Janet Gilbert - English Version

Fernando Ventura fernandopventura at uol.com.br
Mon Jul 5 23:23:14 CEST 2004

Dear friends,

Here it's the english original version!

Paolo, you can use the pictures I provide to Sandra's
(http://hometown.aol.com.br/animainfo/janet.html) on the Papersera if you
want! :)

P.S: Michael and Janet have very funny fish hats! Eh, eh, eh!
Fernando Ventura - Can you tell us about your early projects and about the
period you started writing Disney stories?

Janet Gilbert - I started writing Disney stories in 1990 for Disney
Adventures, a digest-sized magazine here in the States. My very first story,
"Mrs. Beakley's Secret Love," was drawn by the great Italian artist Giorgio
Cavazzano. But at that time I'd never heard of him!

FV - What's the sensation of having seen your stories drawn by so many
different artists? Which Egmont Disney artists you admire the most?

JG - It's always fascinating to see how each artist interprets the picture
descriptions. Sometimes the story looks just as I'd imagined it, and
sometimes it looks completely different! I admire all the Egmont artists,
but Vicar has a special place in my heart. He's drawn over 10,000 pages of
comics, yet still manages to keep his work fresh and interesting. Branca
really appeals to my "wacky" side, as does his protegé, Wanda Gattino. And
María José Sanchez (also known as Nuñez) does a wonderful job with the
Beagles. Her art just keeps getting better and better!

FV - It's been ten years since your famous Donald Duck's 60th comemorative
story (There's No Fool Like An Old Fool) has been published, drawn by
Giorgio Cavazzano. What's the origin of that project? Would you like to see
your stories drawn by artists with such different graphic styles, just like
italian and brazilian ones?

JG - That story had a crazy origin. An Egmont editor called and asked if I
could write a long, long story for Donald's birthday . . . and have it
finished in a month. That was a very stressful 31 days, for sure! Now the
Danes have just republished that story for Donald's 70th birthday.

I love the Italian/Brazilian Disney style! The art has so much energy!

FV - What's your favorite character (not only Disney)?

JG - I'm a big fan of the old Popeye comic strips, written and drawn in the
1930s by E.C. Segar. Other favorites are the Moomins, from the Finnish
children's books by Tove Jansson and Freddy the Pig, a series of American
children's books from the 1950s.

As for Disney, Donald's the man, er, I mean, duck! Add to that all the
characters from Lilo and Stitch, but especially Lilo.

FV - Is there is any character you would like to work with but didn't have a
chance yet? What's easier? Writing duck or mice stories?

JG - I'd love to write a Zé Carioca story with a great big part for Rosinha.
She's definitely the cutest "chick" in the Disney universe!

For me, writing about Donald and crew is much easier than writing about
Mickey - and much, much more fun.

FV - Do you have a favorite Donald Duck Cartoon? Would you like to see your
stories adapted to the animation screens?

JG - Though I loved the DuckTales series, I'm not a huge fan of the early
Donald cartoon shorts.  I often wish I were writing for animation,
especially when I'm struggling to show an action scene in just a few panels.
Sometimes I also wish each comic could include a CD with background music
for each story. Hmmm, would Donald's theme song be grand opera . . . or
heavy metal?? Yep, it would be great to see some of my stories adapted for

FV - Who is Donald Duck for you? How would you describe him?

JG - Donald is lazy, bad-tempered, egotistical, silly, stupid, clumsy . . .
yet still completely lovable. Sometimes he's even brave. And despite all of
his troubles, travails and major injuries, he keeps on going - which is a
good lesson for the rest of us!

FV - In your stories the characters are usually dealing with bizarre and
unexpected situations. UFO's apparitions, for instance, are usual on you
scripts. What's your influences for this kind of scripts? Your husband,
Michael Gilbert, is also an Egmont's Disney comics writer. Have you guys
ever worked on a script together?

JG - I was an art student in college, so my story ideas usually start with a
visual of some sort. For instance, I once imagined Donald getting thrown out
of a "living" chair. From that image came a story called "The Sit-Down
Strike," in which all the furniture in Duckburg goes on strike. But mostly I
just like to write about weird, silly stuff that the artists can go wild

Michael and I have worked on only one story together for Disney, but we
often discuss our story ideas and get feedback from each other. Back in the
80s, we collaborated on quite a few stories for his superhero character Mr.
Monster, who is the world's greatest monster-fighter.

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