Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Happy belated birthday, Donald Duck!

Yeah, okay, so I missed it.  I must confess, I honestly wouldn't have known about it if not for a few people posting on facebook and a new comment on the last post.  I WISH I had something ready, but...I don't.  I've been very preoccupied lately, and it just wasn't happening.  Of course, the Donald of "The Wise Little Hen" has precious little to do with the character as we know him; certainly less than the Mickey of "Plane Crazy" and "Steamboat Willy" does with his modern counterpart.  BUT THAT'S NO EXCUSE, DAMMIT.  Big congratulations to my favorite fictional character ever.  I only wish there was a publisher in the states to officially commemorate the occasion.  Just imagine: twenty years ago, Gladstone celebrated his sixtieth in spectacular fashion with a special issue which included both "The Secret of Mars" AND "The Duck Who Never Was."  Now?  Crickets.  You're goddamn right those were the days.


Anonymous Elaine said...

...and meanwhile, the Dutch have a special birthday edition of their weekly Donald Duck comic book with a story which purports to reveal what became of Della! Sometimes it's really painful these days, as an American, to read the DCF....

June 10, 2014 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...


I missed the anniversary on my Blog, too!

But, at least I can awkwardly try to excuse it by saying that, if we are counting 80 years from “The Wise Little Hen”, that’s actually an “animation celebration”! It’s not “OUR” Donald, who either began with “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold”, or his first appearance in the Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse strip!

Ahhh, we were still caught napping! Still, some good American comics wouldn’t hurt!

June 11, 2014 at 12:59 AM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

@Elaine Oh man, I NEED to read that. Well, it seems likely that a story of such moment will be published in French in fairly short order...

@Joe I like the way you think. Let's run with it, and if anyone questions us, we can just ask why they hate America so much.

June 11, 2014 at 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Erico said...

A special edition of the magazine Topolino (issue 3054) was also released in Italy, last Friday.

The cover is an homage to Steambout Willie by Giorgio Cavazzano (with Donald behind the steering Wheel) and features four new stories plus a gallery of 17 previously unreleased illustrations.
Some of the artists are Tito Faraci, Paola Cortellesi, Silvia Ziche and many more... lol, even Milo Manara is involved...

June 11, 2014 at 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could summarize what happened to Della according to the Dutch, if you want, but perhaps you prefer to read the translation 'unspoiled', or have already seen it on Inducks or DFC?

June 12, 2014 at 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Oh, I vote for the spoiler, Anon, if GeoX allows! The explanation is unlikely to be "real" to me, in my personal Rosa-colored canon, but I'm always curious to know what others make of Duck family history.

So, looking at Inducks--are we talking about the H 2014-007 "Hij verdient t (80 jaar)" Donald's statue story?

June 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

Yeah, go ahead. Hopefully I'll get to read it eventually, but I'm not as hung up about spoilers as some people are.

June 14, 2014 at 12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok I thought I had posted this, but apparently something went wrong.
Anyhow, so spoilers ahead for the Della story, called '80 is prachtig!' something like '80 is magnificent!' (H 2014-071).

In fact the largest part of the story does not focus on what happened to Della. It has Donald recount the nephews how he met various characters, like Daisy and Uncle Scrooge and HDL then ask how they have come to live with their uncle.
Donald tells them that their mother, his sister, Della was the most courageous test pilot in the county. One day she would do a test flight with a new rocket, which would travel at or near the speed of light. The test flight was supposed to take just an hour and Della brought her three eggs to her brother Donald to watch during the test. She would pick them up immediately afterwards.
The rocket achieved lift up just fine, but then, through unknown causes, contact was lost and Della is now missing in space, her fate unclear.
Meanwhile, Gyro has invented some new device that detects a very fast traveling object in our solar system. This turns out to be Della's rocket. The device also allows communication with the rocket and HDL speak with Della.
Della says that they remind her of her tree eggs she has left behind on earth with her brother and to whom she is now returning. Della wants to be there when they hatch, because she loves them very much. It turns out that due to relativistic effects for Della her mission up to now has only taken half an hour.
HDL do not tell her the truth and when Donald asks them why not, the tell him they love him, have accepted the situation and are proud of their mother and don't want to ruin her mission.

