Episode 620 - losers are human too

Jan 30, 2023

My idea was to talk about social pariah characters, people who it's socially acceptable to laugh at, despise, or even hate. They can be the uncool people, the dorks, the dags, the idiots, the overweight, the ugly, the old, the out of touch, the over the hill… On the extreme end they could be monsters and criminals. Generally they're written pretty two dimensionally as a collection of cliches, but when the writing goes beyond that to lend them humanity is when it goes to the next level.

Topics and Show Notes

I'm not talking about underdogs or members of minority groups because people should already know better than to write them as stereotypes or to laugh at them for being what they are. I'm not talking about “punching up” or “down” or sideways either.
A good example would be one of those Mansplaining “M'Lady” characters: a fat, young white guy with a thin goatee beard, in a black stingy brim fedora hat and black trench coat, worn over a t-shirt and cargo shorts. It's socially acceptable to universally despise that person, and it can even feel good to have someone like that who everyone is allowed to laugh at. Other examples are the Boomer, the Karen, the angry vegan woman, nerds, pervs, trainspotters, Furries, Bronies, and Treckies.

My conjecture is that an ordinary or bad writer just uses them as is and leverages the popular social derision surrounding them for humour. While a really good writer goes beyond the cliches and gives the character some humanity. Dwight in the US version of The Office started out as a character we loved to hate, but as the show wore on and he gained more humanity he became an immeasurably better character. King of the Hill is a show entirely dedicated to the sort of people pop-culture gives us permission to mock and deride and yet it shows us their vulnerabilities which makes them so much better than the characters in Family Guy who are similarly despised people but with no other dimension.

One of the main faults of the second Knives Out movie, Glass Onion, is that the characters are mostly all built around cliches we're supposed to despise, and they don't go beyond that. I liked the film but it wasn't as clever it thought it should be.

By all means start off with a boomer, Karen, angry vegan lady or a Mainsplainer, pick the low hanging fruit jokes, get all the easy laughs, but then turn things on their head. Go deeper. Show them as more than a simple cliches, more than a cutout! That will enhance your story supremely, make your characters more interesting, the drama more effective and your jokes funner.


This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Prince of the Moonlight Stone - Mysterious sounds of the cold, snowy, moonlit, pine-forest… Percussion heats up and leads us down into the steaming jungles in the valleys below, away from the cry of the wolf and the savage bite of the cold mountain winds.

Topics and shownotes

Links

Featured comic:
Explorer Chronicles - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/jan/24/featured-comic-explorer-chronicles/

Featured music:
Prince of the Moonlight Stone - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/_Prince_of_the_Moonlight_Stone/ - by KillerSandy, rated M.


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

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Episode 618 - The grass is always Greener

Jan 15, 2023

3 likes, 0 comments

The Saying goes that The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence. Envy and jealously are destructive, negative feelings that either lead to bad outcomes or just make you feel pretty crappy. It especially affects creators! We get down about our artwork, our writing, the popularity of someone else's comic etc and we wish WE were as good as them and wonder why we aren't… maybe we're just not as good? If we could only just have their talent, their luck, their skill then WE'D be awesome too. it's just not fair…

Episode 617 - Adventuring we go!

Jan 8, 2023

3 likes, 0 comments

Adventure is a fun genre! Not as many things get made for it these days but it used to be hugely popular in the past. It's one of my favourite genres and this is what we're chatting about for the Quackcast. What IS adventure? I think it usually involves a whole lot of different things like exploration, action, discovery, heroic protagonists, rivals, travel, exotic places, fights etc. It can be set in the past or in the modern day. Good examples are The Mummy, Indiana Jones, the original Tomb Raider, the two new Jumanji films, Strange World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Ducktales, Tailspin, Jungle Cruise, Uncharted and so much more. I'd love to know your faves!

Episode 614 - Super groups!

Dec 19, 2022

3 likes, 0 comments

Inspired by Banes we did a Quackcast on SUPER TEAMS! You know those groups like the Justice League, the Avengers, the Suicide Squad, or even Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy from The Journey to the West (Monkey Magic is my fave version). These are super powerful characters on their own but together they're even more awesome because their strengths and weakness complement each other in interesting ways. DD had its very own super team in the form of the Heroes Alliance, where a lot of DD creators got together to work on a shared universe. And back in the 2000s DD had a “Civil War” even with Keen Space (AKA Comic Genesis), where a huge number of our creators and theirs participated in something like a DC Vs Marvel crossover battle.

Episode 612 - Comfort food for the brain

Dec 5, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

There are times when you need to give your brain a bit of a break, that's when comfort shows come in handy! Movies and TV shows you can watch again and again- you can appreciate them every time and they don't get old. The tension never gets too much for you because you already know what's going to happen. You can just relax and enjoy the familiar story, revelling in the company of characters you know and visiting their world once more. They're great for creating to as well because you don't have to worry about missing anything important.

Episode 611 - Doppelgängers

Nov 28, 2022

3 likes, 0 comments

Doppelgängers was the subject of our Quackcast today. What are they? Generally they're evil duplicates of people. Originally if you saw one it was supposed to be a portent of impending doom, but they've since evolved through pop-culture to be mirror people who envy the originals and want to kill them and replace them. There are MANY other kinds of Doppelgängers too now: Future versions of people, clones, robots, virtual copies, alternate universe versions, spirits, demons, helpful lookalikes, and more.

Episode 610 - Beauty!

Nov 21, 2022

3 likes, 0 comments

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, so the saying goes but it's absolutely true. There is a layered subjectivity to it based on personal preference, the cultural standards of your community, the ethnic traits of you and your peers, prevailing global fashions in appearance, the dominant archetypes in the media and so on. All these things combine to form our personal subjective ideas of beauty. You can see this yourself if you look at paintings, statues, masks, frescoes and other artifacts that have been produced by all the diverse cultures on earth over thousands of years: there IS no standard, eternal, objective of beauty.

Episode 608 - Lovers and other things

Nov 7, 2022

4 likes, 4 comments

There are all kinds of relationships and they're great fodder for stories. The most typical is when two characters are getting INTO a relationship- all that will they/wont they stuff. But characters could also be ending a relationship, or maybe ending one in order to get into another, they could even be in a stable, long term relationship, although those aren't quite as common in media. My favourites are the ones where sex and attraction isn't a factor: relationships between family members, co-workers, friends etc. For some reason when it's platonic I find that a lot more compelling than sexual tension, especially when there would normally be the potential for sex- i.e. two unrelated compatible people with the same sexual and gender preference.


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