Saturday, May 23, 2015

On Sale May 20: DONALD DUCK # 1 from IDW!

The DONALD DUCK title makes its IDW debut, joining UNCLE SCROOGE, with issue # 1 (Legacy Numbering # 368)! 

And, as with UNCLE SCROOGE, you’ll find it chock full of great work by Romano Scarpa, Jonathan Gray, Mau Heymans, and classic American creators Dick Kinney and Al Hubbard.  Why, there’s so much ducky splendor here, they didn’t even need me for this one! 

In “Shellfish Motives: Part One of Two”, Scarpa introduces Scrooge’s righteous little brother Gideon McDuck!  Now, I daren’t say how Donald’s “Uncle Gid” fits into any previously established McDuck family tree – but, if “Uncle Rumpus McFowl” could show up one day and achieve general acceptance, I say why not the same for “Uncle Gid”! 

Meet Uncle Gideon.  Um, what’s “Bone-Tractor”?  Only Gid and Jonathan Gray know for sure! 

And check out this “Tex Avery-Style Taxicab Action”! 

And, for once, Donald invokes Mighty Mouse, rather than Mickey Mouse! 

Wrecks, Lies, and Videotape” finds Don entering a “funniest video contest” – his Gray-supplied lines are funnier than his fall. 

Click to enlarge for better reading! 
And the boys even bail out on this one to join a DuckTales Adventure, presumably already in progress. 

To Digress: If there's one thing I feel is characteristic of the "New-To-The-USA" stories appearing in the IDW line (certainly so far), it's that, in addition to art and story, there is one added dimension.  

Every page, sometimes even every PANEL, will give you something good to read, script-wise!  It may be a gag or pun, a pop-cultural reference, a dose of "Meta", or even a mere turn-of-phrase, but the reader is nicely rewarded for the time spent between the covers! End of Digression.    

Finally, as much as we and Donald would sometimes like to, who can forget Cousin Fethry, in Kinney and Hubbard’s ‘60s era “Do It Yourself”! 

You’ll “Do [It] Yourself a Favor”, if you run out and grab a copy of IDW’s  DONALD DUCK # 1! 
See you back here to discuss it, okay?    


A quick personal note:  This Blog may, unfortunately slow down for a while, due to personal situations, and more professional comics work!   
I’ll try to keep it up to something resembling normal speed but, if updates are less frequent, this is the reason why.  …And, hey… I still update more than some of those “Other Blogs Out There”, Mark Evanier and Yowp certainly excepted!   


Clapton said...

I was a little worried about “Shellfish Motives” being an early Scarpa duck comic an all. I have not read a lot of Scarpa but from reading reviews of his early duck comics on duck comic revue I was under the impression that his early duck comics were pretty bad. U$ #1 backed up this perspective by only featuring Scarpa’s later work. However I am aware that time periods may have nothing to do with the quality of Scarpa’s stories. “The Mystery of Tapiocus VI” and “Kali’s Nail”, the only two Scarpa stories I’ve read before the IDW revival, were both written around the same time but feature a HUGE difference in quality with “Tapiocus” being one of the best Mickey serials I’ve ever read and “Kali’s Nail” being a mediocre rip off of Mickey vs The Phantom blot which has the worst moment in Disney Comics History.
However once I read “Shellfish Motives” I feel in love with it! The story has an energetic drive and a baffling cliffhanger. Uncle Giddy is a welcome addition to the cast, no thanks to Scarpa’s writing and Jon Gray’s wonderful scripting. If I have one complaint about this story it’s the first page. Something about it irks me, mainly I don’t get what Donald reading a scary book has anything to do with the rest of the story but that may just be me. I also very much enjoyed this issue’s two back up stories however this issue’s one pager disappointed me. The way it’s drawn I could not tell that was good ol unca scrooge until I reread it a few times. Overall a great issue!
As for your “personal situations” I hope that’s just another phrase for “I’m busy don’t bug me about blog entries)” and not “I got serious stuff going on in my life”. If it is serious stuff, I’ve been there. I hope you and whoever else is involved will make it out okay.
Oh, one last thing thing. IDW is publishing a Fallberg-Murry Mickey story, “The Mysterious Crystal Ball.” I’m not the biggest Murry fan, though I find some of his work enjoyably meh, I was just wondering if this is a really good one.

