Saturday, February 6, 2016

On Sale February 03, 2016: UNCLE SCROOGE # 11 from IDW.

Say, this is the first time we've ever posted back-to-back on two consecutive issues of a title before!  

Let neither severe weather conditions, nor rising flood waters, prevent you from obtaining a copy of UNCLE SCROOGE # 11 (Legacy Numbering # 415) from IDW!
In it, you’ll find "Scrooge's Ark Larka story from the Italian ALMANACCO TOPOLINO # 273 (1979) and “New to the USA”, written by Giorgio Pezzin, art by the great Giovan Battista Carpi, with Translation and Dialogue by Yours Truly. 

We open with an amazingly dramatic splash panel by Carpi!

Two, asides before delving into our story...

ONE: If anyone has seen the opening (teaser) to the VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA episode "Deadly Cloud" (1967), it is very much like that.  I can even hear the same music scoring playing in my head as I view this.  

TWO: This, by sad comparison, is what our American Duck comics looked like in the 1970s.  

The wild weather does, at least, offer the opportunity for this joke!  Gotta love that British understatement!  

Perhaps they're keeping a (frozen) stiff upper lip!  

Duckburg is far from immune, as this great panel from Carpi shows! 

And, by way of exposition, so suffers the rest of the world...

Here are the Ducks reacting characteristically to impending disaster.  Love Carpi's silhouettes

All of this, and future doom-bringing deluges are predicted by an oracle in Tibet...

...From whom Scrooge resolves to get answers, lest these foretold floods deter him from his big deal.

Speaking of "Tibet", anyone catch this?  Might as well have some fun, when the opportunity presents itself.    

The Seer offers sage advice...

...Which Scrooge takes to heart, and gives us another fun moment to boot!

Does everyone remember when and where these things happened?  They all DID!  I also considering mentioning TREES and ASTEROIDS, but there wasn't enough balloon space!

Arch rival Rockerduck finds the whole "Ark Lark" thing funny...

...Until he doesn't - and employs the Beagle Boys to do his dirty work! 

And so they simulate a flood, sending our Ducks blindly to the seas!  

But, those greedy B-Boys go back for more!  

Do they ever!  By now, even Donald smells a rat... or Beagle!

And with good reason, given the events of DONALD DUCK # 366 (2011)!  Coincidentally, also drawn by Carpi! 

They hardly even vary their lines... bad actors that they are! 

Much less, in Carl Barks' tale "Delivery Dilemma" from WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 291 (1964).

The Beagle Boys even call back to the bit themselves!   

What happens next?  I ain't tellin', but Scrooge has one of the best and most satisfying "transformational character moments" in recent history!  I hope everyone enjoys it!  

Scrooge may be done with the Beagle Boys at "Ark Lark's" end, but he's got THREE other villains to contend with -- and, in an unusual lead and backup pairing, he's got me to help him on both ends of the book!  

"Bad Things Come in Threes" (my title) is an Egmont (Danish) story dating back to 2006, and is written by Lars Jensen with art by Francisco Rodriguez Peinado.  It first appeared in Denmark in 2010, and is "New to the USA".  

It is a sequel, of sorts, to "Heads You Win Tails You Bruise", also by Lars Jensen and the first Uncle Scrooge story dialogued (and titled) by me - from way back in Gemstone's UNCLE SCROOGE # 367 (2007).  

A handy footnote even tells us that!

It is also the long-awaited (by ME, anyway) return of Melvin X. Nickelby, nerdy but unscrupulous coin collector.  

I don't know what Melvin's saying in that (presumably original) version but here he is in all his American obnoxiousness!

So, Scrooge is apprehensive about exhibiting his Number One Dime, and is all the more so when Melvin shows up.

And is relieved to see Melvin depart, with the dime still in place.

But, no sooner does Melvin leave, when suddenly...

I wanted a "Lights Blotted-Out My Friends" reference, as seen in the Floyd Gottfredson classic Phantom Blot tale, but such was not to be. 

At least I got one in the aforementioned DONALD DUCK # 366, so I can't complain too loudly.  

