Episode 452 - Storytelling styles change!

Nov 11, 2019

Storytelling styles change over time for various reasons: fashion, audience expectations, competition for audience attention due to increased choice and availability of media, technological limitations and abilities, and culture. We chat about the reasons for the changes and how styles have changed.

Topics and Show Notes

Technology is the easiest factor to point to: with the rise of Netflix offering binge watching more and more TV series turned to long story arcs and minimised the episodic aspects. This in turn influenced other media because audiences were primed to expect longer story arcs: comics, book series, games and even movies like the Marvel Universe have a focus on long story arcs over the course of several films.
For digital comics Scott McCloud talked about the idea of “infinite canvas” because comics on a screen are not limited by the area OF the screen but can move outside of it. No one really picked that up seriously, there were experiments made but nothing really took till Webtoons started to force creators to use their vertical scrolling format (for mobile phones), this in turn influenced a new style of storytelling: an entire chapter released as one continuous scroll made up of many connected single panels. You can listen to us chat about that on our Patreon only video :) - https://www.patreon.com/DrunkDuck

Although I think the TRUE genesis of the continuous scrolling chapter release was actually the sites that pirate and release manga titles. These were massively popular well before Webtoons came about. They'd release full manga issues with every page in one scrolling stream rather than single panels. It worked very well, whether reading it on a phone or full computer, despite the need to zoom in when using smaller screens (a single panel column is a silly, arbitrary limitation).

Another huge influence for storytelling styles has been choice: there is now a huge range of easily accessible media available so stories need to be able to grab their audience quickly and keep them, or they just move on to the next thing. This goes for all formats (movies, books etc). This means that most stories start off rather fast now, often dropping you in the action and quickly introducing characters, as opposed to the much slower pace of older styles.
Listen to the full cast to find out more!

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to The Jacket Comic: Wiry, punk, gritty, shiny and cool, this one jangles in on lyrical chords, sounding indie-rock with an almost Arabian flavour at times as the strings howl and echo up and down the scales. A rocky tune it for the coolest jacket in the world.

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Full House by Projectnutz - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/nov/06/featured-comic-full-house-by-projectnutz/

Featured music:
The Jacket Comic - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Jacket_Comic/, by RTHaldeman, rated M.


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

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Episode 413 - Breaking structure

Feb 11, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

It's just Ozoneocean and bouncy Banes today. This time we're chatting about breaking and subverting structures, formulas and conventions in webcomics. Commercial creative projects need to use formulas and familiar structures because that's what audiences expect, it's also what studio executives, creative editors, publishers, producers and all the people that greenlight those projects need and expect as well. The Hero's Journey and other conventions and formulas aren't just used because they make good stories but because of the commercial realities and risk averse nature of the industry (there's a lot of money and jobs on the line). Webcomics don't have those pressures so we're talking about why webcomics shouldn't necessarily adhere to popular formulas and structures and why many don't.

Episode 412 - Hiatusssss D:

Feb 4, 2019

4 likes, 4 comments

A huge thank you to the fantastic Amelius, creator of Charby the Vampirate! We mined her great newspost on the topic of the comic hiatus for this Quackcast. When you're reading a comic and it goes on Hiatus it's an awful thing… suddenly all progress stops and you don't know for how long it will be gone for. Some authors are great, they'll reach a point where they can't work anymore for some reason or they'll take a little break, but they will tell you they're going on a hiatus and when their comic will return- and Lo, it comes back exactly when they said it would. Crappy authors will say they're going on a hiatus and never return.

Episode 406 - Amateur Vs Pros Merry Christmas DD!

Dec 23, 2018

5 likes, 2 comments

Merry Christmas one and all! And all that stuff. This year our release date falls exactly on the 25th! It was a busy year for us, lots happened. But in this Quackcast what we chat about is something rather different: the difference between pros and amateurs, specifically when it comes to comics. There's this common misconception that an amateur is a novice that will produce work of a lower quality, while a professional is an experienced person who knows what they're doing and will always produce things of the highest quality… The REAL story is more complex than that.

Episode 403 - Eat yer serial!

