Family Ties is a comic story written by Evert Geradts, penciled by Maximino Tortajada Aguilar, and inked by the Comicup Studio. It features Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck, Della Duck, Professor Batty, Daisy Duck, Gyro Gearloose & the Little Helper, Scrooge McDuck, Zeke Wolf, Gepetto, Pinocchio, John Foulfellow & Gideon, Horace Horsecollar, Little Hiawatha, Big Chief Hiawatha, the Beagle Boys, Gus Goose, Practical Pig, Fiddler Pig and Fifer Pig. Cornelius Coot, Carl Barks, Gladstone Gander and Albert Einstein are mentioned, and the last, two-page-fold splash panel features cameos by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Brer Rabbit, the Forest Sheriff, Doc Crane, April, May and June, Magica De Spell, Madam Mim, Scamp, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Goofy, Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse, Bolivar, Brer Bear, King Lion, Brer Fox, Mrs Bear, Brer Buzzard, José Carioca, Sunflower, Dumbo, Basil of Baker Street, Doctor Dawson, the Genie, Mrs Possum, Brer Terrapin, Timon & Pumbaa, Chip & Dale, Prince John, Grandma Duck and Flintheart Glomgold.
Whilst Donald is busy telling some family stories to his nephews (including, for the first time, the circumstances of their mother Della Duck's disappearance all those years ago), Professor Batty bursts in with an exciting theory to try and explain why time seems to have frozen in Duckburg for over seven decades now…
- When they were kids, Donald Duck wanted to be a sailor while Della Duck wanted to become a pilot. Both fulfilled their dreams as young adults, albeit briefly in Donald's case.
- Della Duck became the first woman to cross the Atlantic ocean in an aeroplane.
- Professor Batty formulates two theories explaining why time seems to have "frozen" in Duckburg and in its general vicinity, with Donald Duck and friends not having aged a day in 70 years, yet barely realizing this startling fact. His first (documented in the book Time Has Stopped in Duckburg) is that it is a side-effect of the various characters' lives being documented in comic-books. His second (documented in Reading Comic Books Rejuvenates) is that it is the act of reading comic books which freezes aging.
- Donald Duck opens the story by giving an account of how he reunited Daisy, claiming he rescued her from a storm that swept her into the ocean and almost drowned during his early years as a sailor. This is one of several conflicting stories he has given over the years: From Egg to Duck (1984) had for example seen him state that they had met in the busy streets of Duckburg shortly after he moved there
- When Huey, Dewey and Louie ask Donald when his adventures with Scrooge began, he summarizes the events of Christmas on Bear Mountain (1947) for them, admitting that they were quite young at the time (to explain why they don't remember themselves). Donald's tale is markedly unreliable, as he attempts to make himself look much braver than he really was.
- Donald had previously crossed paths with Professor Batty in Flip Decision (1953), though Donald doesn't appear to recognize Batty. As previously, Batty illustrates his wacky theories with hastily-written books.
- “A fellow named Carl”, from Oregon, once contacted Donald and Scrooge to get the rights to write comics about their lives. This had been established as the in-universe circumstances of the existence of Disney comics and Carl Barks in The Man Who Drew Ducks (1992).
- As in The Ultimate Barks Collector (1974), Scrooge McDuck owns a full collection of Carl Barks's comics — though he here claims not to care overmuch about them, whereas The Black Knight Glorps Again (2004) had him state that Barks was his favorite artist of all times.
- Scrooge McDuck is once more restated to have earned the basis of his fortune as a gold-digger in the 1890's, as first established in Only a Poor Old Man (1951). This realization causes Professor Batty to question just how old that makes Scrooge in the modern-day 2010's, an exchange later repeated in DuckTales 2017’s The Golden Lagoon of White Agony Plains (2018) between its versions of Louie Duck and Scrooge McDuck.
- Most famously, Family Ties finally established the circumstances that had led to Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck coming to live with Donald Duck as first shown in A Greedy Kid (1938), a fact which had thus far remained without a canonical explanation. The revelation in question would soon be echoed by DuckTales 2017.
Behind the scenes
This story was first printed in June of 2014 in a special subscribers-only extra to the Dutch Donald Duck, celebrating the 80th anniversary of Donald Duck's debut in The Wise Little Hen. It has never been printed in English officially, but a fanmade English version did surface under the title of Family Ties (which translates the Brazilian title, as opposed to the original Dutch one).