Barks's Junior Woodchuck series / Hergé
Daniel van Eijmeren
dve at kabelfoon.nl
Tue Apr 13 17:37:46 CEST 2004
MATTHEW WILLIAMS to NILS SMEBY, 06-04-2004:
> As far as worst story... Are the seventies Woodchuck stories eligible?
I like most of them. Especially when drawn by Daan Jippes.
Otherwise I prefer Barks's roughs. Most of have been published in The Carl
Barks Library set 6. In monochrome (black and white) quality, unfortunately.
The scripts look much better in full-colour, judging the few colour scans
floating around on internet. It's really a world of difference.
> Nearly all of them strike me as unrelentingly bland.
For the first time since the 1940s/1950s, Uncle Scrooge is the villain in
some of the stories. But this time Scrooge really goes out of his way to
destroy the environment, reminiscent of 'Land of the Pygmy Indians' (US 18).
This leads to many exciting adventures.
Some of these environmental stories don't contain Scrooge but new villians,
as in 'Gold of the '49ers' (JW 13 / H 92107).
Other Junior Woodchuck stories are more gag-oriented, like the very funny
and thoughtful 'Bottled Battlers' (JW 10 / H 94141). Others contain some
Duckburg folklore, like 'Duckmade Disaster' (JW 14 / H 92001).
There's even a horror story among them, titled 'Hound Of The Moaning Hills'
(JW 12 / D/D 2001-015). But I don't like the ending of that story. It
leaves too much questions open. What will happen with Scrooge's animals
after the story has finished, for example? Aren't they too expensive?
Where will they live? Still, the story might be ahead of its time, because
it's about some kind of genetic manipulation. It reminded me of stories
I've heard about Tjernobyl(?) in Russia. (I don't know how to spell the
name, but I guess everybody knows what 1980s nuclear disaster I mean.)
Stories which I desperately would like see to drawn by Daan Jippes are the
rather heavy 'Whale of a Good Deed' (JW 7), the exciting 'Let Sleeping
Bones Lie' (JW 8), and the extremely funny 'Where There's Smoke' (JW 16).
I almost forget to list 'Looter of the Lake' (JW 9), which has a very
funny but cynical message in the end. In the story, the Woodchucks protest
against Scrooge's polluting factory. Later in the story, they ask Scrooge
what he was manufacturing in that factory. And then a great spin follows,
but you'll have to read that yourself.
BTW. Is Daan Jippes still drawing Barks's Junior Woodchucks stories?
And does he intend to draw them all? Does someone know?
Of course, these judgements are just my humble opinion. And I certainly
do agree that some of the Junior Woodchuck stories could have been *much*
better if Barks wouldn't have been so tired of making new duck stories.
I remember disliking some of them, at least. But I think that the majority
of the stories are wonderful and greatly underestimated. At least as
penciled by Barks himself.
I hope there will be a edition with all Barks's Junior Woodchuck scripts
in *full-size* and *full colour*, one day.
There has been such an edition of Hergé last unfinished Tin Tin story.
("Alpha Art?") So, why not Barks? I guess there might be a market in
Europe, at least.
What do others think?
"This is quite a mystery! Let's sit down with some pop and sandwiches
and figure it out!"
(Which Barks story?) :-)
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