Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"The Last Lord of El Dorado"

I'm writing about this story because reader Pan Miliuś repeatedly asked me to.  Does this mean that I'll write about any damn thing YOU ask me to?  Not inconceivable, but I wouldn't bet a huge sum of money on it, either.  It really all depends on my personal whims.

I may have muttered dark imprecations regarding this story in the past, but revisiting it for the first time in a while, I found I actually kind of liked it.  Clearly, I'm becoming soft in my dotage.  Yes, there's the one Unforgivable Part, which remains as unforgivable as it ever was, but I found it didn't ruin the entire story for me, as it kinda did a bit in the past.

So okay then; let's not bury the lede, shall we?  I'm going to start with said Unforgivable Part, from which I am going to segue into a little discussion about Rosa's portrayal of Scrooge generally; then, I'm going to return to the story from the beginning for miscellaneous observations about this and that detail.  K?  K.

So HERE IT IS:



Seriously, it just leaves me speechless every time, and I think it kinda speaks for itself.  As they say on Monday Night Football, C'MON, MAN.  If there is any possible interpretation of this scene that isn't a disastrous miscalculation on Rosa's part, I'd sure like to hear it.  'Cause I'm coming up empty.  Scrooge can be a big ol' asshole, he can be money-grubbing as all get-out, he can chase his nephew off with a cane at the end of a story, that's all fine but what's not fine is for him to exhibit exaggerated unconcern about Donald falling to his death, especially when the whole thing is framed as a joke.  That's just…no.  Not acceptable.  I suppose if you wanted to be really super-charitable, you could say something like "well, he was just so utterly confident in the ability of Woodchuck Know-How to save the day here that he just feels no need to get all worked up," but that's not gonna fly in my world: that's not how people react to situations like this, and in any case, he's obviously just making things worse for Donald by putting pressure on the rope like that.  Bottom line: this is a scene that should never have been scripted.

It does make me think, though: Barks' genius--or one facet of his genius--is an ability to make Scrooge simultaneously a grumpy, miserly old bastard and (by virtue of his humanizing family connections and his endearingly childlike exuberance about his money) a sympathetic character.  That's a great tension that, naturally, other writers screw up all the time.  But the thing about Barks is, there's rarely ambiguity in his portrayal of Scrooge: you can always tell whether or not you're supposed to be sympathizing with Scrooge at any given moment.  

Whereas with Rosa…the situation becomes much dicier.  I'm sure I noted, when I was writing about the L&T, that one problem with the story was that aspects of Scrooge's behaviors in the later chapters which were clearly meant to be indicative of his moral downfall weren't actually notably different than the supposedly-redeemed modern-day Scrooge in any number of other Rosa stories.

My default assumption has always been that in general, we're not supposed to be bothered by Scrooge's exaggerated dickishness in Rosa stories.  But as I think about this, I'm not sure whether or not it's entirely true.  It's certainly the case that, while Rosa is more sentimental about the characters than Barks ever was, he also has a hard edge to him that Barks lacked (not that Barks couldn't on occasion be quite nasty in other ways).  We can certainly see this in his sometime treatment of Donald: as I've no doubt noted before, when he takes his lumps in Barks stories, it's generally a case of his hubris getting comically slapped down--whereas in Rosa, he often takes serious beatings through no real fault of his own, which can come across as pointlessly sadistic.  

NONETHELESS: I am certainly willing to entertain the possibility that the situation with Scrooge isn't quite as simple as I tend to think it is.  I really go back and forth on this, and I certainly don't think Rosa's portrayal of Scrooge is wholly unproblematic in any case; still, in this particular story, I may be willing to entertain the proposition that Scrooge's failure to end up with the treasure at the end is because, when you do a karmic tallying-up, he's really not a whole lot "better" here than Glomgold is.  Of course, none of this has to be intentional on Rosa's part; the story takes on a life of its own.  And regardless of any of this babbling, the story's problems are such that I wouldn't put it in the upper echelon of Rosa's work.  Still, there may be more than initially meets the eye.  Or not!  I may well be seriously over-thinking things here.  I actually sorta kinda doubt it's the case that Rosa had some sort of super-secret hermeneutic by which to understand his ducks' actions stashed away somewhere.  Which is a positive thing in its own way; it makes the stories more dynamic, no doubt.  But his stories lend themselves very, very well to this kind of obsessing; their general high quality means that when they do happen to strike a false note, it sounds much more discordant than it might otherwise.


