ducktales-comic ducktales-comic

Is This the Worst Disney Comic of All-Time?


Some fans of Disney comics are calling Ducktales #3 published by Kaboom! the single worst Disney comic book they’ve ever seen. Here’s a detailed review of the issue by Chris Barat. Some of the complaints will make sense only to those familiar with the Disney comic universe, but the incompetent drawing and staging will be evident to all. Panels are flipped and repeated, characters speak to other characters that aren’t even drawn into the comic, backgrounds appear to be drawn by a twelve-year-old in MS Paint, and even the cover is an uninspired swipe of an earlier Daan Jippes cover:


UPDATE 1: Here are some examples of what these comics could’ve looked like if Kaboom! had hired artists who understood the principles of drawing, composition, and design.

UPDATE 2: This comic is so bad, it even inspired its own parody of the DuckTales theme song (via):


(Thanks, Dan)

  • Darkblader

    Amid, out of curiosity have you read any of the Boom! published Disney comics?

  • Somewhere in Kentucky, Don Rosa is weeping.

  • Dan

    Thanks, Amid. This turned out to be a very unprofessionally produced comic book overall, and it’s even more unusual that it was approved, since the Walt Disney Company keeps a pretty close watch on their licensees.

  • The cover of the older comic book is fantastic – it has so much life and vitality. The drawing is clear and the inked lines aren’t muddied by the bright, clear colors.

    I haven’t read the newer comic but if the cover is any indication, there’s way too much computer coloring and shading. We seem to still be in the phase where computer coloring is a novelty and not a tool to be used with some restraint….

  • Ray Ray

    Hate to say it, but this isn’t the first time there was weak art in a Disney title. Not everyone is as talented as Barks, Rosa, Jippes, Milton, Branca. There has been many debates on who was the better Duck artist. Heck, Tony Stobl who pretty much took over after Barks retired was ridiculed as not being as ‘good’, yet I’d take him any day over the current crop of unknowns working on these comics. I haven’t read a new Disney comic since the 90’s, but from the looks of this I’m glad I stopped back then. They need to get a fresher talent who can do new things with these characters and not ape Barks, or even Rosa.

    • snip2346

      No, not everyone is as talented as Barks, Rosa, Jippes, Milton, Branca…. but as Disney, you’d think they would at least have as good a judgment than to let some “fan artist in training” produce approved work! (the artist may not be in training, but you get my point)

      • No “fan artists in training” here. It looks to be largely the work of Magic Eye Studio, an outfit in Brazil. José Massaroli is also a credited artist, but for god knows what, given that he’s done good work elsewhere.

      • Rosa is possibly the best thing to happen to an existing Disney property in the past 20 years.

    • Good Disney comics are still being made. (Take, for instance, kaboom! Studios’ new “Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers” title, which is miles better than the original TV show.) Don’t judge the entire comics line based on one terrible example. I’m an avid reader of Disney comics and I have never, ever in my life seen anything as lousy, untalented or lazy as this art from DuckTales #3. Even the worst comic book stories I have read (which, admittedly, were pretty bad) look competent compared to this.

    • Perspicacious

      Agreed. I haven’t read any new ones for several years now. I still get excited everytime I walk into a comic store..but after flipping through some titles …I sigh and leave. They simply aren’t worth spending my money on, and that’s a pretty big statement. I am very disappointed with the turn Disney comics have taken. But then, I suppose it makes me value the classic ones more.

  • childisfatheroftheman

    Doesn’t look any worse than just about any issue of Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog not done by Art Mawhinney or Scott Shaw!

    • Daniel J. Drazen

      Agreed. Art Mawhinney was IMO one of the better artists to work on the Sonic comic. Having also worked as a storyboard artist on both the Sonic animated series of the 1990s, he knew what he was doing and got the story across.

      I wouldn’t be so hard on the rest of the crew, though. If there was a regular weakness in the Sonic book’s art back in the day it was in the coloring. Barry Grossman’s coloring work was uninspired compared with today’s more nuanced work by Josh and Aimee Ray and Jason Jensen and Frank Gagliardo’s work in the late ’90s. There was also very impressive work done by a number of artists who should have become series regulars, such as Dawn Best, Jon Gray, and J. Axer.

      OK, there was also really REALLY bad art by the likes of Ron Lim and those who chose to duck-and-cover behind the pen name “Many Hands,” as well as art by otherwise professional artists such as James Valentino who simply couldn’t make their hands draw anything other than humanoids and thus failed to be convincing when drawing anthro characters.

      I’m reminded of Tom Wolfe’s critique of modern architecture, “From Bauhaus To Our House,” and how architects trained in how to do modern architecture (derided by its critics as “glass boxes”) couldn’t seem to design anything else. The Sonic comics may not be shining examples of the best of comic book art, but the bigger problem was bringing in artists incapable of changing gears and doing convincing furry/anthro art when they were more comfortable doing steroid-and-Spandex humans. The decision to go with furry artists finally managed to stabilize the look of the comic.

      • eeteed

        how can y’all make a list of archie’s top sonic artists without mentioning spaz?

