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

  • Castle Rock Noggin is a parody of He-Man’s Castle Greyskull.
  • The design for Big-Man on Campus was partly inspired by my character Stoutheart, whom I created in 1998 for my comic strip, “The Epic of Cholly”. Stoutheart has shown up in many of my comics over the years, either as himself or as a model for another character. As of this typing, there are plans for Stoutheart to be a character in my “Bodie Troll” comic that I’m developing.
  • Dystenteria is a parody of He-Man’s home world, Eternia. I chose the name Dysenteria because it was derivative of dysentery, which is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine that results in severe diarrhea. Need I remind you all again of the prominence of poop humor in “Dead Duck”? I think not.
  • The way I wrote the Big Man on Campus song was, I thought of the theme to “He-Man and The Masters of the Universe” cartoon, hummed it to myself (it had no lyrics), then wrote out the humming to the best of my descriptive ability. I don’t think there’s any legal precedent to sue a man for using a hum.
  • Each of The Badasses of the Big Blue Yonder that I drew here are loose parodies of specific He-Man characters: Pizza Face=Man-E-Faces (A multi-faced character who was actually a villain in the He-Man canon), Big Prick=Buzz Off (A giant bee-man), and Hand Jive=Fisto (A bearded warrior with a large, metal hand).
  • When I first designed Hand Jive, he was black. I soon worried that drawing a funky black 70′s character could be racist, so I switched him to a goofy white 70′s swinger with a perm. On one hand, I think the way I drew him here is very funny, and follows the comedy tradition of smarmy white swingers in pop culture like Disco Stu (The Simpsons) and Steve Martin and Dan Ackroyd as The Festrunk Brothers (Saturday Night Live). On the other hand, is it more racist to deny black characters the right to be goofy and funny? The debate rages on, I guess.
  • Monolith Toys is my parody of Mattel, the company that produced the He-Man toys, as well as Barbie.
  • “One Toy Soldier Rides Away” is a parody of the 1960′s anti-war song, “One Tin Soldier”, which was the theme for one of my favorite (and blissfully cheesy) movies, “Billy Jack”(1971). I loved being able to reference the song in “Dead Duck”, and felt it was so perfect a title for a story about a dead toy icon.

See you on the next page!

–Jay