Thursday, December 24, 2020

Scrooge's Last Adventure part four: "The Beginning..."

Unlike parts two and three, this doesn't start exactly where the previous chapter left off.  What a world!

So why do these titles all have ellipses, anyway?  I don't care one way or another--why would I?--but it seems like a moderately odd choice.

The thing this story needs to do is somehow involve all the duck family and friends in the plan to stop Glomgold and Rockerduck.  That's a bit of a tall order.  So how does it do?  Well, we'll see, obviously.  But the short answer is: probably about as well as anyone could've hoped for but not as well as one might've wished for.

Yup.  That's what happens when people who fundamentally don't like or trust each other try to work together.  Actually, when you think about it, that's really why these villain team-ups are less intimidating than you'd think they'd be: too many clashing egos to ruin the plans.

Murderous Glomgold is legit chilling.  What else can I say?  I don't think he's always like this; I think he's more like Pete, who in some stories is depicted as coldblooded killer but in some as sorta-kinda sympathetic.

If there's one thing I like, it's when people in the thing say the name of the thing.  "I'm afraid this may be...Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge in Scrooge's Last Adventure!"

Yeah, SO: this is a pretty obscure reference that I nonetheless recognize: it's from this podcast I used to listen to a lot, Jordan Jesse Go, in which--this isn't really a joke per se--it was posited that two great names to use in, I don't know, any work of fiction would be Dop Dipson and Dip Dobson.  Or names to that effect, anyway.  But I don't even know for a fact whether this is directly referring back to that, because these names were ALSO used for newscasters in Boom's Darkwing Duck comic back in the day, so it might just be referencing that.  Are we all too referential these days?  Maybe.

I dunno...I feel like that second panel there may be a bit too much: you suggest all this stuff about Glomgold's past, but then you don't really do anything with it and no one else does either, and it's a bit more weight than the story is actually able to carry.  Or so I think!

So the story dispenses with the wimminfolk's contribution here.  They're having a bake sale and getting signatures on a petition.  Okay!  As I said, it's all right, but it really doesn't give them much of a contribution to make.  I mean okay, you can buy that making baked goods is a Grandma thing to do, but Daisy is mutable enough that it's hard to think of anything specifically Daisy-ish for her to do, but really, Brigitta, at any rate, is a distinct character, and this has nothing to do with her in any way.

I do think it's funny that not only Duckburg's current mayor but also all of its previous mayors are caricatures of capitalists from a 1920s IWW editorial cartoon.  They know how to pick 'em!

Yeah, so back to "the girls;" apparently, their contribution is that they "slowed 'em down."  What does that even mean?  Somehow it seems less than satisfying.

Likewise, Fethry "slows 'em down more."  They must be pretty slow by now!  I'll bet you could attack twice in the time it would take for their action gauges to fill up!  The whole Fethry business takes a single page and doesn't amount to much of anything: okay okay, you included him.  Sort of.  But, eh, I dunno...

Oh hey look!  This entry is Christmasy after all!  It's a Christmas Miracle!  Sort of.

The Pasha of Pushbak!  I know him well!  Is this even supposed to be a real person, or not?  Very unclear.  If so, you'd think this Pasha would be able to take legal action against Scrooge for dragging him into these proceedings.

Hurrah!  Everybody loves a parade.  This is fun.

This also: something about this is positively psychedelic.

...so yeah, both Rockerduck and Glomgold end up making deals with this dude to try to edge the other one out.  

And now, to go off on a somewhat lengthy tangent: does something about this "pasha" seem slightly...off to you?  And not off in the story's intended sense?  When you need an "exotic" Asian rich guy, the go-to is normally the Maharajah of Howduyustan.  Who's this pasha jamoke?  Of course, nobody is required to use any character they don't want to, but it seems like it would be appropriate in a Scrooge tribute story, and besides, "I was soundly embarrassed in a contest of wealth with McDuck. My jewel collection never recovered" is clearly meant as a specific Barks reference...and this dern pasha sure ain't Barksian!  

...and, I mean, his original name obviously wasn't something taken from a trivial 1964 Scarpa eight-pager.  So what gives?  Well, I just so happen to have the French edition of this story, so let's take a look:

Hah!  Is Howduyustan consistently known as "Dollaristan" in French?  I can't say it's an improvement.  Nonetheless, it certainly looks as though the US version was changed, for whatever reason.  One can only speculate: I really don't think that our IDW localizers would've voluntarily passed up the Barks reference, so I have to think this was by fiat, from Disney or IDW or whoever decides these things.  The Rosicrucians?

