Friday, March 25, 2016

March comics from IDW

March Disney comics from IDW

This post will be a quick summary of what I liked and some things I didn’t like from the March lineup of Disney comics from IDW.

Donald Duck #11 (378)

"Syds in Your Eye"
I already made a post with a little bit of Cornelius Coot history from this issue. The main story (The Incredible Quest for Cooties) was interesting and new to me, but not my favorite from this issue. Even if I already got several copies of Suds in Your Eye from before, that’s my favorite part. I’ve been hoping for more Fethry madness from Dick Kinney and Al Hubbard, and this story does not disappoint on that part! It's also the story about Daisy's first meeting with Fethry.

Mickey Mouse #10 (319)

"Shadow of the Colossus"
Mickey Mouse #10 started with the first part of another Eurasia Toft adventure. While on vacation Mickey and Goofy meet Eurasia who is looking for clues to the Colossus of Rhodes. IDW really got me to like the series of Eurasia Toft adventures! I had already read a couple of them before IDW stared printing the stories, but then they were just read in a hurry and completely forgotten the next week. With better paper, colors and larger format than the European pocket books, they are presented in a much better way. Now I’m already looking forward to the next adventure, that I’m sure we’ll see in a future issue of IDW’s Mickey Mouse. Sadly Topolino e le miniere di Fantametallo is the last Casty-written adventure with Eurasia Toft and the only one left for IDW to print after Shadow of the Colossus. But I hope more will be created in the future! 

"No Good Deed"
Mickey Mouse #10 also got another story I really liked. To American readers No Good Deed is a rarely seen Mickey story (well, mostly Pete) drawn by Marco Rota – actually the 2nd one, the first being The Big Glutton in WDC&S #631/632. Marco Rota has drawn a bunch of Mickey stories too, but the ones being published in the USA so far have mostly been Duck stories. I also liked the blue-gradient way of coloring darkness in this story. According to the credits that’s actually done by Marco Rota himself and not the Egmont office [edit:check the comments for a correction on this], and that might be the reason this story has a D/D-code (just me speculating). I don’t know much about this, but from what I’ve heard the D/D-coded Egmont stories are "development" stories made outside the budget of the regular D-coded stories. Some have been new writers and artists doing an Egmont story for the first time, and others looks like they’ve been trying out new storytelling or art styles. Both Lars Jensen and Marco Rota were experienced creators at the time this story was made, so the coloring or maybe Pete as the main character are the only special things I can think of.

Uncle Scrooge #12 (416)

"Gem Scam Jam"
While I liked the Donald and Mickey issues a lot, Uncle Scrooge was a disappointment this month. I didn’t like the main story Ten Little Millionaires much; in fact I’m not a huge fan of "Ducks in space" stories in general.

I was looking more forward to Gem Scam Jam, a Scarpa story with Jubal Pomp that I’ve never read before. But the dialogue ruined the story real quick... I’ve seen discussions about the dialoguing in the new IDW monthlies on other blogs, but even if I have mixed feelings about some stories I’ve never cared too much about discussing it. But this time, even if I have no clue what the original text is I can clearly tell that parts of the dialogue has been rewritten. When Jubal talks about "Mummy disguise" and an ark it’s obviously a reference to other recently published stories in Uncle Scrooge. This is not something I’d like to see in a professional translation/dialoguing – it sounds more like an unnecessary fan rewrite.

Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #729

"Hocus Focus"
We have now come to chapter 9 of 12 in the The Search for the Zodiac Stone. At first I skipped reading this story waiting for all parts to be printed, but now I’ve actually caught up. I remember liking the story a lot when I first read it in the 90’s, and I still think it’s okay – but just that. At this point I’m more excited to see the July issue of WDC&S when the story has ended, than to read the next chapter.

We also got Hocus Focus another story with a plot idea by Carl Barks and script/art by Daan Jippes. In the last one, The Doorman Doormat in Uncle Scrooge #8 (412), Jippes made the story based on an idea written on the back of an invoice. I don’t know the origin of the idea used for "Hocus Focus", but it might be from the Gyro folder with unused ideas that Joakim Gunnarsson bought. "Hocus Focus" is just a 1-pager so not too much to be excited about even if it's co-credited to Carl Barks. The gag reminds me of Machine Mix-Up, another 1-pager by Barks.


  1. Casty has told me that he's now planning more adventures for Eurasia Toft, so we hope Mickey won't see the last of her—either in the USA or Europe!—anytime soon.