Elaine said...

No clue on "bone-tractor"! But do you think "Lulu" and "Audrey" are references to Little Lulu and Little Audrey?

Joe Torcivia said...


Knowing Jonathan as I do, they are absolutely references to Little Lulu and Little Audrey. …Especially as (if I understand correctly) Audrey succeeded / replaced Lulu as a Famous Paramount animation short subject.

Joe Torcivia said...


Like Carl Barks, Romano Scarpa had different phases to his long and wonderful career. And, also like Barks, I feel all phases were worthwhile, if not outright great.

Two Scarpa lead stories I have coming up, one in UNCLE SCROOGE # 3 and the other (presumably) in UNCLE SCROOGE # 7, both fall into the “great” category, though they are from different periods! The former is from 1961 and the latter from 1977 and the next-to-last page of the latter features an awesome piece of art depicting the climax! Both are weird in their own way, funny, and GREAT! Oh, and if you don’t think 1961 and 1977 aren’t completely different eras of comic-book production, consider a Dell comic from 1961 vs. a Gold Key comic from 1977. Worlds apart in quality.

I’m really glad to see Romano Scarpa getting the “Star Treatment” in this country that he has always deserved.

If “The Mystery of Tapiocus VI” and “Kali’s Nail” were the only two Scarpa stories you read before the IDW revival, I’m also surprised you didn’t seem to see any of his work that was printed in Gladstone Series II, Gemstone, and Boom!

Also, I have great respect for GeoX and what he does at Duck Comics Revue, as is evident by my regular participation in his Comments Section – but my rule has always been to never judge anything on the reviews of others. Indeed, many of my favorite things are things that others may not have liked. In other words, I am the only reviewer that I trust completely, because I am the only reviewer that reviews from my own POV. Indeed, I’d prefer to read a review of something I’ve already read, seen, bought, used, etc. if only to see how much – or how little – the reviewer agrees with me.

Oh, I ENJOY such reviews – and almost always find them interesting, even perspective-expanding – but I make up my own mind, based upon my own experiences.

Donald reading the scary book was probably just an eye-catching way to open the story. Maybe it was even a tribute to the great Donald Duck cartoon “Duck Pimples” (1945). One thing you can say about the Italian approach to Disney comics is that they tend to meander until getting to the main point. Perhaps a result of the longer page counts they have to work with. The story I mentioned above that will appear in UNCLE SCROOGE # 3 (“The Duckburg 100”) seemed to go in multiple directions, until Scarpa nicely tied it all together in the end! You’ll see what I mean in about a month.

Shifting gears, there really is a “personal situation” occurring and, conversely on the positive side, I do have more comics work than initially anticipated (…and that’s a GREAT THING!). Though, both these factors will have some impact on this Blog. I say that simply because I’ve always taken great pride in keeping the Blog fresh. And, if it does “slow down” even temporarily, I want my readers and visitors to know why. The “slow down” may not be as bad as all that. And, thank you for your good wishes!

I haven’t read “The Mysterious Crystal Ball” in very many years but, if David deems it worthy of reprinting, assume that it is. I *am* a big Murry fan and always have been, so take that to the bank, but you know how I feel about “other peoples’ reviews”! :-)

Deb said...

I got this comic on Wednesday, and it is fantastic! Not only is the story in the Barks tradition, with Donald's attempting to make a name for himself as a reporter, but it is also plotted very much like a Floyd Gottfredson serial, with its alternating cliffhangers and gags from page to page. You can really see Gottfredson's influence in the art itself as well. The story looks quite a bit like one would expect a Gottfredson Donald Duck strip to look like (although the Ducks themselves are unmistakeably Scarpa's). Uncle Gideon McDuck is a very interesting character in his own right, and I'm glad that we finally get to see him, even if he does clash with Don Rosa's Life of Scrooge (which, after all, is not written in stone). I also enjoyed all of the little in-jokes in the script, with call outs to Mighty Mouse, The Simpsons and Taxi (to name just a few).
I hope your "personal situation" goes well. I'm no stranger to life getting in the way with all that's going on in my own life that often slows down my own site, Fluffy and Mervin. I'm glad that you've got more comics work coming up. I've been enjoying the new books so far, and hope they'll stick around awhile.

