Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Chapter Ten: "The Invader of Fort Duckburg"

Rosa judges this as "perhaps the most enjoyable chapter in the series." It's certainly enjoyable, but also, I can't help feeling, a little insubstantial. How much I will have to say about it is open to question. Let us see. There's a LOT of Barksian stuff here, but I'm certainly not going to make an effort to catalogue it all--that's what Rosa's commentary is for.

...and it's enjoyable in large part because we get to see lots of rarely-seen supporting characters doing their thing. In addition to Scrooge's sisters, we have Daphne, Gladstone's future mother (the story makes note of her surprising luck); Quackmore, Donald's and Della's future father; and Eider, who might or might not be here were he not actually mentioned in Barks' "Farragut the Falcon," but whom the family tree establishes as marrying Lulubelle Loon MEHITABEL MUDHEN and becoming Abner's and Fethry's father. I may have warmed to Fethry a bit in recent months, but you have to admit: it's pretty jarring to imagine him in Rosa-world. At the very least, he would no doubt be very different than any other depiction of the character.

Fun Fact: I had been under the impression that "Elvira Coot" was a name that Rosa just made up, but then I read the commentary for the first time in a while and learned that this is not so, or at least only partially--so I had to investigate the source material. I must warn you that the next image--which is from a terrible non-Barks story in WDC121--features one of those horrible mice from Cinderella. More sensitive audience members may wish to leave the room.

Well, okay, it's almost "Elvira." And she isn't a Coot, of course. But close enough, I reckon. Who knew? I mean, aside from people who were paying attention?

Yes, and naturally, it's love at first sight, sort of, for these two. It's cute, although reducing Donald to the sum of two bad-tempered people is a bit on the reductive side.

Also, Junior Woodchucks, including Gyro's future father. And…yup. The running gag of Scrooge repeatedly using mangled variations on their name is funny.

And bam, Theodore Roosevelt is back--a fun and unexpected recurrence, especially since this time he has more to do than just dispense bromides to Scrooge.

I'm quite certain I belabored the point about Scrooge's character inconsistencies sufficiently last time, but I have to at least briefly note this bit: what about being a Rugged Individualist and Making It Square implies paying your sisters slave wages to do your work for you?

And those sisters…I like them, but there's no denying it: their personalities are very limited. Matilda really doesn't develop much of any individuality 'til much later in "The Old Castle's Other Secret," whereas for Hortense it's basically just "prone to fits of rage." Buuut...well, they are also subject to, for want of a better word, extreme horniness* when confronted with these mythical "cowboys" they're after. Hey, fair enough; it's hard to imagine that they ran into too many eligible young men back in Scotland, given their situation (though come to think of it, I dunno; if they're willing to go for disguised Beagle Boys, they can't be that discriminate…). Also, note that Hortense's infatuation with Quackmore does not seem to inhibit her at all in this regard. It's actually rather easy to see why she wouldn't be playing a part in her son's later life: as much as they might dig each other in a visceral way, it's hard to imagine their marriage working out in the long term, for many reasons, some of which might even be printable in a Disney comic.

*Some might argue that "boy-craziness" would've been a better word, in that it would have kept this entry PG-rated and avoided so strongly conjuring unwanted images of duck/dog-face miscegenation. But I think history will show that "PG-rated" is not how we roll here at Duck Comics Revue LLC. Or at least, I hope it's not. If you think this blog is too PG please let me know, and I'll try to say "fuck" more often.

Oh yeah, there's some kinda big battle, complete with Hortense chasing off the "cow-people" with a broom, a nice echo of "The New Laird of Castle McDuck." She's all grown up now!

Anyway, little bit of this, little bit of that, and ultimately the bin is established. I really like the shot of the barrels at the bottom there (a Barks-inspired thing, natch)--it really demonstrates the magnitude of the money-grubbing to come and presages its general epicness.

Who the heck? Just some random walk-ons, apparently, but it always feels like duck characters this distinct should have substantial roles of some sort. And yeah, I know this dead horse has just about had it, but note that, in spite of the implication that Scrooge is gonna be the force that builds this town and that that's a good thing, it's really not gonna be a very nice place to live, if everyone's pulling in Scrooge-wages.

