Notes on Closing Time
Welcome to the biggest Zounds to date, with Falstaff and Prince Hal performing their cover of Semisonic’s Closing Time in a two-page musical extravaganza!
This is definitely the cartoon that’s had the most work put into it, but also the one I had the most fun with. Getting kicked out of a bar as a metaphor for life-changing events was an irresistible fit for these characters, and coming up with alternative lyrics for them (complete with lines pinched from other plays) proved an interesting challenge.
Plus, I got to draw Falstaff, which I didn’t think I’d ever get to do. Tragic or serious characters fit naturally into Zounds, but with comic characters, I’m applying my jokes on top of Shakespeare’s – and I’m not going to win that fight. But this was a nice, unusual context to put him in and I couldn’t be happier with that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly. The texture of some of the pictures came out a bit more rough and ready than usual, which seemed to suit his disreputable nature. I’m especially pleased that he looks quite menacing in the eighth panel, so you get the danger of Falstaff as well as the sack-soaked fun. Of course, once Sir John rolled up, his supporting cast wasn’t far behind, with Doll Tearsheet, Bardolph, Justice Shallow and the faithful urine sample-delivering page making this the most heavily populated cartoon in the series.
I’m thinking something simpler next might be a good idea…