Disney Refuses To Allow Epilogue To Appear In The Don Rosa Collection

Don Rosa, famed creator on Disney’s Duck range of comics, has seen Disney refuse to allow his planned epilogue “Why I Quit Comics” to appear the final volume of The Don Rosa Collection published by Egmont.

Egmont have however agreed to publish a link to http://career-end.donrosa.de/ in the final volume, which leads to the now unpublished text.

He talks about many reasons, his poor health, his workaholic nature and how he started heavy work at a young age, but it would be the final reason that would cause the problem. Here are some excerpts.

But it’s an unfortunate fact that there have never been, and I ultimately realized there never will be, any royalties paid to the people who write or draw or otherwise create all the Disney comics you’ve ever read. We are paid a flat rate per page by one publisher for whom we work directly. After that, no matter how many times that story is used by other Disney publishers around the world, no matter how many times the story is reprinted in other comics, album series, hardback books, special editions, etc., etc., no matter how well it sells, we never receive another cent for having created that work…

Then one country started producing a series of all-Rosa albums. Another two countries started producing annual all-Rosa pin-up calendars. Then several more countries started producing all-Rosa special hardback editions which became best-sellers. I was called on to do promotional tours to help sell books of my work even though I was never paid royalties on those sales. What? Huh?..

And on these promotional media events when I did press conferences and appearances on national TV talk-shows, some interviewers would privately comment about how nice it must be for me to be getting so rich off something I obviously enjoyed doing so much. Eventually it hit me — all the European fans assumed that I was a millionaire…

Then the publishers took the next inevitable step. A new reprint album of my Scrooge McDuck adventures was not to be titled “SCROOGE McDUCK” #1, but “DON ROSA” #1. The annual “DONALD DUCK CALENDAR” was to become the annual “DON ROSA CALENDAR”…

What I did was hire a lawyer, at no small expense, and copyright my name across Europe and South America. Disney publishers certainly had every right to use my comic stories — those were Disney property. But my name is not Disney property – it is my property…

I did not ask for royalties. I decided to ask simply for an annual fee for the use of my name to sell products…

My publisher Egmont immediately agreed! I suppose they were simply waiting for me to say something. After all, they are a big company… in fact, a non-profit charitable organization… so why would they offer me a fee until I demanded it? …

With the non-Egmont publishers it is a different story. I let them know that they could no longer publish the all-Rosa albums and books using my name to promote them unless they had my permission. All they had to do was ask. But they would not…

So, to this day, that’s why you see all-Rosa book series in France, Brazil, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Indonesia (and probably other countries I haven’t found out about) which are attributed to an “anonymous” author…

Fans who did know what an unfair system we Disney comics people work in have often said to me “you’ve made a name for yourself now! Why not stop this thankless work and produce comics of some character that you create yourself?” And publishers have often told me they would publish anything I decided to create for them. But my reply has always been “Any character I might create next week… I would not have grown up with that character. I wouldn’t care about him. My thrill is in creating stories about characters I’ve loved all my life.” I’m a fan.

And that is what Don Rosa is now going back to being…


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