Back to our story, the lights are quickly restored, and all is well...

...Or is it?  

I'll not spoil any more, save to say that (as the title implies) two more villains will join the party before it's through.  

Aw, heck!  I'll spoil just a LITTLE more!  Magica DeSpell is another of the three villains.  Not much of a surprise, as the story is about the Number One Dime!  

Ever wonder what kinda neat stuff Magica keeps in her purse?  

And the third villain is inadvertently revealed by an unfortunate printing error.  Hopefully, this will be corrected for the trade paperback.  Even with these reveals, there are plenty of twists and turns awaiting you, courtesy of Lars Jensen's brilliant plotting!  

On a personal note, I must say that I enjoyed writing dialogue once again for Melvin X. Nickelby, and am proud to have been his only "American voice" thus far.  And, if there are any other stories that feature him, I hope to continue doing so!  

Here are a couple of other "favorite Melvin moments" from this story:

 This script dates back to the end of Boom!'s run of Disney Core Four comics, and I was afraid that the obvious "Facebeak" joke would have gotten into print by someone else first.  

Melvin collects DVDs as well as coins.  

And, check it out... he's also a BLOGGER!  Although he doesn't have anywhere near the wonderful readership that I have - and thank you ALL very much for that!  

My gosh... If we swapped-out coins for comic books... Melvin and *I* could be... could be... NOOOOO!  I can't say it!  

Quickly changing the subject, don't be a "Melvin"! Get your copy of UNCLE SCROOGE # 11 (Legacy Numbering # 415) from IDW!  Collect COMIC BOOKS, not COINS!  

This is a COMIC BOOK! 

This is a COIN! 

If you don't wish to be like Melvin, never forget the difference!   

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 - while doing our best to avoid great floods and annoying nerds!  Both can be hazardous to your health!    


Sérgio Gonçalves said...

This looks like an especially great issue -- and, again, that's saying a lot considering the high quality of all the IDW Disney comics (judging by your blog posts). Your "Sultan of Sandlandistan" line got quite a laugh out of me.

"Barks and Scrooge McDuck... names linked in greatness!" This whole thing about "Barks" is a reference to Carl Barks, I presume? If so, excellent job -- a very imaginative play on words.

I have to ask: Is the title of the lead story, "Scrooge's Ark Lark," a reference to the 1972 Hanna-Barbera movie "Yogi's Ark Lark?"

Funny thing: Earlier today, the lights at my apartment were briefly "blotted" out! No fooling! What a coincidence that this post appears on the same day! Fortunately, though, the Phantom Blot was not behind the blackout in my area (at least as far as I know), and none of my coins or comic books went missing.

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Sergio:

Having now seen the issue in print, I really think it’s a winner! Certainly not just for me, but, for the great efforts of Pezzin Jensen, Peinado, and especially Carpi! And, let’s not forget David Gerstein (who trusted me with both stories) and Sarah Gaydos! It’s become one of my most favorite IDW issues!

The answer to BOTH your questions is YES!

I’m very glad The Phantom Blot was not behind your personal “Blotting-Out”, and equally glad none of your comics were missing when the lights came back on. I only wish you found you had MORE of them than before – and that UNCLE SCROOGE # 11 was one of them.

I really do hope you get to see these someday!

Deb said...
Thanks to your title, I had this song stuck in my head! Grr!

I agree, this is one of my favorite IDW Uncle Scrooge issues so far. Carpi's art is fantastic, and the story just flows along so well, it's easy to overlook how ridiculous the idea really is. I liked Scrooge's "Bin Ark". He's had a round money bin, an elongated bin, a corn crib, a money bin on wheels, even a pyramid...their could potentially be a story called "The 1,000 Money Bins of Scrooge McDuck", showcasing all of his emergency money bins...including the one he hopes that he'll never have to use...but that story may never exist.

Joe Torcivia said...

And now, anyone brave enough to take THAT LINK, will be hearing that song for days too, Deb!

…I’m certain they will all wish to thank you!