Like I said, most part of the story actually concerns a researcher who thinks staying close to a comic character will rejuvenate you, because the do not grow old, the 80 year old Donald being a case in point. He and Donald then start a business selling stays with comic characters to 'real' people and hilarity ensues.
Presumably because a large part of the readership are children 6-12 and a Della-centric story would be too sad. Overall I would say the story is good, but not great.

June 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

Thanks! As I noted on the Disney Comics Forum, it's clever, though, perhaps inevitably, a little anti-climactic. Still, I hope to get the chance to read it one day.

June 16, 2014 at 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Ah, my godson has argued since he was ten or so that the only way to have HDL's parents be alive, reputable and completely out of contact for years is to have them in outer space.

Is the assumption in the story that Della will not actually return for years yet? Though she doesn't realize that, I suppose, since she doesn't realize how long she's already been gone in earth-time. If the test flight was supposed to take an hour, and that meant an hour of on-flight time, then she's only used up half that time and she's likely to be gone for as many years earth-time as she has been already (ten? if she left when the boys were eggs). That would leave the boys safely with Donald until they're grown up.

June 17, 2014 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh, he could write Duck stories. Nothing is said about their father, by the way.

Della will indeed be away for about as long she has been. I don't think anything else was really possible qua continuity.

It struck me from a real world point of view that it was pretty unlikely that you could build a rocket travelling at light speed but not know about time dilation, but whatever I suppose. Rather nice in any case to have the theory of relativity getting mentioned.

June 18, 2014 at 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

I agree with your thought about how unlikely it is that people who could engineer near-light-speed travel would not know about time dilation. But narratively speaking, that ignorance serves several purposes. It keeps Della from being a rotten parent who would abandon her kids for years, and it also keeps her from experiencing huge distress or grief at being separated from them for so long.

The story also makes great grief on the boys' part mostly avoidable, since they were too young when left to remember her. They would just have normal adoptees' sense of loss, a kind of phantom parent, which would be salved in part by their conversation with her. So this story avoids serious trauma on everyone's part.

Of course, she'll be facing a *very* difficult adjustment and grief when she does return home! Not only will the boys be all grown up, but she will be 20 years younger than her twin!

Anon, do you know of any way I could get a copy of this Dutch comic? I'd be happy to send somebody, say, a $20 bill, if they'd send me the comic. (I've done that before with individuals who can't use PayPal or the like.)

June 18, 2014 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Unca Paspasu said...

20 dollars? Where?

I don't think my family would like me to sell it, but I know another option. You can go to workingforthedisneydollar.blogspot.com and ask the author to post his scenario. Many recent and even unpublished ones can be found there.

June 19, 2014 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Elaine, The problem is that it's a special for subscribers, not sold separately. I have taken a quick look at marktplaats.nl, like a dutch ebay, but didn't see it. The dutch site of the magazine, donaldduck.nl, also doesn't list as an option to order, unfortunately.

June 21, 2014 at 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Thanks so much for checking for me, Anon, I much appreciate it! And thanks for the explanation about its being a special for subscribers only; that means there's no point in asking further (on McDrake or wherever) to see if someone could pick me up a copy and send it to me. Ah well, at least I can see the scans that were posted on DCF and on Della's character page on Inducks. And I know what the storyline is, thanks to you!

Perhaps I should check periodically myself on marktplaats.nl, to see whether a copy shows up there at some point. I get most of my French and German Disney comics as used copies from the French and German ebays.

GeoX was hoping this story would turn up soon in French, but if it's so specific to Donald's 80th birthday (not to mention so long!), I don't know what the likelihood is of that.

June 21, 2014 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

"But, at least I can awkwardly try to excuse it by saying that, if we are counting 80 years from “The Wise Little Hen”, that’s actually an “animation celebration”! It’s not “OUR” Donald, who either began with “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold”, or his first appearance in the Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse strip!"

—> Aren't you forgetting that a "Wise Little Hen" comic story was actually published in 1934 ?

February 14, 2016 at 12:17 PM  

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