Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pressed Duck: “Donald Goes to Press” on DVD this November!

I’ve vaguely hinted at it, buried in THIS POST and THAT POST, but now it can be told.

The comic strip and comic book career of Donald Duck will be examined in grand detail in “Donald Goes to Press”, a very special DVD Extra Feature to be included in Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald Volume 4 (1951-1961).

This final volume of The Chronological Donald series is to be released on November 11, 2008.

Some special and unexpected friends of Donald turn out to celebrate his life in the Four Color Firmament. Gemstone Publications Archival Editor David Gerstein, former Managing Editor of Disney Comics Bob Foster, DC Comics and Warner Bros. artist Bret Blevins, Disney Historian Brian Sibley… and a certain freelance scripter for Gemstone Publications who (AHEM!) just happens to run this Blog!

Rarely is there much advance discussion of such features in the online publicity leading up to such a release but it’s worth mentioning here because there are persons who like the comics far more than they like the cartoons (that would include me) and might buy it for this feature alone. Especially as the series, at this point in its run, is in the period of being dominated by Chip 'n' Dale and Humphrey the Bear – lacking the diversity of subject matter more common in the previous decade.

If you are a strictly a Barks/Rosa fan and/or a Dell to Gemstone comics reader, you might overlook this set if you didn't know what lies within. But, believe me, if the rough cut of the feature I’ve seen is reflective of the finished product… THIS IS WORTH IT!

It covers everything from Donald’s early long-beaked days the in the “Wise Little Hen” Sunday Silly Symphonies and Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse strip, up through the present-day Gemstone Era, and is profusely illustrated – thankfully and rightfully overlaying some of our on-camera appearances.

Topics include how Donald’s comic books differed from his animated films, characters specifically created for the comic books, artists of note, how the comic books reflected the times in which they appeared, and the rise of the European publishers.

It will be 13 minutes well spent for anyone who loves Donald Duck comics… and the cartoons ain’t so bad either!


Thad said...

This set will be awesome for sure, as it will have most of my favorite Duck shorts. Definitely the best of Jack Hannah's best cartoons! "You take too many baths!"

Joe Torcivia said...


Yes, some good Hanna stuff! “Dude Duck”, which leads off this collection, is one of my favorites.

I’ve never been a big fan of the Chip ‘n’ Dale cartoons, but “Out of Scale” is an example of how good they COULD be. Donald, as an obsessive scale-modeler, is in line with his comics personality – and Chip ‘n’ Dale’s ending solution to their problem shows the three characters actually rising above their typically violent cartoon resolutions.

Looking forward to the whole package!


Chuck Munson said...

This is awesome news, Joe! I am at the same time incredibly happy for your opportunity to speak about the Disney interest that we hold near and dear and incredibly green that I'm not doing something like that (but you'll do it ten times better so that effectively cancels out the green feelings). Nice that Disney is finally giving anything more than a superficial blurb to a Disney interest that I feel always gets short changed. Thirteen minutes is *still* not enough! Kudos to you and David!
BTW, being a model railroad enthusiast, "Out of Scale" has long been one of my absolute favorites. Again, good work; I can hardly wait to view it!

Joe Torcivia said...


I, too, am amazed – and grateful – that the persons behind this DVD set chose to focus on Donald in the comics for a special feature. It would have been so much easier to have done a focus on Chip ‘n’ Dale instead. “Nutty About Chip ‘n’ Dale: A Look at Their Epic Battles with The Duck”. Couldn’t you just see it!

I just feel good that this piece, in some way, undoes the misidentification of Carl Barks that occurred in the Bonus Material of Chronological Donald Volume 2. And, in the process, gives many more deserving folks – but not nearly all of them by any means – their (overdue) due.


Chris Barat said...

Wow! My only possible regret is that it's only 13 minutes long! Imagine what you could have accomplished with a DUCKTALES comment track. ;-) Congrats on this coup, Joe!

I already got CHRON DON 3 and now I'll definitely be on hand on the 11th for Volume 4. Let us not forget, DONALD IN MATHMAGIC LAND will be part of this final set.



Joe Torcivia said...


13 minutes, yes. But, it’s 13 minutes of PURE GOLD for those of us who’ve waited a lifetime for the comics and comic-folk to get the coverage they so deserve.

This and the Carl Barks feature on CHRON DON Vol. 2 helps ease the lack of such things in the DuckTales series of DVDs.

Still, even a string of DT commercials and promos (from which there were so many to choose) would have been nice…