Donald Duck & Co # 7 - 2000
"Jørgen Andreas Bangor"
jorgenb at ifi.uio.no
Thu Mar 2 10:52:16 CET 2000
Donald Duck & Co # 7 - 2000
Dutch front cover, showing Donald's nephews in a hair dresser's
chair wearing big helmets, so the the hairdresser cannot cut their...
The first story, about Donald Duck, (D 99049, 10 pages) is written and
drawn by William van Horn.
Again Donald's nephews come home with a lot of new Woodchuck medals,
this time bacause they have survived for two days in a wild valley.
Donald is not impressed. He can do that for twice as long time - and
he's going to prove it. If he can, he'll do the dish washing for a
month, and if he can't, the nephews will do it.
Donald has some luck, and quite a lot of misfortune. A big and furious
bear makes life in the valley a bit difficult. At last, but before the
four days have passed, Donald and the bear end up on a piece of timber
floating down a river. Closer to Duckburg they bump into a dinghy with
a couple of crooks who've kidnapped the city's mayor. Donald rescues him.
Donald hasn't stayed in the valley for four days, but he did come home
with a medal, so for a month they do the dish washing together.
Not much of a story, really, but a lot of good gags. And I like
van Horn's art better and better. He doesn't make Donald look like a
surrealistic lunatic anymore.
Next is an old one-pager (KF 03-08-53).
Then the Mickey Mouse story (History Re-Petes Itself, D 99156, 12 pages)
written by David Gerstein, and drawn by Romano Scarpa.
Mickey has gotten a mysterious invitation to a birthday party. It looks
a bit scary, but Mickey's too curious not to go. Suddenly he's grabbed
and pulled through a window by Black Pete. He has stolen a ray gun which
turns people into babies (who then grows into adults again in fourteen
days). Pete plans to use it on Mickey, and raise him as a scoundrel.
Unfortunately for Pete, he's hit himself. Mickey uses his idea, and
plans to raise him as an honest person. All his friends offer to take
their part of the raising. Little Pete shows up to be a real rascal, but
he's also cute and charming.
As the days pass, Pete grows older, and he starts to scare Mickey's
friends. Although he seems to act like a normal kid, he shows some
tendencies they don't like. On Pete's birthday, he and Mickey goes for
a canoe ride. Suddenly the canoe hits a rock in the river, and Mickey's
thrown into a water fall. Fortunately his backpack gets stuck on an old
branch. Now Pete reveals that he's kept his old personality all the time,
and has just pretended that he was growing up anew. He turns his back to
Mickey, and will just wait there until his birthday wish is fullfilled -
that the branch snaps and Mickey dies.
Then suddenly, Mickey hits him in the back. He's kept the ray gun, and
with it he gave the branch back its youth, and the strength to throw him
back up. Pete and Mickey start to fight on the edge of the water fall, and
it looks bad for Mickey. Then his friends suddenly arrive, and save him.
They had decided to give Black Pete another chance, and showed up at the
After it's all over Mickey wonders about how he'd liked Pete if he had
become honest. At the same time Black Pete sits in his cell trying his
best not to like Mickey.
As you'll see, I have spent more room on this story than I use to. It
deserves it. And it really deserves a lot more space, but you'd better
read the story yourselves to see.
With a very few exceptions I've thought your stories were pretty good,
David, but this time you've made a _really_ good one. Once you told me
(jokingly) that you put the characters into the story, and then let
their personalities run the story. It does show that this is what you've
been doing here. But it's not quite that simple, of course. A lot of
thinking is needed in creating the personalities, and then "living"
them. And created them, you have - based on stories by Gottfredson and
Scarpa. And this is, in my opinion, the only way to make a good story.
The writer has to somehow "live" the stories he's telling. Anyone can
write a simple Mickey story, based on the Murry mouse, for instance;
it's just to use a predefined plan. But to write a story which makes the
reader believe that this "is", that's a lot more demanding, and it's not
everyone's gift to be able to do it. Don Rosa does it with Donald and his
relatives (and so does Andreas Pihl, provided the story D 99171 starting
in this issue is not just an accident), and you, David, obviously have
acquired (through hard work, of course) the ability to do it with Mickey
and his universe. Good work! I hope we'll see more of this.
And the art. It wouldn't make justice to Scarpa just to say a few words
about it. One really have to see it. Normally I don't like to rate artists,
but some are of course much better than others. And now Scarpa is certainly
on top of my "favourite list" of Egmont Mickey artists - with Ferioli on
a very good second. It's the same with artists as with writers, I suppose,
that they need a strong relation with the character their drawing to make
it "live". And in Scarpa's case the relation is obvious. At the same time
the artist must be confident with the written story. Personally I'm drawing
much worse than Rosa, so I haven't the slightest idea how this works.
Still, after having read most Disney stories ever published in Norway, I
think I've got the ability to see whether an artist cares about the story
he's drawing or not. In this case he does.
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