Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"The Not-So-Ancient Mariner"


HA! You didn't EXPECT a story that has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Halloween, DID YOU?!? Well...my excuse is that "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is kinda spooky. I know some people don't think ghost pirates are really Halloweeny enough, but surely we can all agree that the Pogues' "Turkish Song of the Damned" is the best Halloween song of all? C'mon.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

"Wispy Willie"


I have to admit, the main reason I haven't been more active here in recent months is horror at the direction my country is going in, and not fun, seasonal horror either. I think that's basically what I said LAST Halloween, so...that may not be a good sign. BUT. The show must go on, so let's look at a not-really-Halloween story. Hey, it's not the first time, nor the last. You know, of course, that this story isn't actually called "Wispy Willie;" Barks wasn't titling his ten-pagers at the time. Granted, that title refers to the most memorable thing in the story, but it's certainly not the story's centerpiece. It doesn't really have a centerpiece. It does have its moments, though.
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Saturday, October 13, 2018

"My First Million"


RIGHT WOT'S ALL THIS THEN?

I first read this story in the old Comixology version. I'm not actually quite sure how that came to pass. I've read very few stories that way on account of the rubbishy translations. Maybe I'd come back after a long time wanting to know if they'd improved at all (spoiler: no). But however it happened, it happened. So when I saw that this was going to actually be printed in an IDW book, I thought, HEY, why are they printing this mediocre-at-best story? Well, because the powers that be mandated it, presumably. Just because they're powers doesn't mean they're particularly bright. But, I thought, well, at least it'll be a better localization, which might give it a bit of a shot in the arm. I did not know at that time that change was afoot at IDW...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Will somebody kindly tell me...




...just what the friggin' frig the deal is with this?

I mean, do I need to elaborate on that? Probably not, but I will anyway: the comic is known as Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. By leaving off "Walt," this new version looks bizarrely decapitates the title for no reason that I can see (somehow, I think of those old photos from Stalinist Russia from which liquidated party officials would be edited out as convenient). And compounding the bizarreness is that it remains "Comics and stories. "Stories" is the anachronistic part of the title. It hasn't published text stories in forever. There have been incarnations of the title which lopped off "and stories;" I don't love that, but it makes sense and I can't get too het up about it. But this--let's not mince words--fucking bullshit of getting rid of Walt (I mean, the renumbering sucks too, but at least you can sort of explain, if not justify, that)? The only possible explanation I can think of is that someone at Disney decided that they want to deemphasize the man himself and only have "Disney" used as a corporate signifier. That possibility does NOT speak well of anyone, but, well...what am I supposed to think? But whatever the reason, it sucks. A lot (I want to love you, Disney, I really do, but you sure don't make it easy). WDC is a beloved, venerable institution and does not deserve to be fucked with in such a manner. And really, whatever wildly misguided notions anyone may have about branding, from a marketing perspective, this is just nonsense: new readers are not going to care one way or the other about this, and stalwarts like us are just pissed off. What brain trust is responsible for this?

I think IDW may be having some kind of psychotic break. There's this, and then there's the extremely ominous talk of "fresh and modern" translations, or whatever the fuck? I mean, if you want to switch up translation philosophies for some sort of articulated reason, that would be, well, at least theoretically justified, but does anyone think this is going to be anything other than an exercise in blandness, probably precipitated by some clueless bureaucrat's resentment over liberties and perceived liberties taken with the Most Holy Text? Especially given that they're kicking off with the mediocrity that is "Uncle Scrooge's Millions," I think the question comes very close to answering itself.

But hey, by all means, don't listen to me; I'm just an intense, long-time fan. I'm sure you can make up for alienating people like me by attracting random dilettantes. Really. This is an extremely coherent, well-thought-out idea. Don't worry about a thing. Knock yourselves out.

Still...you should probably at least know this much: if your comics go in the bad direction that it looks like they're going to go, I'm going to stop buying them. No, you don't care about that per se, but look: this blog may not be particularly popular as blogs go, but as English-language Disney-comics blogs go, it's pretty comfortably in the number-one spot. That sounds like bragging, and sure sure it's a bit like winning the "tallest dwarf" contest, but it is what it is. If I write about a story (assuming it has an even slightly distinctive title), my blog entry will appear among the top google hits on the first page.  Point being: do you want me to give you unrelentingly negative publicity? 'Cause if you earn it I will, and it seems like that might not be the all-time super-greatest thing for you, given how marginal this field is. Think about it,'s all I'm saying.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

"Money Is the Root of Upheaval!"


