FF1983: Don Rosa’s Comics and Stories

Don Rosa’s Comics and Stories #1-2 by Don Rosa.

This may have been something like the third comic series that Fantagraphics published (after Love & Rockets and Hugo). It was apparently planned as an ongoing series, but was axed after two issues.

This magazine sized comic book reprints The Pertwillaby Papers, which had previously been serialised Rocket’s Blast Comicollector, which was apparently a 70s fanzine. (I’ve never seen an issue.) Its non-professional roots are glaringly obvious: It’s bright, brash and youthful.

And, unfortunately has jokes like that. Yeah, Inuit people don’t know what art is.

There’s also a lot of recapping between episodes, mostly done by one character asyouknowbobbing another character, and it’s tedious.

I think excising scenes like this would have made the book more readable, and I think that it’s something comic strip reprints also could benefit from. Which is perhaps controversial: It destroys the integrity of the artwork! Oh noes! But I fondly remember reformatted Gottfredson Mickey Mouse serials that had been re-edited to remove “Mickey was running from Peg-Leg Pete when…” recap boxes, and it resulted in a really great reading experience for my 8-year-old self. Reading the current, “respectful” reprints now is a rather plodding experience in comparison.

Anyway! Back to Don Rosa…

It sounds almost heroic…

Rosa’s artwork improves continuously throughout the two issues published (which represents two or three years, I think?). In drawings like the one above, I think you can see echoes of his mature Barks-ish style. Just imagine that as a duck instead of a human being.

And that’s a quite impressive undergroundish panel.

But there are way too many pages like this: Reams and reams of text that just isn’t that interesting.

Don Rosa would go on to become the most celebrated Donald Duck artist after Carl Barks.

This post is part of the Fantagraphics Floppies series.

4 thoughts on “FF1983: Don Rosa’s Comics and Stories”

  1. Hi,
    I’m a great fan of Don Rosa’s work from Germany and just wanted to ask where you got your pictures from? Because I would LOVE to get hands on the second issue of Don Rosa’s Comics and stories^^
    Please let me know if you’re able and/or willing to sell or perhaps know someone who might^^

      1. Thank you so much, shortly after you pointed this out, I got an issue there 😀
        Was checking a long time regularily, but never saw one on there, and now there were even several o.O
        Well, forgot the basic rule: Never give up or stop looking for it -.-
        But now, also thanks to you, I’m so happy to own the most original version I can hope to get hands on beside of the ORIGINAL publication in newspapers, fanzines etc..
        Did you know that in Germany there are complete hardcover-books (by Dani Books) of the Pertwillaby Papers and Captain Kentucky from Don Rosa in english?
        Because the first attempt by norwegian Gazette Bok somehow failed/isn’t available any more (still found it in an antiquary :3 )

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