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.
Topics and Show Notes
But sidekicks are a lot older than comics. People in social situations will often naturally fall into that sort of role because humans work well in hierarchies. One person takes the lead and the other follows: the person with the most forceful personality, The most experienced person, the higher ranked person, the socially superior person leads, and the other follows and that's reflected in literature.
Class was often used to put people in their “natural” roles: Frodo and Sam from Lord of the Rings; AJ Raffles and Bunny Manders; Sherlock Holes and Dr Watson: the posher person with the higher social rank is automatically the leader. This is very much a part of the British class system, officers and senior management came from the higher social classes etc, it's a large subject.
But that's also inverted occasionally; Jeeves is Bertie Wooster's Valet and social inferior and yet Jeeves is the leader in that relationship.
The sidekick is often the main character when used as the point of view character to tell us how marvellous their leader is. We get this with Doctor Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories, Bunny in the Raffles the gentleman thief stories, Bertie in the Jeeves stories, and Archie in the Nero Wolfe stories. Archie is interesting; he does everything, he's the main active character, and yet he's still no more than a sidekick to the great Nero Wolfe.
Sometimes the sidekick is the smart character who's there to try and rein in the excesses of their leader, like Arthur with the Tick, Sancho Panza with Don Quixote, Doctor Girlfriend and the Monarch, Agent 99 and Maxwell Smart, Kif and Zap Brannigan, Banes and Ozoneocean… They can also be used to compliment the leader by replacing something they lack, not just intelligence as in the former example. Kato in the Pink Panther provides Inspector Clouseau with muscle, Brock Samson provides EVERYTHING for Doctor Venture, Doctor Watson has skill the ladies, tact, charm, and humanity that Sherlock lacks, Archie has the confidence and mobility that Nero hasn't.
There are so many clever an interesting ways to use sidekicks, far in advance of the Batman and Robin method! I think we should continue to use them. What are your fave sidekicks and why? Do you have a sidekick in your story?
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Operation Boom - Booooooooooom! This one thunders in, all action and furious energy, rolling in like a 50 tonne bulldozer at high speed while on FIRE and sparking with insane electrical discharges. This is danger music. Bright yellow with black diagonal lines. Listen for the deep, bass booms.
Topics and shownotes
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Customer Service - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/may/07/featured-comic-customer-service/
Operation Boom - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Operation_Boom/, by Recklesshero, rated E.
The importance of supporting characters, newspost by Emma Clare - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/may/09/supporting-characters-and-why-they-are-important/
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Feb 12, 2018
Today we talk about where our characters began, not their origin stories or why we started writing them but rather what they used to look like! Pitface was inspired to create a thread based on this idea by Emma Clare's newspost series of origin stories. So we just HAD to have Emma Clare along with us to discus this too! Pit, Tantz, and Emma discuss their bishie origins and talk about maybe doing a bishie DD calendar… We HAVE to make them do that! Emma Clare of course does our Friday newsposts as well as the comic Puppets and Strings and is the artist on Constellation Chronicles. What did your character look like when you first started? This week Gunwallace has given us the theme Wolf Moon - A slow, rich acoustic beginning lulls you calmly, then we roar into a rough, electric feast, a veritable tidal wave of sound washes over you and carries you out to sea.
Nov 9, 2015
This week's Quackcast marks the end of the Halloweencasts! Late, I know, but we recorded these all in advance. We dressed in costume again, which you can see in our VIDEO. Banes as the arctic death wolf, Pitface as the evil Nancy Regan, Tantz as a fierce Greek pirate rebel, revolutionary warrior, and myself as a horrible, horrible glam metal rocker. The topic of discussion was inspired by another newspost by Banes, this time the subject was “your horror playlist”, so we chat about all the scary, horror themed stuff we enjoy around this time of year. Gunwallace's theme was for BARBARIAN ADVENTURE, I LOVE this track! It's heavy and bluesy, reminiscent of Lenny Kravitz or Cream.
Nov 2, 2015
Yet ANOTHER Halloweenie cast! This time we used Banes' newspost for inspiration and we talk about the difference between horror, terror, and revulsion in horror themed media along with examples of that in our own comics. We dressed in costume AGAIN, this time Tantz is Zoe from her comic Wolf, I'm Jack the Ripper, Pit is a mouth-head mutant and Banes is the invisible man! Gunwallace's theme this week was for Steel and Manitou. It's a haunting cowboy, desert night, mystical piece that perfectly matches with the theme of the comic.
Oct 19, 2015
I vant to suck yer blud… Well Tantz Aerine does anyway. This is the second part of our Vampcast, talking about vampires in comics, lore, movies and popculture in general. We were STILL in costume, watching each other on vid at the time, getting distracted and Ozone was getting drunker and drunker on some very RED wine. Tantz was of course the vamp, Pit was a deathknight fairy princess, Banes was the scary polar werewolf, and Ozone fieldmarshal bigpants! You can see the vids of our exploits I uploaded last week. There exists an elusive 3rd vid, but we were all too drunk and tried by that stage… at least Ozone was. Gunwallace provided us the lovely Alt rock '90s style theme to the SciFi anime comic Throviria!
Oct 12, 2015
Happy October, the month of Halloween! For this quackcast we had Tantz Aerine and Pitface along and we did the entire thing full dressed in costume WHILE vidcasting, which was very distracting. We got a few minutes and iffy quality video of the event too. Unfortunately I'm not very skilled with the process yet. We chat about vampires, using the great contributions of the community! Vampires are fun, but what's MORE fun is costumes. Tantz was a librarian vamp, Pit was a deathknight fairy princess, Banes was a werewolf, and Ozone (me) was a costumed idiot. Gunwallace provided us the lovely theme to the vampy comic Danielle Dark!
Jan 13, 2014
Banes sez: Bereft of our Captain, ozoneocean, I talk with Niccea about the 2013 Drunk Duck awards, which are finishing up as we speak. She reveals some spoileriffic information (which will not be nearly as spoileriffic as you read this), and we reveal the not-so-breaking news that the drunkduck.com domain is ours again! Please get involved in planning the 2014 Awards! Niccea will need help!