Dec 23, 2018
Merry Christmas one and all! And all that stuff. This year our release date falls exactly on the 25th! It was a busy year for us, lots happened. But in this Quackcast what we chat about is something rather different: the difference between pros and amateurs, specifically when it comes to comics. There's this common misconception that an amateur is a novice that will produce work of a lower quality, while a professional is an experienced person who knows what they're doing and will always produce things of the highest quality… The REAL story is more complex than that.
Topics and Show Notes
Professionals produce work for a living. It has to support them. Because of this they need to develop a high level of skill and proficiency. They need to learn how to produce work reasonably fast and to a consistent level of good quality on a regular basis. Time, cost and quality are the main factors, the pressure is on them to make things relatively cheaply, relatively fast, and at a good quality. This is very hard to do so they learn to make compromises and take shortcuts to achieve that. “Quality” becomes “good enough”, or basically with enough tricks and shortcuts to convince you that it IS high quality. In terms of art that involves tracing, pre-rendered images, photo backgrounds with filters, gradient fill colouring, cut and pasting, use of 3D assets, reliance on standard models. For writing that means sticking to formulas and story outlines someone else has come up with; tasks are split and delegated to teams: pencilers, inkers, colourists, background artists, creative directors, writers story editors and so on.
Amateurs come in many flavours. On one end of the scale you have the beginners who are learning, then you have casual people with just enough skill to do the job, and finally you have people with an extremely high level of skill, higher than any professional. Amateurs lack the pressure to make a living out of their work which means they have far more time to produce it in and experiment. They have the freedom to learn, advance and perfect, far beyond what is available to people stuck in the professional world.
But of course it's not a case of either/or. Both worlds can learn from each other and frequently do. There are many helpful tricks that amateurs can pick up from the pro world and pros have a LOT to learn from doing projects at a more amateur level. I hope this Quackcast helps to dispel the old myth that Pro = great, while amateur = bad. Reality is frequently a lot more interesting and complicated! ;)
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Lost Honey. Something epic is about to begin! Chords full of portent rise and flood your ears, creating a gorgeous blue backdrop upon which play the golden notes of the piano, full of stinging melancholy, joyful exuberance and wistful reminiscence.
Topics and shownotes
Only for Patrons who donate $5 or more, here:
Urban Legend - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/dec/18/featured-comic-urban-legend/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/dec/19/merry-quackmas/
Emma Clare - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/dec/20/winding-down-and-looking-back/
Tantz - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/dec/21/a-most-awesome-dd-year/
Pitface riding in a TIGER TANK - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au8cImGEjhA&feature=youtu.be&t=948
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Lost Honey - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Lost_Honey/, by Fleebites, rated E.
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 12, 2018
In this Quackcast DD members tell us about their history with us as well as the pros and cons of webcomicing. This is the 400th episode of the Quackcast! That means we've been doing these for over 8 years now. That's quite a milestone for a podcast. We have JustNoPoint over to help us out, he's a Patron at the $20 “Royal” level so he gets a few perks. JustNoPoint has been with us since 2006 with his comic The Devon Legacy. He managed the awards for many years and was crucial to us getting the site back online when we had our hard crash in August of 2013 that destroyed the site so thoroughly that it had to be rebuilt, a job which took us all TWO months!
Aug 6, 2018
In this Quackcast Tantz, Banes and I have a chat about the novels that influenced us when we were growing up. Each of us barely even touch on them but we do bring up some interesting titles… for Tantz it was the sexy comic Storm and the novel The gods of Foxcroft, for me it was the high fantasy of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, and later on SciFi by writer like Tanith Lee and her Don't bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine- both of which were very prophetic novels in the way they deal with hedonistic youth culture and the modern phenomenon of adults having extended childhoods while outsourcing more and more adult tasks to technology. What were some of your most influential novels when growing up?