So I haven't really been saying anything about the current IDW stuff for a while. It's not that I'm not buying and reading the books; just that, for whatever reason, I haven't felt like I've had much to say about them. They're good; I like them. I might be cool with not quite so many of these damn Donald/Fethry team-ups, and I don't like WDC being reduced to a quarterly (expanded page count or not), but it seems ungracious to complain too much. I also like the Fantagraphics Disney Masters books. Oddly enough, that Jippes/Milton one seems especially good; there's only one previously-unpublished-in-the-US story, but most of them were previously only published in low-quality Gladstone I editions, so it's cool to have them in good quality. I must say, I object on ideological grounds to Paul Murry being referred to as a "Disney master," but aside from that, it's all good.
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Friday, August 3, 2018

"Boat Buster"


Pan Miluś wanted me to write about Rockerduck's debut, so here we are. He also referred to the story--accidentally or on purpose, I'm not sure, it amuses me either way--as "Boat Bastard." That certainly has more force than the so-called "real" title.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

"All at Sea"


I feel guilty: I've been neglecting my flagship blog here. Granted, I've been kinda burning it up on the duck cartoons front, but this is the shit I REALLY care about. Let's kick it old-school with a little Barks, shall we? It's been a while. Every time I think "have I said all that can possibly be said?" I read a story and I think, huh, I have some things I want to say about this. So now: "All at Sea," from 1960. People often peg the late fifties and early sixties as Barks' weakest period, but I dunno. Sure, there may be some justifications for that, but there are also fun stories like this.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

"The Delta Dimension"


And now...ladies and gentlemen...boys and girls...tadpoles and pollywogs...terries and fermies...almond joys and mounds...peanut butters and jellies...stalactites and stalagmites...et and cetera...the time has come for: THIS!
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Thursday, April 19, 2018

"Matchmaker"


It's time to write about what I can only describe as "some hella dumb shit." This entry is thanks to Debbie Anne, who posted a page from it on one of the Disney comics facebook groups. And now, you get to reap the benefit! Lucky you.
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Sunday, April 15, 2018

"A Mysterious Melody; or, How Mickey Met Minnie"


This one's long overdue, innit? This is the second in the Disney by Glenat series, where the French publisher got non-Disney artists and had them go nuts with the characters and the form, to absolutely enthralling effect (actually, I believe the first and second in the series were released on the same day; whatever). I absolutely fucking LOVE the ground-breaking innovation on display here, and the stories are none too shabby neither. Leastways, not the first two. We've looked at Mickey's Craziest Adventures, so now it's time for A Mysterious Melody. This is by Cosey, a prolific Swiss cartoonist who generally does much more serious work. According to that link, he had applied to work for Disney in 1978. It's interesting to imagine how his work there would have been. Presumably, we would've had to rein in his impulses to conform with the general house style (which he certainly doesn't here), but what would that have looked like? Would he have broken new ground? An intriguing counterfactual.
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

"Astro Pooch"


Yes, it's Astro Pooch! A comic drawn (and, presumably, written--you probably don't need a Bill Walsh for something like this) by Gottfredson as background art for a little-remembered 1968 live-action Disney comedy, Never a Dull Moment.

But as far as I know, no one's ever really dug down deep into the Astro Pooch mythos until now, and that is a shame. So let's do it, yeah? Buckle up, mofos!
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Monday, March 26, 2018

"Hoosat from Another Planet"


It's been HOW long since I've written here?!?  My goodness!  Would you believe I was kidnapped by somewhat incoherently-drawn space people? And as evidence, I present: this, a late Gottfredson/Walsh effort, for your consideration. Consider it! I order you!

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

"The Fountain of Strength"

Well, we recently learned from Mark Evanier that Vic Lockman had died on June 1 of this year, at the age of ninety. I felt that I should write something in...I dunno. Tribute? Recognition? Acknowledgement?
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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"The Hammy Camel"

Give them credit: that title may have been applied after the fact, but it sounds very much like something Barks would've come up with himself.

