Sunday, February 14, 2016

"A 'What-If' Love Story of Imaginary Proportions!"

Happy Valentine's Day! Want a little romance in your life? Well, too bad. All you get is this story. MAYBE it'll keep you warm at night, but I wouldn't bet on it.

It turns out, according to inducks, that there have been five Brazilian stories published in the US (eight, if you want to count (of all things) Mulan stories). This is by far the longest and most ambitious, though, and thus most worthy of consideration. For better and/or worse, it is certainly unlike anything that us Americans are used to reading!


The American title is a bit of a mouthful, but it gets at the idea, which is that this is MOMENTOUS! On the other hand, I do not get the impression that this was considered the case in Brazil. The original Brazilian title (which was maintained for the Portuguese reprint, natch) is simply "The Wedding of Donald Duck," which isn't much of anything. I suppose maybe understatement was the goal--you know what a big deal this is; no need to go overboard--but I feel like in this case, more would have been more. And to not even mention his intended? Gads (also, the story's only been reprinted once in Brazil). The French title is "Marriage of the Century," which is pretty good, but the Italians have called it, apparently, "Donald and the Bachelor Party," which, uh (let it be noted that one thing entirely absent from the story is any sort of bachelor party). And THAT'S IT! The ONLY places it's been published! You'd think a story like this would be of more general interest.

(Sidenote: A cursory googling reveals that Brazilian and Portuguese Portuguese have substantial differences--more so, I gather, than British vs. American English. This makes me curious: are the scripts of Brazilian stories revised when they're published in Portugal? Would they look weird if they went unchanged?)



So we open with Donald reminiscing about the past. Not eeeeeven gonna touch that line in the bottom left panel. Just gonna let it...sit there. Not calling attention to itself. One obvious thing you'll note about this story is that the characters are somewhat oddly-proportioned compared to what you'd tend to see in American or European stories. Female characters in particular tend to be excessively...shapely, which I have no doubt is of keen interest to someone. Ahem.


Anyway, from here we move into dream world, starting with Daisy here. Note that, partially due to the coloring, Clara Cluck appears to be wearing a Clara Cluck mask. Hopefully not in a Hannibal Lecter way. Sorry for inflicting that image on you.


So the thing about this story that really can't be stressed enough is: it has no plot. I mean, yes, things occur in a sequential fashion, but they don't make up a "story," per se. "Donald and Daisy get married; then they have kids." That's about how I'd sum this one up. Most of the space is taken up with little slice-of-life vignettes. That sounds exactly like something I'd dig, but the results are generally...not super overwhelming (the incidents are typically so short and inchoate that "vignette" almost seems like an overstatement). It has its moments, but the pleasures they offer are fairly modest.


I mean, that's pretty funny, even if the pre-wedding sections of the story pound a bit overly hard on the whole "Donald is clueless" business. I guess it's meant to be a "typical male!" kind of thing, but it really shades over into "weird, sexless man-child."


And right here, he's gotten all ripped, but if this is because it's his dream, you'd think we'd see more aspects of wish fulfillment.  But we don't, and a fair chunk of it's not even from his perspective.  So it just looks kind of odd.


Did I talk about characters being weirdly proportioned earlier? Here's something that illustrates that perfectly. Daisy towers over Gladstone, in contravention of everything we know about their appearance.  The two of them do not appear to be of the same species there, I'll tell you that much.


Anyway, at a certain point it was apparently decided, okay, that's enough of that tomfoolery, and the wedding is on!

Now...for reasons not easily understood, this story has four different artists (in addition to two writers--too many cooks, people!), who trade off duties at irregular intervals throughout the story. Of the four, three of them have artistic styles that mesh fairly well, flowing seamlessly into one another. One of them--this would be a gentleman by the name of Luiz Podavin...doesn't. He only gets four pages, but he definitely makes an impact. In fact, I'd say his art is likely to be the thing that people remember most about the story as a whole, because good god is it weird. So, uh, behold:


I...don't know what to say about this. I guess I could say that this depiction of Scrooge evokes his Victorian namesake more than any other that I've seen. But really, all that's necessary is to BOGGLE.