I shouldn’t be the one to say it, because I’m in so much of it, but this REALLY IS one of the best IDW issues of UNCLE SCROOGE. And Carpi is one HUGE reason why! I love everything about his art here!

Sure, his Beagle Boys are “kinda odd” by our traditional Barksian and “Stroblian” (if you will) standards, but they aren’t as truly distorted as some others we’ve seen. Unlike in Carpi’s own lead story seen in MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE (IDW: December, 2015) his Beagles don’t go miraculously from “fat to skinny” within the SAME STORY! Yet, they are still different from those he drew for “Moldfinger” and, as linked to (and illustrated) in the post, “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold Again”.

His Ducks are, most often, very animated and right-on perfect! And, need I heap additional praise on his opening “wild, wild weather” sequence? In short: All Hail Carpi!

The Italians often take “ridiculous ideas” and make them work – often with splendid absurdity! I mean that in the most complementary sense! And, it’s my job, and that of Jon and Thad, to best convey that “splendid absurdity” to the American audience. I think it really worked for “Scrooge’s Ark Lark”.

Oh, and while we may never have had “The 1,000 Money Bins of Scrooge McDuck” perhaps you recall that the final Boom! issue of UNCLE SCROOGE (# 404) offered up “The Fifty Money Bins Caper”, drawn by Romano Scarpa during his “Bizarre Bulbous Body Period”, and dialogued by our favorite Archival Editor David Gerstein!

…So, that’s “fifty down” and only “950 Money Bins” to go!

Elaine said...

No story involving all the various bins...but Rosa did do one of his series of 12 posters on the bin, and that poster includes five of Barks' early bin designs plus the "classic" bin.

For sure, I got the Perfect Calm reference! My other favorite reminder of recent glories: Grandpa Beagle's "If only we *had* names!" I enjoyed the "every time we pick up castaways" running joke, too. And in terms of just your basic, funny, spot-on characterization of Scrooge: "It's not just me! I have a binful of dollars to save! Oh, and my nephews!"

I was also happy to see Melvin X. Nickelby again. I think this is my favorite so far of Lars Jensen's stories. I thought he handled the concatenation of the three villains very well, especially for a 12-page story. I liked the DVD box set of "Zinnia, Warrior Flower"--but it was the comment about someone really reading the blog that reminded me of you (and Jon!).

On wanting to know what is inside Magica's purse: In the German DuckStars series of trading cards, a subset of the cards features various iconic objects (e.g. the Woodchuck Guidebook). I was amused to see that one of these cards depicts Magica's purse!

Joe Torcivia said...


Thank you for the kind words! As you can see, I had GREAT FUN with this one, and all the little references within! Imagine that I’m at a point where I can reference Barks, Scarpa, Carpi, AND me (in some instances, in multiple – including a quick nod to “Mummy Fearest”), all in one story! That’s a fun place to be!

“Zinnia, Warrior Flower” was my snap reaction to the illustration that was on the DVD box set! Sometimes it’s better to “not think” and just go with impulse!

Yes, the Blogging bit is exactly what you think – except that NO ONE (…not just Jon Gray) reads Melvin’s Blog! Probably, with good reason.

But, does the German card of Magica’s Purse tell us what’s inside? Or have I blazed new trails with this?

Elaine said...

Nope, the card doesn't reveal the purse's contents--it remains a black box, er, purse. The only thing we know with certainty to be inside it is foof bombs, I guess.

Joe Torcivia said...

Maybe also some birdseed for Ratface?

Well, the German writers are always welcome to borrow these “new facts” for a future edition. :-)

scarecrow33 said...

What about those ubiquitous dark glasses?

And possibly a bottle of that exotic perfume, Attar of Araby?

I've always imagined Magica's purse to be at least as capacious as Mary Poppins' carpet bag.

Joe Torcivia said...


Maybe, like Doctor Who’s TARDIS, Magica’s purse is larger on the inside than it is on the outside!

Goodness me, imagine drawing ANY parallels between Magica DeSpell and Mary Poppins! What’s next, Dick Van Dyke and Ratface?

Thad Komorowski said...

