DCML Issue 29

Don Rosa donrosa at iglou.com
Fri Feb 20 15:21:00 CET 2004

> From: "Anthony Vuono" <avuono at UDel.Edu>
> Subject: Reactions to Letter from Home
>>>>If anyone has any
> opinions about Don's latest yarn without spoiling it so much, please feel
> free to write them here if you want. I'm interested!

My opinion is that it's a very interesting and very mellowdramatic and very
dull and very unfunny story.

From: "KUR" <ggk at wp.pl>
Subject: Re: Reactions to Letter from Home
>>>>I saw theat cover and now I'm very exaited I just must see dis story.
relly look spooky (the cover). Matilda  face change much and is not just
bicous she is much more older she just look difrent. I relly have great
expetatcion obaut it and the ony thing's I hope is theat Matilda character
and personality didn't chach at all (I relly like here the way she was  in
"The Sharpie of the Culebra Cut")

("chach" = "change"?) Sorry to disappoint you -- I originally planned to
have both Matilda *and Hortense* in the story, Hortense being the bitter and
cranky personality with Matilda being the sentimental and gentle
personality. But I was told that I could not use Hortense. So I had to give
Matilda Hortense's bitter personality in most of the story since that's the
personality that made the sparks fly and the story progress.
Also, apparently you should not look for a story titled "A Letter from
Home". The publishers seem to have felt that was a dull title, and gave the
story a title like "The Search for the Knights Templar Treasure"... which
seems dull and too blunt to my ears... but then I wasn't crazy about the
title "A Letter from Home" either.

Other recent matters:
Someone seems to be mixing jalopy racing with midget racecar racing as
affordable ways for the "common man" to get into car racing. Jalopy and
stock cars are that. Midget racecars were quite professional -- they were
simply reduced scale versions of the full scale "Formula One" race cars...
they needed to be built from scratch just like the big versions. There
apparently was just some sort of thrill in seeing these tiny (dangerous)
cars zipping around a track. Perhaps it was also a way to fit a racetrack
inside a big city where more tickets could be sold? Anyway, it died out (or
was banned for all I know) sometime in the 40's or 50's.

Exclamation points: I don't only use exclamation points when a character is
***SCREAMING!***. Since there's nothing in between a period and an e.p.,
I'll often use an e.p. if the character is simply being emphatic or dramatic
or if I want there to be anything in his voice other than a deadpan reading.
But much of my humor depends on deadpan, so I only use an e.p. when it's
needed. I end many of the sentences in my scripts with simple periods. But I
have no control or influence on how my script is typed up, translated or
typeset. There are 3 or 4 more people who have the ability to change my
intentions before the punctuation reaches print.

Blum: Reading the quotes of his interviews, where he refers to Gladstone's
editorial decisions as "we" did this or "we" did that, tends to give people
the impression that he was in the Gladstone offices, privy to these
editorial decisions as they took place. Blum was the writer of the text
pieces, a "paid correspondent" who was situated in San Francisco, hundreds
of miles from the Gladstone offices. The information in that interview is
surely worthwhile, but it is not firsthand information as it seems to imply.
Another example in the last ML -- he (reportedly) says that I suggested a
story to Gladstone where HD&L go in search of their parents, but the editors
rejected it. The truth is that Bruce Hamilton and Byron Erickson called me
together (I recall it was a conference call, first I'd ever gotten) and
suggested the idea TO ME in 1988 for HD&L's 50th anniversary. I described
how there could be no happy ending for the story, and we mutually put the
idea off until some later date. As with the other things regarding my
stories that Blum refers to, he was never part of any of the discussion or
decisions and either later received warped info or created his own versions
of what was happening in far-away Prescott. I am not for a nanosecond
disparaging his great prowess as a Barks expert of the first rank... but
when it comes to a discussion of the background of the creation of my
stories, he doesn't know what he's talking about.

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