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I originally wrote a version of this Tin Man gag for Phineas and Ferb but it was rejected for being too dark (imagine that)! In the Phineas and Ferb gag the Dorothy character un-rusts the Tin Man who immediately goes to chop down a sentient tree that screams in terror at her, “Why did you oil him? He’s trying to chop me down! Help!” I didn’t have time to establish the tress in this four-panel comic so I drew the Tin Man axing two munchkins in the skull. I also gave the Tin Man a reason for his cruelty: he has no heart. The lettering style for the title is called “Feisty McShitty” and I found it in Crap Hound #5, Sean Tejaratchi’s excellent clip art magazine/project.
Cecil Daisy is Underworld’s super nerd character. Optimistic, though easily crushed, Cecil is quick to accept other’s perceptions of him and turn them into assets. I love drawing him and knowing that I can beat the crap out of him and he will still come up smelling like a daisy. In this comic he does not smell like a daisy though — but turns his pit stink into a positive (if only in his own deluded pointy head). Sharp readers will notice that the drawings in panels two and three were reused from a previous Cecil Daily comic strip. I was reading Simon Louvish’s 2005 book on Laurel and Hardy, STAN AND OLLIE (Thomas Dunne Books) where he pointed out the many gags that Laurel and Hardy reused over the years. I didn’t want to completely reuse a gag but I thought I might rework a published set up with a new follow through and punch line. An exercise in “how can I take this gag and make it funnier?” I do it most often with my JOEY comics – but the idea there is to keep all the drawings and just change the dialogue (like David Lynch’s old comic strip The World’s Angriest Dog).
Order “The Underworld: From Hoboken to Hollywood” the omnibus collection of the very best of the strip’s 23-year run, with annotations, photos, and other surprises from the author (along with a foreword by Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell).