Friday, July 28, 2017

On Sale July 19, 2017: DuckTales # 0 from IDW.



Make like your life is a hurricane, and blow to your local comic book shop!  Ride a race car, laser, or air-o-plane, if need be, and pick up a copy of DuckTales # 0 from IDW.  

Be a "duck-blur", or you might miss out... and never get that all-important chance to "solve a mystery", much less "rewrite history"!  You wouldn't want that, would you?  
Hmmm... I guess NOT! 

In it, you'll find two (Duck) tales of Donald Duck and reimagined versions of his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, with all four ducks redesigned in what has become something of a contemporary standard angular-distorted style. 

The creators behind these stories may seem unfamiliar to regular readers of the "traditional" IDW Disney comic books, as DuckTales appears to have emerged from alternative system vs. what we've become accustomed to in the more classic titles such as UNCLE SCROOGE, DONALD DUCK, and MICKEY MOUSE - but they look on track to become fan-favorites in their own right.   

Beyond the redesign and reimagining, two things immediately leap out at me.  

One: Uncle Scrooge McDuck, the undisputed star of the 1980s incarnation of DuckTales is completely absent from this issue.  
Forget "Waldo" (WHO?), Where's SCROOGE? 
Perhaps that's why it's a "Zero Issue"?  We're starting off with Donald and the boys and, just as in the classic series AND in the Dell comic books of the 1940s, Scrooge will be introduced in what will be "Issue # 1" proper? 

Yeah, yeah! We're "astonished" too, Scrooge! Let's move on! 

Indeed, if I may digress, I will refer to the previous series as "DuckTales Classic", and this series as "New DuckTales" for the sake of clear and easy differentiation.  ...Wonder if that'll catch on like "Core Four"?  
"DuckTales Classic"
"New DuckTales"  ...You all cool with it?

Two:  At the bottom of Page One, we are faced with this.. 

Wait!  Let's dolly-in a little closer...

Liiii-tlllle clooooser...  Almost there...

THAT'S IT, STOP!  

"UNCLE" Donald?!  "UNCLE" Donald?! "UNCLE"?! 

Um, did Donald join the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement when we weren't looking?  



It's not as if he's never been a secret agent before...

...Plenty o' times, in fact! 
Elegant...

...And not-so-elegant!  

So, even if he HAS somehow become an "U.N.C.L.E.", has he also become... an "UNCLE"?

He's been "UNCA" Donald, ever since Clarence "Ducky" Nash first spoke for the boys.  Presumably, because that's how audiences may have heard it through Nash's "Duck-Speak". 



Al Taliaferro carried it over to the printed page...

...Where it was furthered by Carl Barks and others...

...To the present day! (By William Van Horn)  

Now, I've had my fun with this "Uncle stuff", but the fact is that, at this writing, I have not yet seen "New DuckTales", and honestly do not know HOW the nephews speak.  Perhaps they ACTUALLY DO say "Uncle Donald"!  

If so, then the comic is accurately referencing the show - and that's a very good thing.  If not, I guess we'll all discuss it later!

...And, hey!  Added bonus!  Donald, here, looks kinda like the way Al Hubbard drew him in the sixties!  How 'bout that!  

Now, that you've been briefed on what to expect from "New DuckTales" (at least as far as its "Zero Issue"), let's move on to the stories!  

"Big Trouble at Little Lake" 10 pages.  

Donald is operating a small tour boat over and across "Little Lake", to a small island and back to port.  



Check out the enthusiastic passenger...
"I love puns!?"  ..."I LOVE PUNS"!???  

Ladies and gentlemen, I can hardly believe my own eyes... but it's a SURPRISE CAMEO by yours truly, Joe Torcivia!  ...Though I don't wear my pants quite that "high-up"!  

Gosh, I don't even KNOW these people... but, it's really nice to find they're fans!  

Back to what passes here for reality... Just remember what happens to those "small tour boats", especially if they're only out for a (Ahem!) Three Hour Tour!
"...A Thr-eee Houu-wer Touuur!"

"The Nephews started playing rough!  The tiny ship was tossed..."

...Well, you know! 

And, so it's up to Donald and the boys to get themselves and their passengers off the island, facing some unexpected deterrents to swimming or rafting.  
No spoilers on how they do it!  

I am happy to say that I am VERY IMPRESSED with this story... as a DONALD DUCK story! 


All the classic comics elements are there... Donald is good at something until fate or ego lays him low, a rivalry between Don and the boys, and even an absurd secondary character to liven things up.  



And, at a length of TEN PAGES, this is a nice contemporary version of of the immortal "ten-pagers" Carl Barks created to lead-off decades worth of issues of WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES!  ...Well done!  


I hope this is an indication of the type of "Donald and Nephews story" that "New DuckTales" will deal in.  They can't go wrong, with a few like this! 

"The Repeating Revenge of the Screaming Duck!" 10 pages.  

How can you not love a title like THAT!  



Donald is fixing up an old hotel for a grand reopening, while the boys cut-up out of boredom...

Until they find an "Alfred Hitchcock parody character" who's been holed up INSIDE the hotel for ten years trying to complete his movie masterpiece... completely alone!  Whoooo!

The boys try to assist the demented director, and inadvertently involve Donald in a sequence of slapstick events!  

You would think, as a near-lifelong Hitchcock fan, that I would absolutely love this story... and, actually, I DO... for its FIRST SEVEN PAGES!  

After that, it veers off in a direction that few comic book stories have ever been able to properly pull off... that of near-wordless sustained slapstick action.  
Yes, Dewey... Comic book slapstick IS a sticky-wicket, isn't it? 

The comic book is a printed page of still images, and it has been long proven that "near-silent slapstick", while a successful laugh-getter in animation, rarely works "as-such" on the static comic page.  

That's why so many famous animated characters, such as Donald Duck...

...Tom and Jerry...

...And The Road Runner were modified to become more verbal, and less "slapstick-y" for comic books!

A scant few, very talented artists like the great Harvey Eisenberg could pull off slapstick - not just successfully, but magnificently!  As seen here, from TOM AND JERRY # 87 (1951).  

And, to offer a Disney example, enjoy these energetically charged panels by the great Romano Scarpa, from "The Bodacious Butterfly Trail", in IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 28 (2017).


However, in a comic book, even animated-style art as great as these examples still needs dialogue to fully carry it off.  ...Something to READ, or else you're just "looking at pictures"!

I will reproduce the entirety of pages 8-9 of this story as-is... more or less "wordless slapstick", and let you evaluate it for yourself.  I say, it would make for a good cartoon, but not necessarily a good comic book.  What say you?  


Click to enlarge, for additional detail! 



I'm not at all sure what the gratuitous Jack Nicholson parody at the bottom of this page adds to the story.  Perhaps it works better in animation.  

And, if you're going to "hit a door", you can probably do it funnier, more painfully, or both, than it is done here, in the weakest panel of the entire sequence.  



Again, your mileage on this matter, as they say, will vary!  

Once this sequence has passed, and Mallard Hitchcock yells "CUT!", we return to a more "normal" comic book story, with a good ending that I will not spoil!  (...Do I ever?)  



Overall, the slapstick sequence notwithstanding, I enjoyed DuckTales # 0!  It offers two good Donald Duck stories steeped in the Carl Barks tradition, lively art, and great coloring!  

I look forward to both future issues of this comic book series, and to the "New DuckTales" animated series itself!  

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 get a spirited discussion going in the Comments Section... because a dynamic Comments Section such as ours needs dialogue, just as much as an extended series of sequential panels of slapstick!  ...See you there!    

42 comments:

Debbie Anne said...

