Sunday, August 7, 2011

Epic Duckfail

Plenty of ink has been shed talking about Boom's Ducktales 3, which does indeed seem to have a pretty good claim for being the Worst Disney Comic Ever. Well…maybe. That's a pretty high bar to clear. But that artwork...good lord. For me, the title of Worst Duck Artist Ever has always been co-held by Kay Wright and Vic Lockman (when he drew a handful of his own stories in the eighties and nineties). But you know…as bad as those guys were, at least you could read them and think, yeah, this is a comic. It follows the general conventions of comics, and you can believe that it would be published in a real comic book. A certain baseline competence, basically. Whereas good lord, seriously, click that link to Chris's blog and look at the sample pages. On the Disney Comics Forum, an awesome poster known as DuckburgUSA has been doing these hilarious photoshops which seem to capture the story's, uh, spirit quite well:



An' this one REALLY cracks me up:



I'm not sure who actually is responsible for the art, but I think it's probably unfair to blame any individual creative talent here--this was clearly the result of massive, unforgivable editorial malfeasance.

It's funny, but it's also both sad and rage-inducing--sad that Disney comics (only for the time being, we hope) should go out like this, and rage-inducing that the powers that be at Boom have such little respect for the characters and the property that they don't even care who knows it. Clearly, with the success of their Darkwing Duck comics, they saw these Disney Afternoon properties as a license to print money. It didn't occur to them, apparently, that the reason Darkwing succeeded was because, by all accounts, it was actually good. Presumably, they thought that the real selling-point was nostalgia, and that the goodness was just a happy but ultimately not-that-important byproduct.

Really now look: I may in the past have said and thought uncharitable things about Warren Spector, but you know, whatever: it's true that his involvement in Disney comics is due to entirely to his having overseen a Disney videogame, and thus is based on perceived marketing synergy, which is NOT a good indicator of probable quality, to put it mildly, but hey--who can blame him for taking advantage of that? I certainly would've. While I'm certainly not wild about the fact that the title of his essay in the Gottfredson book references his stoopid videogame, I do understand the precarious nature of Disney comics in the US, so if it's felt that such a thing will raise awareness even to a tiny extent, sure, I can live with it--it's not like it affects the comics themselves.

But for Boom to put him, entirely untested, in charge of writing their would-be flagship title? Well, they pretty obvious did it so they could splash "WRITTEN BY THE CREATOR OF EPIC MICKEY" all over their promotional material--in other words, marketing concerns are trumping actual artistic concerns, and if that's the way it's gonna be, we might as well all just pack up our things and go home.

I don't know what exactly is going on at Boom that would lead to such bullshit going down (writing a blog like this pretty well guarantees I'll never be any sort of insider), but it seems apparent that the short happy life of their "classic" titles was only due to somebody or other grudgingly taking it on faith that somebody liked this unfashionable, traditional stuff; and therefore letting people who knew what the hell they were doing select and localize material. It's sure as hell obvious now that it wasn't part of any sort of overriding aesthetic vision…well, okay okay, it was kind of obvious then, too, to be honest, but now that it's all gone pear-shaped, there's no ignoring it. The 'stones cared about Disney comics. Boom cared about sucking a quick buck out of them. I'm sure there were/are people within the company who are better than that, but they aren't the ones who ultimately had their say.

As much as it sucks that we are currently without a publisher, it's hard not to think that this is in some ways a good thing. It hardly seems possible that anyone could fail to do better than the cynical, raging incompetents at Boom. Yeah, famous last words, I know, but really now...

28 Comments:

Blogger Chris Barat said...

Geo,

Talk about having a lack of respect for your putative audience...

http://www.boom-studios.com/ducktales-4-cover-b.html

Miguel Pujol is STILL listed as the artist for DT #4. The funny thing is that the main copy references Leonel Castellani! Left hand, right hand, anyone?

I've seen worse Duck comics than DT #3, but the yawning gap between promise and performance seems much more irritating in this case.

Chris

August 7, 2011 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Wait... is the plot of this story supposed to be about Scrooge RETURNING artifacts to different countries? Political correctness is anathema to these comics. I once quipped somewhere that the Ducktales video game was wonderfully politically incorrect because it involved Scrooge beating up evil Indigenous Peoples with his cane and taking their treasures to build up the global economy, otherwise they would just go to waste being hidden in bushes and snowdrifts and coffins and moon rocks. If the people writing this comic were to redo "Super Mario Bros.," they'd have Mario kidnap and imprison the Princess so as to as install a People's Republic.