Was it because of a dislike of continuity?  Although that would seem to be more characteristic of the new, bad IDW.  Some sort of incoherent political hypersensitivity?  Difficult to say.  Feel free to speculate in the comments.

BUT WAIT!  THERE'S MORE!  As you know, these stories were published in English twice, once in regular-comic-book form and once in multi-issue omnibuses.  So let's look at the SECOND version:

...huh.  Did Disney's ever-shifting censorship policies shift again?  We may never know.  But the important thing here is: I WAS RIGHT.

Oh, and in case you were curious, here's how this panel looks without the reference to a previous IDW issue.  Also, here's how Jubal Pomp contributes.  He definitely gets to play a more decisive role than the other characters we've seen so far!

Back to the Duck Avenger for a bit.  I'm just showing this bit because that "wow, what stupid thought" line makes me laugh.  It reminds me of how my brain sometimes functions.

Speaking of Disney's mercurial content standards: is this bit an oblique comment thereon?  I know the question of whether characters can use guns has long been a point of contention.

More terries and fermies.  It's kind of good on the one hand that they returned to these guys, but on the other hand, GOOD LORD do they ever take up a lot of real estate in this book.

"The only future is mine."  Do you think they wanted to have him say "tomorrow belongs to me" but figured that probably wouldn't quite fly?  I mean, fair enough; "no nazi references" seems pretty reasonable.

Steam shovel battle!  Hey, that's kind of Christmasy, if you remember your Barks Christmas stories.

The legal issues here, man, I  can't even.  But this is probably sufficiently plausible if you don't think about it too hard that we can let it go.


This part, I don't know: seriously, what are people even going to think about huge balls of garbage rocketing out of the ground?  How will they explain that?  Will they really blame Glomgold?  Not so sure.

Should Glomgold and Rockerduck receive exactly the same comeuppance even when it's been established that one is evil and one is just feckless?  The distinctions between them really just seemed to fizzle out.

Well...that's pretty.  And I have no more to say about it!

It's true!  He didn't!  You know who else didn't life a finger: Gus.  That might've been him in the one bake sale panel, I suppose it must've, but he certainly never does anything meaningful.  And HDL didn't do anything but hold signs saying "nuts to this!"  Not super-impressive!

But, I mean, yeah, Gladstone could've helped a lot.  I guess the problem is that his luck is powerful enough to potentially be a plot-breaker.  Still.  You could've let him do something.  For its effective use of characters, the story probably gets a B-.

Oh hey, there's Magica, dropping by to...join the festivities?  It is a little weird that she just disappeared midway through the third installment.  On the one hand, what else would you do with her, exactly?  And yet, on the other...I still feel it as a lack.  Also, note Uncle Carl there on the left side.  Yay!

So that's this.  I don't know; maybe it's not an all-time timeless thing, but it's an honorable and mostly successful effort, I would say.

Merry Christmas!  Will there be some sort of special secret in the next few days?  There is literally no way to tell.

Labels: ,

33 Comments:

Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Oh, I agree it felt tad stragne with Magica and Beagles joining the picnic at the very end...

As if the story was telling us: Oh, look Magica and Beagles are maybe badguys but they aren't as bad as Rockerduck and Glomgold... But entire story made such good job of showing that Rockerduck isn't as half bad as Glomgold.

I was actualy hoping you bring up panel after Glomgold sugests murdering the Beagles and Rockerduck actualy freaks out saying he never did a thing like that.

I sort of wish the story would have Rockerduck somehow turn on Glomgold on the end and join the picninc with the rest of the villains. If anything this story made him look pretty sympathethic(As I mentioned in previews part one of moments when it especialy evident in scenes with Maharajah/Pasha/sultan where Rockerduck is very polite to the guy while Glomgold acts like an agresive asshole)

Honestly in modern Italian stories Rockerduck much more then Magica or the Beagles became less of a villain and more like Scrooge's Gladstone - in the sense he is an antagonist to him and they are rivals but on his own he isn't a bad guy.

You did mentioned in first part that you bring Rockerduck being more childish and I was hoping you will bring it up here again.

BTW - I belive that the captain who was hired to ex-the Beagles was refrence to Tintin character Alan, but I maybe reading into his face to much.