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Deb… for both the kind words about my comics work (…of which it looks to be quite regular with UNCLE SCROOGE # 3, MICKEY MOUSE # 2, DONALD DUCK # 4, and presently working on UNCLE SCROOGE # 7 – all long lead stories, with the latter two being “Full Translations”) and your kind wishes on the “personal situation”.

Since I opened that door a crack, I might as well say that the “situation” does not affect my health, home, non-comics day-job, or marital status, lest all the friends I’ve made through this Blog be concerned about those things. It is a family matter, and there may be more details once resolution occurs.

Back to the topic of this post… That is one excellent point about the structural parallels between Scarpa and Gottfredson, and one I never considered! We all too quickly look to compare Scarpa with Carl Barks, in ways both good and bad, while often bypassing what may very likely be a more seminal influence!

If my understanding is correct, Romano Scarpa (with or without various writers) made Mickey Mouse “his own” for the Italian Disney publisher once the reformatted Gottfredson strip material was played-out – not unlike Paul Murry and his various writers did for Western Publishing starting in the 1950s.

So, as the “successor” to Gottfredson, it would be only natural that he derive his influences from comics’ original “Mouse man”. I just looked at DONALD DUCK # 1 for the Code to “Shellfish Motives”, so that I might see when it originated from… to see how close in time it might have been to the original wave of Gottfredson reformattings. But, there is no Code printed. Perhaps David or Jonathan can offer that information.

But, as long as we’re looking for things Gottfredson in these pages… is that THE UNMASKED PHANTOM BLOT on Page 13, Panel 2 – or (more conveniently) as the “green car startled motorist” in the second panel of the “taxicab sequence” I’ve reproduced here?

Scarpa started in the 1950s with the story we've come to know as "The Blot's Double Mystery", didn't he?

Check out the face, moustache, and perhaps even black cloak (?) below his unhooded head! Whaddya think, folks? Click the panel to enlarge.

Clapton said...

I totally missed the Disney Comics train up until IDW. As such I am slowly building up my back issue collection which is missing a lot. As for your increase in comic work are they solely Disney are you workin on other stuff.

Joe Torcivia said...


Well, I’d say you have decades of great reading ahead of you!

I’ll put in a prejudiced plug for anything Gold Key between the years of 1964-1966, when I feel they were at their height. Gladstone Series I, Gemstone, and those “legendary last four months of Boom!”. The rest of Boom? Mostly meh to “dreadful at the very beginning of their run – avoid at all costs, if you’re not an obsessive completist”! Early Dell Four Colors are all great, as is WDC&S through the mid-fifties. Any Barks UNCLE SCROOGE!

…Oh, but you know how I feel about “other peoples’ reviews”! :-)

The increased comics work is detailed in my reply to Deb above! Now doing full translations, and not just scripting. And, there are the introductory texts for the Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse series for Fantagraphics.

Dan said...

Joe & Co.:

I've been embroiled in an unexpectedly active month of May myself, in which I've only had time to pick up the current IDW releases this weekend!

While I've yet to dig into Joe's treatment on "Meteor Rights" in Uncle Scrooge #2, I did read Donald Duck #1 in full, and must say it was a perfect return feature for our favorite sailor-suited fowl!

In tandem with this post's digression, Jonathan simply PACKED "Shellfish Motives" with pop culture nods galore—go back and see if you can spot sharp references to TV shows such as TAXI and Animaniacs, plus DC AND Marvel's respective newspaper staffs, a brilliant Franco-Belgian comic strip by Andr√© Franquin (and, yes, Elaine!) some "Little" Paramount-featured leading ladies.

Again, a 48-page count really makes for a complete reading experience, and to see Duckburg brought back to the page intelligently by people who CARE makes every issue all the better. That opinion is only surpassed by the fact that we're on our way to FOUR quality titles per month!

Those who may be apprehensive about a previously non-canon U.S. character such as Uncle Gideon appearing will be surprised to see how very much of a McDuck ol' Uncle Gid actually is. I do hope Mr. Torcivia will have a turn at putting words in Gideon's bill soon.

Joe, I hope things are well and the family situation can be kept to a low stress level—let me know if I can assist in any way. Wishing everyone here at TIAH a safe, thankful & enjoyable Memorial Day 2015. – Dan

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Dan! The family situation is evolving, and thank you for your good wishes on that.