August 7, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Geo:

For years and years, Chris Barat and I have arbitrarily designated “Bird Bothered Hero” (from 1969’s DONALD DUCK # 127) as the single worst Disney comic of all time.

This tale, written by Vic Lockman, drawn by Kay Wright, and lettered by Larry Mayer (he of the BIG ugly lettering seen late ‘60s onward) may have been the worst COMBINATION of story, art, and lettering to ever come together in a Disney comic book story.

Well folks, I’m here to officially pass the torch!

The sad part about all this Boom-bashing, is that they produced some very worthwhile stuff that is now overshadowed by this fiasco. Chris Meyer and Chris Burns (aided and abetted by David Gerstein) gave us many fine issues that are currently forgotten in the, admittedly deserved, bloodletting.

Maybe it’ll help to look at it as I do. I regard the TRUE (…and hopefully temporary) end of the American Disney comic book as WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 720, in which Romano Scarpa, Chris Meyer, David Gerstein, and I came together for “The Treasure of Marco Topo” Part Two!

In my mind (…and perhaps ONLY my mind -- but that’s how I feel), it is not TRULY a line of Disney comic books unless at least ONE of the following titles is published: WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES, DONALD DUCK (…”and Friends” and/or “Adventures”, optional), MICKEY MOUSE (…”and Friends” and/or “Adventures”, optional), and UNCLE SCROOGE.

Darkwing, Ducktales, Cars, Incredibles, Rescue Rangers, Roger Rabbit (There’s a throwback of two decades!), are all nice to have but…

Without any of those “Core Four” titles, it is somehow “something else”… and that’s how I’ve come to regard what is left… as “something else”.

Let the responses begin!

Joe.

August 7, 2011 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

Chris--What's kind of odd is that the fact that they were flogging the hell out of allegedly having Pujol working on their comic does seem to indicate at least SOME awareness of "classic" fans, since the more casual ones are very unlikely to know how that even is. But then refusing to back away from this assertion when he is quite clearly NOT involved in any way...that's just gratuitously dickish behavior.

Christopher--I dunno. It has been remarked many times that the impetus for the creation of Magica was that The Times were less amenable to the idea of a rich tycoon jetting around the world and taking treasures from indigenous people, so he needed something else to write about. You can also see an implicit critique of the imperialist mindset in "Treasure of Marco Polo" (and even, I believe I argued in my entry, a li'l bit of that earlier, in "The Mines of King Solomon"). What I'm saying is, there isn't one single right or wrong way to do these things. There is PLENTY of room to blast this series, but "political correctness" (there are few things I hate more than that phrase) doesn't strike me as much of a problem.

Joe--Aw man, now I'll be sure to check out "Bird Bothered Hero." And I agree with you entirely about the importance of those core titles. The other stuff, you know, comme si comme ça, but they're really a little bit beside the point. Boom DID of course publish some good stuff, but as I noted in the post, I'm sorta feeling like that was more or less incidental.

August 7, 2011 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

I’ll be looking forward to your post on “Bird Bothered Hero”!

You can set up a (bird) cage match between it and DT # 3 for the title of “Worst Disney Comic Ever!”

And, suddenly, I feel so… so… “incidental”!

Seriously, I get your point on that! I’ll never really know the story, but the casual way the “Classic Phase” was brought to an end does seem to bear you out.

August 7, 2011 at 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Mathias said...

http://negaverse.net/oldhaunt/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1798 I've been reading the blog for a little while now, and this is the first thing I thought needed to be brought to light.

This is information from a former BOOM editor, and the creative force behind Darkwing Duck. It's a really fascinating read about the way the comics field works, and his own perspective is interesting (though I get the feeling he's never actually read the DuckTales comics, as he has a good deal more fondness for Spector than Ian Brill), and it gives a hint of what's to come: Marvel is likely going pick up the Disney license.

Let's just pray we get some people who aren't insane running it this time around.

August 8, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Pete Fernbaugh said...