I think Feathry scene was an ok idea to show how his wackyness can be used as a weapon.

Finaly - An hour ago my guardian angel shown me my life if I was never born (to prevent my anual suicide) and what was depressing is that you where some tv famous billionare wasting his life on hookers, weed and swiming in money like Scrooge which means you didn't had time to run this blog any more. Luckly we went back and that dark and sad version of events will never happened and we can all enjoy this post which I think we can all agree is much better for the world!

MERRY CHRISTMAS GEOX!!! AND MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU ALL WONDERFULL PEOPLE!!! (ESPECIALY YOU WHO IS READING THIS! YOU ROCK) ^_^

December 24, 2020 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. said...

Merry Christmas, Maciek. You are HELLA bringing the holiday cheer.

December 24, 2020 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. said...

Also, I agree with you: it would've been nice to see some sort of semi-redemption for Rockerduck.

December 24, 2020 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger ramapith said...

Keeping it short and simple:

When we first published "Scrooge's Last Adventure" at IDW (mid-2016), there had recently been some major terrorist attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, the aftermaths of which had already entangled the United States in some ways.

Our approval team at Disney was nervous that to new readers and parents—like those who bought a lot of IDW's floppies and TPBs—a story presenting Howduyustan in a rather goofy light might seem less like continuity, and more like a parody of one of those real-life "-stan" countries at the worst possible moment.

They asked that we adjust "Scrooge's Last Adventure" for the all-ages editions so Howduyustan wasn't used. Luckily, we'd just published Scarpa's "Gem Scam Jam," with Jubal Pomp disguised as the very similar Pasha of Pushbak, so it was easy to turn the Barks reference into a Scarpa reference instead (especially as it was again Jubal Pomp in the costume!).

Later, Disney approved the original Howduyustan version for IDW's "Timeless Tales" hardback collectors' edition, since it was aimed at longtime fans who wouldn't confuse Howduyustan with long-suffering real-life nations.

"Take physic, Pomp!" —William Shakespeare

December 25, 2020 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. said...

Thanks for the info. I must admit...it's more or less reasonable. Unnecessary, to my mind, but still, certainly not crazy or unjustifiable.

December 25, 2020 at 1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but really, Brigitta, at any rate, is a distinct character, and this has nothing to do with her in any way."

???
Brigitta being an excellent cook is absolutely part of her character.

December 25, 2020 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

I think what GeoX ment is that they didn't used any trades that made Brigitta... Brigitta - stalking Scrooge, being a buisness woman etc. are parts of her character that makes her stand out and diffrent then all the rest.

Most of the characters can cook (especialy female characters) so it's not that unique.


December 25, 2020 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Geo:

Glomgold was murderous indeed in UNCLE SCROOGE #61 (“So Far and No Safari”), which is where I first heard of him! The other two, and more significant, Barks stories would have to wait until reprint-time.

“I do think it's funny that not only Duckburg's current mayor but also all of its previous mayors are caricatures of capitalists from a 1920s IWW editorial cartoon. They know how to pick 'em!”

As in real life, alas, one party rule has taken hold of Duckburg, remaining unshakable in the face of truth, science, and common sense! Perhaps the disastrous “AVID-19” (Bird-ronavirus Virus) pandemic of 2020 might serve to change some hearts and minds but, given all those dog-faces, pig-faces, and the occasional weasel-face inhabitants of a place that is oddly named for “its minority of Ducks”, it seems unlikely! …Though Rockerduck is probably wearing a very stylish mask! Not because he believes in science, mind you, but because it meets with his nature as an aesthete.

As the guy who actually NAMED “The Pasha of Pushbak”, let me second everything David says about… “The Great Stan Ban”! Given the vast array of things we couldn’t do, I think the name is pretty good for having been created under such duress and restriction, wouldn’t you say?

Ironically, many of those restrictions forced us into being more creative in order to meet the ever-sliding standards of acceptability. That Pomp came with a ready-made answer to the “Stan Ban”, was pure serendipity of scheduling!

In the final analysis, I stand by my view that this “epic attempt at attempting an epic” was “…too long, too populated, and not nearly as interesting as it tried to be!”

And, if it wasn’t obvious that “only the kitchen sink was checked at the door”, consider that it is stuffed full of everything from the “universally-revered” (Barks’ great steam-shovel battle) to the “maybe-maybe not” (Duck Avenger) – and everything in between.