Yes, okay. I will now simultaneously drink an intensely hoppy IPA (this one, to be specific) and write this blog entry. Good times. I mean, not "simultaneously" in the sense that I'm drinking at the same moment I'm typing, but...WHATEVER. Happy Third Day of Christmas.

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Monday, December 25, 2017

"You Can't Guess"

And now, the climax of our Christmas series! I've never quite held this in the same regard as "Shacktown" and "Letter to Santa," but I've still always felt a great deal of affection for it. As I read it over with a critical eye for the purposes of this entry, I was actually surprised by how many issues and oddities it has, but none of them really impact my overall feelings towards it. Welp, let's go.



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Friday, December 22, 2017

"The Thrifty Spendthrift"

And now, a silly, frivolous story with no thematic weight and no notable Christmas spirit that we nonetheless find highly amusing. Seriously, this obviously is in some sense a Christmas story, but holy crud is it not. I mean, say like you like about "Silent Night;" at least it was reacting to the holiday in some way. This one...well, not so much. As we will quickly see.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

"Christmas Cheers"

I don't know about all y'all, but I've always gotten the impression that this is Barks' most obscure Christmas story. It's been reprinted in the US often enough, but for some reason I just never think of it, and recently reading through a bunch of ten-pagers, I was surprised to see it come up: an unfamiliar Christmas story? Goodness! It can't have been the first time I'd read it, but I had only the vaguest of memories of it which sort of came back as I was reading. Well, now it shall be immortalized...in blog form!

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Friday, December 15, 2017

"Silent Night"

I know what you're thinking: "Did he sing six Christmas carols or only five?" Well to tell you the truth, in all this merriment I kinda lost track myself. But being that this here is a candy cane, the most festive treat in the world, and would fill your heart with holiday joy, you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel jolly?" Well, do ya, punk?
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

"Wintertime Wager"


When I said I was going to write about the five Barks Christmas stories I hadn't yet covered, I kind of KNEW that someone was going to make my life harder by pointing out something I'd forgotten. And so, thanks to Pan Miluś: voila. He noted that a lot of people forget that this story takes place on Christmas, and it's true: I had forgotten. And for obvious reasons! Because if there's any story about which you could make the argument that just because it's set on Christmas it's not actually a Christmas story, it's this one. If "Weemite" is only tangentially Christmas-related, this is substantially more so. It doesn't even feint at being vaguely festive in any way. There aren't even any incidental holiday decorations in sight. BUT THAT'S OKAY! It's cold outside. The inside of the ducks' house DOES look pretty darned cozy, I must say.
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

"Weemite"

Hello, children young and old! Time for some Holiday cheer. We bloody well need it after the year we've had. This year's theme is: "Barks stories I haven't covered yet." There are five such, unless I'm forgetting some. And guess what? We're going to cover them, at irregular intervals starting now and leading up to the twenty-fifth. Good for us.


We begin with one of those stories that uses Christmas as a setting but isn't really about the holiday in any significant way. That's a pretty festive opening panel there, but it's really just the jumping-off point. Let's not waste any time talking about how it's weird that ducks eat turkeys. That's just covering old territory.
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"The Strange Shipwrecks"

Happy Halloween! I've been kinda busy with grad school and social life stuff and whatnot, but I am goddamned if I will let this holiday pass by without commemoration. Well do I remember last Halloween: I posted entries on two OTHER ghost-pirate-themed stories. Little did I know that the true horror was coming a scant week later. Urgh.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Donald Duck Meets Princess Oona" and "Oona's Shopping Maul"

Of the many things the IDW foax deserve credit for, one of them is their determination to introduce hitherto-unknown-in-English recurring characters to an Anglophone audience: Gideon McDuck, Eurasia Toft, Charlie Doublejoke, Portis, Belle Duck, Reginella, Garvey Gull (okay, so I could live without ever having known of Garvey Gull--WHATEVER). Add to that list: Princess Oona the Caveduck, a character introduced by Egmont in 1995, who continues to appear semi-regularly to this day. We've already seen her first two stories published, and I believe more are on the way. I have heard intimations that certain individuals may not be huge fans of the character, but I would like to take this opportunity to place myself--based on these two, at least firmly on the pro-Oona side of the divide. Today, we'll be covering both her first and second appearances! Two stories in one means two times the fun! Maybe.  I refuse to take responsibility if two times the fun is not had.  But we'll do our best.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"The Art of Security"

