May 18, 2020
My original idea for this Quackcast was: “Genre fiction is the best place to explore ideas, straight fiction doesn't do it as well” What I meant was that diverting from straight reality in fiction makes it easier to conceptualise, simplify and explain complicated ideas to a general audience for a whole number of reasons. There was some disagreement between Tantz and I because I expressed myself poorly so she'd thought that I was saying it was much easier to write SciFi and fantasy (Genre fiction), and it was easier to write about big ideas, while straight fiction wasn't good for that- Which is fair enough! My initial statement is so badly worded that's a valid interpretation! Fortunately Banes and Pit were on hand to smooth things out and explain things properly. Pit mediated between us and Banes conceptualised my concept FAR, far better than I did! Unfortunately you don't get much of that disagreement on the Quackcast. You DO get a bit of it on the PATREON only video however ^_^
Topics and Show Notes
To get back to things though: Diverting from straight reality in fiction, whether that's into a full on genre style or just adding unrealistic elements, allows you to symbolically handle big ideas like death, mortality, racism, slavery, predestination, religion etc in a way where you can be very specific about what you want to say about those ideas, more so than in straight fiction because you have more control over the world you're presenting. That's not to say that all “genre” fiction tackles big ideas or is always good at doing it when it does, or that straight fiction doesn't tackle big ideas or does it badly when it tries to. “Genre” fiction also has the advantage of being able to separate its ideas from current realities of politics and culture which might get in the way of people being receptive to the ideas that it presents.
A Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood), is a good example of this: The big idea presented in the book is that women's place in society, their rights and humanity, can so easily be wiped out overnight, the experience is dehumanising and horrible, and it can happen anywhere at any time. It uses a Scifi setting to do this, which makes the scenario seem very possible but also accessible to a mass audience. There have been numerous realistic and true stories written about the experience of women when Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979, or when the Taliban took over in Afghanistan in the 90s, and yet none have had the reach or the general acceptance of A Handmaid's Tale.
The closest would be Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi), but in it's case it still employs diversions from reality in its style, and since it's specifically about Iran people are far less likely to apply those ideas more generally.
Early Star Trek and Twilight Zone episodes were goldmines for “Big Ideas”! What're some of your fave “genre” fiction that tackles big idea better than other kinds of fiction?
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Fated Feather: Come aboard me hearties! Cast off and sail away into the balmy tropical sunshine, as warm waters lap the hull, the bow wave glitters in the sunshine, the rigging creaks in the warm breeze, and seafoam floats by in our wake. Today is the time for adventure on the green seas.
Topics and shownotes
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DD on Discord! - https://discordapp.com/invite/7NpJ8GS
Moderated by Boundbun and Tallfroyo - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/BoundBun/
Tangkal English - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/may/12/featured-comic-tangkal-english/
Fated Feather - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Fated_Feather/, by Iagojester, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Pitface - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Jul 22, 2019
To become truly successful at one thing you need to focus on that alone. Is it worth it? There are MANY calls on our time with all the side things we like to do, ESPECIALLY webcomics. One of the few ways to become a really successful superstar at any one thing is to start dropping all the other things that call on your time and devote all your energy to that one thing! Then you can push past all limitations and devote the effort and time needed to properly succeed.
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.
Dec 10, 2018
We mined Tantz's Saturday newspost for our discussion topic: Strong characters and how to write GOOD ones! What is a strong character? Well it has nothing to do with physical ability, power, command, or anything so obvious and trite. Strong characters are well rounded and well realised, they're often active and opposed to reactive, they make things happen, the story hinges on them. Failed attempts at “strong” characters or obvious and often result in Mary Sues, whether male or female. People hand them traits that they THINK will make the character strong: make them a general, make them a great fighter, make them royalty etc. The problem comes when none of that is ever logically backed up in the story. You can't just title a character something or have other characters talk about how great they are without having them demonstrate a reason for it, or else all you have is a pathetic paper tiger and a really shizzy failed part of your story.
Jun 13, 2016
The topic this week was ALL Banes' idea! We talk about page layout: techniques to make a good, readable layout, and stuff to avoid. We have Tantz Aerine (greetings), Banes, and myself, Ozoneocean, chatting about how best to do page layouts, at least from our own limited perspectives. None of us are pros in this regard, but we've been doing comics for many years now and we've all developed some pretty decent ideas about how best to do it, in our own ways. Banes is mostly influenced by American style comics, which have more interesting layouts. Tantz and I were manly influenced by European comics, which tend to have a more conservative by very constantly readable style of “box” layout. On Pinky TA and Bottomless Waitress the majority of my pages are in a fairly standard box format, but every now and again I experiment with crazy shapes, overlapping panels, no panels at all, and even “infinite canvas” pages that work with the scroll function. Speaking of which we briefly mention Scott McCloud and the comic Heart of Keol, which uses vertically scrolling large pages. The music this week by Gunwallace was Wastelanders Anonymous, an epic classic rock tune with a lovely repeating upward base rhythm, soaring guitars and authoritative keyboard.
Jul 26, 2015
Tantz and Pitface join Banes and Ozone to talk about comic book stores and the experience of going into them... Yes, that's right: webcomicers actually going into REAL bricks and mortar places that sell comics printed on PAPER! o_O It turns out that none of us really do that anymore for various reasons and we all have different recollections of going to cimicbook shops in the past. We also recount the experiences of other DDers who've described their comic buying adventures. Check out Gunwallace's haunting and desolate theme for the comic No Future, Vanish In Time.
Jul 13, 2015
Webcomicing is a learning process, you build on your knowledge and skills as you go, comics can take years to complete and your audience is usually pretty forgiving… Well learning is all about making mistakes and if you're like the people who contributed to this Quackcast, you make a hell of a lot of them! But hopefully you learn from them, or even better; learn from the mistakes of others. That's what this Quackcast was all about; sharing your biggest webcomicing mistakes. None of us are immune to them. They can be borne of hard to break bad habits, lack of experience or skill, or just plain stubbornness. If you make any that you'd like to tell us about, just share them in the comments bellow. I hope you'll enjoy the lovely Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy/Harry Potter-esque style musical theme for Wizarding Along The Way by Gunwallace!
Sep 26, 2011
oz and skool are catching up on features again, so they've got four good ones to talk about. They also chat a little bit about contests and things which contest-creators might think about.