      • Martin Juneau

        Speaking of Sonic, the fact that most of those online “fan artists” want to left the Sega’s style to the Anthro/Furry style is a bit misleading. Otherwise, Sonic and Furry is not as different because it’s like they share the same world. Why else i like better the characters as Bugs Bunny or Yogi Bear? Okay, they are anthro characters all right, but it’s because they are actual characters. Having enjoyed the Sonic franchise as a little kid (I having 9 and quit at 12), i barely can give a chance to the Sonic universe since it’s very overvalued in the Web.

  • Not everyone can be Walt Kelly, who by the way did tons of comics for Western Publishing that were leagues below his skill level. The cover swipe comparison is lame, as there are infinite examples of such in the past seventy years of Disney comics.

    There are far worse looking Disney comics, very little of them published in America. But the art is really nothing on the writing though. Warren Spector had no experience that I know of with the Disney characters until working on the video game Epic Mickey. For some reason, he gained fame overnight for being some sort of great historian and revivalist of the characters and got to pen this masturbatory, incoherent mess as a result. As the reviewer points out, it makes less and less sense as it goes along, rivaling but not surpassing the years Ken Penders spent ruining Sonic the Hedgehog (to use another funny animal/adventure title).

    Comics are dying a slow and painful death anyway. Maybe instead of living up to the Gods’ dead asses the publishers will let the artists and writers create instead of replicate… if the artists/writers would even want to anyway.

  • Rufus

    Wow. That really sucks. And it’s very embarrassing for Disney, too. Who actually approved this crap for print?
    Probably some douche exec who was thinking that kids can’t tell good things from bad.

  • Conor

    Wow, the classic cover is fantastic, but the new cover (in addition to toning down the poses) doesn’t even get the direction of the pupils right. Each is apparently very upset at the other’s hat.

  • Martin Juneau

    The characters are well done yes, but the background quality is flat and uninspired, and it’s always easy to accuse the artist and writer alone responsible to the mess, since there is a larger corporation who want the work fast at all cost. I think it’s not a hazard that Kaboom recently cancelled the Ducktales/Darkwing Duck new comics finally.

    And the comparaison between the original/revived cover is priceless too. The original fits better while the new one don’t work, but this tedency is very regular in today’s French comics covers. I remember of a local Disney magazine who used the same poses back in the 90’s.

  • Mike Russo

    The sad part is that this is a Ducktales comic, and based on a TV show. It shouldn’t even be trying to copy Barks or Rosa. Getting Ducktales right shouldn’t be that hard, but kaboom blew it bigtime here.

  • EHH

    Yikes. James Silvani and Amy Mebberson (great artists who work for this company that I meet at HeroesCon) this is not.

  • Thats a shame. For those familiar with Disney comics, all I need to say is “Don Rosa”.

    Better then Barks even He wrote and drew the best Uncle scrooge comics ever (all of which can be see here: ). The stories are amazing.

    I’m going to be doing a write-up on him soon, but here’s a very entertaining panel from one of his later comics, illustrating how Duck comics can be done right:

  • That review was so f***ng nerdy my dick now wears glasses. Can we get Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons to read it?

    • Oh hoho

      Says the guy on an animation site.

      • Sarcasm huh? So you do have a sense of humor…


      • tom

        It drops the level of conversation here to host comments like “now my dick wears glasses”. Don’t be that guy.

        Your unoriginal joke and your tired moniker aside, you might have something relevant to say here, so why not say it?

      • pow!

        Comment translation: “Well I never!”

  • But man, we’re forgetting that everything Disney is “divine”. As such it’s unfair to criticize anything they or their licensees churn out…which, if going by the pay scale of Disney artists; just makes a review like this the true nail in the coffin of Disney comic artists. All things Disney are fundamentally good, remember that…and never bear false witness against Disney, the God of animation and comics, lest you be damned as a charlatan historian.

  • Knowing Disney comics insiders, they will NOT be pleased with this review. So what? Disney today is not the Disney of yesteryear, and the use of computer coloring and lettering is the proof in the spoiled pudding.

  • Jamie B

    What a shame that Boom dropped the ball on Duck Tales as they’ve produced some outstanding Pixar, Muppet and Disney titles whilst they’ve had the license and given much more prominence in the industry to some great artists like Roger Langridge, Amy Mebberson and James Silvani.

    I’m just a collector, unaffiliated with Kaboom, but they’ve reignited my passion for comics over the last few years – ‘Darkwing Duck’ and ‘The Muppet Show’ are some of the very best examples of All Ages comics done right you’ll find. From what I understand, this book has lost two artists during its production so far so I imagine time was of the essence. Even so, this should not have been published and a short delay would have been very wise as not to tarnish all the very commendable things Boom DID achieve (and consistantly achieve). I always thought their work previous to this has been done with a truckload of care from all involved.

    I’ll point out for fairness that the cover chosen by Chris for his review was the B Cover, the 2nd of 2 – Cover A for this issue is much more pleasing and original (however misleading for the contents!)…

    • Hi Jamie. Yeah, all that hard work that Boom! did in putting together great teams for creating these highly rated and even award nominated titles. How does Marvel reward them? By yanking all of the licenses and having someone like Marvel simply reprint them and take profit.

