Monday, April 30, 2018

Comics History Eerily Repeats Itself!

With cautionary comment, I present the covers of IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 34 and # 35!

These two issues may be forever linked in readers' minds because THEY WERE RELEASED ON THE SAME DAY -- April 11, 2018 (...or April 18, 2018, depending on your individual comic book shop)!  

The reason this is significant - beyond the notion that # 34 was to be released in late 2017 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of this historic Dell comic...

... And that # 35, by its cover illustration, was clearly intended for release somewhere in the vicinity of Valentine's Day 2018 -- is that this HAS happened before!  ...TWICE, in fact!  

Anyone with marrow-chilling memories of those very dark days of the early-mid 1980s (pre-Gladstone Series I) may recall that THESE TWO ISSUES OF UNCLE SCROOGE WERE ALSO RELEASED ON THE SAME DAY!   (193 and 194). 

As were THESE!  (198 and 199). 

During the Whitman years (1980-1984), not unlike the period of late 2017 thru April 2018, we would experience a lengthy period of NO RELEASES, and then multiples would be indiscriminately dumped upon us, with no regard for scheduling or proper spacing between issues!  

Eerily for me, the events of April 2018 have stirred those feelings!  We all know what happened after that... the Whitman line of Disney, Warner Bros., Walter Lantz, MGM, etc., licensed comics petered-out and died of neglect!  
The unceremonious end of the Dell/Gold Key/Whitman run of UNCLE SCROOGE in 1984! 

Let us hope that history does not repeat itself, because the present IDW Disney Creative Core Four of David, Jonathan, Thad, and myself are doing such great work that it would be a gosh-darned shame to see that come to an end!  

Meanwhile, enjoy these two great comics from IDW!  I certainly have!  

...And expect review posts on both of them relatively soon! 

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. 

...And let's everyone hope I'm wrong about this!  Okay?  


The Gang of the Green Gorilla said...

Eery indeed! We generous granters of green gorillini must clarify that we have nothing whatsoever to do with this puzzle. We may brainwash people about the fur color of certain ape species (not that it's really necessary, what with that actually being their color, whatever made you think otherwise), but we're not so evil as to interfere with IDW, we assure you.


The Gang of Green Gorilla out.

Achille Talon said...

I was not aware that this issue had had precedents. Well, let's hope we're all wrong. I'm sure this is just that IDW foolishly employeed Donald in their scheduling department, and he accidentally pressed two buttons at once while he was distracted streaming the latest season of Captain Retro-Duck. Yes, that's what happened!

Joe Torcivia said...

Gang of Gangrene-d Gorillas:

Okay, GGGs… I’ll accept that YOU are not evil enough to interfere with IDW. …But that begs the question, of who MIGHT ACTUALLY be that evil? Hmmm?

Joe Torcivia said...


You should only know the horrors of the Whitman years… Then again, no you shouldn’t! I’d hate subjecting a friend to such torture.

Ah, Donald! Yes, of course! Hear that, GGGs?

Debbie Anne said...

I'm still waiting to get #34 (and may we'll end up with two copies, as not only is my local shop looking into finding it, but I also ordered one online...the last time I missed an issue, I ended up with THREE copies of the first chapter of "The Bodacious Butterfly Trail"...two of cover A and one cover B!). While it isn't as good as the standard Uncle Scrooge, the DuckTales book has been a good way to get my monthly dose of Duck stories during the delays.

Debbie Anne said...

As to the "Donald Duck causing a production glich" theory, imagine this cover with Uncle Scrooge issues instead of sailor suits:

Joe Torcivia said...

Awww, Deb! Ya HADDA go remind me of THAT!

HERE'S the link! Go there at your own risk!

Comicbookrehab said...

That chapter of "Zodiac Stone" started off with convincing flashes of Barksian storytelling before leaping into the Lockman Zone and never finding it's way's like a preliminary hearing for books like "Mickey's Craziest Adventures"/"Donald's Happiest Adventures"...kinda wish the other chapters played a similar trick.

