Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It Grows On You.

Looking good, ladies and gents!  JUST IMAGINE: six years ago, this would've seemed impossible, and now, BAM, more than halfway done.  My only concern is that they may run out of color schemes for the covers. 

(I mean, more than halfway done unless they decide to go so far as to reprint twenty years' worth of gag strips, but that sounds excruciatingly monotonous.  Personally, I'd go with one best-of volume of latter-day gag strips, both because it would be interesting in itself, and--perhaps more importantly!--so we can have a nice, even number of slipcases with no odd volumes out.)

Anyway, sorry for the dang ol' lack of updates here.  There are things I've been itching to talk about, but I have been GENUINELY PREOCCUPIED.  Everything should be good now, though!  I'll be off on vacation this next week and a half, but then I'll have a flurry of Christmas stories.  I already have a few written, and more in the works.  Huzzah!


Blogger Lugija said...

Looking good indeed. I currently only buy these fancy hardcover classic collections, so November-December is pretty much the Disney comic month, with all the Fantagraphics boxes coming out at this time (I read the new stuff I get my hands on but it's through libraries or friends). Two new books of Gottfredson, Barks and Rosa each, oh my. The only minus with the Rosa books is that they make the Barks ones look cheaper.

IDW's DD and Silly Symphonies collections will perhaps make a hole in my wallet with their current rate, though. But I won't complain that there's too much good material available, and I'm mainly interested in Donald's character development through '30-'40's so I don't necessarily buy everything now.

I agree that a fourteenth book could be a 'best-of' if it's planned to be the last one. And how much room would the last adventure stories from the 90's take? They could be a nice epilogue if they don't take over the whole book.

(And after Gottfredson stuff is done my wish would be a Casty collection but that is likely nothing but a pipe-dream... yet. Hopefully it's 'yet' and not 'ever'.)

December 8, 2015 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger ramapith said...

Our original plan was for 13 dailies books running through 1955—and then a fourteenth "best-of" covering the later period, just to keep things slipcase-friendly.

But given the decreased amount of postwar supplementary features available (they trail off significantly), it's proven a better idea to have just 12 dailies books, which can run through 1955 handily by themselves.

We'll see what happens after that as the date gets closer. We're working like gangbusters on dailies book 9 as I write this—it genuinely feels like the home stretch.

December 9, 2015 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Wow. I never thought I'd ever have a shelf full of this much of Gottfredson's work, much less than being four volumes away from completing it. Seeing as how Mickey Mouse made significantly fewer cartoon shorts from the 1940's on, the dwindling supply of supplimentary material isn't a big surprise. That the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck comic strips continued to run in papers for as long as it had after their "retirement" from cartoons is a bigger surprise.

December 10, 2015 at 1:33 AM  
Blogger Monkey_Feyerabend said...

Geox: it would be nice to see one day a monumental review of yours on the legendary continuities in the orange volume, like you did for the blue one. Not aiming to put pressure on you, just saying... :)

Ramapith: thanks for what you are doing in these years with all this important editorial work. Yes, I guess you have had enough of hearing this kind of thanks, but well, one more won't kill you (I hope).

December 10, 2015 at 2:44 AM  
Blogger ramapith said...


(...thanks, Domenico! But I'd like to share the "blame" with Gary Groth, Tom Andrae and the rest of the FGL gang.)

December 10, 2015 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Okay if there's only going to be 12 Gottfredson Adventure Collections how about one "best-of" gag strip volume and one volume that collects that 90s strip continuities.

December 12, 2015 at 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Where Fantagraphics leaves off, maybe IDW could pick up, if there is a demand for more Mickey Mouse reprints after the continuities stop...but let's not overwork poor "Ramapith"...

December 12, 2015 at 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty amazed by the Gottfredson collection myself, it's genuinely great stuff (just remember to skip the intro page to each story and read it afterwards!). Fantagraphics' has, to my reckoning, consistently provided the most and best bonus features of any comics company, and it's packaged around one of the greats from Disney in general.

