Episode 594 - Grow up! Or don't...

Jul 31, 2022

The Manchild can be a fun character or they can be pathetic. They're a staple of comedies because they're an adult that gets to act immature and childish, without the restraint and responsibilities imposed by adulthood. This can make a great contrast; “The adult man acting like an immature child”, John C Riley and Will Farrel have always done that extremely well, as did Chris Farley back in the 90s. It can be be portrayed as pathetic and sad when the person can't seem to be able grow up or take on any responsibilities. They're often characterised by people with “childish” interests, like the cast of the Big Bang Theory, or with a childlike love of something like sports like Kevin in Kevin can F Himself.

Topics and Show Notes

This trope was particularly dominated by male characters until recently when female characters have finally been able to join their ranks. My theory was that the majority of writers always used to be males and so were much better at portraying women from an external perspective; i.e. as what they mean to males: desirable, caring, scary etc, rather than an internal perspective showing what it's like to BE them, as they did with male characters. A good example of this is the Simpsons where Homer is usually a manchild while Marge is generally a responsible mother who holds the family together.

But now we see more instances of women allowed to be silly, immature, pathetic, childish and funny, just like their male counterparts and it's really good to see that balance being restored; All about Steve with Sandra Bullock, most Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson films, Muriel's Wedding, even Fleabag depicts a womanchild character, although in a very self critical light.

In the end though I think the trope resonates with us because we are all really still children inside, underneath the superficial trappings of adult responsibilities, restraints, and tastes are the same childhood exuberances and joys. The biggest, meanest, bearded, hairy man or the old white haired bespectacled woman are still the same kids inside that they were when they were growing up and this is something that we all have in common. The older I become the more I look back at the facile childhood aspirations to adulthood -things like wanting to drive, to drink, take drugs, fight in a war, lose one's virginity- as being the epitome of immaturity and childishness. None of those things are about growing up or adulthood in any way, in fact they're exactly the reverse. Adulthood is about responsibilities. The womanchild and manchild characters can allow us to vicariously enjoy adult life without responsibility, whether it's in a positive way like The Dude or negative like Zach Galifianakis' Alan in The Hangover series.

Do you agree? What are your fave Womanchilds and manchilds?


This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Zeitgeist B-Side - Dizzy, dreamy, acoustic guitar, throwing moods and colour. This takes us from a minimal white apartment, to the twilight shadows of the evening in a forested wood. Night surrounds and pervades.

Topics and shownotes

Links

Banes' Newspost Manchildren - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jul/21/the-manchild/


Featured comic:
The Waves Inside - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jul/26/featured-comic-the-waves-inside/

Featured music:
Zeitgeist B-Side - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/B_Side/ - by ISTKY, 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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Episode 588 - Revisiting Old Ideas

Jun 20, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

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.

Episode 568 - Growing up!

Jan 31, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast is about one of the cool things about being an adult: growing out of childhood prejudices and expanding your tastes to try new things. There's this rosy, idealistic idea that kids are culture sponges, open to everything, all experiences and tastes, but that's a fantasy unfortunately. Kids are only open to experiences for a relatively short time before their preferences solidify, but even THEN they have a very strict hierarchy of sources they'll accept those influences from- parents, friends, family etc. A lot of what they like is driven by peer pressure and the opinions of others.

Episode 476 - Tell me about your childhood

Apr 26, 2020

3 likes, 2 comments

How does where you grew up influence your comicing? This idea interested me, so I posted about it on the DD forums and asked other people. I didn't really know about it myself: how did my childhood environment influence my later comicing? The conclusion I came to was that since my childhood experience was so alien to the worlds depicted in the media I enjoyed so much most of my comicing and creation was based on imagination out of necessity: Historical fantasy set in mountainous, cold, hazy Europe, vs my own experience of a new country without much history, with sunny weather, clear skies and a beachy lifestyle in Australia.

Episode 424 - Selling your creative dish

Apr 29, 2019

3 likes, 4 comments

On one side we have creators of content and on the other we have the consumers. The consumers number in their billions and they're voraciously hungry for constant stimulation! Pretty much all creators are consumers too… So why don't they want the beautifully made, clever, spicy, artisanal dish you're selling? Why do they prefer the nice, bland, familiar mass-market high in fat, sugar and salt fast-food of the mainstream instead?

Episode 386 - These are the books that made us

Aug 6, 2018

3 likes, 0 comments

In this Quackcast Tantz, Banes and I have a chat about the novels that influenced us when we were growing up. Each of us barely even touch on them but we do bring up some interesting titles… for Tantz it was the sexy comic Storm and the novel The gods of Foxcroft, for me it was the high fantasy of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, and later on SciFi by writer like Tanith Lee and her Don't bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine- both of which were very prophetic novels in the way they deal with hedonistic youth culture and the modern phenomenon of adults having extended childhoods while outsourcing more and more adult tasks to technology. What were some of your most influential novels when growing up?

Episode 337 - Interview with AmeliaP of Kings Club

Aug 28, 2017

5 likes, 7 comments

This week we interview the artist and creator of the comic Kings Club, AmeliaP! Her comic was featured and Gunwallace also gave it a theme tune that was featured in Quackcast 335. AmeliaP is a talented professional comic creator and game designer. We couldn't interview her directly because she's not confident enough in her spoken English, so what we've done instead is read out a written interview that I did with her especially for this Quackcast. Amelia has some surprising and valuable insights for comic creators. You can read the full text of her interview bellow. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Abejitas - This tune bounces in like a wild thing, spinning and buzzing crazily, full of black striped yellow techno sweet honey madness and rapid wingbeats of energy, this will sting you into full awareness!

Episode 179 - Token representation in comics

Aug 11, 2014

3 likes, 1 comment

There's no question in my opinion as to whether representation of different kinds of people in fiction matters. Having spent my childhood poring over superhero comics in which the girl's job is usually to turn invisible and press a button or something, I remember being impressed and delighted by some of the badass female characters in The Spirit. Lady-people could be cool, too?! Is it insulting when comics add token characters to their line up, or does it really make a difference? And what makes a token character anyways? -HippieVan. Banes, HippieVan and I focus on the subject of token representation in media, mainly comics. This discussion was inspired by a newspost HippieVan made in response to a new character in the Archie comic, which got a lot of interesting responses.


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