Mar 25, 2019
It's the rating game! Yeah! This Quackcast was inspired by Emma Clare's newspost on Friday about rating levels. On Drunk Duck we have 4 rating levels so they're nice and simple: “E” for everyone, “T+” for teens, “M” for mature, and “A” for Adult! We talk about why ratings exist and how to use them.
Topics and Show Notes
But why do ratings exist? Well it's complicated actually…
The main reason is that all cultures have various taboos and things they consider inappropriate to be viewed in certain situations so most countries have ratings systems set up to cater to that. Ratings are partly used to restrict access to some material (eg. stopping children from seeing violent or sexually explicit content), and partly as a way of marketing material: ratings let people have a good idea of the content, so parents will snap up any child rated material for their children to see and adults will know that higher rated things will be more appealing to them. Ratings such as “NC17” and “MA+15” were invented so content creators could sneak in more of what adults want to see in films (sex and violence) and still avoid a higher more restrictive rating which would mean they have less of a market because there are less forums to display and advertise higher rated work.
Ratings on the duck
We only have four ratings levels. These are based on old style film ratings, we do this to try and avoid confusion. Higher ratings mean you have a lot more freedom in what you can show but less freedom in who you show it to: “A” rated work is ONLY visible to adults (not kids) who are logged into the site. Theduckwebcomics is one of the few webcomic hosting sites that allow creators to post very sexually explicit material. Work is self regulated, we expect creators to be responsible adults here. The rating of a comic can be changed by us upon request, but we prefer to ask the creator to do it themselves. Here are our ratings:
Open to everybody. Non-offensive material in text or imagery. Appropriate for both children and adults.
Content is suitable for teens or older. Mild violence, slightly mature themes. No obscenities, graphic violence, sex, or nudity.
Content contains mature themes that might not be suitable for children. May contain occasional obscenities, limited graphic violence, implied sex, mild nudity. No sexually explicit material, no graphic sexual acts, no Hentai, no unrelenting violence, or non-stop obscenities.
Content is sexually explicit, exceedingly violent, or an excess use of obscenities. Must be logged on to view.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Blighted The Odyssey: The spirit of exploration, taking you far out into the deep black starlit ocean. St Elmo’s fire glows around the mast and yards, swirls of glowing plankton cling and drift away from the sides of the hull as you venture further into the unknown, disappearing into the darkness…
Topics and shownotes
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Sunstrike and Bluemist An Origin Story - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/mar/18/featured-comic-sunstrike-and-bluemist-an-origin-story/
Emma Clare's ratings newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/mar/21/rating-your-comic/
DD ratings list - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/about/
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Blighted The Odyssey - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Blighted_The_Odyssey/, by Alpharie, rated M.
Jan 14, 2019
The topic we discussed in this Quackcast was looking for symbolism, meaning and intention in comics: The English literature approach! Deeper meanings and all that. It's fun to do actually and sometimes you really can hit upon the intentions of the creator, uncover NEW meanings, or just do it to entertain yourself. We used our own comics for an example and talked about things beyond the superficial for a change. For example: Banes' comic Typical Strange is a sitcom set in a video rental store, staffed by a group of characters that make up the cast. Why is it set in a place that is clearly decades out of date and relevance? A video rental place is an anachronism in this time. Is it saying that the characters themselves are stuck in time? It's a sitcom comic so situations often reset or rewind back to the status Quo, so that interpretation would seem to fit… Of course that wasn't Banes' deliberate intention but it's fun to think about that way.
Mar 5, 2018
All the planning and set up in the world will never count for anything if you never start your webcomic, so just put your own to paper and begin! “Getting started on a webcomic” is what we chat about here. I was inspired by PitFace's newspost about a crappy horror film and how the creators just went for it. As a webcomicer that is what you HAVE to do! You can plan, research and gather resources for years, but the reality is that it just makes you more and more scared to take the plunge. You'll develop a LOT faster as a webcomicer if you throw caution to the wind and go for it. I'm not saying that research and planning are uneeded, it's just that most if it can be done while you're actually working. Do not worry about putting out a perfect piece of genius work from the getgo- your comic WILL get there regardless if you're dedicated and put the work in AS you work, but the first few pages or chapters don't have to be there. Your audience will appreciate the chance to grow with you a lot more than if you put out a polished gem to begin with. Starting out at a place like Drunk Duck is your best bet. It's a nurturing, easy to use, creator run platform, focussed around promoting webcomics. So what are you waiting for? This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Flesh and Wires: Dirty and distorted electric guitar and determined fuzzy bass, weaving together over a haunting synthesized Melodica. Portentous and evocative, this music tells a story in it’s own runtime! The main riff reminds me a little of my fave part for We don’t Need Another Hero from Tina Turner.
