Sunday, October 15, 2017

On Sale October 18, 2017: UNCLE SCROOGE # 31 from IDW -- A Very Looong New Comic Review!



Don't stop to ask "Witches" the best way to your local comic book shop!  Just get there the fastest way you can - be it by car, train, bus... or broom, and pick up a copy of UNCLE SCROOGE # 31 (Legacy Numbering # 435) from IDW!

In it, you'll find a trio of tales focused on five ladies quite adept at weaving their own types of "magic"!  

On the side of mischief, we have... 
Magica De Spell...

Witch Hazel...


The Marvelous Mad Madam Mim, or just "Mim" for short...

And, representing good, are...

Belle Duck...


...And the long-awaited return of "Golden Grandkid" Dickie Duck, who works her own special brand of groovy ice-creamy magic!  

Also, present and ably accounted for, are your regular complement of Translators and Dialog-itioners Jonathan Gray, Thad Komorowski, and your humble Blog-host - all aided, abetted, and "Archivally-Edited" by the incomparable David Gerstein! 
Unlike the lovely ladies above, I'll save you the trauma of individually picturing us, and just throw up (perhaps literally, you decide) this generic representation of what I call "The IDW Creative Cour Four" - complete with both sharp and blunt mayhem-creating instruments!  ...You'll thank me for the image, if you've actually seen us in person!  

All of us are nicely represented by stories suited to our individual styles and quirks, as you will see, as we begin with "Sins of the Sorcery Summit!", a 15-page, 2014 Dutch tale of sorcery and witchcraft written by Jan Kruse, drawn by Sander Gulien, with translation and dialogue by the great Jonathan Gray!  


Magica decides that four magic heads are better than one, in overcoming Scrooge...


"Easy-Bake Coven"?!  Oh, great one, Jon!

...And enlists the help of three witches...

...Hazel and Mim, and one who never gets the message!  




Witch Winifred?  Oh, yeah... The one from "The Golden Christmas Tree" (1948)!  ...Thanks for the reminder in your thought balloon, Ratface! 




You know, it's just as well she didn't show up... She's just TOO MEAN!  


Elsewhere, we have this wonderful reference to long time classic writer of Dell, Gold Key, and Whitman comics - Vic Lockman!


Coincidentally, Lockman was the writer of the last story published in the USA to feature Scrooge and Mim together (UNCLE SCROOGE # 83, 1969, with art by Tony Strobl)...


...And Scrooge vs. the wayward Witch Winifred (WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES # 320, 1967, with art by Pete Alvarado)!  
Yeah, I'm glad she didn't show up! 
Quite honestly, after all the years Vic Lockman spent anonymously entertaining us readers of the 1950s thru 1980s with his uniquely written tales of beloved characters - not only of Disney, but Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, Walter Lantz, and MGM, he deserved such a tribute in these pages!

And Jon delivers in a very nice way that clearly surpasses my more disguised attempt to do so in 2016's IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 11.



And considering that so much of the coming action moves to "Fort Lockman" - and in consideration of this 1969 Vic Lockman-written story...


...Could an alternate title for this story not have been "The Siege of Fort Lockman"?  

From DONALD DUCK # 127 (1969) W-Vic Lockman, A-Tony Strobl. 

However, Jon does evoke another obscure Vic Lockman-penned story title from 1971 - "Why All the Crabby Ducks"?  (Love it!)


DONALD DUCK # 136 (1971) Another story by the prolific Vic Lockman!
I got it, even if no one else did! Can't fool me, Mister Gray! 

Though, in 50 years, if some future Disney comics creative person elects to similarly tribute me, I hope they name something in my honor that is less evocative of Alcatraz! 



Oh, yeah... We still have a story to report on... Donald, the boys and Gladstone Gander get involved just at the point we must break, before we begin to indulge in spoilers!  (...We'd never do that!) 




Though I'll highlight one more nice character bit, where Witch Hazel still retains her fondness for Huey, Dewey, and Louie, from these classic appearances...



...Yet, still gleefully wants to stick it to Donald!   


Finally, we, in our focus on story, art, and script, rather unfairly neglect to give due credit to our wonderful letterers and colorists Travis and Nicole Seitler - and let me take a moment to attempt to atone for these oft-committed sins of omission.  

Their lettering is always first-rate! You can see this in just about every panel of the IDW Disney comics.  Look at any illustration in this very post for proof.  



