Episode 602 - It's my turn now bitches!

Sep 26, 2022

What happens when the victim becomes the victor? Most of the time it's like the classic line from The Who “Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss”, typically revolutions (and elections), that promise change don't really deliver, the new people use it as a chance to get revenge on their enemies, take advantage of things the same as the last guys, and do everything they can to cling to power. The true exceptions are rare and special, i.e. Vaclav Havel and the Velvet revolution.

Topics and Show Notes

We decided to apply this to fiction and characters- What happens when the underdog gets the upper hand? Do they use it as a chance to take revenge, are they gracious and magnanimous, do they become the bully themselves, do they betray their ideals? How they handle their power is very interesting and says a lot about them. There are characters like Walter white, a downtrodden highschool teacher, who rises to power and becomes a crime boss. A similar story is told in Scarface, 711 Ocean Drive, and The Godfather. The new Netflix series “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” has a smaller scale take on it with a bullied youth becoming a super powered cyber-warrior criminal. In these stories the character arc is well portrayed and it's interesting to watch their moral fall even as they rise through the ranks of evil.

However, it can become a little more muddy when a character is written as honourable and good and yet they still use their sudden power to get revenge in a petty way. This simple act can be a powerful indication of hypocrisy and moral weakness, or just really bad writing. Of course that doesn't apply to all acts of revenge, only when it betrays a character's ideals or is OUT of character.

How do your characters handle a turnabout in fortunes? Do they use it as a chance to take what they can get and bet the bad guy themselves, do they get revenge, do they throw away their ideals, do they stay true to their character, are they magnanimous?

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Crimson Stars - A creepy, gothic horror techno landscape of winking red stars and the pale blue trailing lights of ion drives in deep space. This is a cold world of blackness, danger, and vampires! The music really sets the scene.

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Dave Skunk Comic - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/sep/20/featured-comic-dave-skunk-comic/

Featured music:
Crimson Stars - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Crimson_Stars/ - by Commissar_Tarkin, rated T.

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

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Episode 597 - Revelations!

Aug 21, 2022

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Today we're talking about a technique in storytelling that we're calling the “revelation”. Inspired by Banes doing an article on the weird trope in movies of having a character discover newspaper stories about the villain that suddenly reveal the true stakes of the story and kick things into high gear. There are other types of revelation in stories though and they're used in different ways.

Episode 585 - Adaptation

May 30, 2022

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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.

Episode 584 - Drawing gender

May 23, 2022

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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.

Episode 583 - Why is it bad?

May 16, 2022

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Spoiler- we don't actually talk much about Yu-Gi-Oh! But I feel it's a good example of a pretty bad a so-bad-it's-good story, but bad nevertheless. The idea we're talking about here is that it's useful to look at bad stories and stick with them because they can really help you write better. They're a lot more useful than good stories because you'd rather just enjoy those and it's a bit harder to examine them for technical details, but with “bad” stories the faults stand out strongly. Instead of simply dismissing a bad story or making fun of it, it's more useful and valuable to try and “fix” it: try and work out why it seems bad and think about what would be needed to make it better, then think about how that applies to your own work. Maybe you're actually making many of the same mistakes?

Episode 572 - Myths of fiction part 2

Feb 28, 2022

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Last week we did a thing of the persistent myths of fiction- fictional conventions that we all just accept, and are repeated over and over and even influence real life- for example: that people are blasted back in reaction to being shot. It started as a way of making shooting scenes more dramatic and obvious on film, but became a convention and we all believe it so much that it influences reality- it's part of the famous JFK conspiracy about a “second shooter” because people foolishly think JFK's head rocking “back and to the left” indicated the direction of a gunshot. The kinetic energy of a bullet is imparted to the medium it strikes, typically through heat and destruction when it hits a soft target like a human.

Episode 562 - the plots the themes - The space between

Dec 20, 2021

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Merry Christmas and whatever you celebrate :) Interesting topic from Banes! It's his idea that sometimes the literal elements of a story (the plot etc.) are simply too weak to properly support the theme. He gives the example of The Truman show, where the idea is that a person is living a fake life under constant surveillance as the star of one of the most popular real life TV shows ever and he doesn't know anything about it… The themes are the power of the media, commercialism, the American dream, obsession with reality TV etc. Banes felt that although these themes were very strong the practical setup of the world and story weren't quite strong enough to support it.

Episode 557 - Fetishes in comics

Nov 15, 2021

5 likes, 9 comments

Fallopiancrusader joined us as a very special guest to chat about fetishes in comics! It's really interesting and he brings his expertise with adult comics and his wide ranging knowledge of comics in general to bear on the subject. So what are fetishes? Well they're often things that people have sort of a sexual interest in but aren't always associated with sex themselves, they're peripheral to sex. Because of that they're often enjoyed and appreciated in their own right for their own sake! Think of things like body piercings, tight laced corsets, wearing fursuits, spanking, wearing S&M leather and PVC gear, shoe appreciation etc. all things associated with sex that people can also enjoy and appreciate outside of sex.


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