FC0456 BACK TO THE KLONDIKE
The first Uncle Scrooge comic book had been Only a Poor Old Man (FC0386 - Editor's remark). Dell Publishing decided they were going to make the book a steady feature, as Scrooge had only been a supporting character before. So Back to the Klondike was the second of Scrooge's own books. In the first issue Scrooge said he had made much of his fortune in the Klondike, so I did a little further buildup on his past to make a whole story about the Klondike years of his life.
I wasn't sure just how I wanted to make Scrooge - just how much of an old tightwad, how cranky. I was afraid if I got him to be too softhearted, then he would be wishy-washy. So it was difficult to make him do what he did in this story and still keep that whole tightwad personality.
In this tale of a sourdough's return to scenes of long-ago triumphs and troubles, Uncle Scrooge reveals a tiny soft spot in his flinty old heart. As originally written and drawn in 1952, this robust adventure was deemed too robust by the publisher's editors. They scissored 5 pages.
Now Uncle Scrooge himself was based on Gould and Harriman and Rockefeller. All those guys made their fortunes in railroads and mines and so on by being just a little bit unscrupulous with the way they eliminated the competition. Scrooge had to be in that mold, or he couldn't have made it in an era when he was up against all those plutocrats.
When Scrooge lets Goldie win, I had to struggle hard to make it look right. But he did it and was able to make himself believe that he had fooled the other ducks into believing he was still the old hard-hearted guy, that he hadn't let his dignity down by letting her win, that it had been an accident, and that because of his memory pills he had been swindled. I don't know at what stage that ending suggested itself, but somewhere in the panel-by-panel breakdown I came to it.
I didn't write a full script, but I wrote a fairly detailed synopsis. And then I broke that down into panel-by-panel stuff. I started it when I was still living in San Jacinto. I had just been divorced from my second wife at the time (Clara Balken - Editor's remark), and I was kind of at loose ends. I thought I would like to go up to Seattle and spend the summer up there away from the heat. So I took my drawings and drawing board and drove north. I drew most of the story in motels; some in Grants Pass, Oregon, and some in Seattle. I was working on the story for at least a month, but not steadily.
The mosquito scene came out of a situation where Goldie had to have the help of nature to battle those darn ducks. The gag of the ducks unrolling themselves and squeezing the mosquitos - that's a sight gag that grew out of the situation. I didn't even think of it until I was far along in the writing.
|FC0456 BACK TO THE KLONDIKE|
|FC0495 'THE HORSERADISH STORY'|
|U$06 'TRALLA LA'|
|U$07 'SEVEN CITIES OF CIBOLA'|
|U$09 THE LEMMING WITH THE LOCKET|
|U$13 LAND BENEATH THE GROUND|
|U$15 THE SECOND-RICHEST DUCK|
|U$18 LAND OF THE PYGMY INDIANS|
|U$29 ISLAND IN THE SKY|
|U$48 THE MANY FACES OF MAGICA DE SPELL|
|U$65 MICRO-DUCKS FROM OUTER SPACE|
|U$McD GO SLOWLY, SANDS OF TIME!|