Nov 19, 2018
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.
Topics and Show Notes
Stan Lee was instrumental in creating a unified fantasy universe populated by a pantheon of godlike superheroes with very human thoughts and failings. Not only that but he helped elevate comics as a medium to the mainstream. No longer are comics seen as something just for children. Cartoons, fantasy, Scifi, and comics have been rightfully elevated to the mainstream where they belong as valid forms of artistic expression. People no longer have to apologise for or feel ashamed of liking them either. You're free to consume or create the media of your choice and Stan Lee was a massive part of that.
This is why the remarks by Mr Maher about Stan Lee are problematic and ill-judged. He said that the veneration shown for a creator of comics, which are “only meant for children”, shows how the US has been dumbed down and why someone like Donald Trump could have been elected.
I'd contend that the reason for “Trump” and people's idea of politics being dumbed down is that we now get most of our political commentary through comedians. They have helped turn complex subjects into simplistic black and white caricatures because that's how comedy works. It's great for breaking down ideas and giving you a simple primer to understand them, but when comedians and partisan talking heads are your main sources then things are going very, very wrong. Bill Maher IS the problem, not people liking comics. If anything, Stan Lee worked to do the opposite; his characters weren't simple 2D cut-outs (like Maher's version of political figures), they were complicated and human. These were A-political characters who strived to do what was right outside of mere party affiliations.
Then we transition into my idea of the “new puritans”.
There's a slow tide of people coming out against sexuality in art. It comes from both the left and right so there's no real political platform. I feel it's very much related to the same point of view that Bill Maher has about comics: this is media for children and we must protect them from anything grown up. When in reality all we end up doing is insulting and infantilising adults when we attack sexuality in media, whether in games, cartoons, books, comics or movies.
This is no more clearly shown than in the word these people use most often: “Sexualise”
They claim that characters are “sexualised”. You cannot sexualise an adult or teen. By biological, physical definition we are ALL sexual past puberty. That doesn't mean we have or even want sex, it means we have sexual traits and that's all it means. You can “sexualise” a non-sexual thing like a toaster or a car but it's impossible to do that to a teen or adult. Sexual traits in adult characters are healthy and normal. I contend that the need to remove them is a perversion.
This is NOT to say that sexual traits in characters should be over-emphasised. What these people really mean when they focus on sexuality is “EROTICISM”, and that is a very important distinction. It has little to do with sexuality though so it's NOT a mistake that should be overlooked. There is a time and place for eroticism and we should never foist erotic depictions where they don't belong or onto audiences that should not be exposed to them. But we should also guard against hyper-vigilance or start attacking any depiction that shows sexual traits.
Ask yourself: Is the character sexual? If yes, then is the depiction erotic? Then is eroticism appropriate for the context of the work, its audience and where it is sold? Those are the questions to ask, not weather or not a male has a bulge or a girl has prominent breasts.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Quixote Coyote… Let’s get a little chaotic with this quixotic jazz jam for Quixote Coyote! Let the organs fill your body (no, not those sorts of organs), let the drums be your heartbeat, and the trumpet will chase the electric, eclectic thoughts in your brain.
Topics and shownotes
Only for Patrons who donate $5 or more, here:
Belle Starr - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/nov/12/featured-comic-belle-starr/
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Quixote Coyote - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Quixote_Coyote/, by cjoe1377, rated E.
Apr 17, 2017
Photocomics don't get nearly enough love. A while ago Banes did a great newspost on the subject where he did some great little promotional reviews of some prominent photocomics on DD. I thought that was a cool idea and I've been meaning to return to the subject for a while. In this Quackcast Pitface and I use funny voices to talk about photocomics. But what ARE photocomics? Well the artist sets up models, toys, artwork, or themselves, and shoots photos of them in certain scenes in order to create a narrative. Later on they'll edit those together in something like Photoshop, adding captions and word bubbles and basically turning them into a conventional comic. People like Bravo1102 go the extra mile to construct elaborate sets and shoot the entire comic as you would a film, taking photos out of sequence because sets have to be broken up and new ones constructed. He even does greenscreen! Gunwallace and and Kdog buy special sets of Playmobile or Space Lego in order to expand and continue their elaborate stories. Trevor Mueller used himself and his friends as models. VinoMas creates really cool artworks out of collage. Rawdale uses stock photos to create his political commentary comics. Sameth uses Superhero figurines… there are so many approaches to the concept. Bellow I've linked a few examples to check out! The music for this week by Gunwallace is for Neander Chan, it's the primal beat of life! This is an utterly danceable sound, driving syncopated rhythm travels up your nerves and down deep into your bones, spiky, distorted electric guitar adds a touch of lyricism.
