This is going to sound like a really, REALLY weird and mushy post, but I thought that I would show my appreciation for everything that Smallj85 done for me. He was the first person to comment on Fleche De Lard when I uploaded the first chapter onto FanFiction.net on 25th January 2015. During my work on the story, he sent private messages to me which made certain suggestions that I took on board. One of these was having Furball appear in the story as an ally to the group.
It's been a year since I brought the tale to an end, and today marks the first anniversary of this review:
"Great story! I was waiting a long while for chapter 10. I'm glad this story was all about Hamton and Fifi. I think it would be fun if there was like a graphic novel adaption of your story. Whomever is a professional artist, I would volunteer to do it if I was intellectual enough to able to memorize the plot line, and draw the characters just for the fun of it. Unfortunately! I'm not Carl Barks." https://www.fanfiction.net/r/10996988/
Why am I making such a big deal out of this particular review? Because it was the start of something amazing.
He planted a seed in my mind the day he made that review. The idea of a comic book adaptation of my fanfic sounded interesting. I remember asking him if he knew anybody who could do it. To tell the truth, I wasn't really expecting him to know an artist, but I was surprised when he volunteered to draw some scenes based on the story.
I made three requests: The Shield-Surfing sequence, the Ballroom dance and H&F's musical moment. At the time, I didn't want to overwork him and assumed that these would be the only pictures he would draw.
Here are two of the three requests that he did for me:
To say that I was impressed by these would be the understatement of the decade. His attention to detail has always astounded and intrigued me. From the cobblestones and corridors in the Shield Surfing escape, to the chandeliers, balconies, candelabras and various characters in the OJ Party, to the Opera Stage, background and designs of the instruments in the Duet. It was overwhelming!
I am not exaggerating when I say that these drawings have a special place in my heart. It's rather humbling to see your story be retold in various drawings by someone who has a genuine interest in your work. When he sent the final request, I felt satisfied and assumed that this would be the last time we conversed or made any plans. Part of me felt sorry it was all over.
Then, he kept surprising me.
These are just a few of his excellent pictures. I particularly love the rural scenes. There's just a sense of vastness about them which feels like I'm looking at another world. There are times when I look at these pictures and wonder whether he went to France just to draw the scenery. The picture based on the Travelling Montage is a good example of seeing new things each time you look at it. I've only just noticed the city in the background of the panel where HFP&S do the Wizard of Oz parody. I never saw things like Notre Dame up until now.
A lot of people have said good things about his work:
This picture just screams Tiny Toons, It's crazy, it's got tons of references, and above all else it's funny! I love it.
I'm really impressed by it! Your friend Smallj85 is a natural!
He's done all these wonderful drawings and received some well-deserved praise...and it feels like he's only just started!
Not only have you drawn these smashing pictures, but you've helped me with my writing, too! I'll be crediting him when I write the episode of TPDS in which a character that he came up with meets and joins the group.
In fact, I should have credited him for The Plucky Duck Show in general alongside Injun-Joe and Mopar96!
I remember an email in which he suggested writing stories about Plucky and Furball respectively. I'm thinking of writing some more adventures with Furball, Rita and Runt after the events of the Christmas fic.
I'll credit him at the end of TPDS along with all the other writers who have helped me.
It is amazing how time has flown. Smallj85 is an amazing friend and colleague and it had been an honour for him to draw these lovely pictures for me. I thank the stars that I met him and I hope that we work together for many more years.