Episode 583 - Why is it bad?

May 16, 2022

Spoiler- we don't actually talk much about Yu-Gi-Oh! But I feel it's a good example of a pretty bad a so-bad-it's-good story, but bad nevertheless. The idea we're talking about here is that it's useful to look at bad stories and stick with them because they can really help you write better. They're a lot more useful than good stories because you'd rather just enjoy those and it's a bit harder to examine them for technical details, but with “bad” stories the faults stand out strongly. Instead of simply dismissing a bad story or making fun of it, it's more useful and valuable to try and “fix” it: try and work out why it seems bad and think about what would be needed to make it better, then think about how that applies to your own work. Maybe you're actually making many of the same mistakes?

Topics and Show Notes

Yu-Gi-Oh! is a little too much work to use as an example, but something like the Marvel movie Eternals is good because it only had a few flaws. Big ones, but also very good parts as well:

- Lots of telling rather than showing. A text dump at the beginning was just the start of that. It wasn't stylistic choice like in Star Wars, but rather something we need to understand what is happening. All through the film characters tell us about things rather than the story properly depicting them.

- Revealing the solution to mysteries too early and so it undercuts built up tension. Mysteries are really interesting and intriguing to the audience, even when they think they've solved them, it still feels very rewarding to have them revealed nearer to the end of the story. Revealing them far too early feels like you're being cheated and wastes a valuable resource. Eternals does this twice with very significant mysteries about halfway through.

- Having generic, cannon-fodder bad guys. This is true of many action stories especially from Marvel films, but it's particularly bad here. Saying any more would be a spoiler. But this is something that Yu-Gi-Oh! does far better.

- Leaving out information that would better make sense of story elements. We have the character Icarus refereed to frequently as “the Pilot” by another character who's never met him before, but we have no idea why. A deleted scene reveals why, but without that it makes no sense, you're just left to feel it's a pointless joke about the Icarus myth, which it's not.

- Not solving logic errors. The characters are supposed to be the basis for mythical figures in earth cultures but most are of different ethnicities to the cultures that worship them. This could have been easily solved in two ways: 1. the character “Sprite” could have been shown to have created illusions around them to make them seem like the characters of myth. 2. The character Druig could have been shown to manipulate people's minds to think they were seeing the mythical characters. The story does neither.

Despite all this and more there are many good points to this story and it would be possible to fix it through re-editing. I found it more rewarding and interesting to work out what exactly made this not such a good film and it helped to better highlight the good parts for me. It also helps me see what to avoid in my own writing and what I'm doing wrong. Try it yourself? Maybe you can tackle Yu-Gi-Oh! and let us know how that could be fixed?
I'm not brave enough.


This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to - Malefic Demonic Apocalypse - A creepy red garden filled with writhing demonic monstrosities and horror! This electronic piece grinds and roars, sounding like an acidic, burning harpsichord spewing fury and vitriol in a crimson torrent.


Topics and shownotes

Links

Our movie critique thread does this somewhat - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/177412/?page=36

Featured comic:
Oni Streamer Builds a Mech - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/may/10/featured-comic-oni-streamer-builds-a-mech/

Featured music:
Malefic Demonic Apocalypse - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Malefic_Demonic_Apocalypse/ - by Genejoke, 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/

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Episode 581 - David's always right

May 2, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

David's always right - Introducing Hpkomic! Hpkomic has been with DD since the earliest days, he's a comic artist, writer, English teacher, and podcaster. He even participated in the second comicbook challenge that Platinum held way back in the day when they controlled DD, and came second! He was part of many community events, like the Drunk Duck Civil War (the DD answer to the comic book Marvel Civil War) and DD VS Comic Genesis, which was the DC Vs Marvel of Webcomics! In fact he has the oldest post on this version of the DD forums! After the site was fully deleted at the end of 2005, he was the first person back who commented with an offer of help to get things back online again. Bonus points if you can find it.

Episode 566 - feeling the vibe!

Jan 16, 2022

3 likes, 0 comments

Let's talk about total immersion… When consuming media rather than creating it, if you're lucky you become immersed: the struggles and fears of the character become your own. You feel for them, you care, their pain, their hunger, even their shivers and sweats, you care about the world in which they live… That can be an amazing feeling and it's pretty much WHY we really enjoy and keep consuming media. Themes, great visuals, intellectual explorations of ideas and concepts are all very well but nothing compels and excites you as much as when you really CARE what's happening. So that's what we're chatting about! Join us on Discord - https://discordapp.com/invite/7NpJ8GS

Episode 557 - Fetishes in comics

Nov 15, 2021

5 likes, 9 comments

Fallopiancrusader joined us as a very special guest to chat about fetishes in comics! It's really interesting and he brings his expertise with adult comics and his wide ranging knowledge of comics in general to bear on the subject. So what are fetishes? Well they're often things that people have sort of a sexual interest in but aren't always associated with sex themselves, they're peripheral to sex. Because of that they're often enjoyed and appreciated in their own right for their own sake! Think of things like body piercings, tight laced corsets, wearing fursuits, spanking, wearing S&M leather and PVC gear, shoe appreciation etc. all things associated with sex that people can also enjoy and appreciate outside of sex.

Episode 555 - Group shots!

Nov 1, 2021

3 likes, 0 comments

This week we're talking about group shots and how cool they can be! I love drawing them, having all your characters together in the frame is so cool and fun- you can hint at character relationships, have them doing some sort of fantasy activity or just being awesome and posing together. We also chat about some of our fave group shots in film like the beginning of Reservoir Dogs, and the most prolific source of group images ever: album art!

Episode 554 - Return of the Living Dead Halloween Special

Oct 25, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

This year for Halloween we've decided to do another commentary! It's of the 1980s Zombie movie “Return of the Living Dead”. It's extremely 1980s in style. There are zombies, punks, yuppies, electronic music, toxic waste… It's quite an entertaining, quite comedic, nihilistic cold war zombie film with very good effects for the time that really hold up today. Even the gore is tasteful. I am NOT a fan of horror in any way, Banes and Pit lobbied hard for this movie… but even so it was not a bad film. The zombies are animated by a man made chemical contaminant, which is quite an 80s theme in of itself. They're not contagious like modern zombies, there's no infection or outbreak to contain. The problem here is that they're virtually indestructible because of the chemical that animates their flesh, they're also fully intelligent and fast moving, this makes the zombies far more menacing and scary than any modern shambling brainless decaying infected version.

Episode 552 - Tropes we like

Oct 11, 2021

2 likes, 0 comments

Last time we covered tropes we hated! This time we're talking about clichés we actually like. It's quite a bit trickier because clichés are clichés for a reason (overuse) so it's not easy to like them, except in some cases… For me it's Isekai. That's a Japanese word for “another world”. This is a very old genre, it's basically a story where a person from our normal world goes to a magical world, we see this in ancient fairy stories, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and many others. until the mid 20th century it was the default way of writing any fantasy story. It has always been around, the Japanese were just the first to come up with a popular name for it.

Episode 547 - Franchise fail

Sep 2, 2021

4 likes, 2 comments

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”.


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