Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Another Review of UNCLE SCROOGE # 3 from IDW

HERE'S another review of IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 3.  

I disagree with the reviewer's thoughts on the ending being rushed, as I felt that Scarpa did a magnificent job of tying the the threads together.  

But, his view of the UNCLE SCROOGE comic book series in general is very much worth reading!


Aw, c'mon, Scroogey!  Give him a break!  


Clapton said...

I strongly disagree with the reviewer's view of Uncle Scrooge having a "Scooby Doo" Level of sameness. While it is true that most U$ stories revolve around money what the money does is setting up vastly different comedy and adventure scenarios. The reviewer also calls this a reprint book and does not seem to understand that this the 1st time were getting these stories. While I thought that IDW had made it pretty clear this is "New-To-The-US" stuff maybe it needs to be made a little more obvious. All in all I feel that the reviewer didn't have a very good understanding of Uncle Scrooge to have any legitimate views on "Duckburg 100" as I didn't think that the story was about any body wining the contest I thought the contest was just a set up for the story to take place. Well, at least he enjoyed it and hopefully gave IDW's Disney line another regular reader. (Oh BTW for any Scooby Doo fans that want a Scooby Doo show that breaks the "Scooby Doo" sameness mode while staying true to their roots check out Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. That show was brilliant!

Joe Torcivia said...


I think the comparison with Scooby-Doo, while a bit tenuous, is understandable in the following sense: Uncle Scrooge stories revolve around the adventures and problems that are created by having (…and wishing to tightly hold-on to – and increase the volume of) so much money.

The first Scrooge comic, Carl Barks’ “Only a Poor Old Man”, had Donald explicitly express this – only to have Scrooge counter defiantly with his final, memorable quite about “No man is poor who can do what he wants to…, etc. etc….”.

But, the fact remains, even BEFORE achieving his own title, as seen in the earlier WDC&S 10-Pagers, that Scrooge McDuck’s existence, pleasures, and woes revolved totally around his money. Just as Scooby-Doo’s existence revolves totally around mysteries with ghostly-costumed perpetrators. And neither of which has changed appreciably. At least that’s how I see it.

And, to better appreciate his view, of continuing to adhere to a successful formula, rather than indulge in “change-for-change-sake”, consider a title like GREEN LANTERN. I’ve liked, if not outright loved, MOST of its numerous incarnations, from the Golden Age thru the nineties – but now it has “evolved” (quotes intentional) into something unrecognizable, and I no longer bother with it.

His point, as I see it, is that he can find a certain “comfort” in IDW’s UNCLE SCROOGE that I cannot (…or can NO LONGER) find in DC’s present-day GREEN LANTERN. And, I think that’s an observation worthy of linking-to at my Blog, regardless of the route he took to get there.

The term “Reprint” can have many different interpretations – perhaps TOO many. Like you, I do not regard stories such as “Duckburg 100” to be “reprints”, because they have NOT previously appeared in the United States. It is NEW to US, even if it is not exactly “new”.

And, I’ve expressed my amazement at SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERY INCORPORATED at various times on this Blog. To me, it’s “Scooby-Doo meets LOST”!

Joe Torcivia said...

Furthermore, Joe says, thinking deeper still on the “reprint” matter…

IDW’s Americanized version of “Duckburg 100” (to keep within this specific example) CANNOT be classified as a true “reprint”, because it has NEVER (anywhere throughout the known universe) been published with my unique American English dialogue script before!

“Captain Retro-Duck”, as my own invention for this script, has never been referenced at any previous time, or in any previous story, before this particularly unique version of “Duckburg 100” – which can only become a “reprint” if THIS VERSION is printed again… which I expect it to be in a follow-up trade paperback! THEN, and only then – by my definition, will it be a “reprint”!

If the unthinkable happened, and someone else re-dialogued “Duckburg 100” for a future American English printing, even that would not be a true “reprint” - because it would be an alternate version. ...As "my version" is to Romano Scarpa's 1961 original!

Ah, these debates can be such fun…

Comicbookrehab said...

I'm not sure the reviewer appreciates the amount of pages we're getting for $3.99, really...I took it that he was casually familiar with the character, but not a big fan. If he were, he would've noticed that the scripts have more nuance than you'll get from Archie comics..

Joe Torcivia said...

That is SOOOO true, 'Rehab!

...And thanks for the complement - from ALL of us who prepare and edit scripts for the IDW comics! As you can see, we LOVE the stuff, and we try to make every page, and every panel, read as the best it can be!

Clapton said...

I just want to clarify, I'm totally fine with Disney comic "outsiders" expressing their views on these comics and Joe's explanation of his whole "Scooby Doo Sameness" thing makes a lot of sense. I'm just puzzled as to why the reviewer does not understand the things about the line IDW is activly promoting (like new to US material). This leads me to ask the question: Is IDW properly advertising and explaining their Disney Comics line. Personally I believe IDW is doing an Amazing job but I'm interested in hearing other peoples opinion.

Joe Torcivia said...


