Sep 5, 2022
Source material is something that we can love and respect, but it's just as often disregarded, degenerated, and denigrated, especially these days where it seems like everything you see is an adaptation or even an adaptation OF an adaptation or worse. I think it's important to go back to the sources so you can see what was truly great about the original to begin with. It can help you see what was lost in the adaptations and to discover new and important meanings and ideas that you never would have guessed at.
Topics and Show Notes
This Quackcast topic was inspired by a video by the Youtube based culture critic Georg Rockall-Schmidt and his video titled “Nevermind The Source Material”.
I'm sure there have been a lot of times for all of us when we've consumed an adaptation of one of our favourite books and we've thought it was lacking. But have you ever done the reverse? Have you seen an adaptation and then hunted out the source material to see what all the fuss was about, to see where it all started? I've done that quite a few times myself and it's usually pretty rewarding. I really loved the film version of Tank Girl, it was anarchic and captured a certain alternative 90's zeitgeist. The original comic series though is a very different beast! The movie has a lot of heart and pathos, but the comic is far more cynical, nihilistic and sardonic with a much harder edge. They both have the same sort of style, but the point of view and sense of humour of the creators is largely absent from the film.
Many of us know Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from the film and TV versions, especially starring Colin Firth. Mr Darcy in those versions is seen as the prototypical sexy, rich, tall dark and handsome man that women lust over, who Elizabeth Bennet eventually wins… It's seen as a great romantic story with a strong heroine. What's lost from the source material is the fact that it's a romantic comedy over the top of a satire on British mating rituals of the country gentry. Rather than an aloof, desirable bachelor, Mr Darcy is actually a pathetic, shy man who hides his acquired social anxiety behind a mask of snobbery, although he's good at heart. And all throughout, Elizabeth's real goal is not to win a man and a big country estate, rather it's to survive and retain her place and pride among her piers.
The Adams Family is a much adapted piece of work. There was the TV series, a cartoon series, a TV movie, the 90s movies, and now a Netflix series, but what was the source material? You'd think it was Charles Adams' comics from the New Yorker, but that's not actually fully true. The Adams Family was actually created for the 1960s TV series starting John Astin, Charles Adams worked with the creators to develop the characters. His comic was simply a bunch of single panel jokes with unnamed reoccurring characters, it wasn't till the show that they acquired structure, names, personalities and a world to exist in. Most people today have no idea that the 90's movies that are seen as so definitive are simply short summary parodies of the 60s TV series. The latest Netflix version is basically a pale copy of a pale copy. It would take far too long to explain what has been lost in the translation- I am sure the Netflix series will be good in its own right but we should never let later adaptations overshadow usurp superior source material.
Have you ever gone back to uncover the source material for something and been pleasantly surprised? Or maybe even disappointed?
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Mega Maiden and the Chop Chop Princess - Heavy, deep bass synth thunder dueling with percussion and synth guitar in a fierce fight for dominance, which turns into a dance battle to the death with the bass synth landing the final, decisive blow!
Topics and shownotes
Georg Rockall-Schmidt - Nevermind The Source Material - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlD63pcwjgE&t
Crimson Stars - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/aug/30/featured-comic-crimson-stars/
Mega Maiden and the Chop Chop Princess - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Mega_Maiden_and_the_Chop_Chop_Princess/ - by Teh Andeh, rated.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
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Aug 29, 2022
What makes a character two dimensional? What makes them three dimensional? Does it matter that they only have two dimensions to them? This was an idea that GeekyGami posed and so we thought we'd explore it in the cast. My own theory is that a character that is purely archetypal, tropeish, or cliche, with everything about them flowing from that archetype, and they never go beyond their archetypal traits- that makes them 2D.
May 23, 2022
We start off with the idea of talking about art techniques, tips and tricks we've mastered and could help people with but the cast turned into a discussion about drawing male and female characters- also trans, androgynous, etc. There's an art to representing gender in imagery! It's super important to remember that the way we see gender in art is mainly culture based rather than an innate biological reaction and the perception of gender in art is different according to your cultural background. It's basically a visual language that everyone learns, but as an artist you have to learn to actually “speak” it, and that's not as straight forward as you think.
May 30, 2021
We've done a few Quackcasts about how terrible Mary Sues are… well this is the opposite! Tantz postulated that they can be likable and GOOD for a story and then won us over easily by telling us why during our Patreon video. In the Quackcast Banes and I join in, having been convinced of the idea. We talk about how if the Mary Sue is a likable, good person, genuinely humble or altruistic and helpful then that can mitigate their Mary Sueness. Whereas if they're selfish, take their status for granted, take advantage of others or are just there to be marvelled and worshiped by the astonished onlookers (re: Rey), they can be unpleasant.
May 10, 2021
So what IS SciFi? Well it's a pretty wide umbrella term and contains a lot of different things. In some senses it's just an imaginative fiction story where science replaces magic. SciFi can simply be a sciencey setting where genre stories take place (romance, adventure, nior, horror). It can be a magical fantasy space opera with a futuristic skin (Star Wars), it can be “hard SciFi” where the story is set in the future but the science is completely plausible, it can be written with strong themes that examine philosophical questions and make interesting points about the nature of humanity, and it can be so many more things too. It's a broad church!
Apr 12, 2021
Mary Sues are always a fun topic! There are some misconceptions about them though… Mary Sues aren't all female, they can be any gender. Being super powerful or super popular or super pretty etc doesn't equal a Mary Sue, not even if your character super stands out next to all the others, those things ONLY indicate they might possibly be one. What equals a Mary Sue is a character that doesn't have to struggle very hard for anything, a character that is almost universally admired, and or loved (even by the enemy), a character that masters hard skills with ease and ends up teaching the teachers and beating the masters, a character that's destined to succeed and does in spite of internal story logic… All these things and more can add up to make a Mary Sue.
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.
Sep 7, 2020
Fanfiction is a massive subject, there are so many aspects to it, from the bad stuff with the Mary Sues, rampant shipping, author inserts and wish fulfilment etc to homages and great works that extend the story and characters beyond what they were in the original and add interesting and fun aspects to fan favourites. There are many good reasons to do fanfiction: It's fun, you're inspired and want to use that inspiration, all the characteristics of the story are readymade so you don't have to do world building or character development, the work has a built in audience so you're going to have readers no matter what and hopefully some feedback, it can help make you more popular as a creator because of the fans of the original work, and you get to experiment because you can't sell the work or do anything serious with it so you may as well have fun and enjoy it!