Friday, February 11, 2011

Darkwing Duck "The Kitty Kat Kaper"

In the early '90s I wrote a number of stories for the Disney Adventures Digest, mostly Darkwing Duck and Tale Spin. Considering the comics were based on Disney television properties, they were surprisingly open to letting the writers just make up characters for their stories...I used one bad guy from the show (Steelbeak) as the main villain twice, and a few others as supporting characters several times...but the rest of the time I just made characters up. One villain I made up was Fluffy, the evil kitten. My editor at the time, Marv Wolfman, liked Fluffy enough that he let me write two more stories with him.

Anyone who has written a comic book script has had the experience of seeing the story months later and having it come out with unexpected changes. Whether it's the editor cutting dialogue, the artist deciding not to draw the panels as described, the colorist using the wrong colors, or even the letterer putting the balloons in odd places, it can be a frustrating experience when the writer finally gets to see his published story.

This story as published has some significant problems...but go ahead and read it and I will have notes after.

Darkwing Duck in The Kitty Kat Kaper (Disney Adventures #2-09 July 1992):

The first thing I should note is that Fluffy wasn't supposed to be yet another orange cat. In my original sketches he was a small black-and-white kitten, looking kind of like an unkempt Figaro:

The main story problems:

-On page three, the cat who steals the bag is supposed to be a random cat; but here Fluffy himself picks up the ransom money, making it too obvious that he is the mystery criminal of the story.
-On the bottom of page nine, Megavolt makes a reference to "Tuskernini's puns", but the dialogue he references has been cut.
-On pages ten and eleven, again, it should be the random cat that is chased back to the hideout.
-And on page sixteen, Fluffy tells Darkwing to look behind him (he has walked into an ambush); but Darkwing not only does not look back, there is no ambush behind him.
-The rest of the problems are just due to panels with compositions that make it hard to see what is going on, or just don't look the way I wanted them to.

But you know, it's been 18 years since this thing came out, so I think it's okay for me to put out this story with some fixes. So here is my "director's cut" of The Kitty Kat Kaper:

Darkwing Duck, Volume 1

1 comment:

  1. It's great to see the Fluffy comics again after all these years, I loved them as a kid. Your "director's cuts" are great ideas! Now Megavolt's line about Tuskernini's puns finally makes sense (even as a kid that sort of baffled me). Fluffy is a gift of a character and I wish they would reuse him in the modern Darkwing comics, and it was a treat to see so many of Darkwing's villains together.


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