Seeing Gottfredson's gags in the second volume of the Sundays, I don't really have an overwhelming urge to see them all collected, but as long as they were funny I'd happily purchase the box sets going forward. And I am looking forward to more stuff from you too, Geo!

Since I see this Floyd Norman comment going around about fitting in a single volume or some such, I wanted to provide what my current understanding of the United States licenses are based on my conversations with people from various companies involved.

Fantagraphics, and forgive me if I am wrong here, has the license to publish single-author collections of Disney work. Which is to say, the license to do a Carl Barks Library, Don Rosa Library, Floyd Gottfredson Library, Romano Scarpa Library, but they couldn't do a translated collection of Paperinik New Adventures because they are not under the purview of a single, consistent author for every issue. Which is why when BOOM tried to publish the Donald Duck trade paperbacks with only Rosa stories, there was a serious issue of it being a legal and ethical grey area.

Assuming (and this is a big assumption, because even my exhaustive search proved a problem of distance, and even INDUCKS proves a source of some confusion) that Floyd Norman was responsible for the totality of the stories published, Fantagraphics could probably publish a Floyd Norman collection if they chose to. Based on the amount of time he was on the strip, a collection of his would probably require two volumes, provided they wanted to stay in the size range of the Gottfredson collection. This is admittedly my best guess, as I have no way to verify that. The one library in the entirety of the United States who publicly admits to carrying a full collection of one of two papers that ran the whole thing, is on the East Coast on microfiche.

It was a pretty exhaustive search, I'm saying.

IDW has the license to what I believe is called the 'Disney Classics' license, which covers Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. I'm not sure what else they can publish. Their 'Library of American Comics' subdivision will be publishing the Donald Duck newspaper strip, as well as Silly Symphonies, so they clearly have license to some newspaper properties at least. I couldn't say with any certainty what the range of those licenses are though.

Joe Books has license to all of Disney's TV properties, their movie characters, and anything from Pixar. So they can publish a DuckTales comic provided they stick solely with DuckTales stories, even though IDW already has an Uncle Scrooge comic. They've done 'Cinestory' adaptations of Pixar and Disney movies so far, and will be releasing a Darkwing Duck comic sometime in... I think March is the current date, which is good because I seem to recall that Sparrow had written six scripts before a very long delay.

And that's pretty much it. Everything is subject to Disney approval, that's why there were complications with various things in the American Rosa Library based on what I read on his facebook page, but there you go. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

December 13, 2015 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

That "Reform and Void" story, at any rate, was by two people, neither of whom was Floyd Norman. I think there are at least a few others that share that distinction.

December 13, 2015 at 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like. There were some comments about how the strips were delivered, which is to say, with a story written and drawn from beginning to end before they were sent off, that makes that particular strip very confusing. I'm not sure if Norman was involved at all in the strip as a story editor or what, or how the license works when you get to more tangential issues.

All I can say is... comics are weird.

December 13, 2015 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

You say "license on single-author comics"… Aren't some of the stories in the Carl Barks Library written by Lockman ? Aren't most of Floyd Gottfredson's serials written by Bill Walsh and other people ?

December 13, 2015 at 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Gottfredson was responsible for at least co-plotting much of the material, and was also the consistent artist throughout. Since Rosa also had stories written by others in his collections, I think 'author' can be better summed up as 'creator' for the purposes of the license. But I recall it being said as 'author' in the discussions I had.

December 13, 2015 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger ramapith said...

Fantagraphics' FGL license covers the Mickey daily strip and Sunday strip during the periods that Gottfredson regularly worked on them, as well as whatever brief bits FG contributed to other Disney strips. (So we were able to publish 1938 Sundays where Manuel Gonzales filled in for FG, because FG regularly worked on the Mickey Sunday during that period. And we could publish individual Treasury of Classic Tales serials that FG worked on. But we couldn't, say, have included a full year of mostly-Gonzy Mickey Sundays from 1956, just because FG filled in for him once.)
Disney also allows us to include, as back-of-the-book extras, individual stories by creators who were inspired by Gottfredson, but those stories obviously can't be the focus of the book (usually we include just one).

December 14, 2015 at 3:02 PM  

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