Jul 31, 2022
The Manchild can be a fun character or they can be pathetic. They're a staple of comedies because they're an adult that gets to act immature and childish, without the restraint and responsibilities imposed by adulthood. This can make a great contrast; “The adult man acting like an immature child”, John C Riley and Will Farrel have always done that extremely well, as did Chris Farley back in the 90s. It can be be portrayed as pathetic and sad when the person can't seem to be able grow up or take on any responsibilities. They're often characterised by people with “childish” interests, like the cast of the Big Bang Theory, or with a childlike love of something like sports like Kevin in Kevin can F Himself.
Topics and Show Notes
This trope was particularly dominated by male characters until recently when female characters have finally been able to join their ranks. My theory was that the majority of writers always used to be males and so were much better at portraying women from an external perspective; i.e. as what they mean to males: desirable, caring, scary etc, rather than an internal perspective showing what it's like to BE them, as they did with male characters. A good example of this is the Simpsons where Homer is usually a manchild while Marge is generally a responsible mother who holds the family together.
But now we see more instances of women allowed to be silly, immature, pathetic, childish and funny, just like their male counterparts and it's really good to see that balance being restored; All about Steve with Sandra Bullock, most Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson films, Muriel's Wedding, even Fleabag depicts a womanchild character, although in a very self critical light.
In the end though I think the trope resonates with us because we are all really still children inside, underneath the superficial trappings of adult responsibilities, restraints, and tastes are the same childhood exuberances and joys. The biggest, meanest, bearded, hairy man or the old white haired bespectacled woman are still the same kids inside that they were when they were growing up and this is something that we all have in common. The older I become the more I look back at the facile childhood aspirations to adulthood -things like wanting to drive, to drink, take drugs, fight in a war, lose one's virginity- as being the epitome of immaturity and childishness. None of those things are about growing up or adulthood in any way, in fact they're exactly the reverse. Adulthood is about responsibilities. The womanchild and manchild characters can allow us to vicariously enjoy adult life without responsibility, whether it's in a positive way like The Dude or negative like Zach Galifianakis' Alan in The Hangover series.
Do you agree? What are your fave Womanchilds and manchilds?
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Zeitgeist B-Side - Dizzy, dreamy, acoustic guitar, throwing moods and colour. This takes us from a minimal white apartment, to the twilight shadows of the evening in a forested wood. Night surrounds and pervades.
Topics and shownotes
Banes' Newspost Manchildren - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jul/21/the-manchild/
The Waves Inside - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jul/26/featured-comic-the-waves-inside/
Zeitgeist B-Side - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/B_Side/ - by ISTKY, 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/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
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Jul 25, 2022
The risks of online creative success We live in a wonderful time where you're able to turn your creative passion into a job that can support you just by using freely available online services like YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, Patreon, Ebay, Paypal, Etsy, Webtoons etc. You can start with nothing more than your computer or phone and end up with a thriving business based on your passion project. It's not easy, achieving enough success where you can quit your day job still tends to take a lot of work, but once you get there it can be amazing. However, that's not the end of the story unfortunately.
Jul 4, 2022
I wanted to do an easy and fun one this week and just chat about our fave superhero movies, starting with our firsts! For me and Banes it was Superman with Christopher Reeve. It's a real classic, full of positivity, hope, and optimism, all with bright colours and classic iconic imagery… In that way it's a bit like many of the Marvel films and the more popular DC offerings like Aquaman and WonderWoman, but without the overbuilt and over-defined muscles!
Jun 20, 2022
Sometimes it's worth revisiting old ideas because you can do them better or explore them deeper. This could be in the form of a full reboot, or it could be as simple as reusing a pose in a panel or using the same theme again like Pixar does with 90% of their output i.e. “coming of age”. Like them you don't need to feel obligated to always do something totally original, revisiting old ideas is a great way to refine them, create better work, or explore different aspects of them you hadn't considered before and put new and interesting spins on things. Consider that Pixar's Turning Red, Encanto, Moana, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, and Luca all share the same “coming of age/childhood independence” theme and yet all do it in unique and original ways, exploring different aspects of the idea from all sorts of angles.
Jun 13, 2022
Our very own Tantz made a newspost last week about the idea of “Heroes” who are really villains… or at least they're actually villains who think they're the hero, but come to realise that they aren't. Sometimes that makes them change their ways and they seek redemption, maybe even becoming a true hero. Sometimes they just lean into and embrace their true villain nature.
Jun 6, 2022
How do you keep on with your creative output when something happens to you? When you lose function or are impaired in some way, how do you adapt or relearn so you can keep on as you were before? Maybe you can't and have to change to another medium that's a better fit for your abilities? Comic creator Bravo1102 once talked about how he moved from drawing to using action figures to make his comics partially because of his eyesight. My own eyesight has suddenly started to go bad and I'm having to adapt to that, and Tantz tells us how her deteriorating eyesight forced her to work digitally.
May 30, 2022
Adaptations of one thing into another is an interesting process. What's lost, what's gained, what modifications do you have to do to make it happen? As webcomicers we do it all the time in many ways, we have to adapt our influences into ideas, adapt those to stories, and adapt those to images and comics, which isn't trivial! It's often quite difficult to transform the written word into narrative sequential art- what portion of the writing gets directly turned into images, what's cut, and what becomes dialogue? For me about 20% is cut, 78% becomes art and 2% becomes dialogue or captions.
May 23, 2022
We start off with the idea of talking about art techniques, tips and tricks we've mastered and could help people with but the cast turned into a discussion about drawing male and female characters- also trans, androgynous, etc. There's an art to representing gender in imagery! It's super important to remember that the way we see gender in art is mainly culture based rather than an innate biological reaction and the perception of gender in art is different according to your cultural background. It's basically a visual language that everyone learns, but as an artist you have to learn to actually “speak” it, and that's not as straight forward as you think.