Friday, January 29, 2016

On Sale January 06, 2016: UNCLE SCROOGE # 10 from IDW.

Why would anyone want to choke a duck, point derisively, or stare at a diamond ring (Ya gotta admit, a lot's happening on that cover!) when they could be reading UNCLE SCROOGE # 10 (Legacy Numbering # 414) from IDW!

In it, you’ll find "The Eternal Knota story from the Italian TOPOLINO # 355 (1962) and “New to the USA”, written by Abramo and Giampaolo Barosso, penciled by Romano Scarpa, inked by Rodolo Cimino, with Translation and Dialogue by the Archduke of Archival Editing David Gerstein.   

We begin in 1902, which is only possible because our story takes place in 1962...

Snowed-in gold miner Scrooge gets cabin fever.  Say, does his official biographer Don Rosa know about "Aunt Molly" and "Cousin Clem"?  

...Or, Uncle Rumpus and Uncle Gideon, for that matter? 

I'm STILL waiting to learn what "Bone-Tractor" is! 
His mining partners take it in stride... 

Did they say "CHILL OUT" in 1902?

I dunno... Does "Bafflewitz" remind you of "Wolowitz" from THE BIG BANG THEORY?  Either way, lets not go losing our... "witz" over it!  (Pardon!) 

They each kick in a large sum of gold, and here's the kicker...

I wasn't around in 1902 to get in on that action, though I was around in 1962 to see the start of Gold Key Comics...

...But, if I was, I would have certainly - and happily - lost the bet!  

From MICKEY MOUSE # 2, some folks you may know...
So, now it's 1962, we've made the transition from Dell Comics to Gold Key Comics...

...THE FLINTSTONES and THE JETSONS are on TV in Prime Time...

...And Scrooge McDuck suddenly falls in love and wants to get married!  A chapter clearly omitted from his "Life and Times" biography!   

Not to Glittering Goldie...

Brigitta MacBridge...

Or even Millionaria Vanderbucks, mind you...

But to...

Gotta love this next panel...

So, in order to get hitched, and not lose the bet, Scrooge checks-up on the whereabouts of his former partners, and finds most of them have met their maker (...and I don't mean Romano Scarpa), such as in THIS MAGNIFICENT PUN on the part of Mr. Gerstein!

The one remaining survivor is a bachelor cave-hermit who causes no small amount of trouble for Donald.  

Don't ya love that EVEN HE wears the standard-issue "White Gloves"!

Where we go from from here I'll not spoil, but I will say that - very oddly - the problems resolve themselves OFF-PANEL, and are conveyed to the reader through exposition!  Quite unusual! 

A Grandma and Gus gag comes before our second feature...

The Beagle Boys in "Love is Never Having to Say You're Sentenced" from Danish publisher Egmont and “New to the USA”, written by the great Gorm Transgaard, Art by Maximino Tortajada Aguilar - with Title and Dialogue by Yours Truly!  

The Beagle Boys can be released from their prison term. if they prove themselves capable of holding an "honest job"

And, so they get an "honest job" courtesy of original writer Transgard - and names courtesy of li'l old me!  

After all, thought I, how could they function properly in the working world being addressed by their prison numbers?  I doubt I need to elaborate on the influences for their names...

For our befuddled Beagles, getting used to names isn't easy...

Workplace romance complications ensue.  

How 'bout that, a Carl Barks AND a Romano Scarpa reference in one li'l ol' dialogue balloon!  Giggle!  

Um, complications SURE DO ensue...

Yup, ensue they do... 

Well, I'll not give you the lowdown on the caper here, but suffice it to say there's trouble ahead!  

Unlike some of those Carl Barks stories that were finished decades later by Don Rosa or Daan Jippes...

..."Love is Never Having to Say You're Sentenced" may have one of the longest-ever gestation periods in the hands of a single creator.  I scripted the first page and a half of this story in 2009 intended for Gemstone - and completed it in the latter part of 2015 for IDW!  

In fact, here's the exact point at which I resumed in 2015 - now with TWO Beagle Boys "Robot Robber" stories to reference, instead of only Barks' 1965 original!  

I also set out to write the "Gold Key Beagle Boys", as seen in their own title.  

Meaning that they were somewhat "dim", but smart enough to know it... as exemplified by this panel!  

As I often say, you won't find stuff like this anywhere else on the Internet, folks!  

So, don't let any "First Dates From Heck" deter you from picking up a copy of UNCLE SCROOGE # 10 (Legacy Numbering # 414) from IDW!  

And NEVER hold a contest to see who among your friends will be the LAST ONE to read it, because the "winner" of such a contest will truly be the "loser"!  

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.

Then, let's all meet back here in the Comments Section to discuss another great issue from IDW - and try to keep our names straight when we do!   


Elaine said...

The many jokes about the Beagles' names (what's a name?) in "Love Is Never..." were the most delightful plays on the trope of the numbered characters since Rosa's "The Beagle Boys vs. The Money Bin", where 176 remembered his ma saying: "There, there, li'l 176-176, you don't need to know your name. But for a $200 bribe I might...."

And speaking of names, I liked their lawyer's name, too!

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Elaine!

The “name thing”, and the constant call-backs to it, were my own addition to an already funny and clever story by Gorm Transgaard!

I didn’t even think of Rosa, but more back to the Beagle’s line in my own (alas, uncredited) script for a Scarpa story in UNCLE SCROOGE # 403, back in the (all together now) “Legendary Last Four Months of Boom!”: “Names are overrated! Try numbers sometime!”

That, and the opposite of the catchy and popular old “Secret Agent Man” theme song from the sixties, that goes: “…They've given you a number and taken away your name”, which I (very) mildly paraphrased on Page 2, Panel 1’s Caption Box.

Waaay back then, when I used to see the show on Saturday nights as a kid, and hear that line, I actually thought of the Beagle Boys - and NOW LOOK! Isn't life amazing?!

Deb said...

You very much will find Molly Mallard on Don Rosa's Duck family tree, if nowhere else. As for cousin Clem...I'm not sure if he's ever been mentioned anywhere else. But Disney characters do seem to have large and confusing family trees, full of aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, neices and the occasional grandma or grandpa, but few mothers or fathers. So if Cousin Clem, Cousin Fethry, Uncle Rumpus and Uncle Gideon don't seem to fit anyone really surprised?

I hadn't thought about it, but 1962 would have put this story alongside season three of The Flintstones and the only prime-time season of The Jetsons, wouldn't it? Tracking down that hermit no doubt meant that Donald and the boys would have missed a few episodes during their trek. I can imagine that Donald Duck might have been a fan of The Flintstones. He and Fred had quite a few personality traits in common.

In 1962, Uncle Scrooge wouldn't have been able to have cashed in his $150 million dollars worth of Gold certificates, as in 1933 the practice of redeeming these notes for gold coins was ended by the U.S. government and until 1964 it was actually illegal to possess these notes.  So for two years, Scrooge pretty much would have had to have kept it quiet that he even had them, which could be why the old fox is winking at the reader on the last page of this story. Or not. But it sounds good to me.

Joe Torcivia said...


Oh, that Scrooge! Quite the sly rascal, isn’t he! Looks like he intended passing off the notes as something akin to a stamp collection!

And, if Donald and Fred shared some common traits, I’d expect Scrooge was partial to Mr. Spacely.

Anonymous said...

This is an off-topic question, but since people mentioned old American issues, and since there aren't many places on the web to contact American duck fans, I ask this here: does the Cornelius Coot statue appear in Kay Wright's version of Barks' "Hark, Hark The Ark"? The (relatively small) statue can be seen in Daan Jippes' version of the story, but I wonder if it was already present in Barks' storyboard or if Jippes added it. Wright's version was published in issue 23 of Huey, Dewey and Louie Junior Woodchucks (1973) and republished in volume 6 of Carl Barks Library (1990). Does anybody here have one of those books?

