Episode 375 - Categories, genres and rants

May 21, 2018

In this Quackcast we chat about the categorisation of work by specific genres and how it makes it easier to promote your work to people, while for fans it makes it easier to find what you're into, but it can also be a bad thing when people categorise too specifically and narrow their audience to nothing or just pointlessly confuse the crap out of people. I came to this topic because I saw a post on Facebook which was very badly explaining “Steampunk” and “Dieselpunk” while introducing the two utterly superfluous sub-genre names of “Ray-punk” and Atom-punk“.

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Topics and Show Notes

Let me explain…
First there was ”Cyberpunk“. A sub-genre of SciFi that really started in the early 1980s, famously championed by William Gibson among others. The ”punk“ suffix originally referred to it's gritty nature and the fact that it focussed on young people and the technology of the streets. The characters also wore the punk fashions popular in the early 1980s, it tended to feature cybernetic body modification and focus heavily on computers and ”cyberspace“. It was largely inspired by things like Blade Runner and Tron. Obviously there was a need for this sub-genre categorisation because nothing like it had really existed before.

”Steampunk“ is mainly 19th century but can be set at any time. Steam and clockwork are the basis for all technology, the aesthetic is usually based in the 19th century with modern touches. It takes some inspiration from the works of Jules Verne and HG Wells. Again, this was a totally new style and needed a name.
”Dieselpunk“ is from about 1900 onwards and encompasses the time of the birth of the internal combustion engine which is used as a basis for high technology, just like Steampunk does with steam. Movies like Mad Max 2 among others can be seen as inspiration. Once again it was a new style.
Steampunk and Dieselpunk stole the style of their names from cyberpunk. They use ”punk“ to refer to the unusual hybrid nature of being pre-hightech SciFi as well as the fact they often include punk type fashions and body augmentation which was a popular feature in Cyberpunk.

Then we have ”Atom-punk“ and ”Ray-punk“, both of which are describe work that is already fully encompassed by conventional mainstream SciFi from the 1920s onwards. ALL Scifi including fantasy space Operas like Star Wars can be included in these (Apart from the original aforementioned ”punk“ styles), even retro post apocalyptic alternative history like fallout or Bioshock. I feel that this type of categorisation is very, very pretentious, ignorant and counter-productive: since it dilutes and trivialises the ”punk" brand; imagines it does something novel while ignoring all the millions of works on the same theme; and confuses audiences precisely because it IS so dilute and superfluous. Dieselpunk and Steampunk by contrast are weird, they don't fit at all with normal SciFi and so need to be described in an unusual way.

Our guest Emma Clare offers up a spirited defence, so it's not all one sided and I don't have it all my own way on this! Listen to the Quackcast to see what she says.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to The Adventures of Tildie and Chewie. We’re greeted by the imposing strains of the Imperial march on heavy bass guitar… before we’re rocketed off into a pink heavenly dream cloud filled with rainbows and Teletubbies!

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Tethered from Dusk to Dawn - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2018/may/15/featured-comic-tethered-from-dusk-to-dawn/

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

Featured music:
The Adventures of Tildie and Chewie - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com /The_Adventures_of_Tildie_and_Chewie/, by Patricklind, rated E.

Episode 355 - New Years cliffhanger!

Jan 1, 2018

4 likes, 0 comments

Happy 2018 everybody! Another year passes and a new one has just begun. We recorded this Quackcast on the 30th of December so it was the very last Quackcast of 2017. Pitface was drunk and very entertaining, drinking beer from her new drinking horn, you can hear her entertaining ramblings at the start of the Quackcast. Tantz, Pit, Banes and I all chatted about cliffhangers since the new year is the ultimate cliffhanger! It was based on Tantz's newspost of the other day. Cliffhangers are a great way to make a story compelling. But try not to abuse them… Lets see, the only other thing is our Indiegogo drive to raise many for the latest improvement to DD: Comment notifications! We know that everyone wants those. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Slither and Friends. It's down home, dirty, scratchy groove. Feel the outdoors and the sound of the country in this one. Cool, full bodied, and natural.

Episode 334 - body technique!

Aug 7, 2017

3 likes, 2 comments

Let's get physical! let me hear your body technique! As a follow up to my newspost on Friday about figure drawing, we all got together to do a Quackcast about it, along with contributions in the form of comments from DDers on my newspost. Figure drawing is hard, it takes a lot of practise, but there are a lot of approaches you can take to improve like wire frame drawing, gestural sketches, geometric shapes, drawing shapes and silhouettes, using mirrors, photos, and copying what others have done to try and understand and improve your technique. We add our own insights and use silly accents to read out the contributions :) Gunwallace's theme for the week was for Cerintha: Classical, careful, creepy, The clarinet plods along methodically while the violin skips, leaps and dances, pure piano tones ring out like tinkling bells, sparkling with light and joy.

