Sunday, September 14, 2014

Greetings from Sunny...Casablanca?

Hi, no, we're not dead, nor have we abandoned the blog.  Some people know this from facebook or email, but the long and short of it is, we, along with more than a few other people, lost our job in Jakarta because of idiotic bureaucratic government bullshit that had nothing to do with us.  Point being: now I'm teaching in Morocco, of all damn places, and I'm still kind of getting settled in.  More Barks stuff ought to follow, as well as--for whatever percentage of the readership that cares--a new translation, if I can keep my motivation up.

There are definitely...ups and downs here, compared to my previous job.  One of the biggest ups, however, is the fact that you can buy French Disney comics just any ol' place.  Sure, I could buy Bahasa Indonesia comics in Jakarta, but given that my Bahasa never progressed beyond the ability to give terse, caveman-like instructions to taxi drivers, that really wasn't much good.  It's nice to be in a place where you can regularly read new Disney comics.  You know, since their birthplace seems to be a non-starter in that regard...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Don Rosa's artistic technique


 So I saw this video of Rosa explicating his artistic technique, which I found very interesting.  Sure, I had had sort of a general idea of how he worked, but this makes it a lot more concrete.  It's a wonder he lasted as long as he did with such obsessive habits.  Of course, we all dig his style in any case, even if we probably wouldn't want every Disney artist to do it that way.  It makes him stand out, no question.  But is it the main factor in his enduring popularity?  It's an interesting thought experiment: what if his writing had been exactly the same, but his art had had a more fluid quality, like, eg, Daan Jippes or Marco Rota?  Would he still be packing conventions?


(And I didn't even realize until I wrote them down that I'd chosen artists to compare him to with whom he shares similar first and last names respectively.  Magic!)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

"The Menehune Mystery"

Man, my original plan was to go through the four issues of Uncle Scrooge that were issued as one-shots before it became it's own line--until I realized that, in fact, it was only three one-shot issues.  "The Menehune Mystery" is the start of the line proper.  In retrospect, it seems apparent that I was confusing Uncle Scrooge with John Stanley's Tubby.  This is an unfortunate situation because it prevents me from making the brilliant observation that, of the four original stories, this is the only one that didn't receive a Ducktales adaptation.  'Cause it ain't true!  Bah!  Humbug, also.
Read more »

Labels:

Monday, July 14, 2014

The world's biggest WHAT? Never mind that; there are DUCKS to peruse!

On Rinca island:


Monday, June 30, 2014

Quick! To the Someone-Is-Wrong-On-The-Internet Signal!

Yeah yeah, insert appropriate meta-commentary about the pettiness of a post like this here.  But it ANNOYS me, and I feel the need to share my irritation.
Read more »

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Horseradish Story

THE GREAT UNANSWERED QUESTION: How come this is the one Barks story that has never received a semi-official NAME in the US?  This is a very strange bit of trivia.  I suppose it was felt that there was a certain charm to just calling it "The Horseradish Story," but still.  Of course, since we all call it that, there's no real reason we CAN'T think of it as the semi-official title, but YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.  It does not position itself as a "title," just as a marker that refers to the story.  Stupid things!  Be less idiosyncratic!
Read more »

Labels:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Happy belated birthday, Donald Duck!

Yeah, okay, so I missed it.  I must confess, I honestly wouldn't have known about it if not for a few people posting on facebook and a new comment on the last post.  I WISH I had something ready, but...I don't.  I've been very preoccupied lately, and it just wasn't happening.  Of course, the Donald of "The Wise Little Hen" has precious little to do with the character as we know him; certainly less than the Mickey of "Plane Crazy" and "Steamboat Willy" does with his modern counterpart.  BUT THAT'S NO EXCUSE, DAMMIT.  Big congratulations to my favorite fictional character ever.  I only wish there was a publisher in the states to officially commemorate the occasion.  Just imagine: twenty years ago, Gladstone celebrated his sixtieth in spectacular fashion with a special issue which included both "The Secret of Mars" AND "The Duck Who Never Was."  Now?  Crickets.  You're goddamn right those were the days.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Back to the Klondike"

You know how the sequel's never quite as good as the original?  Sure, it might still be okay, but there's just not going to be the same spark of originality in…hmm?  Oh, no, I'm not talking about "Back to the Klondike;" it's great.  I refer, of course, to this blog entry.  But, let us give it a go nonetheless.
Read more »

Labels:

Friday, March 28, 2014

"Only a Poor Old Man"

Good news, everyone!  Using Science, I have determined that the first-ever Uncle Scrooge adventure is a pretty good story!



What, you're not impressed by my penetrating insight?  JEEZ, you're impossible to please.  Sometimes I don't know why I bother; I really don't.
Read more »

Labels:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"The Flying Farm Hand"

So I thought it was high time I read the handful of Carl Barks stories that I never have, and I figured if I was going to do that, I ought also to blog about them, since this will be my last chance to have first-reactions to Barks stories.  I've read all his art and story stuff, but there are some Grandma Duck's Farm Friends art-only material and a few Woodchucks scripts that I've yet to partake of.  Of course, you could question the notion that art-only stories really count as "Barks stories," but what the hell.  As I've noted previously, there's this totally erroneous tendency amongst some to think of art as secondary to writing, more of a side-issue than an intrinsic part of a story, but that is WRONG WRONG WRONG.  If we look, for instance, at the Lockman-penned Gyro stories I wrote about last Summer, we can easily see that, in spite of being Lockman's brain-children, they nonetheless have that unmistakable Barksian stamp.  
Read more »

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Greetings from sunny Jakarta!

