Sunday, April 25, 2010

Readin' Old "Paint"

Occasional blog commenter GeoX has posted a review of "The Great Paint Robbery" (UNCLE $CROOGE #353), the lengthy German/Spanish/Catalan story for which I translated the dialogue back during my graduate school days. He likes it... not so much. I should note that whatever flaws the story may have in the English version were present in the original; my transcription was pretty literal, though I threw in a few contemporary references like the Nephews saying "Quackaroonies!" and Scrooge referring to Gladstone Comics. And yes, the plot is pretty loopy. So why did I think so highly of the tale that I decided to translate it myself?

(1)  The artwork is beautiful. I'd literally seen nothing like it before. Don Rosa was still polishing his style, while Bill Van Horn had barely begun to appear. Carl Barks and the other materials published by Gladstone were my entire frame of reference. Judging by what I know of the other UNCLE $CROOGE'S TREASURE CHEST stories, "Paint Robbery" represented a big, BIG step up in artistic quality -- one that was maintained in the next story, which was set in America (including Disneyland!).

(2)  I'd likewise never been exposed to a Duck story of such length before. What some might call "padding", though, I'd prefer to call "soaking up some local color"... and boy, did this story ever take advantage of the Barcelona/Catalonia setting. I never thought that the story dragged (unless I was having a hard time translating dialogue).

(3)  I was flush with enthusiasm over the coming of DuckTales, and tackling a story like this seemed a natural thing to do. That is, when I wasn't working on my dissertation.

1 comment:

GeoX said...

I was definitely interested in your take on it and the writing process. You're right that it IS pretty darned good-looking, and I may have insufficiently emphasized the extent to which, for all its issues, it's still head-and-shoulders above "Uxmal" and "Matterhorn." I'm certainly glad that Gemstone chose to print it in spite of its flaws, and I am a bit curious about the three untranslated installments.