Episode 330 - A feature on features!

Jul 3, 2017

2 likes, 0 comments

Following on from my newspost about features last week, now we have a whole Quackcast on the subject, tell you what features are and how we do them at DD. Refer to the links bellow to learn about how to get a feature. In this Quackcast Banes and Pitface join me! Pitface, who has been absent for weeks and weeks! No Tantz though, since she was off giving speeches at universities in the UK. Poor Pit was afflicted by a severe case of poison Ivy but joined in with the feature-cast anyway. What a trooper! And in other news Pitface has agreed to be a featurer! But she'll need training… Features are tricky things to do, first you have to find a great comic with good art, or writing or both, it has to have at least 15 pages, be updating regularly, it can't feature already copyrighted art (sprite comics, fan comics etc.), be A rated or have been featured before. That's sometimes harder than you'd think. Anyway, listen on and learn about features. Gunwallace's theme for the week was Motivational Housecat. It's Motivational, energetic, this music makes you want to move and gyrate to the driving rhythm and feel the sound with your body. This sound is going places!

Episode 323 - A space of your own

May 15, 2017

2 likes, 0 comments

Drawing in public can be a pain! You really need to find somewhere comfortable, with lots of space, good lighting, and the right atmosphere to be able to settle down and work on your drawings… It can be tricky to find just the right posy. But it also depends on the types of materials you use and the atmosphere that you want to experience while you're working. In this Quackcast we talk about Hyena Hell's newspost on the subject and people's comments, as well as our own experiences with trying to draw in public places and the annoyances of public harassment. Speaking of knowing where to draw, there's the cautionary tale of Canadian Archie artist Gisele Lagace, who was detained and body-searched by US border guards for carrying unfinished drawings! She was intended to finish them at her hotel so she could sell them at the convention, but according to the US border guards and their extremely “strict” interpretation of the regulations due to the current political climate in the US, that constituted “doing work” while on US soil, so she was denied entry and missed out on the convention she was booked to appear at. So there are other considerations to finding the right place to do your drawings! The music for this week by Gunwallace is for Slaughter at Camp Notamoovi - Dark, suspenseful, mounting dread… it’s dark outside and something horrible is lurking, but it turns out to be a man with no trousers on chasing a raccoon with a pair of pants on its head… who are then both BRUTALLY MURDERED!!!!

Episode 298 - When death comes

Nov 21, 2016

4 likes, 2 comments

This Quackcast was based on Tantz Aerine's newspost from two Saturday's ago: Death in comics. We lightly expand t to death in all pop culture in the Quackcast. It's an interesting topic! Not the one we were originally going to do though… We were supposed to all have pizza and interview VinoMas's Princess January, but no one got pizza except me and I gave Vino the wrong time so he didn't show up, hahaha! So that idea… died. Death in comics can be used a whole lot of ways; a promotional technique as in Superman, a way to get rid of superfluous characters, to show gore and a massive body count, to create tragedy and pathos, the create comedy and laughter, and more! We give examples from our own artwork as well as mainstream comics like Maus, Judge Dredd, Superman, When the Wind Blows, nd even great webcomics like Charby the Vampirate. Banes could not show for this Quackcast. He is NOT dead… not yet. Gunwallace is right there back in action and the theme he's given us this week is Ectopiary! It's darkly threatening and vaguely classical, a creeping, scary exploration of dark places.

Episode 207 - A question of bodyshape part 2

Feb 22, 2015

5 likes, 7 comments

In Quackcast 207 we talk about bodyshapes in comics again; as a follow up from the chat we had about it in Quackcast 205 we thought we'd let the community weigh in with their thoughts... so Banes and I could get the chance to practice our voices. We wanted to know what others thought about the subject of about bodyshape in comics; Ones that they draw, read, or have just seen and think that it needs commenting upon. These Quackcasts were inspired of course by the images of athletes from the 2002 book "Athlete" by Howard Schatz. The photos show various athletes who're at the top level of their respective sports, it also shows that they have wildly different physical attributes: there IS no one ideal, and there IS no “normal”. This got us to thinking how body shape can define a character as much as facial features, hairstyle, clothing etc. Anyway, people had their say and it was enlightening! Also, Gunwallace's music this week was for FUNK! And funky it was, give it a listen.

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.


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