My donaldist background
The very first time I started collecting comics was back in 1973 - at the same time as I started in the preliminary school. I was 6 years old at the time.
During the same period I gradually started reading "Donald Duck & Co", and from #1/1976 until #8/1984 I purchased DD&Co every week. I was naturally very soon fascinated by the great stories by Carl Barks (the Ducks) and Paul Murry (the Mouses). As I have an older sister I also inherited some stacks of older DD&Co's. During those years I also started collecting the Donald Duck Pocket books, the huge Italian books of the type "Jeg, Donald Duck", and some other nice Disney publications. Unfortunately considerable parts of my old collection were lost during a flood - caused by heavy rain - in the basement at home a summer in the late 1980s.
In my opinion DD&Co went through a great period from 1973 to 1976/77. After that the magazine's quality fell a bit and my interest for Disney comics fell with it, but that was about to change as we entered the 1990s...
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My first Don Rosa experience took place in the spring of 1990 when the story "Return to Plain Awful" ("Tilbake til Gufse-plassen" in Norwegian translation) was published in DD&Co. This was the first time in 6 years that I bought DD&Co. It all started with the 1990-Easter issue of DD&Co which included a very nice enclosure that indeed triggered my attention.
In the end of October 1992 I read about "The Life and Times of $crooge McDuck" (by then only referred to as "Skrues Liv" in Norwegian) in Aftenposten's weekend-magazine "A-Magasinet" - and fortunately I archived this magazine which has a Don Rosa cover, and includes a long and nice article about Don Rosa and Lo$. That was probably the first time I really became aware of Don Rosa's identity and background. From 1992 to 1994 I collected all parts of Lo$ - a saga I very quickly learned to love very much. In 1993 I also collected Don Rosa's "Donald Duck Family Tree" which was published in DD&Co 27/1993 with stickers published in the next 7 issues. Another great Don Rosa story that was included in my collection in those days was "The Guardians of the Lost Library".
In August 1993 I moved to Trondheim in the middle of Norway, in order to study at the university there (AVH later included in the new NTNU). Even though I had to leave my collection back home in Stavanger, I continued expanding my knowledge about Don Rosa from there.
A few years later (in late 1996 or early 1997) during a visit to Løvås - a second hand store in Stavanger, where they sell a lot of used comics - I found a nice little pamphlet called "Don Rosa Indeks (Norsk/Amerikansk) 3.utgave 1996". This pamphlet - which is written by donaldist and D.U.C.K.hunt-member Geir J. Netland - looked very interesting so I bought it and used it as a source when I searched that same store, and other similar stores located other places in Norway, for those of Don Rosa's stories that were still missing in my collection.
Som years later my inspiror, Geir and I joined forces - by then we had both made three Don Rosa indexes each. In October 2004 - 6 years after publishing my last index, our new common "Don Rosa Norsk Indeks", 4th edition was finally published.
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When I was first introduced to internet and the World Wide Web in 1996 it didn't take very long before I focused on building my own Web-pages. One of the first sub-sections I built for my first homepage was a little Don Rosa page in Norwegian simply called Sigvalds side om Don Rosa (=Sigvald's page about Don Rosa). It included a Norwegian Don Rosa index and a Norwegian translation of "Gyro's Beagletrap" - the latter based on a scan I found in Geir J. Netlands B/W Gallery. At some point I mailed the German Mike Schneiderath at D.U.C.K.hunt and asked for his thoughts about my current site's layout - he immediately told me to reduce the size of the links drastically - an advice I did follow. However, instead of using much more time on improving my Don Rosa WEB-page I focused on making my own printed Norwegian Don Rosa index. The 3rd edition which was published in March 1998 consisted of 48 pages and included some stuff about the character names in various languages and even some stuff about Swedish and Danish publications. In September 1998 I made a similar pamphlet containing b/w prints of all Don Rosa stories not published in Norway by then, and in April 1999 I made an index for the annual Carl Barks books ("Gullbøkene") - both publications printed in a very few copies.
When I mentioned for Mike that I had already put a Norwegian translation of "Gyro's Beagletrap" on-line he replied that he thought it was not a very good idea to translate these stories into Norwegian (anyway not those in English) before putting them on-line - as the English text could be read by Don Rosa fans all over the world in stead of Scandinavian fans only. At that point I concluded that if I was going to put the new stories I got from Mike into my web-page without translating them - it would be to an English-language page. To make everything conform I therefore went on translating "Gyro's Beagletrap" again - this time from my own Norwegian translation into English. Then I came up with an English title for my new Don Rosa pages - "Don Rosa in Scandinavia!", a name based upon the fact that the content was focused on Scandinavian publications. So, after making those "historical" decisions I went on constructing the "Don Rosa in Scandinavia!" pages which lasted for three years from the summer of 1998 until they were lost through unlucky circumstances at the autumn of 2001.