In your review, you glossed over two of the biggest changes to the whole Donald/Huey, Dewey and Louie dynamic. Donald has become a much more overprotective parent, and each nephew has a distinct look and personality. Huey is the leader and the only Junior Woodchuck (!), Louie is the conman of the group (maybe he gets his desire for money from the McDuck side of the family), and Dewey...really just seems to be there to complete the trio (at least so far, anyways). I assumed that the Nephews calling Donald "Uncle" rather than "Unca'" was a subtle way of aging the boys up a few years.
Slapstick has been done masterfully in comics by folks like Al Taliaferro in the Donald Duck newspaper strips, but it does tend to read too fast without dialogue (see "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold" and note that future Donald Duck adventures had much more dialogue and narration to enable far more complex storytelling.
Of the two stories in this issue, the first one is the better of the two, while the second feels like something reworked from an old Egmont script that would have been drawn by Vicar and been filler in a Disney Comics issue of Donald Duck Adventures (but it is far from the worst story I've read, though). Hopefully, we'll get to see Uncle Scrooge, Launchpad and Webby soon.

Elaine said...

Both of the stories were pretty good ten-pagers. I thought the first was overall better than the second, though the second had some good lines of dialogue. "Please, sir, may I have some...line!" made me laugh. It was striking that the two stories ended so similarly, with Donald running away from a job offer!

The differentiation of the nephews is probably going to be the main thing that sets New DuckTales apart from the Duckworld that is real to me personally. I can enjoy, but can never take seriously, a Duckburg where Huey is the only triplet who is a Junior Woodchuck! (This is pointed out in both the stories here.) Still looking forward both to the animated episodes (whenever/however I get to watch them!) and to the comics, though. It looks like Scrooge will show up in DT #1, and we'll get some female characters in the comics this fall, too. I like what we've seen of New Webby in the video clips, and will enjoy seeing her in comics as well. I'm very pleased that we'll be seeing brand-new Duck stories in American comics, even if they are set in an alternate Duckworld.

Joe Torcivia said...

Deb:

If I “glossed over” the nephews… er, um… “reverse-homogenizing” (…Did I just make that up?), the reasons may have been two-fold.

1: That post took me several hours to create as it was, trying to say quite a lot about many different aspects of the book, and what I presume the series will be – because so much about what I now call “New DuckTales” is very different from what I will refer to as “DuckTales Classic”, as well as "traditional" Duck comics.

2: Outside of Huey’s… er, um… “mono-Woodchuckiness” (…Did I just make that up, too?), and Louie being a chip off the old McDuck block, I didn’t feel certain that I got the full-feel for their uncharacteristic individuality. Just as you also note: “ Dewey...really just seems to be there to complete the trio (at least so far, anyways).”.

So, I covered it with the accurate but vaguely all-purpose phrase: “…reimagined versions of his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie…”, leaving the specifics of that reimagining to the individual, based upon what he or she could observe by reading the comic, or this Blog post.

“Slapstick has been done masterfully in comics by folks like Al Taliaferro in the Donald Duck newspaper strips, but it does tend to read too fast without dialogue (see "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold" and note that future Donald Duck adventures had much more dialogue and narration to enable far more complex storytelling.”

Exactly, as I illustrate with both Harvey Eisenberg and Romano Scarpa! But, alas, the two slapstick pages I highlight in this issue, are not handled in as “masterful” a way!

In fact, after Donald tumbles off the luggage cart and down the stairs, very awkwardly hitting a door, it’s not all that easy to discern exactly what’s happening in the progression of near-wordless still images.

Refer back to the illustrations… Dewey is making a “spooky-sound” from atop a shelf or high platform, within Don’s sight (if he’d just look up), but Donald (and we readers) “see” that it’s coming from a VENT?

Oh, wait… Donald SEES the vent as a means of ESCAPE. …Didn’t get that, at first. A FRANTIC THOUGHT BALLOON would have better explained it. But, unlike the panel with the “exclamation point”, the vent is suddenly HIGH AND WIDE ENOUGH for Donald to run through… STANDING UP?!

At the top of the next page (first panel) he doesn’t seem to be in the vent AT ALL, indicated by all that bright white space surrounding him. His phone tracker couldn’t have provided THAT MUCH light! Next panel, he’s peering out of a VENT DOOR that (once again) is neither high nor wide enough for him to have run or stood up!

The next two “attempts” at fright gags also don’t work as comic panels, though utilizing quick-cuts in animation would have carried them… and finally the aforementioned “gratuitous Jack Nicholson parody at the bottom of the page”. I’m sorry to say, this entire sequence “doesn’t work as COMICS”.

Funny, what I just wrote in this comment, was going to be in the main post – but, like my “glossing over the nephews’ differences”, I just didn’t make time, or room, enough for it.

In addition, I was also going to reference “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold”, as an example of an extended storyboard that could have also benefited from more dialogue – but it, too, failed to make the original cut. …Man, I sure started out ambitious, didn’t I?

The two-page slapstick sequence is all the more unfortunate, because I really enjoyed 18 out of the issue’s 20 story-content pages, and hope I’ve conveyed that in the post.

Joe Torcivia said...

Elaine:

As most folks know, I was very fond of “DuckTales Classic”, regarding it not only as a long overdue acknowledgement of the invaluable contributions of Carl Barks as the de-facto architect of the Disney comic-book realm – but it was the first GOOD cartoon to appear in WAAAYYY too many years! …Oh, the horrors of seventies thru mid-eighties animation! The horror!

But, when you discuss the inexplicable tendency to set these animated series – both “DuckTales Classic” AND “New DuckTales” in what you nicely, and accurately, describe as an “alternate Duckworld”, therein lies the bugaboo for me.

Why COULDN’T we have an animated series for these characters set in Carl Barks’ continuity?! Wasn’t that what propelled the comics to world-wide popularity, and got Disney to the point of producing an animated series in the first place. I’d go further still, and have it set in a “Barks/Scarpa World”. And, one for Mickey Mouse, set in a “Gottfredson/Murry/Scarpa/Casty World”.

But, that would not seem to be how the animation business works. Indeed, I wonder if even Barks would have been allowed to make the profound changes to the characters created by Walt Disney and his studio, under the more modern system… unless he were an executive, and not a creator.

But, all that is why I really enjoyed the fact that DuckTales # 0 read so much like two Carl Barks Donald Duck Ten-Pagers!

Achille Talon said...

I agree, and apparently so does Warren Spector. He supremely messed up the continuity, but I do believe what he was trying to do with Rightful Owners was to forcefully pull DuckTales and the Barks-Rosa and Italian comics (plus Darkwing Duck) into a single continuity. For all its flaws, I still have a soft spot for the story because of this, and will forever headcanon that Classic DuckTales is not an alternate Duckworld at all. (No such luck with DuckTales 2017. Bah.)

Achille Talon said...

Also, congratulations on your cameo!

Joe Torcivia said...

Achille:

I think that what Warren Spector did (or, some may view it as “TRIED to do”) was both very ambitious and very commendable. Being a “Gold Key Kid of the sixties”, I was thrilled that he even used Moby Duck!

But, perhaps BECAUSE it WAS so ambitious, may have been its undoing. I also don’t mind saying, removed from it by this point in time, that Boom!’s editing (when David Gerstein was not involved) was far from the best editing these characters ever had, and that may have factored into a number of its flaws as well.

Also, at this point, I’m not at all sure of what I think of “New DuckTales”, except that it has so far yielded one excellent, and one pretty good – though flawed, Donald Duck comic book stories. We’ll all have to see where it goes as it unfolds.

Thanks, on the cameo… though they skimped a little on my broad shoulders and handsomely-chiseled features! And I REALLY don’t wear my pants that high! ...But they got that “liking puns thing” down perfectly! :-)

Sergio Goncalves said...