      Don’t blame Boom! or Kaboom one bit for saving money on the artwork for their final issues. Boom did a lot for the Disney and Muppets license and pretty much got shafted in the end.

  • Seriously, just look at this page in detail. Horrendous and unfathomable how this eyesore made it to print. I expect this level of quality from independent and underground comic titles, not a Disney title.

    • Funkybat

      Is that….real? The difference between that and the art in the recent Darkwing Duck comic series isn’t even night and day – it’s more like comparing a low-end Spike & Mike’s entry to The Triplets of Belleville.

      Well, since the DuckTales and Darkwing comics are coming to an end for now anyway, hopefully Marvel will restart the titles as they inevitably take over the Disney line, and the team that worked on Darkwing Duck can continue working on Duck title(s). It would also be a savvy move to start a “Tale Spin” title. With solid art and writing, it would probably outsell even the Darkwing line, what with the crossover appeal “Tale Spin” has with people outside of the Disney Afternoon fan groups. (Do I really need to say who I’m talking about?)

  • Chris Sobieniak

    I think my late mother and her late best friend could have done a far better issue than this one!

  • At least they’re TRYING to do new stories. It could be worse. They could be doing what DC has been doing with Looney Tunes! What was once a great series with hilarious stories and writers who understood the characters is now filled with reprints and the occasional intrusion of the grossly inept artist Scott Gross!

  • ShouldBeWorkin’

    Am I right in assuming that Marvel (owned by Disney) will eventually take over the Disney comics?
    I would cut Kaboom some slack. They’ve appeared to do some really good work in the past and as mentioned there has been bad comic art through the ages. If things were so tightly controlled in the late 40s, we’d probably have no Uncle Scrooge and all the mtyhology that Barks was left alone to create with Disney characters. Barks was gloriously off-model as were many other moonlighting animation personnel.
    A few have mentioned Rosa. He is an extraordinary writer…and artist….but as if Al Jaffe drew Duckburg. He was primarily an engineer and a hobbyist cartoonist.

  • The Gee

    I haven’t seen a lot of the recent publications of these funny animal comics, to be general.

    But, expecting them to be tip-top, top notch and as-good-as the classics versions is to expect a lot.

    From what I have seen, there are a lot of comic books that don’t have Great comic art. It is good enough that it does the job and allows the artist to keep a job but it isn’t all Great. But, that does happen in comic books.

    I don’t think Disney sanctioned comics are any more precious than their other published books (which now that I think of it, includes Marvel Comics). I’ve seen some of their older storybooks that were ambitiously illustrated but not perfect by any means. So, in my opinion, don’t hold the standard too high. Just know if you are looking for Great art and story, there are reprints. I think there’s always been reprints of Disney comics anyway.

    I know some of you are taking there seriously, like it is dire, so I don’t mean offense. Surely, style guides and editors exist in part for quality control but I just think something slightly sloppy or hurried is a bit forgivable. Hopefully, the series will improve. After all it is only issue number 3.

    • Funkybat

      I don’t think it’s a lot to ask that a “funny animal” comic, especially one featuring Disney characters, be done at a pretty high level. The art examples shown in that review is way below any I’ve seen from a Disney title, including the Disney Afternoon comics they used to have in “Disney Adventures.” Also, those of us reading the Darkwing Duck and Chip & Dale series from Kaboom have come to expect some very fine artwork and writing. I’ve purchased the first three DuckTales comics, but haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. I can’t yet comment on the writing, obviously, but I assumed the art would be at least comparable to what I’ve seen in the other recent titles. *That* is where the consternation from the audience comes from.

      As for “getting better,” the series is ending soon anyway, probably due to the Marvel/Disney deal. Disney has done this before, they took over the titles Gladstone was publishing, and later did so from Geppi’s Gemstone, though in that case they moved to Boom Studios. I hope that they will find a more permanent home within Marvel, and that they are allowed to keep trying new things, including interesting new spins on old characters. I am not sure if the Darkwing series would have been allowed to be as ambitious and unpredictable had it been a completely in-house revival. Thank goodness it was…

    • Expecting Duck Tales to be at the level of the “classics” may be unfair, but expecting it to be at the level of the current and excellent run of Darkwing Duck, for example, is completely justified.

      Having worked on a Disney property with another publisher (Gargoyles at SLG), I’ve seen fan backlash at bad art, praise on good, and little editing involvement by Disney itself. That may not be the case at Boom, but I’d be surprised that once Boom produced a few good books for Disney, they didn’t just let them go ahead and proceed unsupervised.

      This looks to me very much like “Holy crap, we need to get this book out NOW” of time saving measures, and that makes me sad. The worst part is the fact that it can’t be fixed at this point because the book is published.

  • Jason

    I’m surprised you didn’t use this example

    because holy smokes.

    • ShouldBeWorkin’

      Is Gladstone Gander blind?

      • Funkybat

        In the review, it mentions that he (SPOILER ALERT) has been hypnotized. I figured as much when I saw him, if it were just “bad art” all of the Ducks would probably have eyes like that.

        Still, there is some pretty unforgivable stuff going on elsewhere on the page. I drew better fan art of these characters 20 years ago, before I had any formal art training!