    IDW's color for "No Good Deed..." was actually newly made for our edition. When the story ran in Europe in 2008, Rota drew up a special color guide for Egmont's use; but but Egmont didn't follow it precisely, as it included more elaborate shading than the Egmont Disney weeklies utilized at that time. At IDW, I had our friends at Egmont send me Rota's color guide directly so we could realize his intent more precisely.

    As regards the in-jokes added to "Gem Scam Jam," rest assured that they didn't replace anything significant in Scarpa's original: there, as Jubal paced around the park pond, considering plans to outwit Scrooge, he simply mumbled phrases along the lines of "Maybe I could do THIS..." and "Or maybe THAT..."
    Since no actual plans were cited, it didn't seem untoward to me (as editor) that we could add a few funny xrefs to other stories, as long as they didn't confuse new readers or interfere with Scarpa's original plotline.
    Similarly, later in the story, when Scrooge mentions "Glomgolds and maharajahs," it's again a reference that wasn't in Scarpa's original—but not a severe departure, either: in Scarpa, Scrooge simply rages that he'll beat the Pasha of Pushbak in the contest, and in our version, we've added a dash of color by comparing it to Scrooge's similar contests with others.
    In no way is the IDW version of "Gem Scam Jam" a major distortion of the original, nor would I want it to be.

  2. P. S. More Kinney/Hubbard Fethry coming before too long—much to Donald's regret.

  3. Plans for more Eurasia are good news! Searching in the inducks database I saw that a team-up with Arizona Goof exist and that she has been used in a French story. But I don’t think they can be compared to the Casty-written adventure stories – so even if I’ve become a little bit of a fan of the character I don’t care too much about seeing those stories.

    That’s interesting details about the coloring of "No Good Deed...".! I got a copy of the 2008 Egmont coloring too, but didn’t think of comparing it as I thought it was the same as the IDW print (only with usual consistency adjustments)

    About the translation and the inserted jokes. I’m not against inserting some occasional references or spicing up the dialogue with new jokes when it feels right, but sometimes I think it’s a bit too much (like in “Gem Scam Jam”). When you get joke after joke that you can tell is the work of the translator it throws you off the flow of the story (at least for me). And I think it sounds a bit forced. We also got things like "To me you are only a poor old man" and "Move to Goat-ham"

    On a more positive note: I think it's great that some of the more rare (also in European countries) Scarpa stories like "Gem Scam Jam" are being published. Several stories on my wanting-to-track-down list have been read the last year thanks to IDW.

    ps: I slightly edited a line that sounded a bit harsh in the above blogpost.

  4. More Eurasia Toft in the works, yay! I look forward to Fantametallo, with its three-panel-per-page layout. I buy all IDW Disney comics, but as usual with me for comics, I give most away...Casty's Eurasia is responsible for my currently buying more issues of Mickey Mouse to keep than issues of Donald Duck, an unheard-of development.

    I have "Minnie à travers les profounders" and I enjoyed it. It's an alternate Atlantis story, with Minnie and Eurasia teaming up to explore Atlantis. (Mickey and Eega look on from a spaceship, thus justifying its inclusion in the "Mickey à travers les mondes" series.) I appreciated the fact that Minnie and Eurasia *do* team up amicably, and that there's no sexist silliness about Minnie getting jealous of Eurasia's adventures with Mickey. I have a few originally Italian stories where Minnie teams up with another female character for adventures: Clarabelle Cow (e.g. "Minni e lo scettro egiziano"), or in one story "Minni e il sentiero delle gatte" by Giovanna Bo, an archaeologist named Danda Champollion. So it seems natural to me that she would occasionally team up with Eurasia.

    May I also say, I greatly appreciate the tone you take when you are critical of something. I'm willing to write online about Disney comics because the great majority of those blogging and commenting are civil. People I'd be happy to converse with in person!

  5. The Fantametallo story is also about Atlantis, but was made after "Minnie à travers les profounders", so there might be a bit of inconsistency there.

    If I’m being too critical of something I usually regret writing it a few days later, so I’m trying to keep that to a minimum on this blog. But sometimes a few honest opinions slip out. It’s about comics, so in the end it’s not really anything important to get worked up over.

  6. Yup, I realize the Fantametallo story is also about Atlantis; that's why I said the French story is "an alternate Atlantis story," I meant alternative to Casty's own storyline. At the end of Colossus, Atlantis is predicted, so the French creators apparently decided to make their own sequel of sorts! A bit iffy to do that while the creator of the first story is still working... :) Anyway, I'm happy to have any and all Atlantis stories. And since I don't even have a headcanon of Mouse stories, I don't have to worry at all about inconsistency.