Hey, all you necrofowliacs! Welcome to the next installment of this “Dead Duck” episode, “AIN’T NO CURE FOR A SUMMERTIME BRUISE!” Here’s your trivia fix:
- What’s kinda interesting is that so many of the gags I wrote in this story were based on things I found the most disturbing. The idea of animal cruelty makes me sick to my soul. But it’s somewhat fitting that a school run by the Devil would have a course in skinning puppies (though I’d only go so far as to mention it. Not even for the sake of a gag would I go so far as to illustrate it). And the gag about being beat down with socks full of lit charcoal sounds funny. But the idea was inspired by the scene from “Full Metal Jacket”(Stanley Kubrick, 1987), where the character of Gomer Pyle is beat down in his sleep with socks full of bars of soap. The scene and the movie totally sickened me, as I’ve never understood or accepted such cruelty in our society. But I guess by lampooning these things that bother me so much, I kinda manage to take their teeth out, strip them of their power, and turn it all around for the sake of a gag. And there is no truer weapon against cruelty than laughter.
- I love Dead Duck’s comment, “Is it a chigger? ‘Cause I don’t cotton to chiggers.” To not “cotton” to something is Hillbilly slang for an unwillingness to accept something. It’s kinda random and weird, but that’s exactly the fabric from which Dead Duck has always been cut.
- I also find the word chigger (a small, parasitic insect) to be hilarious. I liked the sound of it so much that I used it to name the home town of Dead Duck’s #1 fan, Chigger Creek resident Chum Blockwell.
- The gag of Dracula biting Dead Duck’s neck is one of my oldest bits. Back in 1995 when I unsuccessfully tried working Dead Duck into a syndicated comic strip, I wrote a strip where Dead Duck tries to deliver Dracula to the dead. Dracula laughs at him, bragging about being UN-dead, which made him immune to the authority of JP Yorick. In an attempt to bribe Dead Duck into leaving him alone, Dracula bites Dead Duck on the neck, with the exact same painful result and punch line as I’ve written here.
- The Devil suggesting to Adolf that he abandon his painting ambitions for genocide is reflective on actual historical events. Hitler was refused entry into art school because, as a painter, he was a talentless hack. Grim Natwick, the animator and designer of Betty Boop for Fleischer studios and of Snow White for Disney, was a student at that very art school at the same time that it refused Hitler entry.
- I love Dracula’s bragging in this bottom panel. It allowed me to hint at his history with nubile and chaste young peasant girls, as well as use the term major domo in a comic, which is a really neat term when you think about it.
- Dead Duck’s imaginary dog Tire Tread was another throw back to the days when I tried to develop “Dead Duck” as a syndicated comic strip. At the time, I gave him a dog that was stitched together from various bits of road kill, which I named Tire Tread. When I finally began developing the graphic novel, Zombie Chick kinda took over Tire Tread’s spot as Dead Duck’s stitched up sidekick. And the comic has been all the better for the decision.
- I like Dead Duck’s expression in the bottom panel. I’m told I make some weird faces when I’m drawing, so this is a tribute to one of my tamer ones.
See you on the next page!