Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Date with a Munchkin"

I tell you, it's positively disgusting how open-minded I'm becoming these days with regard to duck comics. I have a very hard time imagining that I'll ever be interested in these dumb superheroes stories (if I show any signs of moving in that direction, it's VERY important that you put me out of my misery first), and I still don't care much for the excessively loosey-goosey art style favored by the late Romano Scarpa and his ilk (I'm pretty sure he has an ilk of some description), but other than that, I'm willing to at least try almost anything.

Anyway, that is the explanation for today's entry. Former Gemstone editor David Gerstein came across this humble blog, and in comments to my entry on Gladstone he recommends that I check out a story by Kari Korhonen (with art by the generally-reliable Vicar) that appeared in US350.

The story is called...well, you can see from the title what it's called, and it has more or less the same premise as "A Gal for Gladstone," except that Magica's trying to get with Donald instead (naturally, this involves masquerading as Daisy). That shameless hussy!

And to my surprise...I like this story. I mean, I really like this story. I mean, I like it enough that I'm willing to forgive it for including an American Idol reference. That ought to tell you something. Everything that "A Gal for Gladstone" does wrong or doesn't do at all, this story does right (also, it's not hideous-looking--always a plus). Let us proceed.



Immediately, you can tell that we're dealing with a somewhat kinder, gentler Magica--under ordinary circumstances, you would expect her to be heaping abuse on Ratface. There's a sort of desperation on display here that you can't help but find endearing--in an unusual turn of events, you actually kinda want her to succeed in stealing Scrooge's dime.



Duckburgian SHUT UP SHUT UP CUT HER MIKE. But this is kind of funny anyway (Daisy is hypnotized here, obviously). I really dig Magica's expression--she seems more sort of neurotic than malevolent. In an appealing way.

Anyway. The plan works for a while, and UNLIKE in that McGreal story, we get a montage--and a really effective montage at that--of Donald and disguised-Magica's relationship. It's actually a more effective portrayal than anything I've ever seen of actual-Daisy and Donald.



See? See? Have you ever seen that kind of casual intimacy in a duck comic before? It has been said--accurately, I think--that these are basically masculine stories, in which women play, if anything, marginal or antagonistic roles. This shows that you can subvert that paradigm--and do so pretty darned effectively.

(Where are HDL for all this? Not in evidence. I'm just going to assume that they're away at some sort of big Junior Woodchucks function, because why not?)

But, you know, all good things, of course--plan goes wrong, in large part due to Magica's genuine infatuation, and so dime--not stolen.



Fuck you, Scrooge! Prick. Seriously--you might not root for Scrooge particularly hard in a given Magica story, but when else have you ever rooted against him?



Gawd, I'm such a sentimental fool--but I can't help it. I find this moving. It earns its sentiment in a way that the Gladstone story doesn't. Of course, this leads back to the usual problem--THERE IS NO TELOS IN DUCK COMICS. In other words, this deepening of character cannot, by definition, actually lead anywhere, and the next time you see Magica, she'll be back to her old self. Still--this does everything it can do, and it's a damned fine story. Thanks to Gerstein for recommending it.

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9 Comments:

Blogger ramapith said...

Hey, glad you liked it!

I don't want to take a stance on comparing Kari's story to Pat's; honestly, I liked them both. But I had the honor of "Americanizing" Kari's English dialogue, and it was a genuine pleasure.

Psst—want to see Kari bring you that Donald/Daisy intimacy? No, not like that. Try "Lessons in Love" in WDC&S 641. (Warning, it's mushy. But it's *good* mushy.)

March 3, 2010 at 4:56 AM  
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