One thing this story has going for it: a rare instance of Scrooge himself taking a bit of (self-inflicted) abuse, in this opening bit.  Nice to see at least a little bit of karmic balance here.  Also interesting to note: the sole US printing of the story is untitled.  Is that just a mistake?  Presumably; all the cover pages from non-US printings on inducks have titles. 

This story starts in media res here, which points to something that I'm not so sure about: treasure-hunting is a sure-fire premise, no doubt about it, but I feel like Rosa is sometimes overly, let's say, matter-of-fact about these things: like, you can see the self-conscious awareness that, yes yes, this is an Uncle Scrooge story, and so there will be ancient hidden treasures; let's just cut to the chase, shall we?  Which is kind of amusing, maybe, but which perhaps drains them a bit of that sense of exploration.  I would say that there has never been a pay-off in a Rosa story quite as awesome as the one in "The Mines of King Solomon," and this attitude probably has a lot to do with it.


"Silly comic book" oh ho ho.  It's nice to see Rosa acknowledge his somewhat didactic tendencies, at any rate.  Let it be noted that this opening is a follow-up of sorts to Rosa's earlier story "Treasure Under Glass," in which the ducks retrieved that there map.  Continuity like this is natural and fun.


In fairness, Unforgivable Bit notwithstanding, Donald generally holds his own fairly well in this story--he seems pretty competent at what he's doing, and he doesn't undergo too much gratuitous abuse…


Yep…Glomgold.  And you know what?  I find I've actually kinda mellowed a bit towards the standard post-Barksian Glomgold.  Yes, it's a huge case of wasted potential, but eh…whateryagonnado?  If we have to have the standard-issue bad-guy version of the character, I suppose Rosa does him as well as anyone.  I'll never be a fan, but I can tolerate him.  

I suppose this is a tiny slip-up in the art, but I find it highly amusing, in that second panel there, the way he looks like, rather than running, he has been propelled out the door by some sort of spring-loaded mechanism.


HISTORY!  I don't mind this stuff, although the specifics here really don't leave a huge impression.  Nice portraits, at any rate.  This DOES relate to my big regret about this story, though: when I came back to it, I realized, hey, a story set in the sixteenth century, with European explorers searching for El Dorado in South America?  C'mon--we all know what a big movie buff Rosa is; there's gotta be some sort of oblique reference to Werner Herzog's seminal film Aguirre: The Wrath of God, right?  Right?  But alas--we miss our one opportunity to see Rosa's rendition of Klaus Kinski.  I frankly don't know if I can keep going after so great a disappointment.


Here's something that relates back, kind of maybe, to what I was talking about earlier.  Let's face it: on the one hand, the fact that the waitress is actually Glomgold doesn't mean that this isn't a li'l sexual harrassment-y on Donald's part.  But on the other hand, he immediately gets walloped in the face, so, hey, instant karma.  But on the third hand, do we really want to be going down this path at all in a Disney comic?  Really?  I dunno--and of course, if we want to relate this back to Scrooge' behavior, we have to note that he very rarely gets any real comeuppance for his untoward behavior (which, again, it's often not at all clear is actually meant to be untoward).


Is it cool for Donald to recognize that something is up?  It is.  Is the kids' dialogue pretty funny here?  It is.  Do we nonetheless have to admit that it has to fudge things a bit to work? We do.  Of course, "everyone is fooled by really obvious disguises" is a tried and true Disney trope, but the idea that HDL are going to be fooled by a disguise that Donald sees through?  Not so sure about that one.


For some reason, the dialogue here really cracks me up.  I think what I like is the surreally beside-the-point nature of both Donald's and Scrooge's dialogue, as well as the disconnect between the two lines.


I also always enjoy over-the-top stuff like this.  Scrooge's expression and body posture in the second panel there don't hurt either.


And yes!  I will readily admit!  That last panel there is VERY clever and funny and it's hard to imagine anyone else doing anything quite like it.  I like how blasé the first two judges seem about the whole thing.


What I DON'T like though--I'm sure I've hit on this before--is when Rosa has Scrooge do the kind of  "yeah, I'm just so goddamn awesome that I'm going to act exaggeratedly casual to seem even more awesome" thing.  I can live without it!


Certainly some implicit criticism of Scrooge here.  We also see something like this in "Sharpie of the Culebra Cut."  Trying to work out the perspective in Rosa stories really can be a puzzle.  But, I suppose, that is part of the fun.


