Ordföranden längtar hem

Then-club president Olof Siverbo argues that Ankeborg (Ducksburg) is, in fact, Gothenburg, his hometown.

William Van Horn – empatisk penn-aktör

Per-Erik Malmström writes about William Van Horn, whom he describes as the most popular Disney cartoonist of today along with Don Rosa.

William Van Horn was born on February 15, 1939, and got interested in Disney comics at a very early age, especially Mickey Mouse. After completing his studies, Van Horn had various jobs until he in August 1967 was employed as art director and head of the animation department at Davidson Films. This was a studio which produced pedagogig short movies for educational purposes. In 1975, Van Horn and two colleagues bought out the previous owners and re-named the company Aesop Films. Aesop Films had only 12 people employed and thus Van Horn got plenty of work on his hands. Two years later, when the animation business was going through a recession, he wrote and drew a children’s book titled Harry Hoyle’s Giant Jumping Bean, which was highly successful. Van Horn sold his share in Aesop Films and moved to Canada with his family in order to concentrate on his new career as an author of children’s books.

After several years of writing these books, Van Horn tried his hand at comics. His first attempt was Nervous Rex, a comic series about a little tyrannosaurus rex called Rexford and his overbearing wife Dearie. The Nervous Rex series was supposed to be published six times a year, but despite its obvious quality it failed to connect with a larger audience and after ten issues further production was halted and Van Horn lost his job.

Around this time, a small publishing company called Gladstone was busy with the American Disney magazines, producing new comics led by Don Rosa. Eventually, Van Horn was employed to do 1–4 page fillers of mainly Uncle Scrooge stories.

Gladstone was very successful and brought to the attention of the big wheels at Disney, who took over production under the name Disney Comics. Van Horn’s stories were much appreciated by the readers and he became, alongside Carl Barks and Don Rosa, one of the most popular creators of Disney comics.

In the early ‘90s, Van Horn left his employment at Gladstone and instead started working with his old Gladstone editor Byron Erickson, now chief editor at Egmont in Copenhagen.

Van Horn’s style has changed a lot during his years as a Disney cartoonist and is highly original. He is more into slapstick stori es rather than serious, adventure stuff. Because of this, he hardly ever writes any Mickey Mouse stories, as Mickey’s character is more suited to adventure stories. (However, Van Horn’s son, Noel Van Horn, who is also a cartoonist, draws Mickey Mouse stories exclusively.)

Van Horn is still going strong as a cartoonist at the present time.

Bland pennstumpar och pastellfärger

Joakim Gunnarsson writes about two books on Disney animation, Before the Animation Begins by John Canemaker and Walt Disney’s Bambi: The Sketchbook Series edited by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston a.o.

Canemaker’s book is devoted to the work preceding the animation work at Disney. It is divided into five parts, each about a certain era or a certain theme, eg. "Early Inspirations", "Golden Age Inspirations" and "Inspired Women". Several of the inspirational artists who have worked at Disney are portrayed in detail, including Albert Hunter, Ferdinand Hovarth, Gustaf Tenggren and Mary Blair.

The author of this article highly recommends Canemaker’s book, which he considers to be a "must have" for anyone interested in animation, and also one of the most important and interesting books ever on Disney movies.

Walt Disney’s Bambi: The Sketchbook Series, on the other hand, gets a less positive review. This book features lots of old sketches but lacks information and details, making it not so useful to the article’s author who concludes that it is "not for the wise but for the rich!"

Möten med Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston

Göran Broling has corresponded a lot with several of the legendary Nine Old Men through the years. In the early ‘90s, Broling travelled to the States and visited both Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, who were both in their early ‘80s at that point in time.

Thomas and Johnston have been close friends since their University days and because of their close working relationship, and personal friendship, they are often referred to as "Frankandollie".

Both Thomas and Johnston were born in 1912 and began working at Disney in the mid-1930s. They have personally been responsible for nearly all animations to Disney movies from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs up to Bernard and Bianca.

They say that Walt Disney was very enthusiastic as a boss, but also very demanding. For example, during the final months of the production of Snow White, each employee was expected to work until 10 p.m. each working day. However, Walt’s personal interest and commitment to each movie was inspiring to the artists and his ideas were usually good. In his later years, his involvement waned as he was very busy with many other things such as Disneyland and TV shows. The artists missed his input and some of the movies at this time were difficult to work on for this reason.

Thomas and Johnston remained employed at Disney for around ten years after Walt died, eventually quitting after Bernard and Bianca was finished. Following their retirement at Disney, they have, among many other things, released several books on Disney animation.

En man och en mus – två mästerdetektiver på Baker Street

Åsa Johansson writes about the Disney movie The Great Mouse Detective and compares and contrasts with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.

The Great Mouse Detective, Disney’s 26th animated movie, was first screened in July 1986. The creators had had a limited budget during production but managed to make the most of their resources. The story is based on Eve Titus’ children’s books about Basil of Baker Street; these stories themselves being based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Holmes stories. The author of this article concludes that the name Basil is most likely a reference to actor Basil Rathbone who starred as Sherlock Holmes in no less than 14 movies between 1939 and 1946.

The Great Mouse Detective isn’t based on any particular story by Eve Titus. The team at Disney have used the main characters from the books and written their own story, in which elements from the original Holmes stories by Doyle occur to a great extent. The author of the article finds points of contact between the Doyle stories and the movie when it comes to several things. For instance subsidiary characters as the dog Toby from The Sign of Four occur in the movie, and we also find equivalents to wellknown episodes such as Watsons first meeting with Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet. The major part of the analysis, however, dwells on the similarities and differences between Basil Mouse’s looks and behaviours in the movie, and the descriptions of Sherlock Holmes in the works of Doyle.

The summary and translation are made by koll. 2697 Stefan Warnqvist

10 april 2006 / Johan Blixt /