GottLL in Sweden; and Lo$ #10
Mattias.Hallin at jurenh.lu.se
Fri Mar 11 16:04:07 CET 1994
Some good news! -- Stefan told me today that our joint efforts regarding
GottLL, a while back, actually made a (the) difference: thanks to a) the
Swedish editor of GottLL; and b) Byron Erickson, the Swedish publication will
use the revised version -- or, rather, the part of the revision that includes
Marco Polo -- COMPLETE with the changed-about art.
Ain't that nice, though -- a sympathetic editor, that actually goes to more
trouble than necessary/required by the bosses, just to do the best job
possible! Well, well...
...and speaking of Stefan Dios...
SPOILER WARNING!!! AWOOGAH!! AWOOGAH!! SPOILER WARNING!!! AWOOGAH!! AWOOGAH!!
...is that tall Junior Woodchuck in Lo$ #10 an INTENTIONAL caricature of
Stefan, or does he just happen to be the spitting image of him? And is he
supposed to be a Gearloose? Gyro's father-to-be, perhaps? Or is that
Anyway -- Lo$ #10... what do I think? Well, surprise, surprise: I really like
it! A few critical remarks perhaps/of course, and I might as well start with
a) that splash-panel, with the dread-noughts -- yeah, you're right to be a bit
disappointed with yourself on that one. Considering the obvious amount of work
and attention to detail you've put into that panel, and how it is indeed
somewhat the high tide of the story, that kinda miss/mess with something as
fairly straightforward and easy as perspective is a bit of a letdown. Not a
disaster, of course, but not quite cricket, either. Bjorn-Are are right,
though, in that it is a nice climactic point in the story -- well it's an
obvious buildup, of course, but the IMPACT is still enough to manage to
surprise the reader by it's sheer magnitude.
b) I still don't see WHY $crooge MUST build his moneybin as early as this. Sure
-- you make it plausible enough throughout the series that he will eventually
build it, that it somehow epitomizes his dreams; but I don't think you've made
it so much a logical must to take place at this time of his career, that it
overrides all the circumstantial evidence in Barks' comics, that THE money-bin
isn't built until around 1950 or so. Well, I don't feel we need to argue more
about this -- we both know what each think about this -- and I'll GLADLY grant
you that if one DOES decide to interpret Barks as you have done -- then the
gradual build-up towards the finished money-bin, throughout the Lo$ really is a
c) The way you draw the female ducks, or rather their dresses -- I'm not sure
at the moment (I'm gonna go home and check it, though) -- doesn't Barks usually
draw their tail-feathers sticking out through a cut-out in the back of the
dress? Or am I wrong? The way you sort of emphasize their tailfeathers
BENEATH the dresses sometimes makes 'em look a bit awkward.
So -- what do I LIKE about it, then? Well, it's a good story, by itself, to
start with -- I mean, apart from how it fits within the framework of Lo$ --
with good gags, a tight and well-paced story-line and several lovely little
by-plots/running gags (the Hortensia/Quackmore love-story, f'rinstance: that's
great; and the way $crooge keep calling the woodchucks by most bird-names in
ornithology, and every-one (including the Beagle Boys) always correcting him).
Also, it seems plausible to me (although for obvious reasons I'm not in a
position to judge this for myself) that it is a perfectly readable story, even
if you don't recognize a single Barks reference, or if you've never heard of
Teddy Roosevelt, or the charge at San Juan Hill (you couldn't resist that'n,
eh?). Because all this, that ADDS a lot of interest and depth to those who ARE
in-the-know, certainly, is not necessary to get the outlines of the plot -- and
it is still funny to have the fort under siege by the President of the USA,
even if you never even assume that he's a historical person. The comparison
made to Uderzo/Goscinny's "Asterix" that someone made the other day is quite
relevant -- since "Asterix" is a comic which works just like that: it's
chock-full of current and/or historical political and cultural references
that you must probably be a well-educated Frenchman to understand, but at the
same time it's a great funny-story for the ten-yearold kid who wants a bit of
escapist entertainment. Something that works at many levels, and therefore holds
interest for many different readers.
BUT --- of course it IS those deeper references, Barks and historical, that
really makes Lo$ interesting, at least to me. I think it's plain wonderful, the
way you connect Barks' use of the Beagle Boys with how you've used them
previously in the Lo$, and sort of ties it all together here: how you start off
with Barks character Blackheart Beagle, in "Master of the Mississippi", and
then use the "Grandpa Beagle" (That'd be Blackheart hisself, right?) "section
26" from "The Money Well" to make $crooge's first real riches and the Beagle
Boys' attempts to get at'em something equally old -- in short, to make the
Beagle Boys' obsession with $crooge's money more'n just an obsession, but an
honored family tradition! Thats terrific!
The Barks references are indeed legion -- and too many to enumerate here; but
apart from them I really like your use of Teddy Roosevelt! Both story-wise (his
and $crooge's pitched-battle-turning-into-mutual-recognition is lovely) and
historically. It's neat, too, the way you planted this effect already in (was
Another thing I'd like to mention, is how I -- as always -- appreciate your
very conscious, but seemingly effortless, use of "the camera", where positions,
angles and compositions are at top level. This goes a long way to explain the
smooth flow of the story. Sure, your draughtsmanship is not at the same top
level -- nor have you ever said anything else -- but the thorough work you put
into the compositions, at all levels -- panel, page and story -- go a long way
to making up for any lack of inking dexterity, I think.
All in all: "Great stuff! Great stuff!".
Oh, and BTW: Stefan has, unconsciously, managed to get a four-letter word into
his translation! He has used a word that in regular Swedish is perfectly
innocent, but that in certain dialects (I think in particular the
dialect used by the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland) is a rude word, that
translates approx. as "screw".
So, in certain usages of Swedish, Stefan has Hortensia telling Quackmore to "go
screw the parsnips!". Oh, dearie me...
Well, all my best!
!* Mattias Hallin ** <Mattias.Hallin at Jurenh.lu.se> ** Phone: +46 46-14 84 43 *!
!* Trollebergsvagen 24 B ***** Work: Lund University, Box 117, S-221 00 Lund *!
!* S-222 29 Lund, SWEDEN **************************** Phone: +46 46-10 71 37 *!
!******************** "Hello, all you happy tax-payers!" *********************!
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