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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #31

Here’s #31! Click here for the master list!


Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #31

In 1942, Dorothy Strebe, of Disney’s publications department (which was being handled by Western Comics at the time), sent a plot to a former DC animator who was to write and draw his first story for the Disney comic, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories.

Her note said “Here is a 10-page story for Donald Duck. Hope that you like it … you are to stage it, of course … and if you see that it can be strengthened, or that it deviates from Donald either in narration or action, please make the improvements.”

The pay for the issue was $12.50 for each page.

Disney must have been impressed with what he came up with, because they allowed him to write the next issue by himself, and so began Carl Barks’ legendary career doing Disney comic books.

In this issue, the story by Barks was about Donald and his nephews putting together a victory garden. Victory gardens were something that American did during World War II to grow vegetables to supplement the US economy during the war.

Donald’s plan, though, is threatened by some dastardly crows!

Amazing Spider-Man #31, with the first Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn (and the beginning of the classic Master Planner storyline), definitely gives this issue a run for its money, but ultimately, Barks is more important to comic history than either of those characters.

Other notable #31s were, I dunno, pretty much every issue of Moore’s Swamp Thing was great, same with Lee/Kirby’s FF, Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Gaiman’s Sandman – nothing jumps out, though – not like first Barks’ Disney story or first Gwen/Harry.

Thanks to the Carl Barks Guidebook for the information! And the INDUCKS resource for the scan!


Wow, I would have thought that ASM #31 was definitely more notable than the one you picked. Interesting choice.

I think Barks is more important to comic history than either Harry or Gwen.

Now if it was Mary Jane versus Barks…hmmmm….

Well, it’s arguable, but ok, sure. It’s also notable for being the start of the acclaimed Master Planner storyline, but I expect ASM #33 to get the 33 spot for that…!

Oh yeah, it’s definitely a close second in my book!

And #33…we shall see ;) ….

I own a copy of ASM #31 and aside from the brief apperances of Gwen and Harry it’s not a classic issue (not next to #33 in any case).

I think you made the right call Brian. Barks was a genius. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this on order! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Carl-Barks-Collection-v-1/dp/1603600639/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214535458&sr=8-1

Wow, I would have thought that ASM #31 was definitely more notable

Nope. Good one. I was thinking the Barks Ducks wouldn’t make it, since Uncle Scrooge was introduced in Four Color 346 or something. (Not the actual number.)

I can’t think of another # 31 that’s even close. :)

Congratulations for your choice. Barks is a genius.

Kudos for this selection. I love seeing appreciative nods to the greats of the industry who were NOT part of the “spandex & capes” group.

I’m wondering if there’s anything in store for Burne Hogarth or Tex Avery…

Quasar #31: Wendell’s trapped in the New Universe of all misbegotten places, and his powers are weakening. So he uses the last of them to write a giant “I need help” sign over Manhattan, and ends up having the Star Brand passed onto him, which lets him escape back to his section of the Omniverse. (This was the first time anyone from the 616 universe itneracted with the forgotton New Universe folks, beating Warren Ellis to the punch by about 15 years!)

But . . . but Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #31 had the first appearance of Elastic Lad! And Marvel Premiere #31 introduced Woodgod!

And Marvel Premiere #31 introduced Woodgod!

Dammit, Cronin! How’d you miss that one!?

It would be nice if we could find Woodgod appearances for each number to run alongside Jeff’s Quasar recaps, but that would be . . . very, very difficult.

And hey, what about Cave Carson? Brave & the Bold #31, baby!

Wolverine #31 is notable for being the first issue by Hama and Silvestri, which still might be the best creative team ever for that title. (Though Hama/Kubert is in the conversation.)

Savage Dragon #31 also had the infamous God vs the Devil slugfest.

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