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 559 - DD Fashion Spotlight

Nov 29, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

Today we're chatting about the NEW news feature that we're doing every Friday: The DD Fashion Spotlight. This is a new way to promote comics without all the restrictions of the featured comic system. To be eligible for a normal Wednesday feature a comic has to have at least 15 pages, be currently updating, not in the top ten, have good writing and artwork, not be adult rated, and not have been featured before. That cuts down the playing field quite a lot but it's what we have to do to make it worth a feature.

Episode 423 - Fave weapons in fiction?

Apr 22, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

What's your favourite weapon in fiction? Mine are ridiculously giant swords, huge anti-tank rifles, and mecha. There are a lot of complex reasons for weapon choices in fiction, a Kalashnikov assault rifles for example signals certain things about the person carrying it: They're usually a bad guy for a start. This originated during the cold war, with certain types of bad guys using AKs. First it was Soviet Bloc soldiers, then it was Viet Con and rebels from South East Asia, then it became the “terrorist” weapon. The sub machine gun is the weapon of the bad guy. Terrorists used to use Uzis (before they turned to AKs), bank robbers used to use Mac 10s, now it's the HK MP5. Good guys carry an M-16 or AR-15 rifle. In historical fiction traditionally the bad guys carries curved swords while the good guys had straight swords, this came from crusades. Minor characters carry spears and heroes carry swords. Women, weaker characters and rebels carry bows. Giant swords and guns are often given to smaller characters in anime (usually female), as an obvious contrast with their small size. It's meant to emphasis the fact they're sort of a “mighty mouse”.

Episode 406 - Amateur Vs Pros Merry Christmas DD!

Dec 23, 2018

5 likes, 2 comments

Merry Christmas one and all! And all that stuff. This year our release date falls exactly on the 25th! It was a busy year for us, lots happened. But in this Quackcast what we chat about is something rather different: the difference between pros and amateurs, specifically when it comes to comics. There's this common misconception that an amateur is a novice that will produce work of a lower quality, while a professional is an experienced person who knows what they're doing and will always produce things of the highest quality… The REAL story is more complex than that.

Episode 404 - Strong characters

Dec 10, 2018

3 likes, 0 comments

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.

Episode 360 - How did you start in webcomics?

Feb 4, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

In this Quackcast I thought we'd chat about Emma Clare's great and thoughtful topic of webcomic origin stories: Basically, what was happening to make you start your webcomic on DD, all that stuff in your life back when you first began posting… Emma's newsposts are a great read and they made us all think back to how we began. Pit, Tantz and I have a long talk about our comicing origins. What were YOU doing when you started webcomics? What made you begin? This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to NanoCritters. It's a minimalist white expanse, dotted with mysterious little marks of sound. What do they mean, what do they represent, is it code? Read NanoCritters to find out! Also included in the Quackcast are extracts from a lovely Starwars themed rap that Tantz's Greek students performed in English.

Episode 261 - D.U.C.K. Radio2

Mar 7, 2016

6 likes, 3 comments

Radio D.U.C.K. has come again for part number TWO! Bringing you ALL of Gunwallace's lovely tunes, one after another. This time we get to meet Evangelist for DD Reverend Carlton Crackers, SciFi Hour with Kurt and Steve, Woman 1 and Woman 2, a return of DJ and Rhett Blanket, and introducing BILLY-BOB Banes and JETHRO Ozoneocean! All these fantastic personalities are the mind children of scriptwriter and musician Gunwallace, and played by Gunwallace, Banes, Ozoneocean, and Pitface. Enjoy the music and remember the name of Gunwallace!

Episode 182 - Biggest mistakes made in starting a webcomic

Aug 14, 2014

5 likes, 5 comments

This Quackcast came about in response to an article that was supposed to be about the biggest mistakes in starting out with a webcomic, I felt it was incredibly superficial and that it was mainly focussed on someone who wanted to go straight for the “pro” side, jump right in and make it BIG right away… The trouble is that there's WAAAAAAY more to the subject than that! Hence this Quackcast on the subject. I've seen thousands of webcomics come and go over the years, most fizzle out in the first few weeks or months for a whole lot of reasons, but even the ones that have staying power still run into many issues at the beginning. Here we cover a lot of the big mistakes webcomic creators make early on. We've also got some great contributions too!


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