I agree with GeoX on Boom!kaBoom!'s good stuff being "incidental." (Good word choice!) It eventually became providential when the Disney gods sent Joe and Dave to be the saviors of the classic line.

A lot of my suspicions about Boom!kaBoom! were confirmed by Aaron Sparrow's whistle-blowing/bitter ex-employee posts at "The Old Haunt" to which Mathias linked.

Basically, they didn't want the Classic Disney Fans. They saw us as a nuisance. They even joked around the office about doing an advertising campaign aimed at Classic Disney Fans with the slogan "We Don't Want You."

I sensed this when the line began, and I found myself struggling to endure "Ultraheroes" and "Wizards of Mickey" (still haven't finished that last one) for mostly that reason (and the fact that the books sucked).

And who can forget the shoddy treatment of the Uncle Scrooge title in the beginning?! Most Disney publishers have seen Scrooge as the lynchpin to the line's success. BoomkaBoom! saw him as the crazy, old uncle nobody wants at the party!

Although I think it's important to put everything Sparrow posted under the umbrella of someone who was obviously screwed by the company, I don't doubt for a second that there's a ton of truth in what he wrote. His gripes with Brill seem to be ego-based (Brill didn't follow his editorial outline for DW to the letter), and his love affair with Spector (without reading DT) is misplaced, but the posts are worth the time it takes to read them.

I wonder what BkB! thinks of this increasing Internet backlash against the DT title. Ehhh...who am I fooling...they don't give two craps in a Port-a-John...

Incidentally, I posted a critique of DuckTales in their Disney-Comics forum. No response, no comments...nothing.

August 8, 2011 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Pete Fernbaugh said...

I should have added...

No surprise there.

BTW-Just to be fair to Vic Lockman...he has written quite a few awesome Disney comics. Everybody involved with the books pretty much started to suck as the heavy pall of the 70s descended upon the Disney titles...

August 8, 2011 at 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Mathias said...

I've been a part of comics fandom for a long, long time, and one thing I rarely see is criticism that says what the fans want. Not what they don't want, but the things they actually want from the titles they buy. At least not spoken out loud. It's implicit, but never explicit.

I wonder what people who read this blog, particularly GeoX, would actually LIKE to see in their Disney titles. Who knows? Maybe if the fans band together, people will start taking suggestions instead of taking the criticism as fanboyish reactions.

PS: There was a fantastic DuckTales story I read that I thought fit the show very well, recently published in that run of BOOM comics that showed DuckTales comics. It had to do with jumping in to a waterfall and coming out the other side to a lost civilization. Launchpad and Donald were in it, Webigail had a pretty prominent role, and I thought it was excellently drawn and funny! It captured a very Barksian tone and made the characters really WORK for the first time that I'd ever seen. I actually didn't hate Launchpad in the Duck universe!

August 8, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi guys,

I did indeed try and be completely truthful in what I wrote at the Old Haunt, and in comments on other forums. First and foremost, I wanted it known that Disney Publishing was great to work with, and far more saavy and interested in putting out good material than they seemed to be given credit for. I also wanted to make it clear that the missteps with these books were due to the licensor, and not Disney Publishing, who offered a lot of help both creatively and in marketing these books, and were largely ignored.

As for my "love affair" with Warren Spector, I've never met the man, and you're right, I haven't read the Ducktales comics from BOOM. I just know that he never had the opportunity to make this book all it could be, nor did the editor, Chris Burns, because of the internal pressure they were put under with a ridiculously accelerated schedule. Accordingly, I think they should perhaps be spared the brunt of fandom's scourging. ;D

My issues with Ian Brill don't have so much to do with him not following my outlines to the letter, but rather with the fact that he takes credit for work that isn't his. The truth is, very little of what he turns in has been making it to the final page; James Silvani has been rewriting the plots (and almost all of the humor) for a while now to make the book coherent and in the spirit of the show (although Ian still provides a lot of the overly-ebullient narration and dialogue after the fact). However, Boom refuses to credit or acknowledge James' work with the writing credit that he deserves.

Believe me, if you saw the original scripts for this book...but that's a story for another day.

Aaron Sparrow

August 8, 2011 at 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Mathias said...

