Disney-comics digest #140.
David A Gerstein
David.A.Gerstein at williams.edu
Thu Oct 28 02:26:39 CET 1993
Ole on Danish stories
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"I'm personally sick and tired of Vicar, Branca, Colomer, and
Santanach, but if you find them new-improved-super I'll bear with you,
David. Gail Renards plot for [THE DUCK WHO CRIED WOLF] is boring and
gag-less, using a predictable 1-2-3 plot linearity, all too common in
I'll say it's that way! As originally done it was a mistaken
identity story like SO-OOOO many other Danish stories. I have
transformed it into a PARODY of the typical Danish mistaken identity
stories and added a mock-Aesop narration a la that Barks gemstone
hunting story. Partway through my version Donald actually begins
remarking that the story is like a fable, and the moment he begins
twisting the rules of Aesop around, he's in for it! I was trying to
do something like Barks' old Goldilocks and "King of Luck" (Gemstone
I think Gladstone could use better "nouvelle" (new to this
country) MM stories in D&M too... but no matter what we think, Jaime
Diaz stories are going to appear there by Bruce Hamilton's request at
least through D&M 25. Please join me in writing in and requesting
other things! I hope that after #25 these Diaz stories are only used
*once* in a great while.
Which brings me to...
Mickey as a "funny animal"
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Don, please do not class Mickey with other cartoon animals...
you know, those characters who because they're not depicted as human
beings, get to live in a world which is just removed enough from
reality for the reader to stop believing in! You must be thinking of
those *non-Gottfredson, non-Scarpa* MM stories and *their* world...
I'm talking about a world where artificial intelligence comes
from tin cans ("The Mystery of the Robot Army"), where a car can
contain a ghost ("The Wonderful Whizzix"), where crooks always carry
guns with a mysterious notch out of the barrel, where interior
decorators shove you out of your own house... if it's funny, it
doesn't have to be realistic to match up with a "funny animal," right?
What I'm getting at is that the folks who didn't write good
Mickey stories did so because they didn't take Mickey seriously.
Anything funny can happen to a funny animal, right?
Aside from Carl Barks, everyone else on the Western staff took
Donald the same way. We had REALLY, REALLY BAD stories that didn't
work because they lacked enough connection with reality. You know
that Donald's not a funny animal because you had the good fortune to
have a good artist around to compare with the bad ones. For you, as
for all of us, that artist did *THE* interpretation of the Ducks that
As you have mentioned, you didn't grow up with Gottfredson,
and were on the wrong side of the ocean to grow up with Scarpa. Thus
*all* you had to judge MM by were those... those *funny animal*
stories which for DD were second-echelon, but for MM in the comic
BOOKS after 1948 were all we got.
Think of the contempt you feel for those "Disneyana"
collectors who think of Donald as a funny animal -- and even worse,
think of *Uncle Scrooge* as one, just a cartoon of a duck for immature
children, one they find *cute*. Please don't think that just because
you didn't have the good fortune to grow up with a version of MM whose
writers and artists took him seriously, that he has to be a funny
animal. If all you'd grown up on with the Ducks was Tony Strobl, Jack
Bradbury, and so forth, you'd have thought Donald was a funny animal
too and gone on to do comics about your own *human being*... Marvin
Cartoon MM = Animal
Ub Iwerks MM = Animal
Floyd Gottfredson MM = Human Being
Bill Walsh MM = Human Being (but seriously hurt by being
depicted in a "funny animal" environment)
Paul Murry MM = Animal
Jack Bradbury MM = Animal
Tony Strobl MM = Animal
Romano Scarpa MM = Human Being
Jaime Diaz MM = Animal (or "funny human" like Mutt and Jeff --
same lack of believability)
David Gerstein = Anim... whoops!
<David.A.Gerstein at Williams.edu>
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