Don has retired ???

olaf.solstrand at olaf.solstrand at
Mon Nov 26 17:41:21 CET 2007

Leo Schulte wrote:
>> if Mr. Rosa really has retired

Marco Barlotti wrote:
> Retired? Don? When? Why? How? No, please tell me that's NOT true...
> Aaaaaaaaarrrrggghhhhhhh....    :-(

... and it's hard to join that debate without speculating, but here's my
two cents anyway.

Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines retirement as "to withdraw
from one's position or occupation : conclude one's working or professional
career". So; if it can be said that Don Rosa has withdrawn from his
occupation, then he has retired.

But which occupation are we talking about? Rosa is a freelancer. The
occupation we all love him for, consists mostly of sitting in his own home
drawing. And by doing that, the borders of retirement gets somewhat
fuzzier. I mean, hey, what conditions have to occur before we can say that
a freelancer has retired?

It's not like we can say "Well, Rosa must be retired, as he no longer
comes in to the Egmont building every morning to write new comics". Rosa
never worked in the Egmont building (what a commute that would have
been!), and as a freelancer, it's not like he's really an employee of
Egmont either. If one wants to ask Rosa's boss "Hey, has Don Rosa
retired?"... Well, they would have to ask Rosa himself. He is his own

"Sure," one might say, "but Rosa hasn't written a story in two and a half
years, that must mean he's retired, right?". It could mean that. It could
also mean that he's taking a break. Or, it could mean that he's still
working actively, but on other projects than writing comics. He's spent
some time drawing up those anniversary posters, and a probably still
increasing part of Don's work day goes, from what I've heard, to writing
prefaces, lawsuits, conventions and other not-actually-drawing projects.
That's not really retirement, is it? Heck, for all that *I* know, he's
working on a new story right now!

Okay, I understand that the question comes up every now and then. Don Rosa
is probably THE most popular Disney artist of today, and as far as the
fans know, he hasn't made any new stories since "The prisoner of White
Agony Creek", and it's been a while since he gave the public a definite
answer to whether or not he ever will write a story again. I understand
that some people based on that draw the assumption that he's probably
chosen to retire.

But only one person can answer for sure whether or not Rosa has retired,
and that is Rosa himself. And I, for one, will *never* ask him that
question. It can be a very tough question to answer, if the question even
*has* an answer. Because the minute a freelancer speaks out loud the words
"I'm retired"... They're hard to take back. Maybe Rosa will write a new
story soon, maybe he won't. Until that story comes, or until Rosa himself
says out loud "I'm not going to create any new stories in the future",
none of us can know for sure.

Personally, I hope it won't be too long until we get new stories from
Rosa's hands (preferrably a new ten-pager, as that's an area I find him to
be extremely talented at), but it's up to Don Rosa whether that ever
happens or not, and whatever he's doing, it's probably a wise choice. If
Rosa wants to prioritize other projects, then that's the best thing he
could do. If Rosa is sick and tired of writing comics and needs a break
from it all, then we know for sure that he will write much better stories
*after* the break than if he should sit down and create a story just to
satisfy the fans. If Rosa feels that it's time to retire, that's a choice
I respect. If Rosa feels that it's time to retire but NOT time to tell the
fans that he's retired, as he wants to keep the door open, that's a choice
I respect even more. And if Rosa creates a new story soon, and he does
that not only to satisfy readers and publishers, but because he WANTS to
create comics -- I guarantee that I will read it, that I will read it
again, and that I will laugh out loud several times per panel.

And after all; most sources will probably tell you that Carl Barks
"retired" in 1967. But he still made twenty-something more stories after
that, didn't he?

Olaf Moriarty Solstrand

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