I TL 3184-1P Prince Ducklet Topolino 3184, 2016 Writing by Giorgio Salati Art by Paolo De Lorenzi 64 p.
As relayed by the Bard long ago, this story tells the tale of Prince Ducklet at Castle Duckinore, of poison that turns you intangible to all but your closest family members, the plotting of Rocklaudius, and the antics of Fethrencrantz and Goosenstern...
This story was a joy to read! It hits all the notes of a Hamlet parody, without being overly dark or overly twee. In fact, Castle Duckinore seems mostly made up of goofy incompetents descending into chaos. Salati and De Lorenzi have an excellent timing for jokes, with a couple of comic beats that really made me laugh. It seems that De Lorenzi has taken a page or two from Mastantuono, but Saluti's jokes are quite original. The ending isn't quite as strong as the rest of the story, but it reads like a breeze.
Unlike the contemporary Celoni/Mottura parodies, which are much more cluttered visually, this art style draws a great line between being clean and readable, while also remaining outrageously funny.
Rating: A D 2015-007 A Marvellous Mutt Kalle Ankas Pocket 448, 2015 Writing by Carol and Pat McGreal Art by Massimo Fecchi 20 p.
This story is an homage to Peanuts, Snoopy in particular, while also having shades of the Warner Brothers cartoon "One Froggy Evening". Gyro builds a device that can make animals just as clever as people. After Donald uses it on a white dog with a big nose, it gets kidnapped by crooks who try to sell it to a carnival.
I am not a fan of Peanuts. Not am I a fan of Fecchi's art work, especially since he gets saddled with sub-par writers so often. But this is a fairly quick story that doesn't outstay its charm, and it's not nearly as depressing as Peanuts. The plot is basic. It's not the kind of story that invites much thought.
I'm not sure what to make of this story. It's a Scrooge v. Rockerduck story set in the 1830s, with Donald the hapless printer's boy as third wheel. Supposedly this is the story of Edgar Allan Poe before he became a writer, as shown in all the references to Poe stories that are in this story. But many of them fly over the readers' heads, unless you're quite familiar with Poe's work. Which, I mean he's well-known, but he hasn't permeated pop culture to that degree, has he?
What remains is an uneven plot that jumps to a great deal of hoops but it loosely centered at its core. It's well-illustrated, to be sure, but there's not a very strong idea at its core apart from "Edgar Allan Poe references". It also has the furthest thing from a Gothic tone that you can imagine.
This is an old-fashioned story, even for its time. Uggetti's art style has some signature 1980s quirks in the vein of Guido Scala, and the characters lack the influence of either De Vita or Faraci. It seems to be a fairly close retelling of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, with Mickey as Tom, Goofy as Huckleberry Finn, Minnie as Tom's girlfriend and Pete as the designated villain.
I don't know. In the context of this series, it seems to fall a little flat. It's a 1990 adaptation of an 1876 book, with little of satire of the original.
Scrooge commissions an artist, Van Gray, to paint a portrait for his gallery of McDucks. However, the artist gets a bad view of Scrooge, who is totally out of line here. He goes so far that both Battista and Donald (his replacement) resign, and Grandma Duck refuses to send him some of her famous jam. Haunted by images of the miserly portrait, Scrooge makes amends where he can, before finding out that the malformed picture was running due to a damp patch in the wall behind it before drying properly. And behind the frame, he finds a portrait of one of his ancestor by a famous painter.
So you're thinking, wait. Isn't this The Picture of Dorian Gray done backwards? And that's right, but given the limits of the story, I think it works. Held adds in a lot of Dutch angles during Scrooge's madness, and his offences are light enough that he can feasibly go through the required change of heart --- another element that wasn't in the original, but is much appreciated. And it was very cathartic to see some remorse from Scrooge after the whole Treasure Chest series.
This story manages something very few literary parodies do: it works as a stand-alone story as well as a parody. This is feasibly Scrooge, not "Scrooge". And for that, I think it's really rather good.
I've gone on record as not being much of a Gervasio fan, and I stand by that feeling. In this story, Lord Quackett and Dolly travel to The Hound of the Baskervilles, and manage to pull one on Sherduck Holmes, although Holmes does manage to figure out Fantomius' secret identity. Other than that, he doesn't do much. Quackett still doesn't make much of an impression on me. Neither does the plot. All these Quackett stories seem a bit dull and pointless. Is this the best they could do with the period setting? Where's my Poirot parody? Where's The Great Ducksby?
The only ones of this set of stories I've seen are Prince Ducklet and the Portrait of Uncle Scrooge. I can't comment on the humor of the script of Ducklet, because the version I read was translated by Erin Brady, so, pretty flat. But they seemed to do a good job adapting the tragedy to Duckworld. On The Portrait of Uncle Scrooge, I agree that it works well as a story about the characters themselves in Duckburg, which makes me happy. The art is memorable, the adaptation to a Duck-appropriate story is done well, and it is nice to see Scrooge feel remorse now and then.