By Marco Gallina
Apparently, Disney is willing to slaughter even the richest duck in the world for its “woke” image.
In an e-mail, the company clarifies to one of its most famous authors: two of his stories may no longer appear.
Don Rosa is a legend in the Disney universe.
The comic author is considered the legitimate heir of Carl Barks. Barks perfected the character Donald Duck, gave his name to Duckburg, and invented numerous characters – including Scrooge McDuck, who became one of the most popular comic characters (even beyond Disney).
Don Rosa’s merit lies in collecting, organizing, and historicizing the numerous stories about “Uncle Scrooge” – based on the main character of Charles Dickens’ Christmas story.
While Barks located the Duck stories in the present, Don Rosa told the life story of Scrooge and how he went from a poor Scottish shoeshine boy to the richest duck in the world.
Scrooge seeks gold in South Africa, and the Klondike befriends Theodore Roosevelt and experiences the sinking of the Titanic.
This opus magnum by Rosa in twelve volumes ran in the 1990s under the title “His Life, His Billions” and received the Eisner Award in 1995.
This is one of the most coveted prizes in the comic world.
Donaldists of all countries must now be strong because Rosa published on Feb. 14 an e-mail that the Walt Disney Company had sent him.
The corporation decided that two of his stories would not be published in the future.
“As part of its ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, The Walt Disney Company is in the process of reviewing its story library. As a result, some stories that don’t align with their values will no longer be published. This is true for two of your classic stories.”
By name, Disney cites the stories
- “The Unconscionable Businessman of Duckburg” and
- “The Dream of a Lifetime.”
They would no longer be part of reprints or collections.
This is a hard blow given Rosa’s work, as “The Unconscionable Businessman of Duckburg” is the penultimate chapter of his twelve-part story. What value is there in a collection if one important element is missing?
Rosa wonders if other Duckburg stories are also affected – is it just his? Or aren’t they?
“Apparently, all 12 chapters of my story are now banned because they can’t be published without a finale,” Rosa sums up. “I don’t want to comment on what that means for the collector market.”
Disney does not give specific reasons.
But fans rightly speculate that the character of the black zombie character Bombie, who appears in both stories, may have been the deciding factor.
The portrayal is said to be racist. Bombie, like Scrooge, is a creation of Barks, so speculation is gaining ground that his original story could soon be canceled as well.
Here the woke cat bites its tail: for “Bombie” is invoked as Scrooge’s evil conscience because he lets an African village burn to the ground.
The pejoratively perceived figure is thus an indictment of Western colonialism and the exploitation of the continent, the zombie a constant threat to Scrooge, who flees from him as from his bad conscience.
He is, therefore, the materialization of the “curse of the evil deed”. Of all things, the story that exposes Scrooge’s dark side, and thus also the “dark side of capitalism,” is erased – thanks to left-wing priests of virtue.
Monetarily, Disney’s decision has little impact on Rosa; the comic author does not earn from the new editions.
And fans also point out: Duck comics are much more popular in Europe, especially in Italy, Germany, and Scandinavia than in the domestic U.S. market.
Rosa, who is perceived in Italy as an “Italian-American,” has a loyal fan base there. So the volumes will remain available in our stores – until the woke wave spills into the Old World.
One should not feel too safe: The publisher Egmont Ehapa has already rewritten comic panels in a politically correct way in the past.