It's always fascinating to hear from industry insiders like this. I thought it was surprising that someone could be editing and writing so many scripts per month as Ian Brill is credited for, and it's sad to hear that either management or he are erroneously doling out credit. But it makes sense. Every company has pettiness and poor behavior, sad as it is to hear.

I've often heard (in the case of Chris Claremont in particular) that artists are often co-plotters/writers. I'm curious if you have found that to be the case as well, and your opinion on how they should be credited.

I'm a little embarrassed to ask on this public forum (Sorry GeoX!), but I have an interest in Disney comics as a writer. I will take no offense if the answer is no, of course, but is there a way I may contact you privately regarding some professional advice?

Thank you.

August 8, 2011 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Matthias,

My apologies for posting under "anonymous", but for some reason, no other option is allowing me to submit my comments.

I understand the Marvel method of making comics is highly collaborative...the writer gives the artist a loose plot and allows them to interpret it as they see it, then the writer takes the art and writes the dialogue accordingly. Stan Lee was famous for this, back in the day. On the Disney/Pixar titles, we typically did a full script for the artist, and then I would tweak the dialogue once the product was finished, if it was called for.

DARKWING DUCK is/was done very differently, but like I said, I'll get into the particulars once the series has run it's course, if anyone cares at that point. However, I think it should be known that almost everything that is praised about that book comes from the mind of James Silvani.

And I'm happy to offer any advice I can...(first piece of advice...don't be a whistle-blower! :P )Just look me up on Facebook.

-Aaron

August 8, 2011 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

Hey Aaron, glad to hear from you. And yeah, to reiterate, I am withholding judgment about Spector at this time, withstanding the somewhat uncharitable comment I made at Cartoon Brew.

August 8, 2011 at 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Mathias said...

I appreciate it, and sent you a message there. I'm really sorry to clog up the comments, Geo.

August 8, 2011 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Catching up on all the comments:

Pete:

There may be no bigger Vic Lockman fan on the planet than yours truly! (…Okay, maybe not his ART – but those few oddities done for Gladstone II don’t really count!)

Indeed, my script for Gyro “When Posty Met Patty” (UNCLE SCROOGE # 362), was one great big tribute to the guy, and his rather unique way of phrasing dialogue.

And you, as an old friend, may recall the APA column I did, highlighting him and some of the great stories he was responsible for, little over a decade ago. I followed that up with a look at THE JETSONS comic, and some of the better scripts he did for that title. I must reconfigure those for my Blog, someday.

But, he DID produce his share of less then stellar stories. Most likely because he was asked to DO more than he should have – and that the increasing restrictions imposed by Western Publishing made “creativity and daring” a thing of the past.

He hardly shoulders the full blame for “Bird Bothered Hero”. If it were drawn by Tony Strobl and lettered by Rome Simeon, it might have simply been a forgettable, run of the mill, average to below average late sixties effort.

Certainly not a contender for the title of “Worst Disney Comic Ever”!

But, the confluence of a generally bad story with bad art and bad lettering is what did the trick.

Ah, but with DuckTales # 3, “Bird Bothered Hero” can finally attain the peaceful obscurity that it has always desired, but could never achieve!


Mathias:

What would I REALLY WANT?

Nice question that I hope draws plenty of responses!

Simply the “Core Four” titles, WDC&S, DONALD DUCK, MICKEY MOUSE, and UNCLE SCROOGE. Done well, by people who give a shit about the characters, the titles, and the unique history they are trusted with!

I’d (realistically) want a mix of prime reprint material and never before seen European stories. (Sounds just like Gemstone and the “Classics Era” of Boom!) I’m not about to ask for new American produced stories, because it never seems to be economically feasible – and (frankly) the Europeans seem to do a fine job with the classic material, as long as the script is “localized” by competent, knowledgeable, and witty hands. Boom! has shown us BOTH EXTREMES on that score!

Other titles like DuckTales, Darkwing, Pixar, Muppets, Roger Rabbit – and even my beloved Silver Age Super Goof and The Phantom Blot – are “nice-to-haves”, but are not essential. If they did not exist, I would not feel their absence as I do with the “Core Four” titles.

The same goes for specialty titles like “Wizards of Mickey”, “Ultraheroes”, and months and months of Donald just as “Double-Duck” and nothing else. Segregate those things into specials and mini-series, so that we may accept them – or reject them – on their own merit!

