Post by Slam_Bradley on Mar 12, 2016 17:35:17 GMT -5
I finished a re-read of Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold (Four Color #9). And I'm thinking that I'll start a thread about Barks and his Duck-Tales. I think the main focus here will be on the longer adventure stories. Not that I have anything against Barks' 10-pagers. But I just don't know that I'm going to be able to find that much to say about them. If the mood hits, I'll include them as I read them. If it doesn't I won't.
I guess I'm assuming that most of the people here are familiar with Carl Barks. If there is anyone out there who isn't...
And the short version. Barks was a cartoonist who started out as an inbetweener on Disney cartoons, worked his way up to being an idea man on Donald Duck cartoons and became the driving force behind the Disney Duck Comics. He created Uncle Scrooge, Gladstone Gander and pretty much the entire Duck pantheon save for Donald, Daisy and the nephews. Though he worked anonymously, he became known as "The Good Duck Artist" because his work was simply that much better than the rest of what was being seen in Disney comics.
If you've seen the cartoon Duck Tales you know Barks' work. He pioneered the full-length humor/adventure stories that were the signature work on Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge.
Post by Slam_Bradley on Mar 12, 2016 18:20:22 GMT -5
Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold (Four Color #9)
The genesis of this one is probably as interesting as the comic itself. The story was originally developed as a Mickey Mouse cartoon (which may explain the presence of Black Pete). The cartoon, however, was never produced and the plot was turned into a comic book script by Bob Karp with whom Barks had been scripting one-page comic book gags for Al Taliaferro. The book was then drawn by Barks and Jack Hannah with each doing roughly half the book.
The story itself definitely shows its origins as a storyboarded cartoon. The layout is a very simple three tiered page with predominantly two panels per tier, though three panels isn't unusual and the occasional use of one panel tiers.
We are introduced to Donald, who owns the Bucket O' Blood Seafood Grotto and his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. This story begins to establish the characters that we would know from the comics as opposed to those in the cartoon shorts. Donald's temper isn't nearly as bad as it is in the cartoons and the nephews aren't quite as rambunctious and exasperating.
The story is pretty straight-forward and owes a lot to Treasure Island. A parrot, Yellow Beak, comes to Donald's establishment looking for a treasure map that was hidden there by a pirate. Yellow Beak is being followed by Black Pete and a couple of rat-like companions. The Ducks hide him and the map is found. Of course they need a ship to go find the treasure and conveniently find one for sale by a poor widow woman (Black Pete in drag) with a crew of Pete and his gang.
During the voyage Pete attempts to get the map without letting on who he is. It's the nephews who figure things out which leads to a confrontation with Pete and his crew. Again, the nephews save the day and a race for the treasure begins between the two groups. Ultimately the treasure is found by Donald and Yellow Beak with Pete following them, setting up a final confrontation in which the nephews again turn the tide and ensure victory for our heroes.
Historically this is an incredibly important story. The first full-length Duck adventure story. Art by Carl Barks. And it's the primordial soup from which we will see what comes. But it is by no means completely successful. The pace is incredibly leisurely. There simply isn't enough story here to make up 64 pages. It's decompression before we knew that term. But it's important. And it is a decent beginning.
Post by Slam_Bradley on Mar 12, 2016 18:48:35 GMT -5
The Victory Garden (Walt Disney's Comics & Stories 31) Story: Carl Barks (rewrite) Art: Carl Barks.
Donald wants to plant a Victory Garden. The nephews try to help him, unfortunately a trio of crows keep eating the seeds. After striking out at home, Donald creeps out at night to plant his garden at a corner vacant lot. In order to check it without the crows following him Donald dresses in drag to fool them (it doesn't work). Unfortunately the vacant lot is used by the boys and their friends as a football field. As a result the garden is ruined. The boys get some "invisible seeds" to fool the crows...but Donald thinks they are playing a trick on him and cause the seeds to be spilled in his bedroom. The bedroom is apparently very dirty...because the next morning he has a victory garden there.
Historically important because it's the first story done entirely by Barks. This is a pretty typical 10-pager. A peek into the lives of the Ducks. Donald's temper is worse in this one than Pirate Gold...but still not a patch on his temper in the cartoons. And the nephews are definitely a lot more likable than their cinema doppelgangers.
