Episode 433 - everyone is a beginner

Jul 1, 2019

Today we chat about a furore on Twitter focussing on a artist who made a tutorial about the differences between the line work of beginners and advanced artists. Many people identified their art style with the work described as “beginner” and took extreme offence at that characterisation. It's the contention of Tantz that “beginner” is not a dirty word. We're all beginners at something. We can all stand to learn things.

Topics and Show Notes

I don't necessarily agree that sketchy lines in art are the sign of a beginner, so much as they might indicate the artist needs warming up for the day or their subject is very unfamiliar to them… but putting that aside, the ability to accept advice, learn, and teach are very important.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to STEEPLEWIND. Groove on down to a track that’s smoother than satin sheets and twice as cool . Set the lights down low, pour a glass of red wine, and relax… This tune leads you gently by the hand into warmth and fantasy.


Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jun/25/featured-comic-the-strange-case-of-dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde/

Featured music:
STEEPLEWIND - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/STEEPLEWIND/, by cfsherratt, rated M.

LINKS
From Tantz's Newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jun/28/beginner-offense/

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

Episode 304 - eeeeeevil!

Jan 2, 2017

5 likes, 1 comment

What defines evil in fiction? I say the simplest one is bad guys are selfish, good guys are selfless. That is massively over simplistic but it's a good easy template for basic hero's and villains. Basic ones I was just doing a quick thought experiment to work out an easy way to define “good” and “evil” characters in fiction. The more selfless someone is the more “good” they are: the more they think of others, want to help people, put the needs of the masses first, the more willing they are to reach across to their enemies etc. The more selfish a person is the more “evil” they are: if they don't consider the needs or feelings of others, help out their own small group and let others suffer, help themselves first. Of course there are many other more advanced aspects, especially if you consider the relative nature of these things: the idea that everyone thinks they're the good guy from their own perspective, being cruel to be kind, being too authoritarian and heavy handed in the use of power, NOT using power when you should, helping in a way that only SEEMS destructive and selfish, trying to help but causing destruction and chaos in the process, which brings us to the dreaded “unintended consequences”. BUT, the selfless/selfish equation is a nice simple starting point to build from. In the Quackcast we discuss these aspects as well as more advanced notions about what makes a good evil character, what makes a bad one, humanising evil, and weakening you evil character by humanising them too much. Gunwallace's musical theme was for The Cull: Dark, haunting, and compelling- Eastern European Jewish, country and rock, reminds me of Tracy Bonham’s later work.

Episode 285 - Ride the wave of the Anti-heroes

Aug 22, 2016

3 likes, 5 comments

Comedy anti-heroes are a great deal of fun. My faves are characters like Tankgirl and Flashman; they can be selfish, greedy, violent, lustful, out for their own needs first but they still manage to do the “right” thing and vanquish the bad guy along the way regardless, or a character like George Costanza from Seinfeld who's jealous, pathetic, cowardly and greedy but we still love him anyway because identify with him and root for him against the unloving forces of the universe. To be a GOOD comedy anti-hero you have to keep the audience on their side though and that can be a tricky balancing act, you have to surf a number of factors (especially in a long running project), since to actually BE an anti-hero they need to have things about them that an audience would normally despise, these need to be counteracted by things like sympathy and pathos, traits we strongly identify with, intelligence, luck, charm, humour, sexiness, coolness, allowing them to win sometimes, or even redeeming some of their anti-hero behaviours occasionally. Get that balance wrong and they can so easily completely lose audience favour and sour the rest of the story/show/film. Pitface, Tantz, and Banes weigh in on this with me. And there are more opinions in the forum thread from which this evolved. Gunwallace's musical theme this week was for Pestilent. It's thoughtful, haunting, reminds me a little of a classic horror film soundtrack. Pretty scary!

