The script writing work I do for Egmont is more of a hobby than an
income earner. My
real job is as an industrial designer, which
makes my drawing style too detailed and precise. My characters tend to
look static and frozen and there's nothing I can do about it.
I usually spend too much time on the scribbles I do for Egmont, but
that's because I don't have any control over the final artwork and I
want to influence the way the artist assigned to the story actually
sees the story. I get a real kick out of seeing my rough and
ready sketches actually used by artists as the basis for their work.
Usually any changes made are for the better.
At the moment [this is written in August 1997] I'm slotted into doing 6 pager stories for Egmont. 6 pagers are hard! It's too short to have any new characters developed properly or to have more than one major geographic movement for the characters, and it's far too long to stretch out something suitable for a one page gag. You have to have the conflict situation fully defined by the end of page 2, a crisis or two by the end of page 4, and the conflict situation fully resolved by the end of page 6. Any major action usually has to wind down and stop by the end of page 5. Sometimes the last page gets a little crammed to fit in the conflict resolution in the space available.
I'm a real Don Rosa fan. His first story for Gladstone
The Son of the Sun inspired me to give Disney
Comics a go. I thought if he can do it, why not
give it a try myself? I was privileged enough to meet Don and Anne at their
lovely country home in 1993 and I got quite an insight into the way he works
and some of the influences that pervade his stories. I want a studio like
his one! I count myself extremely privileged to have read the synopsis for
Lo$ part 10 during my visit, even before
If I remember correctly Don said that I was the third person to have
read it after himself and Anne.
As a youngster I learnt to read on Carl Barks stories and as a result when I first went to school I could already read. The first early reader Janet and John books they gave us were SO boring by comparison! Where were the Beagle Boys and Scrooge's money bin? I spent the first year at school staring out the window day dreaming about Duckburg and consequently was placed in a remedial reading class! I can still remember the day at Kindergarten when I was pasting a cut out picture of Scrooge from a Barks story into a scrap book when I came to the realisation that somebody somewhere was actually thinking up and drawing these stories for a living! Definitely a turning point in my life. I don't know which story the pic came from, but it was a squarish pic with Scrooge looking very worried hurrying along a darkened street. He was running around a street corner with a street lamp providing stark shadowing. I seem to remember he was either running into or out of danger. If anyone can provide a clue about the story I would be grateful.
Shattered Luck. Donald vs Gladstone. 13 pages. Editor: Bob Foster. Art: Vicar.
One of my better ideas but my worst script. This story would have been a real turkey if Bob hadn't knocked it into shape. Full credit to him for seeing the potential of the idea and spending a lot of time to improve it. He should really have the scripting credit for this one. The art work is typical Vicar, superb!
Hubble Bubble Oil and Trouble. Gyro Gearloose. 6 pages Editor: Byron Erickson. Art: Torres.
Inspired by Barks's 'Gold Detector' story in US18, recently reprinted in WDCS 615. This was a childhood favourite. I liked the way that the Little Helper got in trouble as a sub plot. Barks did it much much better!
The Space Chase. Uncle Scrooge. 27 pages. Editor: Byron Erickson.
My first story! Started in 1988 and shown to GPS and the Italians in Milano in 1991 (half finished). Everyone wanted to know why I'd based my art style on Don Rosa. To be completely honest I hadn't, it's just my style. Anyway, they didn't want to encourage any more maverick artists but GPS liked the story idea so here we are. Done in Digest (Jumbobog) format. To the best of my knowledge still waiting to be assigned to an artist. One of the ideas introduced (if you look very carefully) was that the JW's guidebook became part of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy Guidebook and vice versa. Other HHGG references abound hidden in the dialogue and sound effects though these will probably be lost in translation.
No Business Like Snow Business: Gyro Gearloose. 6 pages. Editor: Stefan Printz-Påhlson. Art: Torres.
Typical 'Gyro invents something useful that goes wrong' story. The original script was one page longer with extra slapstick gags (which really didn't move the story along I must admit) and a Don Rosa reference which has now made it into another story instead. At least I hope it has, I'm still waiting to see the art work!
License To Crash. Ducktales: Launchpad McQuack. 6 pages. Editor: Stefan Printz-Påhlson. Art: Torres.
Thankfully the only Ducktales story thus far requested by Egmont! Launchpad is the only Ducktales character I have any real empathy for. I think he is a better side kick for Darkwing Duck than Scrooge.
The Record Wreckers. Junior Woodchucks. 6 pages. Editor: Stefan Printz-Påhlson. Art: Torres.
Not one of my favourites. The ending is a bit weak. In
pic 5 on page 1 Hewey is gesturing towards Donald saying
... the South Duckburg Chickadee Patrol now has two World
Records!. I originally had Hewey doing what could have
been interpreted as a VERY rude gesture with two fingers to
Donald in my scribbles, but I decided not to submit it like
that so I took it out of my sketch. I can only assume this
gesture is not considered rude in Europe because the artist
put it back in again! I suppose this story would be worth
collecting for that image if nothing else!
Danger Duck Donald. Junior Woodchucks. 6 pages. Editor: Stefan Printz-Påhlson. Art: Torres.
This was meant to be a JW story inspite of the title, but somehow became a Donald story enroute. I'm not sure which it is officially. The JW's are going for a safety badge, Donald is a Municipal Safety Inspector assigned to help, need we say more! Donald ends the story in hospital.
Lost in Space. Donald Duck. 6 pages. Editor: Stefan Printz-Påhlson. Art: Torres.
Started out about a mission to Mars, but became a mission to Melbar after Egmont introduced the world to Scrooge's intergalactic nemesis, Tachyon Farflung from Melbar. This created some problems with my story as spaceships now needed to travel faster than the speed of light, which I thought was stretching things a bit for Earth technology of the Disney comic world (but then again since when has Disney comics ever been concerned with reality?).
Sasqwatching. Junior Woodchucks. 6 pages. Editor: Stefan Printz-Påhlson.
My favourite 6 pager so far. Can't wait to see the art work!
Animania. Uncle Scrooge. 6 pages. Editor: Stefan Printz-Påhlson. Art: Scalabroni.
The idea of Scrooge's money coming alive switched from a macro scale (as in The Space Chase D93575) to a micro scale. Problems with the line work possibly getting too dense has meant the end result is a little disappointing, but I really like Scalabroni's fluid line work on the characters. I wish I could draw like that!
The Telekinesis Helmet. Gyro Gearloose. 6 pages. Editor: Stefan Printz-Påhlson.
Donald uses one of Gyro's inventions to help him move a big pile of money bags in the Money Bin. Bad move! Don Rosa reference put back into this story (I hope). Uncle Scrooge is forced to spend money on Super Snooper comics in this story, which as far as I know is the first time he has ever bought a comic. Maybe someone will correct me on that.
The Jelly Wars. Junior Woodchucks. 6 pages. Editor: Unn Printz-Påhlson.
6 pages of the custard pie routine! A reference to an earlier Carl Barks story put in as a tribute.
Terror at Talbot Bay. Donald Duck. 8 pages. Editor: Unn Printz-Påhlson.
My first 8 page story. The scribbles I did for this one were not very good, too much of the same point of view and scale repeated too often. I hope the artist improves it. I haven't seen the artwork for this one yet. Talbot Bay is a real place in Western Australia, and the dangers used in the story are real and in fact the entire story was based on a real Australian TV show.
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