Thursday, April 19, 2018

"Matchmaker"


It's time to write about what I can only describe as "some hella dumb shit." This entry is thanks to Debbie Anne, who posted a page from it on one of the Disney comics facebook groups. And now, you get to reap the benefit! Lucky you.

This story comes from the ass-end of Western's Disney regime, in 1982. They'd limp along a few more years, leaving a trail of blood behind them, but the writing was on the wall at this point. So we get awful garbage like this. Wow, I'm not really selling this story, am I? Well, I'm not trying to. Enjoy Vic Lockman and Kay Wright at their absolute nadir!


I mean...I guess, in theory, it would be interesting to see how a culture like Western's, that had probably more or less forgotten about Goldie and never knew about Brigitta, would handle Scrooge and romance. Yep, in theory, that would sure be interesting! It surely would!


That text box on the left makes me think we're going to go into a brief flashback, and even though it doesn't look like that's what's happening, Kay Wright's artistic skills are such that I can kinda believe that that might be happening anyway; it just doesn't even come off a tiny bit. La! Those seductive/dimwitted/narcotized lady ducks sure are...something. They really bring across the grade-school-level gender politics that you get in things like this. That duck in red in the back is especially bad, because she doesn't even look like she's in pursuit of Scrooge; presumably she's just always staggering around like that.

WHY? indeed. This is a question that we might pose of the story as a whole. Or late Western as a whole! It can be very flexible.


Old-fashioned misogyny, is why. Hurrah! This is what we like to see! Frankly, it's amazing we like these characters at all, given how hideously they're so often depicted.


Okay...I'll admit that I find "I hope this doesn't break our computer" a little funny. I'd like to draw your attention to just how behind-the-times the, uh, creatives behind this story were, however: this was 1982. The Apple II microcomputer had been available for five years. There is absolutely no reason for the dating service to be using this giant, fifties-style mainframe...except that, clearly Wright and Lockman didn't know and/or care that anything had advanced since then. I mean, I'd appreciate this if it were an intentionally retro twist, but obviously it's just two oblivious-as-hell dudes stumbling around trying--and clearly, given Western's soon-to-be fate, failing--to appeal to The Kids. Whee!


"Nincompute" is how you know this is Lockman. It ain't much, wordplaywise, but it's all we've got, so we'd better try to appreciate it. In spite of our inevitable failure to do so.


Do you believe in your heart of hearts that Scrooge--this Scrooge, certainly--is capable of finding anyone "cute?" Does this story do a good job selling that, d'ya think? Bah.


I mean, this could be interesting. It won't be, obviously, but in the hands of a better creative team a clash like this, sure, why not? Though I don't like the fact that, unlike Scrooge, this Tillie is only rich due to inheritance. I mean, this could easily be just plain laziness on Lockman's part rather than actual misogyny, but whatever, it sucks and I hate it anyway. BOY, I'm punchy today!


Something about this strikes me as vaguely dirty, but I am so eager to not pursue that particular train of thought. GOOD LORD.


Well hell, at least this is vaguely visually interesting. Nothing to lose your mind over, but compared to the rest of it...also note "buck burrower," another Lockmanism.

"Scrooge discovers he has claustrophobia." Helluva thing to discover about yourself in your seventies!


No, really, that's all. End of story. I hope you weren't naive enough to think it was actually going to build to anything or anything. This is all you get!

That's all. There is no moral to this story, or this blog entry. We live in an empty and meaningless universe. Check back next time for more cheery thoughts!

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28 Comments:

Blogger george greg said...

A great entry as usual, GeoX! (despite the story).
If you want to review a really bad story, you should try "The Battle at Hadrian's Wall" from Donald Duck 107 (INDUCKS code W DD 107-02). It's probably the worst Duck story I've ever read.

April 19, 2018 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger joecab said...

What? Nothing about the double meaning of the line "close quarters"?

April 19, 2018 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger (((Rootless Cosmopolitan GeoX))) said...

Okay, that somehow went by me. I will admit with gritted teeth that it's not bad.

April 19, 2018 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Debbie Anne said...

Yeeks. We meet again, Uncle Scrooge #202. This wasn't even the weirdest story in the issue, but it was the most disappointing. At least Jack Manning didn't draw it. As dull as Kay Wright's art is here, it's not as Hanna-Barbera-ish as Manning's (which fit stories as cartoony as "The Trip to Tootum-Too" (https://inducks.org/story.php?c=W+US++202-01&search=Tootum-too)
...but let's not get bogged down in "The Worst of Uncle Scrooge".
"Matchmaker"'s saving grace is...it's short, and it's also printed on low-quality paper, so it will eventually decompose enough so that we won't be able to read it anymore. Okay, maybe I'm getting carried away now...