NEVER invade and occupy an existing and long-running series like WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES with badly characterized pap like “Ultraheroes”… and especially never poison a once-in-a-lifetime issue like WDC&S # 700 with such material!

…And I would want David Gerstein in a decision-making capacity! You all saw the difference he made, once he became involved!



Aaron:

Thanks for some great insights! Don’t you wish you could start it all over again? And take heed of some of our suggestions earlier on? :-)


The shame is, I really enjoyed my experiences working on Boom! Disney comics and the editors I worked with were good – and seemed to be good persons as well! It’s sad to see it ending this way.

Oh, wait… As I said in another comment, it all ended with WDC&S # 720!

Yeah… That’s it!


Joe.

August 8, 2011 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

Yup--Joe pretty much nails exactly what I, and probably most of the people 'round these parts, want. You wouldn't think it would be that complicated, but Boom seemed determined to make it so.

August 8, 2011 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

...to which I would add that the return of the prestige titles--preferably for all four; why not dream big?--would be absolutely lovely, though not absolutely essential.

August 8, 2011 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Pete Fernbaugh said...

Folks:

Whew! This thread has exploded since earlier today.

Joe: I credit you with instilling in me a love for Vic Lockman's work. I didn't mind some his stories from Gladstone II, innocuous though they may have been. There was one Gyro story, "Solar Shenanigans," that I thought was quite enjoyable. Of course, I am going by memory. Then, there was "The Tommy Moccasin Trail." Going by memory again, the less said about that story, the better.

Yes, you should retool that column for your blog. It's a good one.

BTW-Your response to Mathias' question about what you would want from a Disney line is spot-on. As you implied, the return of the "Core Four" is key to a successful Disney line. All else emanates from that core.

Aaron-I didn't mean to be critical of your whistle-blowing. I just wanted to keep it in perspective for myself. I really appreciate the courage you're showing by going public with your experiences, and I hope it doesn't jeopardize any future parts of your career.

In many ways, Warren Spector's scripts read more like an outline/first draft than a final draft. It's almost like he sent the story to the editors for critiques, suggestions, and approval, and they went ahead and printed it. Likewise, the art seems like it's a hastily sketched storyboard for what the artist is interested in doing.

Of all the discouraging "dirt" you've revealed about Boom!'s boardroom machinations, the one MAJOR fact that you have emphasized is the support and enthusiasm of Disney Publishing for even the "old" characters. Thank you for that. I used to blame Disney Publishing for everything. I'm glad to know that it is actually the opposite situation. Very encouraging, especially if Disney becomes more directly involved via Marvel in the near future.

Best,

Pete

August 9, 2011 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

Oh god, "The Tommy Moccasin Trail." That's a story I keep meaning to write about, but I never do, and you know why? Because it's the ONLY time I have ever felt like I would actually feel BAD about myself if I wrote what I felt about it--I mean, given that Lockman was so manifestly obviously at the desperate, tail-end of his career, it just feels like pointing out all the story's shortcomings and obvious instances of blatant incompetence--and believe me, if I started writing about them, my criticism would quickly become very, very vehement--would sorta just be kicking the guy when he's down, and given that he's still alive, well, you know...maybe someday if I ever do some sort of Lockman retrospective, I would feel better about it, inasmuch as, hopefully, I'd be giving him his full due (though, in the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I'm not a huge fan of his work at the best of times).

However, I also agree with you about that Gyro story you mention--it's actually not too bad. A pretty neat concept, and I remember feeling like it could have really been quite good with better art.

August 9, 2011 at 1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe: Oh, if only I had it to do over again and be able to have made the creative choices for the core books myself! I'm not sure if I ever told you, but Disney Publishing strongly recommended Boom involve David Gerstein, but management felt he was part of a tained former legacy. As it became apparent that Boom management's plans were not going to work, Chris Burns and I were able to involve him more and more. (Incidentally, Chris and I wanted to use David's translations of the Ultraheroes and Wizards of Mickey material we were forced to move forward with, but were shut down. It's a shame; David's translations/rewrites were fantastic.)

