Episode 451 - Fans who criticise are are good fans

Nov 4, 2019

“Toxic fans” is a bit of a catch cry now and that has seemed to turn into the idea that any fan who is critical of something or doesn't like it isn't a “true fan”, fans must should love everything. I find this a dangerously silly notion and one clearly driven by business interests with only a limited relationship to reality. It's quite similar to the idea that you're “either for us or against us”, the twisted idea of “patriotism” that says you must agree with and love everything your country and your leader does no matter what or you're a traitor.

Topics and Show Notes

The truth is that trolls have always been a minority force. They exist and they are nasty, often sexist, racist pigs, but they're certainly not fans and don't characterise real critical voices. Using the existence of trolls to justify shutting down criticism is silly. In reference to this Tantz and Banes bring up big budget mass media productions like Star Wars, Game of Thrones and Ghost Busters, but I was thinking along more general lines: Good fans are people that love something but also care enough about it to think about storylines, characters and deeper aspects of that thing (it doesn't matter what it is), to have constructive opinions or to be upset when they see their characters misused etc.

People who are not fans and who really shouldn't get involved in the discussion are the “it's not for you” or “it's just a movie” crowd. Everyone knows it's not real life, and a creative product is “for” anyone that cares enough about it to consume it and form an opinion.

As Vickie Boutwell said “the opposite of love isn't hate, it's apathy”.

Fans who care are the best fans: it's these people who become creators in their own right while others simply consume. The greatest minds in pop-culture all started out as critical, thinking, fans. Name any successful, big series in any format (TV, movies, books, comics, games), and you're likely to uncover a fan that cared enough to let their opinions of their fandom show and then get in and have a go for themselves. By encouraging criticism and involvement we encourage creativity, by shutting that down all we get are consumers -which gives you a clue where that pressure is mainly coming from. ;)

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Ripping off King Arthur: We’re all preparing for the big event here with this theme. It’s a weird mixture of a Rocky theme, fantasy epic, and 8 bit video game music… as if were were about to see a pixelated, medieval fantasy themed version of Mortal Kombat! The fight showdown to end all fight showdowns!

Topics and shownotes

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Game of Thrones writer gossip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-rCuVtj7GA

Featured comic:
The jacket Comic - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/oct/29/featured-comic-the-jacket-comic/

Featured music:
Ripping off King Arthur - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Ripping_Off_King_Arthur/, by Arspitzer, rated M.

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/

Episode 441 - Cooperation = cool

Aug 26, 2019

2 likes, 0 comments

Cooperation Vs Competition. For decades the mantra was competition is good: it produces progress and makes things better… Well that's actually false. Competition is what you're forced into as a response to limited resources, so you do what you have to to win, which mainly involves losing everything that doesn't serve that specific objective. Competition is massively harmful to progress in general, it ONLY helps you excel in one small area to massive cost. Think of it in terms of an Olympic sprinter: they become the fastest runner in the world, but to what point? Only the artificial structure of a sporting event… they spend years training, exercising, eating right, wasting a huge portion of their lives, creative, and intellectual potential on that one meaningless goal, and IF they achieve it they might get a bit of fame and money and a footnote in history because someone else will inevitably take their spot. More likely though they won't achieve the goal and instead be forgotten.

Episode 425 - Pay-off or rip-off?

May 6, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

In this Quackcast we chat about set-ups. pay-offs, and rip-offs. To make your climaxes and endings more satisfying you have pay-offs for audience expectations: set them up in the story and pay them off at the end. If you fail to pay-off then you get a rip-off, it's pretty simple. Your audience will be really disappointed. That's not to say disappointing and unsatisfying ends to stories are wrong, not at all! Often those are fully intended. We're just talking about satisfying audiences, not “good” endings.

Episode 422 - Positive promotion and controversial characters

Apr 15, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

The entire gang comes together today for two topics that were taken from recent newsposts: Emma Clare's Positive self promotion, and Tantz Aerine's Handling Controversial Characters. First up we chat about why it's always a great idea to sell yourself positively, NOT be arrogant or douchey, but rather by talking enthusiastically about what you genuinely love about your work and using that REAL and SINCERE enthusiasm to infect others with your love of what you do. Emma was mainly talking about the way you introduce your comics to friends and family but it definitely applies more broadly to self promotion in general: Don't try and get sympathy through self depreciation (oh, it's not very good…), and don't be an arrogant ass (My stuff is AWESOME!), rather you should just be honest about what you love about it (This story was so FUN to write!).

Episode 389 - Intimidating Baddies

Aug 14, 2018

4 likes, 2 comments

What makes bad guy intimidating? Tantz Aerine made a great newspost about the question, carefully outlining various key bad-guy properties like confidence, composure, efficiency, and amorality. Banes, Pitface, Tantz and I stomp ALL over that, traipsing about like drunken, muddy rugby players, as we blather on about our opinions of the idea and finish up with no idea what we're talking about...

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 250 - Tradigital art - Digital VS Traditional

Dec 21, 2015

5 likes, 5 comments

There's not really a difference between digital and traditional art - art is art, your tools and media don't really matter, what's important is how its meant to be seen and what it's meant to be used for. But, people do like to discuss this though and so do we so that is exactly what we did! We opened the floor to people's opinions and experiences on the subject and everyone had their say. Gunwallace's theme for The Dragon Fists of Smorty Smythe reminds me strongly of The Journey of the Sorcerer by The Eagles!

Episode 236 - The Songcast/Drunkcast

Sep 14, 2015

4 likes, 0 comments

Pitface, Banes, Tantz Aerine and Ozoneocean reunited for a repeat of the legendary Drunkcast of Quackcast 137! Almost exactly 100 Quackcasts later we hit the booze again, but this time we had a goal to pursue with our drunken ramblings: music. We decided to talk about what themes inspire our comics, inspire us and represent our comic characters… and we came up with a LOT, too bloody much for me to link to dammit! We've also included all the links to the Quackcasts where themes for our comics appeared, AND Gunwallace has done the theme to Putrid Meat so it means ALL our comics have themes now!!! So enjoy our silly drunken chatting, this is who Drunk Duck Quackcasts are SUPPOSED to be!


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