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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck

Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck
by Don Rosa

Gemstone recently released their collection of Don Rosa's 12-part epic from the early 1990s, at $17 the first somewhat affordable edition they've done since the original serialization. It was good to see, although they've mentioned doing a hardcover edition and I wish they'd released some details about it before this came out. If it's in the $25 - $30 range I might have preferred it. More expensive and I'm happy with the paperback.

I'd read most of these when they first came out in English, and a few times since, but a couple of the chapters I managed to miss, so I only read them once when I borrowed them. It was good to finally have my own copies of those two, in particular "The New Laird of Castle McDuck", one of the return to Scotland issues that's a lot of fun.

It was also good to see all the supplemental material they included, expanded versions of Rosa's notes from the original issues, alternate covers (including a lot of the foreign ones, which for some reason often used non-Rosa art on the covers), the Duck/McDuck family tree and other stuff.

I do like the format a lot. Same size as the regular comics and thick at 256 pages, as opposed to the european album sized of Gladstone's 1990s books, larger but very thin at only 50 - 70 pages usually. Gives a much more substantial reading material for the money. I hope they do a few more books like this. A few "Best of Barks", mixing his 10-pagers with a few of the feature-length epics, would be great. I guess if this one does well their temptation will be to do another volume of Rosa's similar historical stories ("Chapter 0" and the various "1/2" issues of Life of Scrooge) or other long stories ("Son of the Sun", "Return to Plain Awful") but I'd prefer to see something that includes some of his shorter less continuity minded stories, which have some good visual comedy.

4 comments:

  1. I actually wrote to Gemstone a few weeks before the softcover came out, asking for any details about the hardcover. After a couple weeks, I got the following reply:

    "Barring difficulties in acquiring needed materials, Gemstone is tentatively scheduling the book for a release late in 2006."

    Given the reported printing of a book of Rosa's "in-between" chapters, maybe the big hardcover will collect the whole dang thing?

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  2. Ah, so it won't just be a hardcover version of the same book and won't be out for a while? That makes me feel better about getting the softcover.

    How many in-between chapters have there been, anyway? Have they all been printed in English so far in some form? It'll be good to see, although as I mentioned I'd love to see some attention on Rosa's shorts (I was just re-read "Incident at McDuck Tower", which is some crazy stuff).

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  3. Well, that's just speculation on my part; it might just be a hardcover edition of what's already been put out.

    There were a bunch of 1/2 chapters as well as some "unofficial" chapters (stories that were "historical," but not officially part of the Life and Times series). I'm not sure how many, though, and Rosa keeps doing more. I think most have been published in English by now. And yeah, a second (softcover, presumably) collection of the in-betweens has been mentioned somewhere--can't remember where!--by Gladstone. Which is a very good thing! :-)

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  4. I think "acquiring needed materials" pretty clearly means they want to include something that isn't in the softcover. Well, we'll see.

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