Aug 10, 2020
DD member Furwerk Studios posted in our forum about how annoying it was that movies try and do an 80s retro thing often get things totally wrong and end up looking dumb because of it: Not just superficial looks-wise but stylistically too in terms of the kinds of shots they do, lighting and story structure. I thought that'd make an interesting topic for a cast! Why do people often mess up retro stuff? We're not talking about historical accuracy here, that's slightly different, what we're talking about is setting something in an era and getting the “feel” of that era right. It pays off hugely when it works, but when it doesn't it comes off as superficial, disappointing and ignorant.
Topics and Show Notes
This happened a LOT recently with stuff set in the 80s because 80s fashions came back and people thought it'd be fun to capitalize on the nostalgia. Some do it right and some do it wrong. The important thing to remember when going for a retro feel is NOT to treat an entire decade as a “thing”. Decades are made up of many different fashions across many different countries! During the 1980s for example the styles at the start of the decade were much more like the late 70s and at the end they were similar to the early 90s, and in places further away from the fashion capitals older fashions lasted for longer. The 1980s weren't a decade of pink hoodies with loud patterns, shoulder-pads, big hair, denim jackets, and “momjeans”, it was a lot more varied than that and not all those things were done at the same time. Jeans are a good example: They changed shape a LOT during the 1980s, from flares at the start, straight legs, boot-legs, skinny jeans, stonewash jeans, tapered jeans with slim waists baggy legs and slim ankles, and baggy 501s. All of those cropped up at different times in the decade.
Aside from compressing entire decades just down to one “look” the other issue people run into is projecting modern styles onto the past: Mullet hairstyles in the 1980s are nothing like what they are now for example: you didn't typically shave the sides of your head or have a crewcut with long hair at the back for a mullet. Mullets existed previously, even in the 1970s, but only started to become an 80s thing in the mid 80s. Hair would be slightly longer at the back. if you wanted to highlight that you'd use gel or hairspray or something to slick down the sides of your hair to make them flat. Towards the end of the 80s mullets grew longer at the back and shorter at the front, but shaving the sides wasn't popular. Tattoos, baldness, body piercings, and facial hair were not as common in the decade either, all of them had heavy symbolism and said something about the person who had them, while today they're mainly just aesthetic choices of the individual. Tattoos meant a person was tough or had a rough life or profession. Beards were hyper masculine. Baldness meant you were tough or had an alternative lifestyle. Multiple piercings was much the same.
That said, you don't always have to go for authenticity, as long as you understand what you're doing and know how to have fun with it. Kung Fury is a good example of this. It sardonically uses an 80s retro feel while winking at the audience with its tongue in planted in its cheek. Napoleon Dynamite has a weird indeterminate 1980s feel to it while NOT actually being set in the 1980s.
Do you know any examples of retro done wrong?
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Gumshoe - Groove on into this black and white world of cool. Lazy coiling blue smoke floats out and leads the way down to this underground world of jazz and sophisticated glitz. Let the bass walk you through, take a twirl with the glittering piano keys, high-five those highhats, and take your place at the bar in the coffee lounge. Make your’s black, no sugar. You’re staying up all night for this one!
Topics and shownotes
Forum thread about bad retro attempts - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/178445/
Fave retro comic on DD, Satan Ninja 19X https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Satan_Ninja_198X/
Hel's Ferrywomen - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/aug/04/featured-comic-hels-ferrywomen/
Gumshoe - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Gumshoe/, by Pencilz, rated T.
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/
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Jul 9, 2018
This week we talk about maintaining suspension of disbelief: the way you have to convince people of the world your story is set in and keep them there. Everything you do is done for that, to convince them your characters make sense and the world works. There's a very mistaken idea that this ONLY applies to fantasy or SciFi. No, it applies to ALL fiction and even non-fiction in the case of stories and jokes from your friends, biographies and autobiographies. You have to maintain a suspension of disbelief in all these things in order to fully enjoy and be a part of the story.
Feb 29, 2016
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!
Feb 15, 2016
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!
Nov 9, 2015
This week's Quackcast marks the end of the Halloweencasts! Late, I know, but we recorded these all in advance. We dressed in costume again, which you can see in our VIDEO. Banes as the arctic death wolf, Pitface as the evil Nancy Regan, Tantz as a fierce Greek pirate rebel, revolutionary warrior, and myself as a horrible, horrible glam metal rocker. The topic of discussion was inspired by another newspost by Banes, this time the subject was “your horror playlist”, so we chat about all the scary, horror themed stuff we enjoy around this time of year. Gunwallace's theme was for BARBARIAN ADVENTURE, I LOVE this track! It's heavy and bluesy, reminiscent of Lenny Kravitz or Cream.
Jul 5, 2015
In this Quackcast I interrogated Mr Banes on the subject of his first newspost: Contrasts. It's a subject near and dear to him, even his comic "Typical Strange“ has its name based on the concept, i.e. two words with the opposite meanings put together to create an effect. In imagery contrast is used to make darker shapes appear darker and lighter shapes lighter and to create a tension where those areas meet at the penumbra. In writing and comics it's much the same, ”laughter and tears“, ”good and evil", a sad scene contrasting with a joyous one etc. Contrasting makes both contrasted elements appear far greater than they really are, as well as serving as a source of tension, conflict, or humour. Banes and I talk about this in a rambling fashion. Gunwallace has a special treat for us today with a brilliant theme for Dead Leon! You'll want to ask him for a copy of his one ;)
Mar 1, 2015
In this Quackcast Banes and I discuss some methods for testing your writing, well mainly your characters, to see how well you really know them. We use a comedic character creation template that we have found is perfect for testing and learning more about your established characters, no matter how serious they are. It consists of four interrelated elements: Point of view; Exaggeration of the point of view; Faults; Relatability / Humanity. We also talk a little about the dreaded dangers of the Mary Sue... you never want your writing to fall in that putrid, cancerous hole of smelly excrement where your main character is perfect and all the others worship them. And lastly the very useful Bechdel test for seeing how rounded your female characters are. There are 3 rules: You have to have at least two named women; They who talk to each other; It's about something besides a man. We were both a bit sad about the death of Leonard Nimoy. R.I.P. Mister Spock.
Jan 27, 2014
Banes and Ozoneocean revisit some memorable featured comics of 2013 to see what's up with them now and also give them a second shot at the limelight! If you didn't catch these comics the first time around then now's your chance to check them out. This is a nice little eclectic mixture of webcomics, from he family friendly stylings of Chevalier and My Friend Fear, to supernatural horror in DoorMan, Ecchi comedy soap in Blitz, action budy comedy in Handsome and Ransom, and satirical puppetry weirdness in Cavecomicdd! This is an interesting bunch.