I've read the two slapstick pages five times now. I've tried to understand your point and bring myself to agree with it. But I can't. The "chase" part of the story is funny and enjoyable enough to me.

Maybe it's because I was raised almost entirely on animated cartoons and have only really gotten into comics in recent years, but I can read that sequence and instantly hear Tom and Jerry-style music playing in my head. In contrast, I find Road Runner and Tom and Jerry comic book stories with lots of dialogue rather puzzling. Enjoyable, but puzzling nonetheless.

Could the sequence have been funnier with dialogue? Yes. For instance, it would have been fun if the "monsters" had said things to Donald along the lines of the dialogue you wrote for John D. Rockerduck in "Mummy Fearest."

But the sequence is fine as it is. I'm not sure if an entire ten-pager consisting solely of Road Runner-style slapstick would work well. I think it could, provided the visual gags were funny and interesting enough... But there is no doubt in my mind that two pages work well.

And I think the Jack Nicholson parody is hilarious.

In any case, congratulations on the cameo! It's a testament to, and a just reward for, your hard work. You've accomplished a great deal in the last few years. You now have a trilogy, just like Chuck Jones, and have now been the subject of an inside joke, just like many Golden Age animators. Now you just need to be named a Disney Legend :). Keep at it -- you may be closer to that milestone than you think... Certainly, there is nothing better being done with the classic Disney characters these days than what you, David, Thad, and the rest of the crew at IDW are producing. I really mean that.

Joe Torcivia said...

Sergio:

Thank you so much for those very kind words – on behalf of David, Thad, Jonathan, and myself!

On the matter of Pages 8-9, that’s why I was quick to say: “Again, your mileage on this matter, as they say, will vary!”

I don’t expect everyone to see it as I do, and maybe I *could* simply deposit this matter into that all-purpose, go-to container that is labeled “It’s a Generational Thing!”… but, in this case, I don’t think so.

From your posts here and elsewhere, I know you to be a gentleman of exquisite and discriminating taste. I’m confident in my assumption that you were very likely raised on the same classic (…and GREAT) cartoons as I was. Warner Bros., MGM, and early Hanna-Barbera. There were no Disney cartoons regularly on television during my childhood. I’m also sure that, by “your time”, there were a lot more “lesser” animated things to watch – UGH! – but I’m guessing you primarily gravitated to the same things that I did!

So, I’ll just have to believe that “we simply see this differently”, and advance from there.

I hope I’d made it clear enough, but apologies if I did not, that it was primarily the EXECUTION of these two pages that came up short – and, while the necessity for accompanying dialogue IS essential, it is not necessarily the full reason for the shortcomings.

More that it wasn’t (at least for me) always easy to get a sense of WHAT was going on… that’s where some additional dialogue would have helped, in lieu of seeing the actual images MOVE across your screen, and better “bridge” the continuity of the individual images we have here.

If someone like me, who knows these characters and their comics backward, forward, and upside-down, was puzzled – if even momentarily – than the sequence, as published, was less than successful. Let along the apparent spatial anomalies of the vent, and the ineffectual panel of Donald striking the door.

Dialogue, even if used in an intentionally ludicrous manner, could have firmed-up everything – save that awkward “door hit”.

I didn’t exactly say that the Jack Nicholson parody wasn’t funny, as much as it was a complete non-sequitur. Nothing, before or after, CONNECTED to it! All of this, I maintain, would very likely have worked well in quick-cut-animation… but the comic pages are a slightly different animal, and (in my view, anyway) should be approached as-such… As did Harvey Eisenberg and Romano Scarpa.

…And that’s my view. That you view it differently is great, and why I so enjoy the discussions we have here!

Oh, and honestly I don’t believe I was the subject of an “inside joke” cooked-up by a crew who doesn’t know (…and probably never heard of) me. Maybe if it were by David, Thad, or Jonathan, it might be the case, but not here. I’d call it more of a happy coincidence, and one that I seized-upon for some additional humor in this Blog post. …But, a small part o’ me likes it so much that I’ll keep thinkin’ that way, just for the fun of it!

Drakeborough said...

So, issue #0 came out. I am not surprised by the lack of Scrooge, given that from the trailer of the show we are meant to assume that HDL will meet Scrooge for the first time in the pilot episode (kind of what they did in Rosa's "Life and Times" part 12), and I guess the same will happen in the comic book based on it.

I don't like the changes they made compared to the classic comics, like HDL having differet personalities, but I guess an unfaithful animated adaptation of classic comics is better that noting. Still, the idea of a comic book adaptation of an animated show that is itself the adaptation of a comic book is so... what should I say? Weird?

I agree with you, Joe, when you said:

"Why COULDN’T we have an animated series for these characters set in Carl Barks’ continuity?! Wasn’t that what propelled the comics to world-wide popularity, and got Disney to the point of producing an animated series in the first place."

Fun fact: shortly before the reboot was announced, I had done a mental experiment in which I was plotting, writing, and directing an animate show set in the Duck universe and based on Barks and Rosa. The only rule was that I couldn't use a pen and paper, or even an electronic help, but I got to choose which episodes to adapt, in which order they were going to air, which changes I were going to make to fit the different medium, how to comensate for the fact that each comic has a different lenght, how to handle the continuity, what use I would make of a narrator, etc. Too bad it was all just in my head.

Anyway, was it discussed on this blog already the upcoming secret character that is not really secret because they accidentally revelaed the name before editing it out? Or it's better if we don't talk about it until the news is official for real?

Joe Torcivia said...

Drakeborough:

You write: “I don't like the changes they made compared to the classic comics, like HDL having different personalities, but I guess an unfaithful animated adaptation of classic comics is better that nothing.”

Truth to tell, “DuckTales Classic” was “unfaithful” too, sending Donald off to the Navy, adding the (admittedly great) character of Launchpad as Donald’s more intelligibly-sounding stand-in, giving the Beagle Boys separate looks and personalities (not unlike “New DuckTales’” version of HD&L), etc. Though I feel that the Barks/classic comics rails were REALLY JUMPED, once they added Bubba – and (the also admittedly enjoyable) Fenton/Gizmoduck.

…Perhaps being “unfaithful” (or, merely “different”) is what DuckTales is all about! And, just on the new look alone, no one can deny that “New DuckTales’” isn’t “different”!

“Still, the idea of a comic book adaptation of an animated show that is itself the adaptation of a comic book is so... what should I say? Weird?”

Perhaps, sometimes the dog chases the tail that is chasing the dog? I think *that’s* kinda fitting, don’t you?

“I agree with you, Joe, when you said: "Why COULDN’T we have an animated series for these characters set in Carl Barks’ continuity?! Wasn’t that what propelled the comics to world-wide popularity, and got Disney to the point of producing an animated series in the first place."”

YES! And, again, I say "Why COULDN’T we?!”

Some of “The-Greatest-Stuff-Ever” is often the stuff that resides in our respective heads, alas. Naturally, I hope there were some good puns in your head-versions!

I never mentioned a “Secret Character” here because, honestly, I do not know about one. At this time, I don’t know a whole heck of a lot more than I’ve written in this post. So, I think we should wait, at least as far as *this* Blog is concerned, until it is announced officially.

If and when it is, please do send a link and I’ll add it to this thread.

TheKKM said...

The solicit for Ducktales #2 shows the covers include a character who's covered in a black blob with a ?. The idea is obviously for this character to be a surprise when the comic's finally printed in a few months, but by mistake, they revealed who the character was in the written part of the solicit- that's what Drakeborough is mentioning. I'll refrain from mentioning who it is, too :P

The stories in this issue were nice enough. Felt a touch bland, but that's down to them likely being forbidden from working with the full setting of the show, as the show hasn't premiered yet.