Okay, okay, I have to admit it: as much as I bitch ceaselessly about non-Barks portrayals of Glomgold, this is good and funny and even harkens back to the original stories, a bit.  Still, if nothing else, it would be nice if there were more depth to their relationship, as semi-implied by things like this.


Don't you sort of get the impression that the entire impetus for the creation of this story was so there could be a panel of Scrooge declaring himself the LAST LORD OF EL DORADO?  I'll admit it's a cool thing to say, though the actual treasure hunt itself is really only semi-interesting to me.


This reminds me of the nonsensical bit about late fees at the end of "Guardians of the Lost Library."  Okay, so maybe this is on slightly less shaky ground, but I still have, let's say, my doubts about it.  And while the "Library" thing could and should be taken as no more than a goofy rationalization, everyone's taking this one seriously, which makes it seem more dubious, somehow.  Also, not calculated to put Scrooge in a very good light.  I mean, sure, Glomgold was murderous and stuff in this story, but Scrooge still looks like a dick.


Glomgold with his teeth exposed there looks really strange.  I like this ending pretty well, and I especially like the way Rosa refers back to his own stories like this.  

So there you have it.  As I've noted, there is a sort of overly calculated feel to a lot of these Rosa treasure hunts that makes them work, for me, not quite so well as they might…but that doesn't mean they aren't worthwhile.  Unforgivable Bit is still unforgivable (Rosa's writing it is forgivable, that is--Scrooge's actual behavior, not so much), but…okay okay; in light of Rosa's corpus of work, and in light of the fact that I'm a big ol' softie, I can maybe sorta kinda forgive--but NEVER FORGET!  I've got my eye on you, Rosa!

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17 Comments:

Blogger Napoleon said...

Ah, just what I needed – Flintheard Glomgold in drag. And a very convincing drag for a bearded, elderly male, considering Donald instantly hits on him, in full view of at least 2/3 of his young nephews. This ought to lend itself to some serious queer studies work on the Disney Ducks. (Even if I were sick enough to contemplate the concept of Duck universe slash fiction, Donald & Glomgold would still be the last pairing I’d do. And btw, thanks for making me officially insane, Rosa.)

Nah, actually I’m fond of these visual mini-narratives of Rosa’s, the kind that we usually only get with Gyro & Little Helper. But this particular Beer Hall Putsch (probably making Golmgold the Beer Hall Butch, haha oh yes I’m terrible) is a tad more disturbing than usual. It is also slightly inconsistent: Donald is able to deduce that Sister Flintheart is an imposter, yet he is not only fooled but actually aroused by Fräulein Glomgold. (Don’t worry, Dewey, about your uncle and guardian “beating up a nun”. Could be worse. At least he’s not hitting on her.) Perhaps Donald has a thing for bearded Bavarian women. Or he might just feel liberated in an Old World beer hall atmosphere. In the monastery, however, Donald’s suspicions appear to be awakened (at least in the Finnish translation) by Sister Flintheart’s decidedly un-nunnish behaviour.

(Boring aside: This means that Donald and the other Ducks must have some conception of what it entails to become a member of a convent. This is most interesting to me as religion is, for very obvious and very good reasons, an out-of-bounds subject for Duck comics. When we get to see any evidence of religion in them, it’s almost always in the context of an adventure abroad – famous religious buildings as localizing backgrounds etc. Sometimes we even get to see interaction with explicitly religious characters, such as the helpful Colombian mother superior in this story right here. But then it’s always for advancing the plot, acquiring information, and never for any explicitly religious reasons. We seem to be more at liberty when it comes to the religions of ancient cultures.

I always find this a bit surreal since religion is probably the most prominent fixture of human society that seems absent from Duckburg. Yeah, Barks embellished the city with a gothic cathedral once, and a cross-adorned belltower is among the Duckburg buildings destroyed in Rosa’s 'Attaaaaaack!' but other than that, I recall few instances of evidence of religion in Duckburg. It's kind of weird to see nuns in Disney comics is what I mean, I guess.)

And no, I have no justification for the Incident. It could have been slightly improved by playing it like 'haha, Scrooge is so deep in treasure-hunt mode that he’s become oblivious to all else' and having Scrooge actually realize this once he’s on firm ground with the parchment. That could still work story- and humour-wise. But here, Scrooge is perfectly aware of Donald’s peril and makes a conscious decision not to give a shit.

