Disney-comics digest #512.

DAVID.A.GERSTEIN 9475609 at arran.sms.edinburgh.ac.uk
Mon Dec 5 17:04:54 CET 1994

      Dear Folks,

      JORGEN:  I believe that the pocket books all come from the 
same Italian root source.  They aren't random collections of Italian 
stuff, but I think the exact order of the same stories is the same in 
a specific volume from one country to another.
     I believe that the pocket book series started in Italy as just 
an inexpensive way to reprint old stories from TOPOLINO.  They began 
doing a monthly series as early as the 1960s.  I think France began 
doing exact reprints of those books shortly after.  Then Egmont made a 
deal with Mondadori, and then -- at varying times -- various Egmont 
publishers jumped on the boat to reprint the pocketbooks.  And I 
think they just chose randomly which pocketbooks to reprint in which 
order.  For example, my oldest French pocketbook is from 1965, and it 
was reprinted as pocketbook #15 "Hexenzauber mit Micky und Goofy" in 
Germany, ca. 1972.  If every country printed corresponding 
pocketbooks at the same time, the Germans would have printed what the 
French were printing in 1972.
      So that explains why there was a disparity in starting dates.  
But I think that the monthly contents of the pocketbooks are 
basically similar from country to country, month to month, by this 

      There is an Ariel monthly in Britain, BTW.  It's on its third 
issue;  it has so far used K-coded stories from LM 3 and 4 and the 
two Sebastian one-shots, but there has also been a beautifully drawn 
H-coded story (this being the only reason I bring up Ariel here).  
Are these also printed in Holland?  If so, where?
      This week's British MM includes the Barks "Masters of Melody."  
The text has been through the British mill;  not only reset in type a 
la Egmont tradition, but an occasional line rephrased slightly.  
Title given as:  "String Trio."  Still, one of my favorite ten-pagers.  
Part two of the Mickey fish story -- here called "Kyle of Mulltyre", 
a 2-page Br'er Rabbit (speaking Oxford English with an occasional 
"Howdy-do" thrown in), and a Goofy one-pager "Dinosaur Problems" fill 
out the sadly short comic.

      The string trio story seems to me to be the first in which 
Barks used the late-1940s models that are considered the best.  I 
believe he must have been influenced by a model sheet, because the 
ducks vary wildly from panel to panel.  The most notable contrast is 
between the immediately-adjacent panels where Donald watches the 
nephews:  "Such enthusiasm!  I'll have a string trio before you can 
say do-re-mi in Eskimo!" and the one where he sees Grandma out the 
door.  What a huge difference -- a compact duck at first, then one 
with a huge body, small bill, and long legs.

      How is Marvel doing with its Disney titles?  An early Gladstone 
Series-II lettercol discussed the fate of the modern feature-film 
characters by noting that "Disney has other plans for them."  Did 
Gladstone, at some point, have the chance to buy comic rights to 
those characters, too, and if so, why did they refuse?  Are these 
comics popular or successful now?  Or very good?

      David Gerstein

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