Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Great Laugh During a Strange Month!

Pluto and Mickey Mouse?  On an UNCLE SCROOGE cover?  

What's it all about, anyway?  Why are they in costume?  Why are they jailed?  And why is PLUTO (not in costume) their only seeming salvation?  

You won't find the answer inside, because the cover has nothing to do with the interior contents - or anything else for that matter.   

That's just part of this very strange month!   

A month in which it would appear that the other THREE of the “Core Four” Disney comic books (…two of which containing stories I worked on and the other containing one of the most favorite Non-Barks Donald Duck short stories of my childhood - “The Planet X Mystery”) coming on the SAME DAY of perhaps the most horrifically busy week (of a horrifically busy period) I’ve had in several years!  

Oh, and in the same issue of UNCLE SCROOGE, The Beagle Boys get NAMES!  

The floodwaters of my (all together now) "horrifically busy period" are expected to crest starting tomorrow and into the middle of the coming week before subsiding.  I very much regret not being able to produce posts on the great IDW Disney comics of December and January.  

We may try to do some retroactively.  But, I still manage to steal some time to enjoy things. 

And one of those enjoyable things was this amazing gag from the lead story of UNCLE SCROOGE # 10, and our Archival Editing Translator and Dialogue Writer David Gerstein.   

Scrooge is checking on the whereabouts of some of his old mining partners to see if he may have won an ages-old bet.  He gets the scoop on one of the poor unfortunates here...

Now, I've only had time to read the first 11 pages of "The Eternal Knot" (horrifically busy, you know), but "The Czech is in the male!" just might be the most awesomely funny pun these comics have ever seen!  ...And, if there's one thing you all know I appreciate, it's awesomely funny puns!

David is thanked for the welcome gift of a supreme laugh-out-loud moment, smack in the middle of such a (all together now, again) "horrifically busy period"!

In trying times, laughter is indeed the best medicine - and that was one prodigious dose, at the perfect moment! 


Deb said...

The alternate cover is referring to the Disneyland attraction Pirates of the Caribbean.

Joe Torcivia said...

Then GOOFY should have been on the cover… He could have been “Johnny Dipp”!

ramapith said...

For once, the lame old pun wasn't mine!

Variants of the "Czech is in the male" bear joke have been around for decades—often with an embarrassing twist where the punny line is delivered by a third miner to the sheriff, who then finds the Czech in the female. The third miner was unreliable because he's a Scotsman, Jew, Arab, lawyer, politician, or some other stereotypically stingy/haggly type who would never truthfully say "the check is in the mail." Ho-hum.

(And then there are the variants where the bears are instead sharks or lions... this has gone further than I knew...)

Elaine said...

Not only that, it appears that *all* the sub covers this month refer to Pirates of the Caribbean. So maybe they're not continuing the RI Disneyland covers, and are using up the Pirates ones as sub covers? I'm mystified, but happy, as I like Disney Ducks as pirates generally.

Yup, I enjoyed the "Czech in the male", too! And the name "Dunderbeck", from the writer/editor who brought us "Jingleheimer & Schmidt"! "Oh, Dunderbeck, oh, Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean?" I wrote David that he is serially evoking all the silly songs we sang on long car rides. I confidently expect Ivan Skavinsky Skavar to show up in Brutopia any day now! Unless he defects by stowing away on the Walloping Window Blind....

A question for your readership (not you, Joe, you're Horrifically Busy), with a bit of a >spoiler< for "The Eternal Knot" in it (though really, no one is in doubt of the end, just ignorant as to how we'll get there): So, are the "gold certificates" Scrooge has at the end of the story the actual moolah, now his as the last bachelor standing? If so, would he really put them in a scrapbook? That had me slightly confused (and looking up "gold certificate" in Wikipedia, which didn't help much--paper currency in the USA till 1933? Are we in an alternate universe where gold certificates continued to function as official currency into Scrooge's "present"? Of course, who knows what the Italians believed about American currency in 1962....). Then again, I suppose putting 150 million in paper money into a scrapbook is about as sensible as storing millions in one's bin/swimming pool.

Joe Torcivia said...


You write: “I wrote David that he is serially evoking all the silly songs we sang on long car rides.”.

Awww, mannnn… You and David went on long car rides, singing silly songs… and left ME home? :-)

I must have been “horrifically busy” all those times, too! …Yeah, that’s it!

Joe Torcivia said...


Oh, I wasn’t necessarily suggesting that you made the joke up – more an admiration of your expertly employing it in the context of a Scarpa duck story.

You’ve just motivated me to try harder still to top it in the future! Be afraid. Be very afraid!

Gotta love the creative synergy we have at IDW!

Pan Miluś said...

OK! I wouldn't mind if the Beagles would have to discuised themselves and they would use fake names to trick a person and in honor of "Duck Tales" they would all start with a B...

But here from what I can see people know it is them so... ARG! :/ I don't like it! What's wrong with 176-761? Sound like a fine name to me...

Joe Torcivia said...


