Hey, all you necrofowliacs! Welcome to the next installment of this "Dead Duck" episode, "A MINION OF DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY"! Here's your trivia fix:

  • I love the idea of Dead Duck shaving, since Ducks don't typically grow stubble on their bills. I was a bit inspired by Kermit the Frog in "The Great Muppet Caper", in the scene where he's shaving and says, "Boy, I wish I had whiskers. Of course, then I'd have to use a blade." I love the backwards logic of that scene and dialogue, and hope I've captured a bit of that here.
  •  I hate to admit it, but Dead Duck talking about the birthday presents he never got from J.P. is semi-biographical. My dad wasn't as negligent as J.P., but on more than one occasion, I had birthdays pass without so much as a card or phone call. It made for good character development for Dead Duck, so in the end, it's a win for me.
  • "Meh" is a great term that can be used in so many ways. When you stop and think about the weird little non-word utterances we make in our daily speech (Wha..? Huh...? Eh.), you realize how funny we sound. Those sounds are a great resource for comedy writing.
  • When I first wrote this story, I thought up the gag about Zombie Chick making out with the toaster and electrocuting herself, and planned to leave it there. But somewhere in the writing, it occurred to me that this ridiculous gag could become the crux of the whole story. By making the toaster clairvoyant, it not only tied the plot together, but made the original gag so much funnier than it was originally intended.
  • Having a weird plot device like a precognitive toaster also allowed for another rare moment of clarity for Zombie Chick, which is always nice to have. It keeps her from being a two dimensional gag machine, and fleshes her out into a real, breathing character.
  • I love the surprise gag in the last panel, showing that Dead Duck and Zombie Chick were sharing the same tub. It's not meant to be sexual, but to show how close of friends the two are that they can comfortably share a bath and think nothing of it. I've often been asked if there's a romantic relationship between the two, and enough stories have passed now where I think readers can decipher it for themselves. Me, I see them as the best of friends, with Zombie Chick leaning a bit more towards a crush. In time, I think Dead Duck may yet reciprocate. But that's a tale for another day.
  • In hindsight, I wish I'd used a digital font for the deodorant can, so it looked more like an existing product and less like my hand lettering.
  • Though we've seen Dead Duck without his pants on several occasions without any telltale genitalia, he does, in fact, possess the necessary gear to label him a dude ("Golem Girls" should be proof of that). I tend to think of it along the lines of R. Crumb's "Fritz The cat", where sometimes he's pantsless and sometimes he's showing what he's got. While you'll never see Dead Duck's junk, rest assured, it's there, and will get mentioned frequently.
  • "Crash Landing", as you'll see on the coming page, isn't a "what" so much as a "where". Be here next time for a visual explanation.

See you on the next page!

--Jay