A note about my next two postings. I have more to say about what I learned over the course of my adventures through Hong Kong, Nuremberg and New York. I want to take the next two postings; however, to share with you some more light hearted (but actually no less serious) insights on one of my favorites, Donald Duck. Once done, more about the real world…or is it?
Let me begin by emphatically stating that I am not talking about the anger management needing, constantly flustered and unintelligible Donald Duck of the animated cartoons. I despise him.
Nor, my friends, am I talking about the lame and insipid Donald Duck of the daily comics. Four frames are not remotely sufficient to plumb his psyche much less his adventures.
I am specifically referring to the Donald Duck of the long form comic books. As a child, I always found his stories, frequently taking up an entire comic book, to be so immersive that I would lose myself in his adventures.
And what adventures they were. Donald, a reasonably intelligent adult duck, was accompanied by his precociously brilliant nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie and his fabulously wealthy and buccaneering Uncle Scrooge on incredible adventures all over the world. Armed with the inventions of Donald’s inventor cousin Gyro Gearloose and the luck of their occasional compatriot, Gladstone Gander, they inhabited stories so deep that they would (and should) make immersive worlds for Internet denizens.
As a young adult, before the acceptance of popular culture as grounds for serious study, I tried to tell people how brilliant the Donald Duck stories were. Not only were the stores fascinating but Donald seemed to come up with new inventions that were, well, futuristic and seemingly plausible. My friends and loved ones indulged my interest as a little loony, inconsequential and ultimately harmless. It turns out that I was ahead of my time in many ways. I can truly trace my fascination with the impact of toys on culture to my love of Donald Duck comics and what I saw as their reflection and possibly shaping of modern life.