Episode 440 - Character tropes VS characterisation

Aug 19, 2019

Today we compare and contrast two ways of making characters: starting with a pure archetype and building it with tropes, or creating a character organically through circumstance and interaction with other characters.

Topics and Show Notes

Quackcast 440 has the full crew of Ozoneocean, Banes, Pitface and Tantz! Our description of the two types of characterisation are are probably artificial extremes but it helps to see the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Some advantages to starting with archetypes and building traits with pre-defined tropes are that it's very quick, very easy and you can create something you know for sure your audience will understand and resonate with! Disadvantages are that you risk making stale characters: either by creating a cliché or by sticking too closely to your archetype (as you're always tempted to do when you make a character this way), and not allowing the character to evolve, change out of it and escape it. You generally want to return them to “true”.
A good use for this approach are quickly made side characters who won't be around long, characters in a short-form or one-off story, or sitcom characters where you have to quickly get the audience to like them.

building a character organically over the course of a story through interaction and circumstance is harder and takes longer, but give you a changeable character that grows with your audience and who your audience grows to love! …if they can invest the time. The disadvantage here is that often you can't afford that time. This is better for long-form stories, dramas and novels.

In reality most of the time you'll use a mixture of the two approaches, often starting out with a reasonably defined character with a few traits in place, who grows as the story progresses and is changed by what happens to them and around them. That's a good, balanced way to do things, though short stories and side characters benefit from tropes.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Ice Massacre: A quiet, contemplative meditation on the vastness of space and time. Gentle ripples of sound lap against and wash over you… building slowly and then receding back into the ocean of time. Percussive tinkles glitter within the flow, like unusual seashells or sparkling pieces of colourful coral. For a moment they catch your eye, only to disappear again forever in the wash of sound.


Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
The Mystic from Wanzerbe - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/aug/13/featured-comic-the-mystic-from-wanzerbe/

Featured music:
Ice Massacre - - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Ice_Massacre/, by Icemassacre, rated T.




Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Pitface - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

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Episode 420 - Substance abuse and use

Apr 1, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

The entire gang is here this time again. This marks number 420 of the Quackcasts we've done. 420 is code among some for smoking dope, so going with that theme we're talking about the influence of substances on creative endeavours. People try and use substances to facilitate their creativity, we chat about why they do it, how it works, why it fails, the benefits and the issues. We DO NOT advocate taking illegal things in any way at all. This includes ANY substance, from dope, to coffee, to redbull, tea, wine, beer, cold and flu medication, headache pills, opium, adderall, ANYTHING at all, as long as it produces some mental or physiological change, it counts!

Episode 383 - Slow burn

Jul 16, 2018

5 likes, 4 comments

The idea for this Quackcast came from a rant by the irascible PitFace. She was talking about how there's a trend in modern SciFi and horror movies to bash you over the head with constant action and it doesn't allow you time to relax and take in the story, you're just bounced from one relentless scene to the next. In the biggest classics of the genre like Alien, Ghost in the Shell (animated 90's version) or Blade Runner they DO allow the viewer slow moments of reflection and it helps to make the action feel more intense by contrast as well as allowing the viewer time to assimilate and understand all the ideas and themes they've been presented with so far.

Episode 381 - site upgrades and messing with creators

Jul 2, 2018

4 likes, 4 comments

We talk about all the new upgrades that DD has just gotten: the new comment notification and reply features (a huge thank you to all who donated and helped out with that!!!), our new notification icons, getting HTTPS on the site, moving to the new ad system after the fall of Project wonderful, maybe starting a Patreon for DD, and Tantz's Sunday Twitter features. We also chat about Tantz's latest newspost and Mks Monster's thread that it was based on: basically the idea of forcing creators into boxes. The idea that women should create certain kinds of work and men should create others. Gunwallace gave us a lovely theme to Sky Commander. This is a very futuristic sounding track, at first glance it’s a little modern for the 1940s set comic but I like to think of it as the flight theme of the Sky Commander as he zooms through the clouds in his shiny metal Streamline Moderne gear, producing an expanding vapour trail behind him, crisp and white against the eggshell blue sky.

