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LET'S COLOUR WITH CRAYONS!!

Did you ever watch Mister Rogers when you were a little kid? My all-time favourite episode was the one where he takes the viewer to the crayon factory and showed us how crayons were made. I thought it was the most mesmerizing thing imaginable. Heck, I even wanted to WORK in a crayon factory when I grew up!

I was never formally trained to use crayons. Sure, I was like any young child who had a bucket of crayons and that magical ninety-six colour pack with a plastic crayon sharpener in the back, and I loved to draw with crayons. But when I first started drawing with crayons, I would hold them like a pencil and they would always break in half. It was not until I was working with children as an adult that one of my students declared, "You are holding your crayon wrong, Miss!" and then proceeded to show me how to hold the middle of the crayon between my index finger and thumb and gently colour at an angle. I was floored because it had taken twenty years for someone to explain in twenty seconds the reason why every single crayon in my crayon boxes would break in two.

Wax crayons are an unruly option when compared to other colouring methods. They are not as soft as the oil pastel nor do they blend as easily as the chalk pastel. They are not as fluid as watercolours and tend to emulate the texture of the surface underneath the paper. There are also different types of crayons: the inexpensive waxy, flaky crayons that barely have any colour; the crayons with the smooth, brilliant hues made out of soybean oil; and the very dense, yet brightly coloured crayons that are made out of recycled plastic and hard wax.

One thing I did learn was that everyone loves to colour-the quiet kids and the talkative kids; the boys and the girls; the "bad" kids and the "good" kids; the young kids and the older kids-all had a knack for colouring. I would just pass out some colouring sheets and a crayon box to the students whenever I wanted to decrease the noise level in the room during homework time.

So it was interesting to me when I was purchasing four boxes of crayons from a Back-to-School art supply sale and the cashier asked me if I was a teacher because I was buying so many crayons. I looked down, smiled, and replied, "No, no. These crayons are for me."-

I remembered that I did not need to buy a new colouring book because I already have a vast collection of black and white original colouring sheets saved on my harddrive from all the scanned images of my raw sketches. I bet a lot of us on Drunk Duck have a ton of black and white line drawings that could easily be converted into a colouring book for an older audience.

You should try to create your own colouring sheet with YOUR original characters!

==

Rest in Peace, Wes Craven. I must have watched Scream one hundred times when I was in sixth grade.
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FEATURED COMIC --> Re Set
Read: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Re_Set/
There's a bit of exposition to get through here, but it's going to be an interesting and fun story so stick with it, ok? Michelle "Mike" Vinson is a Pandora AND a Faust, she accidentally frees some demons and they offer a deal she finds too good to refuse, even after seeing how deals with demons go down a million times before on TV she STILL finds herself tempted, and then life as we know it is completely altered. Re Set is a manga style comic with very pretty full colour digital artwork. The backgrounds are exceptionally lovely. The style genre is supernatural action comedy. The story starts off slow but pics up and it's worth it for the pretty artwork. Read Re Set by azureXtwilight, rated T.
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LATE NIGHT DRIVE


Like any typical night that I get exhausted from staying cooped up inside the house, I grabbed my car keys, started up the engine, and went out on a drive by myself. Tonight was a bit special because I had a mixed CD soundtrack of the arcade driving game, Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 2, with me and I was able to pretend that I was living in a real life racing game. The music beat kept making me want to drive ten miles above the speed, but my better judgement combined with the fact that I am way too cautious kept me within five miles of the speed limit at all times.

Here's the whole story:

I have been visualizing scenes in my head for a comic story that I have been trying to write for the first time in a long time. Whenever I get an interesting dialogue flowing, I open a notes document and jot down lines and a general description of a scene, a cover page, or the camera angles I wish I draw out eventually. All of this work ends up becoming the pre-planning stage in the creative process and it is very important for me to get a general sense of direction before dedicating more time making fleshed out pages. I used to be able to think about ideas and turn them into a comic page in a 24-hour window, but this new story is taking a lot more time because the characters in it are taking a lot more time showing me the facets of their personalities.


