Episode 426 - Sidekicking

May 13, 2019

Inspired by Emma Clare's Friday newspost about supporting characters, today we're discussing sidekicks! Sidekicks are a useful character type that are used in so many different ways. They can be a specialised type of supporting character that are also a main character or they can be the main protagonist in some cases. In comics sidekicks came in during the early days as a way of giving juvenile readers their own insert character who they could identify with… Bucky Barnes, Jimmy Olsen, Robin etc. They had other functions like giving the hero someone to save, providing commentary, reaction and exposition. Later when that kind of sidekick fell out of favour they became superheroes in their own right.

Topics and Show Notes

But sidekicks are a lot older than comics. People in social situations will often naturally fall into that sort of role because humans work well in hierarchies. One person takes the lead and the other follows: the person with the most forceful personality, The most experienced person, the higher ranked person, the socially superior person leads, and the other follows and that's reflected in literature.

Class was often used to put people in their “natural” roles: Frodo and Sam from Lord of the Rings; AJ Raffles and Bunny Manders; Sherlock Holes and Dr Watson: the posher person with the higher social rank is automatically the leader. This is very much a part of the British class system, officers and senior management came from the higher social classes etc, it's a large subject.
But that's also inverted occasionally; Jeeves is Bertie Wooster's Valet and social inferior and yet Jeeves is the leader in that relationship.

The sidekick is often the main character when used as the point of view character to tell us how marvellous their leader is. We get this with Doctor Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories, Bunny in the Raffles the gentleman thief stories, Bertie in the Jeeves stories, and Archie in the Nero Wolfe stories. Archie is interesting; he does everything, he's the main active character, and yet he's still no more than a sidekick to the great Nero Wolfe.

Sometimes the sidekick is the smart character who's there to try and rein in the excesses of their leader, like Arthur with the Tick, Sancho Panza with Don Quixote, Doctor Girlfriend and the Monarch, Agent 99 and Maxwell Smart, Kif and Zap Brannigan, Banes and Ozoneocean… They can also be used to compliment the leader by replacing something they lack, not just intelligence as in the former example. Kato in the Pink Panther provides Inspector Clouseau with muscle, Brock Samson provides EVERYTHING for Doctor Venture, Doctor Watson has skill the ladies, tact, charm, and humanity that Sherlock lacks, Archie has the confidence and mobility that Nero hasn't.

There are so many clever an interesting ways to use sidekicks, far in advance of the Batman and Robin method! I think we should continue to use them. What are your fave sidekicks and why? Do you have a sidekick in your story?



This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Operation Boom - Booooooooooom! This one thunders in, all action and furious energy, rolling in like a 50 tonne bulldozer at high speed while on FIRE and sparking with insane electrical discharges. This is danger music. Bright yellow with black diagonal lines. Listen for the deep, bass booms.

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Customer Service - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/may/07/featured-comic-customer-service/

Featured music:
Operation Boom - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Operation_Boom/, by Recklesshero, rated E.

LINKS
The importance of supporting characters, newspost by Emma Clare - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/may/09/supporting-characters-and-why-they-are-important/

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

Episode 423 - Fave weapons in fiction?

Apr 22, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

What's your favourite weapon in fiction? Mine are ridiculously giant swords, huge anti-tank rifles, and mecha. There are a lot of complex reasons for weapon choices in fiction, a Kalashnikov assault rifles for example signals certain things about the person carrying it: They're usually a bad guy for a start. This originated during the cold war, with certain types of bad guys using AKs. First it was Soviet Bloc soldiers, then it was Viet Con and rebels from South East Asia, then it became the “terrorist” weapon. The sub machine gun is the weapon of the bad guy. Terrorists used to use Uzis (before they turned to AKs), bank robbers used to use Mac 10s, now it's the HK MP5. Good guys carry an M-16 or AR-15 rifle. In historical fiction traditionally the bad guys carries curved swords while the good guys had straight swords, this came from crusades. Minor characters carry spears and heroes carry swords. Women, weaker characters and rebels carry bows. Giant swords and guns are often given to smaller characters in anime (usually female), as an obvious contrast with their small size. It's meant to emphasis the fact they're sort of a “mighty mouse”.

Episode 337 - Interview with AmeliaP of Kings Club

Aug 28, 2017

4 likes, 4 comments

This week we interview the artist and creator of the comic Kings Club, AmeliaP! Her comic was featured and Gunwallace also gave it a theme tune that was featured in Quackcast 335. AmeliaP is a talented professional comic creator and game designer. We couldn't interview her directly because she's not confident enough in her spoken English, so what we've done instead is read out a written interview that I did with her especially for this Quackcast. Amelia has some surprising and valuable insights for comic creators. You can read the full text of her interview bellow. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Abejitas - This tune bounces in like a wild thing, spinning and buzzing crazily, full of black striped yellow techno sweet honey madness and rapid wingbeats of energy, this will sting you into full awareness!

Episode 164 - Operation Moon 2

Apr 29, 2014

6 likes, 1 comment

A very SPECIAL episode! For this Quackcast Pit Face, Abt Nihil, Tantz Aerine, Banes, and Ozoneocean perform the sequel to last years Live radio play, with; Operation Moon 2! It also carries on nicely from the continuity of the last three SciFi Quackcasts. After the adventures in the alien hunted diner, the two Hill-billies, Daisy Dooks and her pervy old uncle Hayseed are in the custody of two sinister aliens, Palavi Kuklamu and Fritzi Von Horstheim. Their path is about to cross with the devilishly handsome space rogue Ozoneocean and brave Captain Banes! It's great fun to record a live play like this with all your actors doing their thing at the same time, nice and quick too. Editing is more of a challenge this way though. It's also specially challenging to write the whole thing in one night!

Episode 123 - Happy Birthday Mr Abt Nihil

Apr 29, 2013

7 likes, 3 comments

This week we interview Leonardo Da Abt Nihil, The Duck's very own renaissance man: Philosopher, scientist, self taught artist and writer, he is a man of many talents and lucky for us he posts the fruits of his labour on our site, many of which have been featured! Abt kindly agreed to be interviewed on his birthday, so Banes and I were finally have to do an in-depth talk with him and find out some of what makes him tick and at the same time celebrate that special day with him. So please listen and enjoy the melefluent tones of Abt's amazing voice and then GO and read some of his comics, especially Bombshell and Holon!

Episode 112 - Live play: Operation MOON!

Feb 11, 2013

6 likes, 11 comments

We live up to the promise of two Quackcasts ago: We have a LIVE play for your listening torture! A comic play written by Ozoneocean, full of horrible jokes and starring 5 wonderful duckers all playing their parts to perfection in Operation MOON! It also includes a lot of talk about the origins of our names, ideas for future play based Quackcasts, and a special edition second version of the play done full of giggling! We hope you enjoy this special presentation.

Episode 75 - God Save the Genejoke! In 3D!: Part 2

Apr 30, 2012

6 likes, 11 comments

I officially rename my co-host Banes as "Columbo-Banes" because just as we're about to fade into nothing, winding up, he comes in with "just one more thing" which just happens to be a freaking brilliant suggestion that makes us fired up all over again with great stuff to talk about, but also making us go longer and longer. In the end though, he's a loveable rogue that always solves the case... In a crappy raincoat. Genejoke continues to regale us with tales of three dimensional lore. We delve into filters, effects, lighting, colour, animation, programs, hardware, and then he gives some good examples of 3D comics on the interwebulatortron. Also, we meet the rest of his lovely family, in the distance. We finish up with a flush! ...or a flourish? No, it was definitely a flush.


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