Disney-comics digest #263.

Geir.Hasnes@DELAB.SINTEF.no Geir.Hasnes at DELAB.SINTEF.no
Tue Mar 29 14:10:43 CEST 1994

>Geir wrote:
>> Daan Jippes has done some good work, and also Fred Milton. 
>> However, there is a deep misunderstanding in Miltons view on the 
>> Ducks personality.
>David replied: 
>> Gee!  In what stories?
>And I could add the question: in what way is the view misunderstood?

As I tried to say in my posting to David, I find that Milton has not really
got under the skin of Donald. He is too much the bragging, selfish guy that
of course is shown by Barks, but he is not balanced by the warmth and love
for the kids and in short humanity that radiates out of Barkses Donald and
therefore made him so lovable. Milton likes especially those expert stories
where Donald aims high and fall hard or he likes to show the contrast
between Donalds educating the nephews and doing the wrong things himself,
and then it becomes a little too much action and too little warmth and calm
like in the Barks stories, where you live intensely with the Ducks. The
Milton stories I at least watch from the outside. However, I like to read
most of them although I sometimes shudder. The one with the moral preacher
and the funny bunny tales was a good one, but nothing is solved, really, in
the end.

>I have seen a 'complete MM daily' series in a Dutch comic shop. It was 
>organised per year (breaking stories in two). The shop only had the years
>1939, 1955 and 1956 (if I remember well). They contain A4 copies of 2 or 3
>newspaper strips per page. I couldn't find an editor, but a statement on
>the back said "limited to 300 copies". I assume this is Horst Schro"ders 

This is in fact Horst Schroeders work. It runs from 1930 to 1955.

>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.

Thanks for the good words, although I dont find myself worthy to them,
quite honestly. I would really have loved to make a real analysis, but that
takes too much time and I am always short of time to go deeply into the
stories here.

>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.

As I said just previously, if van Horn can keep within his limits that will
be OK. And I will laugh at his stories. But I dont think they give me much
food for thought. I dont go afterwards and wonder about the stories, like I
do with the Barks and Rosa stories.

>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.

You have a very good point here, and I certainly can do nothing else than
agree with you. Onedimensionality may lie in the freaky bi-persons in his
stories, they are all more or less madder than usual and in the same way.
He is also onedimensional in making the persons more or less behave in the
same way in all the stories. He is a bit foreseeable and he loves to let
the catastrophe come down over Donald. Catastrophies, madness, bad temper,
extreme sleepiness, it is all extremes, and in my opinion Donald isnt that
extreme. You should not take a character that far that we lose our sympathy
with him.

>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.

As this is just my comment to you I dont think we shall discuss this
further, just notice that we have different views. I love the references
and especially if they are made a natural and integral part of the story. I
think Don manages that with ease, and that is because he understands the
ducks better than any other writer. He has even managed to make Scrooge
that wonderful and highly intelligent person he was in the Barks stories,
and that is something that is very hard to do. 

In fact, I think that you cant make a good series about persons if you dont
have some of that person inside of yourself. Don must have much more
personality than van Horn because van Horn just shows the one side of his
personality while Don writes about a mass of things. And Don has done
brilliantly to follow up and grasp the correct things and concepts and
ideas and everything in a universe that was (and still is) so messed up by
the various writers and artists that have come after Barks.

Geir Hasnes

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