Joe Torcivia said...


Anyone is always welcome to ask Disney comics questions here, regardless of the topic. If I can’t answer them, one of our commenters might.

I just looked over my copy of HD&L JW # 23, and there is no appearance of the Cornelius Coot statue in Kay Wright's version of Barks' "Hark, Hark The Ark".

I’d suspect that Jippes, as a fan of Barks, added it on his own – in the same way we “add” Barks references to the dialogues of IDW stories. It just makes a good thing even better!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the answer. If the statue is not present in Wright's version of the story, then either Jippes added it (which would have been perfectly fine, since stryboards don't always show everything), or it was in Barks' storyboard and Wright chose not to include it in his version. Unless someone has access to the storyboard, I guess we will never know.

About the added references you mentioned: some of them were good, but overall I feel you guys should maybe stick a little more to the originals (no offense to anyone of course, just an opinion). Some changes may be necessary sometimes (like untranslatable puns or local cultural references that wouldn't be understood), but I think a translator should allow the readers to the see story as close as possible to how the original creator meant it. I admit though that my only efforts at translations were a couple of fanmade works, so it's not like I am an expert on these things.

Joe Torcivia said...

We’ll agree to disagree on that point, Anon.

If the reaction I receive is any indication, doing it as we do seems to work for our audience. Besides, if your experience is with “fanmade works” it can’t be the same experience.

As I’d said elsewhere, I do not speak for IDW, but there’s one thing of which you can be sure. The persons who make up what I call the “IDW Creative Core Four”: David Gerstein, Jonathan Gray, Thad Komorowski, and myself – and Gary Leach, who has been a key contributor to these comics since the earliest days of Gladstone! – are lifelong devotees of the Disney comic books! And we wish to see them read in the best possible way for the American audience.

I’d expect Barks, Gottfredson, Strobl, and Murry were altered to suit other audiences. I figure that’s just part of the game – and another thing that makes these comics great.

Besides, why should artists like Dann Jippes have all the fun?

scarecrow33 said...

I must confess, I did not catch onto the 3 Stooges reference until I woke up one morning and it hit me. I was focused on the FIRST part of the names, the alliterative use of "B" for each of them. I was recalling the names given the Beagles in "Duck Tales" such as Big Time, Bank Job, and Burger. So I thought your choices of names were interesting, but had no idea they were meant as more than interesting names. The name "Bo" was used by Sheldon Meyer for his character of "Bo Bunny" in DC Comics, the name "Barry" is of course a fairly common name, and there was a character named "Burly" in the MGM film "San Francisco." So I thought they were OK names for the Beagles.

Then about two days after my initial reading of the story, the 3 names were running through my head as I woke up in the morning and I suddenly realized that not only were you referencing "Duck Tales" you were also referencing the Three Stooges!

What made the story truly hilarious for me--and an indicator that these one-off names were not going to muddle up any continuity--was the fact that the names simply didn't STICK! None of the Beagles ever really "owned" his own name! They kept on getting confused over who was Barry, who was Burly, etc!

Interesting idea of romance for the Beagles, also--I don't recall any other story that dealt with it--apart from Madam Mim's occasional attempts to make a play for one or more of them. But I don't think she was ever serious.

Just in case anyone is interested, the last time I was at Walt Disney World in Florida in 2005, they had a statue of Cornelius Coot in Mickey's Toontown. It was there the last two times I visited, but the way they change the park around it may be gone by now. The statue is just like in the Barks tale about statue-building, with Cornelius holding ears of corn in his arms. I'm sure the majority of Disney visitors have no clue who the character is, but it's a nice touch for those of us die-hard comics fans.

Joe Torcivia said...


I am truly glad you enjoyed the “beagle-namings”! I had a great time writing that.

Beyond overall dialogue flow, it was the one thing I felt that could possibly enhance this wonderful story. And it made sense within the tale’s context, as they needed names in order to function in the non-criminal world.

As you note, since the names couldn’t possibly “stick”, why not have the most possible fun with them. Alliteration with “Beagle” was good enough, but the additional riff on the Three Stooges made it absolutely irresistible. And the continued name-confusion was, to me, perfectly in-character for the “Gold Key Beagle Boys”, whom I’d set out to write.

You may also notice that I threw the name “Bertram” in there, on Page 7, making it at least the 4th time in my scripting I’ve used it. I think I first ran across it in an old Bugs Bunny comic, and liked it enough to use whenever possible.

I saw the Cornelius Coot status at WDW in the late ‘90s. Glad to know it was still there by 2005. I can’t imagine it’s still there now, though I’d be pleased to be wrong.

Clapton said...

Hey guys, here's a link to a pic of the Corneliois Coot statue. The pic's timecoded 2013 and looks modern so maybe it's still there.

Joe Torcivia said...

Sure enough, Clapton… HERE it is in all its… um… “Cootie” glory! Thanks for the link!

Thad Komorowski said...

I have to take exception to the anonymous comment. The stories would almost certainly be bland and lifeless without a talented scribe behind the American English scripting. Take a look at the Comixology translations of the Disney comics that are all over the map, or how poor Oscar Martin's energetic Tom and Jerrys went to shit in their Harvey Comics incarnation.

I do think specific stories warrant a certain respect. Pre-'63 Scarpa (or whenever he stopped writing most of his stories) and other classics (like "Moldfinger" or "Diabolical Duck Avenger") shouldn't be swelling with pop culture riffs and be taken a little more seriously in the translation. And Gerstein, Gray, Torcivia, and especially Leach have done that in spades. (I myself haven't had the pleasure of handling one of those, although I certainly experiment with different tones in my scripting.)

I can't really buy that we shouldn't make these our own, though. If Carl Barks stories can be altered in not just dialogue but ART to make them more Danish or whatever, we can have a little fun here. And besides, aren't these American cartoon characters in primarily American settings anyway?

Joe Torcivia said...


I couldn’t agree more!

Before I continue, I wish to specifically state that the “Anonymous” commenter in this thread took what I feel is exactly the proper tone for this Blog in expressing his or her opinion – and what follows is emphatically not directed at him or her. As I said above, we will agree to disagree, and that is what I both respect and desire for this Blog.

Those taking an opposing position, however, should consider the fine work of the legendary Dr. Erika Fuchs, from whose Wikipedia entry I quote:

“Erika Fuchs, née Petri (7 December 1906 in Rostock – 22 April 2005 in Munich), was a German translator. She is largely known in Germany due to her translations of American Walt Disney cartoons, especially Carl Barks's stories about Duckburg and its inhabitants.

"Many of her creations (re)entered the German language, and her followers today recognize her widely quoted translations as standing in the tradition of great German-language light poetry such as by Heinrich Heine, Wilhelm Busch, and Kurt Tucholsky. Unlike the English originals, her translations included many hidden quotes and literary allusions. As Fuchs once said, ‘You can't be educated enough to translate comic books’.”

“Many of her creations as translator of Carl Barks comics entered or reentered the German language. The phrase "Dem Ingeniör ist nichts zu schwör" - "nothing is too hard for an engineer" but with the vowels (umlauts) at the end of "Ingenieur" and "schwer" altered to make them rhyme amusingly was often attributed to Fuchs, as she had made it Gyro Gearloose's German catchphrase. However, it was originally based on a song written by Heinrich Seidel. A somewhat more clumsy version of the phrase was the first verse of "Seidels Ingenieurlied" ("The Engineer's Song") and had been used by fraternities at technical universities for the German equivalent of The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer. Fuchs had heard it from her husband, who was an engineer himself."

