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.
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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.  
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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:
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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?


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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).
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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.)
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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:
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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.
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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).
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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! 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Donald Duck and the Seven Dwarfs"


For some reason, inducks lists the title of this story as the vaguely avant-garde sounding "Donald Duck, The Seven Dwarfs," but as you can plainly see, there is definitely an "and" in there.
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Friday, September 13, 2013

"Trail Blazer"

So whaddaya say?  Wanna take a look at the first non-Barks appearance of Scrooge McDuck?  Of course you do.  The only problem is that, as with so many seemingly straightforward questions, "What was Scrooge's first non-Barks appearance?" does not have a single wholly reliable answer.
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Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Ten-Cent Valentine"


Here we have the second-ever story featuring good ol' Magica.  The main thing I always wondered here was this: is the perfume on the valentine meant to literally be magic, or is it just a natural aphrodisiac of some sort?  Upon further consideration, though, I'm pretty sure it's the latter.  Note that Magica's not using it here to trick Scrooge or get him under her power in any way.  I think it's just meant to emphasize the "sexy" in "sexy sorceress."
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Friday, August 16, 2013

"Donald Duck and the Count of Monte Cristo"

There was a little talk about this story here, so I thought I'd give it a look.  I had read it before and objected pretty strongly to it; on rereading, I still object pretty strongly to it, while also recognizing to a greater degree its merits.
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"The Isle of Can't-Be-Can"

Bah.  I would be posting more, but for things.  And stuff.  I WOULD be saying something about the new Gottfredson book, but I fucking DON'T HAVE IT yet.  And when I asked the Fantagraphics people what the deal was, they told me it had been BACK-ORDERED--even though I preordered the thing in April.  I know this is the kind of thing for which the phrase "first-world problems" was invented, but still...shit the what, people?
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bonus! Gyro One-Pagers!

The completist in me cannot bear to end the coverage of this issue without looking at the one-page gags included therein.  This includes a few rather obscure Barks-drawn pages, so c'mon--let's do this thing!
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

"Brain-Strain"

If there's one main takeaway from these stories, it's that Lockman's conception of what exactly Gyro should be doing as an "inventor" is distinctly different from Barks'.  For better or worse?  Well, I suppose that's a matter of opinion, but I will speak more of it shortly.
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

"Mighty but Miserable"

I tell you, it's a grim day, because it's the day that I try to write something about "Mighty but Miserable." Easier said than done.  And let's face it: you're busy folks.  You don't have time to dick around.  You've got places to go and people to be.  You don't WANT to hear me reiterate bullshit I've already said.  Sure, I could say "hey, Lockman has some decent dialogue in this story!" but you have HEARD IT ALL BEFORE.  This is not, I think, a story that warrants hugely in-depth discussion--or at least, given all I've previously written, such discussion would be redundant.  So let's have a stripped-down entry where we strive to make only points we haven't made before.
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