Episode 430 - Good beginnings!

Jun 10, 2019

At the beginning of a story how do you grab and KEEP your readers? This comes from the Friday newspost by Emma Clare. Her advice was pretty brilliant. From my own perspective it's generally characters that grab me first before anything else. Great art and a fantastic cover can hook your eyes, but without a great story or interesting characters there's zero to keep you there.

Topics and Show Notes

Info dumps explaining the entire premise can scare people away but so can dumping the reader in a complex world and complex situation without explaining anything… One technique is to ease people into the world by starting them off with a familiar and identifiable situation and then building up from there, maybe having the weirdness and complexity being new to the protagonist as well? This is how we start off in The Hobbit (the book, not the crappy films), Magician by Raymond E Feist, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Quasi and Psudo - Waves of contemplative strings, like huge feathered fans slowly wafting in air, thick with importance and potential at the imperial court. The musical atmosphere is rich and heavy… A cheeky clarinet takes up the theme of the deep bass cello, performing a twirling pirouette, before sinking away and ceding to the cello once more. Spikes of harp strings glint like gold reflected from the richly decorated furnishings…

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
QUASI and PSUDO - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jun/04/featured-comic-quasi-and-psudo/

Featured music:
QUASI and PSUDO - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/QUASI_and_PSUDO/, by 1rd2th3st, rated E.

LINKS
Emma's newspost on Beginnings! - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jun/07/starting-your-story/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Pit Face - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

Episode 426 - Sidekicking

May 13, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

Inspired by Emma Clare's Friday newspost about supporting characters, today we're discussing sidekicks! Sidekicks are a useful character type that are used in so many different ways. They can be a specialised type of supporting character that are also a main character or they can be the main protagonist in some cases. In comics sidekicks came in during the early days as a way of giving juvenile readers their own insert character who they could identify with… Bucky Barnes, Jimmy Olsen, Robin etc. They had other functions like giving the hero someone to save, providing commentary, reaction and exposition. Later when that kind of sidekick fell out of favour they became superheroes in their own right.

Episode 340 - Reviews

Sep 18, 2017

6 likes, 3 comments

In this Drunk Duck Quackcast we chat about the importance and the process of reviews! Good ones, bad ones, why they all matter, and also why they often don't! ;) Reviews are an interesting animal, they're a parasitic form of entertainment. They rely wholly of other forms of entertainment for their existence, while those forms do not require reviews at all! But reviews also serve a good function, they tell us what's bad or good, what fits with our tastes and emotions, and lets us know what we may be interested in seeing. They can also save us from wasting time on horrors. Sometimes though they can drive us away from something magical… Here we discuss all that and more! Gunwallace's theme this week was for Reversion, This is a really dreamy, evocative tune about warm, faraway places, it’s squinting into the distance down a long dusty deserted highway and sighing.

Episode 325 - walk the line

May 29, 2017

3 likes, 1 comment

In this Quackcast we cover the Importance of good linework in comics and different line techniques such as Herge's Ligne claire, the traditional thick line for characters and thin for everything else as exemplified in the work of Mucha, variable line widths as in Manga, solid blacks like in American comics, and complex lines like Durer or Hyena Hell. I really seriously thought I could get an entire Quackcast out of the concept and techniques of linework, but honestly I was struggling… Okay, so linework constitutes the skeleton that most comics are built on, with the notable exception of painted comics, photo comics, 3D and vector comic among others… But for most comics line is a pretty essential element. There are a lot of different techniques involved in the use of lines. Herge popularised “ligne claire”, which means that all lines have the same thickness and that there's no line shading. A popular style that I was taut was to have thick lines around characters and overlapping elements, with thin lines for internals and backgrounds. This is popular in a lot of manga, US comics and famously the work of Alphonse Mucha. Part of my technique on Pinky TA involves making my lines grey, so that when I set the line layer to “multiply”, the lines take on some of the background colours beneath them and don't show up as darkly as traditional black lines. The work of Hyena Hell on the Hub is interesting for her use of very complex internal shading line to build up texture and shapes, this can also be seen in the works of Albrecht Durer. Manga is notable for its extensive use of very stylised shading, crisp lines and the use of variable line widths for outlines, while American comics make heavy use of solid blacks for areas of shadow, basically extending the width of the line as far and as solidly as it can go. How do YOU approach your linework? The music for this week by Gunwallace is for The Wallachian Library. It's a dark, black future sounds, neon glows, pulses of energy and ideas, vectors and virtual circuits.Sorry, no link to this comic, the user deleted it from the site.

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!

Episode 117 - Figuring Out How to Draw

Mar 18, 2013

5 likes, 2 comments

After Bravo1102 mysteriously vanished from his remote, smelly, shack in the wilderness, Banes and I were thrown back onto our own not inconsiderable resources in an attempt for a replacement topic! That was provided for us serendipitously by Skoolmunkee and her fantastic newspost about figure drawing! So Banes and I go into detail about the importance of drawing models from life and about some of the tricks of the trade- i.e. shorter poses tend to be more dynamic than the longer ones, and other helpful tips like using movies for reference as opposed to photos if you want to get better poses, scenes and see how clothes and fabrics work... The topic of this weeks Quackcast has inspired us to tackle more technical subjects, so next week: Photoshop!


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