Hey, all you necrofowliacs! Welcome to the latest installment of this "Dead Duck" episode, "THE BALLAD OF THE LOTTO"! Here's your trivia fix:

  • Louie the Screw just popped into my head, in both name and design. I think I had thugs from Popeye cartoons and Ralph Bakshi films in mind, and he certainly seems befitting of either camp.
  • Jimmy the Louse's design was based on another character I created around 1990 who I called "Big Chill" (no relation to the 1993 movie "The Big Chill", which no doubt inspired the character's name, since I listed to the soundtrack incessantly). Big Chill had a style of head similar to Bart Simpson, where his hair and head kind of melded into one big shape and color. He was also an albino with freezing powers. At the time, I was very inspired by the misshapen villains of Dick Tracy's rogues gallery, and tried creating my own villain in that mold.
  • Frankie The Fish was based on a drawing in one of my sketchbooks, from when I was designing an evil clown character.
  • The thing about Go Fish is that it's so easy to cheat at it. So having it be a gambling card game is just ridiculous, which makes for a great gag.
  • My work is frequently compared to animator Chuck Jones' style (and quite astutely. Jones is one of my idols). In the case of the riverboat captain, I absolutely channeled Jones' style for his design. I was specifically thinking of the gambler Nasty Canasta (voiced by the great Daws Butler) from the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Barbary Coast Bunny" (1956), directed by Jones. I even took it a step further by drawing the windows and the wood paneling behind him slightly askew, in the style of Maurice Noble, Jones' frequent background designer.

See you on the next page!

--Jay