Episode 321 - Cafecast

May 1, 2017

We titled this one “Cafecast” on the suggestion of Pitface! Instead of chatting about a subject, we took ourselves off to a metaphorical cafe and all started drawing, working on sketches, our latest comic pages, and chatting as we did. We're all comic artists after all and we talk about doing comic all the time, it's only fair that we actually WORK on them from time to time! Gotta “walk the walk”, not just “talk the talk”. We were also inspired by the video Pitface made of herself drawing her latest page of Putrid Meat for the 10th anniversary (vid linked in the notes). Watch it while you listen to this! So this is just a nice, informal chat from us as we draw. Next week we'll get back to more structured stuff when banes and I talk about how to do comedy and how to make comedic characters in comics. The music for this week by Gunwallace is for Half Hearted Headache. The theme fits very well with the comic title! It brings to mind a desolate wasteland in a post apocalyptic techno future, haunted by cyborgs and the hulks of burnt out military battle robots… Which is not what the comic is about but that’s what it paints for me: Jean Michel Jarre, meets knight Rider!

Episode 320 - Making the reader believe

Apr 24, 2017

4 likes, 2 comments

In this Quackcast I wanted to talk about the magic of authorship: how the creator of a story sets up the whole situation so that they can convince the reader of anything. You can write a story about the smartest man in the world, and the reader will believe that they are, within the story, because you set it up that way: not just by having other characters reacting to them and forming that impression, but also independently convincing the audience of it as well by having them solving riddles and such or knowing lots of languages, quoting literary texts etc, but the creator doesn't have to be a very smart person themselves… Like Sherlock Holmes is seen as super smart because he's meant to, but Arthur Conan Doyle wasn't a super genius himself. You can write about a Casanova type charmer who's fantastic with the opposite sex and readers will believe, but only if you set the stage well enough. You as the creator set the parameters for anything to happen. Without having certain abilities or skills yourself, you can create a character with totally convincing skills far outside of yourself. The music for this week by Gunwallace is for The Gloom, it's creepy, ghostly, unsettling, uneven. This one gets under your skin and keeps you off-balance.

Episode 317 - Hannagrid Wright Interview!

Apr 3, 2017

4 likes, 2 comments

Today we interview Hannagrid Wright aka 5thezombie! She's the creator of the great Sci-Fi webcomic To The Galaxy And BACK! -featured by Kawaii last year. To the Galaxy and back features Kat and Zoey, two girls that have been drawn together by fate, across the universe, to have all sorts of adventures in outerspace. All Zoey really wants is to get back to her dad, but having a dashing adventurer alien companion is going to make the ride a little more fun. Hanna is a cool person, she's just starting out on webcomics and already she has a nicely pro art style. She's mastered an efficient method of storytelling that's compelling, perfectly balanced for frequent updates, and makes her comic very easy to consume! Pit and Banes did a marvellous job in interviewing Hanna with me! I hope you read her comic (To The Galaxy And BACK!) and then listen to the interview! The music of Gunwallace this week is Sedna: A warm, deep blue, liquid, viscous, underwater outerspace world of wonder, joy, and luminescent glowing alien creatures…

Episode 315 - Creepy Pasta

Mar 20, 2017

4 likes, 2 comments

This week we decided to all read out Creepypastas, just because! I's a popular thing on the net and people like that sort of thing… Well Banes and Pit do anyway. So what ARE Creepypastas? Well they're not the rotten spaghetti that had Banes blasting from both barrels just before the Quackcast, no, the name comes from “copy and paste”, simple as that. Creepypasta are just scary stories that writers have made up and copy and pasted to sites on the net, usually on things like Reddit. Often the writer pretends that it's a true story, but not many, if any at all, are based on real events. Today we're reading a few that we found at random. Hope you enjoy! The music of Gunwallace this week is My Pet Succubus. It’s party time down here! Bouncing, rolling piano notes, tapping drums and ebullient synth strings exemplify the happy go lucky personality of the irrepressible protagonist of this comic.

Episode 312 - happy little trees

Feb 27, 2017

4 likes, 5 comments

In THIS particular Quackcast it's just Banes and I chatting about tips and tricks for artwork. Hopefully some of the stuff we mention is helpful to someone, I tried to illustrate some of that in the cover pic. Banes drew the image of Penny crashing through a scene which I've coloured and added trees, oceans, mountains, clouds, fire, smoke etc all with the use of simple custom brushes. The shading was all done just by painting grey over a layer set to “multiply”, which makes all light colours transparent and darker colours less so, so that you get a perfect tool for making shadows! Anyway, listen to the cast and maybe you'll get something out of it! The music that Mr Gunwallace has for us this week is for Mr Valdemar and other gothic tales - The tinkling crystal notes of a piano are paired with the dark woodiness of a mournful cello and touches of strings to give us this haunting gothic soundscape.

Episode 310 - Where to begin

Feb 13, 2017

4 likes, 2 comments

Where to start; in the past, present, or future? Will you structure your story in a linear way or do something more complex? This was the topic of Hyena Hell's newspost on Friday and in this Quackcast Pitface, Banes, Tantz, and I discuss and mull over the ideas ourselves, along with the responses of the clever commenters. Gunwallace has given us a theme to The Archer and the Squirrel, which just so happens to ALSO be our featured comic! - The theme launches abruptly, like an arrow springing from a bow, this tune follows a beautiful arching path against a bright blue sky of melodic, rhythmic flute that begs you to dance a jig with a great big grin on your face!

Episode 309 - boring action scenes

Feb 6, 2017

3 likes, 0 comments

What makes an action scene boring? Action scenes should be exciting and fun, but often it's just the opposite! In this Quackcast we discuss the topic of Tantz's newspost from the other day and tackle this hard question. These were Tantz's conclusions: - You don’t yet care enough for the characters involved in the action to worry about them; - If the action is introductory you don't get to understand what's happening enough to care; - The action is badly choreographed or ‘cut’ in a way that the audience can’t understand what is going on; - The action is too much too soon, and back to back; In this Quackcast we try to delve a little more into that :) The featured music this week by Gunwallace was for Starfox Adventures The Comic: Firing the main rockets and racing through space, laser pulses and bolts of plasma streak past in glowing lines of destruction as you smoothly barrel roll to avoid them.

Episode 304 - eeeeeevil!

Jan 2, 2017

5 likes, 1 comment

What defines evil in fiction? I say the simplest one is bad guys are selfish, good guys are selfless. That is massively over simplistic but it's a good easy template for basic hero's and villains. Basic ones I was just doing a quick thought experiment to work out an easy way to define “good” and “evil” characters in fiction. The more selfless someone is the more “good” they are: the more they think of others, want to help people, put the needs of the masses first, the more willing they are to reach across to their enemies etc. The more selfish a person is the more “evil” they are: if they don't consider the needs or feelings of others, help out their own small group and let others suffer, help themselves first. Of course there are many other more advanced aspects, especially if you consider the relative nature of these things: the idea that everyone thinks they're the good guy from their own perspective, being cruel to be kind, being too authoritarian and heavy handed in the use of power, NOT using power when you should, helping in a way that only SEEMS destructive and selfish, trying to help but causing destruction and chaos in the process, which brings us to the dreaded “unintended consequences”. BUT, the selfless/selfish equation is a nice simple starting point to build from. In the Quackcast we discuss these aspects as well as more advanced notions about what makes a good evil character, what makes a bad one, humanising evil, and weakening you evil character by humanising them too much. Gunwallace's musical theme was for The Cull: Dark, haunting, and compelling- Eastern European Jewish, country and rock, reminds me of Tracy Bonham’s later work.


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