The point was that the Beagles made a legitimate attempt to go straight and, while they still never discarded their masks, they adopted names in service to their attempt at honesty.

And besides, in their workplace, no one KNEW who they actually were. And even THEY couldn’t keep straight who they were among themselves, to humorous results!

If I have any regrets about that story, it’s that I didn’t even come close to rivaling that “Czech” joke!

Clapton said...

I think your Bo Diddly pun rivaled "Czech".
I also enjoyed your Eurythmatics refrence... BUT I'm just gonna pretend you were refrencing this song(

Clapton said...

So I know that the lead stories in January's issue of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck have previously finished (or almost finished) localazations that are just now getting published so... is your "knot" localaztion new or a reuse. Either way it's excellent, I'm just curious.

Joe Torcivia said...


You write: “I think your Bo Diddly pun rivaled ‘Czech’.”

Aw, you’re just sayin’ that ta make me feel better! Of course, that *does* tend to work around here, so thank you!

Fact is I try to put so much of that into my own stuff – “Bo Diddly”, “Honor among Thebes” in “Mummy Fearest”, etc. – that I will absolutely acknowledge a superior effort such as this! And, as I’ve said elsewhere, it all goes back to my admiration of the standout work by Mark Evanier in his ‘70s Gold Key Comics, where he peppered his stories with great (and so bad they BECOME great) puns all the time. And, at a time when most new material coming out of Western Publishing was average to poor, Evanier’s lively, joke-laden scripting stood out all the more!

I like to think that’s the spirit we have at IDW (and in our prior work at Gemstone and Boom!) – and instances like this prove I’m right! So much so, that I daresay, that you can pick up *any* IDW Disney comic, completely at random, and find something fun (a joke, a pun, a character bit, a reference, a turn of phrase) to read on virtually EVERY page! …More often than not, MULTIPLE “fun somethings” per page!

I’ll let David address your “localization” question but, in the meantime, you can “Czech” out Clapton’s link HERE. …Sorry!

ramapith said...

Clapton, my "Eternal Knot" localization was first done for Gemstone's unpublished UNCLE SCROOGE 386. You can see a preview of that version here. Usable electronic materials didn't survive, though, so Travis and Nicole relettered the story for IDW—and I took advantage of the opportunity to tweak my translation slightly, bringing it a little closer to Scarpa's original.

You can see some other interesting previews at that website, too.

Early version of US 379, with contents that were later swapped to 383
Early version of US 380, with contents that were swapped to 384 but never published by Gemstone. ("Industrial Magnetism," as "Lights Fantastic," made it into the Boom Valentine book.)
Early version of US 381, with contents that were (mostly) swapped to 379
Early version of US 382, with contents that were swapped to 380
Early version of US 383, with contents that were swapped to 381
Early version of US 384, with contents that were swapped to 382
Unpublished Gemstone US 385
Unpublished Gemstone US 387
Unpublished Gemstone US 388, with "Shiver Me Timbers" that was later used at IDW
Unpublished Gemstone US 389

ramapith said...

(And while we're at it...)

Early version of WDCS 694, with contents that were swapped to 698
Early version of WDCS 695, with contents that were swapped to 699 but never published by Gemstone
Early version of WDCS 696, with contents that were swapped to 694
Early version of WDCS 697, with contents that were swapped to 695
Early version of WDCS 698, with contents that were swapped to 696
Early version of WDCS 699, with contents that were swapped to 697
Unpublished Gemstone WDCS 700, with contents that mostly ended up scattered around at Boom. (The Gottfredson "Treasure Island" remount, for which every last cannibal was reinked and censored, never got colored, so was never used anywhere.)
Unpublished Gemstone WDCS 701. Other previews exist replacing "Treasure Island" with "300 Mickeys," which ended up at Boom.
Unpublished Gemstone WDCS 702, with a Van Horn that was later used at Boom. Other previews exist replacing "Treasure Island" with "The World to Come," which ended up at Boom.
Unpublished Gemstone WDCS 703, with a Scarpa story we'll soon use at IDW
Unpublished Gemstone WDCS 704
Unpublished Gemstone WDCS 705

Issues' contents were swapped to get certain Christmas and winter stories closer to Christmas and winter when our printing schedule ran behind. It was total confusion—so much that by the time Boom's WDCS 715 rolled around, "70th Heaven" actually had the characters looking back on the situation and making fun of it!

A few more stories we announced for unpublished Gemstones may eventually appear at IDW, just as this month's did (and as others turned up at Boom).

Abraham Lincoln said...

Good issue of Uncle Scrooge all around. I always enjoy seeing an Italian story dealing with Scrooge's past just to see the similarities and differences between their interpretations and Rosa's meticulous reenactment. Even in the present Scrooge, there's stuff that feels a bit out of place-- a modern architecture country estate might not be the highest priority for Scrooge-- but we're reminded that it's still very much the Scrooge we know and love when the plot device preventing him from taking the journey himself is no less than his one single outfit that he would buy being destroyed. Great art from Scarpa, and I particularly liked the simplicity of the all-encompassing beard for our hermit friend.

