Episode 673 - By their deeds you shall know them

Feb 5, 2024

Here we're fulfilling the promise of Quackcast 671 and examining what the art can tell us about the artist! Can certain themes, an art style, choice of imagery, jokes, humour, character opinions, colour choices or anything else tell us anything about the artist?

Topics and Show Notes

This can be pretty subjective though a lot of stupid and dishonest critics pretend it isn't and tell us great long stories about how this director is “deeply misogynist” because of certain repeated themes - I once watched a youtuber focussing this criticism on Tim Burton with content that was 100% subjective motivated reasoning entirely dressed up as objective fact. It was very silly. It helps if you know a bit more about the artist, their opinions and life when using the art to examine them so you don't go too far off the rails like that youtuber. It still doesn't give you a reliable result but it's better and if you do it well it can at least be entertaining and make sense.

In our Patreon vid we tackle our old fave Star Wars and see what that can tell us about George Lucas. A very cool way to begin! And I think we managed to come up with some interesting insights. For the Quackcast first we jokingly examine each other's work in a critical way… then we move on to our absent Quackcast Alumnus Pitface and examine her using her first main comic on DD, Putrid Meat. This was a fascinating examination!

If you're still unsure about this sort of thing, take the example of pulp writer Robert E Howard.
What does his work tell us about him? We mainly know him as the writer of Conan, muscle bound barbarian and poster child for the old Sword and Sorcery genre. But he was also the creator of many similar stories about other characters from different times and places, some funny and some serious but almost all male, big, strong, clever, crafty, physically fit, and intuitive. Knowing what we do of Howard, a young man from a small Texas town who was incredibly well read but also large and muscular it's easy to say his characters usually represented an idealised version of himself. They shared his small town distrust of the big city types (representatives of decadent civilisation in his stories), as well as his own pretensions to “racial superiority” which was very much off the time and area (Texas in the 1920s and 1930s), but more tailored to himself and NOT the silly Nazi “Aryan” version. His characters initially reflect his own thoughtless misogyny and sexual inexperience, almost verging on homosexuality, but that rapidly changes in his later writing, even notions of racial superiority melting away as his own experience of the world broadened and a relationship with a woman in his life changed his ideas about femininity. This culminates in his last story “Red Nails” which features an evolution and almost a reversal of a lot of his earlier themes, with a female protagonist hero while Conan is relegated to a side character.

Reading his stories in the order they were written as well as knowing a little about that man's biography seems to give you a fascinating insight into his thinking and reasoning! THIS sort of thing is where examining the artist through their art shines, even though it is still largely subjective.
What does your art tell us about you?

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme inspired by Maynard and Grimm - Grim and hauntingly introspective. This theme takes you down some dark and mysterious paths, into gloom and hidden places. Be careful, it’s very, very dangerous!

Topics and shownotes


Putrid Meat - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/PUTRID_MEAT/

Featured comic:
I Am Not The Protagonist - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2024/jan/30/featured-comic-i-am-not-the-protagonist/

Featured music:
Maynard and Grimm - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Maynard_and_Grimm/ - by Phinmagic, rated E.

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

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Episode 635 - Warcast

May 14, 2023

4 likes, 0 comments

We're talking about WAR here! Trying to leave out politics, though that's really hard with war because it's basically ALL politics but on fire. So we're talking mainly about depictions of it or at least aspects of it, in art and the media. Both Tantz Aerine and myself work on war comics, Without Moonlight and Pinky TA respectively (plus Tantz also does Brave Resistance with Pitface), so we have some knowledge of the subject from a creator perspective.

Episode 604 - Stylised reality

Oct 10, 2022

4 likes, 3 comments

When creating fiction we always have to stylise experience in many and various ways in order to communicate with the viewer in a way that's meaningful to them because it's usually impossible to simply show them the exact reality of something and expect that same meaning to carry through.

Episode 600 - AI is bad at art

Sep 12, 2022

3 likes, 6 comments

here's a lot of buzz about so called AI generated art at the moment using programs like Dall-E, Neural blender, Dream studio lite and so on. People use text prompts, i.e. “flying clockwork fish balloon” and the AI generates “art” based upon that. It usually does this by using actual art and photography created by real people, and visually mixing them to create a new image. Some results are much better than others.

Episode 596 - Leadership!

Aug 15, 2022

5 likes, 2 comments

Leaders are not born, they're created… literally in the case of fiction, created by creators of comics, books, movies, and other media! For this Quackcast I was inspired by two things: a video on Leader Characters by the satirical YouTube channel Terrible Writing Advice, and the Disney movie Lightyear, in which the lone wolf classical hero figure learns how to lead.

Episode 594 - Grow up! Or don't...

Jul 31, 2022

5 likes, 1 comment

The Manchild can be a fun character or they can be pathetic. They're a staple of comedies because they're an adult that gets to act immature and childish, without the restraint and responsibilities imposed by adulthood. This can make a great contrast; “The adult man acting like an immature child”, John C Riley and Will Farrel have always done that extremely well, as did Chris Farley back in the 90s. It can be be portrayed as pathetic and sad when the person can't seem to be able grow up or take on any responsibilities. They're often characterised by people with “childish” interests, like the cast of the Big Bang Theory, or with a childlike love of something like sports like Kevin in Kevin can F Himself.

Episode 592 - Back in MY day!

Jul 18, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

History is happening faster now. With the growth of universal high speed communication and cheap world travel, culture and technology move at unprecedented speeds. Because of these factors the rate of change is different to what it was at any time in the past. This is an objective and verifiable truth rather than subjective perception: the current speed and quality of global communication has never been possible before and that has ramifications for how the world changes.

Episode 590 - Fave Superhero Movies?

Jul 4, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

I wanted to do an easy and fun one this week and just chat about our fave superhero movies, starting with our firsts! For me and Banes it was Superman with Christopher Reeve. It's a real classic, full of positivity, hope, and optimism, all with bright colours and classic iconic imagery… In that way it's a bit like many of the Marvel films and the more popular DC offerings like Aquaman and WonderWoman, but without the overbuilt and over-defined muscles!

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