Old questions...

Fabio Gadducci gadducci at DI.UniPi.IT
Mon Jul 11 16:55:59 CEST 1994

Dear folks,

let me start answering to some old questions by David:

>        On another tack... somehow it doesn't surprise me that "The Secret
>of Mars" is reprinted in the Italian DD 60th B-Day issue.  But what's the
>quality like?  Gladstone was sent very dark, muddy proofs that they had to
>reink parts of simply because the lines were thick and smudgy.  Are there
>better copies of the story somewhere, or is this new Italian printing
>sloppy-looking, too?

Well, they do not look bad, but I'm quite sure some pages had been reinked!
I did not look at it carefully, but since this re-inking surely happened in
the latest reprint of 'Mars Mistery' (six month ago, in the magazine Comic
Art), we can safely assume the same happens in the 60 years issue.

>        Just so everyone knows, "The Lentils from Babylon," an Italian
>story considered to be one of the greats over there, and which was in the
>typically obese Donald special birthday issue in Italy, will indeed see
>print here soon, in USA 30-32.

Great!! This is a good story, and I'm happy to have been involved (even if
I had a small part) in its American publication.

>        Why is it that the Italian jubileum issue is about 4 times as thick
>as those from the USA, Germany, Denmark, and so on?  Are there ANY comics
>in Italy which are only 32 or 64 pages long?  How can kids afford the
>really thick comics there?

Well, they can, since that jubileum issue costed 2.50$. Btw, that is the
standard format and price for ANy issue of "Mega Almanacco" and "Paperino

This is about the Italian edition of "The duck who never was" (you can
safely skip it...)

>DONALD DUCK'S 60th FROM GLADSTONE - "The Duck Who Never Was":
>        I just bought a copy of DD #286 with my "The Duck Who Never Was"
>story, and I was displeased for numerous reasons. First off, as usual,
>my art looks awful to me... but it isn't helped by the fact that they
>again seem to have gotten ever-so-slightly "muddy" photostats from
>Egmont, making it all look too dark; and, once again, the too-dark
>coloring doesn't help it a bit.

Actually, I DO like your artwork, even if I think it was slightly under
your usual level in this story. But luckily, the photostats were quite
good, and so was the coloring.

>But the letterer made numerous mistakes
>which caused me to actually CUSS the poor guy. They were, in reverse
>order of irritation-level:
>        In my script, no one in the story is supposed to actually say
>"It's a wonderful life"... they're supposed to keep dancing around it,
>and DD is supposed to START to say it but interrupt himself when he sees
>the surprise party. The letterer must not have understood my frequent
>use of an ellipsis in my script (for an interruption in mid-sentence),
>and was kind enough to complete Donald's sentence for him. @#!

This does not happen in the Italian edition, even if they wrote
'bellissimo' insted of 'bellissima' in your ellipsis (wrong gender).

>        In one panel there is a totally EMPTY word balloon at the bottom
>which the letterer didn't seem to see. He put the intended line into
>the balloon above, but left the lower balloon void. #$%!

Nothing of this kind happens...

>        In the family-tree that Gus Goose chalks out on the brick wall,
>I went to great pains to make it quite accurate, and left room for the
>letterer to write in the two names which were needed for that
>discussion... $crooge and Gus. But even though the script showed the
>proper placement, and even though common sense would tell you that
>$crooge is older than Gus, and even though a blind guy woulda' had a
>50-50 chance of labelling it correctly, this letterer got it
>bass-ackwards. @&%$!!

Well, in the Italian edition they simply did not put the names...

>        Finally, the story is built around a key gag involving DD
>writing his date of birth down in a personnel file which somebody then
>misreads; and the whole issue is scheduled and built on the fact that
>June 9 is DD's birthday. Well, this letterer has DD writing into the
>file that he is born on the 6th day of the 9th month. September 6th. And
>everyone will figure *I* made that unbelievable bone-head error.
>                @#$%^&<@%$#&*)(*{!!!!!!!!!!

Phewww... they got it right in the Italian edition (but I think Luca Boschi
supervised the Italian edition...)

>        Note also that there is a museum case labelled "ancient icons"
>with one space empty. In that space was a 1930s Mickey Mouse doll.
>However, in the next panel that shows the case (then broken), we see the
>MM doll sprawled upon the broken glass (stabbed?); Disney told Gladstone
>to remove MM from the one panel, but did not expressly tell them to
>remove him from the OTHER panel. So they did exactly what they were
>told. By the way, my script called for the case to be labelled "ancient
>demon worship", even though I didn't really expect or want the scripters
>to use that -- however, in Europe (where Disney doesn't bully the
>publishers) they not only left both MMs in, but they used "demon
>worship" (or "voodoo dolls"). Heh heh.

Well, they did not put in 'voodo dolls', but they left MM in both panels: a
good compromise...
At the end, it seemed quite a good edition: I saw no big mistake, at least
not so big as those Don remarcked in the American edition.

And then, about Barks tour. Maurizio wrote

>Just to tell you that there's a Carl Barks exhibition at the Milan Fair
>with 25 oil paintings on show.
>It ends this sunday Jul 10th though. I just found it out two days ago
>Opening from 10 to 19 - 20 on sunday

Well, the exhibition lasted only four days, and it contained the same oils
already shown in all of Europe. And about the Barks tour, I have to admit I
got more than my share, thanks to the kindness of Luca Boschi. Saturday 2 I
was in Rapallo, at the restaurant U'Giancu, for a lunch with Boschi,
Becattini and some other Italian experts, many Italian Disney artists
(Cavazzano, Carpi, Bottaro etc) and Unca Carl himself. It was quite a nice
thing, since most of the  people knew clearly well the master's work,
and... well, Unca Carl seemed quite pleased for the warm welcome he got.
Sunday 3 there was in Milan a big meeting with many Italian artists, and
many of them  (Manara, Crepax, Altan, Giardino, etc, and all the Italian
Disney) gave Unca Carl one of their drawnings, expecially made for him.
Barks seemed really touched, and there was the opportunity to have an
interview with him (I will translate it, when I find the time), and without
Grandey, too.
Last thing: Unca Carl sent an handwritten letter to U'Giancu, thanking him
for the lunch (The owner is a comic crazy, and his restaurant is known also
as 'The Comics Restaurant', since he has hundreds of drawning from famous
artists on his walls). In the letter Barks said, as far as I was told, that
he was sorry for the greediness shown by his so-called agents... Not that
bad, really!

Ok, time for greetings.

Happy birthday, Don (I know I'm always late): I'll send you more
information on Lucca and the other things as soon as I can.

Do not despair, dear David! I'll answer to you, too, in a (little) while!

My best wishes of happy holydays to all of you (I'll stay here in Pisa the
whole summer, with no holyday at all, but this is another story...),


Fabio Gadducci            Dip. di Informatica
Home: +39-50-541725       Universita` di Pisa
Off.: +39-50-887268       Corso Italia 40, 56100 PISA (ITALY)
FAX:  +39-50-887226       E-mail:gadducci at di.unipi.it

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