Aug 30, 2021
Why aren't there more prettyboy bad-ass characters? Pretty girl bad-asses too! This character type is often a hall-mark of Japanese and Korean fiction more than anything else though it DOES show up in Western media occasionally. There is no age-limit to the type, what distinguishes it is that the character is tough and a very good fighter while also being very obviously concerned about their appearance and looking good- they don't just look good and fashionable naturally, they actively work at it.
Topics and Show Notes
They're most usually shown as being villains but there are examples of them being heroic too. In Western Media James Bond is on the edge of the trope, The Saint (famously played by Roger Moore) is definitely a pretty boy bad-ass, as is Jason King. There's Vega from Street Fighter 2, Space Dandy, Spike from Cowboy Bebop… As for women, the ladies of Charly's Angles, especially the Cameron Diaz movies are a great example.
The popularity of the trope in Japan could come from a samurai tradition that emphasised a study of “softer” arts along with the more lethal ones, manifesting in flower arranging, poetry writing, painting, calligraphy etc. While many Samurai would look ultra masculine and shaggy, still others were exquisitely groomed, wearing hair ornaments, fine silks and makeup. In the west at times we've had something similar with dandy fencers in the 17th and 18th century, hussars dressed in extravagant uniforms covered in gold or silver braid, furs and rows of shiny buttons. There were the famous Landsknechts, German mercenaries who specialised in using gigantic greatswords and dressed in amazing outfits of slashed, puffy, brightly coloured silk and huge hats bedecked with feathers.
So prettyboy badarse characters are not alien to our culture, they're just not that popular right now. Let's bring them back! What are your fave pretty boy or pretty girl badasses?
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to The Anaether - Running over the darkened plane, legs pumping, feet eating up the distance, dust flying, pounding on into the dimness, escaping, leaving everything behind… This electronic tune is scene-setting and atmospheric, suggesting speed and distance with its relentless rhythm.
Topics and shownotes
Tantz's prettyboy badass newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/aug/13/pretty-boy-badass/
The War Below Us - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/aug/24/featured-comic-the-war-below-us/
The Anaether - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Anaether/ - by Lizbeth490021, rated A.
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/
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
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Jun 28, 2021
We have a chat about historicity in this Quackcast. What IS historicity? It's historical authenticity basically but a nicer way of saying it! It's pretty important for a lot of reasons to make the best effort you can with historical authenticity- it increases immersion of the audience, gives you a better understanding of the story and the world you're looking at (because things will make sense), and leads you to better understanding of your own history and where we came from. BUT, that doesn't mean you always have to be strict. As long as you as a creator properly understand historical context then you've got a lot more leeway to play without creating something stupid. Playing fast and loose with history is ok as long as you know what you're doing, not just being a moron and faking it (hey, many of us are guilty of that). Historical fantasy, myth, classics, fiction, biography etc are all different classes of story where it's more or less forgiveable to mess around.
May 30, 2021
We've done a few Quackcasts about how terrible Mary Sues are… well this is the opposite! Tantz postulated that they can be likable and GOOD for a story and then won us over easily by telling us why during our Patreon video. In the Quackcast Banes and I join in, having been convinced of the idea. We talk about how if the Mary Sue is a likable, good person, genuinely humble or altruistic and helpful then that can mitigate their Mary Sueness. Whereas if they're selfish, take their status for granted, take advantage of others or are just there to be marvelled and worshiped by the astonished onlookers (re: Rey), they can be unpleasant.
May 10, 2021
So what IS SciFi? Well it's a pretty wide umbrella term and contains a lot of different things. In some senses it's just an imaginative fiction story where science replaces magic. SciFi can simply be a sciencey setting where genre stories take place (romance, adventure, nior, horror). It can be a magical fantasy space opera with a futuristic skin (Star Wars), it can be “hard SciFi” where the story is set in the future but the science is completely plausible, it can be written with strong themes that examine philosophical questions and make interesting points about the nature of humanity, and it can be so many more things too. It's a broad church!
Feb 22, 2021
In the year 2020, the world had been devastated by a global pandemic, life had changed forever… It's 2021 and our 4 unlikely heroes have banded together, a topic borrowed from the wise and gracious Emma Clare… My fave “infodump” in fiction is the narration by Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona. My least fave is the massive long description of fish and how submarine equipment works in 10,000 leagues under the sea by Jules Verne (the novel). What are you most fave and least fave infodumps?
Jan 18, 2021
When our jobs are shown in fiction they usually get it wrong. We talk about HOW they get it wrong here… Pit tells us all how she's basically Indiana Jones and Lara Croft rolled into one LOL! …or the opposite of that, I can't remember. How does YOUR job differ from what they show in movies and TV? Special… -SEE the led Zeppelin shirt Pit harangues me for in our Patreon vid
Dec 13, 2020
Escapist fiction Vs Gritty and real style fiction… Furwerk-Studio made an interesting post about this subject. They were annoyed at people who dismiss escapism as something lessor or inferior to more gritty and realistic work, so we decided to tackle both sides and take some extreme views on the subject, both for and against! A few years ago Simon Peg made some comments related to this very subject and got a bit of backlash (links in the notes). The idea is that escapist stuff keeps us infantile and malleable… It's actually a really old idea anything that isn't realistic is childish and bad for you while things that are heavier and more adult in tone (whether escapist or not), are far more worthy.
Sep 7, 2020
Fanfiction is a massive subject, there are so many aspects to it, from the bad stuff with the Mary Sues, rampant shipping, author inserts and wish fulfilment etc to homages and great works that extend the story and characters beyond what they were in the original and add interesting and fun aspects to fan favourites. There are many good reasons to do fanfiction: It's fun, you're inspired and want to use that inspiration, all the characteristics of the story are readymade so you don't have to do world building or character development, the work has a built in audience so you're going to have readers no matter what and hopefully some feedback, it can help make you more popular as a creator because of the fans of the original work, and you get to experiment because you can't sell the work or do anything serious with it so you may as well have fun and enjoy it!