Pete: No offense taken whatsoever; you'd be remiss not to question my motivation. I'll be honest, the removal of my credit on Darkwing Duck (as well as other projects) has always stuck in my craw. I understand that Boom felt it needed to make Brill the shining star for PR purposes; but the fact is so little of the final product is his, it's a slap in the face to hard-working guys like Silvani who are denied the full credit of their (uncompensated, I might add) writing contributions.

And of course, I wanted it known that Disney Publishing was not the bad guy, which I feel was sort of hinted at in Boom's press release stating that they really hoped Marvel would finish the Incredibles story. The fact of the matter is, DP gave them the opportunity to finish the Incredibles, and they simply chose not to.

So as you can see, it's a mixed bag of motivation, and wasn't an easy decision, as typically, I don't publically discuss any former employers. In this case though, I had friends whose reputations I didn't want tarnished by the smoke and mirrors that sadly, has become Boom business as usual.

-A

August 9, 2011 at 3:11 AM  
Blogger Chris Barat said...

"Tainted former legacy"... it is to weep, no?

For a putative Disney line at Marvel, in addition to the Core Four (with the mixture of material that Joe suggested), I'd also want a DISNEY AFTERNOON title DONE RIGHT. Dedicate each issue to a different series and do "one and done" stories in the manner of the old DISNEY ADVENTURES DIGEST, only with better writing and artwork. Here is where original material produced in America could be used. Something similar could be done with the Pixar properties (PIXAR TALES?). No need to create separate titles for each movie concept -- give each a turn in rotating fashion.

Chris

August 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Mathias said...

I guess I forgot to comment... This is kind of a longshot, but my 'dream' Disney lineup for Marvel, since it's a company with actual resources and the REAL backing of Disney...

The four core titles are a given. Give them a 48 page count, so we can have longer stories and keep that good anthology mix going. I'd love to see some American produced content, and I think Mickey kind of needs someone willing to be his Barks/Gottfredson in order to really sell. Get a new colorist for the classic titles, without the dated Gladstone/Gemstone gradient stuff.

For the Disney Afternoon stuff, get Darkwing back, and go in the style of the current Darkwing run, with the loose continuity that requires nothing but a note from Ed to get you caught up. Give TaleSpin, Rescue Rangers and (maybe) DuckTales to people who actually know what they're doing and have some love for the series. Do one-and-dones with occasional multi-part stories for the non-DW titles. Cross DuckTales over to DW when appropriate, and vice-versa.

From Italy, give us Paperinik New Adventures. I'm told it's quality product, and it DOES allow for some crossover from people who wouldn't normally touch Disney comics.

Get Greg Weisman back on Gargoyles.

I never read the Pixar stuff, so I can't comment on that, but I hear nothing but glowing praise. I hear some people at BOOM probably want a job. Get them working on it.

These aren't kids comics, they're all ages comics, and they shouldn't talk down to their youngest audience. They're the ones you need! They're smart, they're loyal, and if you do it right, they grow up to be people like us.

August 9, 2011 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

That's all good advice, though I've never had a problem with the 'stones' coloring.

I would add, however: MORE CASTY PLEASE. That is all.

August 9, 2011 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Mathais writes:

“These aren't kids comics, they're all ages comics, and they shouldn't talk down to their youngest audience. They're the ones you need! They're smart, they're loyal, and if you do it right, they grow up to be people like us.”

Well said, and that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do, whenever I’ve been allowed to write scripts! As a young reader, Carl Barks would occasionally send me to the dictionary. I hope I can send some young’un to Google or Dictionary.com.

Joe.

August 9, 2011 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Ryan Wynns said...

Can't believe I still haven't jumped in the fray here ... and can't bear to go any longer without doing so!

Chris: Your proposal for a single Disney Afternoon regular title is interesting. Ever since the Disney Implosion of legend, what I've wanted are separate, individual ongoing titles for Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, Tale Spin, and Darkwing Duck, each flourishing under a dedicated editor, writer, and artist (and if anyone worked on more than one of the books and was still in top form and clearly cared about what they were doing, that'd be fine!) I'm all for longer arcs, but by no means would there be a mandate for continuities comprised of a fixed number of issues, with the inevitable trade paperback coming right on the heels of the conclusion. Multi-part stories or single-issue, episodic entries are okay with me; whatever is justified creatively.

