Monday, March 7, 2011

See You In the Spring!

Now that Winter is all but over, let’s get ready to “Spring forward” with some upcoming Disney comic book titles from the good folks at Boom! Studios / Boom Kids! There will be a little extra “Spring in MY step”, as I have some dialogue scripting contributions coming up. In order of publication they are:

WALT DISNEY’S COMICS (and Stories) # 718 (April): “To the Moon by Noon” (10 pgs.) teams Mickey Mouse with Ludwig Von Drake. This “lost” (…in space?) effort dates from the year 1963 and, for reasons that will become clear upon reading, is SET in that year. Art is by the great Mickey Mouse comic book artist Paul Murry! Needless to say, I am quite honored to have had the opportunity to “collaborate” with one of my most favorite Disney comic book artists – though separated by nearly five decades!

This is my first turn at writing dialogue for both Mickey and Ludwig. I’m quite familiar with Murry’s Mickey, but Ludwig Von Drake was more of a challenge. I feel that Ludwig wasn’t always handled properly in comics past. Perhaps the “newness” of the character, when many of his early-to-mid 1960s stories were created, resulted in his being characterized sometimes less than authentically. Often, Gyro Gearloose could have been substituted for Von Drake in those stories, with little noticeable difference.

One notable exception to this was “The Planet X Mystery”, written by Bob Ogle and drawn by Tony Strobl, in 1965’s DONALD DUCK # 102. Indeed, this story had poor Donald literally overwhelmed by BOTH Ludwig AND Gyro! If ever a comic book story “got” the difference between the two, this was it!

Drawing on this story, and the brilliant voice characterization Paul Frees employed for “The Professor”, I made my best effort to write Ludwig in character. Bombastic, egocentric, absent minded, often trailing off into digressions, etc. Hopefully, you will let me know if I succeeded.

UNCLE SCROOGE # 403 (May): As if it weren’t enough to “collaborate” with Paul Murry, I get to do the same with Romano Scarpa in this issue! Again, separated by a few decades! (…Livin’ the dream, folks!)

The Pelican Thief” gives us 17 pages of the wonderful loopiness you expect from the maestro – which made such a perfect counterpoint to the comparatively “straight and logical” Scrooge stories created by Carl Barks. Scrooge’s Money Bin is being looted… by trained pelicans! Where did they come from? Who is using them for criminal activities? And, how does this tie in with the abrupt pre-emption of Scrooge’s favorite TV show? Do the Junior Woodchucks have the answers? …Whadda you think!

I peppered my script with every gag, show-biz, and political reference I could dig-up, in service to Scarpa’s art for this tale. And, I believe I’ve done something with the villain that has never been done before. …All because I didn’t care for the name he “came with”.

DONALD DUCK # 366 (May): “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold – Again!” is the figurative and literal “Crown Jewel” of this trio of scripts. This is an Italian sequel to one of the most famous Donald Duck adventure stories of all time: 1942’s “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold”. The first American long adventure story for Donald Duck was drawn by the soon-to-be-legendary Carl Barks and famed Disney cartoon short animation director Jack Hannah. In the classic tale, the parrot “Yellow Beak” takes Donald and the nephews on an extended treasure hunt – with Pete close on their trail.

In the sequel, Ol’ Yellow Beak knocks on Donald’s door in the midst of a fierce storm, seeking the comfort of old friends – and with plans for a NEW treasure hunt up his salty sleeve. However, as Donald is quick to point out, “Things have CHANGED since the days of Barks and Hannah-built schooners!”

For instance, SCROOGE McDUCK is now the driving force of the Duck Family and, per the authors of the original work; he and his perpetual conflicts with the various sects of The Beagle Boys take center stage.

Another thing that’s changed is that, unlike the original “Pirate Gold” yarn – which was, in many spots, a wordless, glorified animation storyboard – this version was chock full of dialogue balloons for me to fill with humor and characterization. So, please allow for such differences in storytelling between the two.

But, at its core, it’s still Ol’ Yellow Beak, Donald, the nephews, an old ship, and another treasure map! And, I’m proud to be along for the 22-page ride!

But, please don’t wait until spring… The entire Boom! Disney line has never been better! Check out some examples of their fine work at THIS POST! It’s a great time to be a Disney comics fan!


Chris Barat said...


Can't wait to see these!


Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

When you think about it, trained pelicans makes a lot of sense--much more efficient than the jaybirds the Beagles were using in "The Doom Diamond."

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, they certainly can carry a larger… um, “pay”-load.

Pete Fernbaugh said...


I enjoy your writing immensely. I was secretly hoping that they would hire you and Chris to write the DuckTales book, because no two people "get" that series better than you two.

Plus, as I told you a few months ago when your DT story was published in Uncle Scrooge, I had never read a DT comic yarn that "sounded" so much like the TV series. There have been quite a few DT comics that were painful to get through.

BTW-Is BOOM! publishing the original "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold" in the issue preceding the sequel.


Joe Torcivia said...

I don’t believe so, Pete.

As far as I know (and always subject to change) the current and next issues are the two parts of “Special Correspondent” – with the “Giveaway” “Pirate Gold” story in the latter issue.

Then, comes “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold Again”.

Thanks very much for the complements!