Aug 15, 2022
Leaders are not born, they're created… literally in the case of fiction, created by creators of comics, books, movies, and other media! For this Quackcast I was inspired by two things: a video on Leader Characters by the satirical YouTube channel Terrible Writing Advice, and the Disney movie Lightyear, in which the lone wolf classical hero figure learns how to lead.
Topics and Show Notes
Lots of traits are useful for leadership: Charisma, experience, age, rank, communication skill, empathy, compassion, dominance, and confidence among others, and different styles of leadership work better in different contexts. Take for example the military paradigm of the lieutenant and the sergeant - a lieutenant is typically the lowest ranking commissioned officer, they're a beginner. They're young and they're not experienced but they outrank enlisted men and non-commissioned officers who might have more experience than them. The sergeant is usually one of the highest ranking “non-commissioned officers”, they're usually older than the lieutenant, who outranks them, and they have a LOT more experience. This creates an interesting leadership dynamic- the lieutenant learns from the sergeant but they also lead in a different way from them. The sergeant is better at leading the soldiers and knowing what to do from a practical standpoint while the lieutenant is better at theory and interpreting with higher level orders, eg. “Our orders say we have to take that hill and meet up with the other squad near the river at this map reference, so I want to split the squad…” etc While sergeant will actually be able put all that into practice a lot better than the lieutenant could.
- (Said by a non-military person, so this could be very wrong)
Fiction is full of leaders, good and bad. Most Scifi tends to have a military influence so it all has a very familiar military hierarchical setup. Star Trek is especially known for its “good” leaders, who're inspiring, clever, brave, full of empathy, experienced, and wise. The perfect foil to them is Zapp Brannigan from Futurama who was specifically created to be the anti-Star Trek type leader with all the very worst traits that any leader could ever have. He's a horrible person, sacrifices troops meaninglessly, has a poor grasp of strategy, and takes advantage of his position for self-gratification and self-aggrandizement, all of which makes him beautifully entertaining as a character! He's one of my fave leaders in fiction, on a par with the 90s Star Trek leaders Jean-Luc Picard, Captain Benjamin Sisko , and Captain Kathryn Janeway.
Leadership is a huge subject with lots of other aspects. Politics is a massive subsection in its own right! And we can't forget that it's the followers who actually give the leader power and if they choose to desert then that power can vanish… We cover all this and more in the Quackcast. Who're your fave fictional leaders and why?
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to The Waves Inside - Clear ocean. Orange blue pink. Liquid metal swells. A calming, hypnotic synth journey over 1000 kilometers of smoothly textured sea.
Topics and shownotes
Terrible Writing Advice, Leader Characters - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lawvXdBYlAI
Mydan Post Beginnings - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/aug/09/featured-comic-mydan-post-beginnings/
The Waves Inside - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Waves_Inside/ - by TheJagged, rated M.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
PitFace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
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Aug 8, 2022
How do you describe your work to sell it to people? Writing blurbs is a real skill! You generally have to avoid doing these four things: Underselling, Overselling, Selling the wrong story, or Revealing too much. It's quite a tricky balance to master. I've been writing feature blurbs for comics here on DD for many years now (about 16), so I've developed a technique but even I haven't mastered it!
Jul 18, 2022
History is happening faster now. With the growth of universal high speed communication and cheap world travel, culture and technology move at unprecedented speeds. Because of these factors the rate of change is different to what it was at any time in the past. This is an objective and verifiable truth rather than subjective perception: the current speed and quality of global communication has never been possible before and that has ramifications for how the world changes.
Jun 20, 2022
Sometimes it's worth revisiting old ideas because you can do them better or explore them deeper. This could be in the form of a full reboot, or it could be as simple as reusing a pose in a panel or using the same theme again like Pixar does with 90% of their output i.e. “coming of age”. Like them you don't need to feel obligated to always do something totally original, revisiting old ideas is a great way to refine them, create better work, or explore different aspects of them you hadn't considered before and put new and interesting spins on things. Consider that Pixar's Turning Red, Encanto, Moana, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, and Luca all share the same “coming of age/childhood independence” theme and yet all do it in unique and original ways, exploring different aspects of the idea from all sorts of angles.
Jun 6, 2022
How do you keep on with your creative output when something happens to you? When you lose function or are impaired in some way, how do you adapt or relearn so you can keep on as you were before? Maybe you can't and have to change to another medium that's a better fit for your abilities? Comic creator Bravo1102 once talked about how he moved from drawing to using action figures to make his comics partially because of his eyesight. My own eyesight has suddenly started to go bad and I'm having to adapt to that, and Tantz tells us how her deteriorating eyesight forced her to work digitally.
May 30, 2022
Adaptations of one thing into another is an interesting process. What's lost, what's gained, what modifications do you have to do to make it happen? As webcomicers we do it all the time in many ways, we have to adapt our influences into ideas, adapt those to stories, and adapt those to images and comics, which isn't trivial! It's often quite difficult to transform the written word into narrative sequential art- what portion of the writing gets directly turned into images, what's cut, and what becomes dialogue? For me about 20% is cut, 78% becomes art and 2% becomes dialogue or captions.
May 9, 2022
Let's go forward in time to the past so we can get back to the future and kill our grandfather and be our own ancestor while we step on a bug and change the course of evolution 200 million years in the future and doom the Morlocks to a date with Doctor Who, while Bill and Ted drive a Delorean in the Old West and save Fry's dog as it waits out the front of the Pizza place… Time travel is fun to talk about, but it's easy to mess up because paradoxes in plots pop up all over the place as timelines intersect and cross over and over, getting tangled and logically prevent events that have already happened from happening!
Apr 18, 2022
The DD Awards have come around again and now it's time for you to join in! To start with there's the red carpet event! Simply draw your characters showing up to the awards ceremony, submit it to Tantz and get on board with the awards! There's a link bellow… The DD Awards are a fantastic community even that we've been running on the site for years and years. It's a great way to get more eyes on your comic and increase your community presence. All you have to do is join in, create comic pages on the awards theme featuring your characters in the various events and things and you're part of it. Like most awards ceremonies it's not really about who's best or most popular or whatever, it's about participation, making your work visible to people, raising your profile, and getting eyes on you! To that end the red carpet event is up first, get in on that and make a start with the awards!