Hey, all you necrofowliacs! Welcome to the first installment of this “Dead Duck” episode, “THE DOGMA OF DEAD DUCK!” Here’s your trivia fix:
- Fair warning, folks…unlike most of my “Dead Duck” stories, this one isn’t played for laughs. There will be a gag here and there, but over the next three weeks, as you get deeper into this story, you’ll see that it’s really a drama. It’s something different for “Dead Duck”, but I wanted to really explore the characters in ways that humor wouldn’t allow, to see the depth of Dead Duck and Zombie Chick’s friendship, and to reveal, for once and all, what dark secret lies at the heart of Dead Duck’s origin.
- After I introduced Chum Blockwell in “Gangs of New Scotland, or, Quebec to the Future” and established him as the official Dead Duck expert, I was determined to bring him back as a narrator/expert in future stories. It only stood to reason that if Chum was an expert on Dead Duck, then he’d be an expert on the practices of Death and the functions of Minions, too. And as I mentioned in “Gangs”, Chum’s design was inspired by Canadian actor Patrick McKenna’s portrayal of Harold Green on “The Red Green Show”. I took that inspiration further by drawing Red Green himself (created and portrayed by actor/writer Steve Smith) as Chum’s studio engineer in this first panel.
- Most of the rules I’d created for Minions had been established in the stories I drew before this one, though the limitations were usually vague or just hinted at. The biggest reason for creating this list was to update the reader on what a Minion is and isn’t capable of, because it really comes into play in this story.
- I think the name “Mr. Mittens” came to me after writing “One Toy Soldier Rides Away”, which mentioned Sports Bra’s winged horse Buttermitten and Big-Man on Campus’ feline, Mr. Biff.
- In my youth, I was kind of fascinated by road kill, and loved to draw cartoon representations of it, making it far more silly than sick. These days, I’m much more sympathetic to defenseless animals who are run down by careless or sometimes intentionally cruel drivers. But in cartoon form, I handle the imagery much better.
- I’m only realizing now how often I’ve drawn executioners in my work over the years. Having created a book called “Dead Duck”, I probably should have made the connection earlier–but I have a real macabre streak in me.
- A big challenge of mine has always been handling the designs of zombies and Minions. In my view, zombies had to be gory and decaying, and Minions could by weird and even a little monstrous, but the two could never cross over visually. Having black shrouds for the Minions helped make the distinction.
See you on the next page!