Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Sale Today: MICKEY MOUSE # 309!

Today’s the day to go to your local comic shop and join the hunt for “The Treasure of Marco Topo” in MICKEY MOUSE # 309!

As previously mentioned, the story is by Romano Scarpa and features an All-Star cast!

Translation is by the incomparable David Gerstein, the American English script is by yours truly… with some additional material by Christopher Meyer.

But, HOW we did it is a story in itself…

On Saturday, April 09, 2011, David and I began work on the script in a wonderfully hectic fashion, sequestered in his apartment.

David drew upon a Danish translation of the story, frantically converting it to English – and printing it page-by-page as he went.

As each translated page came off his printer, he handed it to me to “read-as-I-go” and make scribbled notes all over the still-warm pages. Scripting notes, I might add, on a story to which I did not know the ending – with only a vague idea (thanks to the art) as to where it was even going!

Literally, it was handed to me “page-by-translated page”…and off I went, merrily scripting as the pages came.

Clearly, this blind approach required some return and revision but, remarkably, Romano Scarpa’s original story, David’s translation, and my script were very much in synch!

I handed in a first complete draft – of both parts of the story – on April 11!

During that in-person scripting session, we had great fun throwing things back and forth… resulting in the very title of the story!

Originally titled “The Venetian Treasure” or some such, I was not about to possibly end my comics scripting career on such a bland and generic title.

Our title would unfold before our eyes, in the following sequence.

• Mickey’s Italian ancestor in this story was named “Milo Mouse” in the version David was translating. Perhaps in the original as well?

• I didn’t care for that name, and suggested he be called “Marco Mouse” – after Marco Rota (who did a nice cover for the issue).

• On top of this, and drawing on Mickey’s Italian name of “Topolino”, David decided he become “Marco Topo”!

• I loved it, and further suggested a riff on the title of Carl Barks’ ‘60s epic “The Treasure of Marco Polo”(UNCLE SCROOGE # 64, 1966)… making this “The Treasure of Marco Topo”!

And, you’ve just been given a peek into our creative process! …Neat, huh?

Oh, and Walt Disney makes a cameo appearance in the issue! …Intrigued, yet?

Buy the issue, and enjoy it! And be back for Part Two NEXT WEEK in WDC&S # 720.

...But before that, let's meet back here this weekend to discuss "Where's Donald"!


Pete Fernbaugh said...

Awesome, Joe! Thanks for the background info. Looking forward to getting my copy tomorrow.

Joe Torcivia said...


As I’m so fond of saying… Ya can’t find this stuff anywhere else!

Come back tomorrow and let us know what you think!


ramapith said...

In the Italian original, Mickey's ancestor was named Topolinio. An English equivalent would be "Mackey Mouse." I have to admit I prefer Marco Topo!

Joe Torcivia said...

So do I, David! …And not just because we created it!

It’s enough of a cliché that every ancestor or descendant of a character must look EXACTLY LIKE that character…and, true to form, Marco does! Check out Page One!

The NAMES can, at least, show some individuality, reflect national origin, historical period, and such.

…And, if you can work in a good pun or riff on something else (Topolino, Marco Polo, etc.), I say all the better!


Chris Barat said...


Since I'm still in Daytona, I haven't had the pleasure of reading your handiwork yet. I'll try to swing by the store on my way home from the airport and pick it up.


Joe Torcivia said...

Looking forward to your comments, Chris. Hope you enjoyed Daytona.

Donald didn’t happen to be down there, did he? Where, oh where, can he be?