Victory at last
The trouble I have had concerning my fateful Big Sneeze story dragged out. I have told about the fate of that project in my book 'The Boy who Loved Carl Barks' to be out in English now. But the difficulties did not end by the long 40 years publishing delay.
For the first time in my life I did a regular Disney cover. Being a new production for the American publisher I was entitled to receive free copies of the books. Not because of the reprint of the actual story, but the original cover.
I waited almost a year for those free copies. I have met fans at festivals coming up to me for a signature, and I have said 'Oh, so that's how it looks! Interesting!' Surprised they have answered me 'Do you mean to say you haven't seen it yourself, yet?'
After a couple of months of patient awaiting at the mailbox with a telescope looking frantically for the postman, I have repeated my request to the editor, and each time we have expected me to receive those confounded free copies.
Sending out those authors' copies is obviously not a normal thing with Disney. 'That good for nothing hack artist! Who does he think he is? Hemingway?!'
Finally, they got under way. In the meantime, the US publishing had grown to three versions of that illustrious story.
But then the parcel was halted in customs. I was told, that if the copies should be free of customs charge, they had to be stamped from the publisher, so that they could not be sold as regular copies. All professional book publishers know that. But not Disney.
I got irritated and was about to tell the customs authorities, that they could return the books to sender, so they could get that #"#%¤%&£ stamp! No way I would pay for something that was legally mine!
But before that I went weeping to my editor. What shall I do? He got nervous. 'Please don't let the books be returned! Then we'll have to repeat the whole goddamn' process!'
He mailed me an e-mail certifying that I was this famous glorified artist not having a hidden agenda trying to dupe the customs office. I forwarded that mail to customs. Reluctantly they accepted that statement still figuring that I might go out and earn profits reselling those non-stamped copies.
But now I finally got them. Like some great big game hunter, I can gloat with my prey in hand. Freddy Milton brings 'em back alive!