Oct 21, 2019
As promised we dive right into the second half of the Star Wars chat! We cover all the Star Wars stuff besides the original trilogy and the new trilogy. There's a lot to cover and we only touch on most on it: Solo, the Star Wars Christmas special, Droids, the Ewok films, Clone Wars, the games, the books, comics, Solo, Rogue One…
Topics and Show Notes
For October we're having a look at various popular film franchises because understanding of them has a lot to offer webcomic creators. Last week we looked at the original Star Wars trilogy and talked about that in relation to the latest one. Before that it was Indiana Jones.
Personally I think the main strength of the Star Wars franchise has nothing to do with the Force, the Jedi, Vader or any of that story stuff: At its heart Star Wars has always been a triumph of aesthetics, aesthetics that are done so well they grab and hold the audience! When the first film blasted onto the screen in the late 70s it was really like nothing before it. It was the perfect synthesis of so many elements; fantasy, Sci-Fi, space opera, western, samurai, ww2 war film, and classic Hollywood blockbuster. We always get too caught up in the ridiculous story and script writing to realise what's so good about Star Wars and what is ALWAYS good about it: Amazing sets, great music, costumes, props, effects, lighting, sound design, models and so on. All those elements come together to make an imaginative, imersive, cool and unusual evocative experience. It's a mythic image that never fails to grab our attention. Yes the stories are often terrible, the dialogue can be stupid, the themes are basic, plots full of holes etc but we still love it enough to care BECAUSE it looks and feels great, so we think it's worth saving. In spite of everything we still love to go back to the Star Wars universe.
It's not easy to write a good sci-fi fantasy space opera. The first trilogy succeeded because it kept to a very simple hero's journey template, it was new and original so we gave it the benefit of the doubt, and it threw in a lot of fun classic tropes from westerns, Samurai movies, and war films. Defending the franchise on plot or story is a fool's task and saying “it's for kids” is a moronic defence, and it's all unnecessary because those aspects don't really matter.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Spacefighters: Run to your spcefighters, leap in, rev up your proton engines, blast into high earth atmosphere at 9 times the speed of sound and shoot into orbit to hunt the baddies! This dynamic, cool tune is the perfect sound track to defend the earth to! It’s groovy and classic.
Topics and shownotes
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Wild Wolves - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/oct/15/featured-comic-wild-wolves/
Spacefighters - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Spacefighters/, by Cbacolo, rated E.
Previous Star Wars Episode - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-448-king-of-franchises-star-wars
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Oct 7, 2019
For the month of October we've decided to look at a different movie franchise each week, starting with Indiana Jones! Banes and Tantz have way more knowledge about the films than I, having watched them much more, but we all have a fondness for the character.
Aug 26, 2019
Cooperation Vs Competition. For decades the mantra was competition is good: it produces progress and makes things better… Well that's actually false. Competition is what you're forced into as a response to limited resources, so you do what you have to to win, which mainly involves losing everything that doesn't serve that specific objective. Competition is massively harmful to progress in general, it ONLY helps you excel in one small area to massive cost. Think of it in terms of an Olympic sprinter: they become the fastest runner in the world, but to what point? Only the artificial structure of a sporting event… they spend years training, exercising, eating right, wasting a huge portion of their lives, creative, and intellectual potential on that one meaningless goal, and IF they achieve it they might get a bit of fame and money and a footnote in history because someone else will inevitably take their spot. More likely though they won't achieve the goal and instead be forgotten.
Aug 19, 2019
Today we compare and contrast two ways of making characters: starting with a pure archetype and building it with tropes, or creating a character organically through circumstance and interaction with other characters.
Aug 12, 2019
Tantz's clever idea was that the weather isn't just a backdrop… it's an important prop in it's own right. Weather can be used to drive a plot: the wind snatches a hat and makes a person chase it, which causes them to meet another character. It can be an antagonist: people fighting a storm for example or running form a tornado. It can signal and enhance emotions: rain for a sad funeral or sun for happy for a happy event. Growing shadows can signal an ominous turn of events, wind billowing out a cloak signals a dramatic character! You can just use it for fancy visual effects if you like, snow and rain are great fun to draw, and stormy skies are the best! We chat about all things weather and give examples of how we've used it ourselves.
May 6, 2019
In this Quackcast we chat about set-ups. pay-offs, and rip-offs. To make your climaxes and endings more satisfying you have pay-offs for audience expectations: set them up in the story and pay them off at the end. If you fail to pay-off then you get a rip-off, it's pretty simple. Your audience will be really disappointed. That's not to say disappointing and unsatisfying ends to stories are wrong, not at all! Often those are fully intended. We're just talking about satisfying audiences, not “good” endings.
Apr 15, 2019
The entire gang comes together today for two topics that were taken from recent newsposts: Emma Clare's Positive self promotion, and Tantz Aerine's Handling Controversial Characters. First up we chat about why it's always a great idea to sell yourself positively, NOT be arrogant or douchey, but rather by talking enthusiastically about what you genuinely love about your work and using that REAL and SINCERE enthusiasm to infect others with your love of what you do. Emma was mainly talking about the way you introduce your comics to friends and family but it definitely applies more broadly to self promotion in general: Don't try and get sympathy through self depreciation (oh, it's not very good…), and don't be an arrogant ass (My stuff is AWESOME!), rather you should just be honest about what you love about it (This story was so FUN to write!).
Feb 25, 2019
This Quackcast expands on my newspost from Friday about forgotten abilities causing plot holes, but now bunny Banes and Lady Tantz wade in to lend their genius to my silly ideas and we chat about what the real issues are: bad writing and laziness! This is when a character gains the ability to walk through walls or become bullet proof or go back in time and then forgets it for the rest of the story or in the sequel When basically 80% of the problems they encounter could be solved by it… And you're mentally screaming at them “Use your damn power that you got 20 pages ago… Remember that thing that would help you avoid all this trouble!?” Using easy solutions to get out of problems causes plot-holes! And your audience will hate you for it.