May 13, 2019
Inspired by Emma Clare's Friday newspost about supporting characters, today we're discussing sidekicks! Sidekicks are a useful character type that are used in so many different ways. They can be a specialised type of supporting character that are also a main character or they can be the main protagonist in some cases. In comics sidekicks came in during the early days as a way of giving juvenile readers their own insert character who they could identify with… Bucky Barnes, Jimmy Olsen, Robin etc. They had other functions like giving the hero someone to save, providing commentary, reaction and exposition. Later when that kind of sidekick fell out of favour they became superheroes in their own right.
Topics and Show Notes
But sidekicks are a lot older than comics. People in social situations will often naturally fall into that sort of role because humans work well in hierarchies. One person takes the lead and the other follows: the person with the most forceful personality, The most experienced person, the higher ranked person, the socially superior person leads, and the other follows and that's reflected in literature.
Class was often used to put people in their “natural” roles: Frodo and Sam from Lord of the Rings; AJ Raffles and Bunny Manders; Sherlock Holes and Dr Watson: the posher person with the higher social rank is automatically the leader. This is very much a part of the British class system, officers and senior management came from the higher social classes etc, it's a large subject.
But that's also inverted occasionally; Jeeves is Bertie Wooster's Valet and social inferior and yet Jeeves is the leader in that relationship.
The sidekick is often the main character when used as the point of view character to tell us how marvellous their leader is. We get this with Doctor Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories, Bunny in the Raffles the gentleman thief stories, Bertie in the Jeeves stories, and Archie in the Nero Wolfe stories. Archie is interesting; he does everything, he's the main active character, and yet he's still no more than a sidekick to the great Nero Wolfe.
Sometimes the sidekick is the smart character who's there to try and rein in the excesses of their leader, like Arthur with the Tick, Sancho Panza with Don Quixote, Doctor Girlfriend and the Monarch, Agent 99 and Maxwell Smart, Kif and Zap Brannigan, Banes and Ozoneocean… They can also be used to compliment the leader by replacing something they lack, not just intelligence as in the former example. Kato in the Pink Panther provides Inspector Clouseau with muscle, Brock Samson provides EVERYTHING for Doctor Venture, Doctor Watson has skill the ladies, tact, charm, and humanity that Sherlock lacks, Archie has the confidence and mobility that Nero hasn't.
There are so many clever an interesting ways to use sidekicks, far in advance of the Batman and Robin method! I think we should continue to use them. What are your fave sidekicks and why? Do you have a sidekick in your story?
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Operation Boom - Booooooooooom! This one thunders in, all action and furious energy, rolling in like a 50 tonne bulldozer at high speed while on FIRE and sparking with insane electrical discharges. This is danger music. Bright yellow with black diagonal lines. Listen for the deep, bass booms.
Topics and shownotes
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Customer Service - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/may/07/featured-comic-customer-service/
Operation Boom - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Operation_Boom/, by Recklesshero, rated E.
The importance of supporting characters, newspost by Emma Clare - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/may/09/supporting-characters-and-why-they-are-important/
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Sep 18, 2017
In this Drunk Duck Quackcast we chat about the importance and the process of reviews! Good ones, bad ones, why they all matter, and also why they often don't! ;) Reviews are an interesting animal, they're a parasitic form of entertainment. They rely wholly of other forms of entertainment for their existence, while those forms do not require reviews at all! But reviews also serve a good function, they tell us what's bad or good, what fits with our tastes and emotions, and lets us know what we may be interested in seeing. They can also save us from wasting time on horrors. Sometimes though they can drive us away from something magical… Here we discuss all that and more! Gunwallace's theme this week was for Reversion, This is a really dreamy, evocative tune about warm, faraway places, it’s squinting into the distance down a long dusty deserted highway and sighing.
Aug 28, 2017
This week we interview the artist and creator of the comic Kings Club, AmeliaP! Her comic was featured and Gunwallace also gave it a theme tune that was featured in Quackcast 335. AmeliaP is a talented professional comic creator and game designer. We couldn't interview her directly because she's not confident enough in her spoken English, so what we've done instead is read out a written interview that I did with her especially for this Quackcast. Amelia has some surprising and valuable insights for comic creators. You can read the full text of her interview bellow. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Abejitas - This tune bounces in like a wild thing, spinning and buzzing crazily, full of black striped yellow techno sweet honey madness and rapid wingbeats of energy, this will sting you into full awareness!
Jun 1, 2015
Banes is home alone in the studio this time while Ozoneocean was away gallivanting around the globe… he's joined by intrepid security guard Bravo, who saves him from a fate worse than death. Together they chat and gabble away about things and stuff, primarily inspired by the topic “Why do you do a webcomic?” Together they manage to find out. Reading the contributions of many fine DDers really helped along with that though! Gunwallace provides a great theme for Clockwork Atrium too!
Feb 16, 2015
Back in January our own HippieVan was in a quandary as to how to turn a creative idea she had into a webcomic, so she decided to put it o the DD community and croudsource their wisdom via a newspost. Banes and I thought the topic would make a good Quackcast, especially since we could read out all the interesting and informative posts people made on the subject! Banes has also approached the idea previously for Quackcast 68 where he outlines a screen-writing method called "save the cat", also known as "The Banes' Method". That Quackcast was since deleted but as a special treat I will re-upload it!
Apr 30, 2012
I officially rename my co-host Banes as "Columbo-Banes" because just as we're about to fade into nothing, winding up, he comes in with "just one more thing" which just happens to be a freaking brilliant suggestion that makes us fired up all over again with great stuff to talk about, but also making us go longer and longer. In the end though, he's a loveable rogue that always solves the case... In a crappy raincoat. Genejoke continues to regale us with tales of three dimensional lore. We delve into filters, effects, lighting, colour, animation, programs, hardware, and then he gives some good examples of 3D comics on the interwebulatortron. Also, we meet the rest of his lovely family, in the distance. We finish up with a flush! ...or a flourish? No, it was definitely a flush.
Mar 12, 2012
This marks the beginning of our story writing month! We're focusing exclusively and intensively on the art of writing, following on naturally from Kroatz's clever take on the concept of the monomyth. Bane's special interest and expertise is in scriptwriting, particularly movie screenwriting, so this is the approach we're taking. Screenwriting translates perfectly to comics even more than it does to novel writing or play-writing so hopefully this should come in handy to our webcomicing writers out there! First up we begin with an outline of general story structure, then move on to an explanation of some of the different TYPES of story.