April 19, 2018 at 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Instead of the out-of-character "she is kind of cute," it would have been so easy to have him say, "But I can't help liking her name...I wonder if she lives up to it?"

I can appreciate your reluctance to pursue the ickiness of "join me in my bucks," but I will nonetheless point out the Freudian implications of the buck-burrowing panels. She draws him deep inside, he feels trapped and desperate to escape. Uh-huh. WHY has Scrooge avoided wimmen? Now we know!

The 1950's computer with TAPE DRIVES in a 1982 story is hi-larious.

April 19, 2018 at 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

...though, to be completely fair, computers did still have tape drives in the early 1960's, so it's only 20 years out of date, not 30.

April 19, 2018 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

GeoX brings up a good point about inheritance....

(I mean I don't see how it would be automathicaly misgony. For me it's just quick way to move things alone)

...in much more develope story they could actualy make her a female Scrooge with similar back story etc. Imagine "Second richest duck in the world" Scrooge/Glomgold bickering ONLY here they are talking how each one is more rich (and as well during what adventures they earn it) all while slowly falling in love.

Heck, it would ver more natural progression if Grandma duck would put Scrooge on a date, he would be all like "THIS IS STUPID! I'M WASTING MY TIME!" at first but then slowly start to see something about the ol'gal and fall in love stuff like she's cheaper then him or better at making money or... HELL! Why is it always have to be money related? Let have Scrooge see come coal miner girl working and be all like :
- Kilt me Bagpipes! That girl as hard working as me back in the old Klondike days! Here, let me help you...
And then turn out she's even better then him and he start falling in love and... excuse me! I have entire fan-fiction to write!

April 20, 2018 at 4:30 AM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Pan, on the inheritance question: it would have been easy for Lockman to have her say, "I inherited a pile from my Aunt Millie, the miser, and invested it until it doubled!" At least let Tillie play some active role in amassing the bucks.

European authors have invented some female zillionaires to interact with Scrooge. I haven't been able to read any of their stories, so I'm just going from INDUCKS here. I don't believe either Velma Vanderduck or Juanella Van Damm is a romantic interest for Scrooge, but businesswoman Molly McGold is identified as "an old love of Scrooge." (There's also Manuela Danarosa De Doblon Y Pesetas, the Mexican billionaire with the Rosa-tribute name in several PK stories.)

But if you want to focus your fanfic on Scrooge and a hardworking miner gal, there's a candidate for that role, too: Pyrite Jennie, from the story "Gold Hound," which I believe is wrongly attributed in INDUCKS to Lockman. It was first published in JW 3 (published by the Disney Interregnum), and in that comic it is attributed to Bob Langhans. Scrooge does admire and like Jennie, and the story leaves it likely that he'll visit her again. Plus, she has a dog named Biscuit, who could be a fun addition to the fanfic!

April 20, 2018 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

Though I don't like the fact that, unlike Scrooge, this Tillie is only rich due to inheritance. I mean, this could easily be just plain laziness on Lockman's part rather than actual misogyny,

I would say it is. If it was the notion of a woman getting rich that Lockman wanted to avoid, he wouldn't have had the person Tillie inherited the money with be another woman — her Aunt Millie.

Also, this is not a domain I like to delve into, but since we're apparently listing off inappropriate interpretations of the story, the fact that Scrooge and Tillie stop dating because "she likes (…) and I like to swim on top", especially the second part, sounds dirty enough as well, I must say.

Interesting though the burrowing sequence may be, it's even more physically abusrd in how it's presented than burrowing in coins — wouldn't you keep tearing the banknotes? — and the fact that it's a foreign idea to Scrooge, and one that he dislikes, is at odds with the classic, Barksian "burrow in it like a gopher" part of his usual Money Bin swim.

April 20, 2018 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger Jeffyo said...

Long before 1982 -- heck, by the mid 60s -- I'd learned to pick and choose the duck stories I bought. I restricted my consumption to Carl Barks, even though I had no idea who he was at the time. If there was a non-Barks story included in a DD or WDCS, I would avoid reading it. For that reason, I missed out on a lot of horrors such as the Tillie Tightwad story. (Though I suppose she IS kinda cute...)

It just occurs to me that it might make for an interesting post (for us older duck freaks, anyway) to explore the question of "Where were you when you first heard that the "good duck artist" was actually Carl Barks.?" For me, it was in the Ohio University library, c. 1977, when I first found his name in "The Peoples' Almanac."

April 20, 2018 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger (((Rootless Cosmopolitan GeoX))) said...

I would say it is. If it was the notion of a woman getting rich that Lockman wanted to avoid, he wouldn't have had the person Tillie inherited the money with be another woman — her Aunt Millie.

