I attended my first MegaCon convention in Orlando, FL this weekend. MegaCon is an annual convention that has a little something for all pop culture fandoms.
Being a duck fan, Don Rosa was my main draw to this convention. My goal was to meet the legend as well as purchase some Don Rosa prints. Don Rosa is a legendary comic artist who is well known for Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck comics that he worked on from 1987-2006. In that timespan, he created 88 comic stories. In 1995, he won the Eisner Award for “Best Serialized Story” for his 12-chapter work “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.”
Back to MegaCon…Don Rosa had a booth in Artist Alley that was full of Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck comic art prints. Don was selling his 11×17 prints which he would include his signature for $20 each. If you bought 3 prints, you could choose a 4th print for free. $20 for his art is a very reasonable price. I was very tempted to buy 3 prints for the deal, but he had so much great stuff that I had trouble narrow it down to four prints. I passed by his booth several times during the day to scope things out to try to narrow down my choices. The Duck Family Tree print was definitely at the top of my want list.
The DuckTales Sign
Don had a very interesting sign at his booth regarding DuckTales.
I can totally relate to where he is coming from with this sign. Someone who is not in the know or someone who did not grow up with the comics may only know Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck, and the nephews from the DuckTales TV shows or from Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and they may think that the comics and artwork at the booth is based off the tv series and not the original art that Don Rosa’s idol, Carl Barks created.
I used to work at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Walt Disney World. Guests would often comment or ask me the question: “This ride is based on the movies?” No, the ride debuted in 1967 at Disneyland and then 1973 in Walt Disney World. The 1st Pirates of the Caribbean movie was released in 2003. That question got asked even more frequently as animatronics of characters from the movie were added to the attraction. So I definitely get why Don Rosa would not want to field questions about the tv series when he is/was not a part of those productions.
The Don Rosa Encounter
Finally by the end of the day, it was time for me to make it back to the Don Rosa booth to make my purchases and talk to Don.
Don is a really nice guy. I told him that I was having a hard time deciding which print(s) to purchase. He told me if I purchased 2 prints, he would give me 2 free. This was an even better deal then his buy 3 get 1 free deal. He needed $40 to pay another vendor for some rare Wonder Woman comics that he purchased. He showed me the comics, and they were really WONDERful. See what I did there? I love that Don is a collector himself. There is a YouTube video that is a must see of him showing off his collections which are very impressive, especially his Donald Duck Collection.
Then I brought up the sign…I said, “I know that you don’t want to talk DuckTales…but” I could see his face start to get ready for whatever I was about to bring up. I started to look around for all of the nearest emergency exits that I could run to. It was like bringing up Christmas to the Grinch. I spoke quickly. “I wanted to let you know that there was a tribute to you in the latest episode of DuckTales that aired this week.” “Huey had a Word Search for Scrooge McDuck’s birthday party, and one of the hidden words in the Word Search was Rosa.” I took a deep breath as I waited for his reaction. He was very surprised, and I was surprised too by his big smile. He was very happy to hear about the tribute. Well, in Orlando they say – that Don Rosa’s heart grew three sizes that day.
What did I purchase?
The Duck Family Tree…this is the one print that I knew that I wanted heading into the convention. According to this print, Ludwig Von Drake married Scrooge’s sister Matilda. So that makes Ludwig Scrooge’s Brother-in-law. Who knew? What is extra cool about this print is the personalization, Della Duck’s husband name is unknown as it was never stated in any of the Carl Barks or Don Rosa comics. The yellow name plate under the picture of a random duck in that spot was left blank until Don added my name in that spot to match the rest of the print. He then added my last name to Huey, Dewey, and Louie which was a very cool magic moment surprise. My wife was not jealous after hearing about my relationship with Della, and the three children that she did not know I had in addition to the three that I have with her.
I must also add that Don’s signature is awesome. It is very readable and somewhat cartoonish. You never know what you are going to get when you get someone’s signature, but his signature is fantastic. He also had several different color pens for his signature, and he knew exactly which colors to use to make it look best with the specific prints.
For the next three prints, I chose some recreations of some classic Marvel covers that were done Duck Style by Don.
The Incredible Duck…this print is a recreation of Marvel’s iconic The Incredible Hulk Issue #1. This was the first appearance by the Hulk in comics.
Longbill Donald Lives Again…this print is a recreation of Marvel’s iconic The Avengers Issue #4. In issue #4, Captain America made his return to comics and joins the Avengers.
Behold…the Uncle…this print is a recreation of Marvel’s iconic The Avengers Issue #57. This was the first appearance by Vision in comics. I really love the colors in this print, and of course Don signed it in red sharpie to match the print.
What do you think of my haul? I plan on picking up some of Don’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comic collection hardback books which are all available on Amazon. There were a couple of other prints from his booth that I would like to add to my collection someday. Don Rosa is an international treasure, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND familiarizing yourself with his comic stories and meeting him if you have the chance.
Also, there is a Don Rosa Documentary titled “The Scrooge Mystery” that was crowdfunded on Kickstarter that should be coming out sometime soon. I am very much looking forward to that documentary. You can read more about it and view a trailer on their website. You can follow their twitter account for updates on the documentary as well @ScroogeMystery
Have you met Don Rosa at a convention? Let us know about your experience in the comments below and tell us about the prints you purchased. You can also share pics with us also on our twitter @DuckTalks