Disney-comics digest #232.

Don Rosa 72260.2635 at CompuServe.COM
Sat Feb 5 08:01:43 CET 1994

	Where's Gary? I figured he'd get on here and mention this since,
now that he's here, it would be his domain. But maybe he's busy.
	Anyway, had you heard of the new Gladstone "showcase" title,
WALT DISNEY'S COMICS IN COLOR, that would feature a wide array of
different "classic" Disney comics -- the theme of issue 1 being Donald's
60th Birthday? You saw the ads?
	This will give you another in the endless list of ideas of what
it's like dealing with Disney. I used to call 'em the Evil Empire -- a
better name might be the Certifiably Insane Empire. Disney told
Gladstone that they could not add a new title to their line of comics.
Part of the unique type of bullying license that Disney compels
businesses to accept is that their products must have a particular
growth rate in profit; at the same time, they forbid Gladstone from
expanding their ability to meet that goal. No explanation -- just "we
cannot allow that at this time" (which, of course, they CAN). It's
things like this that make me that much more sore, not just at Disney,
but at the air-head Disney worshipers on those Disney BBSs. Anyway, all
that Donald Duck - 60th Birthday stuff will just appear in an issue of
DONALD DUCK, I guess. Or maybe Disney will tell Gladstone to just save
it for Mickey's 70th Birthday and redraw Mickey's head onto Donald's
body -- I wouldn't put it past those geniuses.

	This news report on TV. I take it the issue of DD & CO. with
that Olympics story is on the stands? Were any names of the "creators"
mentioned in the story, like Barks or me or anyone else? Or was all the
material written and drawn by Walt Disney.

	Hi. Glad you liked that U$ #285. I'll try to find an issue
somewhere tomorrow. I KNEW people would be disappointed/upset that the
story does not take up the full issue as thay might assume; only 3 of
the 12 will be that long. But these stories are done for Egmont which
wants shorter stories. And, frankly, the whole series was done with the
idea that the REAL intent is for all the stories to appear, eventually,
in one album (or two or so) -- most eras of $crooge's life just didn't
call for a full 28 page story, and that would have made the series
incredibly more logistically difficult. In fact, I'm sure that would
never have been allowed if I had insisted on that when I originally
suggested the idea.
	Speaking of Disney revisionism: how about that cover? Notice
that the suit of armor on the horse is not ablaze as in the story? The
original version of the cover had the blazing armor, but Disney ruled
that was "too disturbing" for young children. That's irritating, but
they did have a point that time -- if one did not know, as in the story,
that the armor was empty, it would look like a man burning to death, I
s'pose. Besides, there are bigger hurdles to get across later on with
the death scenes and Bombie the Zombie and all.
	You need to read some of the old Digests in the Library some
empty weekend if you were surprised by what I was saying about Disney's
medieval policies towards freelance creators.
	I did mention an art dealer in Germany who sells my art, but I
was referring to art from the 80s, back before Disney forbid Gladstone
to return the art to the owners of same. As it finally turned out, a
year ago Disney granted me the right to have my art returned, but I had
to agree to never sell it or otherwise part with it for all eternity. So
that dealer does not have any recent art, and that significant source of
legitimate income, open to all other freelance artists in America, is
another thing denied me as a freelancer of Disney comics. They get away
with it since, I regret to say, I am the only artist who was willing to
fight them over it, and I don't add up to much. I am a voice in the
	Sure, you can send me that comic for a signature! My address is
9711 Dawson Hill Rd., Louisville, KY, 40299.

	As you saw above, I complain more about Disney. But don't let me
whine too much, because NOBODY is forcing me to not quit and do work for
or based on the characters belonging to a 20th century corporation. I am
locked into this sad situation by my devotion to these characters. If I
couldn't do Uncle $crooge comics, I wouldn't do some other comics, I'd
go back into the construction business.
	I have no interest in doing "my own" characters since they do
not exist and I have no sentimental attachment to them. I didn't grow up
on some characters I might invent next week. $crooge and Donald have
been part of my entire life. I'm stuck with that.
	I'm also stuck with the fact that the MAIN reason my stories are
somehow popular are because they feature the world's most popular
characters. I used to do my own characters in "Duck-type" stories in
fanzines as a hobby for years. In fact, I've turned these same stories
into Duck stories over the past 7 years. Nobody was interested in my
work until I started using the great Ducks; particularly so in America,
where the state of comics is such a hideous disgrace. I do "European
style" stories, but my art isn't refined enough to stand by itself in
Europe without the "crutch" of using the world's most popular comic
characters. That's why I see no chance of ever doing my own comics.
Besides, Egmont is a very large company that only publishes comics based
on licensed products of proven popularity that will sell mega-numbers.
They wouldn't be interested.
	Also, I never said that my PAGE RATE was not decent. Egmont pays
everybody the same, regardless of the popularity or lack of same of
their work. But that is not a bad rate. If I continue to work
feverishly, I can make a comfortable but unextravagant living, though
there's no vacations or health insurance or pension or any of that. But
I sacrifice those things when I decide to be a freelancer. The things no
artist SHOULD have to sacrifice are ROYALTIES and our ARTWORK, which are
benefits I should be entitled to with the blessing of the parent
company, but that's not the way Disney is. Anyway, don't assume that I'm
either wealthy or destitute... I just get along. 

	Isn't this classy? Somebody hiding behind a psuedonym coming on
our system to ask if we can help him steal some bootleg software! How
proud we all are.

	In a recent Danish comic I saw an ad for an Uncle $crooge
wristwatch that looked like a pretty decent piece of goods. The only two
American $crooge watches are a cheapie made for kiddies and a $75
"limited edition" #@&%# made for "collectibles louts". And neither of
these are actually $crooge -- the first is the DuckTales counterfeit
$crooge, and the other is the MICKEY'S XMAS CAROL counterfeit $crooge.
Can anyone find me some NICE European $crooge wristwatch??? (No,
Shanu... I don't want to buy one of those hot Rolexes you have up your

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