A Hamilton Tribute and several Rosa items

Anthvvuono@aol.com Anthvvuono at aol.com
Mon Jun 20 05:06:37 CEST 2005

To list:
       I am really sorry to hear about Bruce Hamilton's passing. It was his 
company that got me started on Duck comics and introduced me to the wonderful 
world of Don Rosa, Carl Barks, William VanHorn, and plenty more. I'm glad he 
was there for me through his books during my childhood. He always did his 
absolute best to keep a business afloat for the joy of his fellow American readers 
and fans like himself. He cared a lot about the material, and the production 
values showed throughout all that Gladstone published and did. I wish him well 
and eternal peace.
       On another note, I just read Don Rosa's "Letter from Home." And it 
only took more than 2 years since the idea was first conceived! Besides the 
brilliant production values that Gemstone gave the story and its related cover (in 
the grand tradition of Bruce Hamilton), the tale itself was a comic 
masterpiece in originality. This is one of the most adult, emotional Scrooge tales that 
I have ever read and certainly one of Rosa's most mature. And that is saying 
quite a lot since I believe every single Rosa piece thus far (even the short 10 
pagers) exhibits many mature characteristics with some of the following: epic 
framing, great humor, chemistry between the characters, finely detailed 
eye-popping art, and engrossing action/adventure elements. 
       "Letter from Home" carries the dramatic parts to interesting and 
uncharted heights. I agree with Rosa himself that the tale lacks the amount of 
humor and action that has characterized his previous works. However, that is not a 
drawback at all, because Rosa applies other literary plot devices to fill in 
those lacking ingredients. The Matilda scenes in particular were revealing and 
realistic. I only hope Rosa chooses to use her again in some not yet 
conceived of story by making her a part of the action, humor, and adventure that will 
undoubtedly reappear in his future endeavors. For the time being though, the 
melodramatic, emotional stuff suited the reconciliation, healing storyline 
quite well and makes "Letter from Home" another Rosa benchmark in the way to write 
and draw a Duck comic.
       On the negative side, the aspect I absolutely did miss in this story 
was the one thing Rosa said he could not yet talk about: Hortense McDuck. I 
wish she was there too, because I've always enjoyed the interplay between her, 
Scrooge, and Matilda in the "Life of Scrooge" chapters. I do understand why Rosa 
could not fit her in, as things were already complicated enough, and then you 
would have Donald to deal with as well. Nevertheless, Rosa said in his 
commentary that it might be too hard and sad to explain why she was gone from 
Duckburg all these years. I sort of disagree on that point. What if (in my humble 
opinion), Hortense only left Duckburg after Donald resumed family relations and 
working associations with his long lost uncle, as seen in Barks' "Christmas on 
Bear Mountain" and Rosa's "Chapter 12." In my view, that would give Hortense 
great incentive to leave since she would not want to have anything to do with 
her own son since he became "buddy-buddy" with her "miserable" brother. Also, 
this explains why we haven't seen Hortense in Duckburg at all before now, 
since hardly any stories, except for those "Life of Scrooge" ones by Don Rosa, 
have really taken place before the 1947 encounter. Hence, a reconciliation 
between mother and son as well as sister and brother would be in order one day. That 
being said though, I see how throwing Donald into the mix would really shift 
the focus from Scrooge and drag down an already complex plot with the addition 
of Hortense, her baggage, any maybe something to do with Donald's father (if 
he is not dead by this time). Yet, I sincerely hope that Rosa finds a good way 
to tell a Hortense McDuck story and tie up another loose end. In the 
meantime, now that Matilda is back, maybe we can see her again sometime soon. (I think 
I must have a laundry list of a 1,000 things I want Don Rosa to tell us 
before he retires! He must get insanely tired of hearing all my requests and 
  Currently though, I'm looking forward with unbelievably enormous 
anticipation to Rosa's long-awaited Chapter 8B. I cannot wait to see the further 
unexplored dynamics of the Goldie/Scrooge tragic relationship and how and why a 
strong attraction first developed between them and lasted for all these years. 
Also, I'm very interested to see what characters will come to rescue her from that 
criminal Duck (and if we might know any of them already)! Another 2 years 
more, but I pray much sooner!!!
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