Here is a long introduction of Don Rosa's first published comic, Petwillaby Papers. If you only want to know basics of Don's non-Disney comics, you should read Don Rosa's long introduction's Non-Disney comics -part.

In 26.8.1969 Don begame the University of Kentucky's newspaper's, Kentucky Kernal's, cartoonist. Untill year 1971 he made editorial drawings, advertisements and graphics to it. He also draw 31.12.1966 - 29.5.1970 a series of one panel National Garage Builders -cartoons, that were published in The Courier Journal and Louisville Times -magazine's. He also contributed Bill Wilson's The Collector -fanzine in years 1969-1973.

The Pertwillaby Papers' first episode

In 8.9.1971Kentucky Kernal included an one page announcement that Don had drawn to tell about his new comic strip that would begin the next day, The Pertwillaby Papers. The strip appeared as four or five panel long episode from 9.9.1971 to 13.12.1973 and it was published 127 episodes. But after episode 65 Don's editor didn't want to publish his comic anymore, because episodes after that told about a Barks-style treasure hunt and the editor wanted a political satire comic, like Doonesbury that had just started to appear in American newspapers. So, Don waited untill there became a new editor and he was willing to publish Pertwillaby Papers.

After graduating from college Don illustrated and wrote articles for fanzines like The Collector, The Buyers Guide for Comic Fandom, The Rocket's Blast Comicollector, Comic Reader, Amazing Heroes and Collector's Dream. Later he also continued making The Pertwillaby Papers, and now he made it for the earlier mentioned The Rocket's Blast Comicollector, the field's biggest fanzine, which circulation at the best was about two thousand. This time the pages of his stories were the size of a comic book or there were 8-12 panels on one page. Don still made the stories in episodes and continued with the old numbering so, that the first episode like this was 128. But the episodes were about ten page long now and there was five or six of them in each story, which meant that the stories were about 60 pages long. The comics appeared in RBCC in years 1976-1978 and the first episode or 128 appeared in number 130 in September 1976. Don had already before this contributed RBCC's Ray Miller's Information Center beginning from number 75. The Center gave answers to comicfans' questions. In number 108 he took over the whole Information Center and also illustrated it. It was now 10-15 page long and Don answered to readers question in all categories of entertainment, for example comics and old movies. He continued this until number 150.

Don made two whole stories for RBCC (episodes 128-138) and also two episodes of the last story, Knighttime. Episode 140 was the last published episode and Don never finished Knighttime, because he just stopped making it in 1979 when he got tired to it, he didn't even got any money for it, because he made comics just for the enjoyment of making. Soon after this he began Captain Kentucky comic strip for Lousville Times and after he stopped making that, too, in 1982, he draw one more Knighttime episode (141), but it was never published in RBCC.

But Don's fanzine-hobby didn't completely stop there, he still made some illustrations and articles for Amazing Heroes -fanzine and even continued Information Center in it. And Fantagraphics Books, that also published Amazing Heroes, published two issues of a fanzine called Don Rosa's Comics and Stories in 1983. The first issue contained Sub-Zero and the second Vortex. Number 190 (May of 1991) was the last issue of Amazing Heroes that included Don's production.


Episodes 1-127 form a story called Lost in (an alternative section of) the Andes, but actually it's two different stories. The first one was the political satire that Don's editor wanted (episodes 1-65) and it was about Lancelot Pertwillaby's attempt to get to college for free (or his being there). The second one (66-127) was about Manco Capac (an Incan temple) and a search for it's treasure. The second one's plot also was a model of Don's first Duck-story, The Son of the Sun and it includes a scene that he later used in The Last Lord of Eldorado. This was just the kind of story that Don wanted to do but his first editor didn't want to publish. He even had already written the plot for it in 1971, but couldn't use it before 1973. Episodes 1-65 Don draw himself, but in writing the script he was helped by his friend Ron Weinberg and in writing episodes 66-127 Ray Foushee, also his friend. Ray Foushee also originally acquainted Don to fanzines.

Two different explosions of Manco Capac.

The first story that was published in Rocket's Blast Comicollector was called Sub-Zero, and it contained episodes 128-133. It's about a search of an art collection collected (and stole) by nazies and hidden to the North Pole. There is scene in the story that Don made into a Duck-story, Incident at the McDuck Tower. The story itself is the only Pertwillaby Papers story that's main idea Don didn't convert into a Duck-story.

