8 August 2009

Den stora boken om Kalle Anka

Den stora boken om Kalle Anka
By: anthology
Language: Swedish
192 pages, color, hardcover
Egmont Kärnan, 2009
ISBN: 978-91-7405-142-1

In my youth, the big white books with Disney comics were almost legendary. They contained comics by the masters, mainly Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson, and their sheer size made them stand out as items of almost magical proportions.

Many years have passed since then, and now Egmont seems to have the notion of starting this again for a new generation. This time, the book (books?) is not white but black, but the size is the same and the ambition to create major collections of Disney comics seems also to be the same.

The stories are not the very best ever produced by Disney, but that is not the purpose. They are meant to give a good introduction to the character Donald Duck, and the creators who have worked with the comics with this character, and that they do. Here we find comics by Daniel Branca, Vicar, Romano Scarpa, Marco Rota and my personal favorite the Italian Giorgio Cavazzano. Someday I must do something more substantial about this master draftsman, who, in my humble opinion, borders on being as good as the late, great André Franquin (Spirou and Fantasio, Gaston).

Anyway, one of the major benefits of this book is the fact that it contains several texts by the world’s leading expert on Disney comics, David Gerstein. He explains the characters long life in animated films and comics in a lengthy foreword and also comments on many of the comics included.

So far, this is the only volume published, but I suspect that more are being produced. Let’s hope so, as this was an enjoyable read, both for an elderly comics historian (me) and a six year old newcomer to Disney comics (my son).

Trina Robbins

Here is a real favourite portrait, signed by the American comics creator and historian Trina Robbins, who lived in my home for about a week in 2007 when we celebrated International Women's Day at the Comic Art School of Malmö. Robbins was one of the forerunners in the underground movement in the U.S. in the 1960s, and is today the world's most famous comics historian with a focus on women's role in this art form. The image is of course alluding to Robbins' last comic, GoGirl.