Plastic Mickey

Jørgen Andreas Bangor jorgenb at
Fri Oct 20 19:25:42 CET 1995

Platic Mickey

This story was published in the Norwegian DD&Co #37 and #38.
It's written by Michael Gilbert, and drawn by Ferioli. The 
Norwegian script is, as far as I know, written by Erik Horthe.

The story is 16 pages long.

I've now read the original script to the story (thanks, Michael
and Janet :) ), and I have a few comments to it. A few questions 
might also have sneaked in.

First a (not very) short review of the story.

A friend of Mickey, Doc Static, has invented a chemical that can
give dead and living tissue rubbery abilities. He demostrates it
on a cat, who suddenly manages to touch Mickey's nose with his own,
from quite a distance, without moving his feets. Doc has got the
idea from a comic book, which I believe Michael did too :-)

Well, somebody has stolen a bottle of the chemical, and also the
formula. The cat, who certainly seems to enjoy being a rubber cat,
suddenly hits the last rest of the chemical, which in turn spills
over Mickey. It seems to work slower on mice than on cats, but 
suddenly Mickey stretches his arms high up in the air, to catch
Minnies hat.

The Red Bat, who's the one who stole the chemical, doesn't waste
his time. He pour some of it on a tall building, which bends 
over, and hit the ground with its top. This in turn causes a big
traffic cork. This was just a demonstration. He wants $10,000,000
for not using it again. 

Since his companion has played with the chemical on things outside
the building where The Red Bat is, Mickey and Minnie find them.
While the Bat is away (to fetch the money), Mickey fools his 
partner by stretching his own face so it looks like the Bat's, and
he and Minnie gets inside the building. The door to the room where 
the chemical is, is locked. Mickey gets in through the keyhole.
He takes the bottle, and start to squeeze himself out again. The
Bat's partner is coming up the stairs. Well, Mickey can get out,
but the bottle can't, and neither can Minnie get in.
End of part one.

Mickey goes in again, use the spray on the door, and lets Minnie

In the meantime, the Bat is on the mayor's office. Another 
demonstration is broadcasted at the same time. This time it's the
Duckburg Airport that suddenly is quite rubbery. This makes 
landing planes bump a little more than they should (this scene
reminds a little about a story by Allistair McLean, BTW. In
this story a group of terrorists put the airport of Amsterdam
under water by blowing up a dike).

Mickey and Minnie are trapped in the Bat's flat, and the Bat 
comes back. Minnie hide in the kitchen, and Mickey gets another
idea from Doc's comics. The Bat and his companion enters the
flat, and suddenly the carpet on the floor becomes very lively
(and this scene reminds about a scene from Terminator 2).
Mickey then ties the crooks with his own body. Oops, the 
chemical is stopping to work. Suddenly Mickey is his old 
himself again, and the crooks are free. They catch Mickey, and
start looking for Minnie. Suddenly Minnie comes, followed by 
the police. The Bat wonders how she could get down to the ground,
from the sixth. floor, to which Minnie answers by stretching 
her arms in a quite unnatural way.

It's, IMHO, a very good story. It's the best Mickey story I've
read for quite a long time. And I can't remember having seen
this idea used before. Also Minnie is importent in the story.
Minnie has solved mysteries before, but usually by accident.

Feriolis art is also very good, though he can't draw airplanes.
There's a comic book with Mickey and Donald on the cover in a
newspaper stand, BTW.

My first impression, after having read the original script and 
the Norwegian simultaneously, is that the Norwegian version is 
much more children-friendly than the original script. That is, 
it's a quite simple language, and it lacks the more powerful 
expressions of the original scripts. Still, Feriolis art makes 
the story very lively, so it still flows very well.

Also, the scientist speaks with a German accent in the original,
but speaks a perfect Norwegian in the Norwegian version.

This is an example from the first page:
(The Norwegian is retranslated to English)

Original: Mickey:     Holy cow! Those rats stole your comic books?!?

Norwegian: Mickey:     Oh! They stole your comic books!

There are also a few word plays that are not in the Norwegian 

Well, is this done just to get enough room in the bubbles, or 
do the Norwegian readers want a simpler language? I can see
from the language that it's done by purpose. It's not just 
translated, and coinsidentally come out that way. 

Except from this toning down of the language, the translation
is very close to the original. The only exception that comes 
to mind at the moment is in panel six of page two:

Original: Doc:     Yah! Or maybe it takes longer to work on peoples!
                   Who knows?

Norwegian: Doc:     I'd still like to take some tests later.    

The art is also a little different from the script in this page.
In the script, the scientist is explaining how he made the chemical.
This is not in the finished story. Instead, one panel in the script
is made into a double panel in the story, and an extra panel is 
put in. The dialogue from two panels in the script is put into two
panels in the story. 
Other changes in the art are minor. 

Back to the language, or rather the bubbles this time. The bubbles
are used in a very clever way in some panels. I don't know how
usual this is, but this is anyway the first time I've noticed it.
In some panels the dialogue is put into two small bubbles instead
of one big. This makes a natural pause in reading it, and then
creates a feeling of a bigger time-span in a single panel. This 
also make the language more living, since an afterthought can be
expressed after the first expression, but before the next panel,
which could be too late to make it work.

David, if you're interested in another very good story, that I'd
like to see printed by Gladstone, the code is D93303. 


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