University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 12.12 Duckburg – a Gate between Two Worlds. Don Rosa’s Disney Comics as Postmodern Fantasy (Kontturi)

Start date: Dec 12, 2014 12:00 AM

End date: Dec 12, 2014 03:00 PM

Location: Seminaarinmäki, H320

Katja Kontturi. Kuvaaja: Sanna VatanenM.A. Katja Kontturi defends her doctoral dissertation in Contemporary Culture Studies "Ankkalinna - portti kahden maailman välillä. Don Rosan Disney-sarjakuvat postmodernina fantasiana". Opponent Senior Lecturer Ph.D. Merja Polvinen (University of Helsinki) and custos University Researcher Urpo Kovala (University of Jyväskylä). The event is held in Finnish


This doctoral dissertation deals with the Disney comics by Don Rosa and analyzes both their fantastic and postmodern features. Originally conventional Disney comics are combined with different fantasy worlds and references to genuine history in the hands of Rosa. The aim of this thesis is to examine how comics as a form depict the elements of fantasy genre both visually and textually. Transcending the frame borders and using intertextual references to different media are also essential for the research.

The study argues that Rosa has brought the concept of history and memory to Disney comics. Ducks remember their past and refer to previous events. Rosa’s depiction shows Duckburg as a special place between the normal primary world and the fantastic secondary world which is one of the key arguments in the dissertation.

The research is based on the theoretical framework of literary theories of fantasy genre as well as theories of postmodernism. Furthermore, it applies the analytic tools of comics (Scott McCloud) and close reading in analyzing the form and contents of Rosa’s comics.

The primary corpus of the study is Don Rosa’s original comics published between the years 1987-2006 of which 48 relevant comics have been chosen based on their dealings with fantasy worlds, fantastic and historical events as well as postmodern features. The aim of this dissertation is to create a model for analyzing fantastic features in comics. With the help of familiar Disney comics the model offers concrete examples how visual and textual fantasy can be broken down and analyzed thoroughly.

The dissertation will be published in the series Jyväskylä Studies Humanities number 239, 298 p., Jyväskylä 2014, ISBN 978-951-39-5985-2(PDF), ISSN 1459-4331; 239. The dissertation is available only as e-publication: Inquiries: Timo Hautala, tel. +358 40 805 4487,

  • Further information:

Katja Kontturi, +358 50 347 3448,

Communications intern Birgitta Kemppainen, +358 40 805 4483,