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:

  • And here we finally see "Crash Landing", a suitably macabre yet fun name for the Chigger Creek airstrip. This was one of my favorite panels to draw because I got to draw my characters in action poses, a fun background, and a cartoony plane straight out of a Carl Bark's "Uncle Scrooge" adventure.
  • I like Chum's dialogue in the third panel. It's funny to hear him refer to his gonads, but it also fits the character because, as President of the Chigger Creek chapter of the official Dead Duck Fan Club (Ontario Branch), he'd most certainly own a pair of Dead Duck Underoos. For those of you too young to have experienced Underoos, they were kids' underpants with popular cartoon characters on them.
  • The two contestants to the left of Chum in the third panel were based on two girls that were in a community theater production of "Cats" with my wife Laura, not long before I created this story.
  • In the bottom panel, you can see I was still experimenting with ways to show depth of field in a comic panel. While I colored my pages digitally, I did not yet work in layers, and everything was drawn and colored on the same layer (much to my eventual dismay when I learned the right way to do things). If only I'd had a better grasp of Photoshop at the time, I would have colored the crowd similar to how I colored those on the stage, then put a layer of black over just the crowd, then lower the opacity on the black layer so they're seen, yet shadowed in the foreground, and don't detract from the background, which should be the focus here. It would have been a bit more work, but much more satisfying in the end.
  • My one regret with the art on this and the following pages is that I didn't bother designing each of the pageant contestants. Instead, I drew a hodge-podge of girls that differed from panel to panel. I could argue that they weren't so much the focus of the panels as they were set dressing, but I kick myself for being a lazy cartoonist in that regard.

See you on the next page!

--Jay