Jul 10, 2017
Starwars, Ender's game, Captain America… All these are great examples (or bad ones) of “retcons”. But what IS a “retcon”? What it means is that you go back and change an established work by adding new information that has the effect of changing it in a small or significant way. You might do it in your comic, or a director might do it to a movie series, like George Lucas did famously with Star Wars: introducing concepts like “midi-chlorians” as an explanation for the force, having Han shooting Greedo second, sticking Hayden Christiensen in Return of the Jedi, among other things. A lot of the time this has the effect of pissing off audiences who've consumed the story and enjoyed it because it alters or even destroys the understanding they've built up based on it and the relationship they have wit the work. Retcons happen frequently in the comic world because publishers have to keep their franchises interesting and saleable to audiences, so origin stories get updated all the time for example. A huge recent retcon was Captain America revealing he'd been a long time sleeper agent for Hydra, which has the effect of messing up stories going back over 50 years… The writer Orson Scott Card had a great deal of success with his novel “Ender's Game”, but for some reason he can't stop retconning it, going back and adding and editing new bits and re-publishing it every few years, and most egregiously penning prequels from another character's perspective that retcon the original story entirely. As web comic creators we have the role of god-author so we all have the temptation to retcon at one stage or another. Can it ever be a good thing? Is it worth pissing off readers who have an emotional investment? Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Optimum: the future is here and it’s in space! This tune is so upbeat, positive, fun and futuristic, it really exemplifies the cute colourful graphics of Skreem’s comic.
Dec 5, 2016
We finally did it! We got to 300 Quackcasts! We've been doing these non-stop for SIX years! Wow… That's pretty incredible. We couldn't think of anything clever do do so we had another DD electronic meetup. The 3rd DD meetup on the 3rd of December on the 300th Quackcast. So the DD family got together, which is what families do around Christmas, well a few of us anyway! In this Quackcast you can listen to an hour of our blather and carrying on and vicariously experience what it was like if you missed it or listen again if you were a part of it. It's always a blast to have the DD community together, we're spread out all the way across the planet so this is really the only practical way for us to come together. We tried doing it with DD hangouts this time instead of Skype, which was interesting but there were way too many hoops to jump through for people to get into it. We could only have 10 people on the call at the time, With Skype we could have 10 people on video chat and others with voice only and chat was so much better… So NEXT time we will go BACK to Skype. Screw you Google hangouts! It was so nice to see people! I tried to stay up for 10 hours from 11am EST (New York time), to 9pm, but I didn't make it. I fell asleep 2 hours short. :( Gunwallace's musical theme was for Lady Unlucky: a minimal white landscape, furnished with electronica, hints of piano and subtle grandeur.
Nov 28, 2016
In Quackcast 299 we expand on an idea from Tantz's Saturday newspost about inserting your personality into your characters when you write them. But not only that, we chat about how a work of fiction by a writer can be like a darkly faceted diamond with many aspects of themselves reflected in all their individual characters. And then we go even further and talk about how we insert ourselves into characters that we read about or see on the screen. What characters do you see yourself as in your favourite works? Gunwallace' music this week was the theme to Girlsquadx! It's a fun, techno, bouncing, pop action tune!
Jul 25, 2016
The Quantum theory of comics! Sound adds a whole new dimension to comics, enriching and enlarging the atmosphere, giving your mind a whole new path of stimuli to explore and queue you into things you just would not have been able to consider without them! Thanks to Ironscarf for his beautifully sexy and punny intro into the wonderful world of SFX, We made liberal use of his newspost in this Quackcast!. Indeed, SFX can be very tough to master in a lot of ways, it can be hard to make yourself use them too because they seem a little twee and unnatural, but once to get over that natural reticence they add a whole lot more to your work and give you many more options to explore. They're a very useful tool in your comic making toolkit! The theme this week was for Planet Chaser, you'll agree that it's bouncy, techno, mystical and danceable!
May 30, 2016
After last week's massive DD meetup (Next one is on the 18th, BE THERE!), we're back to the core group… me and my side characters, hahaha! Banes, Pitface, and Tantz Aerine join me to discuss the topic of promoting from within the ranks. I did a newspost about this last Thursday (linked bellow), the thrust of which was that when you need new main characters it's so much better and more fun to mine them from earlier in your stories rather than introducing them whole and new minted. This doesn't have to be an unplanned thing though- you can do like Banes or Amelius and have it all designed in advance. What they do is lightly introduce main characters AS side characters initially, knowing they'll be promoted to main status later on, either way it works the same- they fit better in the world of the story, the have more “history” and the audience finds them easier to accept, as we discuss in the Quackcast. Still though, when things aren't so planed, it can be so rewarding when creations grow and find their own voices. This week's theme by Gunwallace is for XTIN , it's weirdly Indian and mournful in a beautiful way that is PERFECT for Xitin!