Comicbookrehab said...

I don't know if we'll ever go back to the days when the colorist could possibly care less about keeping the color of Scrooge's wardrobe consistent..although that's an easy target for laughs if the "Craziest Adventures" team does a "Scrooge's Inexpensive Adventures" book.

I couldn't help wondering if there was any talk at IDW of "A Celebration of 70 Years" hardcover, in the style of those "Anniversary" hardcovers DC Comics was publishing..the last ones to date were devoted to Harley Quinn and Two-Face...and if not IDW, then maybe Fantagraphics..

Elaine said...

On Feathery Society, hex just posted the newest Previews predictions: U$ 36 and Showcase 3 on June 6, Donald & Mickey 3 on June 20, WDCS 742 on June 27 (boy, we're waiting a long time for THAT part two!). So, no new classic Disney in May, alas. Until otherwise informed, I'm continuing to go on David and Thad's reassurances from a couple months back on Feathery, and believing that a cascade of illnesses (starting with the entire Disney Company vetting office being nonfunctional for a month due to the flu) and other problems led to a several-month logjam, and eventually things will get back on schedule.

I was very happy to see U$ 34 in particular, and I'm looking forward to your post on it so I can write my appreciation of Stabile's story and your dialogue in more detail! I enjoyed Thad's dialoguing in the Brigitta & Goldie story in U$ 35, but can't get excited about the story because Brigitta doesn't make it into my personal Duckworld. The only Scarpa character who has become real to me is Paparetta/Dickie...and it was a Stabile story which tipped the balance in her favor! I accept her as Goldie's granddaughter (but not Scrooge's).

Joe Torcivia said...


You write: “That chapter of "Zodiac Stone" started off with convincing flashes of Barksian storytelling before leaping into the Lockman Zone and never finding its way back...”

That is not only true of that individual chapter of “Zodiac Stone”… but of “Zodiac Stone” as a WHOLE!

But, when we consider the WHOLE diffused and rambling mess of “Zodiac Stone”, it’s quite unfair to Vic Lockman to draw ANY comparisons to his overall body of work beyond this particular uncomfortably outmoded – and needless – chapter! And Vic Lockman was the guy who gave us such um… classics as “Bird-Bothered Hero” and “The Feast on Planet Fuddo”! But, when Lockman was loopy, he was so for a merciful 6-to-no-more-than-14-pages! …HE DID NOT TIE UP A BOOK – AND ITS READERS – FOR A WHOLE YEAR!

The issues of WDC&S that followed “Zodiac Stone”, beginning with “Night of the Living Text” and onward, were SO GOOD that I resent all the more having wade hip-deep through the muck of “Zodiac Stone” for TWELVE precious issues! …Especially as such issues have now become so few and far between!

Considering what has happened with the “mainline” Scrooge title, I’d expect any special collections to be more in Fantagraphics bailiwick at this particular time. Had it been 2-3 years ago, I’d feel quite differently. Things evolve… Hopefully, they can also um… “evolve back”.

Joe Torcivia said...


I’m generally with you on your optimism, as IDW has never failed to act with great professionalism and outright class in the past, but I have a saying that goes like this…

“Reassurances are much like food! They CAN sustain you, even if only for a time! But, like food, they should also have Expiration Dates – or 'Best-Believed-By' dates!"

Over the multiple endeavors I’ve been a part of, spanning many different fields – covering four or more different decades, I’ve received “Assurances” and “Reassurances” from MANY different people, be they in a position to make those pronouncements, or not – and have sometimes made critical life-decisions BASED UPON those very “Assurances” and “Reassurances”! ...And I can’t say it always turned out well!

And, what can sincerely and unequivocally be THE TRUTH on one day, may not necessarily be so on the next!

That’s why I am SO QUICK to insert a disclaimer, in each and every Blog post concerning these comics, stating that I DO NOT speak for IDW! I do not know what goes on, and why it does. I just know that when I get an assignment from IDW, I turn it around as quickly and professionally as possible, and then I just wait for more.

