Episode 437 - Old Warhorse

Jul 29, 2019

Today we cover the interesting trope of the “old warrior”. This was based upon a newspost Banes came up with last week. He was thinking of Captain Picard in the latest Star Trek series and he also brought up Luke Skywalker from the latest Star Wars movie. The “Old Warrior” makes a really cool protagonist, in this Quackcast we try and discover why that is…

Topics and Show Notes

Well we came up with a few insights!

-First up, the “old warrior” is often a side character in the secondary role of a mentor, i.e. someone there to hand things over to the next generation. Personally I think that's the most boring way to use them, they work FAR better as a main character rather than support for one.

-Second, the “old warrior” has mostly been traditionally male but doesn't have to be, there are some great female ones like Ripley in the Aliens series, Laurie from the latest Halloween movie, and Sarah Conner from Terminator 2 and the latest version of that series.

-Thirdly, the “old warrior” doesn't HAVE to actually be old at all, all they need to quality is to be experienced, to be a veteran of the type of situation they're facing, and to “know death”, they can be a child soldier and still qualify.

-And that brings us to number four: “knowing death”. This is interesting! Your usual protagonist generally seems to think they're immortal, but your “old warrior” doesn't. They've seen death, probably a few too many times and managed to escape unscathed so far, but they know it's always drawing closer with every step they take and diving into this new mission just might be the end of them… every new adventure could be their very last. This adds an unusual frisson and spice to their story.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Sunstrike and Bluemist, an origin story: Plotting, sneaking, stealthily creeping, sidling along in the shadows. Action, danger covert missions, and secrets! This jaunty tune is the perfect spy theme.


Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
The Great Khan - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jul/23/featured-comic-the-great-khan/

Featured music:
Sunstrike and Bluemist - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Sunstrike_and_Bluemist_An_Origin_Story/, by ShaRose49, rated T.

LINKS

Banes' Old Warrior newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/jul/21/the-old-warrior/

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

Episode 435 - Spinoffs!

Jul 15, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

We're discussing spin-offs in this one. Why do them? There are many very different reasons for doing a spin-off as opposed to a sequel, prequel or a totally new story:

Episode 434 - Where do your characters exist?

Jul 8, 2019

3 likes, 7 comments

This time we're chatting about settings and where your characters exist in space… where does all the action happen in your comics and WHY does it happen there? Bane's had the really novel idea of thinking of story settings as action playsets, which are toy settings made based on a TV show or movie where you can play with action figures and act out key moments FROM the TV show or movie: Unlike a dollhouse they only have the key sets where the important things happen.

Episode 431 - Political messages in your work

Jun 17, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

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.

Episode 430 - Good beginnings!

Jun 10, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

At the beginning of a story how do you grab and KEEP your readers? This comes from the Friday newspost by Emma Clare. Her advice was pretty brilliant. From my own perspective it's generally characters that grab me first before anything else. Great art and a fantastic cover can hook your eyes, but without a great story or interesting characters there's zero to keep you there.

Episode 427 - Betrayal

May 20, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

Betrayal is an interesting thing to use in fiction. You can have betrayal of your nation, your organisation, friends, lovers, religion, beliefs, self. In stories it can be used to add a nasty twist or completely change the flow of events and alter the balance of power in a dramatic way! It can be devastating in relationships. The story of Judas betraying Christ for 30 pieces of silver is one of the most famous betrayal stories and became so iconic that the phrase “30 pieces of silver” or just the word “Judas” became synonymous with the act. Of course the inspiration for the best treachery and betrayal comes from real life and the names of the betrayers often echo down through history. IFrom Rome we have Brutus, in the USA the name “Benedict Arnold” has a similar meaning to “Judas”, the 20th century gave us the term “quisling” after the Norwegian political leader Vidkun Quisling who sold his country out to the Nazis.

Episode 426 - Sidekicking

May 13, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

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.

Episode 425 - Pay-off or rip-off?

May 6, 2019

3 likes, 0 comments

In this Quackcast we chat about set-ups. pay-offs, and rip-offs. To make your climaxes and endings more satisfying you have pay-offs for audience expectations: set them up in the story and pay them off at the end. If you fail to pay-off then you get a rip-off, it's pretty simple. Your audience will be really disappointed. That's not to say disappointing and unsatisfying ends to stories are wrong, not at all! Often those are fully intended. We're just talking about satisfying audiences, not “good” endings.


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