Don Rosa's Amusing Anecdotes
Comments: Kai Saarto
Don Rosa has for years been a member of Disney Comics Mailing
List (DCML). Especially in its early years Don was one of the most active
contributors. I been diggin' around list's archives for some funny messages
(and translated them for the Finnish version of this page). From this
page you don't find information about his duck-stories, but humorous
experiences as a human being. Stuff that will probably never be printed
anywhere alongside his comic-stories.
How to Approach an Artist?
December 19, 1993. DCML:
What advice do I have for comic fans approaching
"professionals"... I assume at a show/convention? ... I think
the only problem I have are with how to deal with stupid questions without
being sarcastic... but then, I have trouble dealing with ANYTHING without
being sarcastic since I don't consider sarcasm to be automatically mean-spirited.
For example, to the question "Which do you do first... write the
story or draw it?" (which I am asked very frequently), I always
answer "First I do all the artwork, filling a few dozen pages with
haphazard drawings... then I go back and think up a story that will
fit the random illustrations." This usually satisfies the questioner.
Another good one I'm asked several times per year
by some creep who doesn't know his head from a hole inna ground and
is simply trying to get a "collectible" autograph for resale
takes the form of the guy (usually an older flea-market dealer or such)
plopping a 1962 Dell DONALD DUCK on my table and asking me to
sign it; I'll look at him and say, "Pal, I was 11 years old when
this comic was published!" And he'll say, "Uh-huh.... (pause).....
does that mean you didn't draw it?"
I am not exaggerating either of these incidents.
Anyway, I can't think of many suggestions for MY fans since, as Duck
fans, they're usually older and vastly more sophisticated than the
typical American comic book zombie anyway. This doesn't apply to anyone
on here who, as has been suggested, is intimidated by my presence.
This is good because I'll bite your @#$%&?* head off if you have
the audacity to post a message on here. And don't forget it!
Comments: Don makes frequently jokes about his fellow countrymen.
Americans today don't seem to be much of a reading-type, even comics
might be too much of an effort to some. If americans read comics, its
usually are superheroes-stuff and Don doesn´t like those. Comics
are mostly bought by speculators wishing to sell them with big profit
to some collector. And what comes to these "threats" Don makes
to all possible contributors to the mailing list: Don always replies
to messages send to him and he does it politely (well, often
accompanied by his own sense of humor).
November 9, 1993. DCML:
Nothing other than to add, to the explanation of
how to tell Chip from Dale, the answer to the other part of the original
European's query... do they really look like Chipmunks, whatever those
are. Chipmunks don't have red noses. Dale doesn't look much like a real
chipmunk, but Chip is pretty similar to what an actual chipmunk looks
like and acts like (nervous and chattery). Chipmunks are like tree rats
(squirrels) except that they DON'T live in trees like Chip 'n' Dale
do -- they live in holes inna ground. They only run up trees to escape
dogs. And they are pretty cute, so it didn't take much for Disney to
Shall I tell you about hummingbirds next? Hummingbirds are what we got
to apologize for Poison Ivy.
And our mooses can beat up your mooses.
Comments: Hummingbirds are a family of smallest beautiful American
little birds. They are known for their rapid flight; their strong wing
beat is so rapid that it produces a hum, which accounts for their common
name. Poison ivy are some kind of national blight in America, they are
like nettles we have in Europe but much worse. Those animals called
moose are different between the continents. American moose is called
wapiti, it has sharp antlers and is half the size of European moose
(340kg vs. 825kg/ 485lb. vs. 1175lb.). Well, I think our European moose
can kick the #&%% out of its American cousin.
November 11, 1993. DCML:
It might surprize you that, if you walked down a
street quizzing everyone on their understanding of the sun, moon and
stars, you'd be appalled at what little they know and more appalled
at how little they care about what little they know. A great number
of the unwashed DO believe this thing they hear called "outer space"
is blue and filled with clouds. My sister once wondered (when she was
in her 20's) why the Apollo astronauts didn't stop off on other planets
on their way to the moon. My college roommate had no concept of how
large the sun was or how far away it was (maybe it was the size of a
Volkswagen and 1000 ft. up?) and he thought meteors were pieces of planets
that broke off and fell down to earth. And I wouldn't even try to quiz
my father about what he knows or cares about such things -- his knowledge
about the universe is probably on a par with a modern 5 year old. I
would bet most Americans would believe you if you told them that there
were clouds around the sun, as long as you got on with the discussion
about football and stopped being an egghead.
November 11, 1993. DCML:
Anyway, I'v been so busy that I had not as yet said
where I WENT last week. Since I'd had a nice week in Norway, and lotsa
nice weekends all the time as a guest at various conventions around
the U.S., I decided to take my wife on a deserved vacation. "Hey!
Don Rosa! You just completed your 2 1/2 long project of the 211 page
Life and Times of $crooge McDuck! Whaddiya gonna do NOW!"
"I'm goin' t' DISNEYWORLD!" (Do you Europeans get those Disney
commercials?) Anyway, I went to DisneyWorld, and you can just imagine
what it's like for ME when I visit! Admission tickets are FREE. I am
allowed to enter the Park early and stay as long as I like! I never
need to wait and I'm allowed to go to the head of all the lines! Souvenirs
are free! I get a free deluxe suite in any Disney Resort I choose! I
get a free rental car! And all meals at all the expensive Disney restaurants
are complementary! It's heaven on earth for a superstar like me!
Raise your hands. How many of you know not a word of any of that is
true? I'm just another schmo in DisneyWorld. Now, it WOULD be like
all that if I WERE somebody... like the businessman who sells the
Park its toilet paper or somebody like that.
Actually, I did get a bit of "special treatment": I always
carry with me my "#1 Dime". After I named it as such, I
always carry in my pocket an 1875 seated-Liberty American DIME...
just a private lil' joke or memento or whatever. Well, after being
at WDW for nearly a week, I decided it was foolish to be carrying
that Dime on Splash Mountain or these other rides where it MIGHT drop
out of my pocket. So I took it and placed it in the middle of a shelf
in a cabinet in my hotel room in Disney's (el cheapo) Carribean Beach
Resort, and went on my way. I was afraid I'd forget to get it the
next day when we left, so the first thing I did when I got back to
the hotel that night was go to the cabinet to get my Dime and put
it back with the rest of my pocket change.
It was gone. The maid had stolen it.
Naturally nothing can be done in that sort of situation. The hotel can
never be sure that a guest didn't just misplace his lost valuable and
seek to blame an innocent maid. And if the maid were accused, all she
needs to do is deny it and since there's no proof, that's the end of
it. Mattias, who ALSO has his own 1875 Dime, will know that if that
maid takes my well-worn Dime, which she assumes must be a
valuable rare coin, to a coin dealer to sell it, the dealer will only
pay her about 30 cents for it. That's how UNvaluable they are. I wish
I could see her face!
But, the fact remains, that what a sorceress-supreme like Magica DeSpell
couldn't steal in 30 years of trying, a DISNEY EMPLOYEE swiped in one
THAT'S the kind of "special treatment" I always get from Disney.
And so it goes...
Tune in later for more anecdotes!