For your benefit, here are a WHOLE BUNCH OF CHARCTERS--many of whom appear nowhere else in the story--as rendered by Podavin. Please enjoy them in good health. Note that either Mim is telling Magica or Magica is telling Mim. But in either case, who told the one who's doing the telling? It is a mystery.

An' who's that hillbilly-looking guy? Why, it's your friend and mine, Hard Haid Moe! This is a character created by Dick Kinney, who appeared in a number of the man's Fethry stories, becoming beloved by absolutely no one...except, of course, the Brazilians, who gave him his own long-running comic book series, which may be the weirdest damned fact in the history of the world. It's things like this that make the country's Disney-comic history so darn fascinating to me.


The big day! Is that a reference to Notre Duck Cathedral in the original? Do the Brazilians actually do explicit Barks references, in a way that the Italians don't? Well, probably not, I suppose. But it sure is pretty to think so!


Yeah, I won't deny it, the Vaudeville routine here is pretty funny, even if none of this shows much respect for Donald. That seems to be kind of a universal thing, doesn't it? Stories allegedly celebrating Donald tend to be less than flattering to his character. See "From Egg to Duck," for the obvious example. I guess Rosa's "Duck Who Never Was" does okay by him. Well, okay, maybe it's not a rule. But...okay, this is a complete tangent, but the fact that Donald can contain multitudes often means that, when in doubt, he gets reduced to his worst elements. Look at just about any story where Donald and Mickey team up: Mickey's gonna be the competent one, and Donald's gonna be the fuck-up. This is because there's not really any other way for Mickey to be. Donald can be competent himself, but he can also be a fuck-up, so that's how he gets dragooned into use. Mickey certainly can't step in in that role, and you don't want two capable, competent characters! God forbid! Sorry, I know this paragraph is kind of stream-of-conscious-y and not very useful; I should probably just delete it. But I'm not going to! I've written it, and in it goes! Please enjoy it! And please enjoy how that "please enjoy..." thing is apparently a weird writing tic I have! One among many.


Yeah, and apparently they stay at Woodchuck Camp for the rest of the story, or at least for the rest of the dream sequence. Here's the reason: because the author(s) wanted to show Donald and Daisy as a newlywed couple who don't have kids, and then, later, have kids. If there are already kids hanging around, it's just gonna complicate the whole thing. So get outta here, you!



Here's an example of what I mean when I say the little vignettes never really amount to anything. You'd think the honeymoon would be a great opportunity for all kinds of incident, wouldn't you? And indeed: tempting fate! Ooh! Cue ominous music! What incident awaits them next?!?


But it's not. This is seriously all you get. I mean, I guess the talking mosquitos are sort of amusing, but one could reasonably expect something a little more.


So they went on their honeymoon, and they thought everything would be fine, but then they were bitten by mosquitos. I do not know if my heart can take this level of pulse-pounding excitement. Really.  There aren't even any visual cues that this alleged bite fest actually happened.

(UPDATE: Okay, looking at Daisy in the second panel, I see that there clearly ARE.  It ain't much, though.)


In any case, we move on to Donald's and Daisy's married life. And...it turns out it's pretty incoherent. The above is, let's face it, pretty friggin' awful, the misogynistic hack's classic portrayal of married life. Women be henpeckin'!


...and yet, that is immediately followed up by this, which suggests that their married life is actually pretty okay.


Yay!


...but then, we're straight back to this! Hair curlers: classic lazy-ass shorthand for frigid, sexless women! What fun. I seriously cannot tell you how whiplash-inducing this is. Okay, actually, I can: very whiplash-inducing, is how whiplash-inducing it is.


And so it goes. The authors really were determined that every single tired trope of married life be included here.


Until we get to this inevitable part. "Imagine this," the authors ask you: "Donald Duck as a father!" The problem, of course, is that the obvious response is, "uh, he's kinda already a father." Hence, as mentioned above, the convenient total absence of HDL.


The real what if-here is "what if Donald had children of other ages than HDL?" A somewhat more modest proposition, but at least it's something. So, yup, a bunch of kids. How's this gonna turn out?!?