Since this thread isn't too lively, I'll throw in my two cents. That prissy dick Rockerduck (Rockerdick?) is really growing on me. In "Mummy Fearest" and "Scrooge's Ark Lark", you gave a good "Gold Key" vibe to these wacky Italian stories. Nothing extraordinary, but still super fun and fantastic cartooning. The ending here was classic too. I mean, we all know Scrooge is going to get his money back... why bother giving page space to the inevitable? Thanks for bringing this great issue to life, Joe!

Joe Torcivia said...


I can’t figure why there’s been so little love for UNCLE SCROOGE # 11, compared to all the other IDW threads we’ve had here. Maybe everyone’s still spent from the hyper-opinionated previous thread on UNCLE SCROOGE # 10.

I’ve quite enjoyed the way I’ve characterized Rockerduck. Your description does the characterization perfect justice. In truth, for those who like to discuss these things, it’s nothing that doesn’t exist (at least as a “germ”) in the originals – but I just bring out the “prissy-dickishness” all the more because it both suits the character and offers a differentiation from Flintheart Glomgold.

I didn’t “go” for a particular “Gold Key Vibe” in either “Mummy Fearest” or “Scrooge's Ark Lark”, as I have done for certain other stories. Just punched them up in what has become my own style of humor. But, I’ll take any comparisons to the best of the Gold Key days as a compliment as those comics, particularly from 1964 to 1966, will always remain an influence on me.

I love the ending, as written, as both Scrooge and Rockerduck are off to exact hell-fire revenge on the Beagle Boys… and, often, the best stuff is the stuff you don’t see.

…And, indeed, there was much “Classic Cartooning” by Carpi! Despite his occasional inconsistences (like Fat Beagles and Skinny Beagles in the same story in CHRISTMAS PARADE), he’s really become a favorite of mine. Nice, lively and animated art.

Rocky will be back soon, in “Vicious Cycles”, an upcoming Scarpa story in DONALD DUCK, with the same “PD” characterization we’ve come to love. I’m curious to see how Jonathan will handle him in the also-upcoming “Scrooge’s Last Adventure”.

Adel Khan said...

I had picked up this issue along with US#10 on the day it was released. I was hoping to get a moment for a leisurely read that day and immediately post my thoughts, but that was not the case. In the meanwhile, I viewed “Scooby Doo Mystery Inc.”, I thought it too be one of the best reboots of those meddling kids. I enjoyed the callbacks to previous incarnations of the show and Fred Jones’ obsession with traps.

Today during our reading week, I had the opportunity of perusing this issue. When I saw the publication date of “Scrooge’s Ark Lark”, I too thought of how pedestrian the art Western Publishing was printing. It is interesting that I had “The Perfect Place” song playing in my head when I saw the title. Thankfully we were spared from Uncle Scrooge and company breaking into song. The narration on the first page seemed at least to me reminiscent of the early H-B cartoons.

I can relate with seeing a panel, how it reminds you of a similar scene in a T.V. show or film. How the underscore used in a scene fits well with panels in a comic book. In fact, when I read the infamous sequence of Scrooge ducknapping Glittering Goldie in “Back To The Klondike”, Henry Mancini’s “Theme From Romeo and Juliet” plays in my head.

After a couple of years, I took for granted how impressive the artists rendered the rip-roaring storms. It wasn’t until I listened to you on “Donald Duck Goes To Press” talk about how impressive Marco Rota’s renderings of the storms were in “Night Of The Saracen”, I started paying attention to the backgrounds closely.

It is nice when a character makes a reference to their creator. The portmanteau of bin and ark was a brilliant reference to the Duck Man. Did coming up with the Bark joke come easily to you? Uncle Scrooge mentioning the previous locations where he has hidden his money was good. For my liking his drawings of the Beagle Boys were a bit bizarre, with the facial hair and the single tooth. I try to keep my perspectives open when I see new artwork. Initially when I saw the artwork of Don Rosa and William Van Horn I was tepid to their works, however over time I grew to admire their style. My preference is a balance of maintaining a unique drawing style while being sincere to the original character’s appearance.