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During the summer of 1998 I worked hard in order to build my very first English language Don Rosa site, and in June that year I contacted Don Rosa via e-mail for the first time. Thanks to him being patient and kindly answering my questions I was able to include a lot of new stuff such as a short Don Rosa biography, a presentation of Don Rosa's Donald Duck Family Tree, etc. partly based on first hand information. Then I also included a presentation of the characters most frequently used by Don Rosa - based on the information previously included in my printed Don Rosa indexes. As the focus of these pages was mainly to cover the various Don Rosa publications in the Scandinavian countries; Norway, Denmark and Sweden (as Finnish is a completely different language, which I don't understand - including Finland as well was never considered a possibility), I quickly ended up with the name "Don Rosa in Scandinavia!" as the name for my new site.
D.U.C.K.hunt is an informal association of Don Rosa fans from various countries. A central idea of D.U.C.K.hunt is that every member contributes with unique sub-sections which present a part of Don Rosa's career, production, etc. By now 8 of my sub-sections are accepted by D.U.C.K.hunt. Altogether our various sub-sections constitute a great unity. Once D.U.C.K.hunt was appointed the best Disney-site on the internet! To secure that our pages are as good, correct and up to date as possible we often seek to get information from Don Rosa himself. He is a very nice person who thinks it is very nice to help us. Besides presenting stuff about Don Rosas career and production D.U.C.K.hunt also have arranged several on-line chats with Don Rosa. Besides Mike Schneiderath and Geir J. Netland who is already mentioned I also quickly came in contact with the nice Danes Thomas Pryds Lauritsen and Anders Christian Sivebæk. Later I have visited both in Denmark and both have visited me in Norway. In December 2001 Sivebæk and another young Dane Søren Haagerup founded the Danish Donaldist Society ("Dansk Donaldist-Forening med rap Andeprofil") which I joined in the summer of 2002 as member #17. I am now a proud contributor to DDF's member's magazine "DDF(R)appet". My most important contribution so far is an article series about the History of Duckburg - based on my "The Lives and Times in Duckburg" section. Other members of D.U.C.K.hunt with whom I also have some contact are the German Alexander Grünke and the Greek Apostolis Trikourakis.
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My first WEB-pages were located on NTNU's server, but as they grew I had to find a new WEP-space provider. In the first place I ended up with Fortunecity - however "Don Rosa in Scandinavia!" soon also grew out of the 15MB that was Fortunecity's limit at the time. Again I had to look for yet another WEB-space provider and ended up with XOOM. XOOM was great as long as it lasted, but eventually it was closed down and their services handed over to yet another WEB-space provider NBCi - a part of the MSNBC media concern.
In June 2001 I finally finished my studies in Trondheim and moved back to Stavanger. Before leaving Trondheim I got a new e-mail address as my old one at the university was about to be ended as my studies were ended. I didn't inform my WEB-providers about my new e-mail address as I usually only got spam-like mails from them anyway. When it came to computers the hardware situation was not especially good at NTNU at that time. There was no scanner and no CD-burner directly available for the students and only a very few ZIP-stations. The ZIP-disks though were very expensive compared to empty CDs and could only handle close to 100MB each. Thus I ended up filling some ZIPs with files that I had not put on-line and decided to trust my WEB-providers with the rest for a while. A few months later I finally got access to the internet via a new computer at home - but without ADSL I found it both slow and expensive to download every part of "Don Rosa in Scandinavia!" - so I only downloaded some files that I needed at the time being, but planed to continue the downloading later.
When "The Crown of the Crusader Kings" was published in October 2001 I was about to update my "Don Rosa Scandinavian Index", but as my pages were down and had been so for a while I mailed my WEB-provider - NBCi, asking what was going on. In the answer I was told that NBCi had decided to discontinue their services and that "...Under its terms of service for the NBCi site, NBCi had the right to discontinue any services on the NBCi site at any time...". The problem being that my site was previously hosted by XOOM who later ended their services, but kindly transferred all their sites to NBCi. So I had never read and even less accepted NBCi's terms of service. The answer to my query was ended this way "...Unfortunately, if you did not arrange to transfer or back-up your data... before NBCi ceased providing the relevant service, then it will not be possible for you to retrieve any of that information at this time. We regret any inconvenience this has caused you". Thus most of my pages - based on hours and hours of hard and patient work over years seemed to be lost for good.
However as Fortunecity had an increased amount of commercial banners and pop-ups I decided to go for a completely new WEB-provider. A friend of a friend happened to be able to offer what I needed and thus everything was ready for the return of my pages. As there was much reconstruction to do I decided to go for a new layout and a new name for my site. Actually not a new idea - as I had thought of it ever since Mike Schneiderath once told me that the content of "Don Rosa in Scandinavia!" held a much higher quality than it's layout. In the autumn of 1999 I even made a sketch of the main page for a new design - including a new name, "The Don Rosa pages", for my pages, but it ended there as I was very busy with my studies at that time.
Finally I ended up with the name "Don Rosa - The D.U.C.K.man" and the present design for the reconstructed site, and due to my interest of numbers, order and symmetry I chose to put it on-line on February 20th 2002 at 8:02pm (20.02.2002, 20:02 written by the Norwegian standards). Still there were several sections that remained to be reconstructed. The last D.U.C.K.hunt section to be reconstructed was "Don Rosa Statistics" which was put on-line on May 6th 2003.
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