Overall I’m pretty much in agreement with your assessment of this story. Not the greatest, but good nevertheless. Mostly an enjoying read with some good ol’ around-the-world treasure-hunting, some pretty spectacular sequences, a couple of nice twists and a decent portrayal of Glomgold. I admit there’s some serious dissonance with Glomgold trying to murder Scrooge & Co. with a boulder at one point and staging ridiculous disguise melodramas at another. Golmgold’s freaky rage face at the end, though, is simply awesome and all but steals the scene for me.

October 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

Good comment as usual. As for religious stuff in Disney comics, let's not forget the end of "The Old Castle's Other Secret," in which the kids are opening the Ark of the Covenant while Donald tries to repair the Holy Grail that he's broken. I always thought that was rather daring on Rosa's part, though if forced to defend himself, I suppose he could argue, at least somewhat plausibly, that oh no, it's actually just an Indiana Jones reference.

October 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Wow Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX! Thanks for mentioning me :D Now I fetl so notable :)


Anyway - I'm actually on a oposite side of the coin since... this is actually among my favorite Don Rosa stories.

Heck! It made number 5 on my top favorite Don Rosa stories list :
Http://panmilus.blogspot.com (I didn't list Life and Times since it felt like a cheat)

I actually like the dark joke of Scrooge not rescuing Donald on the brdige, however I have to note I myself have taste for absurd and macabre humor and I can see why somebody would hate this joke for being to of character both for Scrooge and the spirit of Carl Barks world.


Still I don't mind you trash this entire story in youre review ;)

As for religion aspect :

1) This must be the only Duck story to have nuns in it. I recal a priest making a came o in "Master of the Missisipi" and that Catholic priests would appear in Brazylian Jose Carioca story (this is Brazil after all) but by far this must be the only time we see nuns in a duck story


2) In "Letter from Hom" I alsways asume Donald was adresing *GOD* when he look into the sky sweating and say he was sorry and Luie even refrence him being turn into pilar of salt (Genesis 19:26)
I read that fans ask Rosa for years to make a "search for holly grail" story but he didn't wanted to do it since it's to dificult of a topic (It's tricky to refrence Jesus in a disney comic and even more tricky to do a honest holly grail story without mentioning him) so finally just put the grail as part of a biger treasue so he woudn't have to get into detal about it.


3)The "Ten Avatars" is actually full of refrence to Hinduism and characters do reference diffrent Hindu gods etc. (I wonder did Hindu people found it in a bad taste when Donald refrence Lord Ganesha as "Chubby elephant-boy"...)

October 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Ok mayby "You trash this story" is to harsh of statetment. Still I'm happy you broth up the good parts not just stuff you hated :)


Personally I like everything about this story - including Golmgold and how Scrooge tricks him at the end (well, sort of) this story must have some of my favorite face expresions and mimics as far Rosas art go.
The only problem I had is the fact this story was publish in Poland BEAFORE "Son of the suns" so maaaaaany people where confuse about what the heck Golomgold got so angry in the last three panels... ;)

October 16, 2012 at 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

My feminist heart is torn, here--I agree that Donald's kissing waitress-Glomgold is a disturbing act of sexual harrassment. On the other hand, I really love how the Mother Superior sees through Glomgold's nun disguise due to his inferior judo technique. (Joe will be pleased to hear that I am for the first time watching the Honey West series--the first TV P.I. of either gender to use martial arts!)

On Rosa and treasure-hunting: Overall, it's clear that it's the *adventurous* aspect of Scrooge's expeditions which Rosa can wholeheartedly endorse, not the profit-seeking goal. Certainly his theory that Scrooge's real attachment to the money in the bin is as souvenirs is another way of sidelining the sheer love of money. (And Barks of course also reminded the reader now and then of the folly of loving money above all, as in "The 24-Carat Moon".) And then, one of the main problems with having a Barksian treasure hunt nowadays is the contemporary awareness that, um, cultures mostly deserve to keep their cultural heritage, which usually includes any ancient treasures found on their territory. Rosa had an old-fashioned "naive" treasure hunt in "The Crocodile Collector", but mostly he was restrained by the awareness that it's problematic for the American plutocrat to waltz into an underdeveloped nation and cart off ancient artifacts & jewels & such. Rosa is far from the only one to be aware of this issue in duck comics: you can see it operating as far back as Fallberg's 1976 "Treasure Above the Clouds", as well as in more recent stories such as Kruse's 1989 "Treasure Temple of Khaos". Sometimes Rosa devises an alternative payoff, as in "The Treasury of Croesus": the cool parallels between Croesus and Scrooge, the proof that Scrooge really is the richest guy ever, and the chance for Donald to show his wisdom by declaiming the folly of seeking ever more riches!