Post by Ish Kabbible on Mar 12, 2016 19:59:11 GMT -5
I bought all those Gladstone albums that came out, I think beginning in the 1990s. Every month they released either one or two oversized albums of about 58 pages each. They actually finished reprinting in that format every Barks Duck Story, long and short, Uncle Scrooge and what have you. Each album had a trading card too of the comics' cover. There were a number of Mickeys also. I read a bunch. Barks was just an amazing storyteller
And then I sold everything including those. "Sigh" "Choke" "Urpp"
Post by Arthur Gordon Scratch on Mar 13, 2016 8:59:04 GMT -5
Bark's ducks was my very first exposure to comics. I read those through my moms swedish originals from the early 50ies, the sill running bi-weekly Kalle Anka (roughly "Carl" Dusck)! When I was around 10, I got a subscription with it in orde to learn swedish when I was growing up in France. Thanks to that I got the early scandinavian exposure of the Don Rosa tales, as those first were printed there. Those sure were a revolution, but I still prefered those old Barks ones, my favorites being the mayan square chickens and the one where Scrooges competes with his fellow billionnaire nemesis about who has the longest "line-ball"... But I'm probably forgetting dozens of those right now. I bought the Fantagraphic HC collections and am very happy with those as I can share those without fearing for the condition of my originals
Post by Slam_Bradley on Mar 13, 2016 23:07:20 GMT -5
Good Deeds (WDC&S 34) Story & Art by Carl Barks.
Barks' fourth 10-pager...yep I skipped two. I read them...but I'm not reviewing them.
The story opens with Donald shoveling trash over the fence and into Neighbor Jones' yard. The boys ask him why he doesn't try to be a friend...and after Jones clobbers him with a tin can Donald decides he will spend the rest of the day doing good deeds. Of course every time he tries...things just get worse. Attempting to turn off the plane of a tired pilot lands Donald and the boys in a small adventure as they head south and land in a land with black native ducks. They escape from the primitive savages and return the plane to the pilot..who is doing good deeds for the day.
The story is remarkable for two reasons. The first is Neighbor Jones, who is the first recurring character who is a Barks creation. The second reason is more problematic. Throughout Barks' run there is a recurring problem with natives...particularly of the African variety. They are, quite simply, racist. And it doesn't get much better as time goes on. To some extent, I'm sure they are a sign of the times...see Ebony White in The Spirit. But they're there...and it shouldn't be whitewashed.
Post by wildfire2099 on Mar 14, 2016 15:08:58 GMT -5
That's not nearly as bad as alot of stuff that came out around that time... Marvel's Golden Age was big on exaggerated Stereotypes, and not just for the Axis powers. I agree they're part of the time, though, and one should be able to read and understand and appreciate how far we've come (even if we have a far bit still to go).
IIRC, there a Don Rosa 10 pager that's really similar to that, without the tribal adventure.
Post by Slam_Bradley on Mar 17, 2016 14:17:21 GMT -5
The Mighty Trapper (WDC&S 36)
The boys are reading tales of frontiersman which causes Donald to start bloviating about his prowess as a trapper. The boys know he's full of hot air and decide to trick him with an old fox fur of Daisy's. Hi-jinks ensue as Donald and the boys go back and forth trying to trick each other in trapping things.
There's nothing terribly interesting about this story. It's a pretty typical early 10-pager with the normal domestic interaction between Donald and the nephews. I note it here for two reasons...
1. It's Daisy's first comic book appearance, albeit a cameo in just a couple of panels, and
2. The subject matter. It's just hard to see a modern comic having at its base the trapping of animals for their furs. It also points out the incongruity of the Disney comics having anthropomorphized animals co-existing with animal animals.
Post by wildfire2099 on Mar 17, 2016 15:21:39 GMT -5
I read this one not too long ago.. I definitely was thinking how it would never in a million years fly today... but I didn't think about the animals hunting animals thing... that's an interesting thought.
Post by Slam_Bradley on Apr 24, 2016 22:00:48 GMT -5
Donald Duck and the Mummy's Ring (Four Color #29)
This one is huge. Probably the most important story so far. Arguably (with the creation of Uncle Scrooge) the most important story historically. Because this is the first full-length adventure story. This one sets the standard for what people think of when it comes to Barks stories. It's a full-length adventure story set in an exotic environment.
Donald and the boys head to the museum to see ancient mummies before they are returned to the possession of the Bey of El Dagga. Outside the museum they are given a ring by an old man and they're menaced by Black Pete. The mummies are guarded by the emissaries of the Bey and the boys are hurried out of the museum, but Huey has lost his cap and goes back in to get it. But he never returns.
We get to see the boys attempt to bluff their way onto the ship and then have to settle for working as deck-hands. One of the mummies comes to life and steals food, setting up some comedy/horror elements. And the boys lives are definitely in danger when they abandon the ship to follow the Bey's emissaries who are transporting the mummies...and they believe...Huey.
The landscape and the setting is clearly quasi-Egyptian, complete with Nile boats, pyramids and mummies. And there is a tangible sense of danger. Both in the pursuit and to Huey, who it turns out has been in one of the mummy cases, while Black Pete has been in the other. With the return of the ring, lost for thousands of years, the Bey goes from a menace to an altruist and rewards the boys with a huge treasure chest...one worthy of the yet to appear Uncle Scrooge.
A really fun story that it definitely a forerunner of what will come and be the essence of the Barks duck story.