As a few of you may know from facebook, I'm an English teacher here starting this month.  It's quite an interesting city, with first- and third-world elements all jumbled up, sometimes right next to each other.

But...let's not lose sight of what's REALLY important here.  At a kiosk just down the road from my apartment, LOOK WHAT I FOUND OMG:
Read more »

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"This Is Your Life, Donald Duck"

Well, so most people are at least aware of "From Egg to Duck," but how many people have THIS little number, from 1960, on their radar?


Read more »

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Translations on the Side

As you will see if you take a look to your right, I've added a new page under "links," on which I have collected all my translations in one place for convenient access.  That is all.

Monday, February 17, 2014

"From Egg to Duck" Re-ducks

So when I wrote about this well-known Marco Rota story, I wrote, among many other things:

I briefly considered editing the English dialogue into the panels, until I remembered that I suck at editing images and it would have taken fucking forever.

Hmm.  Well, that was three years ago, I still had my scans, and I sorta thought, notwithstanding its sizable flaws, this is a historically important story, and it ought to be in English.  It was a quick project, so you can download the results right here.  In that previous entry, I made a script available; I used a lot of that for the translation, with a number of awkward bits smoothed out or edited down for space ('cause I really didn't have much of a notion of what would fit in a single panel).
Read more »

Labels:

Friday, February 14, 2014

"The Legend of Donald of the Woods"

Okay, at long last, here we go.  I don't know WHY it felt like this took so damn long, but here we are.  Now, this story has long been one of my favorite Scarpa ventures, particularly in the duck realm.  I wanted to translate it for a long time, but I kept holding off, on the theory that it's the kind of thing that would be absolutely perfect for official localization, were a new publisher to emerge.  Certainly more so than anything else I've worked on.  But…I don't see that new publisher exactly looming on the horizon, do you?  Besides, I liked it enough that I wanted to put words in the characters' mouths, dammit.  Anyway, you can download my translation right here.

(If there's one single, small moment in my script that you find seriously WTF?, it's probably because you're not getting my super-geeky China Miéville reference.  Don't worry about it.)
Read more »

Labels:

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Back to School"

So I was reading some old Western comics, as one does, and I came upon this Strobl-drawn 1960 story written by the well-regarded ?.  And I thought, huh. This seems...better than your average non-Barks Western- produced duck story. Good show. And then, I looked again and realized that there's a very good reason for that feeling. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Read more »

Labels:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two cool images found in Picsou Magazine

First, a rather cool self-portrait of Giovan Battista Carpi with ducks and mice--and, perhaps of more interest to fans, a photograph of Carpi with Carl Barks hisself:


...so was Carpi unusually short, or was Barks unusually tall?  My knowledge regarding the relative heights of Disney artists is tragically limited.

Second, the bizarre image that Luciano Bottaro produced in response to the question that famously prompted Don Rosa to draw the ducks at Scrooge's grave:


Right, then!  As you were.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

"The Seven Dwarfs and the Witch Queen"

Genuinely Odd Fact Number the First: Snow White/Seven Dwarfs comics were a quite prevalent thing in Italy back in the day.  In absolute terms, there weren't that many (certainly nothing compared to the duck/mouse stuff), but they kept making them, and pretty much all the big names in classic Italian Disney comics--Pedrocchi, Scarpa, Carpi, Bottaro, De Vita père, and of course Martina, along with sundry also-rans--tried their hands at the form at one time or another.  The same cannot be said for the characters from any other Disney movie.  One can only surmise that something about the nature of the movie combined with the time it was released just caused it to strike a particular chord with Italians.  Sure, there's a comparable number of US stories, but let's face it, without having actually read any of them, it's not hard to predict that they're gonna be of minimal interest.  Whereas the Italian stories--well, they could be terrible (none of the above-mentioned had perfect batting averages, certainly), but they're also generally longer, presumably more ambitious, and have top talent behind them.  Someone really cared about this stuff.  I've ordered a few that were published in France.  We'll see what's what.
Read more »

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Donald Fracas"

It's no joke: I am so excited about this one I can barely breathe. The story is "Donald Fracas." The translation is by me. The place to download it is right the fuck here.
Read more »

Labels: ,

Friday, January 24, 2014

"Donaldus Faustus," version 2.0

So way back in the murky depths of the past (August 0f 2012--was it really that recently?), as you may or may not recall, I presented to the world my first effort at a fan translation of a comic story. Specifically, it was a translation of a Faust story, "Il Dottor Paperus." And for a while I was quite taken with my work, but time passed, I gained a bit more experience, and I came to realize what you all were too polite to tell me, which is that it was actually pretty darned shoddy work. Specifically, there were three big problems with it:
Read more »

