Episode 431 - Political messages in your work

Jun 17, 2019

This Quackcast is about having political agendas in your work and expressing them well! We're talking about deliberately putting in ideas that you want to get across to people, NOT the idea that all work has agendas and ideas no matter what. That's not relevant to this discussion. When you want to want to get your ideas across there are good ways to do it and poor ways. When you do it poorly your work either has the opposite effect (people will laugh at your agenda or despise it), or it becomes propaganda. Propaganda is for preaching to the converted, it's terrible for changing minds. The only thing it's good for is motivating people who are already on-board with you.

Topics and Show Notes

To do it well you want to be able to bring anyone on-board, even those who disagree with your ideas, and hopefully change their minds or at least get them to consider what you're saying. A popular approach now is for people to say “Oh, I'm sick of codling people and leading them by the hand, I'm just going to say what I want” - this will result in people either fighting or ignoring you. You can't convince anyone of anything by shouting the loudest, that leads to isolation and echo-chambers.

The best approach is to have your ideas presented within a story rather that simply developing a thin, perfunctory story around a idea. Make your characters and situations identifiable and convincing, but AVOID straw-men! That leads to propaganda and failure. None of this is to say you need to sugar-coat your work, seduce the reader and stroke their egos to get your ideas across, not at all: There are plenty of examples of hard hitting work that contains big ideas and is still able to change minds such 1984, A Handmaid's Tale, Fahrenheit 451, and Maus. Just tell a good story without preaching to or trying to overtly manipulate your audience, and then even if they don't agree with the ideas you present they'll still enjoy your work anyway.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Monkey Nukes: Long black roads, damp streets reflecting yellow street lights, red tail lights streaking ahead in the dark, Friday night is the time for parties, pubs, and potential… one drink follows another, friendship flows with the beer, danger lurks in the shadow. Perfect homage to early 80s electronica!

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Monkey Nukes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Monkey_Nukes/

Featured music:
Monkey Nukes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Monkey_Nukes/, by Simon Mackie and Ben Rowdon, rated M.

LINKS
From Tantz's Newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jun/14/working-with-political-agendas/

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

*Cover-art from the movie poster for METROPOLIS, not Atlas shrugged :)

Episode 415 - lazy solutions cause plot-holes!

Feb 25, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

This Quackcast expands on my newspost from Friday about forgotten abilities causing plot holes, but now bunny Banes and Lady Tantz wade in to lend their genius to my silly ideas and we chat about what the real issues are: bad writing and laziness! This is when a character gains the ability to walk through walls or become bullet proof or go back in time and then forgets it for the rest of the story or in the sequel When basically 80% of the problems they encounter could be solved by it… And you're mentally screaming at them “Use your damn power that you got 20 pages ago… Remember that thing that would help you avoid all this trouble!?” Using easy solutions to get out of problems causes plot-holes! And your audience will hate you for it.

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 408 - The imitation game

Jan 6, 2019

2 likes, 2 comments

Happy new year! This is the first Quackcast recorded in 2019! Pitface is back too, can you believe it? In this Quackcast we chat about Imitation, based on Amelius's newspost from last Sunday. How do you know if someone has copied your work, just been influenced by it or influenced from the same sources as you, or has actually stolen your work wholesale? And what do you DO about it? Is imitation or someone doing the same thing as your “original” idea, always a bad thing?

Episode 401 - Stan Lee, a stupid comedian, and the new prudes

Nov 19, 2018

3 likes, 4 comments

This is Quackcast 401! Error, error! Pitface and Tantz were absent so Banes and myself were left to go quietly off the rails and expostulate all sorts of radical, half formed, badly articulated thoughts. This is an interesting one! We cover the death of the great Stan Lee, titan of the comics and superhero world. Then we sidestream into talking about comedians trying to be political commentators (re: Bill Maher)… I must apologise for my Ad Hominems. And lastly our focus is on a “new puritanism” in some aspects of pop-culture. It all ties together, if a little awkwardly.

Episode 383 - Slow burn

Jul 16, 2018

5 likes, 4 comments

The idea for this Quackcast came from a rant by the irascible PitFace. She was talking about how there's a trend in modern SciFi and horror movies to bash you over the head with constant action and it doesn't allow you time to relax and take in the story, you're just bounced from one relentless scene to the next. In the biggest classics of the genre like Alien, Ghost in the Shell (animated 90's version) or Blade Runner they DO allow the viewer slow moments of reflection and it helps to make the action feel more intense by contrast as well as allowing the viewer time to assimilate and understand all the ideas and themes they've been presented with so far.

Episode 358 - Damaged Characters

Jan 22, 2018

4 likes, 2 comments

This week we mine Banes's ideas about damaged protagonists. Does having physiologically damaged protagonists (as opposed to merely flawed), make them more realistic or relatable? I think we came to the conclusion that this isn't necessarily the case at all, in fact it can mean the opposite sometimes. Where that sort of “damage” can come in useful it making your character more interesting, in that they can make unusual choices that serve the story nicely and stop it being too predictable. Where “damaged” characters were used badly was in popular mainstream comics where the idea became something of a fad and therefore a cliche, and so uninteresting and trite. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Doc2DWho. It has the apprehensive feel of oldschool Doctor Who, entering the darkness and unknown, this music is spatial and atmospheric. THANKS AGAIN TO ALL WHO DONATED TO OUR INDIEGOGO!

Episode 338 - Shared DNA of ideas

Sep 4, 2017

3 likes, 6 comments

The saying goes that “Good artists copy, great artists steal”, it's attributed to various luminaries such as TS Elliot, Picasso, Tantz Aerine etc, but the important thing is the true meaning: there are very few original ideas, culture is built up out of inherited inspiration that is built on and developed by successive generations, many artists will just repeat ideas though (“copy”), without adding much of their own flavour to them, while clever artists take the ideas as influence and inspiration and reinvent them in their own individual style. It's best when an artist brings ideas together, like the shared DNA of two parents, to produce something new and marvellous! This goes for artists, musicians, webcomics, everyone! We reference Penny Arcade, Ctrl Alt Delete and PVP which were the super popular me-too gamer webcomics, we bring up music and cover versions, and my favourite example: the AT-ST from Return of the Jedi and all the other similar two legged mecha like the Zentradi battlepods from Macross/Robotech, the mecha from Mechwarrior, Ed 209 from Robocop and of course my very own Trompers from Pinky TA ^_^ Super Impact High was the theme for this week by Gunwallace. This track really calls to mind the modern, frenetic style of the artwork on Super Impact High. It’s wild, high energy, off balance, and aggressive! This should really get you in the mood for the story.


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