Marco Barlotti's Introduc(k)tion

My interest in Disney comics dates back to when I was a small boy. My father, himself a lover of Gottfredson's stories in his youth, started to buy "for me" the italian "Topolino" even before I was born.
The core of my collection of Italian Disney Comics is however the interval 1957-1965: I read and re-read lots of times every issue published in those years and still now I almost know them by heart.
Unlike many other children of my age, I always knew (from my father, I guess) that Disney comics were NOT written by a man called Walt Disney, but some by (unknown) American artists and some by (unknown) Italian ones. I had however two fundamental misunderstandings: first, I thought the artist always was also the script writer (my father never heard of Bill Walsh!); second, and even worse, I was firmly persuaded that "good drawings" were by American artists and "bad drawings" by Italian ones.
So I classified as "original american" not only Barks', Gottfredson's and Murry's stories but also Scarpa's, Carpi's, and Bottaro's; and as "italian" not only P. L. De Vita's, Perego's and Capitanio's but also some american Duck artists (whose name I still don't know).

I gave up buying italian comics in 1965, when "Topolino" was full of horrible "italian" stories (like those featuring Magica and Mim living together in a castle with Magica's niece Minima De Spell; I only recently discovered that these were S-coded stories drawn by Jim Fletcher or Glenn Schmitz!); that year (1965) I thought it better to subscribe to "Gold Key" comics to get the "good" american stories.
So I have some Barks "first editions"! But unfortunately shortly thereafter Barks retired, and the Strobl features (not to speak of "The Disney Theatre", or of the Mickey Mouse adventures among "real people"!) were not very appealing, so I unsubscribed.

I stayed a Disney fan also in the years 1969-1981, when I never any more bought Disney comics (thus missing some of Cavazzano's and Rota's best works) but still occasionally read the old ones. Of course in 1981 I started buying "for my daughter" a weekly journal called "Paperino & C." (only 100 issues of which ever appeared) carrying D-coded stories with "good drawings" (in Bark's and Murry's style); now I have learned that those drawings were by José Tello, Victor Arriagada Rios (Vicar) and Daniel Branca.

I also have every issue of "Zio Paperone", carrying (in often questionable translations...) the compete works of Carl Barks.
A few years later I started "for my children" a new subscription to "Topolino"; being often the first one in the family who reads it...
Then a fellow Italian group-theorist, himself a Disney fan, told me about Fossati's index of italian authors in "IF". He promised to send me xerox copies of the index, but never did!
However, in 1994 my then-13-years-old daughter asked me to go to Lucca's comics convention (she wanted to look for japanese mangas!). There I went straight looking for Fossati's index, found it and bought it!, then bought also a couple of recent issues of "IF" where I found mention of the Disney Comics mailing list...

The whole thing has aroused on my side a renewed interest in Disney comics: I have since then started buying used back issues of "I classici di Walt Disney", carrying reprints of the italian stories in my "missing period" 1972-1988, and I feel again quite confident in the subject.
With the help of Frank Stajano I managed to put Fossati's index (and more...) in electronic form, and I am currently working with Harry Fluks and other people on a project to index more and more Italian stories and lots of Italian issues.