“A classical Fuchs is as well to be found in her translation of Barks's 1956 story "Three Un-Ducks" (INDUCKS story code W WDC 184-01), where Huey, Dewey, and Louie speak the oath "Wir wollen sein ein einig Volk von Brüdern, in keiner Not uns waschen und Gefahr" ("We Shall be a United People of Brethren, Never to Wash in Danger nor Distress"), thereby parodying Friedrich Schiller's version of the Rütlischwur from his 1804 play William Tell in a suitable way.”

“She also used verbs shortened to their stems not only to imitate sounds (onomatopoeia), such as schluck, stöhn, knarr, klimper (gulp, groan, creak, chink/jingle), but also to represent soundless events: grübel, staun, zitter (ponder, goggle, tremble). The word for these soundwords in German is now an Erikativ, a tongue-in-cheek word utilizing Fuchs's first name, made to resemble grammatical terms such as Infinitiv (infinitive), Indikativ (indicative mood), Akkusativ (accusative case), etc. Erikative are commonly used in Internet forums and chatrooms to describe what people are doing as they write, which has become the common German form of the Internet slang behavior known in English as emoting. English examples: *ducks*, *runs away*, etc. The Erikativ is the German form of those (*duck*, *weglauf*, respectively).”

We'll break the comment here, because Google says we must...

Joe Torcivia said...

Okay, back to our lengthy comment...

And please remember that I am speaking for MYSELF, and NOT IDW!

Now, isn’t it funny that I don’t recall ever reading a negative (…or even respectfully contrary) word about Dr. Erika Fuchs! That could simply be because there was no Internet during her career, but I’d prefer to think that she was universally respected for her efforts.

I’ll never speak or write a word against her, because I RESPECT what she has done for her audience, from out of the American-produced material she was given to work with!

And, need I say again that overall reaction from our intended audience, seen throughout this humble Blog, indicates that we are doing something right. Not, as overwhelmingly positive as that toward Dr. Erika Fuchs, mind you, but certainly so that we can take pride and satisfaction in our work.

I do not wish to turn a post on two nicely done stories (“The Eternal Knot” and “Love is Never Having to Say You’re Sentenced”) into a debate on translations. However, if we must continue to go there, please comment respectfully.

I have a reputation among my readers for civility and, unlike other places on the Internet, that civility will be maintained via Comment Moderation. In our history, I’ve only deleted ONE comment, and advised that two others be reworded. That speaks very well for the people who comment here – especially to those who occasionally choose to disagree.

Now, let’s get back to commenting on UNCLE SCROOGE # 10!

…How ‘bout those Beagle Boys havin’ NAMES, eh?

Joe Torcivia said...

One more comment to Thad:

Wouldn’t we love to dialogue some of those Oscar Martin Tom and Jerrys!

But, as long as Time Warner controls those characters, and they are capable of THIS, we’ll never see any of those – at DC or anywhere else suitable like IDW!

In fact, if that Beagle Boy illustrated in the post “fully understood irony”, he’d appreciate the unequivocal irony that, with what ARCHIE and DC are doing with their classic characters, that anyone could possibly take issue with what we do with “our” licensed ones.

Gosh-darn it all to heck, in today’s comics landscape we’re the traditional ones! And long may we be, dad-gum it!

Clapton said...

Those DC titles are truly looking dreadul. UGH, isn't anything sacred anymore.

And yeah I'm getting sick of the anti-loclazation comments as they pertain to IDW's Disney Comics. There aren't many places to discuss these issues and I don't like that these conversations are being taken up by people who have an issue with the whole IDW line as opposed to an aspect of the individual issue.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the comment I wrote yesterday sparked a debate about translations. I thank you for stating that you thought I used a proper tone, and I think the same about your answer (I'm a male, by the way).

Maybe our different views come from the difference between American and European mentality. From what I know, Americans have a tradition of "Americanizing" foreign works of art much more than Europeans do: I just think of Japanese animation, or the fact that sometimes Americans prefer to reshoot a film rather than dubbing it or subtitling it.

"I’d expect Barks, Gottfredson, Strobl, and Murry were altered to suit other audiences": they were sometimes altered here in Italy, but not as much from what I cold see, and in recent decades they were often retranslated because it was felt the public wanted to have a most faithful version; the most recent case is Barks' "The Billion Dollar Safari", which was (finally) retranslated for issue 19 of Uack! (October 2015). If I were ever to write a story and have it published, I would feel betrayed if a translator arbitrarily decided that my story wasn't good enough for the Amercan audience and needed to be changed in order for it to be "improved". I won't doubt, of course, that IDW Creative Core Four is made of fans of these comics. Since Americans didn't produce new comics with classic Disney characters since 1997 (I think?), maybe such creativity on the editor's art could be used to produce new stories? It's kind of sad that te country that started Disney isn't producing new comics.

I thik we don't have enough elements to say how the stories would be reviewed by the audience if they were faithfully translated. Funny how it seems that I care much more tahn I do when in fact, I never even read (nor I plan to) these stories in either the original or the rescripted version, and I am basing my comments on the few panels scanned in blogs lie this one, GeoX and Disney Comics Randomness. Still, I wish these changes were more talked about in these blog entries, Well, I guess we both said what we had to say, so we may just should settle on that "We’ll agree to disagree on that point" and move on to other topics.

For example, what do you mean with "Gold Key Beagle Boys"? I know Gold Key was the USA publisher of Disney comics between 1962-1984, but how were the Beagle Boys from that era different to the ones that came before or after that?

I already knew the real-life Cornelius Coot statue existed, but I wonder when it was built. The statue also appears in the 2015 videogame "The DuckForce Rises".

Well, I guess it showed that I have a lot of free time to waste this afternoon...

Thad Komorowski said...

You know, Joe, this goes back to as soon as America started creating art: a very active, snobbish contempt throughout Europe for American culture, and this is just a very minor example of it. I don't need to point out the obvious irony that if it weren't for American culture, these comics and characters wouldn't exist in the first place. Or comic books period.

Luke B said...

^ To DC"s credit, I think those Hanna Barbara comic reboots look like a mixed bag: Scooby and Flintstones look off-putting (Shaggy does not possess the vanity or patience to maintain that hair style), the Mad Max Wacky Races may be interesting, but Future Quest looks amazing! It has a fantastic creative team and the characters appear to be based on their original character designs aside from Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles (who've been made more realistic to match the other characters). I wonder if it's actually set in the original shows' continuities?

Can't wait to see the Quest family, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, and Frankenstein Jr. team-up!

... but, anyway, crazy reboots like that are part and parcel of long-running franchises. Every once and a while you throw everything against the wall to see what sticks. Sometimes you hit upon something good, but if not: you at least got everyone talking about the property and maybe that leads to something else.

But that's off topic! I just wanted to say to you guys how much I've enjoyed IDW's Disney line. The comics have been going from strength to strength and I look forward to the four books every month. I think Uncle Scrooge has been the most consistently great (I'm a huge Scrooge fan, so that may have something to do with it), but the highest highs have been Casty's terrific Mickey Mouse stories. Haven't actually read Scrooge #10 yet, as I've let the comics of the last few weeks pile up. Hopefully I'll get to them today!

Sergio Goncalves said...

Sorry to have to add to the translation debate, but I can't resist adding my two cents (but don't worry, because, as you'll soon find out, I agree with you and Thad)! I must confess that for quite some time, I had been wondering why you seemed to alter the original stories so much. But Thad's response to Anonymous answers that question. "Faithful" translations, I now believe, would indeed "almost certainly be bland and lifeless." I'm thinking of an old Bugs Bunny comic book I have in Brazilian Portuguese. If some of the funniest lines in that book were "faithfully" translated into English, they just wouldn't be that funny, now that I think about it. Even the tone in which the characters seem to speak just wouldn't resonate in English. It's amazing how what works great in one language falls flat in another. And thank you so much for the information on Erika Fuchs -- that provides a perfect illustration of how it is often (perhaps even usually) necessary to make drastic innovations in order for dialogue to make sense and be funny in another language.

