Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Donald Duck backup issues, Part I

Way back in February this year we made an interesting "discovery" at Egmonts Malmö office. (That's where I work.)
I had been told that some old Bamse artwork was supposed to be found in a safe on the 7th floor. And since I work with this title I was naturally curious. Still, it took me a few weeks to actually investigate it further. It turned out that the Bamse artwork that was found wasn't anything previously unseen. Anyway, it was decided that we should move it into the Bamse archive on the 6th floor. And so we did.

But ...
Underneath the Bamse packages were two other packages! One large and one small.
The small package was labeled "Filmer till reservnummer KA & C:o" (Films for backup issues Donald Duck & Co. "KA & C:o" stands for Kalle Anka & C:o. The name of the Swedish Donald Duck weekly.)
The large package was labeled "Original reservserier, KA & C:o". (Original backup comics, DD & Co.)
Woha! It seemed like I had found some "lost" issues of the Scandinavian Donald Duck weekly I never even knew were lost. 
A day ot two later we gathered in a small conference room to open these packages.
A day ot two?!? How could I wait, you might wonder? Well, I wanted everyone who was interested in this kind of stuff to be present. The more the merrier. And the handful of people who attended the "grand opening" was indeed merry and curious about the "mysterious" packages.

Here we see Germund von Wowern opening the large package.

And Karin Wahlund Franck and Barbro Andersson are watching as the wrapping unfolds.

But let's stop for a while and go back in time. Back to the 70's!
To the time when these packages was prepared. Barbro, who has been at the company for a long time, told me what she suspected the packages would contain and why they were stashed away and forgotten.

At some point during the 70's someone at the main office in Copenhagen must have decided that it would be good to have a set of backup issues (Or "nød nr"/ emergency issues as they are also known as.) ready in case something disasterous happened. Like a fire at the printer or at the office.
Said and done, they prepared what would be twelve "emergency issues".
I don't know who was in charge of this, but in one of the package there is a letter from Leif Jørgensen in Copenhagen to Inge Lantz in Sweden. It's dated 1977 and Leif writes that Henning Dahl will deliver supplemental film for the German edition to be stored in the bank vault.

Barbro told me that she had heard about this material before and that it was indeed kept in a bank vault earlier. I guess that it at some point was decided that there was no longer a need for these backup issues and they were moved to the Malmö office. Stashed away in a safe and ... forgotten.

Now let's take a look at what's in those packages, shall we? :)
The small package contains films, proofs, translated scripts and compilation lists.
The first four issues are made up out of material published in Scandinavia in 1967, except for the covers.
Here's what was supposed to be used on the cover for the first issue. Barks cover to WDC 350. Not one of his best ...

The covers to #2-4 would have featured covers from the German Micky Maus weekly.
(D2684, D2484 and D1043 respectively.)

Then we have a photo of the stack in the small package, with issue 1 on top. Notice the post-it note (added at a later date) saying "Töntig" ("Silly") about the Barks story. :)

To be continued ...

Coming up in part two: The lost stories from issue 5-12 and what we found in the big package.


Anonymous said...


Håkan S. said...

"Töntig" would probably be better translated as something like "silly" or "ridiculous". "Geek" has kind of changed meaning since the 70's.

Håkan / Wakuran

Joakim Gunnarsson said...

Yes, you are right, Håkan.
I changed it to "Silly".