Comics A.M. | Happy 80th birthday, Donald Duck

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Happy 80th birthday, Donald Duck

Pop culture | Eighty years ago today, Donald Duck was introduced as a supporting character in the animated short “The Wise Little Hen,” part of Walt Disney Productions’ Silly Symphonies series. His comic strip debut came a few months later, in an adaptation of the short by Ted Osborne and Al Taliaferro that ran in Sunday newspapers between Sept. 16 and Dec. 16. To mark the milestone, the National Turk publishes “a love letter to the duck,” while The Telegraph offers 10 surprising facts about the character. [National Turk, The Telegraph]

Political cartoons | The South African cartoonist Zapiro, himself no stranger to controversy, said the Eyewitness News cartoon depicting the South African legislature and the people who voted for them as clowns (and calling the voters “poephols,” or idiots) was a mistake. “I think the EWN cartoonists made a big error in the way they depicted the voters, what they called them and the shadow in the bottom corner, which could be misconstrued as meaning black voters,” he said. “They should have – and the editors of EWN should have – picked it up. But, they have apologised and anything that goes beyond that now is just bandwagoning by politicians.” Meanwhile, a fake Zapiro cartoon made the rounds on social media over the weekend. It’s based on a real 2002 cartoon that showed doctors finding the brain of then-president George W. Bush while giving him a colonoscopy; the fake cartoon substitutes South African President Jacob Zuma, who went into the hospital over the weekend. [Times Live]

Creators | In an video interview (partially transcribed) done at Comicpalooza, former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Roy Thomas talks about various titles he worked on, the evolution of Marvel and DC, and what it was like being editor-in-chief of Marvel. [Geek Sushi]

Creators | Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel) and Matt Fraction (Sex Criminals) talk about their marriage, their work, and how they manage both. [Oregon Live]

Creators | Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, paid a visit to Charles Vess’ studio, and he took lots of pictures. [CBLDF Blog]

Creators | Chuck Dixon and Paul Rivoche write about “modern comics’ descent into political correctness, moral ambiguity and leftist ideology,” apparently blaming the decline of the Comics Code: “A new code, less explicit but far stronger, replaced the old: a code of political correctness and moral ambiguity. If you disagreed with mostly left-leaning editors, you stayed silent.” They end the column by calling on conservative creators to take back comics. [The Wall Street Journal]

Creators | Wrestlers Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian talk about their appearance in Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani’s Aw Yeah Comics. The two wrestlers met the creators a couple of years ago at Comic-Con International, and they kept in touch. Last year, Baltazar and Aureliani ran a Kickstarter for Aw Yeah Comics. Says Daniels, “The first couple of issues they sent to Frankie and I and that’s where I found out about Action Cat and Adventure Bug and Awesome Bear, and then I just decided, “Well, what if I wrote a story about Frankie and I going to this dimension and meeting these characters? Even though we are professional wrestlers, we decided to go out there and fun and cut up and be ridiculous, so that spirit sort of flowed into the comic book story. I literally sent it unsolicited to Art and was like, ‘Hey, would you like to make this?’ To my sheer delight they said yeah.” [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Creators | Shawn Perry interviews Braden Lamb, who together with his wife Shelli Paroline illustrates the Adventure Time comics. [Bleeding Cool]

Creators | Indian creator George Mathen, who uses the pen name Appupen (“grandfather”), talks about his graphic novels Moonward and The Legends of Halahala, which were partly inspired by the wordless woodcut comics of Lynd Ward. Mathen also draws cartoons for ESPN and Rolling Stone India, and he was a drummer in an alt-rock band for a while. [New India Express]

Creators | Mike Gavazzi set aside art in college to study history, and he went on to become a history teacher; now, 20 years later, he has completed his first graphic novel, Opaque, with the encouragement of his children. [Chambersburg Public Opinion]

Scene | Jan Gardner does a quick rundown of the Boston comics scene for the “New England Literary News” section of The Boston Globe. [The Boston Globe]

Retailing | Raymond Hannigan has been collecting comics for 40 years, and with retirement looming, he decided to take the plunge and open a comics shop, Sky High Comics in Turlock, California. The store had its grand opening last weekend, although it has been open since April. [Turlock Journal]