Well, here they are as little kids, and I'm sorry to disappoint you, but this is the only bit where you're gonna see them in this guise. For all that the authors set up this "what-if" scenario, they seem awfully uninterested in actually doing much with it.


The most interesting thing here for my money is "older Donald with glasses." His kids are teenagers. They want various things. And, uh, that's about all there is to it. Um. The end.


...no, seriously, the end. No denouement; Donald just wakes up and that is basically it.  We are left waiting for a punchline that never comes.  "A 'What-If' Love Story" is an interesting novelty, and an interesting glimpse at a Disney-comics culture that's largely invisible to most of us, but I'm afraid that as a story, it's largely a missed opportunity.

And there are still SO MANY QUESTIONS I have: is there someone in Brazilian comics considered equivalent to Barks in the US and Scarpa in Italy? Are there any legendary/especially beloved stories of Brazilian extraction (not according to inducks, but that doesn't mean much, since I don't think many Brazilians are voting there). I know there are at least a few Brazilians reading this, so any kind of insight you'd care to give me would be much appreciated!

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38 Comments:

Blogger Achille Talon said...

"Is that a reference to Notre Duck Cathedral in the original? Do the Brazilians actually do explicit Barks references, in a way that the Italians don't? Well, probably not, I suppose. But it sure is pretty to think so!" —> I'm not absolutely sure, but I think it IS a Notre-Duck reference in the original, because the cathedrals look just alike. That being said, there aren't often such references, but I do think you stumbled upon one.

"Did I talk about characters being weirdly proportioned earlier? Here's something that illustrates that perfectly. Daisy towers over Gladstone, in contravention of everything we know about their appearance. The two of them do not appear to be of the same species there, I'll tell you that much." —> I think it comes from the dream factor. I read quite a few Brazilian stories by the same artist and Daisy never looks like that.

Are there any Brazilian Carl Barks or Romano Scarpa ? I'm not sure, but the most recurring Brazilian artist I've noticed from French translations of these stories seems to be Irineu Soares Rodrigues (https://coa.inducks.org/creator.php?c=ISR).

The most notable Brazilian thing I'm aware of is a very, very long-running series that they picked up from Dick Kinney and Tony Strobl, which INDUCKS classifies as "DD+US+FE newspaper stories". In the 70's, it was alternately drawn by Strobl or by Brazilian artists. I think it became quite a big thing in Brazil, because they expanded it by adding a new series, "Scrooge's TV" (INDUCKS title again) that picks up from it.

They also had an attempt to reimagine Daisy into a more interesting character, "New Daisy", and the first story in that series, drawn by Irineu Soares Rodrigues, was nominated for the Brazilian 1987 Journalism Award's "Best Comic" prize. It includes 48 stories, per INDUCKS.

February 14, 2016 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

By the way, a very notable story in the "newspaper" series (though for once it's an Italian) is this: https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=I+AT++190-A, which long before Don Rosa was the first to pick up on the incidental Barks dialogue that Scrooge had once reached some gold mines in a kangaroo's pocket.

February 14, 2016 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

I seen this story years ago on-line... I think it was in Italian but I woudn't bet my money on it, anyway It was in a leanguage I don't speak so I didn't understood what characters are talking about but I was intriguee about the whole wedding thing and I asume that all the odd proportion stuff - Gladstone being short, Scroog looking sinister, Donald getting buff at one point, al.l the od faces etc. where ment to be part of "tripy dream" atmosphere.

February 14, 2016 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Slightly Irregular GeoX said...

I am extremely skeptical of the theory that the idiosyncratic character designs can be explained by the dreaminess, is all I'll say.

February 14, 2016 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger ramapith said...

Absolutely Notre Duck Cathedral. The Brazilians know and love their Barks—and IDW's Mickey #11 (yes, Mickey!) will prove it if this didn't...

Add me, Lars Jensen, and Thad Komorowski to Hard Haid Moe's non-Brazilian fan club. Isn't a snarky, misanthropic hillbilly exactly the kind of character whom it's funnest to see Donald and/or Fethry tick off?

