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:
- And here, we have the big reveal of the actual Devil, without his big, scary facade. Zeebub was one of the first characters I created when planning out the “Dead Duck” graphic novel. I originally had a story in mind for Zeebub that would have told Zombie Chick’s origin, ending with Dead Duck playing Zeebub for Zombie Chick’s soul in a high stakes game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. Though it was a clever idea, when I started conceiving “Summertime Bruise”, this story became a much better stage for Zeebub to appear on. I ended up scrapping the old story, though I’ve since come up with a much better origin for Zombie chick, all written and drawn and waiting to be posted, and I look forward to revealing it here next summer.
- Zeebub’s design was loosely inspired by the character Dwayne on the animated sitcom, “Home Movies” (1999-2004). Dwayne looked a bit like Joey Ramone in a grey baseball hat, but his main feature was his mangy black hair that covered his eyes. I used that as a jump off point, amped up the slacker teen/death metal look, gave Zeebub a stocking cap and cammo shorts, a puberty stash and some cool horns.
- The torn sleeveless t-shirt and skull earrings were borrowed from my old character Hokum, the goth chick from my “Epic of Cholly” comic strip.
- The whole Hell-theme in the top left panel was something I came up with as I drew this page. The idea that Zeebub would use anything with “Hel” in its name as self promotion just seemed funny to me. And it went without saying that I had to throw a Hellboy plug in there, since Mike Mignola’s comic was such a big influence on “Dead Duck”.
- The Helsinki Lions is an actual hockey team in Finland. Like I mentioned when I first began running the “Dead Duck” web comic, I did a lot of research in writing these stories, even for the little throw away gags.
- Actress Cheryl Ladd (“Charlie’s Angels”) was a childhood crush of mine, so having Zeebub desecrate an old copy of TV Guide with Cheryl on the cover took me back to my misspent youth. And I’ll leave it at that.
- I’ve never been on board with religion, so putting Christianity in a humorous context was never a moral issue for me. I think the gags at the expense of God and his creations are pretty benign compared to what I could have done, or what other creators have done. I did like the angle of making the Devil be God’s wayward son who lives in his basement (i.e. Hell). I have plenty of notes and sketches that would allow me to continue with these characters in “Dead Duck”, and we’d eventually see The Man himself.
See you on the next page!