A better-skilled writer, in the class of a Don Rosa or a Paul Dini, might have been able to pull this off – and Jon Gray did his absolute best to make this an interesting and fun read – but this is a prime example of how LESS (much less, actually) could be MORE!

Contrast this hodgepodge with virtually ANY long Barks lead story from his years on UNCLE SCROOGE (okay, maybe not “Interplanetary Postman” and “Heedless Horseman”) and you’ll see what I mean!

The happiest of holidays to all!

December 25, 2020 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

Well, Joe, it needs to be said that Americans weren't the target audience for this. This is an Italian Disney comics special — one that is very aware of Italian Disney comics' Barksian roots, but nevertheless comes from a place of nostalgia for classic Topolino issues, not Dell comics. And in that respect I think it carries over better to a Frenchman such as myself. The Duck Avenger feels out-of-place to you, whereas I grew up on digests that freely mixed Barks, vintage Western stories, S-coded stories, and Italian tales. Putting Rockerduck, the Duck Avenger and the Terra-Firmians feels quite natural to me that way. The length, similarly, assumes familiarity with Italian multi-parters, more than with single-chunk thirty-page Barks tales.

December 25, 2020 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Achille:

You write: “ Well, Joe, it needs to be said that Americans weren't the target audience for this. ”

Sure, but wouldn’t that be the case for *every* such story – save Egmont, who seems to have a more international audience in mind? The Italians aren’t writing for we unappreciative (as a people – not as fans) Americans – and the story we called “The Treasure of Marco Topo” may be one of the best examples of that – but we still made it work for us… because it was a well-conceived story, even if we had to “stretch” some of the individual elements just a tad for American consumption.

I could run off an endless list of such stories that were not intended for an American audience but, nevertheless, hit the mark splendidly with my own Blog’s comments to prove it! Here are some of the better ones! Please excuse me if I use the American English titles…

“Donald Duck Special Correspondent”, “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold Again”, the various Micky Mouse stories by Casty printed by Boom!, ALL of the Eurasia Toft stories that were printed by IDW (2015-2017), “The Delta Dimension”, “Plan Dine From Outer Space”, “The Chirikawa Necklace”, “The Magnificent Doublejoke”, “The Siege of Nothing Atoll”, “The Perfect Calm” (…again with a little “stretch”), “Night of the Living Text”, “The Persistence of Mickey”, “Mummy Fearest”, “The Peril of Pandora’s Box” (Dutch), “Sins of the Sorcery Summit” (Dutch)… and perhaps none better than “The Wonderful Wishing Crown” – and NOT because I did the translation and dialogue, but because it was such a wonderful story to begin with, and so easily tapped into the Barks mythos!

By contrast, “Scrooge’s Last Adventure” is just an overstuffed pork barrel – that crams in everything possible, including a character *named* “Pork”! It smacks of the kind of overindulgence that fanfic is famous for, and lacks the specific focus exhibited by the best of these stories – from Barks to Casty!

The only circumstances that would have made this thing work (for me, anyway) is if it REALLY WERE “Scrooge’s Last Adventure”, and that there would be no more such comics – and we would get the satisfaction, if not the thrill, of seeing all of these characters and concepts for the final time.

Above, I mentioned “The Treasure of Marco Topo” with reason. We wrote that, knowing it was the end of Boom!’s license and, with the distinct possibility that there would be no future Disney comics in the United States, tried to “get it all on stage” for one final bow! If nothing else gives that away, please re-read the last line I gave Mickey!

With great fortune, Scarpa’s original story lent itself TO that situation as perfectly as we could have hoped – without feeling unnecessarily forced and bloated as this one does. …But, that’s just my opinion. As they used to say in “Comics Buyer’s Guide” (showing my age), “Your mileage may vary!”

December 25, 2020 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Gaahh! I wrote "Micky Mouse" above!!! ...Sorry!

December 25, 2020 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Don't worry Joe. There is nothing some Christmas Magic cant fix.

(Long pause)

A said: THERE IS NOTHING SOME CHRISTMAS MAGIC CAN'T FIX!

(Long pause)

*sight* ...never mind.

December 25, 2020 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Debbie Anne said...

"Micky Mouse"? Maybe you were subconsciously thinking of the front cover blurb to Gold Key printing of "The Sunken City", Joe?

December 25, 2020 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Well, considering how much time (of the “waaay too” variety) I *do* spend thinking about Gold Key Comics, Deb… it’s not only possibly, but very likely!