And that's that. Another quite nice splash panel to end things on. Rosa's good at those, as you may at some point have noticed.

Can you believe it, people? Tomorrow it's "Sharpie of the Culebra Cut," the last of the bonus chapters. Hard to fathom, but this project is very close to completion. Excelsior!

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Blogger Chris Barat said...


What is that on TR's wall in the White House? One of his hunting trophies, or a foreshadowing of the Bull Moose Party of 1912?

I also find Scrooge's use of the word "superpower" a bit anachronistic. Funny, but anachronistic.

Still, this is a good chapter.


December 22, 2011 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Comicbookrehab said...

Yeah, whenever new duck characters appear, it seems like they're meant to be Duck-family relations. There's that painter from "Sign of The Triple Distlefink," and even Rockerduck looks related to Fethry.

December 23, 2011 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

Man, that guy in "Distelfink" is the ultimate example. He's apparently some sort of mystic or something, and I always think Rosa had to have been intending for there to be some secret about him. Beats me what, though.

December 23, 2011 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

When I was abut 12 and I read this story for the first time I try to gifure out who the guy who arive in duckburg is... He obviously was ment to be some sort of refrence...
But no. Appreantly he was ment to me just "some newcomer"...

In my fan-fiction-mind however his... Daisy Duck Grandfather. There! I said it! :P

Another theory that I had is that the magical "Distelfink" painter - hoever or whatever he was - has incredeble Luck like Gladstone and Daphne as well. He appears to know what he was doing...("Distelfink" is among stories I hope Geox will review one day)

Ad for the "superpower" bit - I love the Polish translation where Scrooge say (translating his dialog into english) : "This will be the judgement day for You all when I shall use my Superweapon" (refrencing the board he was holding) It's just incredeble funny...

October 20, 2012 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

Ah, so you, Pan, are the author of that Daisy Duck family tree in which the guy is featured as her grandfather… I had stumbled on it some time ago, but did not know where it came from.

February 23, 2016 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I once read the theory that Mabel and her husband were Daisy's parents based on their appearances in the animated short "Donald's Diary" albeit younger, though it's somewhat unlikely since Rosa only used Barks as a reference, not other authors nor the shorts.

Quoting the now deleted paragraph from Disney wiki:
"An unconfirmed appearance occurs in the saga "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck", at the end of "The Invader Of Fort Duckburg" appears a newlywed couple who move to Duckburg.
The groom is physically the similar to the Daisy's father, while the bride, called Mabel, is in the same pose of "Arrangement in Grey and Black" and shows the same two facial expressions seen in "[[Donald's Diary]]" (bored and irritated).
This can be considered a Don Rosa's easter egg."

November 14, 2016 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

Wow, that's really interesting. Good catch.

December 17, 2016 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Um... it's six years later I revisit this place and um... No, Achille I wasn't the creator of that family tree but it's only proves that "Great minds think alike" ;)

Mind you whenever it fit Rosa DID reach for non-Barks sources - Fanny, Gus mother name was taken from Al Tailaferro comic strip, as shown above Gradma's Duck's real name was from from some obscure and few minor examples (and depsite what people like to say Rosa wasn't that Barks-only - he did use Jose and Panchito and even mention in his commentary for "The Black Knight" that he orginaly wanted to use The Pantom Blot... which would be some alternative universe to live in... even Rockerduck was more an homage to European fans at the time then to Barks lore lovers) so I can imagine if he wanted to refrence Daisy partens he would go to non-Barks places to refrence them. Looking back it's to confusded refrence to be conisder a clear of an easter... But hey, when he orignaly writen "Of Duck, Dimes and Destines" he mentioned that in his mind the character was Rockerduck's father but while he made zero clues to it, it was just a little detail he put in to amuse himself only, so why not here?

One last idea that these where orginaly ment to be some miningful characters the editor ask him to remove for some reasons and replace them with a generic duck family, but since it's so reare to see duck character who aren't important in Rosa verse no fans can help but think of theories. It will drive us insane untill the end of time...

October 9, 2022 at 5:04 AM  

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