And yes, you guys certainly are traditional, especially considering the madness that's going on at DC and Archie. Speaking of DC's latest Hanna-Barbera line, in a comment I left on a recent post at the Yowp blog, which you may have seen, I described the redesigns -- even the ones for "Future Quest" -- as "an abomination." Having since seen more of the artwork for "Future Quest," however, I'd now like to partially walk back that remark. "Future Quest" actually looks quite good, I now think. I'd like to give it a try someday. The designs are not the same as classic Hanna-Barbera, but they are close enough to be an innovate yet respectful homage. As for "The Flintstones" and "Scooby Apocalypse," though, my original description of them as "an abomination" still stands. The less said about those two projects the better.

[Google-imposed break]

Sergio Goncalves said...

[Continued from previous comment]

On a happier note, I'm just about done reading volume 1 of "Scooby-Doo Team-Up," which my college comic book club purchased recently. It's as funny as you said. I love the many references to various incarnations of the Scooby-Doo and Batman franchises. Of course, the funny jokes go beyond the first three Batman stories. The following two jokes were especially good, I thought: In the "Teen Titans Go!" crossover, Beast Boy, seeing Robin so enraged at Myron the Mildly Irritating, remarks, "So THAT'S why they call you 'Red Robin.'" In the Wonder Woman crossover, Queen Hippolyta praises Shaggy, Fred, and Scooby ("even if they ARE male") and encourages them to "continually strive to fill [their] potential." Shaggy replies, "If you REALLY want Scooby and me to fill our potential, can you point us toward the SNACK TABLE? 'Cause we've got TONS of potential to FILL our stomachs!"

The only thing that would have made the issue even better, in my opinion, would have been continuity between the Hanna-Barbera version of Robin and the "Teen Titans Go!" version of Robin. Considering that the story preceding the "Teens Titans Go!" crossover introduces Larry, Robin's biggest fan, it would have been cool if the "Teen Titans Go!" version of Robin was revealed to be a creation of Larry. It would've explained how and why Robin suddenly came to "look and sound different."

The only part of the issue I have yet to read is the "Super Friends" crossover. I'm looking forward to it. After that, I'm going to read a volume of "Tintin" stories, since the club had those available for borrowing last time it convened. After THAT, I plan to get to the volume of "Uncle Scrooge" that the club ordered. I still don't know which book it is, exactly, but, oddly enough, Carl Barks isn't listed as the author or the artist in the club's listing of all the titles it owns. Instead, Miquel Pujol and Evert Geradts are listed as the author and artist. IDW is listed as the publisher. Do you have any idea which book this might be? Could it be that the club officers ordered a non-Barks "Uncle Scrooge" by mistake? Regardless, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Joe Torcivia said...

To everyone who commented on Sunday, January 31, 2016:

WOW! Take one full day off from the Blog, and look what happens!

I count at least EIGHT separate comments, with the likelihood of still more before I am able to provide each one with a worthy and deserving response! Readers like this – ALL of you – are a Blogger’s dream, and I thank you for making this such an interesting place to visit!

It’s far too late on the eve of a day-job workday to begin formulating the “quality of response” that each of you deserve, so I will begin tomorrow, as to the degree that unpredictable day-job workdays will allow!

Meanwhile, please keep the comments coming! I enjoy every one of them, and look forward to offering proper responses in return.

Thank you!

Clapton said...

I just read the latest issue of Scooby Doo Team Up (#14) this afternoon and it's probably my favorite of them all so far.

The issue here isn't that someone's deciding a story isn't good enough to be published without a localization. It's that the differences in language would make a dry translation boring and choppy. I would also like to add that Casty happened to visit this site, thanks to the kindness of some humble stranger (WHO could it be), and he said that (from the pics Joe posted) he enjoyed the dialogue Joe wrote for his excellent "Plan Dine From Outer Space".
The people dialoging these comics aren't doing their original authors/artists a disservice, they're presenting their work in the best possible light for the American All Ages Audience.
Guys I'm tired of this conversation. If you don't like the localizations and you're American your outta luck cause they're your only option. But if your European... come on you got WEEKLY Disney comics publications. I feel like yall are crying over spilled milk.

Anonymous said...

"But if your European... come on you got WEEKLY Disney comics publications": actually, depending on the country, it can even be more: for example, here in Italy we got weekly publications.

I still think it is unproven that "the differences in language would make a dry translation boring and choppy", but since I feel have said everything I could possibly said on the matter, I guess the discussion is concluded for me. Well, except that I would like to learn more about how the translation is done. Are the stories translated fom the original version, or from foreign versions? Since many stories published by IDW are Italian, how many IDW editors can understand and translate Italian?

Joe Torcivia said...

Let’s begin reviewing these comments…


Do know that I value and appreciate your contributions to this discussion.

You write: “Maybe our different views come from the difference between American and European mentality. From what I know, Americans have a tradition of "Americanizing" foreign works of art much more than Europeans do: I just think of Japanese animation, or the fact that sometimes Americans prefer to reshoot a film rather than dubbing it or subtitling it.”

That may very well be at the heart of the matter. I can’t say I have all that much exposure to foreign works of art – especially Japanese animation, which I do not particularly care for. Like the comics, though, I can understand why Japanese animation is re-scripted for American viewers. And, I’d suspect a fair amount of changes are made for such translations. It’s inevitable.

I’ve also recently been in a class on “Spaghetti Westerns”, and they are certainly not “reshot” instead of dubbed. For instance, in the classic sixties Italian film “Django”, the great Franco Nero was dubbed, even though he could speak English (albeit with an accent). Nero would speak his accented English in subsequent Spaghetti Westerns – generally cast as a European traveling through the American West. …But, I can’t really dispute anything you say.

I can’t help but wonder if the stricter translation to Carl Barks' "The Billion Dollar Safari" was done so simply because it WAS Barks – and that his name carries some cachet to it. And the same wouldn’t be done for Murry, Strobl, and Bradbury. Not that I would see any of these comics for verification, of course.

And, to your later comment, “original” does not necessarily equate to “dry,boring, and choppy”. You know that from reading those stories in their original form, and I know that from translating some of the truly great ones – such as those by Casty and Scarpa!

But that isn’t always the case. And, as with everything is life, there are no absolutes – and that’s why I’m content to “agree to disagree”.

You also say: “Funny how it seems that I care much more than I do when in fact, I never even read (nor I plan to) these stories in either the original or the rescripted version, and I am basing my comments on the few panels scanned in blogs lie this one, GeoX and Disney Comics Randomness.”.

As with individuals, Blogs (and certainly their commenters) have very specific and passionate points of view – and can have their share of influence. That said, I would find it fascinating if you were to someday read one of my own translations, and offer up your own opinions as to how they read. I would suggest the stories in IDW’s MICKEY MOUSE # 6 and UNCLE SCROOGE # 7. You can look them up on this Blog, as I have posts on each. Your opinions, once you’ve read them, would be of great interest to me.

As noted, Casty himself liked what he saw of MICKEY MOUSE # 6. And, being of 100% Italian heritage myself (both grandfathers were born in Italy), I would never wish to do them anything but proud.

Time to break the comment up again!

Joe Torcivia said...

Continuing the comment, per the rules of Google...

Anon: To your other questions:

When I refer to the "Gold Key Beagle Boys", I refer to the characters as they appeared in their own Gold Key title of the ‘60s and ‘70s. This is in opposition to Carl Barks’ "Terrible Beagle Boys", who were more inventive and ruthless.