    • Iritscen

      Those last two panels must have been made using the newly-patented digital Flip-And-Zoom technology.

  • That’s too bad. The Darkwing Duck comic series always looked great, and was really funny too.

    Maybe this is reason why Disney is pulling out of Boom Comics?

    • Doug Abramson

      Disney is pulling out of Boom because, owning Marvel, they don’t have to share the money with an outside company anymore. Now we get to see if Marvel can produce Disney books that are better than their old Star line.

  • Austen Davis

    Woah. I think I dodged a bullet by not picking up issue 3.

  • Wow! I never read the Ducktales comics yet; but from what I’ve seen so far, this is pretty disappointing. I’m surprised that Boom! actually let this happen.

    And to think, just recently the Nostalgia Critic did a look back on the TV series praising the show for it’s writing and animation. Is Doug Walker [NC] gonna be surprised when he sees crappy the comic looks.

    Being that I’m illustrating my first web comic, I can’t say that mine is the most professionally looking– but I certainly put a lot of effort into drawing it than what Boom! passed off as ‘good quality art’.

    I hope Marvel strongly considers doing better with these Disney titles when the Boom! titles lose their license.

    • Funkybat

      I too hope that the Disney Afternoon-inspired titles continue under Marvel. Though I have to say, if I had the choice between the titles continuing with bad art and uninspired writing, or not continuing at all, I’d choose the latter.

      Also, if they do continue, PLEASE hire the team that’s been working on the Darkwing Duck title. Even if they work on DuckTales or some other title instead of DW, it would be a shame to lose them.

  • Ron

    Love the covers on the Michael Sporn page. “Visually Deliscious” is the only way I can describe them!

  • SpectorStooge

    Sorry to post anonymously, but I’ll tell you exactly how this slipped under the radar: Warren Spector! According to the Disney powers that be, Warren Spector (the writer of this series and Epic Mickey hot shot video game producer) can do no wrong. His script was extremely late, leaving no time for the artist to do anything decent. Spector is all bluster and has brought nothing to Disney. If there’s anything good about his vertigo inducing video game Epic Mickey, it’s the result of the work other Disney studios put into it at the last minute, not his handiwork. He was too busy blowing smoke.

    I hope and pray that Spector doesn’t work his way up the Disney ladder even farther. He’s nothing but bluster and empty promises, as this crappy comic book attests.

    Please don’t blame Boom for Spector’s laziness.

    • Well, Boom DID have editorial oversight–they didn’t HAVE to let this go through…

      That said, I agree with you about Spector. It’s totally baffling to me that he’s suddenly some sort of Disney superstar after producing one indifferently-received Disney videogame. Also, there’s this: to the first volume of the recently-released Floyd Gottfredson Library–which is otherwise an absolutely wonderful book–Spector was permitted to contribute an essay. The title of this essay? “The Master of Mickey Epics.” That’s right: he couldn’t resist referencing the title of his own stupid videogame. I mean JEEZ, how narcissistic can you GET? It doesn’t surprise me at all that he would turn in lazy, half-assed work for his first (and hopefully last) comics-writing venture.

    • pspector

      no relation.

  • Scarabim

    If you ask me, the Muppet comics looked just as bad as this Ducktales one does. Most of them were badly written too (yes, I read them – until I couldn’t stand it anymore). Why do editors hire artists with such poor artistic skill and then try to pass it off as “style”? Has the aesthetic of the modern art world infected the realm of comics?

    This situation reminds me of what happened to the Runemaster comics title “Lions, Tigers and Bears”. It was one of the most enjoyable new comics out there, and was embraced by adults as well as kids. Then, around the 6th issue or so, the excellent artist Jack Lawrence bowed out, the last installment of the ongoing story was drawn by someone else – and that person not only couldn’t match Lawrence’s skills, he was just a terrible artist. The ugly results completely derailed the series, and it hasn’t recovered yet. Again, what is it with editors? Don’t they think readers notice such things? Do they think we don’t care?

  • Jesse Pindus

    Groan. My favorite TV show as a child and this new Kaboom series is just making a complete mockery of it. Of course I know some will argue that that’s what original series did to Carl Barks’ comics – and don’t get me wrong, when it comes to the Ducks I do consider myself a Barks/Rosa fan first and a DuckTales fan second. I believe in any event that with the right writers and artists that an outstanding new series based on Barks and Rosa could be made, but sadly so far no one has proven that.

    My own nomination for worst Disney comic story was in fact also a DuckTales story in which (SPOILER WARNING) where Magica devises a spell to make Scrooge’s most “prized possessions” float to her – which causes all of Scrooge’s “Lucky Coin” (sadly enough shown to be a gold coin), Huey, Dewey and Louie to float to her, yet throughout the story, Scrooge seems to care more about his coin than his nephews, which is just played for “comedic” effect here. Damn, I see it actually got a decent rating on the Inducks: This new story has worse art though.

  • Mister Twister

    >Boom! Comics made a bad Disney comic

  • Mike Russo

    If you’re going to call something “Ducktales”, make it like the show. Trying to stay true to the show, Rosa AND Barks and then attempting to cram in the Darkwing universe succeeds in delivering nothing but a disgusting clusterfudge. Good art could have saved inept writing (look what Silvani has done for the Darkwing comic: Brill writes like a 15 year-old fangirl) but Ducktales doesn’t even have that.

