Episode 498 - Your culture is MINE now!

Sep 28, 2020

This week we're talking about cultural appropriation, cultural adaption and adoption, also stereotypes and all sorts of related stuff. It was inspired by a newspost from Tantz discussing the recent live action Mulan movie by Disney. Cultural appropriation is when you take an aspect that is sacred or important to one culture and own it yourself: decontextualising it, stripping it off it's meaning, making a cartoon version of it, commodifying it, commercialising or cheapening it in some other way.

Topics and Show Notes

But not all borrowing from cultures is “appropriation”. Cultures mix and share things all the time quite freely and a lot of things that were once appropriated have long been mixed into a made a part of the adopting culture so they're as much of that culture now as anything else… Things like Yoga, which was a part of scared religious practices, was long ago appropriated and turned into an exercise fad. It's part of western culture now.

There's a power relationship involved: a community in a more dominant cultural position doesn't generally mind others “appropriating” aspects of their culture because their culture is everywhere. A community in a less dominant role usually does mind a lot because that's usually the only cultural identity they have, so stealing and misrepresenting it becomes an attack on their existence.
It's also extremely important to remember that you shouldn't really speak for another culture about appropriation. We can inform people that their cultural borrowing could possibly be an issue but it's not our place to criticise someone for appropriation and appoint ourselves as guardians and protectors of another group for two reasons: 1. That's paternalistic an dis-empowering to the people you're speaking for, 2. It might not be a case of appropriation at all, only they can speak for themselves whether it is or not.

The musical feature this week that Gunwallace has given us is theme to the Good Words with Sako, the Beautiful Heart of a Steggo Girl - A quiet, thoughtful, toe-tapper. This is a jazzy little techno number, bouncing away with a cool repeating theme. It’s gentle, intelligent, and elegant in its simplicity. Very Gorillaz.

Topics and shownotes

Links

Tantz's newspost on cultural appropriation and Mulan - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/sep/25/cultural-significance/

Featured comic:
The Impossible Family - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/sep/22/featured-comic-the-impossible-family/

Featured Music:
Good Words with Sako, the Beautiful Heart of a Steggo Girl - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Good_Words_With_Sako__The_Beautiful_Heart_of_a_Steggo_Girl/, by KaijuKid, rated T.

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

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Episode 497 - It's just kid's stuff

Sep 21, 2020

4 likes, 4 comments

Today we're talking about the idea that entertainment aimed at kids can only be enjoyed by kids and the reason that adults often don't like kids things is because adults just don't “get” them. I contend that everyone, of all ages should be able to enjoy General or kid rated media and the true reason we don't is not because it “isn't meant for us”, it's because it's simply badly written - specifically, it's not the content that's annoying, it's the structure.

Episode 496 - titular titularity!

Sep 14, 2020

4 likes, 0 comments

Titles are surprisingly important for your comic! We don't often realise that when we first start them, but a title is one of the very first ways people come across your work. You have to sell it to them and give them an idea of what to expect in only a very few words. You can take a lot of different approaches to that, like teasing and intriguing them with a title that suggests something interesting or mysterious, character names are great for that. You can be completely literal and obvious. You can use a pun… you can take an existing popular title and alter it in a slight way… There are so many things you can do!

Episode 495 - A fan of fanfiction?

Sep 7, 2020

3 likes, 0 comments

Fanfiction is a massive subject, there are so many aspects to it, from the bad stuff with the Mary Sues, rampant shipping, author inserts and wish fulfilment etc to homages and great works that extend the story and characters beyond what they were in the original and add interesting and fun aspects to fan favourites. There are many good reasons to do fanfiction: It's fun, you're inspired and want to use that inspiration, all the characteristics of the story are readymade so you don't have to do world building or character development, the work has a built in audience so you're going to have readers no matter what and hopefully some feedback, it can help make you more popular as a creator because of the fans of the original work, and you get to experiment because you can't sell the work or do anything serious with it so you may as well have fun and enjoy it!

Episode 494 - No antagonist is the best antagonist?

Aug 31, 2020

3 likes, 0 comments

Does a story always need an antagonist embodied in the form of an active character? I don't think they do! We chat about examples of stories without antagonistic characters that work just as well, if not better than the reverse! This is based on Bane's newspost from last Thursday (link in the notes). Tantz and I have a long argument about what the main antagonist in Wall-E was! I think that a lot of the better Pixar movies don't have their main antagonising force embodied in characters- Inside Out, Moana, Coco, Wall-E etc, and we they do they're not quite as strong or as touching. Even in Up the villain in that only plays the main antagonist for a short time. What d you think?

Episode 493 - Use existing IP to explore new things?

Aug 24, 2020

3 likes, 0 comments

First up… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TANTZ! This Quackcast is about the topic of whether it's right to change an established character just to fit with the ideas and styles of a new creator or change them in accordance with an idea or political position you want to explore, OR should you instead create a whole new character or story to do that with? Bane's newspost gave the example of the ersatz justice league created for The Boys, where Homelander =/= Superman. The series was made to look at the dark side of superheros, but it doesn't ruin established and much loved heroes to do that…

Episode 492 - Impermanence of the new digital age

Aug 17, 2020

6 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast is about the impermanence of online services and the lie that services are provided for fee and providers have no responsibility to the creators and viewers that use them. Hushicho posted in our forum about Tapas newly restricting nudity in comics which suddenly disenfranchises hundreds of creators who've built up followings on that site with comics that were well within the the Tapas content rules. With that one change these comics have been wiped out, destroying all the hard work by creators to build up their audiences over a long period of time. That can happen with ANY digital service, we are at the mercy of the corporations that provide them.

Episode 491 - Getting retro right!

Aug 10, 2020

3 likes, 2 comments

DD member Furwerk Studios posted in our forum about how annoying it was that movies try and do an 80s retro thing often get things totally wrong and end up looking dumb because of it: Not just superficial looks-wise but stylistically too in terms of the kinds of shots they do, lighting and story structure. I thought that'd make an interesting topic for a cast! Why do people often mess up retro stuff? We're not talking about historical accuracy here, that's slightly different, what we're talking about is setting something in an era and getting the “feel” of that era right. It pays off hugely when it works, but when it doesn't it comes off as superficial, disappointing and ignorant.


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