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!).
Topics and Show Notes
There are exceptions. “READ HARKOVAST” become a great catchphrase for the author of that comic ;)
Next up we talk about Tantz's subject of handling controversial characters: Real controversial characters and established characters in fiction that have very different interpretations and views about them can be tricky to use in fiction. WHICH of the popular interpretations do you choose? - The one that says they were an insane dictator or the one that says they're a hero of their people? Whichever you do you'll have audience members who're angry about it in some way. Examples are characters like Jesus (comics linked bellow), and Mother Theresa. Jesus obviously means a lot of things to different people, there's around about 2000 years of culture focussed on him and people during the time he was meant to have lived would have regarded him very differently to the later worshippers. Mother Theresa during her lifetime was almost universally regarded as a living saint, her name was common shorthand for being extremely caring. After her death opinions changed and fractured desperately. To many she was either a monster, a scheming witch, or a stupid naive backwards woman who was used as a promotional tool. Which approach do you as a writer take?
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Tusk. Fast tribal beat that makes you want to shake your hips, stamp your feet, wiggle, twitch, and vibrate all over! A nice, stompy, vibrating rhythm booms into the centre and slows things down for a change of pace. This is the ultimate dance track. Get hot, sweaty and show off your crazy moves as best you can. Put the other dancers to shame!
Topics and shownotes
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Breached - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/apr/09/featured-comic-breached/
Tusk - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Tusk/, by Fallopiancrusader, rated T.
Positive promotion newspost by Emma Clare - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/mar/30/talking-about-your-comic-to-others-and-why-you-should/
Controversial characters newspost by Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/apr/12/handling-controversial-historical-characters/
READ HARKOVAST - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Harkovast/
Holy Bible the Albino Ginger version - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com /Holy_Bible_the_Albino_Ginger_version/
Jesus 2016 - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Jesus_2016/
Look who's back (movie) - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4176826/
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Pit Face - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Apr 8, 2019
Today we're talking about all the ways nightmares can be used in stories. This is based on a newspost by our very own dreamboat Tantz Aerine. Nightmares are great for foreshadowing through premonitions, forcing characters to confront things and change their minds, ratcheting up tension in a story and all sorts of other useful things that you'd never consider.
Mar 18, 2019
There are many kinds love. Love is a great thing to include in your story for all sorts of reasons: it's an easy way to develop characters, give a character something to strive for, it's universally relatable, You can use it for tension, all sorts of things! There are different kinds of relationships you can use as well, not just heterosexual or homosexual relationships and the common trope of showing the beginning of a relationship, you can show crushes, established relationships, platonic relationships, relationships collapsing and exes coming together. For this topic we were loosely inspired by Tantz and Emma's great newsposts about romance and platonic love. We chat about luuuurv and tricks like lurv triangles!
Jan 20, 2019
Coming up with character names can be a real challenge because once you settle on one they can define the character just as much as their personality and looks! Names also affect how you name other characters: are they too similar, like Betty and Barney? Will it be an unintentionally meaningful combo like George and Washington? There are so many things to consider, it can be daunting. In this Quackcast we talk about some of the methods that duckers have used to come up with character names. It's pretty novel and interesting, anything from using friend's names, names that have special meaning to them, names that have inerrant meaning, names that deliberately have NO meaning, place-holder names, names from the phonebook and more. Your options, methods, and reasons are endless! Tell us what's behind YOUR character names!
Jan 14, 2019
The topic we discussed in this Quackcast was looking for symbolism, meaning and intention in comics: The English literature approach! Deeper meanings and all that. It's fun to do actually and sometimes you really can hit upon the intentions of the creator, uncover NEW meanings, or just do it to entertain yourself. We used our own comics for an example and talked about things beyond the superficial for a change. For example: Banes' comic Typical Strange is a sitcom set in a video rental store, staffed by a group of characters that make up the cast. Why is it set in a place that is clearly decades out of date and relevance? A video rental place is an anachronism in this time. Is it saying that the characters themselves are stuck in time? It's a sitcom comic so situations often reset or rewind back to the status Quo, so that interpretation would seem to fit… Of course that wasn't Banes' deliberate intention but it's fun to think about that way.
Dec 10, 2018
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.
Nov 25, 2018
We're all back together this week and we're chatting about audience expectations for characters versus the intentions of the creator. Which is more important? Well it's a bit of a balancing act… You don't want to pander to your audience because that's not fun and they won't enjoy it anyway, but by the same token you shouldn't just do whatever you feel like regardless. As a creator you build up a contract between yourself and the audience; if you betray that by subverting their expectations with characters in ways that are very “OUT of character” just because you feel like it then you can start to lose their respect and attention. Killing off characters all of a sudden can be a big responsibility too, try not to take that lightly.
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.