portrait was signed in 1982 by the late Mr. Walter Lantz himself
during a trip to Scandinavia in a copy of my Woody Woodpecker album, "Lykkevandet"...
I wrote and drew that album 30 years ago in 1978 as my second Woody album.
Later Kim Thompson from Fantagraphics planned to publish an English version
during the period when I appeared regularly in their funny-animal magazine Critters
with my Gnuff-series... As with Gnuff, Dwight Decker was lined up to do the translation.
But the problems connected with extracting the rights to publish a single album
(a format almost unknown in the US) from an all-encompassing contractual package
that included a lot of expensive merchandising rights proved impossible to solve...
I urged Kim to contact Lantz personally to fix things, but before he could take any steps
in that direction, Mr. Lantz passed on to the eternal drawing-board in the sky,
leaving things to be handled by financially eager-beaver solicitors...
Now, 30 years later, after futile attempts by Michael Nielsen at Egmont to arrange
for a co-printing of my Woody production in the collectors' book format
that is so popular these days, I am presenting a version of "Lykkevandet" here,
given that I share the copyright with my own additional creations...
I apologize if my editorial work to make Dwight's translation fit the balloons comfortably
may have placed a couple of pidgin-like bugs in his otherwise spot-on English rendering...
The Woody project was launched by the Danish publisher Interpresse with two albums
and continued by the Swedish Semic Press as monthly installments for the co-produced
Woody Woodpecker magazine in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Holland...
This lasted until 1985, when the publishers determined that continuing
this new production was not economically worthwhile...