Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On Sale Today: UNCLE SCROOGE # 403!


My scripting credit was LEFT OFF the lead story of UNCLE SCROOGE # 403: “The Pelican Thief”.

Of course, I’m unhappy… but things happen.

Donald has kindly agreed to express my emotions over this unfortunate turn of events. 

Let’s just imagine the credit is where it belongs, on the inside front cover, and get on with our regularly scheduled Blog post.

UNCLE SCROOGE # 403 (May, 2011): As if it weren’t joy and honor enough to “collaborate” with Paul Murry a mere seven days ago, 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 every bit 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”.

Let’s not forget, there’s a Daan Jippes story in there too... with a big ol' BEAR in it!

Not to mention a cover by Marco Rota... even if (sniff!) I am nowhere to be found!  (sniff!)

Meet ya back here after a trip to the comic shop!


Chris Barat said...


You did a superb job with this one! Sorry you didn't get the (printed) credit you deserved.

One question: was it a conscious effort on your part to make Dewey the Nephew who comes up with the master plan (I'm thinking "Duck in the Iron Mask" here)? Or did it just so happen that the Nephew who hatched the plan had a blue cap?


Joe Torcivia said...


Thanks for the kind words on “The Pelican Thief”.

Alas, sometimes “a blue cap is just a blue cap”! But, I was happy that it worked out to be Dewey, even if by chance of coloring!


ramapith said...

Hey Joe, wasn't there a reason it was Dewey? I recollect recoloring some caps to make sure a certain nephew remained consistent (...but it might have been as banal an issue as Italy's color varying from page to page).

Joe Torcivia said...


Remember, we DID work on this seemingly an eternity ago!

But, my recollection was that the color PDF I worked off of had the “Blue Cap” (so I referred to him as “Dewey”) and then the cap color changed – and I asked you to make it consistent.

Now, if only we could remember the villain’s name… :-)


joecab said...

Tex...Aviary? Oh Joe :)

Joe Torcivia said...

Joe C:

In the Australian translation, I worked off of; his name was “Captain Feathers”! For more reasons that I can think of at this early hour, I wasn’t about to let THAT stand! Hence, “Tex Aviary”!

The villain had the equally uninteresting name of “Dr. Blitz”. …More “Dr. Blecch!”, if you ask me!

Since he first approaches Scrooge in a DISGIUSE (“Alvin Greenspin”), I figure… Why not have this be his everyday M.O.!

So, in my version, he approaches “Tex Aviary” as “Jay Chinno” (A name perfectly matched with the design of the character, I’d say!), and has had so many other guises that, by this time he doesn’t even remember his real name!

Joe T .

Ryan Wynns said...


I immediately noticed -- and was disappointed -- that you'd been ommitted from the credits!

From what I can tell, the original story was a little half-baked and strange, meriting an, "Um, okayyyy..." But you made it fun, funny, "wacky", busy, and witty! In other words, you made it "strange" in a good way!

I couldn't help but wonder, "Why are the Beagles being led by this random, no-name other villain?" By literally giving him no name, you reconciled this!

I noticed that no-name's "Jay Chino" alter ego was first alluded to in the panel in which the resemblance to you-know-who was most pronounced. I'm sure that was deliberate!

Not too long ago, I re-read "The McDuck Foundation", and admired Geoffrey Blum's use of sophisticated, "adult" financial language and concepts. Obviously, Scrooge's character lends itself to "money jokes", but, with all of the (intelligent) economic references you made, I couldn't help but wonder if, when "Americanizing" a Scarpa Uncle Scrooge story, you had looked to the precedents set by Blum for inspiration...

Definitely caught that Dewey was the "plan-hatching" nephew...and that he always "correctly" wore a blue cap, thanks to a diligent coloring job!

One question: was that actually the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook the nephews were consulting in the original? It looked atypically guess is that it was some kind of birdwatchers' guide...

Another fine job, Joe!


Joe Torcivia said...


I find that Scarpa’s Duck stories, though fun, are ALWAYS a bit strange… often MORE than a bit!

But, oddly, this is not a general rule with his Mouse tales! I’ve always wondered why, and have never found what I would consider an adequate answer! I wonder if anyone ever asked him this outright.

As you see, in my response to Joecab above, “No Name” DID have a name. I simply didn’t like it. And, one great thing about being the scripter is that, as long as you adhere to the art and basic structure of the story as received, it’s YOUR WORLD, and whatever you say goes! (…Unless and until an editor disagrees, of course!)

No one in any of MY stories is going to be called “Dr. Blitz” or “Captain Feathers”… not without a fight anyway! I want to do what Carl Barks did with character names – make them funny and/or meaningful… not randomly generated. That’s why you get “Handlebars McTwirlsneer”, and the like from me.

You are exactly right. That particular panel inspired the name “Jay Chinno”! It’s obvious as to why!

Honestly, I never thought about the particular Geoffery Blum story you cite… But, I do keep Geoff in mind as one of my inspirations at all times. He was the FIRST American to dialogue foreign-produced Disney comic book stories, and he remains one of the very best!

This was a case of my simply complementing the strangeness of the piece and pushing it as far as I could within the confines of the art.

You might be right about the “birdwatcher’s guide” vs. the Jr. Woodchucks Guidebook. I no longer have the original translation to check, as it’s gone with my recently-crashed old computer.

Thanks always for the kind words!