I listen to two different things when I write/draw Merunga. A playlist comprising 8(ish) songs and Old Time Radio. OTR I can only listen to while drawing, because Merunga is not a detective strip, and it would be if I wrote it while listening to detectives, of which genre accounts for 99% of the OTR I listen too.

This month is Richard Diamond, the Singing Detective. He’s alright, he has fund with it, doesn’t take it too seriously, and his gal Helen is there for comic relief not plot-enabling (side-eye to Margot Lane.) His mysteries aren’t anything new, I hear the same thing when I go on Shadow or Saint or Barrie Craig or Michael Shayne binges. They’re like westerns, three different stories, you just change the names. I suppose Diamond’s biggest claim to fame is that he was created and written by Blake Edwards, who also did this little thing called the Pink Panther.

Like most things, the first one I encounter is inevitably my favorite. For Diamond, that episode is “Blue Serge Suit.” Hi-larious, if you’re into that kind of thing I guess. Whenever I start one at home I get plenty of eye-rolls and suddenly everyone has something important to say so I have to turn the volume down to listen, it’s more than a little suspicious.

I’ll have all the available episodes of Diamond wrapped up in a few days, not sure what I’ll move onto next. In the past I’ve always gone back to the Shadow, always listen to the Shadow and then a new show, might change things up this time. I’ve dabbled in the Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade shows, but after ‘The Big Sleep’ and ‘The Maltese Falcon,’ I can’t do it. If it ain’t Bogey, then it ain’t anything.

For now I’ll just keep things open, play it by ear and see what sounds good in a few days. Maybe doodling that climatic death scene for you know who will put me in the mood for a light comedy.