Edgerton, Albert, Basttista & Duckworth?

David Gerstein ramapith at mail.dk
Fri Sep 12 13:31:30 CEST 2003

    Hi Rich,

> I know for the INDUCKS Scrooge's butler has been listed as "Battista" and
> called 
> an "Italian" creation, but I would like to dispute this claim.

    Battista as he has evolved over the years (basically a harried live-in
domestic at the money bin who also functions as a business aide) is really
an Italian concept.
    True: he may have been INSPIRED by random butlers in Barks stories, and
as you've noticed, Battista himself has an inconsistent "look" in his
earlier appearances. But that doesn't mean he was deliberately intended as
the SAME CHARACTER as those earlier butlers.
    Anyway, he has long since become a consistent character with no
resemblance to the others‹ and this happened in Italy. For all intents and
purposes, I'd call him an Italian DEVELOPMENT, if not absolutely an Italian

> In Barks' very first appearance of Uncle Scrooge (W OS 178-02 "Christmas On
> Bear 
> Mountain") a dognose butler appears.  Scrooge calls him Edgerton.
> Evenso, it is my belief that Battista is actually just an evolution of
> Edgerton, 

    Edgerton never appears again, after this single story, until his later
use by Don Rosa (in the 1990s!). Do keep that in mind.
    I think any similarity in appearance between Battista and Edgerton is
purely coincidental. I might be convinced otherwise if Edgerton were
translated with the name Battista in the early Italian editions of "Bear
Mountain", but I don't have those editions to check. (Italians? Want to help
me here?)

> I recall discussing this previously with someone and was advised that
> appearances 
> of Scrooge's butler in the USA he was called "Albert" though I am not aware of
> any 
> such occurrances.

    I may be that someone. What you're remembering is that Egmont calls
Battista Albert in English. When we've used him in our own stories, we've
called him Albert; he's also appeared as Albert at various times in Egmont's
British and Indian pocketbooks.
    So Albert is Battista's English name, but it has no bearing on the
American comics, where no stories with Battista have ever been used to my

> Now, in the case of Duckworth from DUCKTALES, there is very little about
> Duckworth 
> that would make me believe that, other than the name change, the producers of
> DUCKTALES did not intend Duckworth to, in fact BE Barks' Edgerton.  In fact, I
> would dare say, as with Mrs. Featherby (Scrooge's secretary in DUCKTALES) who
> is 
> obviously intended to be Miss Quackfaster/Typefast, Duckworth is indeed
> Edgerton.

    I might agree with you here if anyone had used Edgerton after 1947. But
no; Edgerton simply appears in that one story and was totally forgotten
afterward. Other butlers did appear as one-offs and a few of them did look
sort of like Duckworth, too: it's just as likely that Duckworth is inspired
by those butlers as by the original Edgerton.
    If by ANY earlier character, that is. Ten years ago, I spoke to
DuckTales staffers‹ some of whom were fond of the Barks stories, but others
of whom seemed indifferent and didn't mind changing the plots radically for
TV. Why should we presume that this same crew conscientiously went out of
their way to do well by characters as minor as Edgerton?
    They seized on Miss Quackfaster because she was all over the European
Disney comics at the time and very hard to miss. The same can't be said of
Edgerton, with his one appearance in 1947.

> Thus, it is my conclusion that Edgerton is Barks' ORIGINAL name for Scrooge's
> butler and Duckworth is the cartoon name for the SAME character.  Perhaps his
> full 
> name is Edgerton Duckworth (which does have a very upper-class sound for a
> name).  

    Until I see some real evidence, I just can't believe that
Battista/Albert = Duckworth = Edgerton.

> What do you all think?  Am I WAY off base on this assumption...

    I'm afraid IMHO you are "WAY off base". Had Edgerton been a recurring
character in the old days you might well be right, but as he was a one-off,
I think your reports of his importance are greatly exaggerated.

    Best, David

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