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:
- I suppose, to a degree, this arts and crafts scene was inspired by the many such “classes” that were forced upon me in my grade school days. In many ways, the mind-numbing, creativity-suppressing assignments I was tasked with were as hellish to me as Dracula’s facial burning.
- According to “Dracula” author Bram Stoker, Lake Hermanstadt was the body of water that bordered Scholomance, the school of black magic run by The Devil. In actuality, Hermanstadt was the town in the Carpathian Mountains where Scholomance was said to reside. And though there was a lake in the region, it had no name to speak of. For the purposes of my camp-themed story, however, Stoker’s lake name worked perfectly.
- Though I’d designed my version of Dracula to have a thick dragon tail, it wasn’t until I started drawing this story that I was struck with the idea to have him perch upon it. It brought a neat visual element to the character, and allowed him to tower menacingly over his fellow campers. Like this, the best stuff in Dead Duck was almost never planned.
- Adolf’s inner tube horse seemed like a funny visual for a guy who’d commit the greatest human atrocities of the 20th century. The inner tube horse design is one that I’ve employed for years in various drawings. Its inspiration came from issue #11 of “‘Mazing Man” (DC Comics, November 1986) which featured the title character going to the beach while wearing a similar floatation toy that he called “Billy”. “‘Mazing Man” has always been one of my favorite comic books, and still influences my comic book work today.
- The bathing suit that Dead Duck is wearing here is a replica of the costume I first drew Dead Duck wearing when I created him at age fifteen (circa 1989/1990). The inspiration for it came from three places: (1) The original fat-bodied, long-billed Donald Duck (circa 1934) had worn a similar suit in some early episodes. (2) DC Comics’ character Deadman wore his own red togs, emblazoned with a “D” on the front (3) Marvel Comics’ character Daredevil had the double D’s (no bra jokes intended) on his chest, and also sported red togs. These three characters melted together to inspire Dead Duck’s costume, which was put to pasture in the mid 90′s when I decided a minion of Death should always wear black.
- The idea of wiener-nibbling fish was loosely inspired by an incident from my own youth (though not with my own wiener). My gang of friends and I snuck out into a privately owned pond for a swim one summer, and my best friend Danny Johnson complained that minnows were nibbling on his nipples (if they also staked a claim on his wiener, he never complained about it). You’ll hopefully recall that Danny appeared as Dead Duck’s youthful rival for Big-Man on Campus fandom in “One Toy Soldier Rides Away”. Danny and my other two childhood friends will appear in another never-before-seen “Dead Duck” story later next year.
See you on the next page!