Okay, readers... Let's get the obvious matter out of the way, and get into (...if you'll pardon the expression) The Issue At Hand!
IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 34 (Legacy Number 438, Cover Date: January, 2018) was LATE!
How late was it? ...I ask in the role of my own straight-man.
It was SO LATE that when it arrived for a doctor's appointment, the DOCTOR was waiting for IT!
It was SO LATE that the American Founding Fathers convened to review the issue but, when it never showed up, they drafted The Declaration of Independence instead!
It was SO LATE that brand-new copies are condition-graded "FAIR" from deterioration due to age!
It was SO LATE that Carl Barks' ORIGINAL UNCLE SCROOGE STORIES were its contemporaries and (...get ready for some REAL SINCERITY here) it was JUST AS GREAT as they were!
|The great Carl Barks, creator of Scrooge Mc Duck!|
I'd wager that NOBODY, least of all Carl Barks himself, ever believed that anyone would still be enjoying UNCLE SCROOGE almost three-quarters-of-a-century out from that very first historic appearance in this 1947 Dell Comic...
...Where Scrooge didn't even MAKE THE COVER, and was but a relatively minor ensemble player therein! (See bottom tier of the page below - and the close-ups on Scrooge that follow!)
From there, he graduated to cover appearances and becoming a regular and intregal member of Carl Barks' expanding world of the Comic-Book-Donald Duck...
...Well, at least when those covers were RECREATED RETROACTIVELY...
...Or COMPLETELY REDESIGNED to correct earlier omissions...
...Finally achieving his own title in 1952!
The rest, as we so often say, is history! PUBLISHING HISTORY, over many different publishers!
...Okay if ya do! Just come back when you're finished!
And here is the culmination of all that!
As having only contributed "Translation and Dialogue", I take no credit for that! The original story by Vito Stabile was in a singular-category-of-awesomeness all its own long before I laid eyes on it!
But, to our story, which begins, not in Duckburg with Scrooge and his nephews, but on the high seas of the 16th Century... (As always, Click on all images to Enlarge!)
...Where two very dedicated pirates seek a fabled treasure!
So dedicated are those pirates, that they fight their way to the Crown...
...Discover its hiding place...
...And are transformed into golden statues for their troubles!
Back in Duckburg, it's Scrooge's birthday... shall we presume his 70th?
Donald and the boys propose a treasure hunt to commemorate the occasion.
Scrooge skeptically balks at first...
To digress, Scrooge REALLY DID "discover Lost Atlantis and the Philosopher's Stone", courtesy of Carl Barks!
I'd NEVER allow a "phony backstory" to appear in anything I worked on! [End of Digression]
He is quickly convinced, however, because the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook is NEVER wrong!
Going all the way back to Carl Barks' original stories... THE JUNIOR WOODCHUCKS GUIDEBOOK IS NEVER WRONG! Got it? Good!
Lo and behold, they FIND THE TREASURE - and the PIRATES, still gilded after all these years!
Ducks being Ducks, they argue over their precious find...
...Until Scrooge takes it one greedy step too far...
...And inadvertently wishes his nephews into non-existence!
One might say, at least for a moment, that Scrooge hasn't come very far in those 70 years...
Desperately, he turns to the two golden pirates for assistance, reviving them...
...Which may not have been the best idea he's ever had!
To cut Scrooge just a little slack, I had him take the doomed pirates for EXPLORERS like himself!
But, now we've come to the part where I just can't spoil any more of Vito Stabile's magnificent story, and deprive you of the joys of reading it yourself!
So, I'll just list a few more highlights and some "things to look for", that you may or may not have noticed!
Scrooge gets to meet an ancient ancestor...
...Who was originally created by Carl Barks!
And, there's the most awesome giant magic turtle (!) you've ever seen!
All this, and so much more, is the product of Vito Stabile - long may he wave!
Now, wouldn't you be disappointed if I didn't throw in a few extras for you to ferret out?
Of course, you would! So, here's a list of 'em!
While Vito Stabile and I (each in our own ways) made this one great big loving tribute to Carl Barks, I saw the opportunity to tribute one of the lesser-known artists associated with Scrooge McDuck in comics produced in the United States.
In the era preceding Don Rosa and William Van Horn, probably no one except Carl Barks (of course) and Tony Strobl drew Uncle Scrooge more than Pete Alvarado!
