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After a month of spotlighting the strange (if endearingly strange) history of comic books (and especially the Silver Age), I think it is worthwhile to show the comic books of the Silver Age that are simply great stories period. Here is an archive of all the Silver Age comics features so far!
Today we look at a classic Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge tale from the Silver Age, with “The Hound of the Whiskervilles,” from 1960’s Uncle Scrooge #29. An adapted version appeared as the DuckTales episode “The Curse of Castle McDuck” (while not knocking that episode, as it was fine, Barks’ story is a whole lot better).
What is so striking about Carl Barks’ work is how much it did not talk down to its audience. Even though he was writing for children, Barks continued to spin rather complicated stories with adult themes (but, of course, in a fashion where the story would still be accessible for a kid to read). Take, for instance, Barks’ commentary not only on the shallowness of society but some criticism (not necessarily ACCURATE criticism, but criticism) of modern art…
Barks always threw in interesting tidbits like that for the readers.
Barks does some good character work…
And then he changes gears effortlessly as he turns the story into a horror tale…
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it is a remarkably pointed ending (and one that is a good deal more acute than the sanitized ending on the cartoon episode). You can pick this up in the Carl Barks’s Greatest Ducktales Stories trade paperback, Volume 1. Well worth a read. And he did this all in less than EIGHT PAGES, people!!!
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