Jun 18, 2018
ALL the tropes!!!! Based on Emma Clare's newspost, tropes are damn useful but they can also be your undoing if you handle them badly. Tropes are shortcuts to meanings, scenes, procedures or jokes that take too long to set up in their own right. You can use them like prefabricated parts to build your story, Lego if you will. You really should know how to use them correctly though. If it's for jokes, then work on them and expand on them, if it's for more serious stuff then you should know WHERE those tropes come from so you use them correctly. We chat about tropes, boob-slips, Doki Doki, Baka and Test, Kung Fury, Satan Ninja 198X, and Vaporwave among other things. Gunwallace gave us a lovely theme to Yasu no Monogatari this week: Floating out on a blue river of dreams into an echoing crystal cave illuminated by thousands of refracted glittering lights, traveling on your way further underground, deeper and deeper to more exciting and mysterious sites.
Dec 5, 2017
We asked for scripts and we got 'em! We have five different scripts in this Quackcast performed by the Quackcast players: A realistic, dramatic one to start with Usedbooks where murder is on the menu. Yuki, played by Pitface, is doing a bit of detective work, questioning her dangerous brother Lee, played by Banes. Crater's Edge gives up a dose of fantasy and monsters. Keego, played by Ozoneocean, is a young boy looking after his ailing mother, played by Tantz Aerine. Daryl and Susie is all about gentle comedy. Daryl, played by Pitface, is a dragon with monsters in his head and he lives with a mischievous 9 year old girl named Susie, played by Banes. Constellation Chronicles gives us dark, scary SciFi. Wainwright, played by Ozoneocean, with Marcel, played by Tantz, are two astronauts investigating a mysterious distress signal from an old drifting derelict space hulk… We finish up with The KAMics for a dose of satirical comedy! It's awards time at the Muzzy Mallard and Rosemary, played by Tantz, and Beth, played by Pit, are up for some honours… or are they? It was a lot of fun to act these out! We can't wait to do more. They all have SFX and we've tried to do as good a job as possible on them. Please send us more scripts based on your comics so we can bring your work to life, just contact me directly to find where to send them! Have a look at the link to the newspost on scripts bellow to know what to include with your script. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to The Cosmic Star: Fly on out into the deepest reaches of far outer space with us. This tune will groove you on out there smoothly, past glittering star systems and vast, swirling galaxies. Just lie back, get comfortable, relax, close your eyes and let the universe roll on by…
Aug 28, 2017
This week we interview the artist and creator of the comic Kings Club, AmeliaP! Her comic was featured and Gunwallace also gave it a theme tune that was featured in Quackcast 335. AmeliaP is a talented professional comic creator and game designer. We couldn't interview her directly because she's not confident enough in her spoken English, so what we've done instead is read out a written interview that I did with her especially for this Quackcast. Amelia has some surprising and valuable insights for comic creators. You can read the full text of her interview bellow. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Abejitas - This tune bounces in like a wild thing, spinning and buzzing crazily, full of black striped yellow techno sweet honey madness and rapid wingbeats of energy, this will sting you into full awareness!
Jul 10, 2017
Starwars, Ender's game, Captain America… All these are great examples (or bad ones) of “retcons”. But what IS a “retcon”? What it means is that you go back and change an established work by adding new information that has the effect of changing it in a small or significant way. You might do it in your comic, or a director might do it to a movie series, like George Lucas did famously with Star Wars: introducing concepts like “midi-chlorians” as an explanation for the force, having Han shooting Greedo second, sticking Hayden Christiensen in Return of the Jedi, among other things. A lot of the time this has the effect of pissing off audiences who've consumed the story and enjoyed it because it alters or even destroys the understanding they've built up based on it and the relationship they have wit the work. Retcons happen frequently in the comic world because publishers have to keep their franchises interesting and saleable to audiences, so origin stories get updated all the time for example. A huge recent retcon was Captain America revealing he'd been a long time sleeper agent for Hydra, which has the effect of messing up stories going back over 50 years… The writer Orson Scott Card had a great deal of success with his novel “Ender's Game”, but for some reason he can't stop retconning it, going back and adding and editing new bits and re-publishing it every few years, and most egregiously penning prequels from another character's perspective that retcon the original story entirely. As web comic creators we have the role of god-author so we all have the temptation to retcon at one stage or another. Can it ever be a good thing? Is it worth pissing off readers who have an emotional investment? Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Optimum: the future is here and it’s in space! This tune is so upbeat, positive, fun and futuristic, it really exemplifies the cute colourful graphics of Skreem’s comic.