    As a huge fan of the show it saddens me that the first two issues (and several coming up soon) depict the Beagle Boys the way they were on the show on the covers but the comics themselves show them simply as generic lookalike henchmen who apparently are still going by prison numbers.

    Where’s Gyro, Mrs. Beakly, Duckworth, Ma Beagle…?

  • Usually when I see Disney comics drawn with this level of quality, the characters are having sex with each other

  • SOKO

    This isn’t WATCHMEN or DMZ . It’s Ducktales… a comic likely intended for kids 4-9 at best. They probably keep that in mind when writing it. I bet they cut and pasted and clipped art in order to not have to pay someone for full pages. Still, it’s just Ducktales. Any memory of the show as sacred is held by people too old to care about this level of comic. There could probably be a disney comic that skewed older or more universal but this isn’t it. Why are you reviewing it ?

    • Funkybat

      These comics are targeted just as much, if not more, to the “nostalgia crowd” of 20 and 30-somethings who grew up loving the Disney Afternoon. The writing is “all ages” but these comics would probably sell less than half as many issues per month were it not for us overgrown children who miss these characters. Most adult comic fans have at least some discernment for good artwork, and expect the comics to at least meet the level of art seen on the TV shows. The Darkwing comic often exceeded that level, while this DuckTales issue seems to have sunk below it.

      If this is just a matter of the artists not having time because the scripts are late, it’s disappointing that Boom didn’t delay publication a month or so in order to deliver something better. I am not even sure of the release calendar for these, so if it were a few weeks late I doubt it would have been all that noticeable to anyone but the hard-core collectors.

  • Pow!

    While I won’t argue that this comic isn’t drawn very well, Kaboom has been releasing AMAZING licensed material for almost half a decade now (and you know, some bad stuff, but it comes with the field). Isolating the bad stuff seems somehow unfair.

    I hope you spotlight also Langridge’s Muppets comic (and the spin offs off of it, while overlooked are gorgeously drawn.) Same goes for the Darkwing Duck and Rescue Rangers titles. They’re fantastic. Seems cruel, again, to focus on one bad comic. Like desperately trying to give a black eye that won’t stick.

    As for the book, I won’t defend the art, it seems very very bad. Yet adults getting just that worked up over a bad children’s comic book seems somehow wrong as well.

    • Scarabim

      “Gorgeously drawn”? You and I didn’t read the same comics, apparently. The character drawings in the Muppets books were terribly off-model. It actually hurt to look at some artists’ rendition of them. No wonder the books pretty much failed sales-wise (as I understand it).

      I will agree with you about the Darkwing Duck books, however. They were excellent. (Haven’t yet read the Rescue Rangers titles, but the covers do look smashing).

      • pow!

        The Roger Langridge books? Well, its been incredibly critically lauded to the point where its so far the only Disney book that Marvel reprinted.

  • The Gee

    On second thought, maybe the series will not have time to radically improve.
    I just saw this:

    The URL pretty much says it all but read the article anyway.

    This makes sense for reasons too long to even consider trying to type out.

    • Pow!

      If you say something like this, you may have not read the other titles. Also, I only hope its obvious because Disney owns a major comic book company now. Not because you now have a blood vendetta against the third issue of a children’s series you’re not reading.

      • The Gee

        “Also, I only hope its obvious because Disney owns a major comic book company now.”
        That and because the company does or did have an active publishing division (Hyperion) which can allow Disney to keep everything in-house, under one roof.

        That is the main reason.

        My blood vendettas are usually things I keep to myself and allow them to fester until I force myself to deal with it. To release that pent up rage I start by watching a Charles Bronson marathon up until the point when I realize most of those disgruntled architect movies have the same plot and I stop, take a deep breath, wonder why the guy bothers to remarry at all and then I inevitably consider why I thought of a “blood vendetta” in the first place. It’s at that point I decide to just draw unicorns and rainbows.

        Sadly, once I draw enough of them, the cycle of repressed rage begins anew….

        damn you, pretty mythological creatures and prismatic meteorological phenomena!
        Someday, some day….!
        Pow! Zoom! Straight to the Moon! Where you can dazzle the nighttime sky for all to see.

        BTW, relax, will ya?

      • Pow!

        Blood vendetta was a joke. But it got to you!

      • The Gee

        Actually, I found its use to be humorous. That’s why I made fun of it.

        Why propose that I either mean the obvious or that I actually care about any of this enough to have a “vendetta” ? That’s just absolutely silly.

        So, when you injected hyperbole, I parodied it by going further. In part, because I’m not sure you know what a blood vendetta is, but, I know others reading it probably do. So, I decided to entertain them.

        None of the stuff means anything to me. I have no horse in this race, as a artist or as a person who is sort of familiar with Disney comics.

        I’m just surprised people are taking it all as seriously as they are.

      • pow!

        I just think this kind of negativity like the one on the entry is sorta toxic. The one where one of the only times you talk about Boom Comics or comics in general is if one of them produces inferior work.

