Continuity; what is canon? + some other stuff

Per Starb{ck starback at Minsk.DoCS.UU.SE
Thu Apr 22 00:09:43 CEST 1993

> People like the information they're familiar with in the comics
> world about Who's Who and What's What, even if it's completely
> inconsistent.  As Rich notes, it just gives you more options of what
> to believe from story to story, and this seems perfectly appropriate
> for the Disney universe.  So if Duckburg seems to move around from
> story to story, let it.

Well, partly I agree.  If it makes a particular story better writers
shouldn't be afraid of ignoring some "facts" when they really aren't
that important.  E.g., if in one story we see Donald's neighbours on
both sides, and then the next month a completely new character is
needed to live next door, and he is supposed to have been Donald's
neighbour for some time, that's not much of a problem and any attempts
at explaining this will probably just detract from the story.

But on the other hand I *like* to try to "get it all together", so I
would probably sigh about this "inconsistency" and try to find some
explanation for it.  So even though I like to try to find consistency
when there is none, that doesn't mean that I think that the creators
ought to be hampered by it.

On the other hand, as long as it doesn't detract from the story I like
some continuity, especially when you don't *have* to have read the
first story to get it, but it adds something extra like you're
included in some sort of inside joke.  That's why I like many of the
allusions to Barks's stories in Rosa's stories.

> Some years ago the "Washington Post" devoted an editorial to Disney
> fandom, and on the basis of some data provided in selected stories
> they reached the conclusion that Duckburg in fact coincides with
> Washington, D.C.  (...)

Hmm, I wonder what stories they selected for that conclusion...

Don Rosa:
> No, I don't like the idea of having some stories in old Barks comics
> real and some "imaginary". I meant that the EARLIEST stories or
> versions of characters can be excused from the canon.

Yeah, especially Scrooge really behaved in strange ways in his first
stories, and there are other little strange things which just are
signs of Barks not having decided (discovered? :-) how it really is
yet.  E.g., in "The Trail of the Unicorn" Gladstone thinks "My noisy
cousin, Donald Duck, going toward his uncle Scrooge's place!"  Why on
earth would he think of Scrooge as *Donald's* uncle instead of just as
"Uncle Scrooge"?  Probably because Barks hadn't decided that Gladstone
and Scrooge were related yet.  As for stuff like that I'd say ignore
ignore ignore.

But when there really isn't anything contradicting a statement I
believe it, and I don't think I agree with your statement that Donald
always has lived in Duckburg and that all mentions of other towns are
too ancient to take into account.  Are there really any later facts
that say that Donald must have lived in Duckburg all the time?  And
will anything important be lost if he hasn't?

[List of facts Don has ignored while doing "Life of Scrooge" deleted]

That seems to be very sensible choices to me.  Have you read Jack L.
Chalkers _An Informal Biography of Scrooge McDuck_?  It's the only
other attempt at piecing it all together I know.  (It's much less
ambitious though.)  Chalker disregards all stories with Scrooge in WDC
as non-canon though, as well as Christmas on Bear Mountain and The Old
Castle's Secret ("Scrooge returns to a _fully_intact_ Castle McDuck to
get a chest of gold and jewels hidden by an ancestor _because_he_
_needs_the_money_desperately_---this in the late 1940's, when he's
already a billionaire plus")

> every detail of $crooge's past life, no matter how tiny the fact was
> or how buried it was in the third sentence of the sixth panel of an
> obscure story, it's ALL incorporated into my series, set into granite
> forevermore, all available in one tale. (pant pant pant)

I'm curious of the story behind Miss Penny Wise.  Will you finally
tell it all?  

What about other sources than Barks?  Do you think they carry any
weight at all about things that Barks hasn't told us about?  In
particular I'm curious about your treatment of Scrooge's first dime.
I guess you told about when Barks's earned that Old Number One
in the first parts of Life of Scrooge which I haven't read.  As Barks
never told us about this, did you make up your own version from
scratch or did you build on "Getting that Healthy, Wealthy Feeling" in
US 50 (art by Tony Strobl) where he earns it from chipping off mud off
a ditchdigger's boots?
--       "
Per Starback, Uppsala, Sweden.  email: starback at
 "Life is but a gamble!  Let flipism chart your ramble!"

More information about the DCML mailing list