Disney-comics digest #349.
72260.2635 at CompuServe.COM
Tue Jun 7 14:24:15 CEST 1994
So... I'm back from Germany.
I saw NOTHING of the country besides a few downtown streets in
Frankfurt and Erlangen... but that's typical with my European tours.
Someday when I can afford to pay my own way (the liklihood of which
seems doubtful as long as I do Disney comics), I'll know my general way
around several countries and be more at ease than I would be were it my
I did several signings at stores in Frankfurt, then four FULL
days at the Erlangen Comic convention, Germany's biggest, they tell me.
I musta done 10 TV, radio or newspaper/magazine interviews, as well as
one 2 hour press conference with a bunch of reporters from who-knows,
and even had lunch with the Lord-Mayor. In between all this, the
publisher would schedule me for 1 hour signing sessions at the big Ehapa
booth... but I would sit at the booth the entire day, other than when
they forced me to go do the interviews. I would guess, simply because of
the characters I work on, I was the main atttraction at the convention
-- Duck-fans waited up to 4 hours or more in line to get an autograph
and a sketch which, though it broke my heart to give them such crap,
usually was only a bad scribble. In fact, I took two long sessions when
I did only NICE drawings that I would be proud for a Duck fan to own,
but then I could only do 4 per hour, so I don't know what was the better
method... doing lots of very bad scribbles and making lots of people
"satisfied" (and if I were them, disappointed), or doing the nice
drawings and making about 15 or 20 people per session REAL happy.
Anyway, I did it both ways, so that had to be the best solution.
There's not a lot else to say. I saw NOTHING of the rest of the
convention since I never left the Ehapa booth... but that was MY choice.
I couldn't see how to both visit Germany and/or see a Euro comic con,
AND greet the Duck fans. After signing for an hour at any session, the
Ehapa peaople would say, "thanks, you can go relax now, go see the
sights" or something.... but I'd ask them what was I supposed to say to
the line of a hundred or so people who had already waited an hour opr
two or three to see me? "So long, chumps! Who needs you?"??? It's not
like I felt I had a choice -- they bought the comics, they paid my
income (indirectly), they deserved my time if that's what they wanted.
Besides, it's like the Twilight Zone. In America I exist on the
very bottom rung of the comic industry. At a convention I am placed at a
small table with the people who publish their own mini-comics. In
Europe, because of how much the Ducks are loved, it's totally the
oppsite and moreso! It's not like I'm the Rob Leifeld of that area, I'm
MORE than that since the normal American press and population have no
interest in the comic book "superstars" here. Rob Leifeld doesn't do
lunch with the Mayor in San Diego. But, anyway, since most of you folks
are IN Europe, I'm telling you things about the popularity of the Ducks
over there that you already know.
I'm not sure what else about the trip might interest any of
you... any questions?
I've just read through the bunch of Digests awaiting me, and I
only found a few things to comment on. I was anxious for some comments
on that "Lo$"#12, but only Bjorn Davidsen made any, which was
dissapointing to the part of me that is so afraid of what a dreadful
mistake each chapter of that series may or may not be.
Yes! ALL of chapter 12 is predictable! Isn't that the point of
it? My entire plan was to bring the entire storyline right up to what we
all ALREADY KNOW, and stop. Sure, you knew what would be in the Bin, but
the half-page panel was the demonstration NOT of how surprised the
reader should be, but how IMPORTANT the moment was. This was the
revelation to Donald Duck of just WHO his mysterious uncle was, how RICH
he really was, and everything else about him that he never knew. Would
you have had me devote a mere 1/8th page standard panel to that moment?
Of course you knew that $crooge would defeat the Beagles and get back
his cash and coin. EVERYTHING was MEANT to be predictable -- that was
its design. And, yes, $crooge defeated the Beagles far, FAR too easilly,
but I am given no choice; I had 15 pages to tell that important story --
and, in fact, I did wheedle an extra 16th page (had you noticed it was
an extra page longer than usual) since I told the editors that I simply
couldn't fit it in 15. With extra pages I would have extended the chase
scene somehow. In fact, now that we discuss it, perhaps in 1 1/2 years
when Gladstone gets around to that chapter, I'll do them an extra 4 or 5
pages of action to stick into the tale.
And yes, I was forced to decide on how to draw $crooge,
balancing his whiskers and glasses between how Barks drew them in CoBM,
and how they MUST look at the end of my series (the "classic" $crooge
outfit and appearance). This is just one of the many dicisions I was
forced to make in dealing with the descrepancies in Barks' most ancient
"facts", and I handled them as best I could.
Frankly, the 12th chapter was the perfect example of dealing
with those discrepancies and making decisions on how to handle the whole
tangled mess. And I know one thing: I often say I don't like my stories
or art... and I often say that these individual chapters of the Lo$ may
not be great stories in themselves when I was forcing myself to deal
with specific lists of ingredients and facts... this is true. But I am
quite confident that I did the BEST imagineable biography of $crooge
anyone could do, given the constraints I put on myself. So, it may not
be Barks' $crooge. How can it be since I'm not Barks. It's MY $crooge.
But I'm as proud of those 12 chapters as a unit as I could possibly be,
and no one can tell me I didn't put my all into doing the best job I
could for the character I love.
I saw the German printings of "The Duck Who Never Was" (my DD
60th Birthday story); it was in one of the special albums I was signing
through Germany. That was one of my stories I LIKED (whereas I'm usually
unhappy with my general results).
But it's amusing that you were observant enough to spot one of
my many hidden gags, and yet you didn't think enough about it to realize
the fallacy of your comment. You saw the case of square eggs in the
Duckburg Museum, and they were labelled "ROCKS". How could they still be
labelled rocks since Donald had discovered they were eggs and told the
world??? But of course he NEVER DID. He was never born! Everyone thought
they were still ROCKS.
And why didn't one break? Oh, hell, I don't know! So one broke
off camera which I didn't show. What difference would it make? Who said
they were fragile? I mean, they were as hard as rocks, remember?
By the way, was another background gag editted out of your
version? In one of the scenes there should be a case of small ancient
stone idols along with one 1930's Mickey Mouse doll, all labelled
"Ancient demon worship". In Germany they made it "Voodoo Dolls".
I can't comment on Gladstone's Lo$ #3 yet since I haven't seen
it. Maybe later today. Sounds like you think it generally came off well,
but I don't expect I'll like the changes Disney demanded concerning the
guns. Good thing I DON'T like guns, and I never show $crooge wanting to
use them except to scare people, so there's no serious problems of that
sort ahead. But we know how even when there's nothing that NEEDS
changes, Disney MUST find something to demand changed, or the person
whose job it is to make those demands will be worried that his boss will
think he's not needed. (This is ONE reason I put things like that
"Mickey Mouse demon doll" in the stories -- we expect Disney will demand
that be removed, and then they will leave the harmless stuff alone when
their "demand" quota is met.)
You got me (if it was you). The professor, whether it was Rhutt
Betler (as it was in my original version) or someone who later bought
the eggs from the vicuna hunter... even if he deduced they WERE eggs, he
would NOT know that the chickens were square. Or the people. Perhaps I
can change that if and when Gladstone re-reprints the series.
I have another IMPORTANT matter to discuss... about Barks and
his tour... and his "MANAGER". They've finally overstepped any bounds
by which anyone should expect me to be a sap and keep my mouth shut,
counting on my mindless devotion to Barks' comics not to finally pipe
up. But I'll save that till later today.
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