The Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Master of the Mississippi

The Master of the Mississippi

The Master of the Mississippi (1992) is the beginning of Scrooge’s American adventure.

Having worked as a cabin boy for passage across the Atlantic, the 13 year-old lad from Scotland finds his Uncle Angus “Pothole” McDuck — who also sought his fortune in the New World — down on his luck in Louisville, Kentucky. But Pothole wins a steamboat, the Dilly Dollar, in a poker match and hires his nephew as deckhand, introducing him to both a lifelong ally — Ratchet Gearloose, the grandfather of Duckburg’s eccentric inventor Gyro — and lifelong enemies: the criminal Beagle Boys.

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The Times of Scrooge McDuck: Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies

Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies page

Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies (1995) is the first of the in-between chapters in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Keno Don Rosa places it before Chapter 1, calling it “Chapter 0”. It was even written and drawn before Chapter 1, but, as Rosa writes in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion (2006), which collects all the “B” chapters, it would have been “bad form” to release the two stories around the same time, since they both tell how Scrooge earned his Number One Dime. Hence Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies wasn’t released until after the twelve chapters of The Life and Times.

The title mimics the wording and meter of “The Walrus and the Carpenter” poem in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass (1871):

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings –“

(Rosa never drew a cover for the story, so that’s why I’m showing you the first page.)

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The Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Last of the Clan McDuck

The Last of the Clan McDuck

If you’re not familiar with the comics of Uncle Scrooge, you’re missing out. The treasure hunts of the globe-trotting “richest duck in the world” draw inspiration from steam- and dieselpunk-era adventures and in turn inspired George Lucas in creating Indiana Jones!

Scrooge’s creator, Carl Barks, who is widely regarded as the best Duck artist of all time, never consciously established a biography for Donald Duck’s uncle, but he did reveal tidbits about the old miser’s younger years through dozens of stories.

In the twelve-part The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Keno Ron Rosa masterfully weaves together every detail Barks revealed about Scrooge’s past with real-world history, from the heydays of the Mississippi steamboat to the Klondike Gold Rush. It’s that real-world history we’re going to explore. Hence the emphasis on the “times” of Scrooge McDuck.

The twelve chapters of The Life and Times are best read in order. They form a narrative whole, from Scrooge’s rise to his fall to his redemption. Eight additional “untold tales” (Don Rosa preferred the term “B chapters”) are mostly pure adventure stories and best read after. For our purposes, however, a chronological order makes sense.

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The Lion King and Jungle Festival

The Lion King and Jungle Festival premiered in Disneyland Paris this summer. The event comprised, as you can guess from the name, all sorts of bits and bobs from The Lion King and The Jungle Book. Which was quite clever, considering the recent live-action releases of both movies.

Over the last few years, Disneyland Paris has been stepping up their game when it comes to additional shows and parades for their temporary events, and this was no different. Rather than combining the two movies, they had a Lion King-themed show called Rhythm of the Pride Lands with a little dance from Timon called MataDance (it was 40°C the day I was there, so I skipped that in favor of shade) and you could meet Rafiki during a special lunch at the restaurant Hakuna Matata.

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Steampunk in Tokyo DisneySea

Many a steampunk is familiar with the sights of not only Nautilus in Tokyo DisneySea, but the entire scenery of Mysterious Island. While many Disney parks have a castle at the center of the park, Mysterious Island boasts Mount Prometheus of Mysterious Island. Literally, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Is this all there is that makes Tokyo DisneySea so worth it for ‘punks? Or is there more to the park than meets the initial eye?

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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Let me start by saying that Big Thunder Mountain is one my favorite rides in Disneyland Paris, only narrowly beaten by Les Mystères du Nautilus. So, of course, when Marvel and Disney announced that the runaway train was being turned into a comic, I was excited.

Design-wise, it’s very pretty. Like all Disney Kingdom series books, it comes only in hardcover. Which is too bad, because it means a fragile flap and a higher price than what you would pay for a paperback edition. On the upside, once the flap is removed, you get a really nice sketch of the ride.

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Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Tim Burton’s sequel to his Alice in Wonderland adaptation from a few years ago is once again based on a book by Lewis Carroll, this time Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, published in 1871.

As far as adaptations go, this is very liberal. Burton doesn’t follow the book much at all, uses very little elements of it and weaves them into what is essentially a sequel to his previous Alice movie. If you haven’t seen that one, make sure you do before you see Alice Through the Looking Glass or you’ll be very confused.

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Dapper Day at Disneyland Paris

Dapper Day Disneyland Paris France
Dapper Day at Disneyland Paris, France, September 26, 2015 (Hilde Heyvaert)

Many people into fashion, Disney parks or dieselpunk know Dapper Day. The US initiative where on some days Disney Parks in California and Florida are turned into a veritable congregation of people dressed in retro fashions of the diesel era and contemporary chic and rockabilly styles. In the US they are huge, they are the bees-knees, there are even Dapper Day Expo events, and now they started bringing them to Disneyland Paris also. Albeit in much more modest form. Continue reading “Dapper Day at Disneyland Paris”