Episode 620 - losers are human too

Jan 30, 2023

My idea was to talk about social pariah characters, people who it's socially acceptable to laugh at, despise, or even hate. They can be the uncool people, the dorks, the dags, the idiots, the overweight, the ugly, the old, the out of touch, the over the hill… On the extreme end they could be monsters and criminals. Generally they're written pretty two dimensionally as a collection of cliches, but when the writing goes beyond that to lend them humanity is when it goes to the next level.

Topics and Show Notes

I'm not talking about underdogs or members of minority groups because people should already know better than to write them as stereotypes or to laugh at them for being what they are. I'm not talking about “punching up” or “down” or sideways either.
A good example would be one of those Mansplaining “M'Lady” characters: a fat, young white guy with a thin goatee beard, in a black stingy brim fedora hat and black trench coat, worn over a t-shirt and cargo shorts. It's socially acceptable to universally despise that person, and it can even feel good to have someone like that who everyone is allowed to laugh at. Other examples are the Boomer, the Karen, the angry vegan woman, nerds, pervs, trainspotters, Furries, Bronies, and Treckies.

My conjecture is that an ordinary or bad writer just uses them as is and leverages the popular social derision surrounding them for humour. While a really good writer goes beyond the cliches and gives the character some humanity. Dwight in the US version of The Office started out as a character we loved to hate, but as the show wore on and he gained more humanity he became an immeasurably better character. King of the Hill is a show entirely dedicated to the sort of people pop-culture gives us permission to mock and deride and yet it shows us their vulnerabilities which makes them so much better than the characters in Family Guy who are similarly despised people but with no other dimension.

One of the main faults of the second Knives Out movie, Glass Onion, is that the characters are mostly all built around cliches we're supposed to despise, and they don't go beyond that. I liked the film but it wasn't as clever it thought it should be.

By all means start off with a boomer, Karen, angry vegan lady or a Mainsplainer, pick the low hanging fruit jokes, get all the easy laughs, but then turn things on their head. Go deeper. Show them as more than a simple cliches, more than a cutout! That will enhance your story supremely, make your characters more interesting, the drama more effective and your jokes funner.


This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Prince of the Moonlight Stone - Mysterious sounds of the cold, snowy, moonlit, pine-forest… Percussion heats up and leads us down into the steaming jungles in the valleys below, away from the cry of the wolf and the savage bite of the cold mountain winds.

Topics and shownotes

Links

Featured comic:
Explorer Chronicles - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/jan/24/featured-comic-explorer-chronicles/

Featured music:
Prince of the Moonlight Stone - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/_Prince_of_the_Moonlight_Stone/ - by KillerSandy, rated M.


Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/

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Episode 571 - Myths of fiction

Feb 21, 2022

5 likes, 1 comment

There are so many really silly cliché myths from fiction that we all just tend to accept. They're objectively stupid but they get repeated so often that we don't bat an eye when we see them and we can even start to believe them in reality. I thought it'd be fun to dig into them in a Quackcast. I made a thread in the forum for people to contribute to. Unfortunately we didn't get to many in the Quackcast but there's always time to do another!

Episode 567 - Fairies, the Darkmatter of the supernatural

Jan 24, 2022

3 likes, 1 comment

Pit and Tantz join me to talk about about fairies, fae, Faery, Fair folk, Yokai, and all that good stuff. They're like the dark-matter of the supernatural world: they're not really gods, demons, monsters, or ghosts (though sometimes they are al of those sort off…), they generally fill the spaces between. They exist in a lot of cultures all over the place. They can be naughty spirits, elemental creatures, or animalistic, but generally they're quite alien and unknowable. This discussion comes from Tantz's newspost on Saturday.

Episode 558 - The surreal adventures of Edgar Allen Poo aka Dwight L Macpherson!

Nov 22, 2021

5 likes, 0 comments

Interview with Dwight L Macpherson, creator of The surreal adventures of Edgar Allen Poo, now known as The imaginary voyages of Edgar Allen Poe! Dwight joined DD back in the old days, well over a decade ago. Back then he hosted his comic with us, about Edgar Allen Poe. From the very beginning I could see that both it and its author were destined for bigger and better things and I'm pleased to say that came to pass. Through a lot of hard work, with the efforts and both him and his wife working as a team, Dwight has found success as an independent published author with a number of projects under his belt and more ongoing ones in the pipeline.

Episode 557 - Fetishes in comics

Nov 15, 2021

5 likes, 9 comments

Fallopiancrusader joined us as a very special guest to chat about fetishes in comics! It's really interesting and he brings his expertise with adult comics and his wide ranging knowledge of comics in general to bear on the subject. So what are fetishes? Well they're often things that people have sort of a sexual interest in but aren't always associated with sex themselves, they're peripheral to sex. Because of that they're often enjoyed and appreciated in their own right for their own sake! Think of things like body piercings, tight laced corsets, wearing fursuits, spanking, wearing S&M leather and PVC gear, shoe appreciation etc. all things associated with sex that people can also enjoy and appreciate outside of sex.

Episode 552 - Tropes we like

Oct 11, 2021

2 likes, 0 comments

Last time we covered tropes we hated! This time we're talking about clichés we actually like. It's quite a bit trickier because clichés are clichés for a reason (overuse) so it's not easy to like them, except in some cases… For me it's Isekai. That's a Japanese word for “another world”. This is a very old genre, it's basically a story where a person from our normal world goes to a magical world, we see this in ancient fairy stories, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and many others. until the mid 20th century it was the default way of writing any fantasy story. It has always been around, the Japanese were just the first to come up with a popular name for it.

Episode 530 - What is SciFi?

May 10, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

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!

Episode 457 - Religion in fiction 2

Dec 16, 2019

5 likes, 4 comments

2 weeks ago we discussed the topic of religion in fiction: basicaly how we use real world religions to inform the perspectives of our characters and make the worlds more real, how we use religion in fiction, and how we make up religions for our worlds. We had so many great responses to this in the forum and about the Quackcast that we thought it'd be great to feature and chat about them! DD is a community after all and we love our community members to be a part of the Quackcast!


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