Disney-comics digest #473.

DAVID.A.GERSTEIN 9475609 at arran.sms.edinburgh.ac.uk
Wed Oct 26 12:52:46 CET 1994

      Dear Folks,

      Several things to talk about today.  First, Br'er Rabbit:  The 
stories really go a LONG way back before Joel Chandler Harris.  I got 
my own wellspring of information in perhaps the most unusual 
sourcebook you'd ever imagine it to be in:  the book _Bugs Bunny:  
Fifty Years And Only One Gray Hare_ (1990).  This history book on WB 
cartoons views Br'er Rabbit as Bugs' principal ancestor (there are a 
lot of similarities!), and so spends several pages talking about that 
character's history.  It's that book that tells about the stories' 
origins in Africa, although I can't believe that's the only one that 
has that stuff in it.
      Br'er Rabbit is, as far as I know, still quite popular in the 
States -- at least to those who *read*.  Not long ago there was a 
series of books called "Jump," "Jump Again," and "Jump On Over", 
which contained Br'er Rabbit tales shorn of dialect;  these were 
bestselling children's books, with excellent production values.  
There are three Disney Br'er Rabbit books in print, none of them 
using dialect.  There are at least two of the original Harris books 
still in print (with dialect).  And although Disney has banned the 
film "Song of the South" from U. S. re-release (that's the film with 
the BR sequences in it), they do show the BR shorts by themselves, 
sometimes, on the Disney Channel's two cartoon shows.
      Last year there was a great musical "Br'er Rabbit" at my 
college, directed by our regular drama coach (who is black, by the 
way, and noted the stories' origins in black folklore;  also 
confirmed my own questions about the name Zomo).  The story was 
narrated by a character named Sis Owl, who was written with slight 

      Next, AUGIE DeBLIECK -- Huzzah!  Glad to hear you're around 
here making your mark at last.  It's about time!  Feel free to drop 
into my mailbox and chat sometime (my E-Mail address is at the end of 
this letter).

      JORGEN:  The Madam Mim story doesn't sound half bad.  I guess I 
haven't read enough of these to find this particular plot a rehash of 
something that has gone before...  There's always the old Barks story 
where Scrooge tries to get Donald to give up his house (WDC 159), but 
Scrooge is no magician, so how similar can the stories be?
      Sounds like that Mickey story with Dustibones is another one of 
the "new" Mickey stories.  Particularly if the artist is the same guy 
who did the Remuda Triangle story -- that's Ferioli.  I'm guessing 
that the writer could be Byron Erickson himself, here.

      JAMES WILLIAMS:  I was laughing just at the first panel of your 
US rodeo story!  Are you doing all these original stories for 
Gladstone?  That's the impression I got from a past letter.  And who 
is drawing them?  I wouldn't mind reading one of your entire 

      HARRY:  I'm amazed that you found a good-looking US 289...  but 
one thing's certain, DD 288 (which has just come out) is lacking any 
kind of problems whatsoever.  The cover stock is different, 
indicating that this was published by the OTHER color press that 
Gladstone uses (they use two of them, I've been told);  that being 
the one which was responsible, as far as I can tell, for most of 
their comics in the first six months of their "new" period.  The 
black ink is JET black, the colors are all bright and clear and not a 
SINGLE page is the LEAST bit off-register.  This is a magnificent 
issue.  I hope that Gladstone sticks with this printer as often as 
      The strips in DD 288 sure highlight Bolivar and Basil Burro a 
lot.  Never realized how often that burro appeared in the strip, 
although he kept showing up until the 1950s at least.  And damn, the 
Bolivar strips are probably the best of all AT material, in my 
opinion.  I will use Bolivar a lot in my coming Duck stories...

      We should get Mark Evanier on this list, by the way -- someone 
was just asking about him.  His E-Mail address is 
<MARKEVANIER at delphi.com>  Why don't we put him on the list right now? 
 He can always cancel it if he doesn't like it...

     And did someone mention DON AULT coming on?  I've been trying to 
find some way to get through to him for years.  You see, I have a 
copy of OS 348 ("The Crocodile Collector") with his name handwritten 
in childish writing on the cover, and have always wanted to get it 
back to him.  I guess his Mom must have sold his comics when he grew 
up.  Poor fellow.  I also have a WDC&S 126 with Mike Barrier's 
childish signature on it.
      And I've ALWAYS wanted to get some kind of transcripts of his 
course lectures.  I myself gave an animation history course over 
winter quarter last year (titled "The Mickey Mouse Course of 
Animation History").  Emphasis on Disney/WB cartoons, with many rare 
or banned cartoons shown.  I'd sure like to "trade" cartoons with Mr. 
Ault -- I bet we each have some the other lacks.

      Last:  The only Duck story I've ever done for anyone besides 
Egmont is being sent in -- with the corrections Disney and Gladstone 
wanted me to make, made -- for the final time today.  "Return to 
Morgan's Island," to be illustrated (as of this writing) by my artist 
friend Craig Deeley, is a rip-roaring 26-page pirate adventure 
reuniting the Ducks with Old Yellow Beak as well as a whole tag 
team of classic villains.  (It's a sequel to Four Color #9, if any of 
you don't know:  "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold.")  It's all 
researched and historically accurate, too.  When it's drawn and 
published (late '95, I guess) you're going to love it, folks!  And 
remember -- you heard it on disney-comics at minsk.DoCS.UU.SE!!!

      Best to all of you,

      David Gerstein
      "By the Gorgon's cracked cackle!  It's too *impossible* to be real!"
      <9475609 at arran.sms.ed.ac.uk>

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