The Beagle Boys closing remark, “So long Screwy, See ya in Saint Looie” worked well. I admired how initially Uncle Scrooge was crying about the loss of his money, then he gained the resolve in escaping from the island. I never tire of the numerous times he has been subjected to desperate times, his fortitudes always shine through, like the shine on his money. When the Ducks are stranded on the island they created a stone ship, it reminded me of moments in “THE A-TEAM” where the gang makes these weapons using spare parts. After the stone boat splashed into the water, the waves looked great. It was funny seeing RockerDuck down on his knee, asking if his pricey aftershave was preventing the Sultan in closing the deal.

Adel Khan said...

In order to savor the Torcivia experience, I read the stories over two nights. On the second night, after I viewed “House Of Wax” (1953) I read “Bad Things Come In Threes”. If there was a Disney comic, I was anticipating for – this would be a contender.

I was laughing out loud when they chased Electric Lightfoot, Uncle Scrooge’s jolting remark “Let’s take your car and give him watt-for!”. The sound-effects you wrote in there as the old 313 going down the stairs was a good touch. Was the line “Did Victor become Victoria?” an allusion to Blake Edward’s 1982 film? I liked the alliterative name “numismatic nerd” bestowed by Uncle Scrooge. I had to look up the word numismatic, as I was unfamiliar with the term.

I hope my constant mention of the voice actor I hear for a character is not irritating. Rick Moranis would be the perfect Melvin X. Nickelby, as the hapless nerd he portrays in many films suits Melvin’s geekiness. I enjoyed the jokes made at the expense of Melvin’s sedentary lifestyle and nerdy experience (“‘Drool!’ All firsts! You might even become my first real friends! ‘Choke!’”) It speaks true to how most of my spare time is spent viewing old T.V. shows, reading comics, and web browsing.

How could I relate to Melvin’s combination of a triple-buttered popcorn, a gallon of Grape Gurgle –Urp, and a DVD box set of “Zinnia Warrior Flower”. Kudos on employing alliteration and Carl Barks in the same line. Like Melvin, I have my unique habits i.e. like having a favorite meal while watching T.V. show. Or have a line-up of my T.V. shows, followed by reading a comic-book. The name RichMuch has a similar cadence as Howduyustan.

I find it humorous how you give Donald an obsession with T.V. shows, in this case, “Pup Cop Corpsman”, or “Captain Retro-Duck” (US #3). Was “Pup Cop Corpsman” akin to the detective shows i.e. “The Rockford Files”? The compliment Uncle Scrooge delivered to Donald was sweet. It’s always nice to see them be successful in their partnership.

Out of all the stories you have dialogued so far this would have to be my favorite. The witty dialogued of yours matched the vibrancy of Rodriguez Peinado’s drawings in creating a stellar effort. Hope to see more from the both of you.

Unknown said...

Been reading this month's Disney books, and naturally I saved Scrooge for last because he's my favorite. First of all, it was a great month for Scrooge in comics, as had substantial roles in Donald Duck and WDC&S (new Van Horn Scrooge story!) in addition to his own title.

Anyway, I loved this issue! It's up there with issues #8 (two very Barksian Dutch stories), and #9 (wild Cavazzano time-travel Christmas story I loved far more than I thought I would) as my favorite IDW Uncle Scrooge issues! Scrooge's Ark Lark worked for me because it was a classic "Scrooge hides his money in something new and the Beagle Boys steal it" tale that's crashed into a "Scrooge against a rival tycoon" tale. And the Beagles are still at large with Scrooge's money at the end! How cool is that? Carpi also understands in his art that a proper Scrooge adventure needs the cartoony art supplemented with more solid and detailed elements that gives Uncle Scrooge a more grounded identity than most funny animal books.

I also enjoyed the backup story, and I'd like to mention that I enjoy the very presence of backup stories. Not only does your typical IDW Disney comic have about twice the page count of a modern comic, but it must contain at least four or five times the amount of actual story content.

Joe Torcivia said...