And, Pan… Thanks for trying!

December 25, 2020 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

@Joe:

Oh, "it wasn't written with Americans in mind" wasn't meant as a catch-all answer to all of your criticisms of the story, some of which I agree with (though not all). Merely as a reply specifically to your bafflement at the story including, and giving as much weight to, both steam-shovel fights and Duck Avenger shenanigans!

December 25, 2020 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Growing up I read as much Italian stories as I did Barks stories and elements like Rockerduck or Duck Avanger and I can comfirm that these elements/characters are as esencial part of that universe as having Gyro in Barks homage story. I'm almost suprised they didn't had apperance by Grandpa Beagle.

December 25, 2020 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Ya know… It’s not as much as “what you grew up with”, as it is “what’s acceptable, and what is not”! …Or, as Elaine so perfectly puts it, “headcanon”!

I didn’t grow up with Eega Beeva, Rockerduck, Brigitta MacBridge, Jubal Pomp, Trudy Van Tubb, Eurasia Toft, Rebo, and a host of others that I find not merely acceptable but enhancing to the overall mythos. Indeed, in “Mummy Fearest” and “Scrooge’s Ark Lark”, I’ve even contributed a mite to the American characterization of Rockerduck, so as to differentiate him from Flintheart Glomgold. …And, if possible, made Rebo even more delightfully over-the-top than before! …Just wait until the next story, coming eventually!

So, it’s far from my wanting to freeze the universe as “Gold Key 1964-1967”! I embrace a LOT of stuff!

I just “don’t get” Duck Avenger. It’s not the “Barks Donald”, or even the “Barks Donald Stretched to New Limits”, as when paired with Fethry in the “TNT” series.

Goofy still IS the “Murry/Gottfredson Goofy” as Super Goof. Hence, another enhancement! But Donald as Duck Avenger, or as Double Duck (or any other unusual permutation), is not the character I know and love. That’s all there is to it.

December 25, 2020 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

Oh, fair enough! I'm not trying to convince you, or anybody, to like Paperinik (although Paperinik written well can be significantly more Donaldish than I'm afraid he has been on the stories you're familiar with… which I'll grant are a majority). My point is more that… in a Big Crossover Anniversary Story such as this, if it's a B.C.A.S. for Italian Disney comics, "whether" to include Paperinik wouldn't even have been a question for the writers. He belongs there as surely as Gus Goose, even if one might struggle with justifying either's role in the plot.

And by the same token, as a reader, his presence there didn't even register to me as any kind of authorial choice, good or bad, regardless of my feelings on the character. He is simply A Thing, in much the same way that Gus Goose (a character I am largely apathetic to) is inescapably A Thing.

December 25, 2020 at 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

It's possible that any B.C.A.S. would have the problems this one has: in particular, too many characters, many of whom get little to do. That's certainly the case with all the Dutch B.C.A.S., which have to include all kinds of characters not even part of the Duck world proper! Here at least it's only Duckworld characters.

The plot of this story didn't stick in my mind beyond "four adversaries team up, team falls apart." What I enjoyed and remember are: good fairy Magica and her transformed home, and the Terries & Fermies. Are they tangential to the main plot? Assuredly. Am I nonetheless really happy to see them in more than a cameo? You bet. But then, one of the half dozen William Van Horn stories that make my re-read list is "Creature Comforts" because it has a Fermy in it. And because his name is Enrico.

Sheesh, Pan, you get to see "the world if you had never been born" EVERY CHRISTMAS? Even Donald Duck only got to see the world if he had never been born twice, AFAIK.

December 25, 2020 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. said...

Duck Avenger is definitely an acquired taste for those of us who didn't grow up with him, and there are certainly some stories where the connections with regular-Donald seem tenuous (that New PK series, whoa). But...is that really the case here? Because while I certainly don't think this story is perfect, I didn't bat an eye at DA. He felt entirely natural. I totally believed, yup, that's Donald. He's a character who contains multitudes (that's a big part of why he's my favorite), and...yup. Works for me. Not in every case, but certainly in this one.

December 25, 2020 at 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PK New Adventures was not really meant to be connected with regular-Donald, it was an attempt at creating a new American-style super hero series with the character. The appearances of established characters like Scrooge at the very start was just there to kind of ease Disney fans into the franchise rather than throw them head first into an all new universe, but it was always meant to be it's own standalone thing.