So this is how I found myself behind-the-wheel on a Sunday night listening to some techno music and pretending to be a speed racer. I feel that driving around is one place that I am able to zone out and clear my mind of any jumbled thoughts that might be in my head at any given time. My attention is mainly focused on the road, but I have driven along the same paths so many times that it allows me to brainstorm comic ideas as I am going through the motions. Solo driving has become one of my newly discovered cherished places to think.
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Quackcast 232 - Creating a Rounded World
Listen: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-232-creating-a-rounded-world/

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!

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Rizmo - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Rizmo/

From the news post:
World Building - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/177032/?page=1

Contributions from:
usedbooks - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/usedbooks/ bravo1102 - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/bravo1102/
ozoneocean - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean/
fallopiancrusader - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/fallopiancrusader/
KimLuster- http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/KimLuster/
irrevenant - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/irrevenant/
El Cid - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Certified_Monster/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace, musicman, sound sorcerer - http://www.virtuallycomics.com/
Banes, Co-host, world-plumber - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/ Bravo1102, Co-host, librarian to the stars - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/bravo1102/

The theme song by Gunwallace this week was for:
Regarding Dandelions - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Regarding_Dandelions/ by Kari_McElroy rated M
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Sunny days and comic books
Summer here is hot and dry, but it's so short that sometimes it feels more like a coffee break in an endless winter than a real season. People who live in the prairies know that each summer day has to be savoured - tucked away as a little memory for that day in February when you're standing outside waiting for a bus that's ten minutes late, and you think that you just can't bear another minute of winter.

Unfortunately work, weather, and a wedding have conspired against my usual trips to the beach this summer, but today I was determined to make the most of the sun. I skipped out of work half an hour early and drove to the nearest beach with my family. We ate dinner on the beach and then jumped in the water, where I stayed until I started shivering. Then I retired to a towel on the beach and picked up - what else? An Archie comic, from a stack my little sister had brought.

Summer has always meant comic books to me.

Lying head-to-toe in a hammock with one of my sisters as each of us reads a comic, stretching out at my best friend's cabin after a long day at the beach and perusing her collection of Archies, buying a big box of mystery comics to haul out to the lake…there's just something about a summer day and a comic book that jells. It's partly logical, I suppose. Cheap comic books can be tossed about on the beach without too much concern, and the light, simple stories can be left at moment's notice if a summertime adventure should suddenly arise. But more than that, comics just seem to be inherently a part of summer to me.

Are comic books part of your summer experience? What are those other little things that summer just feels incomplete without?



DD AWARDS ANNOUNCEMENT

From Niccea:
We still have 4 slots to fill for presenters for the awards. But, worse, many of the judging categories have “TBA” as the name of the judges. TBA is not an drunk ducker, it is a place holder. We still need many slots to be taken up to allow the for the awards to continue for this year.

Current judges/presenters, please check your PQs for your assignments. - See more at: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2015/aug/13/sunny-days-and-comic-books/
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FEATURED COMIC --> Rizmo
Read: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Rizmo/

Come and join the carnival of spirits, darkness, twilight, magic and weirdness... Rizmo is a devilish, demonic, clownish creature with a surreal world living inside his head. Young Abbey is new in town and doesn't know anyone, but then she meets the crazy carnie who gives her a magic hat, a hat which is a gateway to the world of Rizmo. Rizmo is a delightfully, devilishly, dark yet comedic story. If you like ghosts, weirdness and surreal tail then this will appeal to you! The artwork is all digital, full colour, smooth and very professional looking.
By Jobo, rated E.
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Have them in circles
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Make sure you've read all the previous issues!

I'm at a nice place in my webcomic right now. Well, it's nice as the writer, at least.
The characters have a nice history now, with some adventures behind them, some established relationships, and a stable of supporting characters who can be brought back to create all sorts of havoc for my heroes.
In a way, it's right where I want to be. Enough history is in place, but there's not so much that it's confusing or oppressive.

Or at least it's not to ME. I wonder about the readers, though. A few commenters have photographic memories, I've found, and remember as many details as I do. That's pretty great (Call Me Tom, I'm lookin' at you, buddy!).
One of the goals for my series has been to make each page completely understandable to a newcomer, but to not be overloaded with exposition that would be annoying to people who are reading it regularly, or to those who read the 22-42 page stories all in one go.
I don't think I'm always successful at riding that line, but I do try.

