|All three cover variants for IDW's Donald Duck #12 (379)|
So far this year we haven’t had the 3rd "retailer incentive" cover variant that the IDW monthly Disney comics used to have last year. They are going to be back next month though, starting with another blank "sketch" variant just in time for the convention summer. But this month we got another special 3rd variant cover. IDW is having an Art Appreciation month in April, where selected series get an extra variant cover celebrating famous art. Donald Duck is one of those series (the only Disney one), and the cover is a parody of Vincent van Gogh’s painting "Self-portrait with grey felt hat".
|Original painting vs. the art appreciation cover|
It’s actually not a newly made cover for this IDW event, but a painting the Dutch artist Wouter Tulp made for the "Van Gogh Year" (125 years after his death) in 2015. And the painting was exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum last summer. The painting was also used as a cover for a Dutch Donald Duck comic last year, and as IDW’s Donald Duck logo is the same as the Dutch one the two issues looks almost the same!
|Dutch Donald Duck #22/2015 and IDW's Donald Duck #12|
We also got a couple of interesting stories in IDW’s Donald Duck #12. First we have Vicious Cycles, another story drawn by Scarpa – but this time written by Osvaldo Pavese. Doing a quick search in inducks it looks like this is the first story written by him that is published in the USA.
The story starts with business rivalry between Scrooge and Rockerduck, both having their own brand of bicycles called McDuckernaut and Thunderbolt. I’m not sure if McDuckernaut is wordplay for Juggernaut or something else, but part of the original pun might have been lost in translation. In Italian they are called Saetta and Folgore i.e. two names for the same thing. So Lightning/Flash and Thunderbolt might have sounded better imo (but it's not a big deal).
When the cycling champ and Thunderbolt rider Two-Wheel McHeel comes to town, Scrooge needs a champion of his own to show everyone that McDuckernaut is the best brand. And who is going to save Scrooge’s business by riding a McDuckernaut in the Duckburg Cyclethon? Donald of course…
This story has a lot of similarities with the Barks story Bubbleweight Champ. The boxing and the cycling champs are not only similar looking, but in Italian they even had the same name!
|Italian names from "Bubbleweight Champ" (left) and "Vicious Cycles" (right)|
In English they are called Boldan True and Two-Wheel McHeel, so the similarity is not that obvious. But we also have the boys as coaches and kind of a similar outcome. And we have the same milk/soda drinking joke.
|From "Bubbleweight Champ" (top) and "Vicious Cycles" (bottom)|
The next story is Free Spirits, the first story with Sonny Seagull ehm, I mean Garvey Gull. It’s actually not the first story with the character printed in the USA. He also had a small role in Healthy Choice published in Gemstone's Mickey Mouse Adventures #10. The character's English name in Egmont scripts is Sonny Seagull, but Gemstone decided to change it for the American printing. The reasoning was that Garvey Gull was a more tougher-sounding name for his mischievous characteristics, and that Sonny could be mistaken as slang for "kid" instead of his real name. Personally I think the name Sonny Seagull sounds a lot better, but I’m not American so I can’t really tell what is best sounding for American readers.
By introducing the character with his first story, I’m guessing IDW plan on printing more stories with Garvey in the future. And that is good news for readers unfamiliar with this free spirit! I’ve read all stories with him and there are some really good ones! Egmont haven’t produced any new stories with Garvey and Phelps in a while – but I hope they will soon. Because I got a bit jealous of American readers right now, I want to read new stories with Garvey too!