Of course, IDW is doing an “amazing job”! On that, I think we all agree – including the reviewer.

And, unless you define a “Disney comic outsider” as someone who is not, or has not ever been, professionally involved with Disney comics, I’d say he qualifies as someone who knows and understands the material. He knows Carl Barks and Romano Scarpa, the Beagle Boys, Magica De Spell, and even Jubal Pomp, watched DuckTales, and even cites IDW as “…the book’s 8th publisher since 1952”.

Now (if I may be allowed to nit-pick), he’s either not differentiating Whitman from Gold Key, or regarding Gladstone Series One and Gladstone Series Two as the same publisher (which, alas for “Series Two”, they were not) – or he’d get NINE publishers (Dell, Gold Key, Whitman, Gladstone Series One, Disney Comics, Gladstone Series Two, Gemstone, Boom!, and IDW – makes 9!), but I’d say a healthy base of knowledge informs his review.

He also knows that the material used in IDW’s Disney comics line is – if not exactly “Reprint”, as we’ve discussed above – for lack of a better phrase, “Pre-Existing”.

And, I believe that is the crux of the matter, and what drives this debate. The fact that Disney comic book stories, due to their incredibly huge worldwide inventory of pre-existing material, occupy a unique position in the comic book realm. Said position being that, due to such an inventory, there's really not much of a need for IDW (…or ANY modern-era publisher) to create new domestic stories!

…And, given just the stories *I* have worked on that are upcoming over the balance of 2015 – let alone the rest of it that Jonathan, Thad, and Gary Leach, are likely scripting as well – I’m perfectly fine with that!

But, a survey of the rest of the IDW line – from STAR TREK to MY LITTLE PONY, shows original material created for those titles while, in the Disney line, we are getting stories that range from the 1940s (…as the Al Taliaferro giveaway reprint in DONALD DUCK # 2), to the magnificent Casty Mickey Mouse story I’m currently working with that was originally published in 2010!

…That’s just the nature of the Disney comics beast – and what a wonderful “beast” it is!

Now, if the question – on both the reviewer’s side and on yours – is whether or not these stories should at least be labeled with a “year of original publication”, I would vote yes. But, that’s not for me, as a freelance translator and dialogue creator, to say.

What say the rest of you… beyond that it took me a very long time to get to this question, that is?

Debbie said...

I am just as happy as anyone else to see more of the work of Romano Scarpa, Casty, Al Talieferfo, and so on, but if every publisher since Gladstone series 1 thought that there was no need for original to the US material since there is such a huge backlog, we wouldn't have had the works of Don Rosa, William Van Horn, Pat Block or the handful of newer Vic Lockman stories that have run over the years in these books. Granted, it is certainly more cost effective, but we may be missing out on finding new talent who could breathe new life into these classic characters. Of course, we could also be sparing ourselves from suffering through the work of talentless hacks who don't get the Disney characters as well, so it's a double-edged sword.

Joe Torcivia said...


In truth, I fear a reoccurrence of the latter (“suffering through the work of talentless hacks who don't get the Disney characters”) more than I lament the former (“missing out on finding new talent who could breathe new life into these classic characters”).

New and deserving talent *does* find a way to manifest itself… just look at Casty! Though, admittedly, it’s far more difficult for Americans.

Or, maybe in the USA, talent emerges in a DIFFERENT form… as seen in the IDW line, with David, Jonathan, Thad, and yours truly. …And, whatever “talent” (quotes and italics mine) I might possess, may not have “emerged” under a system of creating new stories and art from scratch.

I must say, this seemingly innocuous review link post has certainly blossomed into a jolly debate! Let’s keep it up!

Clapton said...

While were on the topic of new Locally produced Disney Comics that reminded me of a story Jon Gray was working on that never got released called : of mice and mysteries. The first 5 pages are currently available on his deviantart page. (http://jongraywb.deviantart.com/art/Of-Mice-and-Mysteries-Page-5-Sample-Submission-372714107) The story looks pretty fantastic and I hope IDW gives him the opprotunity to Finsh and release it. Then again, I don't know what's stopping him from going to Egmont or any other Disney comic producer. BUT, then again (again) I don't even know how you could get in touch with those companies and maybe the rest of the story isn't that good. Judging from the first 5 pages I have a feeling that the rest would be pretty good but it doesn't hurt to be objective. Joe, I'm not sure if you can comment on "of mice and mysteries" I just figured I'd to give it a little bit of "publicity" and show IDW that someone would be interusted in reading it. Now onto your "talents", as I've mentioned before I really do hope that someday you write at least one original disney comic of some form. While you may not be suited to regularly churning out original comic scripts I really do think that someday you will have a original idea for one of these old characters that would be a blast to read.

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Clapton, for the kind words. It might be interesting at that, to see what I might turn out.

Though it would be nothing anywhere near as ambitious as the Jonathan Gray story that you cite! Fear not, it’s GOOD!

It’s not for me to comment, on what he might do, or where he might go with it… But, there’s always the chance he’ll see this and chime in! …Jon?