The Don Rosa Library Vol. 2: Return to Plain Awful Review

The Don Rosa Libary

Fantagraphics debuted the first volume of the Don Rosa Libary, The Son of the Sun, in 2014. Since then, they have released two volumes each year. In October 2018, the tenth and final volume, The Old Castle’s Other Secret, will be released. The library will contain the complete chronological collection of all of his Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck stories. There were a total of 88 stories by Don between 1987 and 2006.

Return to Plain Awful

The title and cover art from Don Rosa Library Vol. 2 comes from Don’s 16th comic story, Return to Plain Awful. Like the cover for Vol. 1, Glomgold is front and center on this cover and in that story. We will go through the individual stories later on in this review.

Don Rosa Library Vol. 2 is 216 pages, and it includes stories published between 1988 and 1990. Vol. 2 was released in November 2014. The majority of the pages are the stories, but there are also some supplement sections with a biography about Don’s life as well as behind the scenes pictures and stories about each and every story that is included in this edition. It is like bonus features on a blu-ray, and it is full of great and interesting information. I am glad that it is included in this volume and every volume of the Don Rosa Library.

Don Rosa Library Vol. 2 is available in hardcover and Kindle versions. It is also included in a two pack that includes both Don Rosa Library Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. A link to buy this book can be found at the end of this review.

Included Stories

There are 14 Disney Duck stories included in the Don Rosa Library Vol. 2:

  • The Crocodile Collector
  • His Fortune On the Rocks
  • Return to Plain Awful
  • The Curse of Nostrildamus
  • The Starstruck Duck
  • His Majesty, McDuck
  • Give Unto Others
  • Forget Me Not
  • On a Silver Platter
  • Making the Grade
  • Back in Time for a Dime
  • The Pied Piper of Duckburg
  • Leaky Luck
  • The Money Pit
  • In the preface that Don wrote for this volume, he states that this is the most diverse group of projects that he was involved in his entire career. There is definitely a great variety in stories including a lot of firsts and firsts and only for Don. Below, I will provide short descriptions and thoughts on each individual story.
  • The Crocodile Collector is a story about Donald and his nephews searching for an ancient crocodile for Uncle Scrooge’s zoo. Don was asked to write a story based on a cover that Carl Barks drew for the comic Four Color. This was my favorite story from this volume.
  • His Fortune On the Rocks is a story about Uncle Scrooge purchasing a mountain in the desert in hopes that the mountain will have some treasure or something of value within it.
  • Return to Plain Awful is a sequel to the Carl Bark’s story Lost in the Andes. Lost in the Andes was a classic Barks’ adventure story about the legendary place of Plain Awful and their square eggs. Lost in the Andes is available in the Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 7. Donald and his nephews want to return some chickens that lay square eggs to Plain Awful, but they need Uncle Scrooge to pay the expenses so Scrooge comes along to see if he can buy the land to make more money off of the square eggs. Glomgold hears about the plan, and he tries to beat His rival Scrooge to Plain Awful. The people of Plain Awful are very influential, and they are also very offended by circular shapes. I hope no one has anything of circular shape with the number 10 on it on a string around his neck.
  • The Curse of Nostrildamus is a story about Scrooge needing help with his stock market numbers so he searches for the medallion necklace of Nostrildamus so that he can see into the future. The medallion is cursed so Scrooge only sees ways that he may possibly die and freak accidents occur until he puts the necklace back.
  • The Starstruck Duck is a story that is presented as a storyboard script. This is the only format that this story exists. Don was asked to do a story to promote Walt Disney World’s newest theme park, Disney MGM Studios. I love that theme park so it was great to see this story even in its unfinished art form.
  • His Majesty McDuck is a story where Scrooge finds a plaque behind the Money Bin which leads to a discovery that his land may be considered its own country and that he should be entitled to a refund on all of the taxes that he made to the US government. This is a very well written story with plenty of gags, and Don even introduces a new villain.
  • Give Unto Others is a story where Daisy gives Donald and the nephews 10 dollars, but the catch is that Huey, Dewey, and Louie have to spend the money on a present for Donald, and Donald has to buy the boys a present. Don Rosa did not write this story, but he did illustrate it.
  • Forget Me Not is a Daisy Duck story where she has too many plans for the day with a variety of ducks. Why does she have so many plans for this date? Don Rosa did not write this story, but he did illustrate it.
  • On a Silver Platter is a story about a trick that Magica DeSpell pulls on Scrooge to try to steal his number one dime. I love the character Magica DeSpell, and this is one of two Don Rosa stories with Magica DeSpell in this volume. A silver platter acts as a mysterious gateway from Magica’s cottage to Scrooge’s Money Bin.
  • Making the Grade is a story about the nephews wanting to go on a sailing trip, but Donald tells them they have to go to school because a good education is the key to success. His nephews find his old report cards. Ouch, does that point he was trying to make backfire on Donald. Don Rosa did not write this story, but he did illustrate it.
  • Back in Time for a Dime is a DuckTales story by Don Rosa. You read that correctly DuckTales by Don Rosa. Don regards the DuckTales animated series as one of the best animated shows of all times, but he still see is as fake version of Barks’ classic characters. This story was for a DuckTales magazine. This is the only story that Don wrote, but he did not illustrate. It is a story about Magica DeSpell sending McDuck Manor back in time to prehistoric times, and she hopes to trade safe package back for his number one dime.
  • The Pied Piper of Duckburg is a collaboration of sort with Don’s idol Carl Barks. This is a story that Carl started in 1959 and Don completed the ending in 1989. This story features Gyro Gearloose and his attempt to rid Scrooge’s Money Bin and Duckburg from its rat problem.
  • Leaky Luck is a one page story of Scrooge vs Gladstone. Don Rosa did not write this story, but he did illustrate it.
  • The Money Pit is a story about Donald trying to make money selling some of the rarer coins in Scrooge’s Money Bin. Scrooge has a great insight and lesson on collecting which I happen to agree upon. What is the lesson? You will have to read this story to find out.
  • Final Thoughts

    Wow! The stories and art in this volume were all SO GOOD! The Crocodile Collector was my favorite story from this volume. I also loved that Don worked on a story for a DuckTales magazine, and the Disney MGM Studios unfinished comic was a really gem. I am thankful to Fantagraphics for including that one.

    It would take a lot of time and money to compile a comic collection that included all of these stories. Anything that takes a lot of time and money would not be approved by Scrooge McDuck.

    The bonus content on Don Rosa’s life and the behind the scene content on each story really completes this volume for a comprehensive experience. One of the really cool things that I learned about Don Rosa from this volume is that he wrote the script for two episodes of TaleSpin, and now I have to rewatch the following two episodes of TaleSpin: “It Came From Beneath the Sea Duck” and “I Only Have Ice For You”.

    There is also quite a few covers that Don did during this time period that are included in a covers section. I am really looking forward to my next journey into the Don Rosa Library with Volume 3.

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

    You can order the book at the following link:

    Don Rosa Library Vol. 2: Return to Plain Awful

    *By purchasing from Amazon.com through this link above, you are supporting DuckTalks at no additional cost to yourself!

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