However, a single, umbrella Disney Afternoon comic, as you suggested, is probably more practical and viable. And devoting the entirety of each issue to one series would definitely be preferable to what Marvel did in the mid-'90's. (But of course still wouldn't guarantee that the stories would be good, but of COURSE that's part of what we're asking/hoping/wishing for!)

Mathias: Yes, someone work out whatever's needed to have the licensing rights to Gargoyles, and give Weisman a venue to continue what he was doing at Slave Labor Graphics. And give him carte blanche to do whatever he wants, and have the same high level of artistic talent and production values at his disposal!

Joe: Ah, the core four ... *sniff* Like Geo said, the way to "do them right" seems obvious and simple ... but alas, their future's completely up in the air. Thinking about it makes me very wistful. Scrooge, Donald, and Mickey, in the hands of people who care, have gotten me through a lot, and beholding a comic or some kind of printed image with a Gladstone-or-Gemstone aesthetic has a very gladdening, comforting effect on me. *sigh*

Ryan

August 10, 2011 at 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Matthias: I agree with your positive comments about the story "The Arcadian Urn" (U$ 399). Note that it was translated by David Gerstein and Jonathan Gray--that certainly helps! Webbigail definitely has a great role in the story, doing several crucial things: finding and translating the "sleeping powder" label, getting the other ducks out of prison, providing the much-sought blue glass for Scrooge at the end, etc. I wouldn't mind more of this character at all, if she could be more like she is in this story, and less like she is in the few DT episodes I've seen. On the Disney Comics Forum, I asked about Webbigail's "Littlest Chickadee Field Guide" which appears in this story. David responded that that was Jonathan's idea; the original script presented her book as a basic guide to ancient Greece. But "Jon felt the book's rather intricate knowledge seemed inappropriate for a basic guide, so he decided to make Webby a Chickadee and the book her manual--good idea" (so David). This *may* indeed mean that Jon was the first person ever to put Webby in the Chickadees; in the TV series, she was apparently (at least once) said to be a Junior Woodchuck! It's even more likely that he was the first to create a "Chickadee Field Guide" to match the JW Guidebook. (Of course, in the Barks/Rosa universe I usually inhabit as a duck fan, such a thing is impossible, but I'm perfectly happy to have it exist in the parallel universe of DuckTales.)

August 19, 2011 at 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

On the future possibilities: I agree with what several of you said, on the whole. Something similar to the Gladstone/Gemstone/last-few- months-of-Kaboom mix. David Gerstein as editor. I am chuffed to find out that the folks at Disney urged Boom to hire David (in vain, until it was too late). That bodes well for his involvement in any future Marvel duck comics.

I seem to like American and Dutch writers/artists best. Though there are a handful of others who've done stuff I've saved: Transgaard, Korhonen, Halas, Rota and Gattino. (The only Scarpa-drawn story I like was written by Carlo Chendi.) Personally, I care about only three of the classic titles, as I'm a duckster. (Of the many dozens of MM stories I have read, there are four, count 'em, four, stories that I have saved to re-read.)

A question: if Disney owns Marvel, does that mean that Marvel would be able to get the license to publish stories featuring the characters from feature films? Gemstone didn't have that license, so they couldn't publish Mad Madam Mim stories. Since MMM was one of the few female characters who got to do interesting stuff in the Disney comics of my childhood, I am fond of her. (David Gerstein let me see a very cool MMM story of his, which I'd love to see published here.)

August 19, 2011 at 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

…so France isn't the only country in the world to feel an unacceptable lack of Mad Madam Mim ! And for us, it's only a matter of editor's will: we have perfectly the rights. The last time we saw her in France was about 8 years ago in a reprinted Romano Scarpa story that is certainly not her best performance and that wasn't new either. There are tons of american MMM stories that we're still waiting for.

Also, to match the main subject here, we're also waiting since 5 years for the second part of the Spector story arc. We had "Rightuful Owners" all at once, WITH ITS ENDING CLIFFHANGER, and we are still waiting for "Dangerous Currency". Not that I expect this story to be wonderfully excellent, but it is very upsetting.

(Scrooge MacDuck who has a regrettable problem for posting under his user name that I hope will be solved soon and who remains a reader of you blog who by the way ask you when the next post will see the light).

July 1, 2015 at 6:56 AM  

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