Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Life And Times of Scrooge McDuck - Don Rosa

It is relatively easy writing about how a character came to be as he is, In the case of Scrooge McDuck you know he’s an honest miser,loves adventure is a cantankerous mean old geezer, so to show his life history its relatively easy to come up with situations that would have made him as he is. It is however far more difficult(im tempted to say nay impossible) to do this as well as Don Rosa has done in his 12 issue comic series describing Scrooge McDuck – His life and times.
On a purely factual level, Rosa tried to incorporate every known fact about Scrooge , written by Carl Bucks, give it a timeline of sorts and write the history of Scrooge. However Rosa’s efforts, his research and indeed his love for this character makes this book rise well above everything. It just shows. The book would have been worth buying just because Rosa loves the characters so much. Writers like these must be encouraged.
I had issue 9 of the series bought from Happy Book Stall and when I read it the first time it was simply too good. I hadn’t expected this from a Disney. In time and during the course of many trips to the raddi-wala shops I managed to pick up two other disney’s one a cornelius coot history where scrooge declares himself king to avoid paying taxes and another regarding scrooge celebrating some anniversary and every Disney character from the duck world I knew was there in the story and a few other I didn’t know. Of the Disney books I had these were the best. It was then that I noted the similarity among these books. Their writer was Don Rosa. There began an unsuccessful attempt to hunt down the other parts of Life and Times. Google searches showed collections but not in English and much as I loved part 9 I was too old to learn a language just to read all the parts. Till about 6 months back when the book was collected in English!
Back to the Book
Scrooge takes us around the world for his various adventures and we learn the incidents that made him who he is today. You can’t help but laugh at some of the statements the characters make throughout the course of Scrooge’s laugh either because you know how untrue its going to turn out or because you know how true its going to turn out
Sample the following
Do you want to end up with a coal bin with the dang stuff?-Uncle pothole talking about money tells a young scrooge
He’s broke. We beagle boys wont have to bother about robbing him again- Blackheart Beagle to the beagle boys referring to scrooge
I shudder to imagine the kid that would come home from that unholy union –Dabney Duck To grandma duck referring to donalds parents

And Scrooge’s comments that bring out a guffaw
“Who needs self respect when you have money HAHAHAHAHAHAHA hawwwwwwwwwNUTS”

And a few sentimental moments as well
Like when scrooge goes to meet his mom in part 9, or the lock of goldies hair(I vaguely remember reading this issue) or scrooge’s first and second  meeting with his illustrious nephew

And action and adventure,see scrooge destroy soapy’s casino
This book has it all.
Part 9 will always be the best for me since I only had it for a long time. Among other things the last sequence is amazing(warning a character dies) and it has the gags to make you laugh.
But the entire books is a gem , one scrooge himself would have been proud to own

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