  • I think the DuckTales brouhaha is overblown, myself, but it’s stupid to excuse substandard work on “it’s a kids’ book, what’s the big deal?” That’s like excusing a poor-quality Disney cartoon on “it’s for Saturday morning/the direct-to-video market, what’s the big deal?”

    Kaboom’s obviously aiming DuckTales at a periphery demographic, as it bigs up Epic Mickey‘s video game designer as the writer. Things like this don’t help either Warren Spector’s or Kaboom’s reputation, tight deadlines be damned.

  • So…when do you guys pick up your torches and hunt the poor artist down, to make him pay for his crimes against Unca Walt and Saint Carl?

    Glad I’m not that artist, that’s all I can say.

  • Marc Baker

    After looking at those pages, I have to ask how this was allowed to happen. Seriously, I have the first issue of the ‘DuckTales’ comic by Warren Spector, and for the most part, the artwork looks fantastic. I can’t believe Kaboom, or even Disney would allow such lackluster artwork to go through the printing press without any quality control. I’m also shocked at how Spector didn’t establish A timeline between Launchpad’s time at St. Canard, and his return to Duckburg. It’s possible the team was under pressure to meet the deadline since I worked with someone on A comic to present at A show, but he lacked experience in knowing how long the book will take. The difference if that he was A guy who was starting out, this was A small publisher assisted by A huge media conglomerate who just happens to own A major comic publisher. If Spector, and his team had any decency, they would fix their mistakes, or redraw the artwork so that it looks more polished. I should suggest this comic to Linkara for review on ‘Atop The 4th Wall’.

    • I’ve always just imagined that Launchpad helps earn his keep at the Mallard home by continuing to be the same thing he’s always been—a freelance pilot. And sometimes, though not as often as in ye olden times, his client is Scrooge McDuck. No reason that can’t be going on at the same time as his life with Darkwing.

  • It feels like they cut & pasted model sheets! And the backgrounds feel very dull, or very flat.

    The BOLT comic-book adaptation (which came with the DVD) done by Italian artists is much more impressive than this. This… is a waste of print. I’d even call it a total knock-off! Disney deserves better.

  • Ryan Wynns

    To the “This is a kids’ comic, so people who care about it are misguided” faction:

    Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, we’re talking about a widely-recognized and celebrated comics legacy. It’s not like the only precedent for this title is a short-lived 1980’s Star Comics series based on a then-contemporary Saturday morning cartoon.

    Soko — yes, Watchmen is a masterpiece. But if you’re going to discount Barks and Rosa … does that extend to Kelly, Segar, Herriman, and McKay? Did it not become acceptable to consider comics as a serious artform until the day Rolling Stone ran an article tripping on how “deep” The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen were, and nothing created before then counts?

    Johnny Bacardi — what’s Walt Disney have to do with comics? Also, it’s not a case of people ganging up on “the artist” … this book shows numerous signs of having been rushed, and different artists have been delegated separate portions of each issue, and the transitions have been jarring. The pages that have provoked this outcry that you’re decrying don’t appear to be drawn so much as cut-and-pasted. The issue here is with editorial decisions. This is by no means, “Oh, the artist who drew the latest issue sucks, time for an inquisition!” This looks to you like some myopic fans flipping out over a trifling thing, but fans and this publisher have had a strained relationship with this publisher over the past couple years, and what you’re seeing is the situation reaching a fever pitch. There’s a lot of backstory and beneath-the-surface stuff here that I don’t think you’re aware of.


    • In general the comments around here are very depressing because the tenor is often not only angry, but implacable and petty.
      To put it bluntly, many come off as being generated by very unpleasant people.
      Whether that unpleasantness is of the super-disappointed fan variety or its opposite, the “It’s just a kids’ book and you all should be embarrassed to be bitching so much” type, the childish, arrogant tone is pretty prevalent.
      It’s upsetting to me because it would be nice to feel a sense of camaradarie with people who share artistic inclinations and/or interests, but instead it seems we’re all trying to out-bitch each other.

      • Marbles,

        I completely agree that “it would nice to feel a sense of camaradarie with people who share artistic inclinations and/or interests”.

        When commenting in this thread, I have tried to be as diplomatic, level-headed, and informative as I can. If I have come off as negative, or as if I’m “trying to outbitch” others, I’ve not performed as well I hope to, and I’m sorry.

        In more than one case, what has prompted me to reply is a commenter ridiculing people for caring about this comic. Or even less harsh comments of the “Guys, one bad issue shouldn’t be a big deal.” My intention has been make people aware of the history of Barksian Duck comics and their fandom, and of the issues that fans have with Boom as a publisher, which go deeper than one page of bad art. I’ve only tried to foster understanding, not further antagonism.

  • Aaron Sparrow

    Apparently, “Spectorstooge” has an axe to grind against Warren Spector. He offers not a single fact, such some negligible opinions, which are completely undermined by his posting anonymously.

    Having been an editor at Boom (During my time there, I oversaw all of the Disney/Pixar/Muppets titles, and architected the return of Darkwing Duck, going so far as to plot the first year of stories…which you can read about HERE: As such, I have a special insight into how Boom works, how they view the Disney license, and I am here to tell you without a single shred of doubt in my mind, this is in no way Disney’s fault. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Boom’s editor-in-chief.