The art confused me a bit- they did such an amazing job at replicating the show's art, that it honestly didn't feel I was reading a comic, to me, but one of those "cinestory" comics where they take screenshots and impose word balloons on them. Ech.

Joe Torcivia said...

KKM:

You write: “ The art confused me a bit- they did such an amazing job at replicating the show's art, that it honestly didn't feel I was reading a comic, to me, but one of those "cinestory" comics where they take screenshots and impose word balloons on them. Ech.”

Ya know, that might just be the effect they were sorta trying for, especially in the slapstick sequence that I panned. It doesn’t feel like a true standard comic at all, does it?

…And, if so, that might contribute to why the sequence in question was so unsatisfying to me.

So, what are the odds of the “Secret Character” being the long-lost Moby Duck? …No spoilers, but something tells me I’m going to be disappointed on that.

Sergio Goncalves said...

Aw, man! I thought that pun-loving character really *was* a cameo appearance by you! You sure had me convinced!

Of course, what you say makes sense. I mean, even I don’t know what you look like, and I’m a loyal TIAH reader and working my way towards being a loyal IDW Disney comics reader as well. Though now I have a *clue* as to what you look like. A happy coincidence indeed. But I would like to believe that the authors of this story have at least heard of you, being in IDW’s employ and working on Disney Duck comics and all.

In any case, let me add one thing to my previous compliment: the IDW Disney comics are not only the best thing being done with the classic Disney characters, but the best thing currently being done with any classic cartoon characters, period! Congratulations to you, David, Jonathan, and Thad, and best wishes to all of you for your continued success!

Regarding the subject of the cartoons I grew up with, I actually can’t claim to have been raised on classic cartoons. Certainly, I had some exposure to some of them during my childhood. One of my earliest — and fondest — memories is watching and laughing at Looney Tunes cartoons with my parents on weekend mornings back when Looney Tunes used to air on Nickelodeon. I remember my parents stating that Looney Tunes was far better than any cartoons then (in the 1990s) being made, and I wholeheartedly agreed with them — and still do. This is unusual, I know, but I have always strongly preferred cartoons made before I was born to contemporary cartoons. I never shared or really understood most of my generation’s preference for 1990s and 2000s animation. It’s a sentimental attachment on their part, I think.

But as for myself, I always regarded classic cartoons in general as far superior to anything produced in my lifetime. Instead of giving sentimental value to the cartoons of my era, I gave (and still give) it to the classic cartoons I knew and loved. In part, this may be due to my lifelong fascination with history. In addition to old cartoons and comic books, I love looking at old coins, banknotes, postage stamps, postcards, etc. I once remember my mother telling my grandfather that I love old things, and my grandfather jokingly warning seven-year-old me to be careful, or I might turn into an old thing myself! Fascination with the past aside, though, I’ve simply always found classic cartoons to be funnier and more entertaining than the cartoons of my lifetime.

Still, most of the cartoons I watched as a kid were — alas — Nicktoons made during the 1990s or 2000s. Watching older cartoons — such as Looney Tunes, Pink Panther, Popeye, Scooby-Doo, or the Rankin/Bass stop-motion Christmas specials — was a rare treat for me. Beyond Nicktoons, some were Warner Bros. Animation shows from the same period — such as Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures, or Pinky and the Brain. Now, the cartoons I grew up with were not bad by any means. I just preferred classic cartoons and wished to see more of them. Heck, I even found the Nicktoons enjoyable enough — though, in my view, Rugrats jumped the shark in 2000, by which point too many new characters had been added to the series. And don’t even get me started on 2001’s “All Grown Up” special. When that came out, I was like, “Ain’t nobody got time for this sh*t!” And although I’d always preferred classic animation to contemporary animation, 2001 was when I *really* began to sour on the latter and pine for the former.

(to be continued)

Sergio Goncalves said...

(cont.):

Although I have vague but pleasant memories of watching the Flintstones and the Jetsons on TBS or USA (I don’t even remember which network it was!) during the very early 1990s, Hanna-Barbera cartoons were not a significant part of my childhood, as my local cable provider did not offer Cartoon Network until 2004, by which point the vast majority of Hanna-Barbera cartoons no longer aired on Cartoon Network. You can only imagine how excited I was to learn that Cartoon Network was finally coming to my part of the country, and how disappointed I was when I found out that it no longer aired very much classic animation. On the positive side, it was thanks to the CN of the mid-2000s that I finally came to know and love Tom and Jerry!

I only discovered most of the classic cartoons I now know and love — such as the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons, the Tex Avery MGM cartoons, or the non-Pink Panther DePatie-Freleng cartoons — after my childhood and adolescence, during my college years. It was during the end of my senior year of high school, when I did a history project on the history of animation, that I began to discover these cartoons. Since then, my interest in and passion for classic cartoons has only grown. As was the case during your childhood, classic Disney cartoons very seldom aired, though I do remember seeing some as part of House of Mouse, a compilation show of mostly (but not exclusively) contemporary Disney shorts that aired on the Disney Channel in the early 2000s and which I watched religiously for a time. Needless to say, I enjoyed House of Mouse very much, but it is only as a result of following your blog that I have come to consider myself a true fan of the classic Disney characters. Better late than never!

As for the chase sequence in the issue at hand, I guess we just see it differently. I actually agree with you that the sequence could have been better executed in terms of both dialogue and artwork. I guess my final judgment of the sequence is tempered by the fact that I’m not a fan of the “New DuckTales” art style anyway, and thus my expectations for anything relating to “New DuckTales” are quite low.

In terms of it not always being easy to understand what’s happening, I can’t really comment, not having read the whole issue. This is one of those cases where I would have to read the whole story from beginning to end in order to have an opinion on how clear the sequence is — and if I were to do so now, after having read this blog post, the sequence probably wouldn’t have the same effect on me that it would have had had I first read the story and then this post.

That said, during my time in grad school, I was a member of the school’s comic book club, as I’ve mentioned here before. While reading comics in the club’s library, I experienced several moments in which I was not 100% clear as to what was happening on the page, though that that probably says more about me and my lack of experience with comics than anything else!* If an experienced reader like yourself had trouble with the chase sequence, than I’ll take your word for it that it could have been done far better than it was, to say the least.

*Though I’m working on that. In addition to IDW Disney comics, I’ve just recently become an avid reader of the following comic strips: Peanuts, Dilbert, Calvin and Hobbes, Unshelved, Popeye, Prince Valiant, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician.

scarecrow33 said...

At last, a comic that I've actually purchased and read!

First off, I love the fact that Donald is shaping up to be a main player in the new Duck Tales. That is as it should be--as it should have been all along. It's one of the reasons why "All Ducks on Deck", "Sphinx for the Memory," and "Spies in Their Eyes" are among my top favorite episodes. I felt, and still feel, that a series built around the Ducks needs to have Donald at the helm, more than Scrooge McDuck. Notice how they had to "soften" Scrooge to make him suitable to carry a series--not that it was a bad job, and he did make for a very interesting leading character. In fact, "Classic Duck Tales" was, even at its weakest, a stronger series than anything produced by Disney animation at the time, with the possible exception of "Tale Spin" which was definitely on a par. But if Donald is going to be a major character in this series, then I am definitely on board.

"Little Lake" was sure an interesting and off-beat locale for the Ducks. I don't believe any lake like it near Duckburg has been depicted in the works of Barks--although I also don't have any way, except the hard way, to do a run-down on all of the lakes in Barks' long or short stories. But "Little Lake" genuinely seems like a "real" place in the Duckiverse. I could "believe" in it as a setting for the story. In fact, background and setting appear to be strongly developed here, as they were in many of Barks' adventures and also in several "Classic DT" episodes. I'm truly hoping that more of "Little Lake" will be shown in the comics and in the series. It deserves to be used more than once as a setting for a story.

