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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Jun 6, 2022
How do you keep on with your creative output when something happens to you? When you lose function or are impaired in some way, how do you adapt or relearn so you can keep on as you were before? Maybe you can't and have to change to another medium that's a better fit for your abilities? Comic creator Bravo1102 once talked about how he moved from drawing to using action figures to make his comics partially because of his eyesight. My own eyesight has suddenly started to go bad and I'm having to adapt to that, and Tantz tells us how her deteriorating eyesight forced her to work digitally.
May 16, 2022
Spoiler- we don't actually talk much about Yu-Gi-Oh! But I feel it's a good example of a pretty bad a so-bad-it's-good story, but bad nevertheless. The idea we're talking about here is that it's useful to look at bad stories and stick with them because they can really help you write better. They're a lot more useful than good stories because you'd rather just enjoy those and it's a bit harder to examine them for technical details, but with “bad” stories the faults stand out strongly. Instead of simply dismissing a bad story or making fun of it, it's more useful and valuable to try and “fix” it: try and work out why it seems bad and think about what would be needed to make it better, then think about how that applies to your own work. Maybe you're actually making many of the same mistakes?
Aug 22, 2021
We're all fans of something, but when does that happen? When do we transition from just following and liking something into being full on fans and is there even a difference? I think there definitely IS a difference. I became a fan of Star Wars after watching the first film but I'm not a fan of The Witcher even after watching the entire show. Henry Cavill as Geralt is super amazing but the show itself is just blah to me. I've seen about 200 or so episodes of One Piece but I don't think of myself as a fan. I became a fan of Ghost in the Shell after seeing a poster from the Manga. I became a fan of Farscape after watching reruns of the series over and over.
Jun 21, 2021
There was ALL sorts of kerfuffle on the internet centred around the phrase “Heroes don't do that”. It began with an interview of two people involved in the production of the Harley Quinn TV animated series. According to them there was a sex scene between Batman and Cat Woman, including a scene of cunnalingus. They claim that a representative from DC told them to cut that scene, saying “Heroes don't do that”... But what is the REAL story?
Jun 14, 2021
Webcomicers need to learn to draw and write in order to become webcomicers. There are many other skills and also different ways to make webcomics, BUT most of us draw and or write. Here Tantz and I talk about terrible teachers of these skills and better ways to learn :) (Also, Jason from Friday the 13t is a big fat buttface)
May 23, 2021
Tantz made a great newspost about this little trend of “fixing” people's art to make it less sexy, as if there was something wrong with sexy art. I think worst about it though is the implied moral superiority of the “fixer”. They're judging the art as non-realistic and “bad” (because it's sexy), and they set about “fixing” it to gain some sort of social kudos, slimming busts, increasing the girth of the figure, making their pose less provocative etc… I think the exercise would be perfectly fine if the context and the attitude wasn't one of “I judge this art to be BAD because it's sexy, I am fixing it to make it non-sexy and that will make it better! And you will all agree that the original was shit and I have improved it!”.
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!