February 14, 2016 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Slightly Irregular GeoX said...

Sweet. The question remains, though: whatever became of the Phantom?

February 14, 2016 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Clapton said...

Ramapith:
Inducks link to brazilian story you're teasin... Please :)

February 14, 2016 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

"Sweet. The question remains, though: whatever became of the Phantom?"

It can be assumed that once Scrooge lent him the coins he needed, he was quick to finish his cathedral and stopped haunting the cathedral. There has been a story I believe where there was a Phantom of Notre Duck impersonator who was building a whole replica of Duckburg with coins, but he was not actually the Phantom, and there has been another story where Magica impersonates the Phantom. Both are per the Paperinik fansite, Salimbetti.

As for the character designs, I am at least sure that Irineu Rodriguez never does such a thing.

February 14, 2016 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Slightly Irregular GeoX said...

I second Clapton. SPILL DA BEANS.

February 14, 2016 at 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Yeah, this story is a loss, in my book. It doesn't seem as though any of the interaction between Daisy and Donald is based on anything we know about their distinctive characters; it's all just based on (as you say) lazy gender tropes and tired, sexist marriage jokes. The only thing I liked about the story was the appearance of Notre Duck Cathedral.

It is possible to have a romantic story about Daisy and Donald that I enjoy. The story "Missing the Mistletoe" (McGreals/Rota!) plays very well with the trope that "woman tries to get clueless man to do something romantic," and in the end we find out that Donald is not actually as clueless in romance as it might appear. Both of them are "in character" and both of them are likable.

I've read a couple of the Brazilian New Daisy stories, and they're fun feminist takes on Daisy, but they're very much period pieces (1980's). Unfortunately it wouldn't work to print them today, because they're built on the assumption that "no one is going to expect that a female person can do X." At least, that's the case in the ones I've seen.

February 14, 2016 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger James McNamara said...

Marvel comics had a whole "What If?" series, and it's interesting to see this applied to the Duckverse, even if this specific story isn't particularly well done. But can you imagine if someone like Don Rosa wrote some alternate universe stories? "What if...Scrooge McDuck stayed in the Yukon with Goldie?".

February 15, 2016 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Richie said...

You're knocking it off the park with all these constant, meaty updates, GeoX. Props!

With your assertion of this story not really knowing what to -do- with the material it presents, let alone properly squeeze the potential for all it's worth, I wonder if the premise wasn't mandated by a higher-up, who designed a couple writers and a bunch of artists that weren't really all that enamored with the idea and developed more out of a sense of obligation. Not that, as you noted, there aren't some worthwhile moments here and there, but it doesn't strike me as a passion project, precisely.

I think the biggest missed opportunity here, personally speaking, is the forced absence of HDL. Because, man, it'd be so great to imagine, just how both Don and the nephews react if Don suddenly had kids of his own? Would HDL treat the baby like a sibling, would they feel rejected...It could make for a pretty cool, sweet story.

February 15, 2016 at 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Thad Komorowski said...

LOVE this story, especially David and Jonathan's translation. Maybe it was a missed chance for something more 'serious', but I liked the insanity just fine.

Hopefully I'm not stepping on any toes, but the Brazilian story in MM #11 is this one, which I had the pleasure of translating.

February 15, 2016 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Slightly Irregular GeoX said...

Cheers! I look forward to checking it out. How INTERESTING to see those Gneezles again.

February 16, 2016 at 1:29 AM  
Blogger Clapton said...

Thad:
Man that looks good! Can't wait to read it!

February 16, 2016 at 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Gneezles in a Mickey story! Woah! That'll be fun to see!

Richie: I agree that it's fun to imagine a "what if" story where Daisy and Donald get married and have a child and HDL get to interact with her/him. As the younger sister of identical twin boys, I'd rather expect HDL to be great older sibs. My theory is that most of the oppression of younger sibs is a sign of the older sibs' insecurities (Whom can I safely lord it over?), and that identical twins (and presumably triplets) are pretty emotionally secure, because they have each other. Someone always has their back. No need to hassle the kid sister/brother to establish their bona fides.