I, too, felt that the book looked as though it had been adapted from film. It has a similar look to those (dare I call them dreadful?) Mickey Mouse issues that copied the new TV cartoons. Is it possible that these are TV episodes re-formatted, or is it too soon to know?

And, yes, it feels totally WRONG for HDL to say "Uncle Donald." It's bucking a tradition that goes back (hold on while I do the math) 79 years! Maybe the reasoning is that a new generation of comics readers and Duck fans will not understand the nephews' use of "Unca Donald." Although, if this is the case, they are bound to encounter some confusion at some point if they ever read any Duck material printed prior to 2017! I'm hoping this will be fixed in both the new series and future issues. In MY "head canon" (thank you Elaine for a wonderfully useful term) he's always "Unca Donald" to Huey, Dewey, and Louie. (I also don't care for the nephews' new look, but I think you already figured out that I would feel that way, traditionalist that I am!)

I did not like "Mallard Hitchcock" as a name, because it is not a parody name such as say "Alvin Brickrock." It's just the SAME last name with a new first name! Come on, writers, can't you get more creative than that? Something like "Mallard Nick-Nock" would work better! And by the way, not to buck a trend here, but "Heere's Mallard!" puts me in mind of a send-up of Ed McMahon more than Nicholson. Or are both being parodied here?

Before I finish, perhaps it would be suitable while we're discussing "Duck Tales" to offer up a moment of silence on the passing of Magica DeSpell...or at least her definitive voice!

Elaine said...

FWIW, I also was not able to follow what was happening in the slapstick sequence in "The Repeating Revenge." Until I read your description, I didn't understand that Donald was in a vent in the panel at the bottom of page 8--probably because it seems too big to be a vent, since Donald is upright and running, not crawling. And I still don't know how we get from panel 3 to panel 5 on page 9. It looks to me in panel 3 as though Donald has retreated back into the vent. So how does he get out under the fake monsters in panel 5?

As for characterization of Dewey: in "Repeating Revenge," he's the one with acting experience, and the one who recognizes Mallard Hitchcock and knows what films he's made, and who first volunteers himself and his brothers as crew, and who talks to Donald at the end about Cannes. So there's that.

Drakeborough said...

@Joe
"Truth to tell, “DuckTales Classic” was “unfaithful” too, sending Donald off to the Navy, adding the (admittedly great) character of Launchpad as Donald’s more intelligibly-sounding stand-in, giving the Beagle Boys separate looks and personalities (not unlike “New DuckTales’” version of HD&L), etc.": indeed, those were changes that I would have avoided too, though I didn't mention them since I wanted to focus on the object of the discussion, i.e. the reboot series and its comics.

"Perhaps, sometimes the dog chases the tail that is chasing the dog? I think *that’s* kinda fitting, don’t you?": that's a fun image. Anyway, it's not a unique situation, as we can see on this page: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RecursiveAdaptation

"Some of “The-Greatest-Stuff-Ever” is often the stuff that resides in our respective heads, alas. Naturally, I hope there were some good puns in your head-versions!": well, actually, I don't think I've added puns, since my idea was to basically use the comics themselves as storyboards for the episodes, though I did some changes to better connect some stories (like adding a scene inbetween "Christmas for Shacktown" and "Gyro's First Invention", with the latter happening "in real time" rather than in a flashback, or better integrating "Christmas on Bear Mountain" and Lo$, or having Scrooge's reaction in "Voodoo Hoodoo" fit the fact that he is remoursful...), to make the episodes more coherent by sharpening the continuity, and similar things. Funny how I am talking as if I actually did created a whole show based on Barks and Rosa, while in fact it was all just a mental experiment.

That said, TheKKM was right in saying "The solicit for Ducktales #2 shows the covers include a character who's covered in a black blob with a ?. The idea is obviously for this character to be a surprise when the comic's finally printed in a few months, but by mistake, they revealed who the character was in the written part of the solicit".

This was the line in question, with the name of the character edited out: "Woo-oo! Two stories of adventure, involving chickens, sheep, and...Vikings?! Oh my! Donald, Scrooge, and the Nephews join [SPOILER REMOVED] as they quest for unimaginable riches and treasures untold."

The key line of the solict was later corrected into "Donald, Scrooge, and the Nephews...and a very special NEW character quest for unimaginable riches and treasures untold!" Some versions of the solicit, however, still use the previous wordings.

The covers can be seen at goo.gl/uWp8LR and the name of the secret character can be seen at goo.gl/SP1k8z

Anyone who doesn't want to learn the identity of the character can avoid opening that link. For that reason, I won't include the name in this message, though I'll just say it's not Moby Duck.

@TheKKM
"The stories in this issue were nice enough. Felt a touch bland, but that's down to them likely being forbidden from working with the full setting of the show, as the show hasn't premiered yet": having not read them, I can't say if they are bland or not. However, if they are, I don't think we should blame the lack of Scrooge or other characters, since Donald and his nephews have proven many times in the last 80 years that they can carry a story by themselves, even without Scrooge, who by the way was not created until 1947.

Joe Torcivia said...

WOW! Go to sleep early on a Sunday night, and look at all the comments that roll in! That’ll show ME, huh?

Appreciate ‘em all, and will spend the day periodically fashioning responses as time allows. One thing’s for sure, with reactions like this post has generated, I’m definitely going to have to review DuckTales # 1, when published!

Thanks to ALL of you who have posted comments! You’re what make this Blog great!

Joe Torcivia said...

Sergio:

You write: “In any case, let me add one thing to my previous compliment: the IDW Disney comics are not only the best thing being done with the classic Disney characters, but the best thing currently being done with any classic cartoon characters, period! Congratulations to you, David, Jonathan, and Thad, and best wishes to all of you for your continued success!”

That is a wonderful complement indeed, to all of us - AND, I'm quick to add, the creators of the original stories that we localize! Again, heartfelt thanks!

Though one “classic cartoon character” comic book title I would definitely put up there with IDW’s Disney line, is DC’s SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP, with all 28 issues thus far written by a great writer named Sholly Fisch! I don’t know Sholly Fisch, and I doubt he’s ever heard of me, but we sure come from the same place, in terms of our knowledge of and love for the characters we have the honor of working with, and he superbly writes the kind of lifelong-fan-tribute, in-jokey-Easter-egg stuff that *I* would write, if opportunity allowed.

Even as a technical “competitor”, I cannot recommend SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP enough. See THIS POST for more of what I mean. The current issue (# 28) teams the Scooby gang up with Jonah Hex and other characters from DC’s past western series and, even though these western characters may not be fan favorites, Sholly Fisch treats them magnificently, making for one great – and funny - issue!

Honestly, you “…would NOT have to read the whole story from beginning to end in order to have an opinion on how clear the sequence is”. It is a normal, intelligible, yet suitably weird, comic book story up to that point, with dialogue and visuals clearly conveying everything. Then, it suddenly dives off a cliff for pages 8 and 9 of its ten, only to return to some semblance of “normalcy” on page ten. Literally, what you see here is what you get. There’s no setup that makes it any clearer. Do check out Elaine’s comment above, for additional perspective.

I wish I’d attended a school with a “comic book club”. Comic books were still looked-down upon by American society during my school days, so it wasn’t gonna happen! And, there are LOTS of contemporary comic books that are so over-rendered and under-written that you have little to no idea what you’re looking at on any given page. That unfortunate trend appears to have begun around the early ‘90s, and remains in full force to the present day. That’s why I so treasure comics like the IDW Disney “Core Four”, SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP, Dell and Gold Key comics through the sixties, etc.

