Episode 426 - Sidekicking

May 13, 2019

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.

Topics and Show Notes

But sidekicks are a lot older than comics. People in social situations will often naturally fall into that sort of role because humans work well in hierarchies. One person takes the lead and the other follows: the person with the most forceful personality, The most experienced person, the higher ranked person, the socially superior person leads, and the other follows and that's reflected in literature.

Class was often used to put people in their “natural” roles: Frodo and Sam from Lord of the Rings; AJ Raffles and Bunny Manders; Sherlock Holes and Dr Watson: the posher person with the higher social rank is automatically the leader. This is very much a part of the British class system, officers and senior management came from the higher social classes etc, it's a large subject.
But that's also inverted occasionally; Jeeves is Bertie Wooster's Valet and social inferior and yet Jeeves is the leader in that relationship.

The sidekick is often the main character when used as the point of view character to tell us how marvellous their leader is. We get this with Doctor Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories, Bunny in the Raffles the gentleman thief stories, Bertie in the Jeeves stories, and Archie in the Nero Wolfe stories. Archie is interesting; he does everything, he's the main active character, and yet he's still no more than a sidekick to the great Nero Wolfe.

Sometimes the sidekick is the smart character who's there to try and rein in the excesses of their leader, like Arthur with the Tick, Sancho Panza with Don Quixote, Doctor Girlfriend and the Monarch, Agent 99 and Maxwell Smart, Kif and Zap Brannigan, Banes and Ozoneocean… They can also be used to compliment the leader by replacing something they lack, not just intelligence as in the former example. Kato in the Pink Panther provides Inspector Clouseau with muscle, Brock Samson provides EVERYTHING for Doctor Venture, Doctor Watson has skill the ladies, tact, charm, and humanity that Sherlock lacks, Archie has the confidence and mobility that Nero hasn't.

There are so many clever an interesting ways to use sidekicks, far in advance of the Batman and Robin method! I think we should continue to use them. What are your fave sidekicks and why? Do you have a sidekick in your story?



This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Operation Boom - Booooooooooom! This one thunders in, all action and furious energy, rolling in like a 50 tonne bulldozer at high speed while on FIRE and sparking with insane electrical discharges. This is danger music. Bright yellow with black diagonal lines. Listen for the deep, bass booms.

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Customer Service - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/may/07/featured-comic-customer-service/

Featured music:
Operation Boom - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Operation_Boom/, by Recklesshero, rated E.

LINKS
The importance of supporting characters, newspost by Emma Clare - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/may/09/supporting-characters-and-why-they-are-important/

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

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.

Episode 90 - Women, Feminism, and Webcomics with Noelle Dreves: Part 1

Aug 13, 2012

6 likes, 7 comments

For the 90th Quackcast we have two special guests: Skoolmunkee and Noelle Dreves! 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, with me along just agreeing with everything. We discuss a bunch of topics rape, sexuality, sexy outfits and more. You should know Noelle from her amazing featured comics, Strange Case and Dangermoth! This is the first part of a two parter. The DD play will be next week and the second part will come on after that!


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