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 441 - Cooperation = cool

Aug 26, 2019

2 likes, 0 comments

Cooperation Vs Competition. For decades the mantra was competition is good: it produces progress and makes things better… Well that's actually false. Competition is what you're forced into as a response to limited resources, so you do what you have to to win, which mainly involves losing everything that doesn't serve that specific objective. Competition is massively harmful to progress in general, it ONLY helps you excel in one small area to massive cost. Think of it in terms of an Olympic sprinter: they become the fastest runner in the world, but to what point? Only the artificial structure of a sporting event… they spend years training, exercising, eating right, wasting a huge portion of their lives, creative, and intellectual potential on that one meaningless goal, and IF they achieve it they might get a bit of fame and money and a footnote in history because someone else will inevitably take their spot. More likely though they won't achieve the goal and instead be forgotten.

Episode 422 - Positive promotion and controversial characters

Apr 15, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

The entire gang comes together today for two topics that were taken from recent newsposts: Emma Clare's Positive self promotion, and Tantz Aerine's Handling Controversial Characters. First up we chat about why it's always a great idea to sell yourself positively, NOT be arrogant or douchey, but rather by talking enthusiastically about what you genuinely love about your work and using that REAL and SINCERE enthusiasm to infect others with your love of what you do. Emma was mainly talking about the way you introduce your comics to friends and family but it definitely applies more broadly to self promotion in general: Don't try and get sympathy through self depreciation (oh, it's not very good…), and don't be an arrogant ass (My stuff is AWESOME!), rather you should just be honest about what you love about it (This story was so FUN to write!).

Episode 403 - Eat yer serial!

Dec 2, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast was inspired by a newspost by Tantz. There seems to be this prevailing idea at the moment that serialised storytelling is better than episodic style stories. Tantz informs me that it's one of the many Twitterverse controversies! So let me explain what I mean here: Episodic story telling is when most of the story you're telling can be parcelled into the course of an episode: you can have a strong beginning, middle and satisfying conclusion in the course of your episode, whether that takes the form of a comic chapter, a page, a strip, or a half hour TV show. The Serial style has things stretching over multiple chapters or TV episodes. What we talk about in this Quackcast is that it's an utterly false dichotomy: You do not have to have either or, in fact most projects have elements of BOTH at the same time and it's a little foolish to think that one style could possibly be inherently superior to the other since they're just tools for telling a story. It is up to the creator to pick which one is right for their own work and the context in which it's going to be shown.

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 373 - Stupid millennials, greedy baby-boomers and lazy Gen Xers!

May 7, 2018

4 likes, 5 comments

Millennials are so dumb, Gen Xers are SO lazy, and those Baby-boomers are just greedy as hell aren't they? But seriously, in THIS Quackcast we chat about the different generations of webcomicers and what's changed and what we have to learn from each other. The first generation of real webcomics came in with Sluggy Freelance, 8 bit theatre and a few others. Webcomics started out in the mid 90s as the web version of “Zines”: independent creator driven personal projects. The second generation came about in the 2000s. Sites like Drunk Duck and Keen Space were a huge part of that. It made it easier for creators to make the jump online. We'd seen what those first guys did and now it was OUR turn, there were a lot of copy-cats in this generation, but a lot of experimentation and creativity too, with sound, animation, interactivity and infinite canvas being a mainstay. Later there was an explosion in hosting sites like DD and comicers moved on to other formats like Tumbler and Twitter etc. The pro comic publishers saw how things were going and tried to get in on the act with online comics too. I think the 3rd generation saw a lot of commercial focussed projects. Comicers saw it as a way to make money so we had a lot of slick, pro work flooding in. In the 4th generation I think we have people doing comics for mobile devices or ON mobile devices. A lot of the comic hosting sites have far more limitations on work than they used to in terms of content and format, a lot of stuff has a bit of a pre-packaged feel, you see almost no experimentation with format now. On the upside though quality is a lot higher and comic sites will reliably work a lot better than they used to. Styles have changed over the generations: In the old days most comics were fully drawn and scanned. Tablets were rare and very expensive and so were graphics programs. If you saw a fully digital comic back then you knew the artist was either a pro or they were at university with access to high level equipment - or it was dodgy work done with a mouse and Windows Paint. Those tools have become far more accessible now and the barriers have come right down. Most work is digital. What generation are you? This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to DreamcomicbookDOTcom! Journey into a claustrophobically narrow electronic service tunnel, filled with high voltage wires humming with unimaginable power and mysterious cables running off endlessly into the dim, dark shadows in the distance. The creepy patterings and low hum of this music will take you there!

Episode 193 - Representing inner turmoil in comics

Nov 17, 2014

4 likes, 4 comments

The idea for this Quackcast came from a newspost by HippieVan. She had just read a comic version of Frankenstein and was disappointed at the simplistic way that the character's inner turmoil was rendered. She wondered about the different ways that "inner turmoil" is portrayed in comics. The lovely and highly intellectual duo of Tantz Aerine and Pitface join Banes and I to discuss farts... and after that we tackle the subject of portraying inner turmoil in comics. Each person brought some rather interesting examples to the table, and we all talked about the many different ways such internal emotional and intellectual changes can be visually depicted on the page for the reader without being stupidly obvious about it.

Episode 161 - The Gravy Train to the Stars

Apr 7, 2014

6 likes, 7 comments

We join our heroes attempting an ill-conceived hiking holiday on the surface of the sun... While they're getting over their stupidity let's talk about Quackcast 161! We asked people to contribute their own notions about what's cool and interesting in SciFi, as well as what they don' like and what they do not think works well. We had so many great contributions that we decided to split it into two parts, so you'll be able to catch another instalment of our space faring heroics!


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