RIP, David Cassidy

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Distressing news today- actor and singer David Cassidy, best known for the 1970s TV series The Partridge Family, has died at 67.

David Chelsea is watching:
Detectorists
starring Mackenzie Crook

David Cassidy
David Cassidy

I can’t say that Cassidy ever meant that much to me; however as a 1970s teen idol, he meant the world to certain adolescent girls of my own generation. One of them was British writer Allison Pearson, who wrote a novel inspired by her own teen crush on Cassidy, I Think I Love You, in which a middle-aged housewife discovers thirty years late that she had won a Go On A Date With David Cassidy contest, and sets out to meet her idol. I happened to be reading the book on a vacation in the summer of 2012, which is how a Cassidy-inspired plotline made its way into the comics story I was working on at the time, which eventually became SANDY & MANDY, a three-part comic which ran in DARK HORSE PRESENTS.

David Cassidy
David Cassidy

The SANDY & MANDY character is named Leif Pigeon, a play on Keith Partridge, the character Cassidy played on TV. Here is a model sheet:

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In SANDY & MANDY, “Leif Pigeon” is a young man Mandy is supposed to meet on a blind date. The sequence of panels below shows my working method, from sketchbook rough to pencil to inks to watercolor to the final assembled frame:

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Mandy and Leif share a brief psychedelic moment before it all turns out to be a case of mistaken identity:

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Turns out Leif isn’t Mandy’s blind date after all- she’s supposed to be meeting someone named “Heath Ptarmigan”!:

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Viewers unfamiliar with The Partridge Family may not get the punchline. Mandy’s actual blind date is modeled on Danny Bonaduce, who played Keith’s less crushworthy kid brother. Danny, by the way, is considerably easier to draw than David.

SANDY & MANDY can be found in back issues of DARK HORSE PRESENTS. Perhaps one day it will be collected in a book.