Rosa's Universe

Daniel J. Neyer jerryblake2 at
Sat Apr 3 21:07:28 CEST 2004

Daniel Von Eijermen wrote: 

"Well, and *I'm* biased because of my love for Barks and everything
with him. And in general, I hate sequels. It's like chewing the cud to
me. I look at it as running around in the same old circle. I'd rather see
new situations, 
instead of variations of old subjects."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Daniel expressed his approval of
Geoffrey Blum's new Duck stories? To me, at least, these stories are a
lot more derivative than Rosa's. Blum recycles a huge amount of Barksian
dialogue--more than Rosa has ever used, even in his early days--such as
"root-te-toot! root-te-toot! I'm a girl from the Institute" or "that dime
is my boodle-bringer, the sparkplug of my vast financial empire." Or how
about "Oh, what a short biography my life is going to make." In addition,
the gimmick of Donald-as-a-reporter messing up Scrooge's plans (as used
by Blum in DIME AND DIME AGAIN) is taken directly from Barks' LOST
BENEATH THE SEA.  Isn't this chewing the cud? Rosa may spin new plot
ideas from old Barks tales, but he doesn't try to claim that his stories
are based on Barksian "outlines." So far Blum has brought nothing new or
interesting to the Duck universe (oops, I hadn't meant to use that U
word) while Rosa has rejuvenated Jose and Panchito, fleshed out the
personalities of Scrooge's family, and introduced the Black Knight, to
name a few of his achievements. Blum's only innovation is the forcible
inclusion of modern technology--or so it seems to me. In fact, Blum has
borrowed from the "Rosa universe" with his use of Blackheart/Grandpa
Beagle (who, as Daniel has pointed out, does not exist in the "pure Barks

I don't take Rosa's "universe" as immovable (for instance, I disagree
with him when he says Mickey doesn't exist in the ducks' world) but I
enjoy (most of) his work and I appreciate his attempts to come up with
origins for the characters. GYRO'S FIRST INVENTION is a new favorite of
mine, but if someone else writes a story saying Gyro invented the Helper
as a boy and used him to help with various childhood inventions, I won't
complain. So long as the basic personalities of the characters are
maintained (Scrooge is rich and stingy, the Nephews are resourceful,
Donald is irresponsible, Gladstone is lucky, etc.) there's lots of room
for variation in their "histories." DUCKTALES was unpopular because they
changed the Duck Family dynamic, replaced Donald with Launchpad, made the
Nephews Scrooge's adopted kids, introduced Webby and Mrs. Beakley, and
completely changed the personality and appearance of the Beagle Boys. Don
hasn't done anything like that, so I don't see what the problem is. The
fault, if there is a fault, lies with the rabid Rosa-rooters who dig up
not-meant-for-publication "Death of Scrooge" drawings or try to force the
"Rosa Universe" down people's throats. Don's never encouraged people to
do this, so if there's any attacking to be done (and I don't see why
there should be any on a list dedicated to comic books) Daniel should
start a private e-mail war with someone like Sigvald and leave Don--and
the rest of us--alone. 

When John Wayne's ALAMO was released in this country, actor Chill Wills
tried to get an Oscar for his role in the movie by telling everyone that
they were unAmerican if they didn't support the film. Wayne disapproved
and told Wills so, but everyone blamed Wayne and the film bombed out at
the Oscar ceremony. Unlike the Oscar board, we should make a distinction
between the author and the "followers", and act accordingly
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