October 16, 2012 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

Yeah, "Croesus" has a great ending, no doubt about it. Definitely one of Rosa's stronger portrayals of Donald.

October 17, 2012 at 12:20 AM  
OpenID reviewordie said...

I wrote a whole page in a word document about the unforgivable thing, posted it here, and it didn't show up. This makes me terribly sad. I talked about Scrooge's emotional dependence on Donald, seeing him as a truly stable figure in his life, a protege for reasons that are character-based and supported in the text of Rosa and Barks' work, and how the sequence indicates that Scrooge is basically wholly emotionally screwed up by believing that the one really solid pillar in his life is invincible, because Scrooge was once invincible. Back when he was young. Back when he was happy. Back when he was more like Donald than he is now. And how Scrooge works to make Donald more like himself, so that Scrooge won't have to see what he might have been, if he'd chosen to stay.

I even touched on the blase aspect he takes to these adventurous situations, regarding how he feels now compared to how he feels in his youth. Well... shit, now I'm kinda ticked. I'll type it again for my review. I agreed with you though, that it was neither funny nor in any way an action that ought to be considered acceptable behavior for Scrooge. Telling, but not acceptable.

You make a lot of good points that I really love, particularly as relates to Scrooge's intended levels of sympathy and the way he's treated between Barks and Rosa. I always feel ill-equipped to discuss these stories with you when you come from such a strong Barksian background, my points always feel very ill-informed, but we're on a very similar wavelength on this story.

The only point I wish to note is that this is the end of Glomgold. He never appears in another Rosa story, nor should he, because in a very permanent way he's been defeated. I know we're used to the reset button, but Like "The Treasury of Croseus", this is something of a retirement story. Glomgold is brought back to Rosa's first story, and it very fully and completely ends the conflict.

... or at least, that's what I say up until I look at "A Little Something Special", which actually does end every conflict very decisively. But this is a retirement story for Glomgold in that it ends the rivalry, loose as the narrative may be, because Glomgold's corporation may be solid but there's no way he could ever earn another Money Bin's worth of cash.

October 19, 2012 at 2:25 AM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

We may have different backgrounds, but that first paragraph sounds like an absolutely fascinating interpretation of the story. And it seems like you have a potentially very fruitful approach of approaching the stories as parts of a whole, rather than wholly self-contained, as I've always done. It seems obvious when you say it, but I doubt it ever would've occurred to me on my own that this was Flintheart's final Rosan appearance.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts, whether on your blog or in comments or wherever.

October 19, 2012 at 2:56 AM  
Anonymous Duckfan said...

The thing with Donald abuse to me is, that it shouldn't get too over the top. I see Donald as a (more or less) sympathetic character, especially in adventure stories like these. He can get some abuse, like Fraulein Glomgold's slap. That's actually pretty funny and okay, since it's off-hand and it's Glomgold and Donald deserved it.

Sometimes Rosa goes too far, but so did Barks in my opinion. The quiz show story where Donald tries to earn a ton of cash by studying real hard is an example. Then again, I might think that because later stories depict Donald as being perpetually strapped for cash. I always had the idea he really needed the money in that story. Or in another story, where Donald builds a pool, to end up being harassed by children and their mothers. What the heck?

Another problem with the Unforgivable Bit in this story, is that it's Scrooge. If it had been Glomgold doing that, it would have been okay, even in character. But Rosa depicts Donald as a loser who doesn't even get respect from his own family. Does Scrooge respect him? Not really. The nephews? Nope. Daisy? Come on. Rosa believes it so much, he's even used it as plot devices (The Duck Who Never Was, Three Caballeros stories). We know all the great things Donald has done. But he seems to have devolved from unlucky everyman to super loser, and Rosa isn't the only writer who does that.

October 19, 2012 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger L00nE2n said...

Hello. Longtime reader, first time commentator. Anyway the "Unforgivable Part" bothered me too at first when I read the story, but I just want to state and in Scrooge (and/or Rosa)'s defense that even if Scrooge had wanted to save Donald (which he told his nephews to do), it would've been physically impossible since Donald was holding the rope that Scrooge was walking on. If he had tried, both ducks would've suffered the same injury.

