Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Golden Bookshelf:

Uncle Scrooge McDuck – His Life & Times

He's the richest duck alive, and the most miserly as well. Catch the classic Disney character Uncle Scrooge as brought to life by Carl Barks in this rare anthology with a preface by George Lucas. Find old favorites like “Back to the Klondike,” “The Seven Cities of Cibolla,” and “The Lemming with the Locket,” plus some lesser-known tales and even unpublished pages.

Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge stories are timeless classics of children’s literature, so well told and beautifully-crafted that they appeal to readers of any age. In 1981, fans of the ducks, Barks and the great Dell Disney comics of the 1940s and 1950s were treated to a deluxe, full-color edition reprinting twelve complete stories, along with notes, interviews, a bibliography and other bonuses, in an oversized volume from Celestial Arts.

The volume was edited by Edward Summer, who solicited great introductory essays by George Lucas, Michael Barrier and Gary Kurtz. Barks introduces each story with a little anecdote about the plot or something to look for in the art. There are also sketches and model-sheets from Barks’ files, archival photos, and reproductions of the stunning series of Duck-themed oil paintings that Barks did on commission in the early 1970s.

The real attractions here, though, are the stories themselves. Those who remember the comics will find old favorites like “Back to the Klondike,” “The Seven Cities of Cibolla,” and “The Lemming with the Locket,” plus some lesser-known tales and even unpublished pages. Every story is a marvel of crisp storytelling, humor, and deceptively simple, effective artwork, mixing action, emotion, jokes and rich characterization. Barks’ work transcends any preconceptions about funny animals, Disney, Donald Duck and “kids’ comics,” and offers an example of the sequential art-form that is guaranteed to stand the test of time.

Uncle Scrooge – His Life & Times was published in three editions: a softcover (1981), a hardcover trade edition (1987), and a signed/numbered hardcover limited edition (of 5000) that came with a signed lithograph print. They are all in extreme demand, with some sellers asking over $1200 for the limited edition. Most of the Barks oevre has been reprinted in trade paperbacks and comics by Gladstone.

 

Uncle Scrooge McDuck – His Life & Times

Celestial Arts

Publication Year: 1981 (TPB and HC limited), 1987 (hardcover trade)

Writer: Carl Barks
Artist: Carl Barks

Rob Salkowitz is a Seattle-based writer and authority on all manner of aging newsprint. You can e-mail your comments and queries to Rob at rob_comics@yahoo.com. Use "ComicBase" as the subject line.

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