Sep 26, 2022
What happens when the victim becomes the victor? Most of the time it's like the classic line from The Who “Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss”, typically revolutions (and elections), that promise change don't really deliver, the new people use it as a chance to get revenge on their enemies, take advantage of things the same as the last guys, and do everything they can to cling to power. The true exceptions are rare and special, i.e. Vaclav Havel and the Velvet revolution.
Topics and Show Notes
We decided to apply this to fiction and characters- What happens when the underdog gets the upper hand? Do they use it as a chance to take revenge, are they gracious and magnanimous, do they become the bully themselves, do they betray their ideals? How they handle their power is very interesting and says a lot about them. There are characters like Walter white, a downtrodden highschool teacher, who rises to power and becomes a crime boss. A similar story is told in Scarface, 711 Ocean Drive, and The Godfather. The new Netflix series “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” has a smaller scale take on it with a bullied youth becoming a super powered cyber-warrior criminal. In these stories the character arc is well portrayed and it's interesting to watch their moral fall even as they rise through the ranks of evil.
However, it can become a little more muddy when a character is written as honourable and good and yet they still use their sudden power to get revenge in a petty way. This simple act can be a powerful indication of hypocrisy and moral weakness, or just really bad writing. Of course that doesn't apply to all acts of revenge, only when it betrays a character's ideals or is OUT of character.
How do your characters handle a turnabout in fortunes? Do they use it as a chance to take what they can get and bet the bad guy themselves, do they get revenge, do they throw away their ideals, do they stay true to their character, are they magnanimous?
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Crimson Stars - A creepy, gothic horror techno landscape of winking red stars and the pale blue trailing lights of ion drives in deep space. This is a cold world of blackness, danger, and vampires! The music really sets the scene.
Topics and shownotes
Dave Skunk Comic - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/sep/20/featured-comic-dave-skunk-comic/
Crimson Stars - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Crimson_Stars/ - by Commissar_Tarkin, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
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Aug 21, 2022
Today we're talking about a technique in storytelling that we're calling the “revelation”. Inspired by Banes doing an article on the weird trope in movies of having a character discover newspaper stories about the villain that suddenly reveal the true stakes of the story and kick things into high gear. There are other types of revelation in stories though and they're used in different ways.
Jul 18, 2022
History is happening faster now. With the growth of universal high speed communication and cheap world travel, culture and technology move at unprecedented speeds. Because of these factors the rate of change is different to what it was at any time in the past. This is an objective and verifiable truth rather than subjective perception: the current speed and quality of global communication has never been possible before and that has ramifications for how the world changes.
Jun 27, 2022
A and B stories… And C, and D etc. It seems that it's more popular than ever to have stories with multiple concurrent threads. This is when you have a main story and a bunch of other sub stories all happening at the same time. These might come together at the end of the story or they might peter out. We don't get many stories just made with just an A-plot and nothing else these days.
Jun 13, 2022
Our very own Tantz made a newspost last week about the idea of “Heroes” who are really villains… or at least they're actually villains who think they're the hero, but come to realise that they aren't. Sometimes that makes them change their ways and they seek redemption, maybe even becoming a true hero. Sometimes they just lean into and embrace their true villain nature.
May 30, 2022
Adaptations of one thing into another is an interesting process. What's lost, what's gained, what modifications do you have to do to make it happen? As webcomicers we do it all the time in many ways, we have to adapt our influences into ideas, adapt those to stories, and adapt those to images and comics, which isn't trivial! It's often quite difficult to transform the written word into narrative sequential art- what portion of the writing gets directly turned into images, what's cut, and what becomes dialogue? For me about 20% is cut, 78% becomes art and 2% becomes dialogue or captions.
May 16, 2022
Spoiler- we don't actually talk much about Yu-Gi-Oh! But I feel it's a good example of a pretty bad a so-bad-it's-good story, but bad nevertheless. The idea we're talking about here is that it's useful to look at bad stories and stick with them because they can really help you write better. They're a lot more useful than good stories because you'd rather just enjoy those and it's a bit harder to examine them for technical details, but with “bad” stories the faults stand out strongly. Instead of simply dismissing a bad story or making fun of it, it's more useful and valuable to try and “fix” it: try and work out why it seems bad and think about what would be needed to make it better, then think about how that applies to your own work. Maybe you're actually making many of the same mistakes?
May 9, 2022
Let's go forward in time to the past so we can get back to the future and kill our grandfather and be our own ancestor while we step on a bug and change the course of evolution 200 million years in the future and doom the Morlocks to a date with Doctor Who, while Bill and Ted drive a Delorean in the Old West and save Fry's dog as it waits out the front of the Pizza place… Time travel is fun to talk about, but it's easy to mess up because paradoxes in plots pop up all over the place as timelines intersect and cross over and over, getting tangled and logically prevent events that have already happened from happening!