Episode 409 - Meaning, Intention, and symbolism

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 Why is it set in a place that is clearly decades out of date and relevance?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.

Topics and Show Notes

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Pep Squad: These girls are here to get you motivated! You can almost SEE the dance routine in your mind’s eye, and believe me, it’s pretty sexy… They’ve got some moves. The crowd roars as the pep squad performs, bumping, grinding and sliding on the stage.

Possible topics for next weeks Quackcast:
Has there ever been a good retconn?
Character names. What does your name character name mean?

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Percival Pigeon's Perilous Plan - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jan/07/featured-comic-percival-pigeons-perilous-plan/

Based On:
Brave Resistance - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Brave_Resistance/
Typical Strange - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Typical_Strange/
The Epic of Blitzov - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Epic_of_Blitzov/
Without Moonlight - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Without_Moonlight/
Pinky TA - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Pinky_TA/
Putrid Meat - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/PUTRID_MEAT/

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

Featured music:
Pep Squad - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Pep_Squad/, by Dave Mire, rated E.

Episode 399 - How many characters is too many?

Nov 4, 2018

3 likes, 2 comments

How many characters is too many? Ensemble casts can be fun and the interaction between characters can be more interesting than the actual plot of a story! But keeping track of characters from the audience point of view or even from the creator's perspective can be hard when you have a lot. Characters can copy each other and just become bad clones or you can forget what some are meant to be doing and create plot holes, audiences can stop caring about some of them or just become really confused. So how do you keep track? I think breaking them into small groups can be one good way to do it… What are some others?

Episode 391 - personality mix group dynamics

Aug 19, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast was based on an idea from Banes. We chat about designing a group of characters with complementary temperaments. In Banes' own words: “I like the idea of the line between a logical, left brained person and a creative, right brained person, crossed with a spectrum of a more active, extroverted, action taking temperament and a more nurturing, introverted type.

Episode 304 - eeeeeevil!

Jan 2, 2017

5 likes, 1 comment

What defines evil in fiction? I say the simplest one is bad guys are selfish, good guys are selfless. That is massively over simplistic but it's a good easy template for basic hero's and villains. Basic ones I was just doing a quick thought experiment to work out an easy way to define “good” and “evil” characters in fiction. The more selfless someone is the more “good” they are: the more they think of others, want to help people, put the needs of the masses first, the more willing they are to reach across to their enemies etc. The more selfish a person is the more “evil” they are: if they don't consider the needs or feelings of others, help out their own small group and let others suffer, help themselves first. Of course there are many other more advanced aspects, especially if you consider the relative nature of these things: the idea that everyone thinks they're the good guy from their own perspective, being cruel to be kind, being too authoritarian and heavy handed in the use of power, NOT using power when you should, helping in a way that only SEEMS destructive and selfish, trying to help but causing destruction and chaos in the process, which brings us to the dreaded “unintended consequences”. BUT, the selfless/selfish equation is a nice simple starting point to build from. In the Quackcast we discuss these aspects as well as more advanced notions about what makes a good evil character, what makes a bad one, humanising evil, and weakening you evil character by humanising them too much. Gunwallace's musical theme was for The Cull: Dark, haunting, and compelling- Eastern European Jewish, country and rock, reminds me of Tracy Bonham’s later work.

Episode 297 - fandoms

Nov 14, 2016

4 likes, 2 comments

In this Quackcast we tackle the topic of fandom. Fandoms can be interesting, fun, helpful, fascinating, inspiring, or even bizarre and disturbing. Fandoms are frequently great resources for information about their subject and can really enrich your experience of whatever you're into. Fandoms are also a hotbed of creative energy- some of our most iconic literature was written by people who started out as ardent fans- even the great H.P. Lovecraft was part of a fandom of Gothic horror fiction along with fellow writers Robert Bloch, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard. These highly influential writers were influenced by such greats as Arthur Machen, Robert W. Chambers, Edgar Allen Poe, and Lord Dunsany to name a few. And of course Lovecraft and his group went to to influence legions of fans who changed the face of 20th century pop culture. Looking at fandoms gives a cultural roadmap so we can follow influences, where ideas originated, how they changed, how pop-culture was created, and more importantly: they give us great clues about what other stuff we might like to read! No music this week I'm afraid. Mr Gunwallace is dealing with the fallout from a huge earthquake in his native New Zealand.

Episode 276 - Time management, Deadlines and Organisation

Jun 20, 2016

4 likes, 4 comments

For Quackcast 276 we had a discussion about the topics of time management, organisation and deadlines- all things essential to the practitioners of webcomics, and even more-so to people involved in webcomic collaborations! This is tricky stuff to handle, you have to balance your webcomicing with your other life activities as well as audience expectation for updates! And as you go on it gets harder and harder to stick with self imposed deadlines, so how do you combat that? Well one way is to make a Patreon account so people will put money towards you updating, That can make an excellent incentive to stick to a deadline, when there's money involved! Collaborations can be easy or hard to keep alive, as long as everyone is equally eager to take part and everyone wants it to succeed then you're good, if not then your group project needs a good leader: not someone who WANTS to be a leader, rather someone who's dedicated to getting the project DONE and needs to be the leader to make that happened, sort of like my role at Drunk Duck. They need to be willing and able to coordinate people and tell them what to do, handle their strengths and weaknesses right to get the work done. The last part to remember is contingencies for when things go wrong! What are your safeguards? i.e. buffers, finishing early so you've got extra time to work on the project if it needs it, have backup people lined up to do work for you, filler art at the ready, guest strips, maybe even simplified techniques or just posting line art instead. How do YOU stick to deadlines (if you do), how do you handle time management and organisation with your comics and collaborators? Gunwallace's theme music this week was Z74's Star Knights. It's An operatic swarm of hornets on a massed bombing run over enemy territory.

Episode 273 - Promoting Side Characters

May 30, 2016

4 likes, 6 comments

After last week's massive DD meetup (Next one is on the 18th, BE THERE!), we're back to the core group… me and my side characters, hahaha! Banes, Pitface, and Tantz Aerine join me to discuss the topic of promoting from within the ranks. I did a newspost about this last Thursday (linked bellow), the thrust of which was that when you need new main characters it's so much better and more fun to mine them from earlier in your stories rather than introducing them whole and new minted. This doesn't have to be an unplanned thing though- you can do like Banes or Amelius and have it all designed in advance. What they do is lightly introduce main characters AS side characters initially, knowing they'll be promoted to main status later on, either way it works the same- they fit better in the world of the story, the have more “history” and the audience finds them easier to accept, as we discuss in the Quackcast. Still though, when things aren't so planed, it can be so rewarding when creations grow and find their own voices. This week's theme by Gunwallace is for XTIN , it's weirdly Indian and mournful in a beautiful way that is PERFECT for Xitin!

Episode 259 - Drawing Crowd Scenes

Feb 22, 2016

4 likes, 2 comments

Crowd scenes of any sort can be horrible to draw. There are many, many reasons for this, one of them is that it's quite boring to invent a whole lot of new character models just for the purpose of making a group scene. My own way of combating that problem was to do cameos of other characters that I stole from my fellow Quackcasters, Banes, Pitface and Tantz. There are many other tricks and clever ways of managing crows though which you can hear bout in the Quackcast or see us talk about in the Quackcast video. Gunwallace's theme for Phineus Magician for Hire is VERY Sword and Sorcery! It reminded me a little of the famous music to the first (and best), Conan film, and brought to mind the writing of Fritz Leiber.


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