DCML Digest, Vol 55, Issue 8

Don Rosa donrosa at iglou.com
Mon Sep 10 16:32:01 CEST 2007

From: "Ola Martinsson (AS/EAB)" <ola.martinsson at ericsson.com>
>>>>I just can't remember from which Barks story the castle in the upper
middle of the latest Don Rosa poster is.
Can anyone enlighten me on this ?

The short answer is Valhalla (from "Mythtic Mystery").

The long answer is that no reader, from the most ardent Barks scholar to the
youngest kiddy, is supposed to have to wonder what any single element of any
of those posters represents. All publishers are provided with a text I wrote
describing the lengthy process of decisions that went into each of those
posters (being the most complex pieces of planning & art I've ever done).
They are also provided with a story list of the sources of each scene
depicted in each poster along with all references needed to match any local
editions with the original Barks stories. And finally, I've given a title to
each poster to explain the topic represented in each grouping of scenes.

The texts are optional... their use is not needed to give the posters
meaning... just a little extra info. But, aside from the Finnish editions, I
can't find any publishers who are using my list of story-scenes featured, or
sometimes not even the titles of each topic. I'm not even sure if there's
any mentions of these being Barks tributes. As a result, it seems to me that
only the most die-hard Barks scholars would generally understand the
posters, and even then it might take them quite a while to determine what
the overall subject of each poster is. I, myself, would not be able to
identify a number of the obscure stories I cited to illustrate certain of
the topics (like that Valhalla castle... I wouldn't have recognized that).
It would have taken very little space to at least print an abbreviated list
the stories depicted so that the average reader would not be scratching his
head, wondering what Don Rosa is doing with these pages of apparently
meaningless, unrelated, mystery scenes. But giving the simple, short TITLE
of each poster somewhere would be enough to make all my work not seem like
inexplicable puzzle pages.
Perhaps some publishers *are* using my posters as puzzle pages, asking
readers to send in guesses as to what I'm doing?  But I'm too ignorant to be
able to read where that info is mentioned? If anyone has seen such titles or
story-lists "hidden" from my eyes in their local editions, please let me
know. I need to keep track of such things. I think I see only the general
subjects given in the Norwegian editions... I'm not sure. The Danes started
out with their own explanations of the posters (which were wrong), then
used my lists with the next two posters... but the last Danish use of one of
the posters that I've received was dated last April... perhaps they dropped
the whole idea (which is their choice, of course)?

Hopefully the idea is that those posters will eventually be collected into
something like a calendar in those countries with *at least* the titles and
story-lists included (as, again, Finland has already done), otherwise I will
regard all of that work to be mostly wasted. (Though that still wouldn't
explain the publishers' omission of, at the very least, the
titles/subjects.) I could have done a few entire short-stories during the
time those posters took to research, design and produce. Apparently the
branch publishers didn't particularly like that main-office's idea in the
first place, and that's fully their prerogative. I just wish they hadn't
used the posters at all if they don't give readers a hint of explanation
about them.

Well, as long as I'm here... a few people often want to know where I'll be
On September 21 & 22 I'll be in Finland At Vesa Keskinen's famous department
store in the town of (unless I'm mistaken?) Tuuri... and signing those new
calendars of the posters discussed above.
On Sept. 23-26 I'll be in Oslo, but I'm not sure what the publisher plans
for me to do while there.
Then on Sept. 27-30 I'll be at the Gothenburg/Goteborg Book Fair in Sweden
signing stuff at the Egmont booth for as often and as long as they'll give
me a spot to do so.

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