To that end, I structured the series into pretty much standalone “issues”, with each plot complete unto itself. I also make an effort to have a setup and payoff, and hopefully a laugh, on each page. Or I guess more to the point, I try to have a conflict, and a cliffhanger or resolution on each page.

That's not always possible, and having a “standalone page” is the first thing I sacrifice when needed. It seems more important not to annoy regular readers with repetitive exposition.
I annoy them with puerile, hackneyed writing and awful, slapdash artwork instead!

The most important thing in my comic, I thought, was for readers to know who the main characters are, and what their basic relationships are. Well, explaining the relationships on every page was not possible, so I settled for having a top banner that shows (and names) all the main characters.
It's actually one of the things I'm most proud of in my comic; I think it's been structured exactly the way it needs to be as far as keeping a reasonable balance for ongoing readers and new readers.

Is your comic more geared to new readers or, ongoing readers? Do you try to keep it balanced between the two? Have you struggled with this? Do you find jumping into new webcomics challenging? Do you read webcomics backwards for dozens of pages on end sometimes (I know I do)?

Have a good Thursday!
-Banes - See more at: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2015/aug/26/long-form-stories-and-standalone-pages/
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Quackcast 233 - Formulas Forever!
Listen: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-233-formulas-forever/
Here we go again, back to formulas! This time we got some external input. Fellow DDers had a say about their idea about the utility of formulas and how they use them in their writing and comics. It's important to understand formulas in writing so you know what works and why it works, it can help you in your own work. And when you need to and you've got the ability you can create your OWN writing formula. But remember: the formula is just the bare skeleton, you have to add all the meat and flesh to it with the rest of your writing, don't let the bones show through!
Listen to Gunwallace's beautiful theme for Brave New World!
Oh, and one last thing… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TANTZ AERINE!!!!

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Cogs and Claws - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Cogs_and_Claws/

Contributors forum thread:
Getting the formulas RIGHT - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/177140/

Contributors:
Genejoke - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Genejoke/
KimLuster - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/KimLuster/
Ozoneocean - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean/ Bravo1102 - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/bravo1102/
Usedbooks - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/usedbooks/

Previous formulas Quackcast:
Quackcast 230 getting the formula right - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/quackcast/episode-230-getting-the-formula-right/

Special thanks to:
Germanium Gunwallace, elemental music - http://www.virtuallycomics.com/
Beryllium Banes, Covalent-co-host - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Krypton Kawaiidaigakusei, formula featurer - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

The theme song by Gunwallace this week was for:
Brave New World - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Brave_New_World/ by BraveNewWorld rated E. - See more at: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2015/aug/24/quackcast-233-formulas-forever/
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Tell Me What I Say - Dialogue
-- See more at: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2015/aug/19/tell-me-what-i-say-dialogue/

Last Thursday I talked a little about writing a scene, in terms of the change that happens, what the character wants, and what obstacle is in the way of achieving that want.

But what about dialogue? Eh?

One way to help define what's going on in a scene is to write some “on the nose” dialogue.

This is dialogue that expresses what the characters are thinking and feeling, and states what they want. Writing this kind of dialogue can give you a clearer sense of what's going on in the scene.

But once you've figured that out, you probably want to change that dialogue to something…off the nose?

The thing is, people don't generally say exactly what they're thinking and how they're feeling. To give you a f'rinstance, I've never ONCE expressed an actual genuine emotion or thought. That's a whole other story, though.

So if you can have clarity on the mechanics of the scene, with the wants, obstacles, and type of conflict and behavior that's going on, you can try to move the dialogue away from that. Maybe have minimal to no dialogue at all. Or have the characters HIDING their true intentions in some way.

Honestly, I find myself writing “on the nose” dialogue more often than I'd like, to get the point across.


But when I can have characters hiding their true intentions, lying, or denying, the scenes are much better. And when readers comment and say what they think the characters are actually thinking and feeling…well, reading those comments is maybe the single greatest thing about being a webcomic creator. At least for me.

How do you approach dialogue in your comics? Any thoughts on what makes “good” or “bad” dialogue?