The third story, Vortex, (episodes 134-138) is about a black hole, that Lance and professor Artemis Phoebus discover and capture and a trip to the center of Earth. It's obiously the model of The Universal Solvent. Beginning from this story Don named every episode and here are the titles of the episodes of Vortex: 134: A Mole in the Hoon, 135: The Black Solvent, 136: The Real Pits, 137: Hollowed Ground ja 138: Comes the Black Dawn.

The last and unfinished story is Knighttime and it includes episodes 139-141 (episode 141 has been published only in The Don Rosa Archives II: Pertwillaby Papers). This story has been an inspiration for two Duck-stories: The Once and Future Duck and The Black Knight. In it Lance and company travels to the time when king Arthur lived, year 540, but Arthur isn't as glamorous as the stories tell and isn't even a king but a warlord. Don has told that in the end (if he would've finished the story) Lance and others realize that they haven't traveled back in time, but just switched to an alternate dimension. Now they also know they can switch back. Just when Lance as the last one is sending himself back it takes a fraction of second too long and he ends up to the upper atmosphere (because Earth had moved) and falls to Earth just like Donald in Don's Duck-story The Duck Who Fell to Earth. The names of Knighttime's episodes are Chronillogical Orders and The Once and Future Myth. Don didn't give a title to the third and last episode. By the way, Don thought this story as the fifth, so he actually does considers the episodes he made for Kentucky Kernal as two different stories.


Lancelot "Lance" Pertwillaby is the hero and main character of the comic. Lance is Don himself and that's why he likes the character so much. He's a naive and brave young man, who goes to college (later an associate professor) and won't believe bad from anyone and thinks that everyone has at least a bit of good. Lance, or as his girlfriend calls him, Lancey, is gentle and noble and won't kill an animal even if his life dependes on it. In his adeventures, he travels literally around the world and even into it. Lance is also Don's self-portrait.

Feather Fluffnuthin is Lance's faithful girlfriend. In the first stories she is descripted as a dumb blonde, but later, in then end of 1970's Don tried to show that Featherilla has even more common sence than Lance, and that she's very civilized.

Professor of physiological and neurohumoral surgery Viktor Domitrius Smyte is an old nazi and represents the main evil in Pertwillaby Papers. He's mean in every way and eventhough he tries to kill Lance many times because he doesn't like him and fears that he might reveal his past to the others, Lance always believes his insane explanations and Viktor always maintains Lance's trust. VD is in every adventure that Lance experiences and always seeking for his own benefit.

Schuyler Roatch III is Lance's roommate in college. He doesn't like Lance, because his intelligence and honesty have replaced Schuyler's (or more better his parents' money's) position as college's most popular. He also knows that Lance is in college for free, but can't proove it. He commonly works with prof. Smyte but doesn't, unlike Smyte, want to kill Lance, just to embarrass him.

Freddie Kegg is Lance's best friend. He's only in the two first stories and in the first one he's only a minor character. But in the second story (Sub-Zero) he's appears throw the whole story. Freddie suffers from poopphobia, is ostentatious and a ladies' man. He also smokes pipe all the time.

In addition to these, there are also charcters that appear only in one story but go along at least almost the whole story. These are for example Eskimo Lil-Snookums (Sub-Zero) and professor Artemis Phoebus (Vortex and the beginning of Knighttime). There is also characters who appear in more than one story but are only minor characters, like university president Adrian Morphous and flightpilots Frank and Ted. One interesting little detail is that every character has their own shaped balloon.

Specimen of characters' diffenrent balloons.


A Norwegian Gazette Bok-publishing firm published in March of 2001 two hardcover book under the name The Don Rosa Archives: The Pertwillaby Papers and The Adventures of Captain Kentucky. The books are in English. The Pertwillaby Papers contains of course Rosa's all Pertwillaby Papers stories including the third episode for Knighttime (episode 141) that was made in 1982 and haven't been published anywhere else before this. The book includes Don Rosa's and professor of mathematical statistics Nils Lid Hjort's forewords. There is also a special limited edition of the books that includes both of the books singed by Don and a poster. The picture in the poster is the only scene where Captain Kentucky and Lance Pertwillaby ever met. The poster also is singed by Don and there is only 150 issues of it. You can order the books from here, but in Finland they can also be found from Akateeminen kirjakauppa and Suomalainen kirjakauppa.

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