Episode 449 - Star Wars 2 the franchise strikes back

Oct 21, 2019

As promised we dive right into the second half of the Star Wars chat! We cover all the Star Wars stuff besides the original trilogy and the new trilogy. There's a lot to cover and we only touch on most on it: Solo, the Star Wars Christmas special, Droids, the Ewok films, Clone Wars, the games, the books, comics, Solo, Rogue One…

Topics and Show Notes

For October we're having a look at various popular film franchises because understanding of them has a lot to offer webcomic creators. Last week we looked at the original Star Wars trilogy and talked about that in relation to the latest one. Before that it was Indiana Jones.

Personally I think the main strength of the Star Wars franchise has nothing to do with the Force, the Jedi, Vader or any of that story stuff: At its heart Star Wars has always been a triumph of aesthetics, aesthetics that are done so well they grab and hold the audience! When the first film blasted onto the screen in the late 70s it was really like nothing before it. It was the perfect synthesis of so many elements; fantasy, Sci-Fi, space opera, western, samurai, ww2 war film, and classic Hollywood blockbuster. We always get too caught up in the ridiculous story and script writing to realise what's so good about Star Wars and what is ALWAYS good about it: Amazing sets, great music, costumes, props, effects, lighting, sound design, models and so on. All those elements come together to make an imaginative, imersive, cool and unusual evocative experience. It's a mythic image that never fails to grab our attention. Yes the stories are often terrible, the dialogue can be stupid, the themes are basic, plots full of holes etc but we still love it enough to care BECAUSE it looks and feels great, so we think it's worth saving. In spite of everything we still love to go back to the Star Wars universe.

It's not easy to write a good sci-fi fantasy space opera. The first trilogy succeeded because it kept to a very simple hero's journey template, it was new and original so we gave it the benefit of the doubt, and it threw in a lot of fun classic tropes from westerns, Samurai movies, and war films. Defending the franchise on plot or story is a fool's task and saying “it's for kids” is a moronic defence, and it's all unnecessary because those aspects don't really matter.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Spacefighters: Run to your spcefighters, leap in, rev up your proton engines, blast into high earth atmosphere at 9 times the speed of sound and shoot into orbit to hunt the baddies! This dynamic, cool tune is the perfect sound track to defend the earth to! It’s groovy and classic.

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Wild Wolves - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/oct/15/featured-comic-wild-wolves/

Featured music:
Spacefighters - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Spacefighters/, by Cbacolo, rated E.

LINKS

Previous Star Wars Episode - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-448-king-of-franchises-star-wars

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

Episode 425 - Pay-off or rip-off?

May 6, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

In this Quackcast we chat about set-ups. pay-offs, and rip-offs. To make your climaxes and endings more satisfying you have pay-offs for audience expectations: set them up in the story and pay them off at the end. If you fail to pay-off then you get a rip-off, it's pretty simple. Your audience will be really disappointed. That's not to say disappointing and unsatisfying ends to stories are wrong, not at all! Often those are fully intended. We're just talking about satisfying audiences, not “good” endings.

Episode 419 - The Rating Game

Mar 25, 2019

4 likes, 5 comments

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.

Episode 401 - Stan Lee, a stupid comedian, and the new prudes

Nov 19, 2018

3 likes, 4 comments

This is Quackcast 401! Error, error! Pitface and Tantz were absent so Banes and myself were left to go quietly off the rails and expostulate all sorts of radical, half formed, badly articulated thoughts. This is an interesting one! We cover the death of the great Stan Lee, titan of the comics and superhero world. Then we sidestream into talking about comedians trying to be political commentators (re: Bill Maher)… I must apologise for my Ad Hominems. And lastly our focus is on a “new puritanism” in some aspects of pop-culture. It all ties together, if a little awkwardly.

Episode 388 - Coding for Men and women

Aug 15, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

In this Quackcast we discuss the artistic coding used to represent males and females in comic art in a simple, minimal way. Pitface joins us, along with Banes and Tantz Aerine! Much like an expert physicist is able to simplify enormously complex equations into something seemingly simple like E=MC2 a good comic artist simplifies the essence of what they're drawing into something that's immediately recognisable without a lot of complexity. We're mainly talking here in terms of drawing men and women. It sounds like the most basic, silly thing, but even pros with years of experience have trouble with it. Some of the art for the new She-Ra cartoon is a great example of that.

Episode 382 - Suspension of disbelief

Jul 9, 2018

4 likes, 0 comments

This week we talk about maintaining suspension of disbelief: the way you have to convince people of the world your story is set in and keep them there. Everything you do is done for that, to convince them your characters make sense and the world works. There's a very mistaken idea that this ONLY applies to fantasy or SciFi. No, it applies to ALL fiction and even non-fiction in the case of stories and jokes from your friends, biographies and autobiographies. You have to maintain a suspension of disbelief in all these things in order to fully enjoy and be a part of the story.

Episode 376 - Comic Tutorials

May 28, 2018

3 likes, 0 comments

kawaiidaigakusei makes a return to the Quackcast! Together with the crew we chat about some of our favourite comic making tutorials on DD. Yes, there IS a tutorials section on the site and people have created some amazing and clever tutes on how to both write and draw better when making your comics. There are some cool instructions on how to make better pages, write scripts, do rain effects, all sorts of shortcuts and clever tit-bits of info to have you creating like a pro. This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Potato and Kraut. Feel the gigantic weight this music layers onto your shoulders. A synthesised torrent of gravity, followed by the heavy, deep notes of a piano dropping on top of you like frozen slabs. The torrent slowly eases, brings light and relief, then fades away.

Episode 368 - the Blahcast!

Apr 2, 2018

5 likes, 0 comments

Welcome to another Quackcast! in this “blahcast” we talk about a lot of different subjects. This Quackcast also sees the arival of a NEW feature! It's the Princess January Show, by VinoMas! Where all the hot gos about popularity on DD is covered. Pitface tells us that Fury is the greatest tank movie ever, I correctly state that Tankgirl owns that honour. We chat about mistaken criticism of a movie or webcomic based on what we WANTED it to be rather than what it was, Suckerpunch being a prime example, but also the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Bad promotion also sinks projects especially films like John Carter on Mars. We chat about Star Wars The Force Awakens AGAIN! Which leads us to badly written female characters: a strong character is a well defined character that drives a story, not characters that are physically strong, they CAN be, but it has nothing to do with being a “strong” character. It's like the famous “survival of the fittest”: “fittest” does not mean “strongest”, it means the best “fit” for a situation. So those are some of the pop-culture things we “blah” about. We have a university student doing a study on webcomics. Please consider filling out her survey, linked in our links section! This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Project Prince. The simple plucked wire chords introduce us to a dark future scene. Synthesised organ and gentle patter of brushes on cymbals tip us off to the action to come. Loud distorted electric guitars give us the feel of a late night 1980s SciFi action movie


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