The "Gold Key Beagle Boys" were most often drawn by Tony Strobl and Pete Alvarado, and were three semi-pathetic neer-do-wells, as perfectly illustrated by the BEAGLE BOYS cover I illustrated in the post. Three-in-a-bed, cowering over a detective story, actually conjures up images of The Three Stooges, hence the names they adopted in the story.

As for what I receive to translate… it varies.

It can be a European story with European text. A foreign translation (British or Australian English interpretations). Rough original English text, made specifically for localizing. Or more “camera-ready” English text that requires only minor tweaking for publication. I’ve worked with all of these, and formulated American English dialogues (with varying degrees of embellishment) from all.

Joe Torcivia said...


An example of Europeans taking the sort of liberties we Americans are sometimes called-out on would be found in "The Perfect Calm", where Donald is able to WALK on his quest to Tibet – because Duckburg is located in Italy, or somewhere otherwise in Europe.

I could cry the same sort of “foul”, but I don’t have a problem with this because it was an Italian story, intended for an Italian audience. But, when we decided to print this in the United States (Because it’s so GOOD!), I had to modify the original to Donald “walking back and forth across the length of the SHIP” that would take him to Tibet – because (as originally created by Carl Barks), Duckburg exists on the Pacific Coast of the United States.

Also, of editorial necessity, I had to modify the “Mountain Goat Marauders” to remain within the current standards of political correctness. But that, too and nevertheless, is a modification of the original.

For those within the creative process of these comics, this is not as clear-cut a process is it would seem from the outside – and deviations from originals come in many (and often officially sanctioned) forms!

Joe Torcivia said...


Welcome to this Blog! Hope you continue to stick around and comment!

Hanna-Barbera is never off-topic here. As to the proposed new comics…

The Flintstones book looks as if they are mimicking the look of the "John Goodman live action Flintstones movie" of the '90s. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine why anyone would want to see a comic based upon that.

And recent years have shown some really great things that could be done with the Scooby-Doo characters, such as the "Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated" animated series and the Scooby-Doo Team-Up comic book... so why change such a good thing? And, again, does it mean that the existing Scooby-Doo Team-Up and Scooby-Doo Where Are You comic books will be canceled to make way for this? I hope not!

I think that if they just added the "Quest" title, lots of folks (including me) would be looking forward to that.

At least we have IDW doing the Disney titles right!

And, thank you so much for the kind words on the IDW Disney titles! Overall, MICKEY MOUSE would be the one I rate highest thus far, with UNCLE SCROOGE a close second!

Aw, what the heck…They’re ALL great!

Joe Torcivia said...


You have my opinions in the new H-B comics above!

And, I remain of the opinion that one must write for their specific audience – be it German, Italian, or American, regardless of a story’s country of origin. And, again, I cite Dr. Erika Fuchs as one of the greatest examples of this - and she made a living modifying Carl Barks!

Glad you enjoyed SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP. You can find posts-of-praise for it throughout this Blog. You MUST read the Flintstones and Jetsons issues someday. They are wonderful!

By your description, it sounds as if your club ordered IDW’s second Uncle Scrooge Trade Paperback. It collects IDW’s UNCLE SCROOGE # 4-6. You’ll miss both Carl Barks AND me, as I was in 1, 2, 3, 7, 10 – and upcoming 11. But you will get some great stuff, including a story translated by Thad and my favorite ("Blueprint") cover by Jonathan.

Joe Torcivia said...


I WISH we had weekly Disney comics over here! Too bad for us, and good for our European friends!

Was Scooby Doo Team Up #14 Aquaman or The Flash? Either way, I expect great things – and hope we don’t lose this wonderful title to the new direction.

And, of course, thanks again and always for directing Casty to this humble Blog.

Jon Gray said...

I like duck and mouse comics and wanna draw em too.


Luke B said...

Joe, I think the look of the new Flintstones book is more based on allowing Amanda Conner (a popular artist who's been heavily involved with the characters of Harley Quinn and Power Girl over the past few years) to draw the characters in her style. I suppose the thinking is that you get the Flintstones fans and the Conner fans... but I think this is a case of the match between character and style just not working.

Translation is certainly an interesting process. I've been mostly happy with the work you and others have done at IDW, thought on a couple of rare (rare I say!) occasions I've thought a pun or reference was too far of a reach. I think you all know how to modulate, too - more jokey for a wacky story and more grounded for a story that's more grounded. It's important to remember that Donald and Scrooge and Mickey are American characters that have all been somewhat modified for foreign audiences, so it's actually essential for some modification on their way back to our shores in order for the characters to just seem like themselves. When I think of the difficulties in translation I think of another European comic: Asterix. In Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge's translations they have to take a series loaded to the gills with specifically French references and puns and they have to - somehow, some way - find references and puns that make sense in the English language to replace them all. The fact that they accomplish this is practically a miracle, and speaks to their abilities not just as translaters, but as writers. Translating literature or even subtitles for foreign language movies and TV shows has to some degree be rewriting them because the differences between languages mean a straight translation just won't sound (or 'read') good. For another example: the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West has been translated into English several times, and in recent decades this sprawling work has been translated faithfully and unedited more than once. Despite this, many people who know both Chinese and English think and earlier, abridged translation by Arthur Waley is somehow more accurate. The reason is that Waley was a great writer and poet himself, and while he often wasn't literal in his translation he captured the spirit of the original.

Oh, and Joe: you "do not particularly care for" Japanese animation, but have you watched any of the Studio Ghibli films? I know many who don't care for anime in general that still love them, especially the ones directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the 'Walt Disney of Japan' (Kind of an odd fit: he's less of a wide-ranging business/cultural visionary and more of a down in the trenches animator - but I didn't come up with the nickname!). I'm a bit of an evangelical about these films and always recommend them. If you give one a try, try Porco Rosso, as it's a tribute to old Hollywood adventure with a Bogart-esque protagonist. Watch it with the French audio option, as Jean Reno plays the lead, and I think Reno is more Bogart than Michael Keaton (who's serviceable in the English language version).

Sergio Goncalves said...

You MUST read the Flintstones and Jetsons issues someday. They are wonderful!"


"By your description, it sounds as if your club ordered IDW’s second Uncle Scrooge Trade Paperback. It collects IDW’s UNCLE SCROOGE # 4-6. You’ll miss both Carl Barks AND me, as I was in 1, 2, 3, 7, 10 – and upcoming 11."

Aw, man!

"But you will get some great stuff, including a story translated by Thad and my favorite ("Blueprint") cover by Jonathan."

Whoo-hoo! The infamous blueprint cover! Can't wait!

Sorry to keep beating a dead horse, but I just want to add one more thing on localization. I am totally for it, and let me expand on my comments on that Bugs Bunny comic book to give further support to your, Thad's, and Clapton's comments. Not that y'all need support, but this example, I think, perfectly illustrates what you've all been talking about. The first story in that Brazilian Portuguese comic book is about Bugs Bunny attempting to inherit a ship from the recently deceased captain Jonas Coelho. He sees an ad in a storefront saying that this law office is hoping for a relative of the deceased captain to show up and claim the ship. Now, "Coelho" is a common Portuguese surname. It also happens to be the Portuguese word for "rabbit." Thus, Bugs, unaware that Jonas Coelho was a man, assumes that he was a rabbit. And, since "we rabbits are all related to one another," he sets out to lay claim to the ship. Hilarity ensues, as you can imagine. The thing is, how would you translate this into English such that it would still be funny? It can't be done. I mean, who ever heard of a human with the last name "Rabbit" or "Bunny?" One would have to come up with an entirely different premise for who this captain was and why Bugs wants his ship. The English translation, then, would have to be a vastly different story. Another example from this story: the lawyers who run the aforementioned law office are called Brito, Broca, and Broma. "Brito" is a Portuguese surname, "Broca" means "drill," and "Broma" means "joke." Again, it's hilarious, but it doesn't work in English. Thus, they'd need to be given names like... I don't know... Bo, Barry, and Burly. Yeah, that would work great. I wonder how I came up with that... :)

Joe Torcivia said...