And now, as an exercise in...something, we will see if we can write one thousand words about a randomly-chosen Barks one-pager ("randomly-chosen" in the sense that I opened the CBR file of an issue of Uncle $crooge at random and chose the first one-pager in sight, on the inside front cover). As it happens, we ended up with one called "The Art of Security," initially published in 1956 in U$ 13, along with "Land Beneath the Ground." I'm not going to guarantee that my words will be GOOD words, but they'll definitely be words. Assuming I'm successful at this. And if I'm not, you'll never see it, so that's neither here nor there. Do THESE words of metacommentary on the entry count to the thousand-word goal? NO THEY DO NOT. THAT WOULD BE CHEATING. And I made it square etc. Word count doesn't start 'til after the first image.
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"The Atombrella and the Rhyming Man"

And now...the story you've all been waiting for! Perhaps. I've been reading the most recent Gottfredson collections on and off since I've been back in the States, and this story just screamed for me to cover it. It's not actually the first time I'd read it--previously I'd done so on the late lamented Beru's Disney Comics; yes, I KNOW it was legally dubious at best, but it was a great resource and HELLA convenient for yer Disney comics bloggers. Alas, today it's long gone. Beru I hardly knew ye.

AT ANY RATE, having read it in the Fantagraphics book, I definitely got more out of it. So here it is.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"The Think Box Bollix"

Hi, we're going to look at a Barks story today! It's been a long time! But I was randomly rereading some Barks ten-pagers, and as often happens, I was struck by some things that I kind of wanted to say on the internet! So, here they are. This is 1952's retroactively-named "Think Box Bollix."
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Monday, July 10, 2017

"Captain Donaldo, the Black Corsair"

HEY HAVE YOU HEARD? Italians are HELLA fans of pirates. Or at least, those of them who make Disney comics. Like, for instance, this one, by Luciano Bottaro and our ol' frenemy Guido Martina. Also, sometimes I like to translate Italian Disney comics, so what the hell, you can download my version here.
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Friday, June 2, 2017

"The Blot's Double Mystery"

JEEZ. Sorry for the lack of posts in May; I was on vacation for half the month (I saw hella wild orangutans, but unfortunately, I forgot about the "reading Disney comics while ignoring the wildlife" photo tradition--alas!), and otherwise I was preoccupied with this and that.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Mickey's Craziest Adventures"


...so apparently, we're on a one-a-month schedule now? Well, we'll how that holds up. Could go up, could go down, the future is uncertain. But what's NOT uncertain is that I recently read "Mickey's Craziest Adventures," and it was very obvious that this was going to have to be the subject of a post. So here we are.
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Saturday, March 25, 2017

"The Stone Money Mystery"

My place in the Sun: I got an email the other day informing me that Duck Comics Revue is the internet's fifty-ninth-best comics blog. I am humbled and honored by this, uh, honor. They gave me one of those tacky little gifs of a medal to put up, but I must humbly decline on the basis that coming in fifty-ninth isn't actually very impressive, and also on the basis that feedspot is just a skeevy spam/email harvesting operation. Still, it was an honor to be nominated, or something.
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Saturday, February 18, 2017

"The Miner's Granddaughter"

Well, it's been a while, but if you think I'm going to let the fact that my country's president is an angry, evil baby stop me from writing about duck comics--and, furthermore, that I'm going to let him thoroughly ruin the good name of our favorite duck--you have another goddamn think coming. This shit just got PERSONAL.  So LET'S FUCKING DO THIS.
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Friday, February 17, 2017

NEW POSTS COMING SOON

So my silence hasn't been because I'm mourning the death of America...well, that's not the only reason.  The fact is, I had a kinda bad computer meltdown a month back.  But now I'm back (KNOCK ON WOOD) and raring to go.  LOOK FORWARD TO IT.