Disney-comics digest #492.

DAVID.A.GERSTEIN 9475609 at arran.sms.edinburgh.ac.uk
Tue Nov 15 16:31:18 CET 1994

      Dear Folks,

      Many things to talk about today.

      So Bob Ingersoll wrote "Temper Fugit," then.  All I remembered 
was that one of the Egmont writers who spoke at the Disney comics 
Comic-Con panel last August, had done the story, and told me about it 
over dinner.  I believe both Dave Rawson and Bob Ingersoll were at 
the dinner.  I just remembered the wrong Duck man, mainly because 
someone spoke of Bob lately as only writing Mickey stuff.  That was 
in regard to getting him on the list.  Why don't we?
      BTW, I saw no script or art for "Temper Fugit" at the Con.  Bob 
told me about the story over dinner (and I erroneously remembered 
this as Dave doing the telling).

      JAMES:  Vic Lockman wrote Dell comics in the '50s, Gold Key 
comics in the '60s, Whitman in the 70s-80s (although all of these, 
remember, were really PRODUCED by Western Publishing).  At least one 
of the Disney Studio (Jaime Diaz-drawn) DuckTales stories which 
Gladstone published in 1989 was by him.  And then he did a lot of 
writing for Disney Comics comics, as well.  I hate to say this, but 
I'm not especially keen on his writing.  It just has too much of that 
kids-only feeling, and the characters are, in my opinion, often 

      AUGIE mentioned that Ducktales "didn't redefine the characters
 the way everyone (including me) fears DuckDaze will.  Did it?"  
Nope.  Scrooge was unfortunately characterized as his kinder, gentler 
1960s self in most episodes, but since that was based on some comic 
version of him, I don't call it uncanonical.   The addition of new 
characters to the series included some moves I'd not have taken, but 
at least that didn't affect the personalities of the regular 
characters.  But things have changed since 1987.  A new manager at 
Disney TV, and his cost-cutting procedures, caused most of the 
writers there to defect to Warner Bros. and other places.  Jymn 
Magon, the fellow who originated DuckTales, has left too at some 
point, at least so I've heard.  The new writers there have 
obvious talent -- the shows from Disney are still well-written, for 
TV cartoons -- but they subscribe to this "Toontown" mythology of all 
cartoon characters having no real existence but as actors.  When 
Bambi appeared in the film "Bambi," then, that wasn't his real 
existence.  He really lives in wacky, zany Toontown.  I purposely 
cite Bambi because he seems so unlikely, but the recent show 
"Bonkers" -- as well as the earlier "Raw Toonage" -- both subscribe 
to this ethos.  For example, there have been cartoons about Sebastian 
the crab living in Hollywood, racing to work at the studio while 
pursued by a chef (the same one as in the original film).  "Bonkers" 
has had at least one episode featuring Donald Duck, pointing out that 
he lives in Toontown.
      From this it's only a small step to declaring that the entire 
comic book Duck universe is just another thing that Toontown-Donald 
acts in.  So all things carefully constructed fall apart, and 
"recasting" is just taken lightly.  As I once posted on 
rec.arts.disney, it's like taking Huck Finn and putting him in a 
futuristic outer space series.  The character's world matters as much 
as his personality.  
      Remember, this is just MY opinion -- I don't mean to offend anyone 
who writes for these shows, who may be reading this.  But to me, 
the characters have one 'real' existence, and it isn't in Toontown. 

      DAVE RAWSON:  Don't worry about your MM long adventures never 
appearing here.  Did you notice Dwight telling about how a 64-page DM 
next year contains that 40-page "which-way" Italian MM story?  If 
there are other 64-pagers next year, maybe you could get John to use 
one of them there.  What's standing in the way are those Jaime Diaz 
Goofy stories.  When DM began, Egmont's MM stuff was almost never 
worth reprinting here.  But there's good stuff now, and we really 
should have the chance to see it.

      Regarding the name Harpy;  the DuckTales version of "The Golden 
Fleecing" called the Harpies... Harpies.  AND -- here's the amazing 
thing -- an above average Danish story drawn by Vicar, titled 
"Daisy's Dress" (this was in the Disney period, when Danish stories 
didn't get improved titles very often), involved Donald outwitting a 
crook while dressed in drag.  The crook said to him, "Let me loose, 
yuh harpy."  Guess which version of the word THAT was.

      DWIGHT on the Disney Channel said that it showed "outside 
properties that fit [its] format. I've seen Lucky Luke, Asterix, and 
Tom Poes..."  Tom Poes?  When?
      The Disney Channel does show two very good half-hour cartoon 
shows daily (one of them twice) with its vintage cartoons (including 
MANY black-and-white Mickeys, some of them colorized), but it 
sandwiches two of those half hours between showings of... "The Care 
Bears" and "My Little Pony," two cartoon shows aimed at babies!  
(Which Disney bought from a toy manufacturer which had made them)
That's the only airtime the vintage cartoons ever have, since Disney 
wants to keep them exclusive to the Channel.  But given what they're 
shown between, no kid over four will ever watch them.  I think that 
if the vintage characters are to survive as personalities, they need 
exposure in something besides merchandise and the unfortunate TV 
exposure they have now.  The way Disney sells MM and DD products 
now is like putting out one of their gigantic animated feature 
marketing campaigns when the feature itself is not in release or 
available on video.
      "Duck Daze" will be the first animated push for Donald in about 
five years (since the last DD home video release), so it can very 
easily slip into that slot of being the "definitive" Donald.  (The 
appearance of "Duck Daze" will, BTW, also make Donald into the 
lead character in Marvel's Disney Afternoon book, now that I think 
about it.  I wonder how that affects Gladstone.)

      One thing I'm glad Disney did.  They have a page in 
Disney ADVENTURES which discusses the latest in comics;  normally, 
they discuss super heroes (as everyone might have guessed).  In 
September, just before I left the U. S., they did a feature on the 
Gladstone comics (which were the only comics discussed in that 
month's issue).  Under the heading "Get $crooged" it discussed the 
contents of all the comics, mentioning the LO$ -- it pointed out the 
upcoming first meeting of US and Glomgold -- and reprinting a small 
replica of Don's cover to USA 27.  In keeping with this DA page's 
contents in the past, though, it mentioned nothing about artists or 
writers of the comics it blabbered about.  Interestingly, while DA 
touted the MM stories in WDC&S, it didn't even mention DM (the 
only Gladstone comic that wasn't described).

      I'm guessing that the cat in this week's GD story is Lucifer, 
also from "Cinderella."  Lucifer also appeared in the GD story of 
WDC&S 123.  Before anyone cries heresy, Lucifer is ALSO in 
the BARKS DD 10-pager about putting that shell of plastic 
around US's money (from WDC 172, or wherever).

      EVERYONE:  Gladstone seems to have SKIPPED "Race to the South 
Seas" and "Darkest Africa" in preparing its CBL DDA albums.  John 
told me in 1993 that the album would appear Xmas '94.  The albums as 
scheduled are now up to the stories from mid-1950, and they've been 
presented in chronological order -- EXCEPT for those two MOCs. 
You don't suppose Disney has banned these stories from being used in 
albums, all of a sudden?  After THEY were the last folks to print 
each one of them, in the regular comics?
(Don, do you know anything about this?)

      >Gasp<  My fountain runneth dry for today.  But I'll be back!

      David Gerstein
      <9475609 at arran.sms.ed.ac.uk>

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