The Fictional Spectrum: Webbigail Vanderquack


Huey isn’t the only Duck Tales character that’s been rebooted as autistic. In a way, so has Webby.

ad739926845782004fb5d3e65765ffd064b52360_hqWhen Duck Tales originally aired in 1987, Webby was, in the nicest way to say it, pretty bland. I was never offended by her, but I can see why the original version of her wouldn’t work today. She would always get in trouble trying to stop Huey, Dewey, and Louie from going on an adventure. Then she’d get caught up in the adventure and she’d need saving. Not exactly a character the girls or the boys would like.

So when Webby is introduced, she’s different. She has heard stories of Scrooge McDuck’s exploits for years, and she idolizes his family. When she meets the nephews, she insists on tagging along, and she helps. However, her social cues for sneaking around need work. Louie cringes when she fails to concoct a believable story to stay out of trouble and keep her grandmother from finding out. (Turns out Mrs. Beakley actually approves of the adventure because at least Scrooge will try to keep Webby safe)

Webby gets anxious easily when she’s in unfamiliar situations. She tends to rock in place. Like Huey, she has immense knowledge that helps her in various situations. For example, when the family goes to Brazil, she reveals that she actually knows some Portuguese, and is able to carry on a conversation with some of the locals and read street signs. (She does admit that her knowledge is a bit rusty)

Continue reading “The Fictional Spectrum: Webbigail Vanderquack”


The History of Comic Books: The Golden Age Chapter 2: Not That Riverdale

I learned something new in researching the history of comics for this project. Although I had read a lot of Archie Comics as a kid, I knew very little about the company’s origins.
Archie Comics was originally known as MLJ Magazines, and got the name from the first initials of its three founders: Maurice Coyne, Louis Silberkleit, and John L. Goldwater. Goldwater was also one of the founders of the Comics Magazine Association of America (more on them later.) Although the company started out publishing superhero comics, it was a backup feature in their flagship comics’ 22nd issue that would become their most famous character.

Pep Comics #22, where it all began
Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper in their first


My favorite character, Jughead Jones, Archie’s best friend

Archie Andrews was created by writer Vic Bloom and artist Bob Montana. The comic was inspired by the Andy Hardy movies, starring Mickey Rooney as a typical suburban teenager. He was also joined by girl next door Betty Cooper and his best friend Jughead Jones. Other characters soon followed, all pictured below.

Continue reading “The History of Comic Books: The Golden Age Chapter 2: Not That Riverdale”

The History of Comic Books: The Golden Age Chapter 1: Superheroes Hate Cars

Captain Marvel (no, not that Captain Marvel) made his first appearance in Whiz Comics #2, and was created by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck. He was published by Fawcett Comics, and often outsold Superman! More on him later.
Famous Funnies was the first comic book, and published by Eastern Color Printing. It lasted until the end of the Golden Age, and carried many classic comic strips


Welcome to a new series I’m doing about the History of Comic Books. We’ll start with the Golden Age.

Eastern Color Printing was the first company to publish comic books. Their first comic was Famous Funnies, published in 1934. Many other anthology -based comics followed suit, but it was not until 1939 that things changed.


Action Comics #1 was published by National Comics, which we know today as DC. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. In his first appearance , Superman was different from the hero we know today. He was much more aggressive than he is nowadays, and he leaped instead of flying. He worked for the Daily Star instead of the Daily Planet (its name was changed thanks to the radio show based on the comic book). Other superheroes soon arrived on the scene, below are more examples:






OIP (1)



th (3)


Captain Marvel (no, not that Captain Marvel) made his first appearance in Whiz Comics #2, and was created by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck. He was published by Fawcett Comics, and often outsold Superman! More on him

The Golden Age ended in 1955. As it continued, superhero comics began to wane in popularity, caused by two factors. The first was the end of WWII, as many of the superheroes were fueled by the propaganda of the time. The second was caused by the popularity of another fad, which I will chronicle in chapter 3, Entering the Crypt. But next up, the birth of Archie Comics.

