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There are many reasons why I love the work of Don Rosa. Issue 372 of WALT DISNEY’S UNCLE SCROOGE, published by Gemstone, back cover above, has two of them. The poster shown is Don’s most recent work for European Disney comics publishers, combining his love of Uncle Scrooge with his love of Carl Barks’ stories about him. Inside the issue is another reason:
First published in the U.S. in 1996, “The Treasury of Croesus” is one of Don’s best Uncle Scrooge stories. It has everything from laugh-out-loud humor to thrilling adventure to fine historical research to intriguing plot puzzles to wonderful character bits. And Don’s art on this one is full of those fun details and small gags that give extra value to his stories. If you haven’t tried Don’s Scrooge stories, this is a good one to start with.
Long before he began drawing Disney Duck stories, I knew and loved Don’s work as a columnist and cartoonist in fanzines like RBCC (Rocket’s Blast Comic Collector), where his regular feature “Information Center,” sample page above, was a great compendium of things Don liked and collected, including old comics, but also detailed indexes of TV shows like Star Trek and The Avengers (Steed and Mrs. Peel), classic movies, pulp magazines, and all sorts of fannish culture. At a time long before the internet, it was information we fans could all use, and Don’s entertaining way of presenting it, writing with great personality and including many of his unique drawings, made it a must-read for me. I learned many things from his column! And as you can see above, he was already drawing Uncle Scrooge there from time to time.
RBCC also ran chapters of Don’s lengthy humor/adventure comic strip “The Pertwillaby Papers,” another reason to love Don’s work. In a way it was his practice run for Uncle Scrooge, and he later adapted some of the Lance Pertwillaby stories for Scrooge. The strip is another fine mix of incredibly fun ideas, action, adventure and humor. This all came to mind because I’m selling my collection of RBCC this week and next week on EBAY. Time to pass them on, so have a look if you’re interested.
I had the chance to work with Don as letterer on some of his Uncle Scrooge stories, and I’ve written about it on my website, HERE. They were great fun, and working with Don made me even more of a fan. Sadly, it’s uncertain whether Don will do any more Scrooge stories, as he’s recovering from serious eye surgery a few months ago. I did read that he’s well enough to travel, and has recently been to Europe. There Don is as famous as a rock star for his Disney comics stories, which are widely read by all ages. They treat him like royalty, which is wonderful. Too bad he doesn’t have the same following here, but loyal fans like me continue to enjoy his past work and wish him well.