Episode 547 - Franchise fail

Sep 2, 2021

There seemed to be a lull for a while after the 1990s and the massive sequel craze of the 80s, but nowadays we're back in full swing again with sequels, reboots and reinvisioning of film and TV franchises. Banes noticed a distinct pattern of behaviour that occurred around bad or failed franchises: The makers would chose to go against what existing fans liked about the property in the fist place, usually in order to appeal to new fans. When both new fans and old ones dislike what they do, they attack the fans and blame the fans for failure of their version. Then they'll search and find a new franchise to mess up. It's rare that people own up to or admit to failures anymore, it's usually always the fault of the fans for being too “toxic”.

Topics and Show Notes

The 2016 Ghostbusters reboot is a great case in point: a film reboot of a hugely popular and successful franchise staring tried and tested popular comedy actors, it turned into a failure. One popular narrative was that it was caused by “toxic” fans and their sexist online campaigns… while those people certainly did exist, a simple viewing of the movie is enough to see the real reasons it failed: They weren't sure what audience it was intended for. The story and storytelling style, the costumes, the sets, effects, lighting, toy-like props, and many of the jokes were specifically aimed at young children, while many of the situations and most of the other jokes were extremely sexual and adult in nature. So what we got was a young kids movie that wasn't for kids- this means adults watching it feel bored or patronised and groan over the childish humour and the kids that could appreciate that content either aren't allowed to watch it, or if they do they're also bombarded with very problematic and gross adult sex jokes: none of this was the fault of the fans.

Compare that to the original 2 films:
They were never intended for a very young audience. Nothing in them was aimed at young children. These were bawdy, young adult comedy fantasy “horror” films. In keeping with the context of the time they had adult humour disguised with double entendres, or hidden with tropes and metaphor. They gained a following from young audiences anyway because the adult content was subtle enough to pass, and the story and style was broad enough that it didn't need to be dumbed down to be understood by younger audiences, in this way they appealed equally to all ages.

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Phantasos: Hot, dry desert. Orange sun. warm winds blowing. Shimmering mirages…. Electric arabesque. This is a gloriously distorted riff filled trip into an exotic world of sand and dunes, with beautiful minarets rising out of the distance, sparkling in the harsh light.

Topics and shownotes

Links

Bane's franchise fail newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/aug/18/franchise-follies/

Featured comic:
Follower - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/aug/31/featured-comic-follower/

Featured music:
Phantasos - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Phantasos/ - by Phantasos by Jslongstreet, rated T.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/

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Episode 496 - titular titularity!

Sep 14, 2020

4 likes, 0 comments

Titles are surprisingly important for your comic! We don't often realise that when we first start them, but a title is one of the very first ways people come across your work. You have to sell it to them and give them an idea of what to expect in only a very few words. You can take a lot of different approaches to that, like teasing and intriguing them with a title that suggests something interesting or mysterious, character names are great for that. You can be completely literal and obvious. You can use a pun… you can take an existing popular title and alter it in a slight way… There are so many things you can do!

Episode 493 - Use existing IP to explore new things?

Aug 24, 2020

3 likes, 0 comments

First up… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TANTZ! This Quackcast is about the topic of whether it's right to change an established character just to fit with the ideas and styles of a new creator or change them in accordance with an idea or political position you want to explore, OR should you instead create a whole new character or story to do that with? Bane's newspost gave the example of the ersatz justice league created for The Boys, where Homelander =/= Superman. The series was made to look at the dark side of superheros, but it doesn't ruin established and much loved heroes to do that…

Episode 492 - Impermanence of the new digital age

Aug 17, 2020

7 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast is about the impermanence of online services and the lie that services are provided for fee and providers have no responsibility to the creators and viewers that use them. Hushicho posted in our forum about Tapas newly restricting nudity in comics which suddenly disenfranchises hundreds of creators who've built up followings on that site with comics that were well within the the Tapas content rules. With that one change these comics have been wiped out, destroying all the hard work by creators to build up their audiences over a long period of time. That can happen with ANY digital service, we are at the mercy of the corporations that provide them.

Episode 435 - Spinoffs!

Jul 15, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

We're discussing spin-offs in this one. Why do them? There are many very different reasons for doing a spin-off as opposed to a sequel, prequel or a totally new story:

Episode 411 - The Right to Copy!

Jan 28, 2019

4 likes, 5 comments

Copyright is a huge thing! It allows us to make money from our creations and stops other people from stealing them. But culture isn't about a series of billions of totally original ideas invented from nothing- absolutely NOT. Culture grows from ideas that are recycled, reiterated, and reinvented. It's all quite derivative and mixed. So there has to be a balance between respect for rigid copyright and some flexibility to work with existing ideas.

Episode 245 - fiction influencing reality and the myth of the friendzone

Nov 16, 2015

2 likes, 0 comments

In Quackcast 245 we TRY to talk about my idea that fictional characters, stereotypes, tropes and situations in media have influenced their counterparts in reality, and in a lot of ways helped to create them. Fictional stereotypes and tropes are made out of simplified models of things that happen in reality, usually by pulling together all the most dramatic, big, bold versions and then turning them up to 11 to make a new, more exciting fictional caricature, that NEW image is then spread far and wide and influences people to imitate it- a good example being the modern “cowboy”. This idea was kicked off by Pitface suggesting one of my characters looked like a douchey friendzoned character. I thought about it and realised that a real life version of this character (who's mooning over a girl in a relationship with another guy), WOULD be exactly as she described, also those characters are common to relationship comedies and so often friendzoned… SO that got me thinking: could the current crop of “nice guy” fedora friendzone exponents have based their crazy theories about relationships on images in the media? -since they don't have much relationship to reality yet they so closely match pre-existing tropes in movies and TV shows. Then we expanded the idea to other examples of media representations influencing reality. Pitface, Banes, and Tantz Aerine join me on the Quackcast. Gunwallace does a lovely theme for Entanglement.

Episode 230 - Getting the formula RIGHT

Aug 3, 2015

4 likes, 6 comments

We've talked about formulas before, but mostly in the context of escaping formulas and reinventing them. NOW however we're talking about using existing formulas to create a story, or creating new formulas and sticking to them to come up with your stories. Formulas can be a good tool to write with, along with their close sibling “the trope” they take elements that are proven to work and stick them on a solid framework for you to more easily create your story around. All you need to do is plug in your characters and situation and see how it all fits. Formulas are comfortable for people and make it easier for a writer to structure their story faster AND in a way they know should appeal to people. Enjoy Gunwallace's lovely theme for Rismo!


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