Dec 2, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast was inspired by a newspost by Tantz. There seems to be this prevailing idea at the moment that serialised storytelling is better than episodic style stories. Tantz informs me that it's one of the many Twitterverse controversies! So let me explain what I mean here: Episodic story telling is when most of the story you're telling can be parcelled into the course of an episode: you can have a strong beginning, middle and satisfying conclusion in the course of your episode, whether that takes the form of a comic chapter, a page, a strip, or a half hour TV show. The Serial style has things stretching over multiple chapters or TV episodes. What we talk about in this Quackcast is that it's an utterly false dichotomy: You do not have to have either or, in fact most projects have elements of BOTH at the same time and it's a little foolish to think that one style could possibly be inherently superior to the other since they're just tools for telling a story. It is up to the creator to pick which one is right for their own work and the context in which it's going to be shown.

Episode 381 - site upgrades and messing with creators

Jul 2, 2018

4 likes, 4 comments

We talk about all the new upgrades that DD has just gotten: the new comment notification and reply features (a huge thank you to all who donated and helped out with that!!!), our new notification icons, getting HTTPS on the site, moving to the new ad system after the fall of Project wonderful, maybe starting a Patreon for DD, and Tantz's Sunday Twitter features. We also chat about Tantz's latest newspost and Mks Monster's thread that it was based on: basically the idea of forcing creators into boxes. The idea that women should create certain kinds of work and men should create others. Gunwallace gave us a lovely theme to Sky Commander. This is a very futuristic sounding track, at first glance it’s a little modern for the 1940s set comic but I like to think of it as the flight theme of the Sky Commander as he zooms through the clouds in his shiny metal Streamline Moderne gear, producing an expanding vapour trail behind him, crisp and white against the eggshell blue sky.

Episode 377 - Your Best Work?

Jun 4, 2018

4 likes, 0 comments

In this Quackcast we're talking about your best work… Our best work in this case. What are YOU most proud off? Please share it with us so that we can promote it. We all talk about some of the projects that we think came out the best for us. For me it was Pinky TA 6 which came out 12 years ago now! But I'm really quite proud of the art on each new page. For Banes it was the “Pop goes the World” chapter of Typical Strange. For Pitface it was ALL of Putrid Meat. And for Tantz it's the movie that she was a writer on, 731. What is yours? Please tell us and give us a link. Describe the work you're most proud off and why you're most proud of it. This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Captain Galactose. Fast, frenetic side scroller beat-em-up action! This tune slams into you, rolling with a flurry of quick punches and kicks, overwhelming you in seconds and moving onto the next levelboss!

Episode 373 - Stupid millennials, greedy baby-boomers and lazy Gen Xers!

May 7, 2018

4 likes, 5 comments

Millennials are so dumb, Gen Xers are SO lazy, and those Baby-boomers are just greedy as hell aren't they? But seriously, in THIS Quackcast we chat about the different generations of webcomicers and what's changed and what we have to learn from each other. The first generation of real webcomics came in with Sluggy Freelance, 8 bit theatre and a few others. Webcomics started out in the mid 90s as the web version of “Zines”: independent creator driven personal projects. The second generation came about in the 2000s. Sites like Drunk Duck and Keen Space were a huge part of that. It made it easier for creators to make the jump online. We'd seen what those first guys did and now it was OUR turn, there were a lot of copy-cats in this generation, but a lot of experimentation and creativity too, with sound, animation, interactivity and infinite canvas being a mainstay. Later there was an explosion in hosting sites like DD and comicers moved on to other formats like Tumbler and Twitter etc. The pro comic publishers saw how things were going and tried to get in on the act with online comics too. I think the 3rd generation saw a lot of commercial focussed projects. Comicers saw it as a way to make money so we had a lot of slick, pro work flooding in. In the 4th generation I think we have people doing comics for mobile devices or ON mobile devices. A lot of the comic hosting sites have far more limitations on work than they used to in terms of content and format, a lot of stuff has a bit of a pre-packaged feel, you see almost no experimentation with format now. On the upside though quality is a lot higher and comic sites will reliably work a lot better than they used to. Styles have changed over the generations: In the old days most comics were fully drawn and scanned. Tablets were rare and very expensive and so were graphics programs. If you saw a fully digital comic back then you knew the artist was either a pro or they were at university with access to high level equipment - or it was dodgy work done with a mouse and Windows Paint. Those tools have become far more accessible now and the barriers have come right down. Most work is digital. What generation are you? This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to DreamcomicbookDOTcom! Journey into a claustrophobically narrow electronic service tunnel, filled with high voltage wires humming with unimaginable power and mysterious cables running off endlessly into the dim, dark shadows in the distance. The creepy patterings and low hum of this music will take you there!


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