Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On Sale Today: DONALD DUCK # 2 from IDW!

You don't need a "pushy reporter" to tell you that today's the day for DONALD DUCK # 2 (Legacy Numbering # 369) from IDW! 

...But, if one pesters you, be sure not to spill your test tubes of purple-staining chemicals on your copy. Because in it, you'll find “Shellfish Motives: Part Two of Two”, continued from last month's issue, by Romano Scarpa and dialogued by Jonathan Gray!  ...And you'd just hate yourself if you damaged such a great comic! 

No spoilers on our exciting conclusion, but I will note one oddity...

The signature of Walt Disney, as it appeared on the various comic STRIPS, appears throughout part two of Shellfish Motives”!   SEVEN TIMES, in fact! 

It actually appeared ONCE in "Part One" (below), and I thought nothing of it - as, I suspect, did many of you...

...But, here it is, all over "Part Two"!  Note the nice Carl Barks reference by Jonathan Gray in the third panel!

I haven't the slightest idea as to why this exists, nor why the signature is placed in the specific panels that it is.  

Might there have been more that were removed?  If not, why would it appear only ONCE over the 25 pages of "Part One" - and SEVEN TIMES over the 25 pages of "Part Two"?

Perhaps it was meant to mark the endings of "mini-chapters", within this lengthy story?  But the uneven distribution of the occurrences would seem to disprove that theory.  Anyone know?  

Oh, and I promised no spoilers, but I must say that Donald ends with an unexpected victory at the end of this tale that tickled me no end!  See it for yourself!  

There's also have an innocuous one-page Donald and Fethry gag, translated and scripted by our own Archival Editor David Gerstein, which I have a feeling I'd seen done before in the old Dell or Gold Key days - though I'll never recall where. 

Click to Enlarge.
We end with a REAL TREAT for everyone!  "Donald Duck Counter Spy" a rare non-comic strip artistic outing for classic Disney Duck artist Al Taliaferro!  

That was a Cheerios Premium Giveaway comic from 1947, so I doubt many of you have seen this! I haven't, and am thrilled to find it here!

Note Taliaferro's depiction of Donald's Neighbor Jones, whom Carl Barks introduced in 1943, but had fallen into disuse by 1947, and would not be revived again by Barks until 1963.  

The characterization of Jones is clearly that of Barks, even if the look is not!  

In any case, David Gerstein has certainly earned his "Archival Editor Jr. Woodchuck Merit Badge" for unearthing this one! 

As always, once you’ve read the issue, please come back and join the discussion in our Comments Section! 

Just remember, I do not speak for IDW, or anyone in its employ.  I speak strictly for myself as both a long-time fan and as a dialogue creator – and those opinions are strictly my own. 

So, don't feel Shellfish” about treating yourself to a copy of DONALD DUCK # 2 (Legacy Numbering # 369) from IDW!

...It's that special kind of personal indulgence with which no one could disagree! 

I’ll meet you back here for another lively comment thread!  

We have the best - and most polite - IDW Disney Comics discussions on the whole blamed Internet, so let's continue to have fun!   


Deb said...

While I don't know why some of them remain and why others have been deleted, I recall reading somewhere that Scarpa's Walt Disney "signatures" in this and many of his other works are there in an effort to mimic the Disney newspaper strips. His earliest stories (that I've read) have a Gottfredson-style flow to the plot and gag structure, and adding Walt's signature in places where they might have occurred had they run as newspaper strips seems to be part of Scarpa's homage to Gottfredson. I will have to pick this one up soon, not just to read the rest of the story, but for the Taliaferro strips as well!

Joe Torcivia said...

That's as good an explanation as any, Deb! Makes perfect sense. Perhaps some of the other "signatures" dropped-off over the years, or were removed by the Italian publisher. I'd doubt IDW would have done this. I'd assume they'd either leave them ALL intact for authenticity, or remove them ALL for the sake of consistency. Most likely the stats they received were like this.

...But that's nothing more than a guess on my part!

ramapith said...

Your guess is correct—absolutely 100% correct!