And, if and when I get that “more”, I hope it’s by Vito Stabile or Casty! I REALLY enjoy their work!

My post on UNCLE SCROOGE # 34 will be coming soon! …Consider that an “Assurance” or a “Reassurance”! …Take your pick!

scarecrow33 said...

I just finished reading both issues. While I've more or less been supportive of the Scrooge material from IDW so far, I have to say that these two were outstanding. They had me hooked from the start. I'll save my detailed impressions for when you actually review the individual issues, but suffice it for now to say that these issues were worth the wait. Your dialogue in particular was among the best comics dialogue I have ever encountered. Your work has always been good, don't get me wrong, but it seems you keep topping yourself. Some of it was laugh out loud for me, and as you well know we regular comics readers have read all of the gags pretty much, so we don't LOL all that often. So when we do, you know you have struck a rich vein. (What did I say about laughter being one of the key ingredients of this blog?)

Can't wait to discuss these issues in more depth.

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you so much for those very kind words, Scarecrow!

I really think the IDW runs, on UNCLE SCROOGE and MICKEY MOUSE in particular, have been outstanding – and Barks, Rosa, and certain classic-era Mickeys by Gottfredson, Scarpa, and Murry aside – has been among the very best done with those characters!

Just remember, that stuff is awesome BEFORE we have anything to do with it! Anything we’ve done at IDW is simply icing. That said… icing can be VERY delicious!

There may be no greater example of this than “The Wonderful Wishing Crown”, which David, Jon, Thad, and I – gathered around a table at a Queens, NY diner many months ago – agreed is one of the very best Scrooge stories of the modern era, if not of all time! A proud addition to the Barks/Rosa canon!

And, this is thanks to original writer Vito Stabile! I only brought the icing… nothing more!

Though I will add that the “…best comics dialogue”, of which you speak is the product of my spending a virtual lifetime with the characters, incarnations both good and… er, “not so”, and applying the best of those characterizations to Vito Stabile’s excellent work! …That is not something that is easily replaced – nor should it ever be – for these comics to continue to uphold the high standards set by writers like Stabile!

Oh, and one reason I chose to focus on the notion of having two issues of UNCLE SCROOGE released on the same day is that, for the THIRD time in my life – now with IDW issues 34 and 35 – I got to *read* TWO BRAND SPANKING NEW ISSUES of UNCLE SCROOGE on the same day!

…And, as you say, BOTH were outstanding!

Thad Komorowski said...

scarecrow33, I always enjoy the positive comments, but yours really meant something to me. Thanks.

"A Tale of Two Biddies" (David's title) was a challenging one to script, mostly because of how talky it was, between two female leads at that. It's a weird thing that I've been requested by editors and readers to work on stories featuring the female characters (Magica, Brigitta, Dickie, and now Goldie), because I certainly don't go out of my way to make them read 'believably female' - just believable. Maybe that's part of why I've been successful?

Joe Torcivia said...


I’ll let Scarecrow speak for himself, but *I* will say that you have a certain knack for wringing great performances out of the female characters in question!

For instance, I hope no one BUT YOU ever dialogues Magica’s Family – and I’m glad we traded assignments on Dickie, because I would doubtless have made her sound like “Judy Jetson meets Babs Bunny”!

For the same reason, I was glad to hear that “A Tale of Two Biddies” (…a Dickens AND a Bob Clampett Looney Tunes gag, BTW) had gone to you! I *knew* I’d enjoy reading it… and was I ever right!

As you note, perhaps it’s because you “…don't go out of [your] way to make them read 'believably female' - just believable.”

I’d call that a winning approach!

Debbie Anne said...

Finally got my copy of Uncle Scrooge #34 in the mail today!

Joe Torcivia said...

...And it was worth the wait, wasn't it?

Debbie Anne said...

Yes, very much so. Without going into too much detail, it is a very good issue.

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, we'll go into LOTS of detail when I post on it... Coming Soon!