Hey, all you necrofowliacs! Welcome to the latest "Dead Duck" episode, "ONE TOY SOLDIER RIDES AWAY"! Here's your trivia fix for this installment:

  • I liked the idea that, even though Bone-Or was a villain, there was still something to sympathize with in the character. Real character development is so rare in toy production, and most of those characters, good or evil, are very black and white in their personas. I'm kinda proud that I was able to add a bit of depth to these characters, even in the form of a parody.
  • Amy Royal was a popular girl I had a crush on for the first few years of high school (I resided in the unpopular zone, along with my other dork buddies who also drooled over Amy). Unlike Bone-Or, I never would had the stones to ask her to prom, nor would I have harbored the delusion that she would have said yes if I had. For all its likelihood, I may as well have asked out the mermaid on the Chicken of the Sea tuna cans (who was also kinda hot. Loved that poofy hairstyle...).
  • I think I would have been more satisfied with the backgrounds of these panels if there had been some other elements to them--trees, mountains, clouds, just something other than just candy colored atmosphere. But again, for a story focusing on plastic toy-based characters, it kinda works, I suppose.
  • Growing up in the 80's, a lot of cartoons had PSA's (public service announcements) tacked on the ends of their episodes, warning kids about not talking to strangers, avoiding downed power lines, playing nice with others, and spray painting in a well ventilated areas (that was a stretch). He-Man in particular had some doozies, and they always tied into the episode, no matter how far out it might have been. He-Man may have been attacked by Beast Man and a flock of wolf bats, but darned if he wouldn't connect it to the dangers of snorting cocaine off a dead hooker's stomach (okay, I made the lesson up. But it would have been a memorable episode).
  • "That's one to grow on" was the title and tagline for NBC's Saturday morning PSA's, which aired during each commercial break and featured such NBC stars of the day as Perry King and Thom Bray ("Riptide"), and Mr. T and Dwight Schultz ("The A-Team") dispensing some network scripted wisdom to the kids. The PSA's ran from 1982-1988.
  • I don't always have a clear view of how a story is going to end before I begin writing it, but before I typed a single letter of this script, I knew Big Man on Campus would cause his own death by holding in a sneeze. And man, was it ever fun to draw. I think the goofy light heartedness of the story was definitely jarred by the violence and gore of his head exploding, but that's kinda what I was aiming for.
  • Like so many other things I draw, I credit Vaughn Bode and Ralph Bakshi with showing me how to draw blood and guts exploding from a cartoon character.
  • As an afterthought, I wish I would have concocted a more original sound effect for Big Man on Campus' head exploding other than "boom".

See you on the next page!

--Jay