The story of your life with cartoons is very welcome, as I have always been fascinated with how other folks got to “this wonderful place where we all can meet and exchange thoughts”. By that, I don’t mean my Blog, but “comics and animation fandom” as whole, which has added immeasurably to my life – and, via this Blog and my comics scripting, I hope I can “give back” a very small portion of the enrichment that fandom has given me.

Joe Torcivia said...

Scarecrow:

I agree with you completely on the use of Donald in “DuckTales Classic”, or the unfortunate lack thereof. They didn’t need to sacrifice Donald to have Launchpad. As “Three Ducks of the Condor”, proved, they could BOTH play a significant role!

“Notice how they had to "soften" Scrooge to make him suitable to carry a series--not that it was a bad job, and he did make for a very interesting leading character. In fact, "Classic Duck Tales" was, even at its weakest, a stronger series than anything produced by Disney animation at the time, with the possible exception of "Tale Spin" which was definitely on a par.”

Thinking about it for a moment, I don’t think Scrooge was all that “softened” specifically for “DuckTales Classic”, considering how Carl Barks himself “softened” him earlier, and over the course of Barks’ run of the UNCLE SCROOGE comic books. At the time “DuckTales Classic” would have been greenlighted, widespread Barks-fandom in the USA was still in its relative infancy – and the contemporary Scrooge stories by Vic Lockman, appearing in the then-current Whitman comics characterized him as “softer still”.

I enjoyed “DuckTales Classic”, Tale Spin, and Darkwing Duck. The rest of the ‘80s-‘90s Disney animated series, you could keep. And, if you judge a series strictly on the number of “successes vs. failures”, Tale Spin had it ALL OVER “DuckTales Classic” (It ALMOST NEVER went wrong!) and, due to that, I regard it as the best of that group of programs. I’m fond of saying that Tale Spin was like Perry Mason… you just can’t find a “bad episode” of either!

...WE BREAK HERE, AT A LOGICAL POINT, BECAUSE GOOGLE SAYS WE MUST!

Joe Torcivia said...

...WE NOW RESUME OUR PREVIOUS COMMENT - BECAUSE *I* SAY WE MUST!

On Little Lake: “I don't believe any lake like it near Duckburg has been depicted in the works of Barks--although I also don't have any way, except the hard way, to do a run-down on all of the lakes in Barks' long or short stories.”

Heaven knows, even though I’m no longer (…all together now) “Horrifically Busy”, I’m not gonna find the time to do THAT! However, just limiting it to the Barks-written, environmentally-themed JUNIOR WOODCHUCKS series of the 1970s (…which you’d *expect* to deal with LAKES sometime), we have: “Looter of the Lake” in # 9 (1971) and the true classic of that series, “Be Leery of Lake Eerie”, in # 17 (1972). I’m certain our intrepid Legion of Commenters will cite more, if they exist.

Little Lake may indeed be viewed as a “real” place in our headcanon(s) (…Thanks also, Elaine!), but I don’t regard it as being in or around Duckburg, as it’s never been seen or mentioned before …though that didn’t stop “The Cathedral of Notre Duck” or “The Castle of the Mad Duke of Duckburg” from materializing out of thin air – not unlike “The Gruesomes’ House” on THE FLINTSTONES, and “The Large and Gated George H.W. Bush House” on THE SIMPSONS ”.

Rather than go that story-expedient route, I prefer to think of Little Lake as waaay up the coastline from Calisota… somewhere around “Seahawk-attle”, if you will! >Wink!< (…Gotta use THAT in a story someday!) That would make this story about just another of the long series of jobs-away-from-home that Donald tends to take. That said, as nice a setting as Little Lake may have been, I expect it to be a throwaway that we’ll never see again. …And, more’s the pity.

Yes, “Mallard Hitchcock” is not that great a “parody name”, for the reason you state. “DuckTales Classic” did the same with Irwin Allen (“Irwin Mallard”), but that was better because “Mallard” at least sounds PHONETICALLY *like* “Allen”, but not like “Alfred”!

Jack Nicholson references Ed McMahon with a “Here’s Johnny!” quote in “The Shining” (1980)!

And the great June Foray will definitely be getting a memorial post around here. Watch for it!...

Drakeborough said...

@scarecrow33
"And, yes, it feels totally WRONG for HDL to say "Uncle Donald." It's bucking a tradition that goes back (hold on while I do the math) 79 years!": in Joe's post the tradition is said to have started with Nash ("He's been "UNCA" Donald, ever since Clarence "Ducky" Nash first spoke for the boys"), so in 1938, but it actually started in the Donald Duck Sunday page as early as 1937, so it's 80 years. Of course, you may argue that it's not 80 full years, since that Sunday page is dated October 31, 1937, so in a way the correct number is still 79 years.

Joe Torcivia said...

Elaine:

You write: “ FWIW, I also was not able to follow what was happening in the slapstick sequence in ‘The Repeating Revenge.’ Until I read your description, I didn't understand that Donald was in a vent in the panel at the bottom of page 8--probably because it seems too big to be a vent, since Donald is upright and running, not crawling.”

It took a little while of studying the entire sequence for me to realize that. And THAT is exactly the issue I have with those two pages of an otherwise decent Donald Duck story. Why SHOULD it take “ a little while” to get what’s happening?

It’s as they say about lettering… The BEST lettering is the lettering that you DON’T notice. The type of lettering that does not stand out so much that it distracts from the story. This tends to occur when the lettering is not very good. Exceptions are when the lettering is intended to BE an element of the story, or is done in such a way to invoke a certain and specific “feel”. But, lettering’s primary function is to advance the narrative. I feel similarly for art.

The execution of this sequence “distracts from the story” to the point where you almost have to STOP COLD to try to figure out what’s going on. And, if you have to do THAT, then it’s simply not good comics!

“And I still don't know how we get from panel 3 to panel 5 on page 9. It looks to me in panel 3 as though Donald has retreated back into the vent. So how does he get out under the fake monsters in panel 5?”

Your guess is, literally, as good as mine! If the Panel 4 shot of the TRACKER is placed to indicate any passage of time, or transition from one sequence to another, it certainly isn’t clear to me!

Oh, and here’s ANOTHER THING I just discovered by reviewing the sequence YET AGAIN to prepare this response… (To digress, I don’t think I even looked at Barks’ first and spectacular view of “Plain Awful” as often and as closely in the first week I read it, as I have at this sequence! Perhaps that’s the METHOD to the madness? Does anyone actually count “eyeball-hits”?)

On Page 9, Panel 7, when Huey and Louie are RUNNING TOWARD Donald yelling “Uncle Donald! HELLLLLLP!”, what are they RUNNING FROM?

Initially, I didn’t even get that they were RUNNING FROM anything, more RUNNING TOWARD Donald out of relief that he’s okay. But then, why: “Uncle Donald! HELLLLLLP!”?

If you look at Page 10, Panel 1, you see they were RUNNING FROM DEWEY playing the role of “The Screaming Duck”, and who has just REMOVED his fright mask!

That panel is ACTUALLY IN THE POST, where Mallard Hitchcock yells “CUT!”. Go back and look at what Dewey is doing, and his positioning relative to his two bro’s. Gotta be!

WOW! Is that unclear, or what? If it revealed itself to me days later, and after unusually close study, I’d have to say – Yes! Just curious… Did anyone else notice that? I really wanna know!

It’s a shame to spend so much time on two flawed pages, because I really enjoyed this book overall… but, it is what it is.