Episode 286 - Offence, walking on eggshells

Aug 29, 2016

4 likes, 6 comments

Do you worry about offending specific people with your writing? Where's your line between honest expression and regard for other people's feelings? This was Bane's brilliant idea for a Quackcast. We touch a little on the idea of a “culture of offence”, where it seems that people look for things to be offended by, perhaps on behalf of others, but also about things that really CAN cause offence and how to avoid that. On one hand you have people complaining that everything is too “PC” these days, but on the other it's really not OK to be a dick to people just because you like to cling to the old days when it was fine to put down people on the basis of ethnicity, skin-colour, gender, or sexuality… But we can also cause offence accidentally, unintentionally, unknowingly… Should you compromise your vision to appease people, or should you forge ahead regardless? Keep in mind that some things that are fine for SOME audiences are offensive to others, so rather than fight with your audience or appease them perhaps it's better to try and actively direct your work at the CORRECT audience it's intended for? - speaking in terms of sex scenes, politics, etc. Listen to the theme Gunwallace concocted for us THIS time! Geminni: Get down to the bad sounds of this classic funk rock tune! Danceable!

Episode 205 - What about bodyshape?

Feb 9, 2015

6 likes, 6 comments

This week Banes and I were inspired to talk about body shape in the depiction of figures in comics, inspired by some famous images from photographer Howard Schatz's 2002 book, Athlete. In it there are photos of many athletes who're at the peak of their sports and yet their bodyshapes are vastly different, subverting the idea of an "ideal" bodyshape or what it means to be a top athlete or even fit. too often bodyshapes in comics follow a very narrow range, not getting much past what we think of as the current popculture ideal. We all know that idealised model shape is a problem and yet we all still perpetuate it, most of the time you can only tell most "realistic" characters apart by their hairstyle or costume, especially in superhero comics. And that invents a second problem: the myth of the "normal" shaped body as opposed to the ideal- there IS no such thing as normal, and even the ideal is always changing throughout the ages. There's even a lot more to body shape than the famous categories: Mesomorph, Ectomorph, and Endomorph, or Skinny, Pear, Athletic, Hourglass and Apple. We also have a beif mention of how stylised characters (Sponge Bob, Calvin and Hobbes etc) are exaggerations of these shapes and differences.

Episode 172 - The QuackQuiz!

Jun 23, 2014

5 likes, 5 comments

Come on down, it's Quiz time! For this week's Quackcast we had a quiz based on DD comics, as a friendly, fun way to try and promote them... there's even a bit of Drunk Duck history mixed up in the questions. Just a smidge. We had three contestants taking part for the honour of telling everyone else to suck it; Archaeologist Amazon Adventurer Artist Pitface, Psychologist Freedom Fighter Lawyer Comicer Tantz Aerine, and Scientist Philosopher Comic Group Leader and all around boob-fancier Abt Nihil. They all competed to the very limit of their abilities, striving for dominance against each other, employing every dirty trick in the book and even some new ones... So please listen to the first ever DD bottomless Quiz! Oh, and there's even some titbits about the totally mythical married life of Ozoneocean and Pitface.

Episode 165 - Mecha Madness!

May 5, 2014

7 likes, 16 comments

Today Banes and I have a little talk about weaponry and mecha in webcomic- how do you come up with it? How much research do you do? Should it actually work? Is coolness the only factor to consider? How detailed do you go when you design it? how far away from reality and cartoony is appropriate? We consider most of those questions and a few more, there's a LOT to get into on a topic like this and we really only just barely scratch the surface! In my own webcomic Pinky TA I've done a LOT of research and design work to get my mecha and weaponry looking right, so this is a subject dear to me. But we all have our own opinions on this, not just in webcomics but in games, movies, anime, and manga. I would love it if people could contribute their ideas in the comments here or on the DD forum here: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/176137/


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