From Ditches to the Inducks:
history of a database of the Italian Disney comic strips

The month of April 1982 is one given historical for the fans of the Italian Disney comic strips. It then exited (edited by Gianni Bono and Alfredo Castelli) the first number of the new series of "IF", and on this a corposo dossier of 44 pages entitled "Disney Made in Italy", in which Frank Ditches supplied the names of the authors and other information for all the Italian production of comic strips appeared until that moment on "Paperino" and "Topolino". In the successive number the dossier it came completed with the relative data to the "Dawn of Gold", to "Almanacco the Topolino" and other smaller heads.
"a precious instrument of job", commented same Topolino in a riquadro to page 66. But a lot was dealt in truth, a lot more. If in fact the data on the titles of history, the subjects, the personages could have been collected (with much patience and a rich collection...) from any fan, the information on the authors (scripteriters and designers) they were not until that moment available outside of one narrow cerchia connected to the publishing house (to those times, the Mondadori). The data supplied from Ditches concurred for before the time with all the fans to associate a name to those styles of design that () were perhaps laboriously resolutions to identify, and to the scenarios, still more difficult to catalogue.
Some year after, in 1986, on the colophon of every number of "Topolino" in the directory (until that indistinct moment) of the "collaborators" they come evidenced the scripteriters and the designers of history of that number; until (substantially with the passage to the Walt Disney of the management of the banns) in the initial Italian history table every the names of the authors are indicated (strangely that do not happen still to tutt' today for history of foreign production, unless for the prestigious head "Uncle Paperone"). From the 1937 (year of production of the first "Italian" history, "Paolino Paperino and the Mars mystery") are intentional 51 years because our authors received full load and obvious acknowledgment for their disneyane history.
But we return to the dossier of Ditches. Sessantaquattro driven in pages of data is a treasure, but not then therefore easy gestibile. On which number of "Topolino" the history with Codino exited, marine horse? In which history it makes its first apparition OK Quack? The information are in the dossier of Ditches, but for trovarle it must leaf through all the pages with much attention.

For this reason when five years ago a visit to Lucca Comics allowed me finally to enter in possession, to the stand of the Epierre, the mythical numbers of "IF" of 1982 (of which for a long time I had felt to speak), I thought endured to transfer the data in shape electronic for poterli consulting with a word processor. I still did not possess a scanner, but (thanks to a number the much most recent one than "acquired IF" in the same occasion) I had entered in contact via Internet with a small group of disneyani fans all over the world, and was easy to find the necessary aid in order to realize the enterprise.
I still did not know that the translation in version electronic of the data of Ditches constituted only the beginning of one being involved and amusing adventure. In the same group of gotten passionate there was a Dutch young person, Harry Fluks, with the crowds idea to create a database world-wide that collected the information on all the Disney comic strips. It is clearly that the information of Ditches turned out precious in that context... but there were two problems. The first one, the format of the data: that proceeds from the dossier of Ditches went opportunely translate. The second, the copyrights: the database of Fluks it was born public and free, while the job of Ditches was evidently its property. It was fortunately enough easy to resolve both problems: the "translation" came cured with an appropriate program from the "disneyano filologo" and computer science expert Francisco Stajano (an Italian who lives and works in Great Britain); and the permission to publish the information on Internet, with the only obvious condition of accreditarne the source, to us was granted same from Ditches through Gianfranco Goria.

Unexpected and the premature one died of Ditches, little months after, removed us every hope that it could continue the work of catalogazione of disneyane history of Italian author. But in the meantime, as I have already said, the Walt Disney Italy, publishing new of the disneyane heads, had begun to indicate with clarity the names of the authors; he only be a matter himself of prenderne famous and organizing the data continuing the job of Ditches. Therefore, with the aid of many friends (all known via Internet!) I am carrying ahead the index of the Italian Disney history, tenendolo not only dawned as new history exit (and come reprinted the old ones: in fact our index signals for every history also all the not amatoriali reprints!) but also continuously correcting the unavoidable present errors in the dossier of Ditches.
Already, because Ditches gained the information on the authors from notes of payment of the Mondadori. But sometimes it happened that a history commissioned to a designer came from these "turn" to a friend; this second is the true author, while the payment notes (and consequently Ditches) indicates the first one. Many today famous designers have begun as "shadow" of a colleague; this is one of the curious and interesting data that are found from the modernized index. The "first history" of Cavazzano, Asteriti, Scale, Amendola, Massimo De Vita in fact are attributed from Ditches respective to Shoe, Cat, Bottaro, Bordini, Pier Lorenzo De Vita.

Very precise dark zones in which exist then are an enterprise to addentrarsi. Little ahimé we know on the period between 1982 (the year to which it arrives the job of Ditches) and 1986 (when the official indications of the names of the authors begin): they are the "years oxen of the Evo Mean". And little we know on the authors that they have collected just the compensation not directly but through one "study" or "staff": it is Ditches that the official indications on the giornalini write "Bargadà" in order to indicate the jobs paid to the "Recreo Study" (but very rarely the designer is indeed Francisco Bargadŕ); and they write "Staff of IF" in order collectively to indicate a group of authors who only recently (and not always) come specified.
The recent one proliferare of the disneyane heads does not help us then in our enterprise; and unavoidablly some of these (Minni & C., Paperinik) we succeed in coprirle only in part, others quite (Cip & Ciop, Leg Friends...) escape us of all. It is clear therefore that every contribution is received with entusiasm. [...]

The index of the Italian Disney history by now is completely integrated in the database world-wide, that it has taken the name of "Inducks plan". Our job is available on Internet and its use is completely free in the respect of some general conditions of use, than arbitrarily I reassume here in the two main points: who uses our data must cite always the source making reference to the address or (for history of Italian production) to the address and must consentirci insert for a reason or purpose free in ours database every and whichever correction and adding that she can have made. Being annoying from the cited pages over, are caught up easy: the complete text of the use licence, the directory of all the collaborators to the plan, and unavoidablly many many pages of fumettistico interest: you are all invited.