    Boom is famous for rushing things into production to turn the quickest buck that they can. Ducktales was announced and solicited before a single word of a script was written, and the creative team was expected to play catch-up. In fact, Miguel Pujols was announced as artist before they had even offered him a page rate…when this “modern duck master” was offered the standard Boom rate for their Disney titles ($65-100 a page) he balked, and Boom was left scrambling for an artist. (The true tragedy here is that Amy Mebberson WAS available for Ducktales, but the editor, Chris Burns, was apparently not allowed to hire her due to internal political pettiness.)

    The reason Darkwing Duck worked is because I’d been plotting that story even before I came to Boom, and after fighting long and hard to get Boom to publish it, it had been refined again and again. I’d also had time to find the perfect art team in James Silvani and Andrew Dalhouse. Everything since Darkwing has been rushed out for a quick buck, trying to capitalize on the former’s success…I’m told editor Chris Burns became so tired of having projects set up to fail that he recently left the company, and is disgusted to have been associated with the Ducktales book that he was forced to put out by the e-i-c.

    Please go read my comments at the Old Haunt. I think you’ll get valuable insight into how Boom functioned, how little they understood about the Disney properties, and the general contempt that marketing had for the fans. (Even going for far as to joking that we should run ads It was a small group of editors (including my assistants Christopher Burns, Jason Long and Christopher Meyer) that fought against our own management to make those books as good as they were, and a dedicated cabal of writers and artists (Landry Walker, Paul Benjamin, Patrick Storck, Amy Mebberson, James Silvani, Jesse Snider, Allen Gladfelter, and Nathan Watson, to name a few)who broke their backs for meager wages and horrendous deadlines for their sheer love of the characters.

    I’ve never met Warren Spector, but I know people who have, and I know people that have worked with him on this book. By all accounts he is a very genuine and enthusiastic Disney fan, and like most people who have worked on these titles, in an extremely tight spot. It’s unfair to lay this art debacle at his feet, as even if he did turn in a script late, Boom editorial could delay the book a week and make sure decent pages with the correct characters were drawn. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s fair to blame Disney…Boom often sent books to print before getting final approval, because it was “easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission.”

    I know it’s the internet, but I’m a bit offended when people who refuse to identify themselves start offering opinions as if they’re “in the know.” If you don’t have the courage to stand beside your statements, I don’t think you should make them.

    • pow!

      Do you mean Mark Waid when you say eic?

  • Aaron Sparrow

    Hmm. Wish I could edit a word or two above, and fix a sentence fragment. :D

    The line about marketing should read “even going so far as to say we should run ads aimed at the old school Disney fans that read “We don’t want you.”

  • Aaron,

    Thank you for posting here to set the record straight on various points … and for your tireless persistence!

    When the Darkwing comic kicked off, it was a thrill. “The Duck Knight Returns” hit all the right notes. In some cases, I would read the latest issue no sooner than I’d left the comics shop and *gotten in my car*! So, believe me, the work and time that you put into planning the series is *not* lost on me.

    This caught my attention:

    “[…]how little they understood about the Disney properties, and the general contempt that marketing had for the fans. (Even going for far as to joking that we should runs ads[…]”

    Having asked questions at a Boom convention panel, let’s just say that I picked up on a certain smarminess and cheekiness. But what’s that last bit in the above quote? Looks like an incomplete sentence. They joked about running ads in which…? I’m dying to know the dirt here — I *want* confirmation that my hunches are right, and that I and other fans have been taken for fools! (Guess I’m a glutton for punishment!)

    When Spector was announced as the writer and did a couple interviews, I said that it sounded like his mind and his heart were in the right place. But with each issue, i’ve suspected more and more that a lot of the end result was beyond his control.

    Good on Burns — if he has indeed left, i respect his integrity! Especially when we’re talking about leaving a job with the economy as it is.


  • Aaron — ah, you’ve answered my question about that jokingly proposed ad, asked in my last post … which, as far as I know, as I write this, is still in the moderation queue. But it won’t be, by the time this one is subsequently up. :)

    It’s okay, Boom — we didn’t want you, either. :D

    (Tell me about wanting to be able to go back and edit mistakes in one’s own posts!0


  • Sleezy Exec

    Yeah, I bet Disney is squirming in their gold-plated diamond encrusted chairs because of some ancient issue of Ducktales is being criticized on a blog by anonymous.

    Hit em where it hurts boys!

  • Mike Russo

    The saddest part about this awful Ducktales comic is that in the end it’s going to reflect badly on the Darkwing title since both are going out on a crossover that spans both books. Not like Brill’s 15 year-old fangirl writing hasn’t already hurt Darkwing.

  • Darkwing Duck#18 ends Disney at Boom in October.

    Marvel rumored to take over all Disney comics.

  • I hovered over the link to Michael’s page, and wondered whether I should actually go there … I’m sure he’s heard it before, but the difference between the likely URLs of Michael Sporn Animation and Michael’s Porn Animation is non-existent.

    But it was worth the trip, and totally SFW :-)

    • Happened to me too XD!

