Article from Komix #172
kyrimis at cti.gr
Tue Oct 29 13:58:18 CET 2002
Here's the translation of an article from last month's issue of Komix.
[As usual, comments in square brackets are my own.]
Rosa's First Steps
Don Rosa presents _Nobody's Business_
With _Nobody's Business_ as a starting point, Don Rosa remembers his
first steps in the world of the Ducks.
_Son of the Sun_ was the first Duck story that I drew. _Nobody's Business_
was the second Duck story that I wrote, which I drew in 1987, but it
is my first short, humorous story. Looking at the drawing, I get the
feeling that it is even worse than the early drawing of the story _Son
of the Sun_, perhaps because my favorite stories are the many-page epic
adventures! However, at that time, I wasn't a professional artist. I
never studied painting... I had worked with drawing as an amateur, when
I was in high school and college. Since 1982, I had quit completely,
and when I started writing Duck comics, it had been five years since
I'd held a pen in my hand. As with every other job, drawing is not a
"talent", it is a skill that one cultivates with long study and, mainly,
with practice. And as I had never intended to practice the profession of
an artist to make a living, I didn't practice drawing apart from the few
hours that I used to dedicate to the college newspaper and some amateur
STYLE AND LOVE FOR HIS WORK
I didn't know how to draw any better.This was the reason my drawing
has this subversive style, and not because I am imitating Robert Crumb,
who had been trying to bring the aesthetics of the subversive comics in
Disney stories, as some claim... I think that both my style and that of
Robert Crumb are similar, only because we both grew up making comics
for our personal enjoyment., without ever taking drawing seriously,
and without ever trying to attain a style that would please the average
comics publisher. We drew comics for fun! An artist who has studied his
art, learns how to draw in the simplest possible manner, how to render
an idea in just a few lines, those that are absolutely necessary, so
that he can work as fast as he can, and to increase his income. To me,
drawing had been a way of having fun in my spare time. Thus, the more
time it took, the more spare time it filled... The more "useless and
irritating details" I added in my drawings, the more fun I had. However,
I will never be able to get rid of this childhood habit... Thus, I will
keep having this overloaded style, an I will always spend additional
time to finish a story, to the detriment of my income. What consoles me
is that since I wrote those first Duck stories, drawing has become my
main profession, and it is no longer a hobby.
Therefore, because of my constant occupation, I think--or rather
hope--that my style has improved significantly. As I look again at
these old stories, I wonder what _Gladstone_ found in them and published
them! There is something that Duck friends will not find hard to spot:
Almost all duck poses in tis story have been copied from some old Barks
drawing... During that time, I had been practicing intensely on drawing
the heroes who, although I had always admired, I had never attempted to
draw myself, until I suddenly and unexpectedly became a comics artist.
Anyway. Regarding the plot of the story _Nobody's Business_, I don't
think I have much to say... This is why I put up the smoke screen that
you just read! It is a simple and direct short story with gags. The joke
in the end may be lost on non-American readers, as tis story was written
specifically for _Gladstone_ publishing. This house chose Gladstone's
name for luck. In the end of the story, the lucky guy buys[?!?] the
publishing house of the same name! [In the Greek edition, the Gladstone
logo was replaced with the text _Gastone Publishing_, with "Gastone"
being Gladstone's name in Greece. A better rendition would have been
"Nea Aktina Publishing" (the publishers of Komix), or "Komix Magazine"!] I
have prepared the reader for this last investment[?!?] of Gladstone by
showing him reading comics throughout the story. All the comics that he
is reading had been published in America by _Dell_ publishing during the
1950s, the time that my stories take place as well. Even the name of the
company that Donald sets up is a joke addressed to Duck specialists...
During the 1940s and 1950s, there was a company called _Donald Duck Soda_!
[Caption, page 1, left]
_Son of the Sun_ (_Komix_ #89) was the first Duck story that Don made.
[Caption, page 1, right]
From Don Rosa's first drawings, Robert Crumb's influence was already evident.
[Caption, page 2]
Two cans of the famous soft drink company _Donald Duck Soda_!
Kriton (e-mail: kyrimis at cti.gr)
"There are only so many ways to change the appearance of metal designed to
penetrate another person without imparing its efficiency."
More information about the DCML