Episode 276 - Time management, Deadlines and Organisation

Jun 20, 2016

4 likes, 4 comments

For Quackcast 276 we had a discussion about the topics of time management, organisation and deadlines- all things essential to the practitioners of webcomics, and even more-so to people involved in webcomic collaborations! This is tricky stuff to handle, you have to balance your webcomicing with your other life activities as well as audience expectation for updates! And as you go on it gets harder and harder to stick with self imposed deadlines, so how do you combat that? Well one way is to make a Patreon account so people will put money towards you updating, That can make an excellent incentive to stick to a deadline, when there's money involved! Collaborations can be easy or hard to keep alive, as long as everyone is equally eager to take part and everyone wants it to succeed then you're good, if not then your group project needs a good leader: not someone who WANTS to be a leader, rather someone who's dedicated to getting the project DONE and needs to be the leader to make that happened, sort of like my role at Drunk Duck. They need to be willing and able to coordinate people and tell them what to do, handle their strengths and weaknesses right to get the work done. The last part to remember is contingencies for when things go wrong! What are your safeguards? i.e. buffers, finishing early so you've got extra time to work on the project if it needs it, have backup people lined up to do work for you, filler art at the ready, guest strips, maybe even simplified techniques or just posting line art instead. How do YOU stick to deadlines (if you do), how do you handle time management and organisation with your comics and collaborators? Gunwallace's theme music this week was Z74's Star Knights. It's An operatic swarm of hornets on a massed bombing run over enemy territory.

Episode 270 - Historical Accuracy Vs Story Needs part 2

May 9, 2016

3 likes, 0 comments

We return to the topic of historical accuracy versus the needs the the story. This was Bravo's idea and we wanted to have him along but alas it was not to be! Tantz Aerine, Pitface, Banes and I discuss the topic, reading from a few of the many contributions in the form thread that Bravo started. Special congratulations to Pitface who's just graduated with honours with her BA in classics! -So you she really does KNOW what she's talking about… as does Tantz too of course. Banes and I are just along for the ride. Gunwallace gave us a really pretty tune for the comic Torn Vines, a real action music, such a driving rhythm to it!

Episode 269 - Historical Accuracy VS Story Needs

May 2, 2016

6 likes, 4 comments

Never let historical accuracy get in the way of a good story… at least that's what Bravo proposes. We stole his thought provoking forum post subject for the topic of this Quackcast. This is how Bravo goes on to explain it: “So how do feel about that? Should exact adherence to the historical record be allowed to wreck your wonderful fiction? If so how much dramatic license is too much? What are your favorite examples of how they got it wrong and how they got it right? And what if just a touch more research would have revealed that the historical story was better than what the fiction writers concocted? How tragic is that? And what about the usage of known historical mythology/hoax as in the Da Vinci code?” The frisson between story requirements and known historical record is pretty interesting. In Hollywood the former wins out EVERY single time and usually it doesn't result in a better story anyway, but as we discuss in the Quackcast there are OTHER reasons than simple bad writing choices for not sticking to the real story and trying to hammer everything into the Hero's Journey template.

Episode 235 - Climax of the Climaxes

Sep 7, 2015

3 likes, 3 comments

Pitface joins Ozone and Banes again for the second and last part of the climax cast! It's the climax of the climax casts!! We discuss what people think about climaxes in stories, their own and those they watch or read. It's hard to write up to climaxes and even harded to write down from them but they're a good way to pull in and then reward your audience. Different types of stories have to use different types of climaxes, i.e. long series may need to have one every chapter and then one at the end of the arc. You have to adjust to the needs of your story. We read great contributions from some very clever DDers in cool voices :) Gunwallace gave us a gorgeous theme for Just Busty Solar the hilarious adult comedy strip~

Episode 207 - A question of bodyshape part 2

Feb 22, 2015

5 likes, 7 comments

In Quackcast 207 we talk about bodyshapes in comics again; as a follow up from the chat we had about it in Quackcast 205 we thought we'd let the community weigh in with their thoughts... so Banes and I could get the chance to practice our voices. We wanted to know what others thought about the subject of about bodyshape in comics; Ones that they draw, read, or have just seen and think that it needs commenting upon. These Quackcasts were inspired of course by the images of athletes from the 2002 book "Athlete" by Howard Schatz. The photos show various athletes who're at the top level of their respective sports, it also shows that they have wildly different physical attributes: there IS no one ideal, and there IS no “normal”. This got us to thinking how body shape can define a character as much as facial features, hairstyle, clothing etc. Anyway, people had their say and it was enlightening! Also, Gunwallace's music this week was for FUNK! And funky it was, give it a listen.


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