Oct 21, 2019
As promised we dive right into the second half of the Star Wars chat! We cover all the Star Wars stuff besides the original trilogy and the new trilogy. There's a lot to cover and we only touch on most on it: Solo, the Star Wars Christmas special, Droids, the Ewok films, Clone Wars, the games, the books, comics, Solo, Rogue One…
Topics and Show Notes
For October we're having a look at various popular film franchises because understanding of them has a lot to offer webcomic creators. Last week we looked at the original Star Wars trilogy and talked about that in relation to the latest one. Before that it was Indiana Jones.
Personally I think the main strength of the Star Wars franchise has nothing to do with the Force, the Jedi, Vader or any of that story stuff: At its heart Star Wars has always been a triumph of aesthetics, aesthetics that are done so well they grab and hold the audience! When the first film blasted onto the screen in the late 70s it was really like nothing before it. It was the perfect synthesis of so many elements; fantasy, Sci-Fi, space opera, western, samurai, ww2 war film, and classic Hollywood blockbuster. We always get too caught up in the ridiculous story and script writing to realise what's so good about Star Wars and what is ALWAYS good about it: Amazing sets, great music, costumes, props, effects, lighting, sound design, models and so on. All those elements come together to make an imaginative, imersive, cool and unusual evocative experience. It's a mythic image that never fails to grab our attention. Yes the stories are often terrible, the dialogue can be stupid, the themes are basic, plots full of holes etc but we still love it enough to care BECAUSE it looks and feels great, so we think it's worth saving. In spite of everything we still love to go back to the Star Wars universe.
It's not easy to write a good sci-fi fantasy space opera. The first trilogy succeeded because it kept to a very simple hero's journey template, it was new and original so we gave it the benefit of the doubt, and it threw in a lot of fun classic tropes from westerns, Samurai movies, and war films. Defending the franchise on plot or story is a fool's task and saying “it's for kids” is a moronic defence, and it's all unnecessary because those aspects don't really matter.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Spacefighters: Run to your spcefighters, leap in, rev up your proton engines, blast into high earth atmosphere at 9 times the speed of sound and shoot into orbit to hunt the baddies! This dynamic, cool tune is the perfect sound track to defend the earth to! It’s groovy and classic.
Topics and shownotes
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Wild Wolves - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/oct/15/featured-comic-wild-wolves/
Spacefighters - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Spacefighters/, by Cbacolo, rated E.
Previous Star Wars Episode - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-448-king-of-franchises-star-wars
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Jan 28, 2019
Copyright is a huge thing! It allows us to make money from our creations and stops other people from stealing them. But culture isn't about a series of billions of totally original ideas invented from nothing- absolutely NOT. Culture grows from ideas that are recycled, reiterated, and reinvented. It's all quite derivative and mixed. So there has to be a balance between respect for rigid copyright and some flexibility to work with existing ideas.
Dec 30, 2018
Happy new year!!! All of us on the Duck Webcomics, AKA Drunk Duck, thank you for all your support over the year! DD has grown and flourished because of all of you! It was coming to the end of the year when we recorded this, the time we traditionally mull over regrets of the year gone past and come up with resolutions for the new year to come! Tantz, Banes, and I chat about what WE think about resolutions and regrets.
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.
Aug 7, 2018
In this Quackcast Tantz and I chat about the differences between working with historical settings and the different approaches we take. Tantz's comics (Without Moonlight and Brave Resistance), are both set in a real period of history: Nazi occupied Greece during WW2. Pinky TA is set in the 1920s in an alternative version of history, with Pinky coming from the fictional “Crimean Empire”. Tantz has to keep times, places, and details close to real history while with Pinky TA I can pick and choose the things from history I like the best and create my own idealised pastiche. The advantage of Tantz's approach is that everything is there, nothing has to be invented, just researched and reproduced, whereas my approach involves a lot of creation which slows things down and makes it harder. On the upside Pinky TA is much more flexible, I can easily fit whatever I want into the story, whereas Tantz's comics are bound by the rules of the history she's presenting.
May 21, 2018
In this Quackcast we chat about the categorisation of work by specific genres and how it makes it easier to promote your work to people, while for fans it makes it easier to find what you're into, but it can also be a bad thing when people categorise too specifically and narrow their audience to nothing or just pointlessly confuse the crap out of people. I came to this topic because I saw a post on Facebook which was very badly explaining “Steampunk” and “Dieselpunk” while introducing the two utterly superfluous sub-genre names of “Ray-punk” and Atom-punk“.
Apr 2, 2018
Welcome to another Quackcast! in this “blahcast” we talk about a lot of different subjects. This Quackcast also sees the arival of a NEW feature! It's the Princess January Show, by VinoMas! Where all the hot gos about popularity on DD is covered. Pitface tells us that Fury is the greatest tank movie ever, I correctly state that Tankgirl owns that honour. We chat about mistaken criticism of a movie or webcomic based on what we WANTED it to be rather than what it was, Suckerpunch being a prime example, but also the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Bad promotion also sinks projects especially films like John Carter on Mars. We chat about Star Wars The Force Awakens AGAIN! Which leads us to badly written female characters: a strong character is a well defined character that drives a story, not characters that are physically strong, they CAN be, but it has nothing to do with being a “strong” character. It's like the famous “survival of the fittest”: “fittest” does not mean “strongest”, it means the best “fit” for a situation. So those are some of the pop-culture things we “blah” about. We have a university student doing a study on webcomics. Please consider filling out her survey, linked in our links section! This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Project Prince. The simple plucked wire chords introduce us to a dark future scene. Synthesised organ and gentle patter of brushes on cymbals tip us off to the action to come. Loud distorted electric guitars give us the feel of a late night 1980s SciFi action movie
May 22, 2016
State your business! Venerable Drunkducker Ayesinback suggested we have an open electronic meetup of DD people, so that's exactly what we did! We all met up in a long Skype session that lasted 10 hours- various DDers dropped in and out over that time and we chatted away about everything and nothing on videochat, meanwhile I tried on a never ending series of antique and novelty hats, one after another… It was really lovely to see old and new DDers all together, to see their faces and hear their voices. A big thankyou to everyone who took part! It was a big success! We will try it again and again in the coming months. The proposed date is the 3rd Saturday of every month, so the next one will be the 18th of June. The session starts at 11am New York time and runs for 10 hours until 9 pm New York time, so you can drop in any time during that! You can get Skype for free here: www.skype.com. It works on all computers, phones and tablets. It can even work just in your web browser alone! You just sign up and install it. Then make sure you add “ozoneocean” as a friend. Gunwallace's track this week was for Darklings. It's nice and long one with a good progressive rhythm. Some of the genius things we discussed: The measure of distance is time. Inbreeding leads to contagious genetic deformity. Direct democracy VS Harkovast. We beet the sugar! Pineapple and artichoke, why eat them?