Episode 499 - Life's worth?!

Oct 5, 2020

What is the worth of human life in your stories? This isn't something people often consider, we just tend to have a fairly accurate guess based on our experience of the real world, but sometimes stories get it really wrong and that can harm suspension of disbelief.

Topics and Show Notes

A few prime examples are gritty SciFi stories, westerns, war stories, and hospital dramas.
The first three dramatically undervalue human life so it doesn't make logical sense within the world it depicts: In deep space human life would be extremely valuable because it's a rare and practically non-renewable resource. The only way that changes is when you run out of survival resources (air, water, food) or it's a life or death situation, a casual attitude to life though doesn't make sense. In the old west it was the same situation for other reasons, murderers would be tracked down for thousands of miles and across many decades, the only exception was native Americans who shamefully weren't considered people for all intents and purposes, even slaves had more value. In war stories, especially historical ones, typically soldiers have no real survival instinct or self worth, they're happy to always fight to the last and run headfirst to their deaths, which is silly since battles were usually won when one side broke and ran after only a few deaths. Full scale slaughter only happened rarely and that was usually when the fleeing side was caught or captured.

Finally, hospital dramas tend to overestimate the value of life, where all stops are pulled out to save people who society doesn't value and can't afford to pay for the expensive and experimental treatments (with hundreds of thousands dollars worth of care given to them), or people too sick or old are given care they'd never recover from.

There are a lot of complex factors that influence the value of life in a story actually (emotional attachment, status, class, caste, gender, religion, politics, scope etc), but it's important not to get it too badly wrong or your story won't work as well.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Era of Iridore - Come through the sweeping tapestry curtains of copper and silicone, into the vast techno hall, past lords and ladies bedecked in flashing LEDs of many colours, knights fencing with glowing plasma blades, jesters toying with antigrav balls, and watch the minstrels play their laser harps and electric lutes!

Topics and shownotes

Links
Life's worth thread - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/178520

Featured comic:
Raising Cain - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/sep/29/featured-comic-raising-cain/

Featured music:
Era of Iridore - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Era_of_Iridore/, by Deno 85, 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
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/

Remember to join us for Quackcast 500 on Saturday!!!
- https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/oct/04/quackcast-500-show-your-love-for-the-d/

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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 423 - Fave weapons in fiction?

Apr 22, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

What's your favourite weapon in fiction? Mine are ridiculously giant swords, huge anti-tank rifles, and mecha. There are a lot of complex reasons for weapon choices in fiction, a Kalashnikov assault rifles for example signals certain things about the person carrying it: They're usually a bad guy for a start. This originated during the cold war, with certain types of bad guys using AKs. First it was Soviet Bloc soldiers, then it was Viet Con and rebels from South East Asia, then it became the “terrorist” weapon. The sub machine gun is the weapon of the bad guy. Terrorists used to use Uzis (before they turned to AKs), bank robbers used to use Mac 10s, now it's the HK MP5. Good guys carry an M-16 or AR-15 rifle. In historical fiction traditionally the bad guys carries curved swords while the good guys had straight swords, this came from crusades. Minor characters carry spears and heroes carry swords. Women, weaker characters and rebels carry bows. Giant swords and guns are often given to smaller characters in anime (usually female), as an obvious contrast with their small size. It's meant to emphasis the fact they're sort of a “mighty mouse”.

Episode 395 - Fighting ladies

Oct 8, 2018

2 likes, 0 comments

Fighting ladies, female bad-ass characters… There are a lot more of them around now, but once upon a time they were pretty thin on the ground. I love a good badarse lady, my own comic character Pinky TA exemplifies that character type. There's something about a tough lady who can kick butt with the best of them that's especially compelling. They evolved from something a little more exploitative, ladies fighting in bikinis basically, then we had ladies that were just the female version of a male character (Batwoman, Supergirl etc), which is something we're starting to see a little more of unfortunately, but on the good side of things we ARE actually getting fighting ladies who're their OWN women: Original characters. In this Quackcast we talk about some of our faves and some of the earlier incarnations of the character type, from Robert E Howard's Red Sonya and Valeria, to Catherine L Moore's Jirel of Joiry, to Wonder woman, then later characters like Red Sonja (from the comics), She-Hulk, Sarah Conner, Ripley, Buffy, Xena, Aeon Flux… What are some of YOUR faves? Mine are Tank Girl, Lara Croft, Motoko Kusanagi, Garnet and many more :) This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Dolphin Bros: Jump, jump, jump up and down to this mad dolphin party scene. It’s all over the place but all it wants you to do is MOVE!

Episode 343 - sexy Drawings

Oct 9, 2017

4 likes, 4 comments

How do YOU feel when drawing or writing about something sexy? That was the question put to the erotically charged ladies and guys of DD, who answered in a full frontal, frank and unashamed manner! It's a harrrrd question to answer but we were wiiiide open about it. ;) Does writing sexy stories and doing sexy art make you feel erotically charged, leave you feeling cold, or a little pervy? I contend that if you're doing it right then it should turn you on just as much as you intend to turn on the viewer! Pit, Tantz and Banes agreed with me… but many DDers did not and we read out their comments on the subject. *A few new comments were posted after we'd already done the Quackcast so we couldn't get to them. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to 9th Life: A warm symphony of interlacing guitars, weaving their riffs ecstatically in and out and around each other into a self supporting tower of pure cool.

Episode 218 - Sexy and attractive characters, Part 2

May 10, 2015

6 likes, 3 comments

Once again we're chatting about just WHAT makes characters sexy and or attractive. The sexy Banes and Ozoneocean are joined by two attractive ladies, PitFace and Tantz Aerine, so now we have even more insight into the topic! We discuss the topic with humour and intelligence, with the help of the fantastic contributions for some very canny and sexually attractive Drunk Duckers. And of course we have some lovely music by Gunwallace, a secret agent theme for FOX Academy The New Breed!

Episode 123 - Happy Birthday Mr Abt Nihil

Apr 29, 2013

7 likes, 3 comments

This week we interview Leonardo Da Abt Nihil, The Duck's very own renaissance man: Philosopher, scientist, self taught artist and writer, he is a man of many talents and lucky for us he posts the fruits of his labour on our site, many of which have been featured! Abt kindly agreed to be interviewed on his birthday, so Banes and I were finally have to do an in-depth talk with him and find out some of what makes him tick and at the same time celebrate that special day with him. So please listen and enjoy the melefluent tones of Abt's amazing voice and then GO and read some of his comics, especially Bombshell and Holon!

Episode 92 - Women, Feminism, and Webcomics with Noelle Dreves: Part 2

Aug 27, 2012

3 likes, 4 comments

For the 92nd Quackcast we return we return to Australian heroine and flying ace Noelle Dreves and and international bon vivant and professional wine taster Skoolmunkee chatting with me about women in webcomics! This is the second part of the two-parter that began with Quackcast 90. We begin with Discussion Pinky TA, as you do! As before: These two ladies are on to talk about women in webcomics and popular culture in general from an ever so slightly feminist point of view.


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