Jun 24, 2019
Just Banes and I for this one! Today we have 3 topics: 1. Being positive and how that really helps us in online communication and social networking, as well as giving a boost to those we talk to- very important in comic communities. 2. How to get more eyes looking at your work. We always need to build our audiences! 3. Updates for drunk duck to modernise the site… We're going to have to raise a lot of money for this! How is the best way?
Topics and Show Notes
-1. There's an old myth that “being positive” helps you get over diseases and makes you a happier person among other things. Well, it doesn't unfortunately, but what it DOES do is make you more popular and interesting to people as well as giving people a boost when you communicate with them. This is a great tip for good online communication: be positive and be sincere.
-2. How to get more eyes looking at your work? The trap everyone falls into is expecting ALL their traffic to come from the site they're being hosted on thorough its own internal mechanisms like the search and front page features on Theduckwebcomics.com . Of course that's silly, you're competing with all the other members of the website for that limited limited piece of the pie, and that's exactly the same for all webcomic hosts. To get more readers you have to jump the queue:
2a- Network: comment on the work of others, especially comics that you like so you can always be sincere, do fan art for people, collaborate.
2b- Make yourself visible, participate in discussion and things and have a link banner. On DD that would be in the forums or the newsposts.
2c- social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc.This takes time but it can work.
2d- Buy advertising. This is a great way to get a big boost very quickly! On DD we have the option of banner ads https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jan/25/give-your-comic-a-boost-and-help-us-at-the-same-time/ which give you a big ad on every page of the website, or supporting us through Patreon https://www.patreon.com/user?u=5127951 Which gives you a link on the front page, links or ads in weekend newsposts, and a link ON the forums.
-3. It's time to think about getting fixes and a redesign for the site again! We have good plans for it already and know all sort of things we'd like to fix like good page organisation for creators, likes, threaded comments and comment notifications for a better social experience (we have SOME of that already but we need more), a nicer colour theme, a site that works better on mobile devices, translations of the site into other languages for Italians, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, etc
The trouble is that we need money to make that happen because these are fairly big changes. How would we get there?
Banes and I are thinking of a mix between direct donations to Paypal and a Kickstarter campaign - I hate Indiegogo, too may obstacles and it takes a really big cut.
Site redesign look and feel here: - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/177679/?page=3
Suggestions for money making and new features here: - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/178185/
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Android Blues: Cold blue, ancient mechanisms, clicking and pulsing… springs contracting, gears turning, cams slipping, servos spinning, capacitors whining… the machine works perfectly and mysteriously.
Topics and shownotes
Ice Massacre - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jun/18/featured-comic-ice-massacre/
Android Blues - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Android_Blues/, by Stahlberg, rated A.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
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Jun 10, 2019
At the beginning of a story how do you grab and KEEP your readers? This comes from the Friday newspost by Emma Clare. Her advice was pretty brilliant. From my own perspective it's generally characters that grab me first before anything else. Great art and a fantastic cover can hook your eyes, but without a great story or interesting characters there's zero to keep you there.
May 13, 2019
Inspired by Emma Clare's Friday newspost about supporting characters, today we're discussing sidekicks! Sidekicks are a useful character type that are used in so many different ways. They can be a specialised type of supporting character that are also a main character or they can be the main protagonist in some cases. In comics sidekicks came in during the early days as a way of giving juvenile readers their own insert character who they could identify with… Bucky Barnes, Jimmy Olsen, Robin etc. They had other functions like giving the hero someone to save, providing commentary, reaction and exposition. Later when that kind of sidekick fell out of favour they became superheroes in their own right.
Jan 28, 2019
Copyright is a huge thing! It allows us to make money from our creations and stops other people from stealing them. But culture isn't about a series of billions of totally original ideas invented from nothing- absolutely NOT. Culture grows from ideas that are recycled, reiterated, and reinvented. It's all quite derivative and mixed. So there has to be a balance between respect for rigid copyright and some flexibility to work with existing ideas.
Jan 14, 2019
The topic we discussed in this Quackcast was looking for symbolism, meaning and intention in comics: The English literature approach! Deeper meanings and all that. It's fun to do actually and sometimes you really can hit upon the intentions of the creator, uncover NEW meanings, or just do it to entertain yourself. We used our own comics for an example and talked about things beyond the superficial for a change. For example: Banes' comic Typical Strange is a sitcom set in a video rental store, staffed by a group of characters that make up the cast. Why is it set in a place that is clearly decades out of date and relevance? A video rental place is an anachronism in this time. Is it saying that the characters themselves are stuck in time? It's a sitcom comic so situations often reset or rewind back to the status Quo, so that interpretation would seem to fit… Of course that wasn't Banes' deliberate intention but it's fun to think about that way.
Dec 10, 2018
We mined Tantz's Saturday newspost for our discussion topic: Strong characters and how to write GOOD ones! What is a strong character? Well it has nothing to do with physical ability, power, command, or anything so obvious and trite. Strong characters are well rounded and well realised, they're often active and opposed to reactive, they make things happen, the story hinges on them. Failed attempts at “strong” characters or obvious and often result in Mary Sues, whether male or female. People hand them traits that they THINK will make the character strong: make them a general, make them a great fighter, make them royalty etc. The problem comes when none of that is ever logically backed up in the story. You can't just title a character something or have other characters talk about how great they are without having them demonstrate a reason for it, or else all you have is a pathetic paper tiger and a really shizzy failed part of your story.
Aug 7, 2018
In this Quackcast Tantz and I chat about the differences between working with historical settings and the different approaches we take. Tantz's comics (Without Moonlight and Brave Resistance), are both set in a real period of history: Nazi occupied Greece during WW2. Pinky TA is set in the 1920s in an alternative version of history, with Pinky coming from the fictional “Crimean Empire”. Tantz has to keep times, places, and details close to real history while with Pinky TA I can pick and choose the things from history I like the best and create my own idealised pastiche. The advantage of Tantz's approach is that everything is there, nothing has to be invented, just researched and reproduced, whereas my approach involves a lot of creation which slows things down and makes it harder. On the upside Pinky TA is much more flexible, I can easily fit whatever I want into the story, whereas Tantz's comics are bound by the rules of the history she's presenting.
Jul 23, 2018
You may have read about how a conspiracy theorist dug up some 10 year old tweeted jokes by director James Gunn and got him fired from Disney… Well that incident inspired this Quackcast, which is a re-take on the whole personal brand idea that we discussed in Quackcast 289.