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So there are two things going on here. Snuff has obviously drunk so much that he’s in a black out. When you’re in a black out you don’t know you are. The people around you don’t know you are because you act normal (though tipsy). But your brain can’t make the memories of what you’re doing for you to remember (the next day). That’s why so many people get into so much trouble when they black out. “I did what? I said what?” I have Snuff in the last panel come to enough to know that he’s drunk and doesn’t know why he’s in hell. I like the idea that one can just wander into hell. The other thing going on in this strip is that Snuff’s mom is in hell. Did she die? Was she that bad? I’ll leave that for future strips.
Is it weird? I’ve always loved freckles. I had ‘em as a kid. Still have ‘em on my shoulders. I like the word. Freckles. It’s fun to say. But mostly I liked girls with freckles. A few years ago I was trying to explain it to a friend when I said that I liked that they looked like a leopard. Of course I got a weird look. And of course you don’t have to have freckles to be attractive or interesting looking. You could have stripes. Now I’m disappointed that people don’t have stripes. I wanted to make the last panel pretty. I’ve been looking at Krazy Kat again.
Pouring over the Taschen book, PALEO ART (a collection of dinosaur paintings and prehistoric scenes) I got inspired by the early dinosaur art where the artists did not have much scientific information to draw from. So they just made stuff up (like lizard men, etc.). I decided to make a prehistoric diorama of my own using the cartoon creatures from my imagination. And here it is: KAZAZZIC PARK. One fun thing that happens whenever I push my design is that I often find new characters that then get up and walk onto future Underworld strips.
This one is about dreaming. Whenever I dream that I’m flying, I often become aware that I’m in a dream (Lucid Dreaming) and suddenly I’m awake. I designed the second panel so that the tree seems to “lift” or “boost” the bird higher up in the panel. In panel three I’ve got the bird almost as high as it can go so that the sudden short drop in panel four sets up fall back down to Earth in panel five. Using an extra long word balloon stem also helps to create the illusion that the bird fell from high up.
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).