"Now that my work with comics has been completed, I've collected the threads and written this memoir..."
"I joined the comics world which from the seventies gradually became accepted as an art form. Not many comics creators have written about their life, and I have contributed in many ways as a writer, author, editor, and editorial employee. In addition, I've translated a lot of comics. I have enjoyed it all along the way."
Chapter 1: Memento Mori
Chapter 2: The Operation
Chapter 3: The World’s Greatest Kite Maker
Chapter 4: The Zinc Tub
Chapter 5: School
Chapter 6: Christmas in Shacktown
Chapter 7: Stories
Chapter 8: Maybe Suitable
Chapter 9: Sweden Years
Chapter 10: The Big Sneeze
Chapter 11: Doing It the Barks Way
Chapter 12: The Woodpecker
Chapter 13: The Happy Valley
Chapter 14: Albums or Magazines
Chapter 15: The Dragons
Chapter 16: Rescue
Chapter 17: Translations
Chapter 18: Barks Visit
Chapter 19: Comics Style in Different Context
Chapter 20: Changing Times
Chapter 21: My Collecting Gene
Chapter 22: Art and Digital Media
Chapter 23: Law of Jante
Chapter 24: The Joms Vikings
Chapter 25: To Write
Chapter 26: Dystopia and Politics
Chapter 27: Dreams
Chapter 28: The Ghost
A few years ago, I got a book with blank pages from my eldest daughter. The title was Tell Me, Grandpa. Some questions should bring Grandpa on the right track. They say that everyone has at least one book hidden inside. My daughter would like something written down, so my grandchild in due time could see where she came from. And as a pensioner I could kick the bucket at any time. It is she who has a feeling for the family history.
Dutifully I filled the book with capital letters and I didn’t always follow the questions. I also pasted copies of family photos into the book. I had gotten those because I, together with my brother, had cleared our childhood home after the last of our parents had passed on.
I then thought that it would be enough. There was no reason that I, like many others, should write my memoirs. After all, I had not experienced anything special. Staying mostly at home, I had led a secluded life, and I had been comfortable with that. My life had not been dissolute or risky, and these matters are sometimes the spicy elements in other people’s memories.
I don’t know what other comic book artists have written something autobiographical, but I had the great pleasure of seeing the illustrator Ib Spang Olsen’s It Was Back Then, where he visits his childhood neighborhood.
I am concerned with history, and in several of my books there are passages based on my own memories, but surely that is common among writers. My uncle Jens Petersen aged 95 has a dazzling memory, and he has just published his memoirs about growing up in the Silkeborg area, where my parents are also mentioned. I am very pleased with that book.
Then in the fall of 2016 I had an accident where I just as well could have died. Otherwise I’d expect to be 99 as my role model Carl Barks. But that hope may be too optimistic.
I started to write some things down. It need hardly be so dramatic. The exotic parts I could leave to quotes from Carl Barks. And I knew only a few colleagues who had written something autobiographical. Will Eisner had done it as graphic novels, but I did not intend to draw my way through my previous lifespan. I had switched to writing books, so it was now my ball game. At the same time, I could tell something about the development within my field of work, which might interest some readers.
I did not know if it would turn into an entire book, but I started…
Freddy Milton was born in 1948. In 1974 he started the fanzine Carl Barks & Co., in which he declared his admiration for Carl Barks.
Milton’s Barks inspiration was obvious in the comic book with Donald Duck, The Big Sneeze, made in 1976. The Danish publisher thought it was too long, so it only came out in Holland. It took 40 more years before it was printed in the US.
In 1975 Milton began to make Donald Duck episodes for the Dutch publisher Oberon’s comic book Donald Duck. They were open to new ideas, of which Milton and his Dutch colleague, Daan Jippes, had many. Several of them were reprinted by the American Disney publisher, Gladstone, in the late 1980s and will be reprinted as a book collection from Fantagraphics in 2018.
In the meantime, Freddy Milton also had contact with the Danish publisher Interpresse, giving him the chance to work on the Woody Woodpecker comic, and five album length stories were produced 1977–85.
From 1983 he also had to find time for his series about the dragon family Gnuff. Nineteen albums were produced for the Woody Woodpecker magazine as well as Fantagraphics’ Critters magazine, 1986–89.
In 2018 his novel Paragon: Amelia and the Guardian Spirit will be published in the US by Pulp Hero Press.