A Duck Comics Revue Exclusive!
Okay! Time for a little something special (not the Rosa story).
Now, for a long time I've really wanted to do an English version of a classic duck story. What was holding me back was mainly general technical incompetence. I had sort of messed around with the idea a bit several times, but then quit in frustration. But for whatever reason, a few weeks ago I decided to give it another go, and I realized, huh. Why did I think this was so hard? It's actually super-easy--albeit time-consuming--to use gimp to replace the original text with my own. No, the text doesn't mimic the look of an actual, published duck comic, but that bothered me less and less the more I worked. It's plenty good enough. I know, I know--I have Gottfredson obligations here. But I just got so consumed with this that I haven't felt like doing anything else Disney-related since. And finally, after lots and lots of editing and corrections, I'm finally finished, or as finished as I'm likely to get.
Oh, right--the story itself. *drumroll*
It's Luciano Bottaro and Carlo Chendi's 1958 story "Il dottor Paperus," aka, "Donald Faust," aka--as I've dubbed it--"The Strange Tragedy of Doctor Donaldus Faustus." It doesn't have a whole lot to do with the versions of this story by Marlowe or Goethe or, for that matter, Thomas Mann, but if you've ever wanted to see what a Disney story in which Donald sells his soul to the devil looks like--now you can.
Why this story? A number of reasons. First, because it was recently reprinted in the February issue of Super Picsou Geant, so I had a good-quality copy of it. Second, because it's a pretty nice story, with some great Bottaro art and a cool medieval atmosphere. Third, because it contains some pretty heavy-duty satanic elements (it IS a Faust story of sorts, after all), and these, "Mickey's Inferno" notwithstanding, would probably have made an official US publication a tough sell. It's by no means perfect, but it's definitely worth reading. And if you don't believe me, perhaps you will believe the inducks top 100, on which it is currently Bottaro's only representation, at number seventy-five (not that inducks voters don't sometimes evince some kinda weird taste, but still…).
Bottom line is, I think you'll enjoy the story. As for my script itself--well, either you like these things or you don't. Purists, if there be such creatures, certainly won't be pleased, but hopefully others will find it entertaining. I didn't change the story or anything (aside from massaging a few little details which didn't seem to me to make a whole lot of sense), but I did do, let's say, a free rewrite, adding a whole bunch of dumb jokes and pop-(and not-so-pop)-culture references. I think this suits the story, and if you disagree…well, I don't know what to tell you.
I plan on actually writing about the story itself later, but first, I just wanted to make it available for folks to read. Oh, one caveat: I can't imagine that anyone reading this blog would be put off by this, but there's some language in my script that is slightly stronger than you would probably find in something that had been officially-published. Nothing too shocking; I doubt it would even merit a PG-13 rating--but you have been warned! Okay.