Also bear in mind that all that resulted a was a "harmless" injury, so Scrooge just might be aware of the laws of "cartoon physics" (even if they don't know they're actually appearing in a comic story but it could just be accepted physics in their own universe) - which he very well knows that Donald is prone to anyway.

Having said that, sometimes you have to wonder why in Rosa's stories Donald continues to help Scrooge after all the physical and verbal abuse. IMO it would be fully justified for Donald to just leave for home in the middle of an adventure in a situation like the above-mentioned example.

October 19, 2012 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

For me the "Unforgivable Part" was such a absurd joke it is hard to treat it as a serious story point/momnent/something that shows Scrooge dosen't care about Donald.

For me this part is as absurd as Eisner award in the final chapter of LO$. Its like when Rosa mentioned he would never had Beagle Boys or Magica seriously try to harm Scrooge unles it was a part of a really funny gag...

October 20, 2012 at 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

ReviewOrDie, I very much look forward to your reconstituted comments on your blog; sounds like a very interesting take on Scrooge's character in relation to Donald. LOOnE2n, it's true that Scrooge could not have saved Donald by walking out to him; that's no doubt what the nephew is trying to tell him ("you can't..."). The point is more that he should have put Donald's safety first, by conferring with HDL on how to save him or the like. I myself was not bothered by the scene, though I didn't find it terribly funny, either. Just over-the-top silly, absurd, as Pan M. says. One of the issues here, as LOOnE2n says, is the question of the degree to which we're supposed to be operating with cartoon physics. Rosa's more history-based, "realistic" world makes you think the world should be operating normally, with characters in mortal peril, but he does sometimes use cartoon physics himself, so as a reader I'm not always sure which physics is operating. I realize that this doesn't really address the character issue (how completely lacking in human feeling Scrooge appears to be here), but it does affect how the reader assesses the level of danger to Donald, and thus whether the reader is willing to even consider laughing. Here, I felt Donald was in anxiety and great discomfort, but I didn't imagine him in actual pain or danger, certainly not with HDL nearby.
That said, I think it would have been funnier to me if Scrooge had worked on saving Donald with HDL, and rejoiced at the rescue, seemingly happy about Donald's safety, but had then ignored Donald completely to focus on the document. That would leave open the ambiguity of whether he really cared more about Donald (and couldn't admit it publicly) or about the document.

October 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Chris Barat said...

Geo,

As bad as this "Unforgivable Moment" was, it still pales in comparison with "Donald lying in a puddle of his own drool" at the start of that Three Caballeros reunion story. That was positively distasteful to behold.

Say, doesn't Glomgold have a "drooly" moment in "El Dorado"? (He does.) What kind of weird oral fixation was Don acting out here?!

Chris

October 22, 2012 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

I don't mind drulling this much... its just for comedic efect..

October 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

I think, Pan, that we view the nature of these stories and their relation to character in fundamentally different ways.

I agree with you, Chris, that that bit in the Caballeros story is pretty bad; in Rosa's semi-defense, he seems pretty clearly to be doing it so as to be able to build Donald back up. I don't think it really works, though; the idea that he would be that low in the first place isn't really believable or appealing, and as I recall (haven't read the story in a while), he doesn't even take a particularly active role in it that would lead to us seeing him as really overcoming his problems.

October 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

I'm aware of that Geox. Still I like to thrown in my five cents as well I love to hear you guys opinions (even if they are radically diffrent) since youre expiriance with duck stories is complitly diffrent and its very interesting to me.



I also had problem wit the second THREE CABALLEROS story. In the first one it worked for me : the running gag with Donald being smack by things around him while Jose and Panchito coment on how awsome he is. If you look agian he was still pretty active in that story and got some ideas (like with the train) that trully saved the day.
In the second one however I felt Rosa run this running joke into the ground (I have a similiar problem with the second Arpin Lusene story) Jose and Panchito really felt like the same character most of the time or even felt like unity (they bearly even get solo moments like they got a lot in the first story)and - yhe - Donald wasn't very active in the story.

I get what Rosa was trying to make but it just wasn't very efective this time around... I wish that entire story was like the last four pages - just Caballeros being presented as kick-ass adventure team and not just Donald doing all the work by mistake while Jose and Panchito complimante him... it worked in the first story since it was just a side gag and not the main focuse - here is all they really do...

October 24, 2012 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Note that Donald appears to have Gladstone-level luck in those stories (even if he gets hurt a lot)

October 24, 2012 at 7:17 AM  

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