Episode 254 - Sexism in your OWN work?k

Jan 18, 2016

OMFG you sexist PIG! Heh… today we talk about trying to recognise sexism in your OWN work, what to do about it, and WHY. It turns out it can be very hard to do, and if you DO acknowledged it the instinct is to rationalise it away, justify it, or just try and brazen it out in some kind of old fashioned, largely embarrassing, display. I frequently do all three. How do we spot it? Well the Bechdel test isn't that useful, that's better for looking at broad trends not giving specific works a pass/fail - sexy outfits is one thing, if females are dressed minimally or in tight gear in CONTRAST to the males or vice versa - females ONLY having old stereotype roles (maiden/mother/whore archetypes, secretary, nurse, victim, maid etc), though this is context sensitive, i.e. it's more forgiveable if you're doing a historical story or something stylised like a fairytale or a noire story - Gender balance is another thing, it's context sensitive because certain stories will naturally have more of one gender (WW2 submarine crew, Girl's school, a prison story etc), and you don't have to have an exact balance anyway but it's definitely something to THINK about because there is no reason most stories should feature a majority of male characters and a minority of females. WHY should you think about it? Why should you care? Well the audience for almost ALL types of stories, be they action adventure, romance, Scifi, fantasy, historical, even porn, is getting close to 50/50 between men and women these days (maybe it always was?), it really doesn't make sense to alienate or belittle half your audience just because you like to cling to older ways of doing stuff. Gunwallace's theme this week reminds me of a cross between the Knightrider theme and Gunship- it's VERY retro-future. It's the theme to DDSR, a comic with cool custom “sprites”, AKA pixel-art.

Episode 253 - narrative order and the flashback

Jan 11, 2016

6 likes, 6 comments

Doing stories that start with the climax, then flash back, tell what happened to get there: the old narrative style of switching the first few chapters around to make a more interesting story. Sometimes it works GREAT because it throws you right into the middle of things and you have to work your way back to that point… It works very nicely in The Hangover for example! Often it's used very badly- in anime particularly, where they use it for foreshadowing and a tease to try and get you interested in the rest of the story- but anime story structure is so formulaic that all it really does is give you a cheap spoiler. Other times it doesn't work well is when the writer isn't very good so the viewer loses their way in the plot… If the writer is GOOD though you end up with Pulp Fiction. You'll love Gunwallace's theme here- a super funky jazz track for the comic Nothing Important Happened Today. Enjoy!

Episode 250 - Tradigital art - Digital VS Traditional

Dec 21, 2015

4 likes, 5 comments

There's not really a difference between digital and traditional art - art is art, your tools and media don't really matter, what's important is how its meant to be seen and what it's meant to be used for. But, people do like to discuss this though and so do we so that is exactly what we did! We opened the floor to people's opinions and experiences on the subject and everyone had their say. Gunwallace's theme for The Dragon Fists of Smorty Smythe reminds me strongly of The Journey of the Sorcerer by The Eagles!

Episode 234 - Climactic Climaxes!

Aug 31, 2015

5 likes, 2 comments

What's best? One big climax, multiple small ones, early, or delayed? How much should you work UP to a climax? What about anticlmactic events, how important are they? Climaxes are really important in stories. Often you work up to them over the course of a whole series, but each episode or chapter can have them, maybe even every single page. I find writing “up” to climaxes a bit stressful because you have a lot of preasure and expectation there. And when it's over and you've actually achieved it, it can be a bit depressing: where do you go to from there? You can feel a little lost, at least I do. TALKING ABOUT WRITING HERE. My preference is for multiple climaxes. Do you always need climaxes in stories? I don't think you do personally… there are times when things work fine without one, but it does help better with endings. Sometimes climaxes can be TOO big. Way too much of a story can be invested in a climax, it subsumes everything, everything has to tie in with that specific story flow and that can be REALLY had to pull off. If it's not done right it can be massively disappointing. Anticlimactic. Pitface Joins Banes and Ozone to chat about climaxes in stories and read out the contributions from our climactic contributors. Gunwallace gave us a gorgeous theme for Just Another Day!

Episode 232 - Creating a Rounded World

Aug 17, 2015

5 likes, 8 comments

Hello, hello, hello! This is the second part of our hugely long expose on the tricky art of WORLD BUILDING! And it really IS extra loooooooooooog… that's because we take so much time crafting the Quackcast world for you. To recap: world-building is a big part of ALL fiction from SciFi and fantasy to your common or garden police shows or even comic strips. You create locations that have relationships with each other, characters that have jobs, families, friends, histories etc, all that is just as much world building as a fantasy world with a specific style of magic and monsters or a SciFi world with aliens and a 1000 year war. Typically, if you do your homework and set up your world nicely then it makes it easier to write stories within it, but you also have to remember not to show all that research to people in the form of big long explanations. Banes and Bravo1102 join Ozoneocean to talk about it! Listen to Gunwallace's lovely theme for Regarding Dandelions!

Quackcast 229 - Enter the Dragon's den: comic book shops

Jul 26, 2015

3 likes, 5 comments

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.

Episode 228 - Conflicting conflicts conflict

Jul 19, 2015

4 likes, 0 comments

This time we're talking about conflict in webcomic writing, and any writing in general really. Conflict is one of the main drivers of a story, so you pretty much have to have it in there somewhere! But how do you approach it? Do you set it up really carefully or just put a bunch of volatile characters together and see what happens? I think for a lot of us we don't think too much about the science of our conflicts, rather we approach it artistically and develop things by feel and instinct because conflict is such an intrinsic trait. But understanding how you use it can be very useful when you're writing satisfying resolutions and climaxes. A good understanding of the types of conflict in your story is also pretty essential when you're writing a good comedy (it's a great source of humour!), and also when you're explaining or selling your work to the public: It's all very well to chat about your clever setting and your funky characters, but conflict is the reason they're IN a story to begin with and that's really what will get people wanting to read out it. I hope you enjoy Gunwallace's great porn style music type theme for Tales of Two Tiny Titty bars!

Episode 226 - The Power of Contrast

Jul 5, 2015

5 likes, 6 comments

In this Quackcast I interrogated Mr Banes on the subject of his first newspost: Contrasts. It's a subject near and dear to him, even his comic "Typical Strange“ has its name based on the concept, i.e. two words with the opposite meanings put together to create an effect. In imagery contrast is used to make darker shapes appear darker and lighter shapes lighter and to create a tension where those areas meet at the penumbra. In writing and comics it's much the same, ”laughter and tears“, ”good and evil", a sad scene contrasting with a joyous one etc. Contrasting makes both contrasted elements appear far greater than they really are, as well as serving as a source of tension, conflict, or humour. Banes and I talk about this in a rambling fashion. Gunwallace has a special treat for us today with a brilliant theme for Dead Leon! You'll want to ask him for a copy of his one ;)


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