It’s been several years since I had this simple exchange with Don Rosa about his work. I was a very different person then and eight years younger, and to be honest, it’s a fairly inane exchange. But here’s what Don sent me. At the time, said he spent about four hours a day simply answering fan mails. Within a few days of sending this note, he replied with this. I think it reveals a lot about his character, as well as his frustration with his Disney overlords.
This conversation mentions a close friend of mine, whose name has been removed to be considerate of his privacy.
Eric: I also hope it was worth your while to come all the way out to our little comic con (Note: Heroes Con 2005 was much smaller than it is these days), as I know I’d certainly look forward to hopefully seeing you in person another year.
Don: That was a nice size show and I enjoyed it VERY much! I hope to be back next year!
Eric: You might remember me and my little group from the con–we were the couple of guys who showed up pretty much the instant they started filming you on the first day. I hope we didn’t annoy you too much with our idiocy.
Don: I remember your group well. No, you didn’t annoy me! It’s nice to meet and talk to Duckfans who are under 50 years of age!
Eric: You might also remember my pal <removed>…. <removed> has recently had a tragedy (Note: Don Truncated this part of the note–my friend had his Don Rosa drawing ruined when a new roof put on his house caved in, letting rainwater into his room.)
Don: Yes, another of your group has already told me about it. I look forward to doing another bunch of drawings for <removed> next year to replace those he lost, so he should not worry about that. And I’ll have all the same prints and I’ll try to remember that he should get a freebie. (Remind me about the problem at the show!)
Eric: That brings me to the “Life and Times.” We were only able to read the comic because some European person was both kind and malicious enough to share scans/translations of the comics through the miracle that is the internet. I’m certain reading that doesn’t exactly bring a smile to your face,
Don: Why not? I am never paid by publishers for the use of my stories. I make as much $ when someone reads my comics on an illegal Internet site as I do when they buy an expensive all ROSA hardback. Disney and the publishers keep all the $. I just get paid the one-time flat-fee by the single publisher in Denmark I did the story for years ago.
Eric: My copy is coming soon via Amazon.com. I have similar convictions with downloading music. I like to support art and artist that I like by buying their work
Don: Well, I appreciate the thought, but in this case you only made more money for the people exploiting me. Still, I’m glad that Gemstone is making some money to help them stay in business… You know their profits are not great.
Eric: I want to say a little more about “The Life and Times” before this letter gets too much longer. It really is an amazing little collection of adventure stories.
Eric: I’ve always loved the Ducktales cartoon, but these comics are the truest way to experience the characters. I never had an idea what a rich (in terms of quality 🙂 ) character Scrooge is.
Don: Well, I assume you’re familiar with the original Barks stories, eh? Those are the TRUE classics!
Thanks for the nice message! And say hi to <removed> for me!