Donald Duck & Co # 7 - 2000

"Jørgen Andreas Bangor" jorgenb at
Thu Mar 2 10:52:16 CET 2000

Donald Duck & Co # 7 - 2000

Dutch front cover, showing Donald's nephews in a hair dresser's 
chair wearing big helmets, so the the hairdresser cannot cut their... 
er... down?

The first story, about Donald Duck, (D 99049, 10 pages) is written and 
drawn by William van Horn.

Again Donald's nephews come home with a lot of new Woodchuck medals, 
this time bacause they have survived for two days in a wild valley. 
Donald is not impressed. He can do that for twice as long time - and
he's going to prove it. If he can, he'll do the dish washing for a 
month, and if he can't, the nephews will do it.
Donald has some luck, and quite a lot of misfortune. A big and furious 
bear makes life in the valley a bit difficult. At last, but before the 
four days have passed, Donald and the bear end up on a piece of timber
floating down a river. Closer to Duckburg they bump into a dinghy with 
a couple of crooks who've kidnapped the city's mayor. Donald rescues him.
Donald hasn't stayed in the valley for four days, but he did come home 
with a medal, so for a month they do the dish washing together.

Not much of a story, really, but a lot of good gags. And I like 
van Horn's art better and better. He doesn't make Donald look like a 
surrealistic lunatic anymore.

Next is an old one-pager (KF 03-08-53).

Then the Mickey Mouse story (History Re-Petes Itself, D 99156, 12 pages) 
written by David Gerstein, and drawn by Romano Scarpa.

Mickey has gotten a mysterious invitation to a birthday party. It looks 
a bit scary, but Mickey's too curious not to go. Suddenly he's grabbed 
and pulled through a window by Black Pete. He has stolen a ray gun which 
turns people into babies (who then grows into adults again in fourteen 
days). Pete plans to use it on Mickey, and raise him as a scoundrel.
Unfortunately for Pete, he's hit himself. Mickey uses his idea, and 
plans to raise him as an honest person. All his friends offer to take 
their part of the raising. Little Pete shows up to be a real rascal, but 
he's also cute and charming.
As the days pass, Pete grows older, and he starts to scare Mickey's 
friends. Although he seems to act like a normal kid, he shows some 
tendencies they don't like. On Pete's birthday, he and Mickey goes for 
a canoe ride. Suddenly the canoe hits a rock in the river, and Mickey's 
thrown into a water fall. Fortunately his backpack gets stuck on an old 
branch. Now Pete reveals that he's kept his old personality all the time, 
and has just pretended that he was growing up anew. He turns his back to 
Mickey, and will just wait there until his birthday wish is fullfilled - 
that the branch snaps and Mickey dies. 
Then suddenly, Mickey hits him in the back. He's kept the ray gun, and 
with it he gave the branch back its youth, and the strength to throw him 
back up. Pete and Mickey start to fight on the edge of the water fall, and 
it looks bad for Mickey. Then his friends suddenly arrive, and save him. 
They had decided to give Black Pete another chance, and showed up at the 
right time.
After it's all over Mickey wonders about how he'd liked Pete if he had 
become honest. At the same time Black Pete sits in his cell trying his 
best not to like Mickey.

As you'll see, I have spent more room on this story than I use to. It 
deserves it. And it really deserves a lot more space, but you'd better 
read the story yourselves to see.
With a very few exceptions I've thought your stories were pretty good, 
David, but this time you've made a _really_ good one. Once you told me 
(jokingly) that you put the characters into the story, and then let 
their personalities run the story. It does show that this is what you've 
been doing here. But it's not quite that simple, of course. A lot of 
thinking is needed in creating the personalities, and then "living" 
them. And created them, you have - based on stories by Gottfredson and 
Scarpa. And this is, in my opinion, the only way to make a good story. 
The writer has to somehow "live" the stories he's telling. Anyone can 
write a simple Mickey story, based on the Murry mouse, for instance; 
it's just to use a predefined plan. But to write a story which makes the 
reader believe that this "is", that's a lot more demanding, and it's not 
everyone's gift to be able to do it. Don Rosa does it with Donald and his 
relatives (and so does Andreas Pihl, provided the story D 99171 starting 
in this issue is not just an accident), and you, David, obviously have 
acquired (through hard work, of course) the ability to do it with Mickey 
and his universe. Good work! I hope we'll see more of this.

And the art. It wouldn't make justice to Scarpa just to say a few words 
about it. One really have to see it. Normally I don't like to rate artists, 
but some are of course much better than others. And now Scarpa is certainly 
on top of my "favourite list" of Egmont Mickey artists - with Ferioli on 
a very good second. It's the same with artists as with writers, I suppose, 
that they need a strong relation with the character their drawing to make 
it "live". And in Scarpa's case the relation is obvious. At the same time 
the artist must be confident with the written story. Personally I'm drawing 
much worse than Rosa, so I haven't the slightest idea how this works. 
Still, after having read most Disney stories ever published in Norway, I 
think I've got the ability to see whether an artist cares about the story 
he's drawing or not. In this case he does.

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