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Quackcast 635 - Warcast

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, May 16, 2023

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Art: Paolo Uccello, The Battle of San Romano

We're talking about WAR here! Trying to leave out politics, though that's really hard with war because it's basically ALL politics but on fire. So we're talking mainly about depictions of it or at least aspects of it, in art and the media. Both Tantz Aerine and myself work on war comics, Without Moonlight and Pinky TA respectively (plus Tantz also does Brave Resistance with Pitface), so we have some knowledge of the subject from a creator perspective.

There are a lot of approaches you can take from glorifying war to showing the horrible cost of it, you can show jumbled scenes and impressions or you can show purposeful actions where there's real strategy on show. Tantz depicts a the real historical events of WW2 in Greece using fictional characters (and real historical ones), while I depict totally fictional events with fictional characters.

Showing jumbled impressions and cool scenes to give you an idea of a battle being fought, as in a movie like The Return of The King, is a very poor way to do things. In that case it's an epic fantasy, so you're supposed to see the bigger picture; the movement of troops and the purpose of battles, movements and actions etc which you don't in that film. Rather it's just stylised action from a small scale and jumbled impressions from a large scale. In all the original Star Wars films we have great battle depictions because you can see exactly what the purpose of them is as well as looking cool, they don't need meaningless jumbled impressions to fool you into thinking continuity has happened while we transition to the character next scene.

Depicting war and battle in a comic is not easy, especially when you're trying to show it from a strategic perspective. You have to think about things very carefully so you can communicate the actions and the purposes behind them. It's far easier to go the jumbled impression route, which is why so many do it, but I would advise against it unless you specifically need to- i.e. the flashback scenes, or the chaotic first hand experience from a person involved in the conflict.

Depictions of war and battle don't have to make full logical sense, as long as it FEELS logical for the scene. Like the Battle for Hoth in the Empire Strikes Back - Giant war walker APCs are a silly idea but they seem to make perfect sense in the scene. The dog-fighting scenes with little space-fighters against giant space warships in Return of the Jedi are ridiculous; huge space battleships should have enough weaponry to wipe everything out of the surrounding space for thousands of kilometers in all directions and would never get closer to each other than a blip on radar, and yet when we see that movie the question never coccus to us.

Do you depict war and battle, if so how do you do it? What are your tips and tricks? And what are your fave depictions in the media and art? Can be positive or negative.

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme inspired by Elmwych - Mysterious, scene setting, classical, plotting, probing and prompting. This is a grand entrance into a cold, lofty manor house where all is not exactly as it seems… simulated strings and electronica spice.

Topics and shownotes

Future Quackcast: The cussing swearcast.


Featured comic:
Mercury Virus -

Featured music:
Elmwych - - by Ironscarf, rated M.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Ozoneocean -
Tantz Aerine -
Banes -

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Ozoneocean at 2:32AM, May 18, 2023

Yep, the reality of war is actually really messy and boring... evn the most exciting and horrific stuff and dull and unphotogenic.

mercuryviruscomic at 5:44AM, May 16, 2023

In my comic War is used a couple of ways. First it is a vague history to explain why the world is the way it is. Secondly it is used as a plot point to foreshadow what could happen in the future. I currently have a couple of large battles planned in future chapters of my comic and I plan to use the battle as more of a backdrop, or location if you will while focusing on the individual stories of the characters participating.

bravo1102 at 5:02AM, May 16, 2023

There were any number of battles fought "move" and "countermove". Wellington was very skilled and lucky to often be at the right place and time to counter his enemies' moves. I've done battle scenes and usually research weapons to get them right. Duels are so much more fun with one on one which is why I started doing my current comic. I could go on and on since some consider me to have an extensive background and great depth of knowledge about this but I won't.

marcorossi at 1:55AM, May 16, 2023

I had a pair of battle scenes in my comic, one at the very beginning and one at the very end. The one at the end is a very long one (in fact it is really a sequence of various scenes). I tried to write some sort of semblance of strategy for the two sides, because I think this would make it easier for the readers to understand what is happening and creates a greater illusion of reality; however in practice the "cool" scenes will always be the personal duels more than the clash of groups, so from that perspective the battle will always look a mess of people fighting each other. Also, I have a fantasy comic so it is easy to have a duel scene, but in a realistic modern scene battle opponents will almost never see each other face to face; but the character drama happens when people are face to face so this is a problem. This is usually solved by seeing the two decision makers making a "move" as an answer to the other's "move", though this is probably quite unrealistic.

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