DCML digest, Vol 1 #74 - 9 msgs

Don Rosa donrosa at iglou.com
Sun Feb 6 14:02:27 CET 2000

I did NOT mention this Egmont policy here in order to start any sort of
anti-Egmont rant. If I'd wanted to do that, I would have done it a year or
two ago when they first told me about the new policy of what sort of
stories they wanted me to stick to. Instead, I found a solution to it by
starting to work for other publishers in addition to Egmont. But I now
needed to explain that action here since I was getting questions asking me
what I was currently working on, for whom and why -- and I have also
recently had to spend a bit of time trying to straighten out messages on
several European comics-forums where some Duckfans had notified the world
that I had "quit Egmont"... and I've been trying to squelch such
rumors-based-on-assumptions. As long as Byron Erickson is at Egmont, I plan
to do work for them. Should Byron ever leave or change his position, *then*
I would probably do the same, but not before. If it weren't for Byron, I
would not be doing these comics.

Aside from that, we've discussed the fact that Donald is a human-being here
in the past, and I won't get so deeply into that again since I know people
either "get it" or they won't. I am surprised to see that, for the first
time, a European thinks he is unhuman... normally it's strictly the
funnel-visioned Americans who have that concept. I assume that's because
the European comics culture is infinitely more diverse than America's
two-note scene. There have been decades of human-caricatures such as Tintin
or Asterix and *many* others in Europe ... characters that are supposed to
be human but have impossible shapes... no human beings could actually be
shaped that way, but no one claims they are actually animated stuffed toys.
They are still humans. For some reason, in America, we have always only had
obvious humans and many characters who are too obviously animals such as
Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck. And since the human-caricature characters like
Donald are so few, Americans dump them all into one mix. "Daffy is a Duck.
Donald is a Duck." But that's obviously wrong to anyone who has read years
of Barks stories or Barks-style Donald stories. Or Mickey stories, too, for
that matter.
Why would I want Donald not to be a duck? Because ducks don't wear clothes
and live in houses and drive cars and talk and are not sentient beings
except in fairy tales and funny-animal comics, neither of which I do. Daffy
Duck flies south in the winter and is hunted by duckhunters. Bugs Bunny
lives in a hole and steals carrots from farmers. And what one writer puts
into the dialogue of a comic in 1965 or 1999 is hardly significant -- not
everything that has ever appeared in a Disney-Duck comic in 50 years is
automatically written by someone who understands the characters, nor drawn
by someone who can draw like a professional (I prove the latter fact, at
least). (Seems like I've seen at least one story even in recent years where
Donald goes out into the woods and meets a skunk or raccoon or something...
and the critter casually TALKS to him! Whaaaat? Somebody missed a basic
point somewhere! Yow! Where was the editor that day?) And even what little
I've seen of the Disney-comics style-"bibles" telling how the characters
are to be used (Disney does have them, though I'm sure there's only one
employee in the whole corporation who remembers what drawer they're stuck
in) states (in essence) that Donald will never be referred to as an actual
"duck" and no reference will ever be made to his bill or his feathers,
because he is a human caricature. Like Asterix is.
But... I *am* getting too deeply back in, aren't I. That's all I'll say!

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