Article That Mentions This List

Suzy Shaw SUZSHAW at
Tue Sep 20 22:22:40 CEST 1994

     I am one of this list's many lurkers. I have just finished an
article for the _Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science_
on "The Internet as an Entertainment System." Although the section
about this delightful Duck List ended up on the editorial cutting room
floor, it was one of my favorite parts, and I thought you all might
enjoy seeing what I said about you. If you'd like to see the entire
(unedited) article, it's URL:

--Suzy Shaw, CyberLibrarian and DuckLover
suzshaw at
"Chickory chick, cha-la, cha-la!"
     Comic books have long been a subculture unto themselves, avidly
collected, traded, and celebrated in sprawling moveable circus-like swap
meets known as Cons. I am one of millions of kids who grew up on _Walt
Disney's Comics & Stories_  in the 40's and 50's,  knowing only that
Donald Duck was so much more delightful when drawn by "The Good Artist."
It was clear even to children that despite his signing each and every
one, Walt Disney did not draw all of those comic stories.  I eventually
learned that "The Good Artist" (which is what fans everywhere had
independently dubbed him) was Carl Barks, and that quite a cult had grown
up around him over the years. I began acquiring a reprint series of his
work and this re-exposure  sent me prowling the Net. The search for Barks
eventually led me to the Disney Comics List.  Here I found a group of
avid fans and artist wannabes (mostly Scandinavian or Italian, it would
seem) engaged in a direct dialog with current Disney comic book artists
who are struggling to live up to (or live down) the Barks legacy--
something of a love/hate relationship. There is a fascinating discussion
of the details, mechanics and (for lack of a better word), the politics
of producing comic book art, which is giving these fans a whole new level
of appreciation of the medium. This awareness used to be available only
the few who were rich and/or lucky enough to attend the Cons regularly;
now the Con never stops and is open to anyone with a computer and access
to the Net. Reading this list sparked my interest in the Duck art of Barks'
successors, and I have started buying current Disney comics as a result.

     One of the most prominent artists posting to this list is Don Rosa,
whom many hail as the true heir of the Barks tradition. Rosa freely
shares his views, including his frustrations, with the fans. Donald Duck
recently celebrated his 60th birthday, and a special commemorative comic
was issued. Rosa authored the set piece of the book, a delightful parody
of the classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life" called "The Duck Who Never
Was." A dejected Donald, thinking everyone has forgotten his birthday,
casually wishes he'd never been born, only to be overheard by a lurking
genie and have the wish granted. He views the results: Uncle Scrooge a
bum, the nephews blimped out couch potatoes, Daisy a rich but bitter
romance novelist, etc. But the list readers had their attention drawn to
the little things that went wrong: an empty dialog balloon; a family tree
scrawled on a fence upside down and mis-labeled; Donald's birth date
botched on a form, when the birthday was the whole point of the story.
Worst of all, much of the story's subtlety was blown when a "helpful"
editor filled in the ellipsis after "It's a won..." Rosa had intended for
the characters to skirt around the film's title but never actually
mention it. However, there is a measure of revenge. One scene featured a
museum case which Rosa had originally labeled "Ancient Demon Worship"
with a Mickey Mouse doll  on display within it. The Disney people made
the publisher remove Mickey from the case in one panel (the space is
shown blank) and re-label the case "Ancient Icons." In the next panel,
however, after Donald's wish has been granted and the museum is in ruins,
the Mickey Mouse doll is shown sprawled over broken glass, apparently
stabbed. Since Disney had not expressly ordered it taken out of _that_
panel also, the grisly image remained, and Rosa and the fans had the last

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