P.S. Hey, have you checked out the new, rebooted ARCHIE series by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples? I just picked up the first two issues and it's fantastic! Mark is one of the greats among comic writers, and really understands these characters, and Fiona, who I'd never heard of before this, is a phenomenal artist. Recommended for our DD Archie fans!
Have a good one!
-Banes
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FEATURED COMIC --> COGS AND CLAWS

http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Cogs_and_Claws/

Cogs and Claws is a surreal odyssey for your imagination.

In the opening sequence, a giant flounder emerges from an underwater pod and boards a space shuttle submerged in water. Soon thereafter, the shuttle is blasted into space where it joins several other spacecrafts driven by various anthropomorphic creatures.

This is a visually stunning masterpiece with dreamlike cityscapes and futuristic settings that will satiate the cravings of any science fiction loving reader.

The art is predominantly drawn in black and white. Each page showcases highly detailed and intricate line work. The art speaks for itself as it is paired with absolutely no dialogue this comic prides itself with being a wordless story.

Need more reasons to check out this comic? Raccoon and badger space pilots. Still not enough? How about a dinosaur, kitten, and hamster armed with weapons while wearing Medieval armour.

Enjoy space ruled by animals and read Cogs and Claws by cogs and claws, rated E!

http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Cogs_and_Claws/
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AND SO WE DISCONNECT

The demand for electric outlets in my room is high because there is always a tablet, mp3 player, or any random lithium-powered gadget laying around that needs charging. My desktop workstation drains the most energy and there is a tangled sea of snake-like cords lurking under my desk around my feet. On Friday evening, faced with the lack of a free outlet, I made the decision to unplug the television set.

I have nothing against television except for the extremely bright glare in the middle of the night that makes falling asleep difficult, the constant barrage of commercials that pop up at the best parts of every show, and the idea that entire days can pass by while clicking through channels aimlessly searching for a show that is interesting enough to hold my attention for half an hour. Immediately after disconnecting my television, I started getting story ideas for webcomics that have not been written, I started reading more books, completing unfinished projects, and taking longer walks in nature. It was as if my free time was not being funneled away in front of the TV.

In my lifetime, our dependency on electronics has risen. I have been on at least one road trip where a person forgot their cell phone and forced the driver to turn the car around for their phone. I used to ride buses where every single rider had an eBook reader or a tablet in their hands making the best use of their commute. There were moments in the college dorms when the Internet would be temporarily down and every social hermit would poke their head out into the hallway like a ground hog peeking out of its hole to see if everyone was without Internet. The best part of the lack of Internet was that it would get people out of their rooms and into the common areas to study or socialize. Our digital devices have created a culture where we are much more engaged with our touch screens and less invested in our actual surroundings.

I am very happy with the decision to reduce the amount of television in my life. My mind needs a break from the constant background noise. Next week should be a productive week since I just finished reading a book before writing this article and will start a new one before I fall asleep.
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WRITING A SCENE
Here are some thoughts on writing that smallest unit of a story: the scene.

First off, what is a scene? What defines it?

It's Change.
Something changes between the beginning and end of a scene.

Here's a way to write one if you're stuck. These are the things to figure out that go on BENEATH the dialogue:

First, you have to know where you're at in your story. Who is your character and what do they want, in terms of the entire narrative? Where does this scene fit into that larger narrative?

Then, figure out what they want in this particular scene, and how they're going to go about getting it.

Finally, figure out what's in the way of achieving what they want. (conflict! Making things more difficult for our characters is what drives a story forward and makes us want to root for them!).



If the readers can anticipate the conflict in some way, that can help. If your detective is going in to question someone, maybe we can get a look at how busy/grumpy/difficult that other person might be. Or maybe we know the protagonist has to LIE about something, and we're anticipating whether they're going to be found out. Maybe the protagonist's goal is to close the window, and only the AUDIENCE knows there's a killer hiding outside. That's still conflict!

When the obstacle is overcome, or not, the scene is over.

I'll talk about dialogue and editing a scene next time.

Have a good Thursday!

-Banes - See more at: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2015/aug/12/writing-a-scene/
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The home of webcomics
Introduction
Drunkduck has been a major webcomics community since 2002, we has many fabulous webcomics including the amazingly poplar  Modest Medusa and Charby The Vampirate Charby the Vampirate