“As for characterization of Dewey: in "Repeating Revenge," he's the one with acting experience, and the one who recognizes Mallard Hitchcock and knows what films he's made, and who first volunteers himself and his brothers as crew, and who talks to Donald at the end about Cannes. So there's that.”

Ah, I’ve GOT IT! Dewey is the “geeky pop-culture nerd”! In other words, the “audience-relatable character”! :-) That MUST be it! If so, I can’t wait for the inevitable story, or episode, about comic books!

Joe Torcivia said...

Drakeborough:

That’s a great link on “Recursive Adaptation” you provide! It really sums up the notion of a “comic book (Ducktales # 0), based on a TV show (DuckTales Classic), that is based on a comic book (Carl Barks’ UNCLE SCROOGE)”!

HERE is the link, for greater ease of access.

And, as long as dogs continue to chase tails, here’s one that’s near and dear to my heart. Try this one on for size: A COMIC BOOK, based on a FEATURE FILM, based on a TV SERIES, based on an ORIGINAL COMIC BOOK!

And, for good measure, that TV SERIES had a FIRST and a SECOND COMIC BOOK SERIES based on it!

And, there was even an ANIMATED HYBRID of both the TV SERIES and the ORIGINAL COMIC BOOK! And, coming in 2018, a NEW SERIES based on the older TV series! …WHEW! That was exhausting! Sorry for the digression!

Back to our discussion… It might just be me, but your link, said to reveal the name of the secret character (Yes, I tried it out!), produced only two results. One: Back to MY very post on DuckTales # 0 and one to a completely unrelated site. So, I will not link to it here, until you can confirm. …After all, why should *I* be the only one around here who doesn’t know! And, since it’s not Moby Duck, I’m expectedly – but not at all surprisingly – crushed, anyway!

And, finally, yeah… Taliaferro, as the nephews’ creator, *would* have done “Unca Donald” first. Consider me corrected.

It's been quite a "Day of Comments" today. I LOVE IT. Thank you all!

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, and HERE’S a link to the cover for Ducktales # 2, with the “Secret Character”… er… um, “Blotted-Out, my friends!”

…I’m still crushed that it’s not Moby Duck! Wait, I know… It’s his putative first mate, Dimwitty! “GWAK!” Then again, it COULD be Fethry… and that’s why Donald is so afraid!

Drakeborough said...

@Joe
"That’s a great link on “Recursive Adaptation” you provide! It really sums up the notion of a “comic book (Ducktales # 0), based on a TV show (DuckTales Classic), that is based on a comic book (Carl Barks’ UNCLE SCROOGE)”!": we can also expand that to say that the Uncle Scrooge comic books were a spin-off of the Donald Duck comic books, which in turn were based on both the animated shorts starring Donald and the comic strips starring Donald (with the latter also inspired by the shorts). And, if one wants to go even further, the Donald Duck movie series started as a spin-off of the Mickey Mouse movie series, which in turn had taken Donald from the Silly Symphonies series (the earliest newspaper comics with Donald were also branded as part of the Silly Symphonies before being just named after Donald). Quite complex, isn't it? I won't bother to think of more non-Disney examples of Recursive Adaptation since that TV Tropes link should be enough.

Here are the two links, and hopefully they will also work for you this time, since they work for me:

goo.gl/uWp8LR
goo.gl/SP1k8z

The first one is spoiler-free and shows both the main cover and the alternate cover. The second link contains the spoiler, and a discussion about that. Once again, I won't mention the name here (the link is above for anyone who wants to know), but I'll say it's none of Moby, Dimwitty and Fethry.

Since you mentioned Moby and Dimwitty, I'll add, as a trivia, that there has been a recent discussion on the Feathery Society forum about an early sketch version of Rosa's tree, which included both of them as Grandma Duck's son and grandson respectively: "Moby" was then changed into "Eider", and Dimiwitty was removed. Here is the relevant part of the discussion: goo.gl/TYeJJC

Anyway, I kind of remember that last December they said Fethry may have a role, or a camo, in the show, but take this with a grain of salt.

"And, finally, yeah… Taliaferro, as the nephews’ creator, *would* have done “Unca Donald” first. Consider me corrected": I also made a mistake by saying that "Unca Donald" first appeared in print in the Sunday page dated October 31, 1937, while in fact it had already appeared earlier in their very first Sunday page, dated October 17, 1937. I had missed that line when I glanced over it yesterday because it wasn't included in a speech bubble. And to be fair to what you wrote in your post, things are be a bit more complicated than that. It's true that Taliaferro created them, but from what we know he did it as a suggestion to the animated department, not as something that he would use in the newspaper comic. Of course, he later saw the storyboards for the upcoming "Donald's Nephews" short and decided to use them in the newpaper comic, beating the release of the short, but their names, as well as other details about them, were invented by the animation team, despite being used first by Taliaferro. I just checked HDL's character profile in the Italian equivalent of the Barks Library, and one of the storyboards actually contains "Unca Donald", meaning that Taliaferro probably took that line from there. I can't scan/upload images now, so for the moment I can only link a low quality scan:

https://inducks.org/story.php?c=Qit%2FDPCS++3O

Joe Torcivia said...

Drakeborough:

It’s a good thing you stopped the recursive trail when you did, else we might eventually find ourselves all the way back to the first prehistoric egg! …Or, the first prehistoric “What-Zit Bird!” Say, which came first … the first prehistoric “What-Zit Bird”, or the first prehistoric egg? Yeah, yeah, I know. I was just fishing for an opening joke. Gotta try better worms!

Both links worked this time, perhaps it was my error… who knows. Either way, here they are.

“COVER with BLOT!” (Not PHANTOM Blot!)

“THREAD with SECRET CHARACTER SPOILER!” Use this at your OWN PERIL!

I did, and I must say I am amazed at who the SECRET CHARACTER turns out to be. And, frankly, I’m glad that (hopefully) he/she/it/they/them/hoo-zit…and, of course, What-Zit (…knew I’d find a better joke for that!) will be relegated to DuckTales, and not the traditional comics, because it’s certainly a “continuity buster”. >GROAN!< Why couldn’t it have been Moby Duck! I hope they use he/she/it/etc. WISELY and with some forethought!

Don’t fret it on Taliaferro, etc. Such history is always tricky. Perhaps that’s why DuckTales is always trying to (all together now, sing along)… “…reee-write hiiii-st’ry”! And they’re SURE succeeding with that SECRET CHARACTER!

HERE’S your final link to HD&L.

Achille Talon said...

On that "adaptation" recursion… I commented on that on the "Feathery Society" forum, and not only is it a comic based on a cartoon based on comics, but it's a comic based on a cartoon based on comics based on theatrical cartoons.

P.S.: You've inspird me. The page for the What-Zit Bird story shall be the net to be posted on the Scrooge McDuck Wiki.

Joe Torcivia said...

“…not only is it a comic based on a cartoon based on comics, but it's a comic based on a cartoon based on comics based on theatrical cartoons.”

We’re just getting closer and closer to that primal “What-Zit Bird egg”, aren’t we, Achille? :-)

And, always glad to be of any sort of inspiration!

Achille Talon said...

The page is done. And, ah, we can go farther towards the golden egg, if we really want to. Was the first Donald Duck cartoon not based on a fairy tale? If one looks at it very loosely, New DuckTales is, in fact, a Disney fairy tale cartoon.

Joe Torcivia said...

Achille:

If “New DuckTales” is a “Fairy Tale”, then who’s the Disney Princess? Webby?

Debbie Anne said...