February 16, 2016 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger François Willot said...

Some of the Brazilian stories from the 1980s are very good. The ones where Donald and Fethry are working for Scrooge as journalists (for US's TV channel or newspaper) are among those. These stories feature Daisy in a role that is largely unseen in other Disney comics, often struggling (as a woman) against Donald, Fethry and Scrooge. The stories are well drawn by Soares Rodriguez and other talented artists. Some examples are:
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+800011
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+870015
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+870183
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+860061
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+860066
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+860086
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+860129
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+860133
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+860151
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+860154
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+860168
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+840076
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=B+820346
The Brazilian also made nice-looking "historic" stories with Ludwig van Drake, some of them good, some other with lower quality. They did stories with Goofy as a professor (a series called "A Goofy look at") which are excellent as well, and nice stories with Mickey and Eega. They did very funny stories with Fethry living in Amazonia in the same way as Tarzan (see e.g. B 830046) and stories with Disney anti-super-heroes (Donald, Fethry, Mickey etc.).
The quality of the stories from the 1990s is not as good as in the 1980s, in my opinion.
However, the reference and "master" of Brazilian artists (and writer) is Renato Canini. His work is hard to translate, and almost never reprinted outside Brazil. Caninni did many stories with Joe Carioca, some of them reprinted in the following book:
https://coa.inducks.org/issue.php?c=br/MED++++5#a
There, Jose is a typical Carioca (stereotypical "smart" unhabitant of Rio who knows all the tricks) and lives in a Favela. I've always enjoyed the creativity of these stories, even though they are really ackward for Disney's canon. It's clear that Canini was especially good at depicting the Brazilian society (as I imagine it) in the 1970s. I've seen some of Canini's original art. Canini spent a lot of time doing the same art over and over again (he used razors to do the inking!), a fact that can be noticed in the published comics, if you look closely.

February 17, 2016 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Slightly Irregular GeoX said...

Interesting stuff! Thanks for the info. I hope we see more of that stuff in the States. One of the stories we HAVE seen is one of those "Goofy Look at..." things ("Romance"), which was slight but amusing.

February 17, 2016 at 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great Barks reference with father Donald's dialogue.

February 23, 2016 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger ramapith said...

After six years, someone has finally noticed Jon and me tipping our hats to Barks' beekeeping story. We can die happy. (-:

February 29, 2016 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Slightly Irregular GeoX said...

You know...I'm very familiar with that story, and I should've noted that as a matter of course, but I didn't. I bow my head in shame.

March 1, 2016 at 2:34 AM  
Blogger TheKKM said...

Ooer, I'd written a comment here, the biggest I've ever written in your blog, but you never posted it. Did the site eat it? I'll go mad if so!

March 1, 2016 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger Slightly Irregular GeoX said...

Shit--i just turned off moderation for comments on old posts; I don't know why I had that on in the first place. Also, I don't know if it's relevant to your problem (though it might be). I am afraid, however, that blogger has devoured your comment--I'm not seeing it in the moderation queue nor in my email where it's supposed to alert me about new comments. It's POSSIBLE it'll turn up--these things occasionally do--but I fear it's unlikely.

March 1, 2016 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger TheKKM said...

Aaaaaah dammit. Lol. Ok, let me try to redo it from memory.

- Brazillian kids comics explored gender politics in bizarre ways. Remember a story where Fehtry and his girlfriend are being super heroes. The owner of a store that's being robbed prefers to have Fethry protect it since he's a man. She complains she'll denounce them to the Feminist Association of Duckburg- which Fethry's fine with, he's part of the Misogynist Association of Duckburg! In the end Fethry's incompetent and she's the one who sorts the case- but still manages to nearly lose due to being charmed since the villain looked really hot, man. And then the story ends with Fethry being chased by an angry mob of feminists.

Basically I wish there were a lot more comics like this in english, or that you knew Portuguese, knowing your political leanings I imagine you'd do some amusing articles about these stories.

What else? Hm.