  • In all fairness, after looking thru the WHOLE issue, there’s maybe only 3 pages of artwork of this low caliber. So yes, like my friend Aaron said, they probably got somebody last minute to fill in for the remaining pages. I don’t agree that it should’ve been released in that state, but I was under the impression after reading this article that the entire issue was poorly drawn.

    It’s a little bit of an overreaction in my eyes.

    • Gerard de Souza

      Yeh, I flipped through it today. This is all much ado about nothing.

  • 2011 Adult

    Where did that theme song spoof come from? Who wrote it?

  • Adam

    Kaboom did have some great stuff. I didn’t read it all, but I think the issue seen here is an anomaly.
    I, for one, enjoyed Langridge’s Muppets and Brill’s Darkwing Duck. They’re well worth seeking out.

  • Sleezy Exec — “ancient”? This issue was released two weeks ago.

    Also, no one’s upset with Disney. Have you read Aaron Sparrow’s posts?

    What’s up with all the Randall-esque wisecrackers and all their mis-assumptions about, and erroneous readings of, the situation?

  • Steven M.

    Wow, thats PRETTY bad there.

  • Mike Russo

    Adam wrote, “I, for one, enjoyed Brill’s Darkwing Duck.”

    I think giving Brill that much credit for Darkwing does a great disservice to those who REALLY made the comic what it was. The first arc was mainly plotted by Arron Sparrow and was a story he had in his head long before the comic was even a reality. That’s HIS baby, not Brill’s.

    The second arc was saved by James Silvani, who worked hard to rewrite and fix Brill’s original story. Which – if published the way he originally wrote it – would have been TERRIBLE.

    • I remember hearing that James Silvani contributed DarkWarrior Duck to the ‘Crisis on Infinite Darkwings’ arc, but I never knew that he rewrote the script. I’ve always had the impression that he was solely an artist; talk about hidden talent. :)

  • The Gee

    You know, I’m starting to believe I have read more crappy comics than all of you combined.

    Badly drawn, badly written, cliched, disappointing, CANCELLED too soon, imitative, weird and fails at being good….

    You just deal with it. Nothing should be so precious that you shouldn’t let yourselves get worked up over it.

    Things go from good to worse all the time. Comics are notorious for that. If anyone expects to be thouroughly entertained throughout the lifetime of a comic and their own lifetimes….wow, best of luck to you. There’ll be some rough patches no matter how short or long you endure it. I guess if you never try new things, you miss out on other good stuff but hey anyone can only buy or read so much.

    Just don’t get worked up over it. It isn’t worth it. There’s so much good stuff out there. I can’ t believe it is worth complaining about one thing when something better could be enjoyed, even if only for a short while.

    • The Gee: of course. But the impetus for the reaction this comic has gotten is the disparity between the final product and what Boom’s hype machine promised. Now, given that we’re used to said hype machine, we should’ve known better by now … but that’s the thing. This has been taken as the last straw from the publisher that once, as Aaron Sparrow has reported, joked about printing a “We Don’t Want You” advertisement aimed at the fans.

      I’d like to think that this isn’t sheltered fanboys foaming at the mout over nothing, but the culmination of a tense, adversial relationship between the fans and the publisher that’s been stewing for a good while now.


  • The Gee

    One more thing, even the bad ones can enjoyable. they are comic books. If you like comics you endure things you wouldn’t normally read, including badly drawn humor comics, to try and be kind in categorizing Disney comics and others, generally.

  • Aaron Sparrow

    The truth is, James Silvani contributed almost everything fun that made it to the page in CRISIS ON INFINITE DARKWINGS. Once I named the story, James asked if he could draw as many crazy Darkwings as he wanted; at the time, we had only created maybe 10-12 alternate Darkwing’s for cover purposes. Ian responded with “I think we should stick to the Darkwing’s I have written.” Ian was promptly overridden by editorial mandate, and James was told to go nuts!

    I was off the book by that point, so almost all of my original notes were discarded (although I “ghost edited” for a few issues, which kept the scripts from being a complete train wreck…although still not quite as tight as it could be.) James kept the story on track though, making Gosalyn a bigger part of the emotional core (she was the element all the DW’s share) adding in “Darkwarrior Duck” in the place of Ian’s “Dark Knight Duck” and designing and fleshing out Quiverwing Duck, who became a fan-favorite, as I understand. He gave us a real confrontation between Darkwarrior and Quiverwing that was not in the original script (there were a lot of loose ends with no payoff he had to tie up) as well as the confrontation between Darkwing and Negaduck. (Can you believe this was an entire arc planned around Negaduck, and the original script had nothing but a quick victory by DW, because Negaduck had lost his confidence after being captured in issue #3’s flashback? Yeah, me either.)And of course, all of the alternate Darkwing zaniness was his.

    What can I say, he’s got chops. He was the right man for the job!

  • Mike Russo

    Ian Brill claims to be a huge Darkwing fan, but sometimes I wonder…

  • Aaron Sparrow

    This is probably way too late to clarify this, but I was NOT referring to Mark Waid in my comments about Boom’s E-i-C; rather, his replacement. I have nothing but respect for Mark Waid…he’s an amazingly talented guy and in my time at Boom, he always treated me fairly; even when he was kicking my butt!