I rarely get interviewed about my Disney comics career. And even less often do I get to talk about my involvement with Disney legend Carl Barks—creator of Uncle Scrooge and so much more!
Barks’ stories are a primary influence on my Disney stories as well as much of my other work. So it was fun to do talk about all of that in these YouTube interviews by my friends Scott & Georgia Ball.
Part 1: In addition to discussing Carl Barks, I talk about how I got my start in Disney comics and how I came to know Carl.
Part 2: We talk about how Barks’ career in comics began; his storytelling; and his fantastic splash panels!
Part 3: We talk about Barks’ characters—Uncle Scrooge, Donald, Magica De Spell, Flintheart Glomgold and so many more.
Part 4 : We talk about Uncle Scrooge’s appearances in animation and my graphic novel adaption of the DuckTales movie.
Part 5: We talk about censorship and editing problems that Barks faced. Plus, we discuss problems caused by the Code Code and Western Publishing internal restrictions.
Part 6: How did Carl go from being an anonymous comics creator scratching out a modest income to being world famous and eventually a millionaire? We discuss how fans sought him out and rescued Barks from obscurity.
Part 7: I attended the huge public celebrations for Carl’s 95th & 96th birthdays–as well as his funeral a few years later. We talk about that and more.
Part 8: In the final episode, we discuss Carl’s Disney duck paintings—which made him a millionaire—and wrap up with a discussion of my Last Kiss work.
I’m thrilled to announce that William Van Horn‘s Nervous Rex comics are being reprinted—at long, long last.
What?!! You want to know why I’m mentioning this? And what this comic has to do with Last Kiss?
Well, nothing. Except…
Bill Van Horn played a huge part in my early comic career. We teamed up together to create a lot of Donald Duck, DuckTales and Uncle Scrooge comics. Without him, it’s likely that I never would’ve done Disney comics or gone on to do Last Kiss.
But we first worked together and became friends when I submitted story ideas for Nervous Rex back in the mid-1980s.
However, the series was wonderful, witty and silly long before I played my small part in it. The humor and art are very much in the tradition of George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. There’s also a smidge of Jack Benny embodied in the character of Rex–a pint-sized, hen-pecked, tyrannosaur who’d rather eat oatmeal than…well, you.
The series—along with some cool extras—is being re-printed issue by issue by Drew Ford’s It’s Alive. Issues aren’t for sale yet. But Drew is going to be offering 100 issues of #1 signed by Van Horn.
Since Bill hasn’t done any comic cons or appearances in many years, this may be the only chance to get work signed by him.
Back in the late 1980s—when dinosaurs (and anthropomorphic ducks) roamed the Earth—I started writing comics for Disney. My first stories were all drawn by the great William Van Horn. And I’m happy to say that many of Van Horn’s early stories—which include most of my earliest stories—have now been collected in a new book.
While I won’t make a penny from the collection, it’s fun to see my work appear once again in Disney’s prestigious “Masters” series. I’m hoping it’ll sell so well that Disney will want to do more of Van Horn’s (and my) work.
And, what the heck, someday maybe there will even be a book or three collecting my Disney stories with other artists!
Today would’ve been our daughter, Laura Lustig’s 27th birthday.
You wouldn’t think there was any connection between Covid-19 and her death. After all Laura died Jan. 17, 2004—-nearly 16 years before our current pandemic.
But here’s the thing…
Laura was born with severe immune problems. Regular immunoglobulin transfusions helped. But Laura was also dependent on herd immunity. So it was critical that other children got vaccinations. Laura couldn’t be around anyone who was ill.
And then, one day, she got sick from a virus. A week later she was dead.
So, perhaps you can understand why Shelagh Lustig and I are always furious with anti-vaxxers. And we’ve begun to feel the same way about people who are determined to ignore CDC guidelines and want to treat this pandemic as if it’s just an inconvenience; rebel against shelter-at-home orders; not wear masks; etc.; etc.
I don’t mind that you’re risking your lives. But I do mind that you’re risking everyone else—particularly sweet souls like our Laura’s.
Jason Sacks is doing three podcasts about my late friend Bill Schelly who many of you knew from his award-winning comic book biographies and histories. The first of the three features Fantagraphics Publisher Gary Groth and me reminiscing about Bill’s truly astounding (and inspiring) comic book life.
Jason’s remaining two podcasts about Bill are tentatively scheduled for Oct. 15 and 22. They will both feature Eisner-winning writer Frank Young and Bill’s close friend Jeff Gelb. I’ll post links to those podcasts once they’re up.