December 26, 2020 at 1:39 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

The handful of PK New Adventures stories I seen where actualy pretty interesting. I don't want to get to much as it's some serious SPOILERy stuff but there is one story that ends with characters death... and what's more interesting is that it wan't someone they just got introduced to - like you would asume if they going to kill someone it will be some one-shot character we just meet so we don't have that big of emotional attachment... oh, no, no. It was a character that already appear in several stories before and had a pretty tragic arc by Disney standarads and top it of it's a death by a sacrafice... like they pretty much went with most poetic way to ex-this character and I don't think they can bring her back without some major consequences (I understand she was reused in recent years but it was some flashbacky story set before that one) So that's pretty ballsy for a Disney comic series... Or maybe they did and my emotional scars where for nothing. I was wrong about Lena in Duck Tales after all but I was aware it was wishfull thinking on my part.

Of all the Italian characters I never got the appeal of Jubal Pomp. Maybe it's the fact I was introduced to him by more modern stories (from 90's and up) but in these stories he felt to appear only o Brigitta has a sidekick she can talk to. Even Scarpa stuff didn't felt that intereting and you would asume that "well at maybe the character was introduced with some BANG that made him popular in the first place".


P.S.
GeoX I did noticed that your "Scrooge last adventure" posts don't have labels with names of creators.

December 26, 2020 at 3:28 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 26, 2020 at 3:29 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Speaking of all female characters having a bake sale but not doing anything distinguish... I did noticed that once a while some writers try to have stories that focus on female characters as a team (perhaps publishers request) but once their get there they don't know what to with them above some generic female-ish stuff. Take for example a story I read last month:

So the idea is that Daisy is upset Donald isn't spending time with her, Grandma Duck is upset Gus dosen't spend much time on a farm (there is some neighbor lady that invide him for dinner all the time) and Dickie is sad her BFF is spending time with some new friend and not Her (honestly the way these two girls act together you would asume it was her new girfiend but... you know, Disney, they won't say it out loud) After the three of them whine and cry about their situation (girl power?) Grandma get's reminded of some legendary magic lake that will make person you want pay attention to you and only you, so they go on a Quest to find it and use them to get back their desire attention back... which make the three of them pretty petty (you know, "them females"), and if my hunch of LGBT coded subplot with Dickies friend is correct, that means she pretty much want's to brake up her friend's relationship just so they can got shoping and such which makes her a egocentrical monster... but whatever. Female characters on a adventure together!!! GIRL POWER!!! YAY! And the rest of the story is boring as sin! And it's not even matter of the story not having funny gag's etc. as it hd few, but the reason why this team dosen't work is there is zero interesting chemistry between the characters. Granndma is presented as sort of wiser one but frankly you could replace them with April, May and June and not much would change in their dynamic here. There is no playing off each other - the hight comedy dinamic is Dickie making some stupid pun and Daisy rolling her eyes while Grandma makes more indulgent smile. There just nice to eachh oher and mostly competend so there is nothing special or interesting about this team-up. It would be interesting if it was Donald and Daisy going on a adventure, or Scrooge and Grandma or... heck I take HD&L and Dickie but if anything this story shows how just uninteresting these gals are on their own. And it has nothing to do with them being female, mnid you. Magica de Spell makes apperance in that story for few pages and I got way more out of Her in that story then any of the Grandma/Daisy/Dickie stuff... I know Silvia Ziche try to made some stories that had Daisy-Grandma-Brigitta-Quackfaster team and while I can imagine her stuff being better (at least she has a darn good understanding of slapstick and such) I can't imagine there was that much to work with them.

It's just an observation that these character where reduced to roles of straightman for so long (to balanced more comedic male characters) the writers either don't have idea what to do with them on their own or if they do it comes of as forced. It's like these House of Mouse Minnie and Daisy shorts where they made Daisy over the top stupid and annoying just so they can get any comedic dynamic out of them but it fels out of character for Daisy as she never acts this way when she's around Donald and has to be the straightman... well, woman.

