Hey, all you necrofowliacs! Welcome to the next installment of this “Dead Duck” episode, “THE DOGMA OF DEAD DUCK!” Here’s your trivia fix:
- I LOVE this drawing of Chum in the first panel, and I love what he says in it. Partly because Chum is generally so lighthearted, and on that first page, things seemed much more silly and goofy. But as his expression turns sullen, the reader’s meant to see that dark times are coming, and not the funny kind that they’ve previously been used to in “Dead Duck”.
- That silhouetted house, hitching post and outhouse are taken directly from the 1954 Porky Pig and Sylvester cartoon, “Claws For Alarm”, directed by the late, great Chuck Jones.
- And once again, we make mention of Dead Duck’s #1 weakness: being bad at math–an affliction I’ve suffered from my whole life.
- “The Solider and Death” is an old Brothers Grimm folk tale about a fellow who traps Death in his sack. I read it in elementary school, and loved it even more as it was presented in the short lived “Jim Henson’s The Storyteller” series from the late 80′s. I used the sack as a gag for this page, but the rest of the story has nothing to do with the original tale.
- Around 1992, when I was still struggling with what to do with Dead Duck, I became a fan of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” comic books. I loved the very first story, where the old man kidnaps Morpheus, thinking he snagged his sister, Death. At the time, I considered doing Dead Duck’s origin as a parody of that Sandman story, but soon enough decided I didn’t want to go that route. Years later when I wrote this story, thinking it was wholly original, I began seeing unintended connections to it and that first Sandman story. It’s a little bit frustrating that I couldn’t escape that early influence, but it just goes to show how powerful a writer Neil Gaiman is.
- When I created this story, it was a good five years before the “My Little Pony” explosion happened, with full grown men calling themselves “Bronies” and getting themselves whipped into a frenzy over modern interpretations of the characters. Not that I’m criticizing. I’ve got more than my own share of fandoms.
- The design of this villain–who never gets named, by the way–comes from a villainous character I created around the same time as Dead Duck (1989/1990) called Armadillo. The character was meant for a spy comic I was developing, but never did anything with. But that glorious lumpy nose and forehead of his showed up in a lot of my designs for years afterwards. His hat went through several versions before I settled on this one. In the beginning sketches, he wore a fez.
- Malarkey=bullshit. I love old, outdated terms like this, and use them frequently in my comics and my own speech.
See you on the next page!