16 August 2009

Of Ducks and Demons

Kalle Ankas Pocket 366: Änder och demoner
By: Antholgy
256 pages, color, softcover
Language: Swedish
Egmont Kärnan, 2009
ISBN: 978-91-7405-264-0

Some things never change in Disney comics, where the creators often seem to try to perpetuate the feeling of the 1950s, when the late, great master Carl Barks did his best comics. And some things do. I have written about the recent uproar about the propaganda-laden comic which was published in the Swedish Donald Duck magazine. Part of the fury, I think, came from the fact that readers do not want these comics to change. Introducing politics, however ham fistedly handled, was not welcome.

I was thinking about this as I read the latest volume of the Swedish Donald Duck pocket books, issue number 366 no less - a monthly collection of Disney comics, based on the Italian tradition. What struck me was that the cover story shows a character very clearly based on the concept of the Devil. Now, having written a whole book about depictions of the Devil in comics (The Comics Go to Hell), I find this interesting; interesting since this is also a departure from the more "childish" themes that usually permeates Disney comics.

Anyway, the story, by Lars Jensen, David Gerstein and Flemming Andersen, was fun enough, dealing with the Men in Black-parody TNT, where Donald and Cousin Feathry works fro a secret organisation, fighting monsters. Having a six year old, who has just started reading Disney comics, I realized, though, that this was probably not something I would want him to read, for fear of getting nightmares. I might be wrong, but I don't remember comics like this from the Donald Duck pocket books of my youth. This is probably a classic example of the zeit-geist changing the content of these comics to suit a generation who has grown up playing computer games with much more scary content.