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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 316

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

To tie in with this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed, let’s take a look at the Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge classic, “Back to the Klondike”!


The set-up of the story (which first appeared in Four Color Comics #456) is that Uncle Scrooge has been having memory problems. A doctor gives him a series of memory pills. Scrooge takes one and remembers something from his distant past…

First off all, look at how marvelous Barks is at facial expressions. He really could tell a tale just on people’s expressions alone! He was a true master.

Once in the Klondike (after a number of cute gags involving Scrooge’s cheapness), in the original version of the story, Barks goes on a great flashback of Scrooge in the Old West. In the published version, that is omitted. LAME!

In any event, they try to find Scrooge’s claim, but it is being guarded by a bear. Antics ensue…

And then we discover that the old lady on the claim is Glitterin’ Goldie herself…

The comic has a marvelous ending, one that I’m sure that you’ve seen on the episode of Duck Tales that adapted this story, but still, well worth looking for.

Barks is a true gem – he tells an interesting story, he puts lots of action and humor into it, and he has good character work. He could really do it all – and all in one issue!!! Wow, was he good.


That’s how it’s done!

‘For just a minute there, I thought Uncle Scrooge was human!’
Funny, I would’ve sworn he was a duck.

I really need to read a collection of these Barks stories sometime.

It’s pretty damn impressive that Barks could get so many different expressions from a beak, even an anthropomorphized beak.

Barks is awesome.

Yes, one of the Barks’ best, and later Don Rosa did get quite a lot of mileage out of Scrooge+Goldie…

Cutting away that flashback is indeed very lame, throws out the dynamics of the story…

Beside the expressiveness, the thing that is hard to process from the viewpoint of modern comics was how much he managed to pack in pages. His ten-pagers are already great, and when he wants to go really big and epic, it’s 24 to 32 pages. And big and epic he went.

Mary, there’s one reference in works of Barks where Donald&co. associates themselves with ducks, the birds. And it does come off as somewhat jarring and is commonly considered a mistep. Otherwise they are humans, with beaks and feathers and no pants.

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