In response to Geir; about Van Horn and Rosa

Fredrik Ekman d91fe at
Tue Mar 8 18:33:17 CET 1994


Thanks for your brilliant analysis of the Norwegian Donald Duck.
Since the Norwegian and the Swedish weeklies are practically
identical, I can just say that this captures my personal views
almost to the point. You managed to say all those things I've
known for several years, but never managed to express in writing.

There is, however, one point where I don't quite agree with you;
William Van Horn. After all, Harry once dubbed me "William Van
Horn's greatest fan". ;-)

You write that "William van Horn is shallow and one-dimensional".
In a way, this is true. WVH is one-dimensional. But you must
also realize that this must not necessarily be a bad thing.
Later you write, about modern stories in general: "when the
writers become ambitious, then they fail much more." The way I
read this, it means the same thing that I have previously
tried to express as being the reason why Egmont's scripters
sometimes succeed with their short stories, while the long ones
_always_ fail: In the short stoires they don't have to be deep
or ambitious.

And this is exactly where Van Horn, in my opinion, succeeds. He
doesn't attempt to be deep, nor to carry any kind of important
message to the readers. His goal seems to be merely to entertain
the reader. And I find that he does that very well.

I would dare to suggest that if Barks is the Dostoyevsky of
Disney comics (a comparison that holds only within the very
limited context of this discussion), then Van Horn is the Edgar
Rice Burroughs of Disney comics. In other words; while Barks
will tell a complicated story with large depths and intricate
personalities, Van Horn will only try to tell a story, period.
I might add that I enjoy both styles, but for different
reasons. The former certainly has a greater staying power.

I have previously stated that I even prefer Van Horn to Don
Rosa, and while this is only true to some degree, I will try to
explain why. I will agree with anyone who claims that Don is a
superior writer to Van Horn. He is. By far. Both have a wonder-
ful sense of humour. Both also have the decided advantage of
having their very own, very distinct although compeltely
mutually incomparable drawing style. But where I think Don (Hi,
Don!) fails lies in the very reason that he draws duck comics;
he is far too closely tied to Barks. Not in the sense that he
copies the Barks concepts (like other Egmont writers) but rather
that his drive to stay as close to the original as possible
impairs his writing. I, at least, feel that Don's best work is
with the stories that have the least Barks references. Of
course, those references are often brilliant, and brings the
story even higher, but there is a certain balance that Don,
in my view, sometimes disturbs.

I realize that Don wouldn't want to have it any other way
and I respect that. But Don, you are such a brillian writer
and _especially_ so when you follow your own path and don't
depend so much on Barks.


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