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, I think we've solved another mystery, Scooby!

Thanks for the confirmation information, for which you have my... um, appreciation.

Thad Komorowski said...

Big thanks to Jonathan for giving Scarpa's classic writing and cartooning the attention and care it deserves. One of the biggest tragedies of the Gladstone line going under the first time was that it happened right when the reprinting of classic Scarpa stories (full-size and serialized) started, so it's awesome to see IDW kicking off with them. Good cover by Dave Alvarez, too.

Joe Torcivia said...

Jonathan always gets big props from me, Thad!

And, nice to see Dave Alvarez on our team, as I’ve long admired and enjoyed his DC stuff!

And, yes… I did feel “cut off” just as Scarpa was beginning, at the end of Gladstone Series One! But, we’ve sure gotten a lot of great stuff since! Including (…I know because I’ve got translation and scripting duties) DONALD DUCK # 4 and UNCLE SCROOGE # 7 – and, presumably, more.

Looking forward to your turn on DONALD DUCK, next!

Joe Torcivia said...

Just noticed that it now looks as if MICKEY MOUSE # 1 will be out next Wednesday – July 01, 2015!


Deb said...

Spoiler Alert: Avert your eyes if you haven't yet read this issue:
Like I said about the first part, Scarpa really had Gottfredson's plotting style down, alternating between Donald's nephews solving the mystery, Donald's goofy attempts to find leads, and Gideon's loss of faith in Donald and the kids' abilities to get the story and save his paper. The way Huey, Dewey and Louie tracked their leads made me think of a Mickey Mouse story, yet all of the characters were acting in character for a Donald Duck story. I'm glad that we finally got to see this one in English. I liked the Barks callback where Donald is convinced he's a kangaroo again as well.
The one-page gag was cute. It's really hard to critique a gag page like this...either a gag works or it doesn't, so there isn't much to say about them.
Donald Duck, Counter Spy was quite a treat, seeing Taliaferro writing a Barks-style gag story.
Neighbor Jones appeared once (looking quite different) in a back-up story in a 1950's Uncle Scrooge comic where Scrooge convinced Donald and Jones (here named Jughead!) to tear down their houses looking for hidden money, so he could buy their land cheaply. That one was a rewrite of a Barks Barney Bear story from the late 40's.

Joe Torcivia said...


One thing I wish I could see would be a “Chronological Scarpa”, so we could see how he went from “The Blot’s Double Mystery”, to “Kali’s Nail”, to “Shellfish Motives”, to “Tapiocus IV” (?),to “The Delta Dimension”, to “Duckburg 100”, to “Gigabeagle”, to “The Perfect Calm”, to “Mummy Fearest”, to “Treasure of Marco Topo”, to “Stinker Tailor, Scrooge, and Sly”, and so on. It would be fascinating to chart the stylistic evolution, as we have done with Barks and Gottfredson!

Of course, who would translate all of the heretofore unseen material into American English?

Oh, and how did Barks ever get away with "Jughead Jones"?

ramapith said...

Deb: crediting Taliaferro with writing "Counter Spy" was actually a typo on my part. The story actually seems to have been written by Chase Craig. We'll correct the credit in our later TPB collection of this material.

Joe: Scarpa produced more stories, I think, than could ever be translated into English without a multi-year expenditure of time. He started in 1953 and kept right on going for fifty solid years, never fully retiring. There is a Scarpa Library in Italy, and it consists of 45+ 350-page books, with at least 300 pages of comics in each.
I suspect Barks simply wasn't aware that Archie's Jughead had the last name Jones. Interestingly, occasional Egmont stories call "our" Jones Jughead in their original English scripts, though it's one of those things I don't think we could ever do here. (Once in awhile you can see traces when a localized US edition refers to him as "J. Jones.")

Joe Torcivia said...


Yeah, I wondered about Taliaferro writing “Counter Spy”, since he did not write the Donald Duck newspaper strip. That clears it up.

Re: “The [theoretical] Chronological Scarpa Library”… As I said: “Who would translate all of the heretofore unseen material?” Not ME! There would be a gibbering pile of burned-out ash where my computer and I once stood!

