Aug 8, 2022
How do you describe your work to sell it to people? Writing blurbs is a real skill! You generally have to avoid doing these four things: Underselling, Overselling, Selling the wrong story, or Revealing too much. It's quite a tricky balance to master. I've been writing feature blurbs for comics here on DD for many years now (about 16), so I've developed a technique but even I haven't mastered it!
Topics and Show Notes
- Overselling is when you promise too much, more than the work can ever provide. It might help you attract an audience but it'll probably piss them off when the promises aren't met.
- Underselling is when you downplay the work too much so that it doesn't really sound interesting and discourages people from checking it out at all.
- Selling the wrong story is when you advertise things about your work that it's really not about, like advertising it as a love story when it's really about violent action. You'll just attract the wrong audience and lose readers.
- Selling too much is when you reveal major plot points and crucial story elements. People don't usually want to look into a story if they already know how it's going to go.
My technique with featured comics is to use a standard format. I introduce the main character and then the issues facing them in their world. Then I talk about the art and the story style. I do this so I can personalise the story for people, centering it onto that character or characters. Mentioning the issues introduces some stakes so people start to wonder how the character will deal with those. Talking about the world of the characters gives everything a context, a playing field unique to them and their situation. Talking about the story style, genre etc filters things to the correct audience, as does the mention of art. This works for me because I have to do it over and over hundreds of times, another style might work better for you. :)
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Sad W - Hurry up and wait! All the loose energy and stress of a Friday afternoon when it’s almost time to go home but your boss throws an urgent last minute job onto your desk. Hurry, hurry, quick, finish! Damn, you made a huge mistake, do all that bit again. Hurry! This is a modern sounding, high energy, track, thrumming with urgency.
Topics and shownotes
Forum post - Writing spoiler free blurbs - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/179116/
Remedial Magic - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/aug/01/featured-comic-remedial-magic/
Sad W - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Sad_W/ - by Sstavix, rated E.
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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Jun 20, 2022
Sometimes it's worth revisiting old ideas because you can do them better or explore them deeper. This could be in the form of a full reboot, or it could be as simple as reusing a pose in a panel or using the same theme again like Pixar does with 90% of their output i.e. “coming of age”. Like them you don't need to feel obligated to always do something totally original, revisiting old ideas is a great way to refine them, create better work, or explore different aspects of them you hadn't considered before and put new and interesting spins on things. Consider that Pixar's Turning Red, Encanto, Moana, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, and Luca all share the same “coming of age/childhood independence” theme and yet all do it in unique and original ways, exploring different aspects of the idea from all sorts of angles.
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.
Jan 10, 2022
“The Girl Boss in the sausagefest” Pitface and Tantz chat are here to chat with me about the subject or lady Barbarians: What they look like, where they originated, why they originated, what they mean, and the logic behind them. They're often overshadowed by their male counterparts (e.g. Conan), and often dismissed as simply an erotic male fantasy, but they've been around just as long and they've also had just as much of a role to play in the traditional “barbarian” mythos as the male versions. Sure, the sexy versions are abundant, iconic, and visually striking, but they're not the be all and end all!
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.
Jul 22, 2019
To become truly successful at one thing you need to focus on that alone. Is it worth it? There are MANY calls on our time with all the side things we like to do, ESPECIALLY webcomics. One of the few ways to become a really successful superstar at any one thing is to start dropping all the other things that call on your time and devote all your energy to that one thing! Then you can push past all limitations and devote the effort and time needed to properly succeed.
Feb 18, 2019
Hollywood has a tendency to simplify or completely alter stories to make them more mainstream and appealing to their idea of a popular audience. In this Quackcast we thought it'd be fun to run with that idea and re-imagine our works for “Hollywood”.
Dec 10, 2018
We mined Tantz's Saturday newspost for our discussion topic: Strong characters and how to write GOOD ones! What is a strong character? Well it has nothing to do with physical ability, power, command, or anything so obvious and trite. Strong characters are well rounded and well realised, they're often active and opposed to reactive, they make things happen, the story hinges on them. Failed attempts at “strong” characters or obvious and often result in Mary Sues, whether male or female. People hand them traits that they THINK will make the character strong: make them a general, make them a great fighter, make them royalty etc. The problem comes when none of that is ever logically backed up in the story. You can't just title a character something or have other characters talk about how great they are without having them demonstrate a reason for it, or else all you have is a pathetic paper tiger and a really shizzy failed part of your story.