Well, I'm not talking about conscious bias, but we all have unconscious assumptions that shape what we do. Though talking about such things with a story as useless as this may be a waste of time.

And you're dead on about the double entendre there; not that I think Lockman would've been canny enough for it to be intentional, but UGH. My brain probably overlooked it in self-defense.

April 20, 2018 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

AT: OK, she inherits from another woman, great. But no one gets to be rich just by being a miser. Being a miser only preserves riches. Aunt Millie either earned the money in some way, won a lottery, or inherited it herself. It would be nice to acknowledge that women can come by a pile of money by their own efforts, that's all I'm saying.

I did notice the "I like to swim on top," but it didn't accord with my brilliantly derived interpretation of Scrooge's real reason to avoid women, and thus in the grand and time-honored tradition of psychoanalytic interpretation I ignored it. All contrary evidence is confabulation obscuring the Real Truth I have so deftly uncovered.

In any case, the double entendre doesn't really work with what is said about Tillie's preference. Now, if they couldn't get along because they *both* wanted to swim on top....

April 20, 2018 at 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_parentheses
Is this intended?

April 21, 2018 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger (((Rootless Cosmopolitan GeoX))) said...

Some internet people use the triple parentheses around their screen names in solidarity against alt-right/neo-nazi types. So yes, it is wholly intentional.

April 21, 2018 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous (((Anonymous))) said...

Very good! I really enjoy your Reviews by the way, although I never post comments.

April 21, 2018 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

Hello dere, GeoX! After reading this review, I found myself rereading Uncle Scrooge #202 in its entirety, and I reviewed all the other stories in it on The Feathery Society. Would love to see your thoughts there (we don't see nearly enough of you at the Society, anyway!).

http://featherysociety.proboards.com/thread/675/review-uncle-scrooge-202

April 22, 2018 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Geo:

I’m so very disappointed in you!

“Matchmakers”, while a very (and typically for the time) uninspired title, is HARDLY “ Vic Lockman and Kay Wright at their absolute nadir!” THIS IS! And I’ll continue saying so until my dying day – and, after that, a series of pre-programmed “Joe Torcivia Robots” will carry on my war against this particular story-that-should-have-never-been! …So there!

And, after that disservice to all duckdom, the fact that they were allowed to continue on for FIFTEEN MORE YEARS before Western finally died a death it should have died somewhere in the mid/late 1970s, (…and not 1984!) – and while Scarpa, Cavazzano, Rota, Vicar, and Branca were doing such great work elsewhere in the world, tragically unseen in the USA – is an unforgivable travesty!

While Kay Wright’s work is unquestionably unredeemable, especially in view of the concurrent work of the gentlemen named above, my fondness for Vic Lockman remains fast and solid, despite whatever “loopyness” overtook him as the 1960s drew to a close.

Even a story like “Matchmakers” wouldn’t have REALLY been SO BAD if (say) Tony Strobl had drawn it!

Two points to make:

My very good friend Achille Talon beat me to it, because I’m so (all together now) “Horrifically Busy” these days, but (whether intentional or not) Lockman may have gotten away with the greatest sexual reference these comics have ever seen with their incompatibility because “She likes to burrow in money and I like to swim on top!”

That just may stand as one of the greatest Disney comic punchlines of ALL TIME! …And, yes… I thought that back when I read this story “new”.

Whatever you wish to say about this story, at least Lockman seriously broke from his then-formula of battles of, er… “wits” with the Beagle Boys, or some throwaway con-man trying to rip-off Scrooge. How many o’ THOSE did we get, at the exclusion of nearly all else – including Donald and the boys – back then?!

Finally, I broke into IT/computer technology (coincidently) in 1982 – and there WERE still “giant, fifties-style mainframes” in common use! Trust me, I was there! I PERSONALLY used TAPE DRIVES in 1982-1985! And, even PUNCH CARDS while in school and at the very beginning of my career. This sort of thing “gets lost” with the passing of time and technology – but it was more accurate than some of you believe!

So, to sum up… Kay Wright was “wrong” to ever pick up a pencil! And, “Yay for you, Vic!” …Oh, and 1950s computers RULE! (…or, at least they DID!)

Let the comments continue to flow!

April 22, 2018 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

Joe: I'm very honored to have you call me a "very good friend". And while I won't disagree that "THIS" is absolutely awful, I'd suggest you follow the link I posted in the comment just above, where I stress a few places in other parts of Uncle Scrooge #202 where Wright's art is, surprisingly, worthy of some praise.

April 22, 2018 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Achille:

That was an EXCELLENT – and VERY FAIR – review of UNCLE SCROOGE # 202. Here’s a Direct link!