Nice beagle story too! A good bit of unique work. For my usual selection of favorite line of dialogue, I think I'd have to go with the bit (can't quote as the issue is at my house rather than my dorm) about appreciating the irony, if they fully understood it!

Joe Torcivia said...



It’s sickening to think about the wonderful efforts of John Clark and yourself for those late Gemstone issues – and how they were supplanted by those wretched early Boom! issues, comprised of badly edited and badly dialogued issues of UNCLE SCROOGE and (even worse) “Ultraheroes” (and flatly dialogued at that) in WDC&S!

We all know that Boom! “righted the ship”, albeit too late, it its final months as publisher of the Disney comics “Core Four”. And, looking over those great later issues from today’s perspective, it’s almost as if they served as the “blueprint” or “prototype” for what you have so perfectly accomplished at IDW!

Funny, especially to me, to learn that the Scarpa “cross country bike race” story you had intended for WDC&S # 703 (which Boom! ended up polluting with “Ultraheroes”) is the story I am PRESENTLY working on!

Nice to know that much of that unpublished material, including the Beagle Boys story in UNCLE SCROOGE # 10 - which I began dialoguing in the late Gemstone period, and finished in the latter part of 2015 – is coming our way!

Joe Torcivia said...


Beyond differences with Don Rosa, whose work set the standard for the ‘80s and beyond, it’s also interesting to see how Scarpa and the rest of those wildly imaginative Italian creators (in stories like “The Eternal Knot” from 1962) differed from that which Carl Barks was CONCURRENTLY creating at the time!

Thank you for the kind words on the Beagle Boys story “Love is Never Having to Say You’re Sentenced”! I REALLY enjoyed doing that one – albeit, as my comment above indicates, over a period of seven years! I considered it very funny to begin with, and so I tried all the harder to complement the effort with stuff like giving the now-straight Beagles NAMES, instead of prison numbers.

I set out to write the “Gold Key Beagle Boys”, as they appeared in their ‘60s and ‘70s Gold Key Comics title… on the dim side, but just smart enough to know it. Hence, their comments about “if they understood irony” and other fun interrogative digressions.

My favorites were the “irony” line and, when a Beagle tries to explain Louise’s screaming to the cop, “I saw a mouse! Since going straight, I’m very sensitive!”, for what it‘s worth.

Finally, though I no longer remember what the name of the misguided gal in the story was (…’cause it WAS seven years ago), I renamed her “Louise”, just for the sake of the “Elmer and Louise” joke.

You don’t get stuff like that anywhere else, so please keep coming back – even during life’s occasionally (…all together now) “horrifically busy period”!

ramapith said...

Joe, the later Gemstone issues were compromised too. After 2006, for a variety of reasons, we only had a limited budget to color stories from scratch, so I had to pigeonhole most of that for a few classes of material that were usually unavailable in color—Gottfredson Mickey and really good Big Bad Wolf (for a character that had been treated as a throwaway for so long, only the very best got the reader reaction I was after).

Otherwise I had to pick Branca, and Scarpa, and Milton, and Kinney/Hubbard and others from the subset that was already available colored adequately; better than nothing, but by no means a great spot to be in.

Stories like "The Seven-Colored Terror," "Lost in the Microcosmos," "Special Correspondent," "Ridin' the Rails," "The Christmas Tree Crimes," "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold Again," and even "Treasure of Marco Topo" were all on the Gemstone schedule at one point or another, but I had to bump them off simply because I couldn't color them.

So when I look back at those unpublished issues, I wax nostalgic for good stuff that didn't end up coming out at that time—but I also see only adequate stuff that wouldn't have been my first choice with a higher budget. Every iteration of these comics carries its own challenges.

(And hey—I really do think "Ultraheroes" would have been a lot of fun had it been published in more manageable pieces and received a more in-character translation. Nyaah.)

Joe Torcivia said...


Gemstone may have had its own share of problems, but I suspect most reading this would have preferred anything published by even a “compromised Gemstone” over that horrid early period from Boom!

If you, Jonathan Gray, Thad Komorowski, or I (The IDW “Core Four”?) translated and dialogued “Ultraheroes”, I have no doubt it would have been better. But, it ALSO suffers in my estimation (and perhaps the estimation of others) because it hijacked WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES completely away from the traditional things it did best since 1940 – and did so at the WORST possible time, the period leading up to the landmark 700th issue and beyond!

We’ll never get back that the special milestone that should have been WDC&S # 700, and to think of how it was pointlessly squandered is an indelible shame on everyone who was involved!

Though you came to the rescue and DID soften the blow more than considerably with WDC&S # 715 and this year’s 75th Anniversary issue. And, the issues of Boom!’s WDC&S immediately following the “Ultraheroes” fiasco were the ones that introduced Casty to the USA – so there’s lots of good that followed the bad!

Ultimately, we ended up with IDW, and I think we can all agree that’s a good (nay, great) thing!