Not only are you “ CONTRIBUTING!!!”, Jon… but you are READING MY BLOG! Hallelujah!

Joe Torcivia said...


In truth, Amanda Conner “redesigned” Harley Quinn from the Bruce Timm character we know and love. But, we EXPECT some differences between the “Mainstream DC Universe” and the “Animated DC Universe”, so I have no issue with that. “Mainstream Batman and The Joker” don’t look like Bruce Timm’s versions, so why should Harley Quinn?

And, HARLEY QUINN may be the only “Mainstream” ongoing DC title still on my reserve list, as noted HERE.

But that doesn’t mean that Conner should have carte blanche in redesigning The Flintstones, a property that has (those darned live-action movies aside) maintained a certain and specific look since 1960! What happens if she decides to leave the title? Does Kelley Jones (a favorite on Batman in the ‘90s) get to redesign them next? Does LOBO’s Simon Bisley? If it’s really only to suit Amanda Conner, that’s WAAAY too much freedom to give any one artist!

I wouldn’t even want to see ‘em by Sergio Aragones, as amusing as that might be! They looked perfectly fine by Scott Jeralds in that wonderful issue of SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP (and so did the Scooby characters), so why the arbitrary change for the sake of change?

When I say that I am not particularly well-versed in European properties, that would include such classics as Tintin and Asterix, though I’ve heard nothing but good things about either. There’s just so much leisure time, alas, and mine is primarily spent among Disney, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, and DC Comics properties – and more older TV shows and movies than I can mention.

What you say about Asterix is fascinating! It would seem to support my position on translating perfectly! Write for your audience – but with respect for the characters! Have French folks, in any notable way, ever taken exception to this? Or is this just a Disney comic book phenomenon?

Japanese animation has simply never been my cup of tea. Even back in the days of SPEED RACER and KIMBA THE WHITE LION, I vastly preferred cartoons that looked “less strangely designed” and spoke with the voices of Mel Blanc and Daws Butler. So, no… I’ve never seen any Studio Ghibli films.

However, as you can see among the back posts at this Blog, Humphrey Bogart is a HUGE favorite of mine, and anything that evokes Bogart is worth a look-see! Is it on YouTube?

Joe Torcivia said...


Bo, Barry, and Burly? Yeah, I wonder, too..

That “infamous blueprint cover” is just loaded with jokes and gags – everywhere you look! I LOVE it! It is Mr. Gray’s most enjoyable piece of work, artistically! …As much as I love his stuff, that’s really saying something! …And, we have evidence that he reads my Blog (above). That’s just a long-running joke between us!

Of course, reading actual Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge (…and to a MUCH lesser extent, my translations) can just remain a goal to shoot for! :-)

That Bugs Bunny story is a PERFECT example of what we have sometimes been called upon to do! It’s a great bit in its native language – but would have to be completely replaced to work somewhere else. Some story elements are simply untranslatable – and to approach them literally would just stop a story cold!

Again, that doesn’t mean you don’t treat the characters with respect in that replacement dialogue. I always do, being a lifelong fan!

…And, the last thing I’d ever want Bugs Bunny saying to me is: “Of course, you know… This means war!”

Clapton said...

Jon Grey:
That was the most inpirational comment I have ever read/heard. It's even more inspirational than Rocky's "If I Can Change You Can Change" speech at the end of Rocky 4 (LINK: No wonder Stallone got a golden globe his epic speach makes Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin of 80s era yes proud (
Okay I apolgise for the sarcasm and horrible 80s refrences (though I actually do like rabin era yes and no I don't care if you judge me. But Rocky 4 really is garbage) but yes duck and mouse comics are good. And I really wish they'd let you draw them. That Mickey story you started looked really, really good. It's a shame and a sin they're not publishing it, though I know it has more to do with budget than will.

Clapton said...

Having read my orignal response to your comment, I think I let my aggrivation for other people who discussed the loclazation issue in a less polite way blind me from the fact that the way you talked about sparked an interusting conversation.
Please don't allow my slight aggrivation to prevent you from returning back here. You may also want to become a blogger user too so I don't mix you up with any other "anons" in the future. I understand wanting to keep your identity private, that's why I go by the user name "Clapton" not my real name. (Sorry guys I know you're disapointed but I'm not the real Eric Clapton.)
That said I chose Clapton because he actually has some famous ties to comic books. What ties... well, I'd like to see if Joe was aware of this before I answer ;)

Luke B said...


No, not even the -mostly- celebrated Asterix translations have escaped criticisms from French-speaking Asterix purists. I'm afraid you'll never be safe.

Porco Rosso is certainly not on Youtube: the Ghibli films are distributed by Disney here in the states - and you know how litigious they can be!

I grew up on Speed Racer reruns, and once I was in my 'tween' years anime exploded into American pop culture, so it never had a chance to seem 'strangely designed,' because I was so used to it. Ghibli films look less stereotypically anime-ish, though. Visually, I feel they borrow more from much older Japanese art, European comics/animation, and just generally more drawn from life and less stylized. Of course, when we talk about the traditional anime look we're talking about the style pioneered by Osamu Tezuka (Kimba, Astro Boy), and who were two of his main inspirations when creating that style? Why, it was Floyd Gottfredson and Carl Barks! All roads lead back to those guys!

... and personally, I'd love to see Aragones on The Flintstones! I understand the desire to be somewhat on model, but I think there's a happy medium that can be reached, and, as something of an artist myself I sympathize: I wouldn't be able to draw 'on model' to save my life!

Joe Torcivia said...


That’s very big of you to say that! Passions do get the best of us sometimes, and it’s good of you to recognize that. Seriously!

And, honestly… I don’t know what famous ties you may have to comic books, and… Waitaminnit! You’re NOT the REAL Eric Clapton?! I’ve been hoodwinked! :-)

Joe Torcivia said...


You write: “ No, not even the -mostly- celebrated Asterix translations have escaped criticisms from French-speaking Asterix purists. I'm afraid you'll never be safe.”

Sigh! I’d best just resign myself, then… I’ll really have to duck (pardon) when UNCLE SCROOGE # 11 comes out this week! Not all my fault, he cries while being pelted with sponges and marshmallows!

And, I guess I’ll have to catch up with Porco Rosso and Ghibli films without any “free samples”.

“I grew up on Speed Racer reruns, and once I was in my 'tween' years anime exploded into American pop culture, so it never had a chance to seem 'strangely designed,' because I was so used to it.”

Now there’s a statement that could open the door to lots of interesting conversation – particularly as I enjoy hearing the stories of how others have developed their particular tastes.

As a child of the sixties, the gold-standard in animation were the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies produced by Warner Bros. (Disney cartoons were not on TV.) The gold-standard for Made-for-TV-Cartoons (even if I didn’t fully grasp the concept) were the Hanna-Barbera series.

There were other TV cartoons I mostly liked, “Rocky and his Friends” and Roger Ramjet (To be sure!), “King Leonardo and his Short Subjects”, “Tennessee Tuxedo”, the “Made-for-TV Popeyes”, and “UPA’s Dick Tracy”. Liked the voices, but they were not as nicely designed as the H-B series.

Then there was the “weird looking and sounding stuff”. That would have been Speed Racer, Astro Boy, Kimba, Gigantor (Loved the theme song!) and the like. They just looked and sounded “too different” for me to truly warm up to. And that, contrasted with your growing up when Anime wasn’t nearly as unusual, would make all the difference!

