Episode 546 - The bad-arse dandy!

Aug 30, 2021

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.

Topics and Show Notes

They're most usually shown as being villains but there are examples of them being heroic too. In Western Media James Bond is on the edge of the trope, The Saint (famously played by Roger Moore) is definitely a pretty boy bad-ass, as is Jason King. There's Vega from Street Fighter 2, Space Dandy, Spike from Cowboy Bebop… As for women, the ladies of Charly's Angles, especially the Cameron Diaz movies are a great example.

The popularity of the trope in Japan could come from a samurai tradition that emphasised a study of “softer” arts along with the more lethal ones, manifesting in flower arranging, poetry writing, painting, calligraphy etc. While many Samurai would look ultra masculine and shaggy, still others were exquisitely groomed, wearing hair ornaments, fine silks and makeup. In the west at times we've had something similar with dandy fencers in the 17th and 18th century, hussars dressed in extravagant uniforms covered in gold or silver braid, furs and rows of shiny buttons. There were the famous Landsknechts, German mercenaries who specialised in using gigantic greatswords and dressed in amazing outfits of slashed, puffy, brightly coloured silk and huge hats bedecked with feathers.

So prettyboy badarse characters are not alien to our culture, they're just not that popular right now. Let's bring them back! What are your fave pretty boy or pretty girl badasses?

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to The Anaether - Running over the darkened plane, legs pumping, feet eating up the distance, dust flying, pounding on into the dimness, escaping, leaving everything behind… This electronic tune is scene-setting and atmospheric, suggesting speed and distance with its relentless rhythm.


Topics and shownotes

Links

Tantz's prettyboy badass newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/aug/13/pretty-boy-badass/

Featured comic:
The War Below Us - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/aug/24/featured-comic-the-war-below-us/

Featured music:
The Anaether - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Anaether/ - by Lizbeth490021, rated A.

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

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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.

Episode 510 - STUFF WE SPEND OUT MONEY ON

Dec 21, 2020

4 likes, 0 comments

This is the time of year you typically spend your money on other people… but we wanted to talk about what we spend our money on when we're spending on ourselves and indulging our own passions… just because this is the time of year we can digress and get a bit less serious about things. I talk about my passion for collection unusual vintage hats and antique sabres from the Napoleonic era and on. Tantz talks about her vintage 1940s era newspapers and the history behind them. Pitface talks about her stainglass window skills and her warhammer figures. Banes gives us the lowdown on the amazing muppet band playsets and figures he collected!

Episode 506 - The fightcast

Nov 22, 2020

4 likes, 0 comments

Today we chat about fight scenes! This was spurred by a post in our forums about how bad fight choreography can spoil a film. Our Patron vid was mainly about fights in our comics, while the Quackcast is more about fights in movies. One of the things about REAL fights is that they're usually very fast, ugly, stupid looking, and not very exciting. It's important to remember that boxers and UFC fighters are entertainers and sports people, those people are performing for an audience - their fights are real but they're designed to be showy and exciting, whereas true fighting on the street or in war etc is very different, it's more deadly and more stupid looking.


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