Oh. European Portuguese is indeed different from Brazillian Portuguese. For a couple decades we just imported Disney comics form Brazil. When in the 80's we started having our own publications, we did indeed rewrite dialogues so they'd adjust to European grammar. Names and all were kept the same though, Grandma Duck is Vovó Donalda despite using Vovó as a diminutive of Avó (Grandmother) being something not really done in Portugal.
An exception to this process was made with Zé Carioca stories, which'd be imported untouched- and thus the readers'd immediately be informed from dialogue alone that they were set in Brazil, since everyone was speaking with Brazillian spelling and grammar. Clever stuff.

Uuuh. Oh, this story was definitely editorially mandated and a big deal. It was the first story of the Série Ouro pub (kind of more ambitious stories?), and publicized on other publications. Hence the unassuming name not being a problem, it's complete clickbait, per se. "THE MARRIAGE OF DONALD DUCK!"
There was a similar story where Fethry became Mayor. Same team as this one, I think. also ended up being a dream when editorial was afraid of changing status quo.

Whew. I think that's all, really.

March 2, 2016 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger TheKKM said...

Oh wait nevermind.

Brazillian Barks- you've got no-one, if by Barks you mean "someone who both in art and writing influenced things". You've got teams, though- Canini on art and Saidenberg on writing might be your best equivalent, shaping Zé Carioca from the Donald pastiche he was before in the Kato-drawn stories to his own, very modern Carioca, identity.

March 2, 2016 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Slightly Irregular GeoX said...

Thank you! This is all extremely illuminating. I too very much hope that we get to see more of this material in the States.

March 2, 2016 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Slightly Irregular GeoX said...

...also, that Fethry story sounds fun. I have the feeling that Disney's idiotic (let's call it like it is) censors would shy away from anything dealing with potentially controversial gender issues, but I'd love to see it in English nonetheless.

March 2, 2016 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger TheKKM said...

Tangentially related, but just wanted to mention another Brazilian children's comic, Mônica's Gang, which had a naming gag I was dumbfounded when I was old enough to understand- a character, comparable to Peanuts' Pigpen, a kid who never bathes, has a pig as a pet.

The pig's called Chovinista.

I don't know how widespread it was, but at least in Lusophone circles in the 60's and 70's, as I later realised, a common feminist insult and term was to call men "chauvinist pigs", similar to the modern use of "misogynist" (which incidentally, I'm only seeing appear in Portuguese nowadays by English influence- generally people just used "machist").

Just wanted to mention that, I first learned of the term "chauvinist pig" via a cute little pig in a Brazilian children's comic. A good comic series too, often completely off-kilter and deadpan in a way that the Disney comics sometimes feel like, but more extreme, probably since there's no Disney looking over the shoulder.

March 3, 2016 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger Julien said...

Ah, some people who noticed the feminist side of the Brazilian 80's Disney stories ! It was not always accurate but still, it can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places. New Daisy was always the ambitious and successful one, helped with Clarabelle, and Donald/Fethry the goofy, lazy and incompetent when opposed to the gals. And mean but wise boss McDuck as the mediator.

As for the lack of romantic Donald and Daisy stories, I think we have to blame Carl Bark's setting of his Daisy character. He always said he didn't like her. She was something like the eternal bachelorette in the Disney short movies, and he couldn't manage but to make her some kind of a harpie, the feminine side of Donald but with only negative aspects. In fact, Old Daisy is so unlovable that I often wondered HOW Donald and her could still be together.

April 2, 2016 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger TheKKM said...

you would classify 80's Brazil Disney as feminist? I honestly still don't know whether to. It manages to both read as a misguided feminist attempt, and a parody of feminism.

I wish I knew how to read up on the editorial and creative decisions behind the books. I'd love to know whether they meant to take the feminist angle, or mock it; who decided to revive Dickie Duck as an Archie-style comic; the updated 90's designs for Zé Carioca, etc.

April 2, 2016 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Julien said...

Depends on the author, but some stories clearly fall on this side, without irony.

April 10, 2016 at 5:33 AM  
Blogger Hunter said...

No brazilian ever replied to this thread? I'm not brazilian myself (portuguese), but I DID grow up in Brazil precisely at the time those comics were being published, so I may be useful.

