Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On Sale Today: DONALD DUCK # 366!

“Pirates Week” continues at TIAH Blog with…

DONALD DUCK # 366 (May):Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold – Again!” is the figurative and literal “Crown Jewel” of my current trio of scripts, following “To the Moon by Noon”, and “The Pelican Thief”.

This is an Italian sequel to one of the most famous Donald Duck adventure stories of all time: 1942’s “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold”. The first American long adventure story for Donald Duck was drawn by the soon-to-be-legendary Carl Barks and famed Disney cartoon short animation director Jack Hannah. In the original classic tale, the parrot “Yellow Beak” takes Donald and the nephews on an extended treasure hunt – with Pete close on their trail.

In the sequel, Ol’ Yellow Beak knocks on Donald’s door in the midst of a fierce storm, seeking the comfort of old friends – and with plans for a NEW treasure hunt up his salty sleeve. However, as Donald is quick to point out, “Things have CHANGED since the days of Barks and Hannah-built schooners!”

For instance, SCROOGE McDUCK is now the driving force of the Duck Family and, per the authors of the original work; he and his perpetual conflicts with the various sects of The Beagle Boys take center stage.

Another thing that’s changed is that, unlike the original “Pirate Gold” yarn – which was, in many spots, a wordless, glorified animation storyboard – this version was chock full of dialogue balloons for me to fill with humor and characterization. So, please allow for such differences in storytelling between the two.

But, at its core, it’s still Ol’ Yellow Beak, Donald, the nephews, an old ship, and another treasure map! And, I’m proud to be along for the 22-page ride!

Daan Jippes did a spectacular cover for this issue! All the more fitting because he did the Gladstone cover for DONALD DUCK # 250, back in 1986! Contrast his more ‘80s Gladstone style with his more lively and wide-open, full-throttle style of today!

The effort is further enhanced by the superb lettering of David Gerstein (squarely hitting the trifecta of dialogue, specialty, and effects lettering), and noticeable depth is added courtesy of Braden Lamb’s coloring!   And a huge tip of the captain’s hat to Editor Christopher Burns for keeping us all off the rocks! 

Things to look for when reading:

Look for references to other Disney comic book classics such as “Only a Poor Old Man”, "Tralla La", “Mickey Mouse Outwits The Phantom Blot”, and of course “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck”! You’ll even find a tenuous reference to “Ghost of the Grotto”!

There are also three references on Page 4, Panel 4 regarding Yellow Beak’s former shipmates. Hint: They’ve ALL actually met him though perhaps under different names. Two were mine, and one was added by the incomparable David Gerstein! …We think so much alike on this stuff, it’s scary!

Things not to look for when reading:

Yellow Beak’s peg leg! He wasn’t drawn with it, and I make no reference to that fact in my script. I can only speculate that, at some point, he and Pete availed themselves of a “two-for-one sale" somewhere, and rectified the situation.

Things I hope you will have when reading:

A good time!

Enjoy… and comments are always welcome!
Thanks to one and all at Boom! Studios / Kaboom! for allowing me to participate in this very special issue! 


joecab said...

Hey Joe,

Just read the comic and loved it. It was great seeing Unca Scrooge and even the Beagle Boys join in this sequel, and your dialog was top notch: the name of the monster movie, the tiny bit of (gasp!) scatalogical humor, the props to Messrs. Barks and Hannah of the original tale, chum-bo (chum jumbo? ecch!), etc. etc. Your words had just the right amount of sparkle.

My only nit is with the original tale: Scrooge should have spotted those fake pearls at a mere glance.

Joe Torcivia said...

Joe C.

I figure thoughts of the treasure blinded him to the fake pearls… not to mention the Beagle Boys’ ever-present masks!

Yes, “chum-jumbo” is exactly what that was! Scrooge probably got a good deal on it, from “Plankton’s Chum Bucket” on SpongeBob!

Thank you so much for the kind words on the dialogue. This one was a TRUE delight to do!

Joe T.

Ryan Wynns said...


Been a hectic past few days for me (had a major deadline on Monday, and am in the middle of moving), so haven't gotten to comment until now, regretfully.

Really enjoyed the story! Have read it twice so far. Your approach was just right...this was more of a "straight" adventure story, so, while there was plenty of humor, it was more sober than the wackiness that "To the Moon by Noon" and "The Pelican Thief" lent themselves to.

The Barks and Hannah "shout-out" evoked from a smile and a sense of warmth, as did the nephews referring to their previous treasure hunt with Yellow Beak as, "Our first adventure!" Wasn't sure how you were going to work in a reference to Gottfredson's original Blot story, but you had the perfect opportunity!

I have to admit, a few of the other references you've hinted at, I didn't pick up on...

Much simpler than Barks' later stories, the original didn't create an expansive world like those of his later stories that opened up room for sequels. This was one adventure I thought the book was shut on...who knew that a sequel had in fact been created almost 50 years ago? Not at all a bad story, and nice characterization of Scrooge and the Beagles (both in the original, as far as I can tell, and of course in your dialogue)! This story -- given Yellow Beak's dramatic return, his recounting of what he's been up to since "Pirate Gold", and especially the last panel -- seems more like of homage to his character in particular than the overall original story. Never thought of that character as a legend in himself (after all, he doesn't seem like something Barks would've created once he really found his stride), but this tribute was fitting, and in good taste (again, both in the original story, and your script).


Joe Torcivia said...

Ryan, that’s one amazing observation about the story being a homage to the character of Yellow Beak! I’ve been close to this story, to one degree or another, for the past six months, and that never occurred to me! Wonderful stuff!

I saw it more as a tribute to the Ducks’ “first [American] adventure” – and that’s why I had the nephews state that explicitly. The hat-tip to Barks and Hannah was also part of that.

Note that it was not Donald’s “first adventure”, given the earlier Italian “Secret of Mars”, “Special Correspondent”, etc. But, barring another “Italian Lost Scroll” or something, it WAS INDEED the nephews’ first adventure, and I wanted to acknowledge that! Leave it to Donald, however, to focus on the “harrowing escapes” (each one is probably etched in his memory), rather than the adventures themselves.

As for the wackiness I love so much…

I may have rewritten almost every last word of dialogue from the flat Australian translation that I worked off of, but I made certain to never stray from the PLOT and FEEL of the original Italian authors. I sensed this was a special story to them (It certainly was to me!), and I wished to keep it that way!