As you note, Jonathan packed “Shellfish Motives” with SO MANY goodies, I couldn’t begin to list them all here. Glad you were our guide to some more of them!

I’d be happy to “put words in Gideon's bill”, as long as I don’t “get stuck with Gideon's bill”, after all, he spends far more freely than his big brother Scrooge! …And, speaking of “spenders with bills”, I am presently “putting words” into the bill of Rockerduck for a fall showdown with Scrooge! So far, I like the way I’m differentiating him from Glomgold – with David’s editorial guidance, of course.

And, yes… the best thing about IDW and the people I’ve worked with so far – both creative and editorial – is that they CARE!

Clapton said...

Joe this story is Shellfish Motives. It was the first duck story a Scarpa both wrote and drew. As such it makes sense that this story is structured more like a Gottfredson serial as Scarpa had more exposure to those than Barks at this point in time.

Joe Torcivia said...


If that is the case, then yes, “Shellfish Motives” would certainly read more like Gottfredson.

The two VERY early Italian Donald Duck adventures that were published here “Donald Duck and the Secret of Mars” (Gladstone Series II) and “Donald Duck Special Correspondent” (Boom!) by Federico Pedrocchi TRULY looked and felt more like Gottfredson strip adventures than comic book stories – so why not have Scarpa carry forward those same unique qualities.

Steve Tiffany said...

Hi Joe,
I absolutely love the comics and I love reading your blog. My Dad was a childhood collector of Dell and Gold Key Comics (my Grandmother threw them out after he left for college) and collected Gladstone series 1; Walt Disney; and Gladstone series 2 for me as a kid. Now I'm collecting the IDW books for my young ones (currently 1 and 3 years old!).
One thing, from a collector's perspective that would be neat to see in the inside cover credits is the original publication date of the stories and their country of origin. I know that this can be found on Inducks, but it would help me to have a better context for the art style, story tone, etc.
As well, any chance we'll see any William Van Horne stories soon? I know he's published some overseas since the Boom run was cancelled that have yet to see the light of day in NA.
Keep up the great work!
Steve Tiffany (Kingston, Ontario, Canada).

Joe Torcivia said...


Welcome to this Blog!

That is a WONDERFUL “generational legacy” going from your father, to you, and to your young ones! (…except that part about your grandmother disposing of the Dell and Gold Key’s, of course!).

I sometimes look across the expanse of my own collection and see it beginning with Carl Barks, Paul Murry, and Tony Strobl (and earlier via back issue purchases) stretching to the then-improbable lengths of David Gerstein, Jonathan Gray, and myself and marvel at all that has occurred along the way – but to consider this same continuum to be passed along over generations of one’s family is just… WONDERFUL!

My first late-period Dell issues of the “Core Four” Disney titles came to me from my grandmother when I was of a similar age to your children. I sincerely hope that your current efforts provide for them, over the years, what those (still-existing, though quite tattered) issues provided for me!

I completely agree with you on expanding the inside-cover credits to provide additional perspective – even if only adding a country of origin and a year of publication. It’s not as if this information is unknown, nor do I presume IDW is attempting to downplay it. I should bring this up when I next meet with David or, more likely, he’ll simply read it here.

I now look this information up as a matter of course, when I’m assigned a story, to better understand the perspective of that story before I begin dialoging it. Ever since I learned (after the fact) that the “Moldfinger” story I did for a Boom! Donald Duck hardcover was from 1966 – my all-time favorite year for pop culture! Though I doubt I would have done anything differently, beyond altering the reference to a “Tweedy Teentwirp CD” to a more appropriate LP.

“Duckburg 100”, from 1961 and coming in UNCLE SCROOGE # 3, benefits from this approach, in that I contrived an elaborately humorous reason for the coveted existence of something that would not seem all that useful or practical by today’s technological norms. I’ll leave it at that, lest I spoil anything. You’ll know it when you see it.

I would hope we would eventually see any and all unpublished William Van Horn stories. But, as I say, I’m not involved in any aspect of this operation save my own work, and so can’t say.

I’m very glad you enjoy this Blog – and, now that you’ve joined our Comments Section, I hope you continue to participate in the discussions of future IDW issues, and whatever else I throw out here.