Mar 7, 2016
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!
Mar 16, 2015
Have you heard the word about the DD Fashion Show Free For All that's currently going on? No? Well now's your chance, so listen up good! Banes and Ozoneocean interview VinoMas aka Travis Michael Moore about the great community project he's running. Here's the low down: You go to the Fashion Forum in the links here (http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/13117/), desing an outfit for one of the figures there and post it in the catwalk thread for all to see and admire! You can put the outfit on your own figure and offer your own figure up for use as a model too if you like. Join in the fun, it's super easy. As long as you're a member of the forum and know how to host pics on photobucket.com or some other image sharing service you're all set! NOW GO TO IT!!
Feb 9, 2015
This week Banes and I were inspired to talk about body shape in the depiction of figures in comics, inspired by some famous images from photographer Howard Schatz's 2002 book, Athlete. In it there are photos of many athletes who're at the peak of their sports and yet their bodyshapes are vastly different, subverting the idea of an "ideal" bodyshape or what it means to be a top athlete or even fit. too often bodyshapes in comics follow a very narrow range, not getting much past what we think of as the current popculture ideal. We all know that idealised model shape is a problem and yet we all still perpetuate it, most of the time you can only tell most "realistic" characters apart by their hairstyle or costume, especially in superhero comics. And that invents a second problem: the myth of the "normal" shaped body as opposed to the ideal- there IS no such thing as normal, and even the ideal is always changing throughout the ages. There's even a lot more to body shape than the famous categories: Mesomorph, Ectomorph, and Endomorph, or Skinny, Pear, Athletic, Hourglass and Apple. We also have a beif mention of how stylised characters (Sponge Bob, Calvin and Hobbes etc) are exaggerations of these shapes and differences.
Dec 29, 2014
OMG! It's the last Quackcast of 2014! Well Banes and Ozoneocean decide to do a half arse YEAR IN REVIEW! Oh yes, a mighty look back at the year that was 2014... We look over some of the notable Quackcasts and comics that we could recall for the purposes of this particular Quackcast topic at the time when we were recording. Thank goodness for the internet because neither of us can actually remember much of what happened during the year without it. So sit back and tolerate our gala celebrity edition (Ozone and Bases are the celebs), for the year in review! Also, Gunwallace has done a wonderful old timey Jazzy nior theme that YOU WILL LOVE!
Oct 26, 2014
For the Halloweencast Banes and I will be journeyed beyond the veil, down into the depths of webcomic HELL… There, we encountered the LOST and the DAMMED: the tormented souls of abandoned webcomics that were ended before their time. Deep underneath the black, soaring Gothic spires of DD HQ lie the labyrinthine catacombs, dry, dusty crypts, and ossuaries where the bones of old abandoned webcomics go to rest and moulder away, their lonely souls pining for the time when they could see the day and frolic in the sun, with viewers to keep them company. Watched over by the great demon Death Porn and harried by mischievous spriter sprites, the poor souls languish in their solitary torments, hoping to one day be reborn anew! For the Halloweencast, Banes and I asked for contributors to name some of their old lost faves so we could pay our respects to these tragic cases, give them a voice once more, and hopefully return them for a few brief moments to the sun again by sending some more viewers their way.
Oct 19, 2014
It's YOUR CHOICE people, that's the name of the ongoing conic by VinMas who we interviewed on this week's Quackcast! YOUR CHOICE is an interesting comic, both in style and the way it's created; it's a real testemant to physical, hands-on arting about, drawn with pens, pencils, coloured markers, paints etc and collaged over magazine and TV screen images; story and plot are dictated by the whims of fans in its own facebook community, and numerous elements such as characters and situations are drawn from pop culture. VinoMas talks to us about this interesting webcomic project which is a cross between TV soap opera and Postmodern fine art!