December 26, 2020 at 3:32 AM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

I like Pan's analysis of why it's difficult for writers to do anything very satisfying with the female characters on their own or with each other. The characters were created to be ancillary to the males, their family (GD) or their girlfriends, usually their comedic foil/straightmen, and it's very hard for them to transcend that. When I look at the stories I like best featuring the female Duck characters, they tend to fall into a few categories. There are the stories where a female character goes on an adventure with Scrooge: Grandma Duck in Bananas (Halas & Angus), Daisy in Himalayan Hideout and Pihl's A Heart-Sized Ruby, Paperetta in Stabile's l'ultimo scrigno. There are some other stories where a female character is narratively paired with male character(s) in such a way that the female comes off at least as well as the male: Daisy with Donald in the Shaws' Pass the Parchment or Paperetta with HDL in the story that Pan pointed me to long ago: la leggenda del luna park. As for stories where the female characters are on their own...there are stories where female characters get to be amateur detectives: Grandma Duck in Korhonen's series (I especially like the first one) and in Caterina Mognato's la campana scomparsa, AMJ in bestselling-mystery-writer Camilla Läckberg's Robbery on Rosebud Road and Jensen's Neighborhood Detectives. I haven't gotten to read many of the stories featuring Paperetta on her own, with her Italian college friends or with her Brazilian teen cohort. Brazil did the best job of making Daisy a character who could stand on her own. Yes, some of the New Daisy stories are very dated early-feminist efforts (look! a woman can be a forest ranger! a woman can be a police officer!), but others send her on adventures encountering mermaids or Amazon warriors, and some show her acting to counter Scrooge's injustice, e.g. A Páscoa É Nossa. For reasons I don't entirely understand, Minnie did *way* better as an adventurer in European stories written for the girlie books than Daisy did. I find it interesting that an early anonymous Grandma Duck story (in WDC 143) has her defending the farm from a rapacious Scrooge who tries to build a railroad line through it--that's a take on the characters I would have loved to see more often.

The first story I've read which has a very satisfying comedic and adventurous team-up of two female characters is the 2019 Nærum & Løkling/Midthun story, teaming Goldie with a girl (I am avoiding spoilers here, unlike certain people on Feathery!). Before that, the closest we came was the friendship of Belle Duck and Captain Annie, two characters who were created neither as current love interests nor as family members for the male characters, and both of whom have the interesting role of river boat captain. Oh, and Daisy gets paired with Magica in an adversaries-forced-to-team-up way to good effect in Per Hedman's Sorceror of the Swamp.

December 26, 2020 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Huh. I just realise that the story I trashed was published in US this year so you can check it out
https://inducks.org/story.php?c=I+TL+3287-1

(honestly now I would love to see GeoX take on it but Elaine's as well)


I know Italian try to give some female characters solo series and try to make something new with them like Clarabelle being a reporter set in the... honestly I don't remember what time piriot was it. The 40's?

And of course you get newer invention like Eurasia Toft whom I never found that interesting. I can't even say she is a good Lara Croft parody as she dosen't have that much to do with her personality-wise other then just being adventorous (Also she has no ears and there is something off about that)

Maybe that's why I'm glad at least new Duck Tales went out of their way to make Webby finaly interesting, and added characters like Lenna (I'm less and less crazy about their take on Della but that's a seperate issue)

December 26, 2020 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Dickie wasn't made to be ancillary to anyone, she was meant to be a teenager character for teenagers to identify with, and often plays an older sister-type role to HDL in stories where THEY play second fiddle to her.

December 26, 2020 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

That's true. I like stories where Dickie is team-up with HD&L or Scrooge and that dinamic usualy works great.

December 26, 2020 at 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Yup, I said that Paperetta/Dickie does well in stories with Scrooge or with HDL, though I haven't gotten to read many of them. And as I said, I've seen hardly any of the Italian or Brazilian stories where she's interacting with her friends. True, she's got to be the first continuing character in Disney comics created to provide someone for female readers to connect with. And Scarpa & Co. did a way better job of that than DuckTales '87 did, two decades later! Even in Italy, though, she's still hardly central cast, as witnessed by the fact that she doesn't show up in Scrooge's Last Adventure, when almost everyone else does. And the Ziche stories Pan refers to team up Daisy, Grandma, Brigitta and Quackfaster. I'd like to see stories pairing Daisy, Grandma or Quackfaster with Paperetta.

December 26, 2020 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Comicbookrehab said...

I find Paperinik/Duck Avenger makes sense as a new development for the Carl Barks Donald Duck, who has a more interesting & varied personality than what we get from the old short cartoons.

It's the bulk of the stories that we got that are the thing I don't understand...like, "Oh, was that all they could think of doing with it? He's just encountering stuff, but not really playing off it.." The best thing, in my opinion, about PKNA is that they gave him a friend who isn't a relative, albeit a sentient artificial intelligence hologram, but it brings to light how most of the time, Donald is usually only in the company of relatives. I was curious if One appears in other Papeeinik stories outside of the PKNA material.

