Episode 562 - the plots the themes - The space between

Dec 20, 2021

Merry Christmas and whatever you celebrate :) Interesting topic from Banes! It's his idea that sometimes the literal elements of a story (the plot etc.) are simply too weak to properly support the theme. He gives the example of The Truman show, where the idea is that a person is living a fake life under constant surveillance as the star of one of the most popular real life TV shows ever and he doesn't know anything about it… The themes are the power of the media, commercialism, the American dream, obsession with reality TV etc. Banes felt that although these themes were very strong the practical setup of the world and story weren't quite strong enough to support it.

Topics and Show Notes

I remember feeling that way as well when I originally saw it. The universal obsession with the show and the practical challenges of setting up and maintaining that fraud for so long with all those people were all nonsensical. Good theme but they didn't think hard enough about the setting. This is an aspect we don't always think about!

That's distinct from stories with a more symbolic setting like The 7th Seal, or Mullholland Drive because we know they are are not meant to be literal, there are more than enough cues! But when the literal aspects of the story are key to conveying the theme then they need to work. It's a very simple but powerful idea and helps you realise whey a lot of stories with big themes just don't quite gel or sit right: it's not you, it's them.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to c h h t - Seriousness, sadness, blue strobes, faded scenes, isolation, concrete and plain facades. The lights are dim as twilight approaches. Night closes in and streetlights bloom with golden halos. Two strangers meet in the a circle of light glittering on the wet road.

Topics and shownotes

Links

Banes' newspost on themes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/dec/15/above-and-below-the-surface/

Featured comic:
Tiger Tea - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/dec/14/featured-comic-tiger-tea/

Featured music:
c h h t - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/c_h_h_t/ - by Princefishie Lover, rated T.

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 557 - Fetishes in comics

Nov 15, 2021

5 likes, 9 comments

Fallopiancrusader joined us as a very special guest to chat about fetishes in comics! It's really interesting and he brings his expertise with adult comics and his wide ranging knowledge of comics in general to bear on the subject. So what are fetishes? Well they're often things that people have sort of a sexual interest in but aren't always associated with sex themselves, they're peripheral to sex. Because of that they're often enjoyed and appreciated in their own right for their own sake! Think of things like body piercings, tight laced corsets, wearing fursuits, spanking, wearing S&M leather and PVC gear, shoe appreciation etc. all things associated with sex that people can also enjoy and appreciate outside of sex.

Episode 546 - The bad-arse dandy!

Aug 30, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

Why aren't there more prettyboy bad-ass characters? Pretty girl bad-asses too! This character type is often a hall-mark of Japanese and Korean fiction more than anything else though it DOES show up in Western media occasionally. There is no age-limit to the type, what distinguishes it is that the character is tough and a very good fighter while also being very obviously concerned about their appearance and looking good- they don't just look good and fashionable naturally, they actively work at it.

Episode 541 - Masks

Jul 26, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

No, not surgical masks, this is about the kind superheros wear, also gimps, masquerades, villains and robbers! Inspired by Pitface and her deep and abiding love of gimp masks. We talk about how common it is to find masks in comics and how comic characters probably wear masks more than in any other media. And most media where characters wear masks is based on comics anyway. What are your fave masks?

Episode 533 - Can Mary Sues be likeable?

May 30, 2021

5 likes, 0 comments

We've done a few Quackcasts about how terrible Mary Sues are… well this is the opposite! Tantz postulated that they can be likable and GOOD for a story and then won us over easily by telling us why during our Patreon video. In the Quackcast Banes and I join in, having been convinced of the idea. We talk about how if the Mary Sue is a likable, good person, genuinely humble or altruistic and helpful then that can mitigate their Mary Sueness. Whereas if they're selfish, take their status for granted, take advantage of others or are just there to be marvelled and worshiped by the astonished onlookers (re: Rey), they can be unpleasant.

Episode 530 - What is SciFi?

May 10, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

So what IS SciFi? Well it's a pretty wide umbrella term and contains a lot of different things. In some senses it's just an imaginative fiction story where science replaces magic. SciFi can simply be a sciencey setting where genre stories take place (romance, adventure, nior, horror). It can be a magical fantasy space opera with a futuristic skin (Star Wars), it can be “hard SciFi” where the story is set in the future but the science is completely plausible, it can be written with strong themes that examine philosophical questions and make interesting points about the nature of humanity, and it can be so many more things too. It's a broad church!

Episode 528 - How tall are your characters?

Apr 26, 2021

3 likes, 0 comments

Character height is not something we think about too much but it's actually a fairly big deal: in terms of what the height means, what it means contextually, how the character fits into their world, how they relate to others around them, and how it's like to draw them! A character can loom, they can shrink down, they can appear bigger than they are due to force of personality or smaller due to being shy and retiring, Largeness can equal power and strength, stupid docility, threat, potential, or it can be used to highlight the strength of a much smaller character that beats them as in many animes.

Episode 517 - money in Scifi Utopia

Feb 8, 2021

3 likes, 3 comments

Weird one this week! A monneyless system in a working Scifi utopia. This was based on an idea Banes came up with talking about Star Trek and how the federation has “evolved beyond money”, We discuss if this is possible, why it is and how it is. That means no need for money substitutes like credit or barter either. It's a really interesting topic and a brave choice for a world setting. The most common type of scifi world by FAR is a dystopia so the fact that Star Trek is a working utopia (at least in the original and 1990s series) is a very brave and unique choice and the idea that it functions without money is even more clever and interesting.


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