The Wise Little Hen, Donald's debut, was based on the folk tale The Little Red Hen, which was a moral fable about having a good work ethic, which certainly fits well into Barks' later work.
If DuckTales were a Fairy Tale, who would be the Disney Princess? You need look no further than the episode Scroogerillo, where you actually get two answers. Glittering Goldie literally was the princess in this story, but in this gender-role reversed version of Cinderella, Uncle Scrooge was playing Cindy's part, where Goldie was playing the prince's. I guess that would make Uncle Scrooge the first male Disney Princess (as the hate mail rolls in for even suggesting something so subversive)!

Joe Torcivia said...

Deb, you are brilliantly wicked!

Beyond that, my vote for "evil stepmother" goes to Ma Beagle! ...Is she even IN "New DuckTales"?

Drakeborough said...

Since the origin of Donald was mentioned, I'll also post link to this little-known fact:

http://featherysociety.proboards.com/thread/366/proto-donald-duck-1924

@Debbie
It's Scroogerello, not Scroogerillo. I learnt it because of the user who chose that as username.

@Joe
Ma Beagele will be in "New DuckTales", with her different sons... unfortunately. I would have preferred identical, unnamed Beagle Boys, with no leader or maybe with Grandpa Blackheart Beagle as their leader.

Joe Torcivia said...

Drakeborough:

With all that “New DuckTales” is changing from “DuckTales Classic”, like bringing Donald back into the fold, it’s kind of a shame that the same will not apply to the “comic book Beagle Boys”. I suppose their differentiation has become a sort of “DuckTales institution” and, as such, was carried over.

As for me, I kinda like the idea (in my headcanon, of course) of Ma Beagle and Blackheart having been married – and divorced before they killed each other in their sleep. And, if “Blackheart” and “Grandpa Beagle” are DIFFERENT characters, then there would be a “GrandMA Beagle” for him – or maybe “MA Beagle” is the SAME character, and… and.. Aw, the heck with it… Beagles, bless their prolific little black hearts, is Beagles – PERIOD!

Fascinating link on “Proto Donald”! I’ll let each reader form his or her own opinions!

Achille Talon said...

So… have you watched the "DuckTales 2017" pilot, and if so, 1) how did you like it, and 2) will you be doing a blog post about it?

Joe Torcivia said...

Achille:

Regrettably, I have not seen the show because I do not have the channel it is broadcast on. It may have to come to me some other way. But, those I know who have seen it have had good things to say.

Whether or not I see the show, I will most likely post on the # 1 issue of the comic.

D. J. Neyer said...

The first episode is currently available on Youtube; I watched it this morning. This comment is the first of three parts.

I'd sum the new Ducktales up by saying that so much effort and enthusiasm should bring more satisfying results. Unlike the old show, which was the product of an often uneasy collaboration between Barks comics devotees, veteran TV animation writers, and Disney studio brass, this is essentially a pure Internet-geek product, with all the irritating self-consciousness that implies. It is crammed to bursting with wink-wink references to the original series, to Barks, to Don Rosa, and to other "Disney Afternoon" shows. This will duly impress all the trivia-obsessed Duck geeks (similar in taxonomy to the type of people who swoon when they see parademons in the Justice League trailer), but I would gladly have sacrificed most of the sly references in favor of stronger plotting and characterization.

The episode moves swiftly and casually, tossing away, with tongue-in-cheek glee, ideas (a pirate ghost! a money-eating dragon! sea monsters!) that would have provided the basis for an entire comics story or old-Ducktales episode. The old show was often only mediocre, but in this regard it had more in common with Barks' stories: its plots (at least during its superior first season) unfolded in a logical, sequential, and well-paced style, and didn't devolve into mere parades of jokes and "high concepts" (which is essentially what this first episode of the rebooted show boils down to). Here, as in the modern Marvel movies, everyone is so busy striking dramatic poses and then making self-deflating jokes that occasional attempts to suggest actual depth of character fall flatter than a pancake.

D. J. Neyer said...

Second of three parts:

The voice acting ranges from terrible (the nephews) to quite good (Tony Anselmo's Donald and David Tennant's Scrooge), but nobody is given enough breathing space to really establish a connection between their character and the audience. Unfortunately, no amount of breathing space could have helped these rebooted Nephews; the boys are disastrously re-imagined--Huey as an earnest and responsible doofus obsessed with planning things out, Dewey as a hyperactive, risk-taking, over-imaginative, would-be adventurer, and Louie as a greedy, cynical slacker.

The rebooted Webby isn't nearly as horrid as I expected; she's now an exuberant but wistful little nerd who's fascinated by Scrooge and Donald's exploits and desperately wants to get in on adventures herself; like all the characters, she cracks too many snarky millennial-style jokes, but is reasonably likable at fleeting moments. Mrs. Beakley is now a scary-looking British-accented housekeeper with a linebacker's build and enormous spectacles; she's depicted as being overprotective of Webby (who seems more than a little scared of her) and sternly critical of Scrooge (less humorously so than Duckworth, who's absent entirely).

Donald is given a lot to do, and is evidently slated to stick around (he and the nephews all move in with Scrooge at the end). Anselmo's Donald voice is still a joy to listen to, particularly when he's throwing quacking tantrums, trying to pose as a villain to deceive Glomgold's gang, or snapping at Scrooge; one of the very few things done right in this pilot is having Donald aggressively bicker with his uncle--on the old series, they didn't really have enough screen time together to get in any of the sparring that characterizes Barks' comics, except fleetingly in "Three Ducks of the Condor." All in all, Donald's moments are some of the best in the whole thing.

Glomgold is now a weirdly rotund version of his Ducktales self, and seems obsessed not only with imitating Scrooge's wealth but his Scottishness as well ("I'm wearin' a kilt, McDuck--a KILLLLLLLT!") The original series' Glomgold was one of my favorite villains from the show, since his slyness and grumpiness kept him from getting as cartoonishly over-the-top as many of the others; this new Glomgold is more over-the-top than almost any of the original show's other bad guys. His henchmen (or should that be persons of hench?) in this installment are an avian female ninja and a couple of Russian wolves; I don't know if they're supposed to be one-shotters or recurring heavies.

Launchpad begins here as Scrooge's chauffeur and has to keep pestering before he's finally allowed to fly a plane. He's more or less in his Darkwing Duck incarnation here--a bulky bumbler who's pure brainless sidekick and butt of physical humor, not the highly fallible adventure hero of the original show's first season.

Scrooge, thanks mainly to Tennant's boisterous vocals, is entertaining to watch, and comes off as suitably cranky, maniacal, and swashbuckling, as needed--but Tennant never gets the chance to throttle things back a little, and his performance thus lacks the dry humor and quiet whimsicality of Alan Young's.

D. J. Neyer said...

Part three of three.

I dislike the angular, sketchy, caricatured "modern" animation style; the old show (particularly in its early episodes) had stiff animation at times, but at least tried for some of the fully-rounded animation associated with Disney. As Charles Schulz said of comic-strip design, if you use a drawing style that is too extreme you can never say or do anything that is at all sensitive. Just trying to make a drawing look "funny" or "cool" without also trying to make it look "real" after a fashion is not a good idea, if you want your animated characters to take on any depth at all.

However, in one regard, the drawing suits the writing: just as the animation is too angular, "extreme," and rapid-fire to really establish any kind of real connection between the audience and the characters, the script is far too post-modernly manic to make it more than amusing on a very superficial level.

Joe Torcivia said...

D.J.:

Thank you for a VERY comprehensive review! It would seem, as I read this, that it IS the "mixed-bag" that I had expected it to be.

I am not a fan of today's distortion of well-designed classic characters, as I've said on more than one occasion, and truly dislike "change for change sake" as it looks to apply to Glomgold.

The only thing I hope, relative to the rotund-redesign of Flinty, is that Rockerduck is also in the offing - and this is some kind of visual-shorthand to differentiate between the two!