It’s kinda like when Thad Komorowski and I discuss Paul Murry. In my time, Paul Murry was the best artist drawing Mickey Mouse, and he became my “standard”, not unlike what I describe above.

To Thad, he’s a minor footnote (to put it kindly) in a world where Floyd Gottfredson reprints abound, and newer stories are far more dynamically drawn by Casty, Romano Scarpa, Giorgio Cavazzano, and others!

The time you are introduced to something makes all the difference in the world, and that’s a topic of endless fascination for me! …Meaning that someone could actually “like” Amanda Conner’s Flintstones, if they’d never seen Ed Benedict’s or Harvey Eisenberg’s! Imagine that!

Clapton said...

Ok so in 1966 Clapton had just left the yardbirds after disagreeing with the pop direction the band was taking. In retrospect this would look pretty hypocritical for Clapton since he would later churn out those two mid-80s pop albums produced by Phil Collins (though a lot of the songs on those albums were good, especially Forever Man, it was pop never the less). Anyways Clapton decided to join John Mayall's Blues Breakers. In this band live act he gained a reputation as a brilliant blues guitarist to the point that on his one album with the band he is not considered to be just a member of the band but a special guest that required a "With Eric Clapton" on the album cover.

Here's where we get to the comic part. So on the day the band were taking the photo for the album cover Clapton was in a pissy mood and didn't feel like posing for the camera so instead he whipped out his favorite magazine, the British comic publication "The Beano" and had a good read as everyone else tried their hardest to look like the coolest thing since sliced bread. This album was very well received and gave Clapton his nickname "God" as well as universal praise. With the album's success so centered on Clapton people began calling the album "The Beano Album" over it's actual title "Blues Breakers" and remains to be the album's unofficial wildly recognized title. Thusly forever tying Slowhand with the comic book.

And to tie this back to Disney in a MTV interview from 1986 Clapton stated that his favorite cartoons from his youth were the original Ub Iwerks Mickey Mouse cartoon because they were constantly moving. I'll try and find that clip for ya.

Sorry for getting EXTREMELY off topic. Here's the album cover:

Joe Torcivia said...

HERE’S “Our Clapton’s” link to the “Real Clapton”!

Great stuff! Now, how ‘bout YOU pose with an IDW UNCLE SCROOGE!

Elaine said...

For what it's worth: I don't like typical anime style either, and I love the Miyazaki Studio Ghibli movies. I can nearly guarantee they can be found in your friendly neighborhood library! Or alternatively, befriend some feminist parents who have young girls. They may own all the Miyazaki movies--his movies are notable for their female protagonists. Kiki, the young sisters in My Neighbor Totoro, the girl lead in Spirited Away, Nausicaä, Arrietty....all characters I would want a daughter to get to know well. Long before Rey (or even Buffy!), Nausicaä was the first female "Chosen One" I ever encountered on the big screen. Also, the Studio Ghibli movies way outdo Disney animated movies in the depiction of natural beauty. With the possible exception of Fantasia...

Deb said...

I think you, David Gerstein, Thad, Jon and the rest do a good job with your scripts. If I can read a comic and spend more time just enjoying it than wondering "what in the world did that mean?", I consider that a well localized script.

It would be interesting to see a Jon Gray drawn and written story. I've enjoyed his covers and scripts, especially on the Zodiac Stone story. Perhaps one day we will see it happen.

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you for the kind words on our work, Deb!

And yes, I hope Jon gets his chance to write and draw original material… provided he permanently loses the exclamation “Great Squeak!” from any script he may produce! :-)

Joe Torcivia said...


Your last recommendation of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was a good one, so I guess I ought to at least give this a look. Oh, to have more free time…

Clapton said...

As for japanese comics, I especially enjoy the orginal Dragon Ball manga. Funny enough I actually wish that it had a more acurate translation because 1) Unlike Disney Comics, which have always been made by numerous people interpreting pre excisiting characters, Dragon Ball is the work of one man. And 2) Unlike Asterix, Dragon Ball does not cotain refrences of it's local country that could not be explained in a footnote.

Interusting how diffrent works require diffrent loclazations process. That said the transaltion of Dragon Ball we got now is good enough.

Anonymous said...

"Do know that I value and appreciate your contributions to this discussion": I'm glad to read that. This message, and the fact that you brought new content, suggst that maybe I could add other things to the discussion.

You said you agree with my idea about the difference between American and European mentality, good to see this idea hasn't been called offensive. I am not that big fan of Japanese animation either, but for the few shows that I watch (or used to), I noticed that Americans usually rescript the whole dialogues/rescore the music/change the names/edit the images etc. (thakfully in some cases the European version are based on the original versions instead of the American version, but alas sometimes this is not true). This attitue has been universally been panned by fans, but of course I won't make the comparison with our case, since the IDW team obviously cares about these comics much more than the dub writers of those shows. And of course I know Americans sometimes dub or subtitle movies.

I don't buy Uack!, so I don't know which explanation was given for the retranslation, but I know that the loosely translated version of "The Billion Dollar Safari" left many people unsatisfied. I don't know if the same thing would be done for Murry, Strobl, and Bradbury, but I don't think there are many cases of stories with questionable translations.

Although my favourite Disney authors are two Americans (Barks and Rosa), I don't buy American comics (as I don't live in the USA) except when they are translated and published here, so for the moment I only now your work through the entries of this and other blogs I follow. I don't know about the future, though...

Good to learn that you are of 100% Italian heritage. Can you speak Italian? Well, I guess so, since you translate Italian comics into English.

About Gold Key Beagle Boys: thanks for the explanation. I guess there's nothing particular about them, though: just how much the Beagle Boys are semi-pathetic neer-do-wells rather than inventive and ruthless varies from author to author, end even the same author can vary it from story to story. Maybe the only real change is that they only used three Beagle Boys, which, seems to have influenced some later auhors (too bad: I liked when there were a little more of them like in the original Barks stories).

I am puzzled by what you said about Duckburg being located in Italy in Italian stories: this is not true, as Italian stories (and Italian translation of American stories) has always depicted Duckburg as being in the USA. I know some European countries have changed the location of Duckburg (which I don't like), and I strongly APPROVE that, if one of those stories is translated into English, Duckburg is in te USA again. The edits I don't like are those that change the characters' motivations, and things like that, which are different from simply coming up with a smart language like Dr. Erika Fuchs, or from correcting mistakes like Duckburg in the USA, or from compensating an untranslatable pun with another one of different meaning. But that's just me.

As for political correctness... are Americans Disney comics still at the same level of 20 years ago, when the guns of Don Rosa's characters where changed into pointed fingers and nonsense like that? I hope not, though if this is the case I know it has to do with the editor and not with the creative team which is made of fans.

No problem, and thanks for saying that. Indeed, I too think this turned out into a fun and interesting discussion, even though I wished I had made a few comparison to make my point clearer. But I already talked (written) too much, so I'll shut up for now.

Take care (all of you), and I hope someday you Americans can have newly produced Disney comics in addition to translations (however they are done)!

Joe Torcivia said...


If there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s passion for this subject. And, there’s no doubt you have it!

“ Although my favourite Disney authors are two Americans (Barks and Rosa), I don't buy American comics (as I don't live in the USA) except when they are translated and published here, so for the moment I only now your work through the entries of this and other blogs I follow. I don't know about the future, though...”

Barks and Rosa, as well as Floyd Gottfredson, should be among everyone’s favorite authors. They certainly are among mine! Of those currently active, I’d easily say it was Casty! (Though I love Romano Scarpa!) My greatest experience in Disney comics scriptwriting would very likely be on the one Casty story I got to do for MICKEY MOUSE # 6! I sure hope to have that opportunity again! As for my work, which I hesitate to even mention in the same paragraph as Barks, Rosa, Gottfredson, and Casty, I DO hope you become acquainted with it someday. Particularly IDW’s MICKEY MOUSE # 6 and UNCLE SCROOGE # 7 – and the translation work of ALL the “IDW Core Four”. I think you’ll find that, even when we embellish, we do it with the proper respect for the characters and our audience!