Adel (to both your comments):

Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated is something EVERYONE should experience – in its entirety – at least once! Someday, I hope to find the time to do it again, end-to-end. As I’ve said elsewhere, it’s SCOOBY-DOO meets LOST!

I’ll NEVER understand how Western Publishing, once the home of Carl Barks, Roger Armstrong, Tom McKimson, Harvey Eisenberg, Bill Wright, Dick Moores, Vive Risto, Tony Strobl, Paul Murry, Jack Bradbury, Al Hubbard, Fred Abranz, Pete Alvarado, and John Carey could allow itself to sink to low artistically. Especially when such great talent was out there! I hate to say “they didn’t’ care”, but clearly… “they didn’t’ care”!

“The Perfect Place” song seems to have permanently scarred lots of folks… especially among my readers! As with Western Publishing, how could Hanna-Barbera, home of Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, The Flintstones, Top Cat, The Jetsons, and Jonny Quest have sunk so equally low?

I think more of us hear underscores and appropriate character voices when reading comics than we would care to admit. To me, it makes the experience all the richer… and, when it happens for me, it just happens automatically, and without effort. Like it’s a NATURAL PART of the comic.

The “Barks joke” came just as naturally, as I was mulling over the phrase “Bin Ark”. As did the “money hiding” locations… Two from Barks and one from Romano Scarpa (and me - “Mummy Fearest”).

“So long Screwy, See ya in Saint Looie” was, of course, borrowed from Bugs Bunny – and I best liked Scrooge’s transformation into the Barks / Rosa Scrooge at the end!

Consider me extremely honored to act as a “chaser” (or, better yet, “dessert”) for the great Vincent Price in “House of Wax”! With Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated and this, you sure do surround your comics reading with other great stuff! My complements to your tastes!

Yes, on “Victor Victoria” and the “Vic Voltage” identity was an oblique tribute to Vic Lockman!

In the “old days”, Carl Barks often sent ME to the dictionary over an unfamiliar word. I’m glad to have continued that “tradition’ with you!

I kinda “hear” Melvin as “Leonard” on THE BIG BANG THEORY! Though Leonard would have to sound more obnoxious, but just as nerdy, to be a perfect Melvin. But, that’s what so great about this stuff! Everyone sees it and embraces it differently!

“Pup Cop” was a crime-solving dog, created by Lars Jensen (and David?), whose comic book had a logo not unlike Scooby-Doo. I threw that in as a complete nod to Lars Jensen, as original author of “Bad Things Come in Threes”. The “Crime-Crusher Tips”, however, was a reference to Dick Tracy’s “Crime-Stopper Tips” which were an add-on to the top of each Tracy Sunday page – and were an interstitial of sorts to the 1960s Dick Tracy TV cartoon. Though, I think Donald’s moved-on to “Captain Retro-Duck”, he’ll always have a soft spot for “Pup Cop”.

Thank you, in particular, for the kind words on “Bad Things Come in Threes”!

Joe Torcivia said...


I’d say your description “…a classic ‘Scrooge hides his money in something new and the Beagle Boys steal it’ tale that's crashed into a ‘Scrooge against a rival tycoon’ tale” PERFECTLY describes what “Scrooge’s Ark Lark” is!

I love the fact that the story fades-out with The Beagle Boys still in possession of all of Scrooge’s money, and a small amount of Rockerduck’s to boot, and they are darned and truly well going to get it back! It reminds me of some of the best of the older Hanna-Barbera cartoons, where they fade-out with the starring character still in trouble. Huckleberry Hound’s “Tough Little Termite” might be the best example of this, as we “end” on Huck apparently falling to his death.

We know he gets out of it somehow, just as we know that the unlikely team of Scrooge and Rockerduck will also prevail. Sometimes, it’s just more fun not to see exactly how.

In this one, Carpi struck the perfect balance of cartoony (when it needed to be) and “comics realistic” (also when it needed to be). Wonderful work by him!

Considering the higher page counts, compete lack of intrusive interior ads, and outstanding printing and paper quality, IDW gives us an incredible amount of actual, tangible value for the price! Long may they continue to do so!