As mentioned before, the closest thing Brazil has to a "Carl Barks" is Renato Canini. He DID write a lot of his stories, but he wasn't that much of a writer/artist as Barks. He did a lot of collaborations, the most interesting with Ivan Saidenberg, as mentioned. Think of him as Brazil's Romano Scarpa. Most of his stuff was for José Carioca, so foreign reprints are fairly rare.

The Donald Wedding issue was a BIG deal when first announced! I think it was the first time I saw a comic mentioned on a TV newscast! The publisher even created a new series ("Série Ouro Disney") pretty much just to accomodate it - something that simply didn't happen at the time! But when the issue got out, well, "underwhelming" simply isn't enough to describe it.

12 year-old Pedro could understand the dream ending thing (it was more than telegraphed in the story itself), but the strange off-model artwork, with wild variations during the story itself, was a much bitter pill to swallow. I could understand it was dream world stuff and all that, but it still looked like crap. The writing was also quite crappy, with pretty much every single marriage cliche (and quite a few misoginist ones, although those flew over my head at the time). In truth, the comic is quite similar, misoginy included, to the old Donald' Diary cartoon. But done some 30 years later...

Even weirder is that the VERY feminist brazilian Daisy series had started just the year before. Daisy's feminist characterization eventually would seep into the entire brazilian production, but this story seems to be an exception. Feminist or not, Daisy was still the insufferable harpy she is in most Disney comics (not that Donald is good boyfriend material, to be fair).

The Série Ouro series continued with other dream world series that were, on the average, much better than the fist one. At least all of them had better artwork! The inevitable dream ending made them very predictable and the whole experiment only lasted five issues.

To be fair, the brazilian production excelled at the short humoristic stories, NOT the long, ambitious ones. If you want to see the best brazilian Disney comics, look for the José Carioca stories or, probably easier to find translated, the Fethry Dusck stories (those were by far my favorites growing up!). The Donald Wedding issue is NOT representative of most brazilian comics!

May 27, 2016 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger GeoX's Nemesis, the Mysterious XoeG said...

Thank you for that! It's all very interesting and much appreciated. I really like the tidbit about the story being mentioned in the news. I'd love to see more of Jose Carioca in the states, though I understand why that's difficult. Hell, I'd just like to see more Brazilian material in general.

Looking through the five issues of Série Ouro on inducks, I can see how the others would have less immediate appeal to American audiences. "Fethry becomes mayor" certainly shows promise, though, and given Dave Gerstein's fondness for the character...well, who knows? Personally, I'll take anything and everything I can get!

May 27, 2016 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Hunter said...

They should try publishing the Fethry stories. They are easier to translate, not specifically brazilian in theme and really funny.

To my money, only the original Al Hubbard Fethry stories are comparable to the brazilian stuff! The Red Bat and Biquinho (Fethry's nephew, I forgot his US name - it SHOULD be Beaky...) stories are great!

May 30, 2016 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger TheKKM said...

He's never been published in English but the name going around is "Dugan Duck", in homage to the old comic strip "The Yellow Kid".

May 30, 2016 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Hunter said...

Well, the original portuguese name is Biquinho ("Little Beak"), since Fethry is called Peninha ("Little Feather"). Following that pattern, "Beaky" would be the logical name...

And, man, how many people would link the name Dugan to the Yellow Kid? I wouldn't have made the connection in a million years!

June 2, 2016 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Alexandre Lancaster said...

"is there someone in Brazilian comics considered equivalent to Barks in the US and Scarpa in Italy? "

Renato Canini. But he worked with Zé Carioca, from 1971 to 1978. He was extraordinary and his run (with scripts from Ivan Saidenberg) are considered classics here.

http://submundo-hq.blogspot.com.br/2015/12/ze-carioca-melhor-fase-do-mais.html

January 13, 2017 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger GeoX's Nemesis, the Mysterious XoeG said...

Thank you! I'd love to read some of his work, but I am given to believe that there are technical reasons why so little Brazilian material has appeared in the US. :(

January 14, 2017 at 5:14 AM  

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