I’m sure you know Carl Barks’ “Hawaiian” story, from Dell’s UNCLE SCROOGE # 4. That was the quintessential “Terrible Beagle Boys”! The “Gold Key Beagle Boys” could never have been in that one!

As for Duckburg being in Italy or Europe, I refer to the Italian story I worked on for IDW’s DONALD DUCK # 4. In it, Donald goes on a quest to Tibet – by WALKING THERE! Since he could not do that, if Duckburg were located on the Pacific Coast of the United States, some suitable alteration had to be made for this to work.

The political correctness issue is a sticky one. Without speaking for anyone but myself, I’ll simply say that it is an ever-changing situation, and I feel we take the best possible care to uphold the standards of Disney and IDW. Sorry if that sounds non-committal, but I approach my work with a general idea of what is and is not allowable and negotiate the rest literally as I go. …But, I think you’ve got that figured out.

Joe Torcivia said...


Dragon Ball’s been around in this country for a long time! Has only ONE individual translated it for all that time? Good or bad, that sounds like quite a feat!

And don’t look now, but I think you’ve distilled this entire thread down to five words: “…different works require different localizations”!

Clapton said...

Numerous diffrent people have made diffrent translations of Dragon Ball but the orignal manga was written, drawn, inked, colored and created by Akira Toriyama (I'm not even gonna try to spell that right.) That's what I was referring to with my "One Man" comment.
Now as for the Dragon Ball cartoon we have a perfect subtitled version of that avalaible but not for the orignal comic.

scarecrow33 said...

I can see where it's necessary for a translator to deviate now and then from the literal meaning of the original, to "localize" a story, if by "localize" we mean to make it fit the sensibilities of the majority of the targeted readers. As a fan of Asterix, I have read stories in translation, but I have also managed to collect a volume or two in the original French. There are gags that are hilarious in French that just simply wouldn't translate well into English, because they depend on certain idioms of the French language. So the translators have to do some creative re-scripting to make a similar gag that would work in English. As also with the Bugs Bunny example given above, there are certain linguistic limitations that make a funny gag in one language not even possible in a different language. So translators have to deal not only with employing their inventiveness to cover logistical problems--such as traveling overland from Duckburg to Tibet--but also to make the dialogue and the gags fit the language and the culture into which the story is being presented.

All of this is simply to affirm, as if affirmation were even needed, that your efforts, Joe, and those of your fellow-translators are pretty major tasks with amazing hurdles to leap over, and being able to insert gags appropriate to the panels and to the story situation, keeping in mind the general sensibilities of one's readership, and also occasionally inserting one's personal touches in one's work without sacrifice to the material--nay, to its enhancement--is nothing less than a Herculean feat.

So hats off to the IDW translators who are bringing us not only new-to-US stories but also are enriching them with their unique gifts. Thanks for a job well done--and thanks in advance for what lies ahead.

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Scarecrow!

Your words really mean a lot to me!

It’s an honor to do this, and a greater honor to elicit such a wonderful reaction from you and folks like you!

TheKKM said...

Wow, when I opened Mr. Torcivia's blog and suddenly saw a huge comment number on this post, I wondered what exactly was so controversial about this issue! Instead, I find a nice discussion about localization, which I know is a theme Mr. Torcivia'd rather not discuss if only due to the repetitiveness of said discussion, but hey, hope no-one minds if I jump in here and throw yet another hat into the fray :V

quick disclaimer where I stand, as I wrote before here, I
A) Accept the need for localization for the local audience, and the passion with which the dialoguers do it
B) Often disagree with the final execution, however
C) Resigned myself that I don't matter in this anyways since I'll just read the stories with a more accurate translation in Portuguese

Regardless, I'd like to point out that there seems to have been a false dichotomy appearing in this discussion, and that that is "either literal dry translation or modern-style dialoguing", which I feel is a bit unfair because even in the context of Duck Comics there should be more shades than that.
For an example, in the comics here in Portugal right now, there's lots of little localization touches added- established character names are used, new character names are changed if dependent on a pun or on another character's name (IE a character named Pippo-Pippo won't continue being named Pippo-Pippo but Pateta-Pateta [which btw literally means something like "fool-fool" which I love]); currency's changed into Euros (unless the setting makes no sense of it, like a story specifically in the Wild West; I know Duckburg would use Dollars, but for the sake of ease of reading, you know), character accents are applied where it makes sense (we use a lot less accented writing than in English, so, say, in terms of the spelling of the words, our Goofy, our Pete, our Donald all speak the same; our Hard Haid Moe does speak the equivalent redneck, though, and in a story that called for an island of people speaking mumbling their vowels because they were so stingy they didn't want to waste them, we applied a literal regional Portuguese accent that does just that).

Not just that, but the dialogue's clearly rewritten to keep as close to the original information as possible, while flowing more naturally in Portuguese (if sometimes oddly verbose, which I don't mind as much as I figure kids might as well learn new words from somewhere and I remember doing just that as a kid with comics like these).

Considering all this, I'd say we're a notch above "cut and dry translated dialogue", but we're still nowhere near what's being done in the US.

Not trying to establish a comparison of quality here, just trying to point out that the discussion does seem to me sometimes to head into an "either-or" that's really not needed :P

Abraham Lincoln said...

Went to the comic shop today and, once again, IDW has bamboozled me into not leaving a comic behind, between Heymans and Van Horn features and the mandatory Uncle Scrooge.

I haven't read anything yet, but I've opened them all up so I might as well go ahead and comment on the wonderfully enticing art on the opening page of "Scrooge's Ark Lark." It may have to be the first I dive in to. Per usual (at least when I remember), I'll come back with some thoughts on the issue and my favorite pun for the next blog post!

Joe Torcivia said...


I understand your point, and agree that there are many shades of gray between "either literal dry translation or modern-style dialoguing". But I think that our audience, over the years, has seen definite examples of both (from different publishers and in different venues) that a natural and clear preference has emerged.

I’d also have to say that lately I’ve hewed closer to the original stories (though not quite in the direct and literal sense) because the stories I’ve been assigned are so very good in their original form. I was once more inclined to “make up stuff that wasn‘t there”, but now more often than not, I just add in-character jokes and make the dialogue more “snappy” for an audience that enjoys and expects it.

I might emphasize something a little more, when I feel it needs to be, such as Scrooge’s “transformation” toward the end of the lead story in UNCLE SCROOGE # 11, but that was there to begin with. I just “pushed” it a little to bring it more in line with the treasured “toughie” characterization of Scrooge put forth by Barks and Rosa. No spoilers but, if you’ve read the issue, you’ll know what I mean. I expect to post on this next, anyway.

As with our “Anonymous” friend, I’d also be interested in your opinions, if you were to read (for example) MICKEY MOUSE # 6, UNCLE SCROOGE # 7 – and now UNCLE SCROOGE # 11. I know they’re not easy to get hold of, but I’d like to think that you’d enjoy them!

Joe Torcivia said...


Well, as usual, the clock is ticking. But, this time, it’s ticking against your comic shop!

Glad to see your comments, whenever they arrive!

Achille Talon said...

Hey, lookit what I found. Looks like a panel from Love Is Never Having To Say You're Sentenced has become the page image for the TVtrope page about the "Reformed Villain" trope! And how 'bout that.

Joe Torcivia said...



I will most likely give it a post of its own, for greater exposure!

HERE is this amazing link!