“Jughead Jones” could certainly have been one of those “coincidences in writing” back when that story was produced. Particularly, if neither Barks, nor his editors, paid much attention to other publishers. I wondered more about when I read it reprinted in a WALT DISNEY COMICS DIGEST, somewhere about 1969-1970. I sure thought it was odd to see then, because I was also reading Archie comics at the time.

scarecrow33 said...

My understanding was that "Jughead" Jones in reference to Neighbor Jones was a derogatory term, not necessarily a first name. I'll have to locate and re-read that story to be sure, but that's why I never thought of Donald's neighbor in conjunction with Archie's best friend. Wasn't it Donald who kept calling him--"Oh, that jughead Jones!" or something like that? The Archie gang uses their friend's name as a real first name. There's also Snuffy Smith's little nephew "Jughaid" who seems to have that as his sole moniker. I'm not saying it couldn't be Neighbor Jones' first name, just that I never thought of it as an "actual" name as with the other two.

Joe Torcivia said...


Since this “Jughead thing” appears to be heading into “life of its own” territory, I picked-up the issue in which I originally read the story.

The issue was WALT DISNEY COMICS DIGEST # 11 (Cover Date: May, 1969), and the 10-page story was originally published in Dell’s UNCLE SCROOGE # 6 (Cover Date: June, 1954). It was untitled in the original but, for the reprint, acquired the title of “In the Buying Mood”.

Neighbor Jones, in this particular story, has a “softer”, almost lobotomized, look vs. the rendition both previously AND later used by Barks, and subsequently by European publishers to the present day. He’s far more interested in raising tulips than raising heck against his neighbor Donald.

“Jughead” is used in only two quotes by Scrooge – and certainly *appears* to be employed as a NAME, as opposed to a term of derision.

Page 2, Panel 1: “I also want to buy Jughead Jones’s lot next door, but he won’t sell to me, either!”

Page 4, Panel 4: “Jughead, old boy, I’ve a confession to make! I wanted to buy your place so I could look for the money!”

Other than the addition of the title, I’m certain nothing was changed from UNCLE SCROOGE # 6 for the reprint in WALT DISNEY COMICS DIGEST # 11. So, everyone draw your own conclusions…

I think it’s VERY possible that neither Carl Barks nor anyone else at Western had an inkling that the last name of the Archie character was “Jones”… and that “Jughead” seemed to better fit THIS (again) “softer, almost lobotomized” version of Neighbor Jones – both in alliteration and character. It may have even still been true in 1969 – but could not happen today, where David, Jonathan, Thad, and I scrutinize every minute detail of the work we turn out. …And sometimes even argue over it – kinda like Donald and the Non-Jughead version of Neighbor Jones!

I cannot imagine Chase Craig and Carl Barks ever having the kind of conversations *we* have, in order to give you these great comics every month! But would we even BE HAVING such spirited debates, if not for the wonderful classic work persons like them left us with?! …Different times – and it’s all great!

Clapton said...

Another Great issue from IDW! Shellfish Motives is truly a masterpiece. The story's perfectly planned,paced,drawn and dialogued! Al Taliaferro's counter-spy was also a blast! It's a shame that he never used Jones in the daily strip. His quarlles with Donald had lot of "gag-a-day" potential. I hope the rest of Al Taliaferro's comic BOOK work (which consits of some one or two pagers he drew in the early days of WDC&S) is reprinted by IDW.

Joe Torcivia said...

Yes, absolutely, Clapton… Taliaferro’s use of Neighbor Jones in the daily gag strip WOULD certainly have given it an additional dimension!

It’s a pity he didn’t suggest using the character to writer Bob Karp, when they were doing the strip for all those years. I, too, vote for more such rare Taliaferro comic BOOK material, such as exists!

ramapith said...

You're getting your wish, fellas. Since we've already got the Taliaferro Donald strip coming in Dean Mullaney's book series, we'll have a few more Taliaferro comic BOOK items—and Taliaferro non-Donald strips—in the coming months' IDW issues.