It is comfortable on the eyes, and always easy to read. I say that, if you NOTICE lettering, it's not a good job!  And, by not calling undue attention to their great lettering skills, they prove time and again just how great they really are!  

And, in the coloring department... just look at this page, and tell me it's not WONDERFUL!  
Click to enlarge!

Everyone, please take a moment to appreciate the work of these two great professionals, who add so much to our reading experience!  

After a one-page gag, dialogued by David Gerstein, we move on to our second feature. 

"Belle, Book, and Bungle" (10-pages, Denmark, 2014) is written by the great Lars Jensen, drawn by the great Noel Van Horn, and dialogued by Yours Truly.  

The Halloween season must really energize Magica De Spell because, after that one-page break, she's back-and-badder-than-ever, in her quest for Uncle Scrooge's Number One Dime. 



Ever loyal Miss Quackfaster gives her all, but it's the timely appearance of Belle Duck (and a spirited door-opening) that saves the day!  

Notice how much the dragon (actually transformed Magica) look's like Noel's father, William Van Horn's creations in "Nervous Rex" (1987)?  

Or William Van Horn's character from UNCLE SCROOGE # 320 (2003)? 

Scrooge gives Belle a shiny new penny for her troubles, and hustles her out.  Belle takes her copper fortune to the local diner, where she meets Magica De Spell...




...And becomes "The Sorceress' Apprentice"!

What would Mickey Mouse think of this?  

Hexing-hilarity ensues...

...Oh, does it ever!  

Can Belle save Scrooge's Money Bin from magical forces that she, herself, unleashed?  And, after only receiving a penny for stopping "Ruff the Magic Dragon", would she even WANT to? 



I'd tell you... IF I did SPOILERS!  But I DON'T, so there! 

Oh, and Scrooge also frequents "Bertram's Burgers", the same place visited by Donald and Oona in IDW's DONALD DUCK # 21 (2017)...We keep track o' li'l things like that 'round here! 




Honestly, wouldn't ya just wanna throw back a sack of Bertram's Best?  ...Well, wouldn't ya?  (Da-rool! Da-rool!)

Lastly, we turn our "all-magicked-out" attentions to a welcome "ordinary, slice-of-life" vignette starring our refugee-from-the-sixties, uber-teen - and possibly Scrooge's grand-kid - Dickie Duck!  

...But, how "ordinary" can any "slice-of-life vignette" be when it's Dickie who's doing the slicing?  



Dickie Duck was created waaay back in 1966 by the Italian Disney comic-book legend Romano Scarpa to inject some uninhibited hipness into the miserly, buttoned-up life of Uncle Scrooge McDuck, in a story our own Thad Komorowski christened in 2016 as "The Miner's Granddaughter"!  




...And that she did!








Dickie-dizzy yet?  Scrooge sure was! 


Though created in 1966 as noted, Dickie Duck would have to wait until 2016, and IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 18, to finally... er, "splash-down" in the United States!  



Both "The Miner's Granddaughter" and our story here in IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 31 were translated and dialogued by Thad Komorowski - who, to this point has the "honor" of being Dickie's first and only American voice to date!   

"Celebrity Crushed" (4 pages, originally from the Italian "Topolino"3045, 2014) is written by Vito Stabile and drawn by Enrico Faccini. 


When Daisy Duck has a problem with her pre-teen nieces, who-ya-gonna-call?  Why Dickie Duck, of course!   





"Facebeak"?  Why, thank you for continuing that Duckworld social media platform, Thad!  ...You owe me a nickel for its use!


From IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 11 (2016) Dialogue by Yours Truly.

"Duckstiny's Child"!  Gotta LOVE that, Thad!  

But, why didn't you call the other group "The Quack-Street Boys"?  


But, who cares about that when you can visit... The Waldork Hotel - and act like a... well, you know!  

Watch Dickie bring all of her psychological hipsterness to bear on celebrity-lovesick April, May, and June!  



How does she do?  (All together now...) No Spoilers!  It's only four pages!  Go read it for yourself!  



Incidentally, Thad does a really fine job with Dickie!  I would probably write her as "too sixties" or "too Judy Jetson", but he deftly avoids this to his credit, making this a really good read for a 4-pager!  

So, get your copy of IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE # 31, and let it work its "magic" on you!  



Then, let's have a little "magic" of our own variety (...actually a LOT of it), as we always do, in our Comments Section!  

April, May, and June may need "Facebeak" to communicate - be WE DON'T!  Let's go!