This former Warner Bros. animator spent decades drawing just about everything for Western Publishing's Dell, Gold Key, and Whitman comics.
Like The Flintstones, for example...
But, not content to merely give a deserved tribute to Mr. Alvarado, I took this a few extra steps, when Captain Alvarado's full name was revealed!
"Secret of Atlantis"...
"The Fabulous Philosopher's Stone"...
An inversion of the standard "30 Cents an Hour" gag (though credit for that goes to Stabile)...
Another pseudo chapter of "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck"...
(I do a LOT of those - like this!)
Scrooge's past with the "James Boys and the Daltons" from Carl Barks' 1952 classic "Only a Poor Old Man"...
"My BIOGRAPHERS made a thorough study of my genealogy" (References to Carl Barks and Don Rosa)...
The comparison of Donald to "Bos'n Pintail" - it was not in the original...
In fact, those Carl Barks references can be found in the darnedest places - even caption boxes: "I resurfaced in this GROTTO, with no GHOST of a chance..." (Get it?)
The reference by GLADSTONE (appropriately) that "...there's always ANOTHER RAINBOW..." (publisher reference), which was, roundabout-ly named for a Barks reference ...
Oh, and of course (all together now) The Junior Woodchucks Guidebook is NEVER wrong!
Perhaps my most favorite "Bertram reference" of all time!
As previously noted, the notion that Scrooge initially believes the pirates to be EXPLORERS like himself!
Also found therein are a number of "All Purpose Barks Character Quotes", that you'll all recognize from somewhere...
"My stars and little comets"...
"Great Flaming Catwhiskers!"...
And, the ultimate Scrooge quote, which needs no introduction...
Not an "All-Purpose Quote", but one of the best ever: "I'm afraid to open my mouth! My brains might fall out!" (My favorite line from Barks' "The 24-Carat Moon"!)
Finally, in as personal a tribute as is possible... As a young reader, Carl Barks would often send me to the dictionary to look up the occasional unfamiliar word he might use in his scripts! In my script for the 70th Anniversary of Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge, I made a point of using certain words that I distinctly recall learning from Carl Barks, on those fondly-remembered trips to the dictionary!
Someday, I hope one of MY scripts will send a young child to Google, Bing, Siri, Alexa, or whatever, the same way Carl Barks sent this forever grateful reader to the dictionary!
For anyone still reading after all this, I'd like to thank the following persons:
Vito Stabile for writing such an amazing story that is both quite contemporary, yet well-steeped in the Carl Barks tradition from which this all sprang!
Alessandro Perino for such lively art, worthy of this amazing story!
Archival Editor Extraordinaire David Gerstein for entrusting me with dialoguing this (all together now) amazing story!
And, the great Mister Carl Barks for being responsible for ALL of this!
The issue is rounded-out by a two-page mini-tribute to Scrooge Mc Duck and some of his more famous creators.
Drawn by the great Dutch comic artist Daan Jippes, with Translation and Dialogue by David Gerstein, "Till Debt Do Us Part" honors Carl Barks, Don Rosa, and Romano Scarpa - as well as some of the many publishers who've brought us the UNCLE SCROOGE title over the years!
Having originally purchased a copy of this back in December of 1968, imagine how thrilled I was to see its inclusion! After all, it's not a noteworthy book in any way... but there it is!
Also, I hope Donald isn't planning on selling those comics to a dealer when he's through swimming in them. He'll get very little in return! In fact, that's probably the only thing that keeps ME from doing that with my collection! It sure looks like it would be fun to do!
The lower half of this page is also a sheer delight!
Being an original "Gold Key Kid", David did me the additional honor of allowing me to select the "Gold Key Representation" for this feature! "The Giant Robot Robbers" is a well-done, well-remembered story, bolstered by its being (somewhat freely) adapted for the original DuckTales animated series (1987).
Well, that's it, folks! (What? You expected me to say "That's All, Folks!" in a Disney post?)
I regret the long delay on my part in getting this post out, but I hope you'll find it as "worth the wait" as I found IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 34!
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.
After all this time, I'm sure you're brimming with comments, so I'll see you all in the Comments Section, where we'll ALL wish Uncle Scrooge the happiest of birthdays!