Hey, all you necrofowliacs! Welcome to the first installment of this "Dead Duck" episode, "DAYS END"! Here's your trivia fix:

  • When I originally published this story, the woman at the window wasn't Estelle. I'd drawn a grandmotherly monster to collect Minions' paperwork. Estelle had made her first appearance in "Four Score and Seven Bullets Ago" before this story was written, but she was originally meant to be a one-time character. However, I ended up bringing Estelle back for stories after this one, and after developing her character and appearance, I decided she should be a permanent fixture in "Dead Duck", and J.P.'s majordomo, so for this most recent posting, I inserted Estelle into this page to maintain continuity.
  • The short, turquoise, bug-eyed zombie on the far left was a creature I'd originally designed as a decoration for the annual haunted train ride event that my old parks and recreation job sponsored each year. I've always loved the design, and this was a perfect opportunity to use it again.
  • The little orange worm popping out of the green zombie's head has appeared in several other "Dead Duck" stories. I'm often asked if he's supposed to be Earthworm Jim. The answer is no, though Earthworm Jim's design has always been one of my favorites, and my worm probably owes some of his inspiration to that character.
  • The Minion with the small, yellow head is Pinhead, a character I'd created when I was thirteen, just a few years before I created Dead Duck. Originally called Captain Pinhead, the character was an oddball, powerless superhero in the Flaming Carrot/'Mazing Man/Ambush Bug mold (I was a big fan of all three characters when I created him), and a member of The Superhero Squad, a team of my creation. Though the Squad didn't go anywhere, Pinhead has followed me throughout the history of my cartooning career, and pops up in one form or another in most of my work.
  • The zombie with the axe in his head in panel three is essentially my old character Chok'o, from a comic I was developing (but never completed) in high school called "Barnaby Annihilates His Imagination". It was supposed to be a comic about a little Boy named Barnaby who's transported inside his own overactive imagination with the purpose of destroying it, and Chok'o was one of the characters Barnaby encounters. Chok'o was a clown with a white face and black nose (his look was inspired by the old Betty Boop co-star Koko the Clown), but for the purpose of this cameo, I washed his face and left him Caucasian. I kinda wish I'd drawn him the way he originally looked, rather than drawing that zombie mime in the panel that follows.
  • At the time I drew this story, I was still hand writing all my lettering, including any fonts or logos. Prior to re-printing this comic here, I went back and used digital fonts for both signs seen on this page, just so they looked more different than I felt I was capable of achieving by hand. However, the RIP Inc. logo seen here was drawn by hand, as was all the dialogue throughout "Dead Duck".
  • Romero Acres is an obvious nod to director George Romero, the godfather of the zombie movie.
  • Grand Guignol was a historic theater in Paris that specialized in horror shows. It seemed like a great name for a bar in grill in Rigormortitropolis, so I procured it for that purpose.
  • The orange, green horned Minion in the bottom right panel is loosely inspired by H.R. Pufnstuf (1969), the famous Saturday morning dragon puppet created by TV producers Sid and Marty Krofft.

See you on the next page!

--Jay