If you saw a fully digital comic back then you knew the artist was either a pro or they were at university with access to high level equipment - or it was dodgy work done with a mouse and Windows Paint. Those tools have become far more accessible now and the barriers have come right down. Most work is digital. What generation are you? This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to DreamcomicbookDOTcom! Journey into a claustrophobically narrow electronic service tunnel, filled with high voltage wires humming with unimaginable power and mysterious cables running off endlessly into the dim, dark shadows in the distance. The creepy patterings and low hum of this music will take you there!
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.
Jan 29, 2018
Covers are a very important part of books and comics! They entice us to pick them up and read them, they encourage us to BUY them. But how much are they really needed for webcomics? You hardly ever look at the front cover and what you really want in a webcomic is the meat of it, not the packaging, they're not waiting on racks outside a shop… and yet we still make them anyway, not just for the front cover but also chapter covers as well! This was the idea behind a thread Pitface came up with in the DD forums and we thought it was an interesting topic. Personally I love drawing covers, they give me a chance to break out of the comic format and be all arty and play with title text. How about you? What's your position on webcomic covers? This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Kawaiidolia: A dreamy journey into a world of green shade, damp, fresh air, and dapple golden sunlight. This is a pretty track , full of beauty.
Oct 9, 2017
How do YOU feel when drawing or writing about something sexy? That was the question put to the erotically charged ladies and guys of DD, who answered in a full frontal, frank and unashamed manner! It's a harrrrd question to answer but we were wiiiide open about it. ;) Does writing sexy stories and doing sexy art make you feel erotically charged, leave you feeling cold, or a little pervy? I contend that if you're doing it right then it should turn you on just as much as you intend to turn on the viewer! Pit, Tantz and Banes agreed with me… but many DDers did not and we read out their comments on the subject. *A few new comments were posted after we'd already done the Quackcast so we couldn't get to them. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to 9th Life: A warm symphony of interlacing guitars, weaving their riffs ecstatically in and out and around each other into a self supporting tower of pure cool.
May 2, 2016
Never let historical accuracy get in the way of a good story… at least that's what Bravo proposes. We stole his thought provoking forum post subject for the topic of this Quackcast. This is how Bravo goes on to explain it: “So how do feel about that? Should exact adherence to the historical record be allowed to wreck your wonderful fiction? If so how much dramatic license is too much? What are your favorite examples of how they got it wrong and how they got it right? And what if just a touch more research would have revealed that the historical story was better than what the fiction writers concocted? How tragic is that? And what about the usage of known historical mythology/hoax as in the Da Vinci code?” The frisson between story requirements and known historical record is pretty interesting. In Hollywood the former wins out EVERY single time and usually it doesn't result in a better story anyway, but as we discuss in the Quackcast there are OTHER reasons than simple bad writing choices for not sticking to the real story and trying to hammer everything into the Hero's Journey template.