Monday, January 20, 2014

"Donald Meets Baron Münchausen"

Apparently, the historical Baron Münchausen was less than thrilled that he was known exclusively for telling crazy tall tales--but hey, there are worse things to be known for.  Anyway, it's too late now!  He's known for what he's known for, and his fame was cemented when he featured in a duck comic, and now I've made an English version, and you can download it right here.
Read more »

Labels: ,

Friday, January 3, 2014

"All Creatures Great and Small"

A slightly belated Happy New Year to all.  Here's a story by Dave Gerstein that he pointed to when I asked about New-Year-themed stories (which I had read before and which came back to me upon this reminder).  It's a good opportunity to look at something less predictable than another Barks "resolutions" story (in spite of THIS being a "resolutions" story too--I feel like that's pretty much the only salient aspect of the holiday that people can think of to use, which isn't surprising--there isn't actually all that much TO it, really, and its other main feature--ill-advised drunken hook-ups--probably wouldn't work too well in a Disney story).
Read more »

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"The Golden Christmas Tree"

Ho ho ho, motherfuckers!  Santa found another present at the bottom of his bag!  Please to be festive and jolly! 
Read more »

Labels:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"The Christmas Cha Cha"

Welcome to day two of A VERY BOB GREGORY CHRISTMAS.  It's time for "The Christmas Cha Cha," which somehow was one of the last (possibly the last?) long Barks (or half-Barks, anyway) stories I ever read.  Possibly for that reason, or possibly because, unlike most Barks Christmas stories, Gemstone never reprinted it (I have to think it would've been the marquee story in a hypothetical Christmas Parade 6), I've always gotten the impression--possible false!--that it's a rather obscure story.
Read more »

Labels: ,

Monday, December 23, 2013

"Christmas in Duckburg"

The time has come for a little thing I like to call A VERY BOB GREGORY CHRISTMAS, where we look at the Barks/Gregory Christmas stories.  Yeah, okay, so as holiday specials go, it's kind of skimpy.  I was hoping that, in looking through Gregory's substantial output on inducks, I would be able to find that he did some lesser-known, Barks-less Christmas stories that I'd be able to use.  Given the number of stories he did, it almost seemed like a statistical inevitability that there would be a few--and then we could've highlighted some obscure work and compared it to the Barks stuff and noted the way the art influenced the feel of the story.  Woulda been fun.  But, as far as I can tell from some fairly careful sifting through inducks, the Barks stories were IT, as far as Christmas material goes.  If you know otherwise, clue me in and I'll find the story and read it and have an entry about it up on Christmas Day.  That's the Duck Comics Revue Guarantee.
Read more »

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Donald and the Treasure of Saturnin Farandoul"

Shortly after I finished my English version of Marco Polo, I determined that my next project would be this story.  I even went so far as to scan it and delete the French text--ie, the mindless, tedious parts.  But then for some reason I just stalled out, and the thing lay fallow for some eight months, until a couple three weeks ago, when I finally roused myself.  If there's one thing I hate, it's leaving things unfinished.  And now…well, here we are.
Read more »

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

COMING SOON.

-Kangaroos!

-Accidental drunkenness!

-Super-racist ethnic caricatures!

-Scrooge's secret history as a nineteenth-century whaler!

And MUCH more.  Believe me: people who are don't see it will think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods CHEAP whiles any speaks that read this blog post.  DO NOT MISS IT.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"A Tale of Two Turkeys"

This story is untitled, but the above is what I suggested that a few years back that it SHOULD be retroactively called, as opposed to "Turkey Trouble" (or possibly "Turkey Turmoil," according to the somewhat confusing inducks page)  But hey--Gladstone (was it Gladstone?) might have thought "Turkey Trouble" was the right title, but they're dead and I'm not (...yet!), so I am unilaterally changing it.  Just try an' stop me!
Read more »

Labels:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Jet Witch"

As it happens, Barks really didn't do many Halloween stories.  Sure, he did a fair few that were spooky-like in a non-Halloween-specific sort of way, but as for ones specifically centered around the holiday…well, you've got "Trick or Treat" and "Hobblin' Goblins," along with a couple of one-pagers from the same issue, and then, as near as I can tell, there's just "Jet Witch," from 1961.  Tell me if I'm forgetting something; it's certainly a possibility.  But the basic point remains.  Halloween just doesn't seem to have been that big a deal for him.
Read more »

Labels:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Pawns of the Loup Garou"

This isn't strictly speaking a Halloween story, but it feels appropriately seasonal, does it not?  I say yes, you say no, but you may change your mind.
Read more »

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Knight in Shining Armor"

When I was small, I always enjoyed this 1957 ten-pager because Donald gets to be the hero.  From my current vantage point, I have two main reactions to it: first, that it's marred by being didactic in a way that is otherwise unheard of for Barks outside of a handful of his Junior Woodchucks scripts; and second, that it nonetheless sort of makes up for this by being considerably more subtle than I could ever have apprehended as a seven-year-old.  Indeed, even reading it today, my initial impression was that the story was just really confused.  And it may indeed be confused to some extent, but to suggest that that's all it is would be to sell it short.
Read more »

Labels: