Digest #70

Don Rosa donrosa at iglou.com
Wed Feb 2 15:33:21 CET 2000

From: Marco Barlotti
Subject: eBay
>the main point about eBay is that the winning bidder does *not* pay the
>amount of his bid, but he simply pays one increment over the
>bidder's bid, probably $1 or $2.50 at these levels. See?)
>>>Huh? Could you explain this a little, please?

Maybe I left out a key word that made the above confusing. I should have
said "probably $1 or $2.50 *more*". Possibly you thought I meant the top
bidder would get the item for $1 or $2.50 *total*.
But it's very simple. The best thing about bidding on eBay is that the top
bidder only pays one pre-set incremental amount over the second-highest
bidder's bid. In low bids it's only half-a-buck. When you get up to several
hundred bucks, it might be $5 or so. If the second-highest bidder has bid
$200, the top bidder will get the item for $205 even if he actually placed
a bid of a million bucks. See? Well, I don't know how to say it any

From: "Anders Christian Sivebaek"
> After that (*months* from now), I'll begin doing a new "Lo$" story
> for PICSOU (since Egmont says they don't want those anymore).
>>>This I don't understand... They don't want the stories? why? They are
said to say that the readers don't like the stories? I don't understand
that, as i thought they were among the most popular stories by you.

It puzzles me, too, especially after the stories were deemed so popular
that they published a best-selling hardback collection of them in numerous
countries. But they have their methods for determining these reader
preferences and they are the boss.
I get a lot of fanmail by post or computer, a daily flow, and every single
message I get starts out by saying that the "Lo$" are their favorite
stories. No, I don't mean most of the letters say that... I mean
absolutley, literally *100%* of the letters say that. Every single one. And
aside from that, those are the stories that I like doing the most, and I
need to concentrate on the parts of this job that I like to keep from
getting too frustrated by the general Disney system that I work under.
Egmont has told me (and I don't guess there's any reason that this is a
"secret" since it's definitely what they say) that the readers do not like
my "Lo$" stories or my other complex history-based treasure hunts and
adventures, and that they will only accept action and slapstick stories
from me. On the other hand, publishers like France and Finland and Greece
and Italy all tell me that the stories that their readers most enjoy are
clearly my "Lo$" and those historical adventures. And I need to keep doing
those kinds of stories since I would get very bored with only doing
action/slapstick stuff *all* the time. There's not much of a challenge to
that kinda stuff. But the solution is simple. I will work part-time for
Egmont and part-time for people like PICSOU and others.

From: "Fluks, H.W."
Subject: Kalevala, once more
>>>And that brings me to a general criticism about the story:
In this story, as in some other recent Rosa stories, Donald is a real dope.

Normally, I never presume to "argue" with anyone who criticizes my work. I
have learned that there's no possible way to please everyone, and it's
pointless to try. But when criticism doesn't seem to make sense, I need to
inquire. Where is Donald acting like a "dope"? I was afraid I had $crooge
acting far too mindlessly greedy through the whole story and never doing
anything useful, and I even had the Nephews contributing nothing to the
story but being underfoot after they read a few lines out of their
Guidebook. I actually have Donald criticizing U$ for his greed all the way
through and have DD do *all* the meaningful acts in the whole story,
placing DD on a much higher moral plain. It's Donald who has the warmth of
Inner Spirit to melt the Mystic Ice when U$ can't. It's Donald whose
selfless heroics enables him to find the Magic Harp making everything
possible. And, fer the luvva Mike, it's Donald Duck who saves Finland (and
implied in my original script, the rest of the planet) from a rampaging
evil sorceress and her monster. I don't know how I can depict Donald better
than that -- sorry! Sure, he is a reluctant hero, and his actions are
sometimes clumsy -- this is "humor". If I don't do it that way, I end up
with a "drama".

>>>And Scrooge is too harsh on him. This doesn't fit in my personal view of

Oh, *that* won't change in my stories. DD and U$ will always bicker! U$
will always treat DD like dirt because he envies him. And DD will always
call U$ a greedy bastard because he thinks U$ is more successful than him,
which he isn't.

>>>BTW, I liked the part that Donald "swims like a duck".

This is why I respond to your comments. I'm wondering if the German text
made Donald out to be this "dope" you mention, because there was nothing in
my script about him "swimming like a duck". My script made a reference to
the fact that the Kalevala legend stated that only a "blue duck" could
retreive the lost harp, and Donald is called on to perform this other
important function. But it had nothing to do with him doing any swimming,
"like a duck" or otherwise.

>>>it's strange that some things
aren't explained. For instance, why does Magica arrive in that big
bird construction.

??? This is all clearly explained in the preceding pages! Either you're
telling me the Germans skipped all that, or some pages were stuck together
in your edition. Or... did you say you could read German? Maybe that's the
problem? (I'm not being sarcastic -- your message wasn't clear as to
whether you could read German well or not.)

>>>Talking about that bird construction: on the splash panel on page 20,
drawing of Magica looks quite impossible: Magica's body is *before* the
pole, but her right wing is behind the ship? I don't see where that wing
could be attached to Magica's body...

Ah, that's easilly explained -- "artistic license". That panel duplicates a
famous Finnish painting, as do several others. In the original painting,
the bird-witch is in that exact position, only the wing is up high out of
the action. I didn't have room to get the wing up above $crooge and it
would have covered him. So I had to tuck the wooden feathers back further
than they could hang. I could have done more fore-shortening perspective,
but that would have made the wing harder to see and it was an important

>>>The page about the "golden snow of the Sampo" is a total mystery to me.
Probably a reference to the Kalevala that only insiders would recognise?

My script explained all that was happening on that page. No secret
knowledge required.
Better you should make a criticism that I understand, like tell me my art
is bad or filled with "needless and irritating detail"  -- then I could
agree and stop being confused.

From: Theresa Wiegert
Subject: Egmont and Lo$
>>>At least they didn't censor the Lo$ stories with guns like egmont did.

No, no, that wasn't Egmont. You're thinking of what Disney did to
Gladstone's edition.

From: "Jack IP"
Subject: U$ in North America
>>>Ever since U$ is no longer available in North America, I was wondering
anyone has any news about anyone willing to pick up the title.  I badly
my fix of U$ and the fact that Don is still pumping them out (good thing)
and I can't get them (bad thing) depresses me greatly.

You and others need to brace yourself for the possibility/probability that
there may never again be Disney comics in the English language. At least I
have no optimism on the matter, seeing the level of current NONactivity in
the process and knowing the attitudes of the licensing corporation. And if
that depresses you, think how it makes ME feel! Never again will I see one
of my own stories in a language I can read, despite all the work I put into
them! And there's nuthin' I can do about it. (I told you there are *lots*
of frustrating aspects of this job that I need to overcome... doing "Lo$"
stories is one way to enjoy it more... then not being able to *read* that
same "Lo$" story makes it even more frustrating... never-ending cycle...)

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