December 28, 2020 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger Speculative Spectrus said...

You're right about the panel about conscience being too much. In the German translation he simply says "If you've got a conscience, you should keep out of this business".

I'm a bit saddened you didn't show the panel where Rockerduck gets shooed out. "Best leave through the out door, so nobody sees you" :)

No narration box again in the German version.

The mayors all looking alike is clearly meta humour playing with Disney tropes, similar to the priceless exchange Artibani inserted into the story "Il promessa di Gatto" where Mickey ends up in Sicily and the assistant police guy comes in with two boxes...

"Commissario, Signor Mouse was telling the truth!

I took the liberty to collect some information about him. This here is the list of his solved cases."

The Commissario (Mousalbano): "And that heap over there?"

Assistant: "The list of his relatives. You wouldn't believe how many uncles this guy has."

:-D

Another fun fact: Barks is talking to Rodolfo Cimino in that last panel. I know Cimino has a mixed rep outside of Italy, but the Italians really treasure him in ways similar to Barks.

Joe, I'm sorry to say that I find your comments hard to understand. I'm afraid you lost me when you say Don Rosa is a better-skilled writer than Francesco Artibani, the latter having been responsible for all sorts of stories in all sorts of genres and with all sorts of characters, and who was never bound to rely on any particular canon. In fact, he explicitly dismisses the idea of being too rigid and trying to fix everything into an exact timeline. He's much less fanfic than Rosa in that regard. Comparing him unfavourably to Casty also only works as long as you've not read any of his Mickey stories. Artibani's Mickey actually has a *personality* - I love Casty but characterization isn't always his strongest suit.,

Duck Avenger is simply a mainstay of Italian comics, and as I said in a previous comment, Artibani's own history is intertwined with the character in so many ways. It was never going to be jarring for anybody used to Topolino or the pocketbooks.

And "Jon Gray did his absolute best to make this an interesting and fun read"... well.. he did a good translation, yes, but from the scans I'd say he simply managed to bring the original writing spirit across well. The parts where he (I assume) added things immediately jumped out to GeoX because they were not necessary.

~~~

As for the female discussion, it *is* a bit tragic Artibani couldn't get the women involved more in this since he's one who's made a push to include more female characters and two of his DoubleDuck stories (Agent Zero - with Kay-K and Daisy interacting!!, and the PK crossover TimeCrime, with Kay-K and Lyla interacting!!) have clear feministic undertones. But the Vito Stabile story that Pan mentioned, I actually liked that, especially since Grandma has been pulled out of the ordinary a bit.


~~~

To Comicbookrehab: No, not to my knowledge. Unless you count the two crossovers. In the normal Duck Avenger stories he never met One or the Evronians (OK, the latter in Universo PK, but that's it).

But you could argue well that One takes up the role of Gyro in the classic stories. In fact, One even interacts with Gyro shortly.

December 31, 2020 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...

Spectrus:

You write: “Joe, I'm sorry to say that I find your comments hard to understand. I'm afraid you lost me when you say Don Rosa is a better-skilled writer than Francesco Artibani, the latter having been responsible for all sorts of stories in all sorts of genres and with all sorts of characters, and who was never bound to rely on any particular canon.”

Scroll back up and read my comment again… Better yet, I’ll save you the trouble:

“A better-skilled writer, in the class of a Don Rosa or a Paul Dini, might have been able to pull *this* [ NEW EMPHASIS ADDED TO QUOTE FOR EFFECT] off – and Jon Gray did his absolute best to make this an interesting and fun read – but this is a prime example of how LESS (much less, actually) could be MORE!”

Note that I am NOT discussing Francesco Artibani’s body of work as a writer (simply being an American precludes me from being able to do so)… just THIS particular story, that was not to my taste for being stuffed with too many characters and plot points! And, strictly in terms of stories that are “stuffed with too many characters and plot points”, Don Rosa HAS handled such things in a more interesting fashion!

Anything else is strictly attributable to our respective differences in age and national origin… and there’s really no point in debating that, as “it is what it is”! Hope this helps.

December 31, 2020 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

So Geox did this story FINALY made you appriciate the post-Barks Glomgold? :)

January 10, 2021 at 7:51 PM  

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