BOOM! Relaunches Uncle Scrooge, Injects It With Awesome
Posted October 9, 2009on:
BOOM! Studios is doing an amazing job getting comics into the lollipop-stickied hands of kids again. They’ve got licenses to the Pixar pantheon, the Muppets, and the classic Disney characters. I skipped Mickey & Friends (my kid brother’s only two years old, I’ll read the TPB to him in a year or so), but I’m a product of the Disney Afternoon generation, so I’m definitely not skipping the new Uncle Scrooge books.
Our wedding DJ was shocked at the elated response of our guests when we insisted he play the Ducktales theme-song, but is it really very shocking that a bunch of twenty-somethings still had love for what was inarguably one of the best cartoons of our childhood? The Disney Duck-verse – and yes, students, the Duck-verse IS it’s own entity – has strong roots in comics; returning our feathered friends to the comics page is a smart move for both BOOM! and Disney. Even if they bring Ducktales back tomorrow, children’s cartoons are never, ever going to be as awesome as they were when I was a kid – but this comic totally is.
The bizarre nature of the Duck-verse lends itself to a classic comic book sensibility more readily than most of the other properties in BOOM!’s stable. There’s an established insular universe, bizarre side characters, and even an intricate continuity that doesn’t exist within the other classic Disney properties. The modern Duck-verse is largely the brainchild of Don Rosa, who wrote nearly all of the late 80s & early 90s Duck-verse comics. From what I understand, BOOM! has been working closely with him on the Uncle Scrooge property; there are even plans to release definitive editions of Rosa’s earlier Scrooge work.
The new ongoing Uncle Scrooge book by Erik Hedman feels comfortingly familiar, like getting an old friend back. The plot is classic Ducktales (which itself was classic Uncle Scrooge); a missing treasure, a haunted castle in Germany, Magica wants to steal Scrooge’s Number One Dime. Ducktales cartoons always felt like the animation equivalent of a Rube Goldberg device, and Uncle Scrooge doesn’t disappoint. Trap doors, bizarre gadgets, and secret passageways abound; Wanda Gattino’s artwork drops you right back into the bizarre McDuck universe like you never stopped visiting after fifth grade. A few pages in, I realized I was hearing their voices. Scrooge’s brogue, Donald’s lisp, Magica’s vaguely eastern european accent – Ducktales was such a big part of my childhood that my brain was “doing the voices” in my head. Awesome.
Uncle Scrooge is the best kind of nostalgia, the kind that makes you love your childhood all over again without inspiring deja vu. The “first” issue, which is number #384, comes out next week, and if you’re still touchy about walking into a comic shop, you can pick up all the BOOM! Kids titles at Borders. Buy this book even if you don’t have a kid brother to read it to. Seriously, drop the $2.99, make yourself some Tang & vodka (or just eat the powder, yum!) and have fun with this. And just in case you’ve all forgotten how much you loved Ducktales (which, wow, how did you do that?), here ya go:
By the way, BOOM!? When are we going to see Launchpad? Or Von Drake? And when are they going to visit Cape Canard? AHEM? I mean, Darkwing and Scrooge share the same pilot, it’s not THAT much of a stretch, right?
Update: Read a five page preview of Uncle Scrooge!