Episode 406 - Amateur Vs Pros Merry Christmas DD!

Dec 23, 2018

Merry Christmas one and all! And all that stuff. This year our release date falls exactly on the 25th! It was a busy year for us, lots happened. But in this Quackcast what we chat about is something rather different: the difference between pros and amateurs, specifically when it comes to comics. There's this common misconception that an amateur is a novice that will produce work of a lower quality, while a professional is an experienced person who knows what they're doing and will always produce things of the highest quality… The REAL story is more complex than that.

Topics and Show Notes

Professionals produce work for a living. It has to support them. Because of this they need to develop a high level of skill and proficiency. They need to learn how to produce work reasonably fast and to a consistent level of good quality on a regular basis. Time, cost and quality are the main factors, the pressure is on them to make things relatively cheaply, relatively fast, and at a good quality. This is very hard to do so they learn to make compromises and take shortcuts to achieve that. “Quality” becomes “good enough”, or basically with enough tricks and shortcuts to convince you that it IS high quality. In terms of art that involves tracing, pre-rendered images, photo backgrounds with filters, gradient fill colouring, cut and pasting, use of 3D assets, reliance on standard models. For writing that means sticking to formulas and story outlines someone else has come up with; tasks are split and delegated to teams: pencilers, inkers, colourists, background artists, creative directors, writers story editors and so on.

Amateurs come in many flavours. On one end of the scale you have the beginners who are learning, then you have casual people with just enough skill to do the job, and finally you have people with an extremely high level of skill, higher than any professional. Amateurs lack the pressure to make a living out of their work which means they have far more time to produce it in and experiment. They have the freedom to learn, advance and perfect, far beyond what is available to people stuck in the professional world.

But of course it's not a case of either/or. Both worlds can learn from each other and frequently do. There are many helpful tricks that amateurs can pick up from the pro world and pros have a LOT to learn from doing projects at a more amateur level. I hope this Quackcast helps to dispel the old myth that Pro = great, while amateur = bad. Reality is frequently a lot more interesting and complicated! ;)

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Lost Honey. Something epic is about to begin! Chords full of portent rise and flood your ears, creating a gorgeous blue backdrop upon which play the golden notes of the piano, full of stinging melancholy, joyful exuberance and wistful reminiscence.

Topics and shownotes

VIDEO exclusive!
Only for Patrons who donate $5 or more, here:
https://www.patreon.com/DrunkDuck

Featured comic:
Urban Legend - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/dec/18/featured-comic-urban-legend/

Christmas Newsposts
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/dec/19/merry-quackmas/
Emma Clare - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/dec/20/winding-down-and-looking-back/
Tantz - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/dec/21/a-most-awesome-dd-year/
Pitface riding in a TIGER TANK - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au8cImGEjhA&feature=youtu.be&t=948

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

Featured music:
Lost Honey - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Lost_Honey/, by Fleebites, rated E.

Episode 333 - Retcon the retcon

Jul 24, 2017

4 likes, 0 comments

The thing with retcons is that the author tends to get an idea which makes them want to go back over their story and redo or tweak the whole thing again, that's what's happened here… well sort off. Banes had some more ideas on the subject that he wanted to share, so we dove into the whole thing again! We were helped by a Websnark article on the subject linked to us by Kam in a comment on the last retcon Quackcast. It's a useful guide, breaking down the different kinds of retcon into five types: Category One: Now Revealed! A Lost Tale of the Hero! Category Two: The Story You Thought You Knew! Category Three: The Real Story You Thought You Knew! Category Four: The Story You Thought You Knew Was Right, But Now There's Been A Change! Category Five: Meet the New Hero, Not The Same As The Old Hero Because That Never Happened! In this Quackcast we expand upon those concepts. Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Lego Space - It’s Block time! The sound here brings to mind the techno-mechanistic world of Lego, and especially the bright and glittering transparent blocky world of SPACE lego, vectors, angles, and joins!

Episode 301 - Let it snow!

Dec 12, 2016

5 likes, 0 comments

Banes and Pitface live in a parallel world to me where this time of year involves water falling from the sky in the form of fluffy white crystals. When it hits the ground it piles up on top of itself into huge white piles! Freaky, I know, but they tell me this actually happens. For me December is a time for heatwaves and the beach. So Banes and Pit enlighten me and all you out there on the beauty of snow. The idea for this Quackcast was based on a newspost by Banes. He talked about the use of snow in comic stories as a plot device. We talk a bit about that here, along with all the different visual aspects of it and how you can use it in imagery. I apologise for the sound quality here, something strange happened with my microphone settings. Gunwallace's musical theme was for Man Bun: Heavy, bass driven funk rock, with dark chocolatey, bluesy lyrics. Classic, cool, and hot!

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 262 - DUCK Radio 3

Mar 14, 2016

6 likes, 5 comments

WELCOME to the final part of the Radio D.U.C.K. trilogy! This is where we put all the rest of Gunwallace's amazing songs AND a special treat for you as well listeners: Jimmy's Folly. Our radio DJs have gone just a little crazy this time… the brutish, hard rocking Jimmy Storm, demonic Anastasia Ravendale, and dried up old Rhet Blanket battle it out over the on air turf in the strangest way possible… BRINGING THE THUNDER! Gunwallace's amazing comic themes meanwhile are just as juicy as ever.

Episode 253 - narrative order and the flashback

Jan 11, 2016

6 likes, 6 comments

Doing stories that start with the climax, then flash back, tell what happened to get there: the old narrative style of switching the first few chapters around to make a more interesting story. Sometimes it works GREAT because it throws you right into the middle of things and you have to work your way back to that point… It works very nicely in The Hangover for example! Often it's used very badly- in anime particularly, where they use it for foreshadowing and a tease to try and get you interested in the rest of the story- but anime story structure is so formulaic that all it really does is give you a cheap spoiler. Other times it doesn't work well is when the writer isn't very good so the viewer loses their way in the plot… If the writer is GOOD though you end up with Pulp Fiction. You'll love Gunwallace's theme here- a super funky jazz track for the comic Nothing Important Happened Today. Enjoy!

Episode 251 - Year end Christmas wrap up

Dec 28, 2015

4 likes, 7 comments

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!!! For Quackcast 251 we have a year end wrap-up episode. Tantz Aerine and Pitface join Banes and I to talk about the year as it was, what happened with DD, comicing, and what movies we're looking forward too!- Star Wa… ZOOLANDER! Yes, Zoolander 2, it better not be a disappointment. Gunwallace's theme this week was for Dragonet! A very sober and majestic sounding piece, like a royal funeral march.

Episode 231 - The importance of world building

Aug 9, 2015

8 likes, 6 comments

You always do a bit of world building in fiction, in some types of stories like alternative histories, fantasy and Sci-Fi you have to do a bit more, in things set in the real world you don't have to do nearly as much - maybe only limited to a few rooms, character occupations and relationships etc, rather than planets and political systems, but the point is you're always doing it. There are good ways to do world building and bad ways i.e. work out as many details as you need to but have that all behind the scenes, not introduced as a wall of text or long explanations on how things work. World building should inform you story and make it work seamlessly, not prop it up like a rickety scaffold. The topic of the importance of World Building was previously touched on a few years ago by Skoolmunkee and Kroatz for Quackcast 39, but things happened at that recording was lost to history, so now we approach it again with all new contributions, strident opinions, and points of view on the subject. Gunwallace did a cool theme for Red Velvet Requiem!


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