Next: Not That Riverdale

The Fictional Spectrum: Huey Duck


In 2017, Disney rebooted one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Duck Tales. For the new series, one of the biggest changes has to be Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. This will be a two-part article, as I have noticed two characters could be head-canoned as autistic. First, let’s look at Huey. My next article will be about the new version of Webby Vanderquack.

Donald’s nephews were introduced in the 1940’s. In their first appearance, their mother dropped them off at their uncle’s house, leaving him a message that she’d had enough and they were driving her crazy. Because she never came back to get them, they continued to appear in other cartoons as well. In those days, the nephews could only be told apart by their clothes. Huey is always red, Dewey is blue, and Louie is green. There was even a mnemonic device that fans created to tell them apart. Huey is red because he’s the brightest of the hues, red. Dewey is the color of dew, which is blue. That “leaves” Louie, and leaves are green.

Continue reading “The Fictional Spectrum: Huey Duck”

One Faith, Many Paths: Aimee O’Connell


This week for my One Faith, Many Paths series, I’m interviewing Aimee O’Connell, a Lay Carmellite.

1. How has your childhood shaped your interests and pursuits as an adult?

I have always been an observer, soaking in my environment with wonder. Being an only child gave me plenty of opportunity for quiet, reflective time in which I asked questions in my mind and imagined how other people live. I have always been very curious, so it is no surprise that I pursued a career in psychology, with focus on human development, neuropsychology, and learning.

2. If you could have any author or artist depict your life story, who would you choose? 

I am equally torn between Flannery O’Connor, whose unflinching way of revealing our true selves would be a gift of great spiritual insight, and Jim Henson, who would get to the very heart of who we are in a very joyful way to see.

3. What are 3 words that characterize your strengths growing up? 

Curious, Creative, and mirthful.

4. How did you become a Christian?

My faith formation was interesting, in that I was raised Catholic, but brought up Protestant. My father was solidly Christian and looking for a denomination that felt right to him academically, and my mother was a cradle Catholic who felt bewildered by the modernization of the church that happened in the 1960’s, so she was also exploring denominations by the time I was born, yet she still held to the doctrine of the Catholics, and imparted that to me even as we ultimately settled into the Episcopal Church. By the time I was college-aged, I read with great interest about what separated Anglicans from Roman Catholics and found that most of my beliefs were Catholic, particularly my belief  that Jesus is really and truly present in the Eucharist, so I met with a Catholic priest, and expressed interest in becoming Catholic. I was received into the Catholic Church  in 1992.

5. How did you become a lay Carmelite?

Along the same lines as I’ve described, my mother taught me about the lives of  the Catholic saints, and I felt a strong affinity for the life of St. Therésé of Lisieux from a very early age. Her spirituality and manner of loving God resonated within me for many years. But my introduction to Carmelite life is a much more personal story! I found myself in 2002 searching for a deeper spiritual life, and I attended a 9-day mission as part of that. Toward the end, I felt desperate need to keep the momentum going and took it to prayer. As I prayed before the tabernacle on the last day of the mission, someone I had just met interrupted me to someone. I was, frankly, irritated. Couldn’t she see I was praying? But she insisted, so I let her lead me all the way to the other side of the church, and there was the woman she wanted me to meet. As this woman shook my hand, she said, “If you want to keep the momentum of this mission going, you would do well to come to the Carmelites.” I was shocked, because I had not told anyone of my prayer, and to encounter that exact wording was a direct answer! I found it very intimidating to think that I was being offered the opportunity to join the same religious order as that of  St. Therese of Lisieux and the other Carmelite saints, but I did so with the child-like confidence Therese described in her own life, and was received into the Carmelite Third Order in May of 2006.

6. What’s your favorite bible passage and why?

Matthew 7:7 is the passage that finds me here today. When my mother was in her 6th month of pregnancy, she suffered a significant hemorrhage which left me still afterward. The doctors cautioned her that they could not detect a heartbeat and that I had likely died, and there was no fetal movement after my mother returned home. She opened her Bible and it fell on Matthew 7:7. My mother says she prayed that passage and asked for my days to come…and at that moment, she says I leapt wth a fervor that looked like a Loch Ness monster trying to escape her abdomen! Every breath I take is a proclamation of Matthew 7:7.

Continue reading “One Faith, Many Paths: Aimee O’Connell”