Since I rarely comment on FeatherySociety, especially after a memorable “out-of-control-thread” where a particularly impolite person called for my job and the jobs of those who hired me at IDW – when I hadn’t even been involved in the “so-called-discussion” at the time, I’ll respond here!

You should have a Blog of your own, similar to mine! You have very many interesting things to say about the comics we love. This is evident here, at FeatherySociety, and in your comments at my own Blog. I very much enjoy your contributions!

While Kay Wright isn’t necessarily as bad an artist as he sometimes appears to be – as in that infamous boat-crash sequence in (all together now) “Bird Bothered Hero” -- your review better showcases the good side of Jack Manning, and how unique his angular-style was! Manning was far more interesting on the ancillary characters, rather than on the ducks themselves!

Kay Wright, however, did do some decent work on the Hanna-Barbera characters for Western in the early sixties – but, even there, he was waaay overshadowed by the superb work of Harvey Eisenberg on those same characters. If at all possible, check out the Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear story in MARCH OF COMICS # 235, “The Flighty Knighty” (1962), also reprinted in GOLDEN COMCIS DIGEST 11 (1970). It was a worthy effort, with VERY “in-character” writing, and appropriately competent art by Wright. Not very easy to find, alas!

I particularly like Vic Lockman’s stiff-neck-gag in “The Stuffed Mattress”, even if Wright failed to convey it to its best advantage. That’s the kind of gag *I* would throw into a Scrooge story!

And while it might look odd today, DAFFY DUCK being advertised UNCLE SCROOGE # 202 was no different than SUPERMAN being advertised in THE FOX AND THE CROW… same publisher for both! Internal “house ads”.

Great job by both Geo and yourself in highlighting an issue few folks would even consider taking a second look at!

April 22, 2018 at 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Hmm, Joe, I will have to check out the history of tech with my computer scientist friends. Don't get me wrong, I totally believe you.... My father was a computer scientist, and I well remember the tape drives and punch cards (we used them all the time as bookmarks) from the 1960's, but not later. It's quite possible that he was working with more up-to-date tech than the computer dating people (or you) were, though. Interesting to know the old mainframes with tape drives were still in use in the 1980's.

I don't know, I can't find any redeeming value in the stiff neck joke. It makes no sense to me. Walk in the other direction, as AT/SMcD said. And why would this condition prevent them from robbing the bin but *not* from robbing a house? Bah.

April 22, 2018 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Elaine:

The computer stuff is easily explained. The cheap private companies I worked for early in my career would be reluctant to invest in any new technologies unless and until they absolutely had to! There were no such things as a “CIO” or “technology committees”, as would later be the case. These businesses were run by frugal, strong-willed, narrowly-minded, individual entrepreneurs who were only concerned that the computer spit out regular and accurate sales reports – and an OLD computer could do that just as easily, and less expensively, than a new one… as long as it could be kept running, tape reels and all.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if WESTERN itself didn’t operate computers like that until its eventual demise! And, even if not, wouldn’t the clichéd visual of what a computer was supposed to look and act like be a natural for an out-of-touch writer and artist to go-to?

The “stiff-neck-gag” succeeds for me in its absurdity! It didn’t have to “make sense” or be logical… it was the “Non-Barks Gold Key Beagle Boys”, after all! Just as I had them totally flummoxed by having to adopt “actual names” in “Love is Never Having to Say You’re Sentenced”! That sort of throwaway stuff is fun to write!

April 22, 2018 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Debbie Anne said...

Hmm...all this attention for Uncle Scrooge #202! Just because I happened to be reading it on my vacation, and decided to share a page from "Matchmaker" on Facebook...maybe I need to look at some of the very few other Gold Key and Whitman issues from the late 70s and early 80s I have to find some more hidden "treasures" (I used to have quite a few Donald Duck issues from this time, but I left them behind when I moved years ago).

April 22, 2018 at 5:42 PM  
Anonymous george greg/Lupan Evezan/Drleevezan said...

Joe:
Achille Talon does have a review blog: disneycomicsreviews.blogspot.com

April 23, 2018 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

I actually know that one! But, didn't know it was his! ...Sometimes you can have too many screen names! :-)

April 23, 2018 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

You'd be forgiven for forgetting about that one. Haven't used it in a while, after I clogged it up whilst in my manic Haunted Mansion phase. Perhaps I ought to revive it.

April 23, 2018 at 12:29 PM  
Anonymous george greg/Lupan Evezan/Drleevezan said...

Yes, you should, it was a very good blog in my opinion.

April 23, 2018 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Seconded!

April 23, 2018 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger (((Rootless Cosmopolitan GeoX))) said...

*I* say you should never blog again. It makes me look bad. :p

April 23, 2018 at 1:40 PM  

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