LOTS of news
9475609 at arran.sms.edinburgh.ac.uk
Mon Nov 28 17:34:18 CET 1994
So what's my canon? Why, it's the large metal object I've kept
since the Boer War, to aim occasionally at invading Beagles, rival
tycoons, and deadbeat nephews.
Actually, my canon for the Ducks consists mainly of Barks and
Rosa. I will just as easily pop off a reference to a Rosa story as
to a Barks one; for example, my recent 15-page Egmont adventure "In
Macavity's Shadow" takes place right after "Guardians of the Lost
Library" and makes a reference to it -- unfortunately, the effect
will be diluted by how it's probably going to be at least summer 1996
when it sees American use.
I regard Scarpa's Ducks as canon to the point where I would be
willing to use Brigitta MacBridge in a story, but I don't have any
ideas for her yet.
I enjoy AT stuff, but I think anyone who just uses the DD
scenario Barks and everyone else picked up from him, is paying him
some homage. The guy CREATED Huey, Dewey, and Louie, fer gosh sakes!
He gets some applause from me. Oh, and he also created Bolivar, a
personal favorite of mine.
Ron Fernandez and Pat Block's recent story "Too Late for Christmas"
is quite clearly an attempt to create some new canon material. I'm
willing to accept this one. (See below.)
In regard to Mickey, I regard pre-Bill Walsh FG stories as 100%
canon. Then, I'm glad to include Eega Beeva in my MM universe, but
the general style of those later (Bill Walsh) strips seems to just be
a style I'm not very good at carrying on. Oh -- Scarpa's canon for
me, too, as well as the earlier (pre-1957, let's say) Murry stories.
I don't mind an early Murry story AT ALL -- those tales, often
written by Don Christiansen (sp? And am I right about this?) have a
version of Mickey that's just fine by me.
Impossible as it may seem, I also regard the 1930 _Mickey Mouse
Book_ as canon, after a fashion, although you'll never know how until
I get to write a certain important MM story that Egmont has not so
far agreed to let me produce (it's considered too important a subject
to tinker with, right now).
DDA 30 came out in this neck of the woods last Friday. The
cover has NO Disney name on it, and on a HUGE (in fact, rather gaudy)
billboard covering a lot of the cover, we see:
64 PAGES - New from RON FERNANDEZ and PAT BLOCK - "TOO LATE
FOR CHRISTMAS" - Plus the CARL BARKS classic - "CHRISTMAS FOR
I know that there have been creator credits on the covers of US
275 and DD 283, but this one beats the band. Why don't you get
Gladstone to throw your name on the covers of the LO$, Don?
>SPOILERS! READ AT YOUR PERIL!<
The new story inside involves Witch Hazel flying to Duckburg
from her castle on the witches' moon to share Halloween with her
chums, HDL. To help in her tricks, she concentrates all her powers
into one magic book by dipping the tome in a cauldron of glop.
Unfortunately, she's missed Halloween altogether, and finds
Duckburg all agog with a gigantic Christmas decoration contest.
Hazel would just pack up and leave, but she has lost her
spellbook and is thus stuck. So the two plots build to a head --
Donald and Gladstone (here, a neighbor) warring in the contest, while
HDL and Hazel try to raise reward money to ensure the spellbook's
return. Unfortunately, Gladstone has found the book, doesn't know
its secret, and on the day of the contest dozens of spells
accidentally run riot.
I really enjoyed this story. One very minor problem with it is
that I think there could stand to be a page building up Duckburg's
obsession with this contest (which could go between pgs. 3 and 4).
As it is, Donald's own excitement over the contest seems unwarranted
That said, we have some brilliant sequences here, as Hazel
tries to adjust to having lost her magic (earning the reward money,
for example, thus entails a department-store job!) and ultimately
does, after she performs a noble deed that doesn't require spells.
The dialogue is unbelievably better than the earlier "Widow's
Gap" story. Bits of it just made my hair stand on end. Gladstone:
"You can't fight [my luck]! NO ONE can fight it! It's as wondrous
as a snowflake, as elusive as a moonbeam!" This is good stuff.
Goofy's appearance in the story might sound like it undermines
Barks' realism. Okay, for some maybe it does. But Goofy is *not*
played as a fool. His dialogue isn't very hick-like at all. In
short, Goofy has been made more real here, and I like this.
Yes, Goofy was redrawn (pencils by Disney Studio, inks by John
Clark). It's not mentioned in the story's credits. Luckily the new
art of Goofy is just as good as the original art -- unfortunately,
it's just not the FG 1937 Goofy anymore, but a c. 1942 version a la
the animation department. It does look good, I just feel the change
was completely unnecessary. (Actually, in one panel -- Pg. 22, Pic
4 -- Goofy is NOT redrawn. The difference is obvious.)
>END OF SPOILERS<
Anyway, on the whole a very enjoyable second story for this
team. They're getting the hang of things FAST -- and wait, folks,
for their third story, "The Secret of the Dragon's Den" -- I saw a
bit of this at the convention, and it's worth waiting for. I imagine
it's coming in DDA 32 or 33 -- which one I'm not sure.
From a recent preview catalog:
DD 290 contains CB's "Good Canoes and Bad Canoes" and the usual
helping of AT strips, including an adaptation of the cartoon
"Donald's Penguin" (1939) -- and the poster art for said film is
planted on the cover.
DM 29 has part two of "Goofy King Arthur" as well as some Barks
10-pager (can't remember). Yawn. On the cover is DON ROSA'S COVER
FOR WDCiC 8 -- well, that must be it, since it was advertised as a
never-before-published Rosa cover. Personally, I wonder what this
cover is doing on this comic? US is in Don's cover, and not in this
comic's DD 10-pager. A pie-eyed FG MM is on Don's cover, and this
issue contains a Jaime Diaz 1970s MM. If I were you, Don, I'd tell
them to wait on using this cover for a more appropriate issue. WDC&S
600, for example (next summer). Or at least a DM issue that includes
a US appearance and at least one 1930s MM Sunday page!
USA 32 contains the last part of Scarpa's "Lentils from
Babylon" and nothing else is mentioned.
Just got a book by animation historian Jerry Beck, today: _The
50 Greatest Cartoons_. Animation pundits by the dozens contributed
lists of nominations for this book. There are a good handful of MM
cartoons in the group. Only one DD cartoon, "Der Fuehrer's Face" --
and Disney refused to grant Beck permission to show any images from
the film unless Donald himself was digitally REMOVED from them --
hence an image of the film's poster is ALL we get, with Donald
blanked out so that a tomato is hitting Hitler from nowhere. $stlg%"stlg$!
Even in Germany, DD-history books include scenes from this film!
If Disney made its short films more available, you can bet
people would be more familiar with them, and there would have been
more DD cartoons on this list. With the exception of "Steamboat
Willie" all the MMs are from the late 1930s period that video has
wallowed in for years, which only proves the point, I think. I'd be
pleased to make a case for such DD cartoons as "Fire Chief,"
"Donald's Cousin Gus," "The Fox Hunt," and "Polar Trappers." Not to
mention some earlier MM cartoons.
For you animation fans, this book is well worth buying,
since Beck went out of his way to print not shopworn scenes from
these famous films that have seen numerous printings, but art that
usually hasn't seen previous exposure.
>Gasp!< That's all for today, folks. Further (SHORTER)
messages will follow in the next few days.
<9475609 at arran.sms.ed.ac.uk>
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